Top Education Stories You Don’t Want to Miss – Week of June 10th, 2019

Leading charter public school network recognizes transformational teachers for best-in-nation performance

By Yahoo Finance

“The Noble Network of Charter Schools has announced the first 20 recipients of its newly created Distinguished Teacher program. Distinguished Teacher provides an industry-changing approach to celebrating and rewarding teachers who are achieving an exceptional impact with students. Among other benefits, each Distinguished Teacher will receive $10,000 annually for as long as they remain teachers at Noble. “Said in the simplest way, Distinguished Teacher is a program designed to identify, celebrate, reward, and learn from Noble’s most impactful educators,” said Constance Jones, CEO of Noble. “Part of our mission at Noble calls for creative classroom spaces that are transformational and empower students to lead exemplary lives. To this end, we invested years in research seeking the best ways to honor and reward teachers who have consistently achieved exceptional outcomes for our young people.”

Perspectives Charter Schools Students Lead Annual Peace March On South Side

By CBS Chicago

“At the time of year when violence traditionally peaks in Chicago, hundreds of students on the South Side are rallying for peace. Students of Perspectives Charter Schools kicked off their sixth annual peace march Friday morning at 24th and State. Many of the students live on the South Side, and some said they’ve been personally affected by violent crime, so the peace march is their way of calling for and being part of much-needed change. “My father was killed due to violence, so it’s close to home,” recent Perspectives graduate Jave’t Coppage said. “One of my closest friends, his brother was killed and his uncle was killed just in January and December.” That’s why Coppage has taken part in the peace march for the past six years. Organizers said the annual march led by students at Perspectives Charter Schools – a network of five South Side schools – is vital, because those kids experience a tremendous amount of violence in the communities they call home. Along with teachers, staff, and community leaders, hundreds of students called for change at a time of year violent crime tends to rise in Chicago.”

Catalyst Circle Rock Opens New Center for Story Telling Through Various Art Forms

By the Chicago Defender

“Fulfilling a 25-year dream of becoming the cultural cornerstone and social forum for the entire westside community of Austin, Catalyst Circle Rock and Ravinia Festival unveiled its new Kehrein Center for the Arts and Sistema Ravinia Auditorium at 5618 W. Washington Blvd. The planning for this $4.5 million project began in 2013 and ground was broken in April 2018. The 900-seat auditorium serves as the new home for one of the largest African–American elementary school orchestras in the nation. “This unique music and fine arts space presents a critical area to engage our children in the field of the arts as well as continue to emphasize values of reverence and respect,” said Illinois Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford.”

Chicago Gets $300K Boost In Grants For Youth Apprenticeships

By CBS Chicago

“Officials say Chicago has received $300,000 in grant money to help expand apprenticeships for young people. The money is going to a partnership between Chicago Public Schools, City Colleges of Chicago and the city. It’s called Career Launch Chicago. The money comes from several groups including New America and the Chicago Community Trust. It’ll be used to help students in the areas of information technology, manufacturing and health care. Apprenticeships usually include classroom learning, paid job training, mentorship and a chance at full time job when the program is finished. Chicago students in the program will also get the chance to earn college credit.”

For one undocumented student in Chicago, graduation marks both hard work and years of uncertainty

By Yana Kunichoff for Chalkbeat

“Itzayanna didn’t even glance at the models of human intestinal systems stacked on bookshelves or the open-mouthed medical dummies on stretchers as she delivered a presentation about Down’s Syndrome, a final project in her health care class. The presentation was one of the last hurdles separating Itzayanna and graduating from high school, enrolling in college, and, she hoped, one day becoming a pediatric nurse. But being able to focus had not only kept her from becoming distracted by the medical models — it had also propelled her to the top of her class as her ambitions were buffeted by political winds. Like thousands of students finishing high school this year across the country, Itzayanna is undocumented, and she is graduating into one of the most supportive, and yet one of the most uncertain, times to be an immigrant student.”

‘A good start’: Here are the bills intended to ease Illinois’ teacher shortage

By Yana Kunichoff for Chalkbeat

“Amid the rush of bills that flooded the Illinois legislature in an effort to solve the state’s dire teacher shortage, a few key pieces of legislation made it through both chambers and onto the governor’s desk before the session ended last week. That means teachers in Illinois could be looking at several small but significant changes, including laws that open the path to pay student teachers, who have worked for free, and an end to the basic skills test that critics argued kept out teachers of color. Will these tweaks be enough to turn the tide for the teaching profession in Illinois, where a lack of teachers, especially special education and bilingual teachers, is only made worse by fewer would-be teachers entering the pipeline? Pamela Jessee, director of accreditation at National Louis University, who spent 12 years as a special education teacher in the Chicago suburbs, said the bills are positive steps but aren’t likely to remove the biggest obstacles that make teaching a less attractive profession.”