The Renaissance Initiative, as the effort is called, is the School Board’s latest strategy to hold low-performing schools accountable. When the new schools emerge, they will bear a superficial resemblance to other Chicago public schools; the schools’ curricular format and organizational structure will be somewhat unique.
Chicago Teachers Union President Deborah Lynch lost the battle to save Dodge, Terrell and Williams, but she won the war to prevent the abrupt closing of academically failing schools for the next two years.
Increased awareness here and elsewhere is giving rise to a host of teacher induction programs that aim to keep more teachers in classrooms by providing additional support and training. The most effective induction programs extend support throughout a teacher’s career and improve overall school climate, according to Recruiting New Teachers, a nonprofit consulting firm based near Boston.
Negotiations between the Chicago Board of Education and the Chicago Teachers Union began May 6. Representatives from both sides are meeting twice a week and expect to finalize a new contract for the district’s 35,000 teachers and paraprofessionals before school opens this fall. The current 4-year contract expires on June 30.