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Category Archives: Catalyst Chicago

In Chicago, preschool expansion via ‘social impact’ bonds

Child-parent centers that enroll children from preschool through third grade and require parental participation have been proven to have long-term academic benefits for children. To expand them, Chicago plans to borrow millions of dollars through a so-called “social impact bond” that pays back investors if children reach certain achievement benchmarks.

Arts education report: More teachers and programs in Chicago, but inequity remains

Two years ago, when Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel unveiled an arts plan for schools, it was unclear how much arts instruction was already being offered to students – either by certified teachers or through partnerships with community organizations. Now, schools and arts leaders know the answer: There are more teachers than many would have guessed, but they are inequitably distributed across the city and the total is far below the goals.

Chicago summer programs facing cuts in federal dollars

Some community organizations that depend on state money to provide after-school and summer programs for thousands of low-income children in Chicago say they’re upset with how long it’s taken the Illinois State Board of Education to prioritize their needs.

Over time, Chicago has backed away from year-round school efforts

Bit by bit, CPS has chipped away at efforts to create a non-traditional school calendar that aimed to make better use of time to improve academics. The last nail in the coffin came earlier this year, when the Board of Education quietly approved a new calendar that will have students once again return to school after Labor Day.