Top Education Stories You Don’t Want to Miss – Week of April 29th, 2019

5 CPS High Schools Among Top 100 in Nation: U.S. News Rankings

By Matt Masterson for WTTW

“Five Chicago public high schools are ranked among the top 100 in the nation, including one in the top 10, according to the latest rankings from U.S. News & World Report. Chicago Public Schools once again scored the top five public high schools in the state of Illinois, according to the annual Best High Schools list from the self-proclaimed “global authority” in education rankings. All five of those schools were also included among the top 100 nationally. Walter Payton College Prep was tabbed as the top Illinois high school for the second consecutive year. But the selective enrollment school on the Near North Side made a big move in the national rankings, jumping from No. 52 last year to No. 9 in 2019 – the only CPS or Illinois school to crack the top 10 nationally. Payton was followed by Northside College Prep (No. 23 nationally, No. 2 in Illinois), Lane Tech (No. 69, No. 3), Whitney Young (No. 71, No. 4) and Jones College Prep (No. 91, No. 5). Brooks College Prep and the Phoenix Military Academy were also among the top 10 Illinois schools, but ranked outside the national top 100.”


New Englewood high school gears up for fall opening: ‘It means a lot’

By Nader Issa for the Sun-Times

“The opening of a new state-of-the-art public high school this fall in Englewood was previewed Saturday with a “signing day” ceremony for the school’s inaugural class. The new high school marks a change in fortune for the South Side neighborhood that has seen school closures in recent years and hasn’t had a new school open in decades. The event held Saturday morning in Kennedy-King College’s gymnasium featured a graduation-like ceremony — proud, boisterous parents included — for the students that will soon attend the three-story, $85 million “STEM” school that will serve grades 9-12. Englewood STEM High School will focus on science, technology, engineering and math curriculum, and is being built at 6835 S. Normal on the former campus of the shuttered Robeson High School. Initial Chicago Public Schools projections place 300 to 350 students in the open-enrollment school’s first class, almost all of whom live in Englewood. CPS CEO Janice Jackson said accessible neighborhood public schools are vital for students’ success, especially for Englewood students who have had to make long commutes to attend schools miles away from their homes.”


How one Chicago high school teacher is helping students think for themselves, despite all that screentime

By Yana Kunichoff for Chalkbeat

“Here, in a feature we call How I Teach, we ask educators who’ve been recognized for their work how they approach their jobs. You can see other pieces in the series here.

When Jake Myers began teaching at Jones College Prep in Chicago 10 years ago, his current job didn’t exist. “I was just an art teacher,” Myers said. A decade — and the spread of personalized media technology — later, Myers’ title has changed to encompass a new world. Today, he’s the digital video teacher at Jones, as well as chair of the art department. His goal is to teach his students to think for themselves in a world where they are inundated with screens and social media outrages…As schools work to adapt to the changing reality of technology and how to make students critical users in a world increasingly mediated by phone and computer screens, teachers like Myers are at the center of that discussion. As a teacher who also has a practice in filmmaking, Murphy is an educator whose lessons speak directly to these bigger questions.”


Early kindergarten, grade skipping: Chicago considers new options for gifted children

By Cassie Walker Burke for Chalkbeat

“Chicago is floating a plan that would offer gifted and talented children more options beyond seats in its sought-after test-in programs. But parents who’ve seen a proposal draft say it sets the bar too high for most children to qualify. Under the proposal, Chicago would allow early admittance to kindergarten for children who turn 5 between Sept. 2 and Oct. 31 and who score 98th percentile or higher on a cognitive test administered by a psychologist. Pending school board approval in June, admissions would start this fall, but only include neighborhood schools in the first year.”