Book on CPS

The UChicago Consortium is contributing to a book whose working title is Chicago School Reform: How a City Learned to Improve its Schools. The six authors are Tony Bryk, Sharon Greenberg, Al Bertani, Steve Tozer, Penny Sebring, and Tim Knowles. Publisher: Harvard Education Press (2022).

Making the connection between virtual learning, grades and getting into a good high school

With COVID-19 now surging, it’s not surprising that Chicago Public Schools is buying a stockpile of laptops in anticipation of switching to more remote learning classes in January.

The number of cases reported among students and teachers more than tripled before the winter break began, so the district’s decision makes sense. Even so, it’s disheartening to think some students may have to huddle again in front of electronic screens for lessons — a situation that many children struggled mightily with last year...

The 10 most significant education studies of 2021

It was a year of unprecedented hardship for teachers and school leaders. We pored through hundreds of studies to see if we could follow the trail of exactly what happened: The research revealed a complex portrait of a grueling year during which persistent issues of burnout and mental and physical health impacted millions of educators. Meanwhile, many of the old debates continued: Does paper beat digital? Is project-based learning as effective as direct instruction? How do you define what a “good” school is? Other studies grabbed our attention, and in a few cases, made headlines.

Let’s pay attention when students, teachers tell us what they think about their school

School climate surveys are one of the most promising tools we have to create school environments that help students succeed. When we understand where school climate needs improvement, we can address the fundamental conditions that create great schools and help all students succeed. Yet, therein lies the rub. As school climate surveys have gained traction as improvement tools, real challenges exist in using that data to change and improve practice in ways that don’t undermine their credibility.

In Chicago Public Schools, wealthier students get far more As and Bs than low-income students

A West Side Chicago teacher was all smiles as she described her funny and smart six-year-old students, first graders who she said she absolutely “loves, loves, loves.” She takes seriously the task of building a foundation for her students, almost all of them Black and from low-income families, so they compete as they get older.

So when it comes to grades, she focuses on whether they are meeting standards. She gives out few As. Mostly, she gives Cs...

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