Top Education Stories You Don’t Want to Miss: March 26 – April 1, 2022

Thoughts on Women’s History Month From a Speer Senior

By The Noble Schools

“This month, we’re celebrating Women’s History Month at ITW David Speer Academy and recognizing the many achievements that women in history have fought for and earned. We believe that shining a light on women in different fields shows other young girls that they too can achieve their dreams.”


Opening the Door for Opportunities and Creating Community at Butler College Prep

By The Noble Schools

“This is part of a series of blogs from Noble campus representatives to give a deeper look at campus life. Through creating a sense of true belonging and community and providing best-in-class college counseling, Butler College Prep is redefining the educational experience for students in the Pullman community. OPENING THE DOOR FOR COLLEGE OPPORTUNITIES: If you walk through the hallways of Butler right now, you will hear seniors talking about their college acceptances and the financial aid opportunities that they’ve been offered. You will also see blue and purple polo shirts popping up amongst the senior class. What does that mean? Students receive blue shirts when they have been accepted into at least four of their college choices. They get purple shirts when they are offered a full-ride scholarship. Talk about raising the standard!”


3 steps to prepare for the next school crisis

By Greg White for E-School News

“How much would you pay for a crystal ball that could foresee the next school crisis? Though the ongoing pandemic has been referred to as a ‘once-in-a -lifetime crisis for school,’ we know that future crises are, unfortunately, inevitable. What schools, educators and families have experienced over the last two years has radically changed our understanding of what it means to truly care for students and teachers. After nearly 20 years in education, one thing I’ve learned is there is no ‘normal.’ Whether it’s a nationwide teacher shortage, challenging politics, funding instability or the devastating impact of gun violence on our communities, there is always a school crisis to navigate.  How can schools prepare for the next crisis while ensuring their long-term success? I may not have that crystal ball, but I do have leadership philosophies that have helped our schools remain the highest-performing elementary schools in their respective neighborhoods. I hope, pandemic or not, schools can continue to share working methods with each other so that all students have access to high-quality education.”


CPS site now displays school-level vax rates

By Monica Eng for AXIOS Chicago

“CPS announced last Friday that it now posts student COVID-19 vaccination rates online — including rates for individual schools. Why it matters: School-level data — which had previously only been available through tedious public records requests — offers a window into the vast health inequities across the district. Relatively low-income South and West Side schools show much lower vaccination rates than higher-income North Side schools By the numbers: Based on March 16 data Axios obtained through a FOIA request, all but one of the 10 highest-vaccinated high schools, and all of the most-vaccinated grade schools, are north of Roosevelt Road. More than a third of CPS schools — mostly on the South and West sides — still show vaccination rates under 25% Of note: Even 89%-vaccinated Coonley Elementary suffered a COVID outbreak this month with 40 positive cases, pushing many classrooms back to masking, the Tribune reports. Big picture: The data CPS is currently sharing shows 47% of students at its “district-run” schools and 38% of its charter and contract schools are fully vaccinated.”


Illinois board of ed considers ramping up standardized testing to 3 times a year: ‘Who won here? The testing companies.

By Karen Ann Cullotta for The Chicago Tribune

“Despite strong opposition from teachers and parents, the Illinois State Board of Education is considering the possibility of replacing the state’s annual student assessment with interim testing throughout the school year, including an option to test children as young as kindergarten. ISBE officials said this week that there is not yet a specific proposal on the table, and any changes to the current Illinois Assessment of Readiness would have to be allowed by federal law and approved by the U.S. Department of Education. But the state recently hired the New Hampshire-based nonprofit Center for Assessment to analyze the results of a statewide survey about how to make the state assessment more useful to families and educators, including the possibility of abandoning the annual IAR, and testing students several times a year, to better gauge learning gaps.”