Teachers say the new PARCC is an improvement over the previous Illinois state tests, but they want more time to prep for it and say not all of their students are ready for its level of academic challenge.
Nearly 46 percent of Chicago public school students identify as Hispanic this year, and district leaders say it’s necessary to make the study of Latino history and culture a core part of education. CPS plans to sell the new curriculum to other districts, and is launching it a year after an African American Studies curriculum made its debut. Experts say no other school system has made such an expansive effort to incorporate ethnic studies into the school day.
CPS is making progress on a goal to institute computer science in all high schools by 2019.
Parents and activists have complained about the time spent on standardized tests as well as the format of the new PARCC. CPS now says it will test only 10 percent of schools.
The U.S. Department of Education announced today that the state will receive an additional $20 million in annual federal funding to further expand preschool services for 4-year-olds.
Schools are trying to improve teaching of science, technology, engineering and math with the help of a federal grant.
A new study on Chicago’s child-parent centers found that children attending a full day of preschool do even better on a range of kindergarten readiness assessments than those who attend preschool for just part of the day.
As they continue to push state education officials to ask the federal government for a waiver to delay a new standardized test scheduled to be given next year, parent advocates announced Friday they also want the state legislature to pass a bill allowing parents to opt their child out of the exam.
To give the neediest children a better shot at high-quality early learning opportunities, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has made preschool expansion a focal point of his agenda. Early learning advocates laud the mayor for his plans, but still wonder if the city can reach its ambitious goal.
As it seeks a major federal grant to expand preschool, Illinois officials submit a bid that promises to double the state’s investment in early learning—despite the state’s ongoing and massive fiscal problems and a downward trend in early education funding in recent years.