Top Education Stories You Don’t Want to Miss: July 9 – July 22, 2022

Leading Teachers in Anti-Racism Work During a Pandemic – “Changing the Course: Building An Antiracist Education” Episode Six

By The Noble Schools

“In this episode, we talk with Lyndsay Cowles and Tierionna Pinkston — two leaders of Noble Schools’ Academics team. Cowles and Pinkston talk about their work in supporting teachers this year through the policy changes at Noble Schools and through the pandemic. They highlight topics from what struggles they saw teachers encounter this year to the plans they are creating next year to better support teachers. Listen or watch now to hear more about their journey leading teachers this school year. After this episode, we will be taking a hiatus until the school year starts up again. Make sure to check back in for Season 2 in the fall!


Student Voice: Pandemic Attendance Crisis is About More Than COVID

By Andre Young at DRW College Prep for The 74 Million

“When it comes to students missing class, most people think it’s about COVID, and COVID only. But in reality, it’s more than that. Some students had trouble making friends, and some had no friends at all. Some, like me, struggled with certain classes. And then the number of absent students began to breed more of the same: Some students weren’t going to show up if their friends weren’t there. It gave them motivation not to come as well.  I got sick with COVID on November 8, two days after homecoming. The sickle cell disease I have heightened my symptoms, and I was in the hospital for about three weeks. The symptoms were really bad, some of the worst pains I’ve ever experienced: excruciating headaches where I felt pain in my eyes, and feeling like I couldn’t breathe. During my time in the hospital, I was incapable of completing work. All of my grades dropped. I had a 3.5 GPA at the start of the year, but a 1.7 when I was released. I felt left out and kind of dumb, but I knew I had to get back in the grind.  This whole experience opened my eyes to some of the reasons parents were scared to let their children come to school.”


Staff Spotlight: Jadah Dowdy

By LEARN Charter Schools

“Jadah Dowdy’s experience with LEARN began at a young age. As a scholar at LEARN Romano Butler, she witnessed the network’s core values and sense of community firsthand. Whether she was participating in extracurricular activities like basketball or cultivating her critical thinking skills during her lessons, Jadah remembers her time as a LEARN scholar as one where she felt challenged, seen, and respected by her teachers. Mrs. Dowdy now proudly serves as a Math Teacher at LEARN Romano Butler, where her unique experience helps her connect with students to encourage their academic and social-emotional growth. Giving back to her community in meaningful ways has always been a goal for Mrs. Dowdy, and she has gone above and beyond in this pursuit; in addition to her teaching role, she now oversees the LEARN Alumni Summer Internship Program. We recently sat down with Mrs. Dowdy to talk about her unique journey with LEARN and hear what advice she has for this year’s cohort of summer interns!”


Chicago food bank supplies free lunches for children during the summer

By Eileen Pomeroy for Chalkbeat Chicago

“According to data analysis by Diane Schanzenbach, Northwestern University labor economist and a board member at the Greater Chicago Food Depository, Black and Latino families in the Chicago area are disproportionately affected by food insecurity, with 32% of Black households with children and 28% of Latino households with children reporting food insecurity compared to 16% of white households. The problem is amplified during the summer when school is out.”


As Chicago reduces police in public schools, the move from punitive to restorative responses isn’t easy

By Sarah Karp for WBEZ

“Studies show that the presence of police in schools has led to increased criminalization of students of color. As Chicago public schools move away from suspensions, arrests and using police officers, some schools find enacting a new model of helping students difficult.”


CPS Back-to-School Bashes return to 10 Chicago locations ahead of 1st day of class

By ABC7 Chicago Digital Team

“Chicago Public Schools will kick-off its annual Back-to-School Bashes from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. Friday at Finkl Academy on the Southwest side. Friday’s event will be the first of ten events scheduled throughout the city which are meant for students and families to connect with their school communities and get prepared for the new school year which is set to begin Aug. 22.”


Mayoral ally tapped for CPS board, pushing out member against city’s plan for new Chinatown school

By Sarah Karp & Mariah Woelfel for WBEZ

“Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is appointing former alderman Michael Scott Jr. to serve on the Board of Education, filling the seat of current board member Dwayne Truss, who was surprised to learn he’s being pushed off the board. The move comes after Truss indicated last month that he did not support the building of a new $120 million high school in the South Loop, supported by Lightfoot. At the last minute, the project was pulled from the capital budget after it looked like it may not be approved. CPS’s CEO has said he wants the board to revisit the proposal.”