Closer to Home

Key Findings

  • Pre-policy, enrollment rates in any CPS pre-k was higher for students who lived closer to schools with pre-k and had more pre-k classrooms near where they lived.
  • Pre-policy, the associations of likelihood of enrollment in full-day pre-k with 1) distance to a school with a full-day pre-k classroom, and 2) number of full-day pre-k classrooms close to home were strongest for

Analysis: Time to view a first language not as a barrier but as an asset for English Learners & celebrate their bilingual successes

In the United States, bilingual education in schools has been an afterthought for decades. But demographic changes in the student population, and new research out of Chicago, demand that it occupy a more meaningful role in how we measure success in serving these students, as well as other groups of learners. Today, as a policy analyst with decades of experience, I am encouraging a new approach to accountability that places a value on bilingual skills.

Welcome to high school in pandemic times

It wasn’t supposed to start like this.

The 13- and 14-year-olds who make up the Class of 2024 did not expect to begin their high school careers clustered in Zoom rooms or passing temperature checks and shuffling past masked classmates at a safe distance.

The pandemic has rewritten the script of a traditional rite of passage — the beginning of the end of a long K-12 journey for students growing into young adulthood...

What happens when students have ownership over their success

We heard a lot of concern this summer in the education sector about "learning loss," "accelerating learning," and making sure some students do not "fall further behind." Such fears are not new for Black, Indigenous, and Latinx students; students with disabilities; or students from low-income communities. These young people have always been subject to scrutiny in a system that keeps them at a disadvantage and then worries over their differences in performance.

Chicago Public Schools announces ‘record-high’ graduation rate despite remote learning challenges as mayor vows district is ‘not sitting this year out’

With Latino students driving the trend, Chicago Public Schools students have reached a record-high five-year graduation rate of 82.5%, district leaders announced Friday.

The rate got a boost in part from a new method used to calculate the percentage of graduates. Under the old method, it would have been 80.8%...

COVID-19 spring attendance data reveals challenges of remote learning, lessons for fall

CHICAGO (WLS) -- After first discovering some practically empty virtual classrooms this spring, the I-Team has been tracking school attendance data to try to get a sense of student engagement during pandemic related remote learning across the Chicago area.

As a second round of remote learning gets underway, using the Freedom of Information Act, the I-Team sought attendance data from local school districts as schools try to meet the challenges of remote learning...

Why sophomore year matters more than ever

In Chicago and many districts around the country, sophomore year is a forgotten year, a time sandwiched in between high school’s more momentous milestones: freshman year is focused on ensuring a smooth transition to high school; junior year on preparing for post-secondary entrance exams; and senior year on applying to college. Amidst turbulence from a global health crisis and increased economic insecurity and health challenges, protests over racial injustice, and virtual learning, sophomores are both more vulnerable than ever and even more likely to be forgotten.

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