Illinois COVID-19 remote learning yields some nearly empty online classrooms

When the I-Team discovered that both Illinois and Chicago education officials were unable to provide any data showing whether students are actually logging in to online remote learning during the pandemic, they launched an investigation and found some nearly empty virtual classrooms.

"We're doing whatever we can to make sure that students are constantly learning but it is definitely heartbreaking and overwhelming to see the lack of participation, like do my students love me?" said CPS teacher Andrea Parker...

Pressure mounts on Chicago to release participation data

In the early weeks of remote learning at Chicago’s Senn High School, only counselors saw the weekly color-coded tally that tracked participation: students who completed assignments in green, those who kept in touch with teachers in yellow, and those who had not engaged at all in red.

But Principal Mary Beck recently heeded calls from teachers to share the data with them as well. That sparked productive conversations: Educators who were striking out with some students consulted colleagues who had successfully engaged them...

DPI launches education and workforce research center

The Discovery Partners Institute has launched a new education and workforce research center, IWERC, with $3.9 million from some of the city’s most influential philanthropists and foundations.

IWERC stands for the Illinois Workforce and Education Research Collaborative. It will identify the questions most important to Illinois policy and education leaders, and then analyze appropriate data and share findings so that more students succeed...

How students and schools can recover from Coronavirus, with Elaine Allensworth

The coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on our students. As we move into the summer, schools will need to understand the best way to address these issues.

To understand what students have lost and how schools can help them recover, there’s no better person to talk to than Elaine Allensworth, the director of the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research. On this episode, she explains what the best research tells us about education during this crisis...

Students need classrooms, advances in online learning

Our ability to adapt to the current situation has proven that, despite challenges, we all have found ways to make the best of things. Businesses, nonprofits and government entities have adapted policies and day-to-day operations to meet the recommendations and orders from health officials and state leaders in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unfortunately, while each entity is doing the best it can given the circumstances, what we’re doing likely fails to meet our pre-COVID standards, particularly in the classroom...

‘Everything they need’

When the mayor ordered New York City public schools to close in March to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Daniel Russo broke into tears. Ninety-six percent of children at the Walton Avenue School, a K-5 school in the Bronx he’d founded in 2013, face economic hardship, and about a third are homeless. Recently, Russo had seen a little boy wrapping up some of his school lunch. The boy explained he was taking the rest home for his father.

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...

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