Remote learning has pitfalls, but we can still help students be successful in this challenging time

Next week, more than 355,000 Chicago Public Schools students will begin remote learning. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced teachers, students and families to make quick adjustments into new daily roles and routines.

Some families may be undergoing such profound stress that students cannot do any schoolwork at all. For other students, schoolwork may provide some stability and a sense of purpose for their future...

CPS remote learning begins Monday

When Chicago public schools formally begin remote learning next week after shutting down nearly a month ago, Lee Elementary School principal Lisa Epstein is expecting her teachers to pick up where they left off.

Unlike other schools that have few computers and limited ability to use them, Lee Elementary in West Lawn on the Southwest Side has a computer for every student and they are adept at using them...

COVID-19 e-Learning situation proves technology can never replace good teachers

A few years ago, I began to wonder when automation would reach our Chicago Public Schools classrooms—all classrooms.  With so many online resources available, I thought, “Are people thinking good teachers can be replaced by a machine?”

But this COVID-19 e-Learning situation proves that technology cannot replace good teachers or good teaching...

Chicago Public Schools put its school ratings on hold

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s decision last week to extend Chicago’s school closures put on hold the high-stakes process of rating Chicago Public Schools’ campuses: Faced with a month of lost instruction on the heels of disruption from last fall’s teachers strike, the district said it would table the annual exercise of evaluating schools within minutes of the mayor’s announcement.

Now some educators and parents wonder whether this unprecedented uncertainty might lend momentum to a push to overhaul the controversial ratings process...

How effective is online learning?

The times have dictated school closings and the rapid expansion of online education. Can online lessons replace in-school time?

Clearly online time cannot provide many of the informal social interactions students have at school, but how will online courses do in terms of moving student learning forward? Research to date gives us some clues and also points us to what we could be doing to support students who are most likely to struggle in the online setting...

Reviewing REACH five years later

Five years after Chicago rolled out a teacher evaluation system that tied educator scores to student achievement, a new survey shows most teachers say it improves their performance in the classroom, but don’t want the scores used to hire or fire them. 

The survey from the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research asks educators and administrators how effective they find the annual evaluations, and what they’d like to see change...

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