Top Education Stories You Don’t Want to Miss: June 11 – June 17, 2022

Students joyous, sad as momentous CPS school year wraps for the summer

By Nader Issa for The Sun-Times

“Typically, kids are pumped for their last day of school as they head out to summer break, the outdoors and warm weather. And there certainly were laughs and excitement Tuesday as Chicago Public Schools classes wrapped until the fall — but it wasn’t all smiles. At the end of a school year that marked most students’ return to in-person learning after two of the most challenging years in American education history, students seemed to have gained a new appreciation for school. Ethan Acevedo, who just finished second grade at Chopin Elementary in West Town, said he has mixed feelings about the end of the school year. “I’m a little sad I won’t be able to see my friends,” Ethan said.”


CPS ends school year with 22,000 student COVID-19 cases; CTU says safety measures should remain in the fall

By Tracy Swartz for The Chicago Tribune

“About one in every dozen Chicago Public Schools students contracted COVID-19 this school year, the district’s first year of full-time, in-person learning since the pandemic began. With CPS closing out the school year Tuesday, the district is reporting nearly 22,500 cases among 272,000 students from the first week of school in August through last week. Each case represents an individual report of COVID-19, so a student reinfected with the virus would count as two cases. The data doesn’t include CPS charter, contract and alternative learning students, of which there are 58,000. This was supposed to be a recovery year for CPS, but that’s not the way it unfolded. The district struggled to launch and expand testing and contact tracing initiatives. It faced opposition from the Chicago Teachers Union, whose members did not want to work in person during January’s omicron surge without additional safety protections, and from a downstate attorney, who challenged CPS’ mitigation strategies in court.”


Lightfoot to ‘Fight Like Hell’ to Keep CPS Students in Classrooms When Next School Year Begins

By Matt Masterson for WTTW Chicago

“The 2021-22 school year is drawing to a close with Chicago Public Schools students in the same place they were at the start of the year — in the classroom — something Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she plans to “fight like hell” to continue in the fall. As of Tuesday, which marks the final day of classes for CPS, more than 22,000 students and 9,400 adults have tested positive for COVID-19 at some point during the current school year, according to district data.”


CPS has fewer police officers in schools. How’s the transition going?

By Stephanie Kim for WBEZ

“In the last two years, the number of police officers inside Chicago Public Schools has dropped by one-third. Since 2020, it’s been up to local school councils to decide whether to keep officers in the building. Reset learns more about how CPS is changing its approach to addressing root causes of student behavior.”


Early results from this spring’s state test suggest Chicago students are still struggling

By Mila Koumpilova for Chalkbeat

“The fight to rebuild school communities after two years of pandemic-era uncertainty. Chicago teachers and principals got an early look at Illinois state test results in recent weeks — and what they saw was sobering. According to the preliminary, unofficial scores obtained by Chalkbeat, 15% of the district’s third through eighth graders who took the test this spring met state standards in math, and a fifth of students met standards in English language arts. Meanwhile, roughly a third of students in both reading and math scored near the bottom on the test.”