Top Education Stories You Don’t Want to Miss – Week of September 30, 2019

More than 30,000 Chicago school staff will strike on October 17 if their demands aren’t met, union says

By Dakin Andone for CNN

“More than 30,000 Chicago Public Schools teachers and support staff will go on strike if they can’t successfully negotiate a contract deal with the district by October 17, the Chicago Teachers Union said in a statement. The statement late Wednesday quoted several union members. “We don’t want to strike, but we will if we have to,” said special education teacher Linda Perales. “Our students deserve smaller class sizes. They deserve nurses. They deserve social workers. They deserve bilingual educators,” Perales said. “This is what we’re asking for at the table, and we’re willing to strike to get them for our students.” The union pointed to large class sizes, low pay for teaching assistants and a shortage of counselors, social workers and school nurses, making teachers’ work harder than it already is. One teacher said her second-grade class had 40 students last year. According to the union, nine of 10 majority-black schools have no teacher librarians, and there aren’t enough teachers for English language learners in the district, which the union said is “nearly half Latinx.” The teachers union set the strike deadline after 94% of its members voted last week to authorize a strike, it said. The union represents more than 25,000 educators.”

CPS students can begin applying to elementary, high schools for next year Monday


“Starting Monday, Chicago Public Schools students can begin applying to elementary and high schools they wish to attend next year. Applications are accepted online using GoCPS. Families can apply to both district and charter schools. CPS officials said according to research by the University of Chicago, 81 percent of students receive an offer from the top three schools they chose. Families have until December 6 to apply.”

Seven things families should know about high school admissions in Chicago

By Cassie Walker Burke for Chalkbeat

“Chicago’s high school admissions window opened this week. For thousands of students and their families, so began a process marked by anxiety, questions, deadlines, and, yes, educated guesswork.  The city’s universal application, GoCPS, is now in its third year. While still controversial, the site has streamlined a process that used to be overly cumbersome and left some students stranded without offers. But even with a single application and a match for upward of 90% of students, there are plenty of unknowns — from the odds of getting a first- or second-choice to how high a student will score on the admissions test for selective enrollment high schools. (To read one father’s critique of the process, click here.) While the high school application derby may be daunting, a trove of research on the ins and outs of Chicago high school admissions offers useful clues to families. Here are seven tips, grounded in research, that can help families who are trying to navigate GoCPS.”

And here’s a great blog post from earlier this week: 

Finding at Home at Intrinsic

“My name is Barbara Maldonado. I have two children – Alicia, my oldest, is 14-years-old and in the 9th grade at Intrinsic’s Downtown Campus. My son is in the 1st grade at Horizon Science Academy (HSA). We feel truly blessed to have found such amazing schools to support and love our family.”