Top Education Stories You Don’t Want to Miss – Week of July 8, 2019

Free CPS Safe Haven summer program begins Monday


“Monday is the first day for Chicago’s Safe Haven program. Safe Haven provides free anti-violence workshops for youth, focusing on positive conflict-resolution, anger management and more. The program is available at 37 sites across Chicago on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through August 16. Meals will be provided at all of them. The 10-year-old Safe Haven program is a partnership between the Chicago Public Schools and several faith-based organizations.”

Chicago is changing its elementary school ratings. Here’s why educators are watching closely.

By Adeshina Emmanuel for Chalkbeat

“Starting in September, Chicago elementary schools will be graded under new rules, ones that measure whether elementary students are primed for high school success. The “3-8 On-Track” metric was approved last month by the new school board along with other revisions to how the district rates its schools, despite concerns about the speed of the shift and questions about its logic.  The changes update Chicago’s controversial School Quality Rating Policy, which assigns schools a rating on a numerical scale from 1-plus (the highest) to 3 (the lowest) based on factors like attendance and test score growth. Here’s a closer look at the district’s new approach to rating elementary schools.”

‘Free Tuition’ Is Now A Reality For Many U of I Students

By Jason Marck for WBEZ

“Starting with the 2019-2020 academic year, incoming students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign whose families earn less than $61,000 per year will not have to pay tuition. The new program — called Illinois Commitment — applies to in-state students below the age of 24 starting as freshmen or transfer students. To qualify, students must have attended a high school in the state, and their family’s total assets must be $50,000 or less.”

In the middle of Chicago, an emerging curriculum blooms in a hidden city garden

By Catherine Henderson for Chalkbeat

“Kennedy Woodfork isn’t afraid of bugs or dirt like some 15-year-olds. In fact, she’s spending her summer pulling weeds, harvesting her own tomatoes, and otherwise caring for a community garden in Grant Park.  Woodfork is one of 18 students in the new tour guide program at Urban Growers Collective, a nonprofit managing eight gardens, mostly on the South Side of Chicago. The camp teaches students about everything from gardening and compost to food justice and the agriculture industry — all in the center of downtown Chicago.  And as students go through the program, they spread the word by giving tours of the garden to curious tourists.”