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Category Archives: Catalyst Chicago

Teachers: More prep for PARCC

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.

Latino Studies curriculum will make CPS a pioneer

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.

Parents push for testing “opt-out” bill

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.

Jury still out on Emanuel preschool expansion plans

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.

Illinois promises huge investment in early childhood

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.