Top Education Stories You Don’t Want to Miss – Week of July 22, 2019

Chicago Public Schools Back to School Bash

By Chicago Parent

“Chicago Public Schools will host Back-to-School Bashes across the city for students and families to reconnect with their school communities and prepare for a safe and productive start to the upcoming school year. These celebrations will provide an opportunity for CPS students to meet with school and network staff and classmates, while connecting them with school supplies, free immunizations and other community resources. The events will also offer a variety of music, food, games and activities for students and their families, including performances from the Jesse White Tumblers. CPS staff and volunteers will be available to help answer questions regarding the upcoming school year, and transportation will be available to and from events through shuttle services.”


New CPS school board targets early childhood education, teacher diversity with new committees

By Nader Issa for the Chicago Sun-Times

“At the second consecutive nearly six-hour meeting for Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s new Board of Education, the seven-member oversight panel announced three newly formed committees Wednesday that will tackle issues surrounding early childhood education, equitable learning and diversity in the teaching ranks. Those new committees are among several changes — some implemented for the first time at this month’s meeting — that have been introduced by the board as it has worked to quickly differentiate itself from its predecessor. The meeting at the Chicago Public Schools downtown office was the first to be streamed live online and to have Spanish translation services offered for those in attendance. It also included a new format, with public comments coming closer the start of the marathon meeting rather than toward the end.”


Chicago recruits outside firm to help it tackle gender, racial gaps in advanced courses

By Adeshina Emmanuel for Chalkbeat

“Since 2011, Chicago has increased enrollment in rigorous Advanced Placement courses by 53%, an effort that has won the district national praise. But the growth obscures lingering gaps in the program by gender, by race, and by class — and the fact that a handful of Chicago high schools don’t offer students the option of taking AP at all. On Wednesday, the board of education voted to pay a Washington state-based organization $235,000 to help six targeted schools close gaps in access to AP and International Baccalaureate classes. The consultants, Equal Opportunity Schools, will continue its two-year-old work with six other Chicago high schools.”


Do metal detectors keep schools safe? Chicago school board wades into debate.

By Catherine Henderson for Chalkbeat

“Each day, thousands of Chicago students walk through metal detectors and put their backpacks through X-ray machines designed to check for weapons and keep schools safe. On Wednesday, the city’s new school board approved $2.4 million to replace those machines with newer versions, even as they discussed whether the hulking metal devices actually keep students safe or whether such investments are misplaced.”