Top Education Stories You Don’t Want to Miss: May 22 – May 28, 2021

Noble Schools Featured in U.S. News National High School Rankings

By the Noble Network of Charter Schools

“U.S. News and World Report recently released their latest rankings of high schools across the country and Noble schools were prominently featured, here are a few highlights: Noble schools hold all top 8 slots for charter high schools in Chicago and all 16 Noble campuses eligible for rankings were in the top 30 charter high schools in Chicago. Noble campuses represented 9 of the top 100 high schools in the entire state of Illinois (out of more than 800 total high schools ranked). Within CPS, test-in selective enrollment schools led the rankings, when looking at schools that are open to all students, Noble campuses were 8 of the top 15.”


It’s official: Chicago schools will fully reopen next fall, with mandatory attendance for most

By Mila Koumpilova for Chalkbeat

“Chicago Public Schools will reopen its buildings for full-time in-person instruction in the fall — and once again to require students to attend, except in limited cases. Officials shared broad strokes of that plan with the school board Wednesday. They said the district is working on a centralized virtual option available only to medically fragile children. They are also exploring offering some virtual specialized coursework, such as college-credit classes, in a bid to expand access to these district offerings. “Needless to say, after the past 14 months, we cannot be more thrilled to resume normal scheduling for our students and families,” said Eva Giglio, the deputy chief of staff. Schools chief Janice Jackson said she and her team were excited that the Illinois State Board of Education signed off on a resolution last week that paves the way for a statewide return to full-time in-person instruction in the fall. Jackson had previously called for bringing back mandatory in-person learning five days a week, with an exception only for students with medical conditions that make them vulnerable to the coronavirus.”


CPS to Promote All Elementary, Middle School Students to Next Grade Level

By Matt Masterson for WTTW

“All elementary and middle school students in Chicago Public Schools will advance to the next grade level, regardless of their academic success during the current academic year, under a new resolution to be considered by the district. The Chicago Board of Education on Wednesday will vote on the measure, which would allow for all students in grades 1-8 to be promoted to the next grade for the 2021-2022 academic year due to learning disruptions caused by COVID-19. “The Board believes the disruption to learning for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years has been so substantial as to render the process of using student academic performance data to retain elementary school students untenable,” the resolution states. This marks the second school year in a row that CPS will promote all elementary and middle schoolers due to the pandemic.”


Win, lose, or compromise: Clock ticks on key education bills in Springfield

By Samantha Smylie and Cassie Walker Burke for Chalkbeat

“After a COVID year and a short lame-duck legislative session, the Illinois legislature has come roaring back with hundreds of bills introduced by its members. Many bills address problems created or exacerbated by the pandemic, while some have to do with an ambitious push to remap the state’s legislative districts. A number gaining steam this week are education-focused, covering hair discrimination, Asian American history curriculum, and the ongoing debate over whether Chicago should have an elected school board. In addition to weighing bills to send to the governor’s desk before the legislative session ends May 31, the General Assembly has to decide on the state’s budget. Gov. J.B. Pritzker proposed earlier this month adding $350 million in the state’s evidence-based funding formula, after saying that he would keep the budget flat. With the session set to adjourn Monday, here are the education bills we are closely watching.”