Highlights of a decade: 1998

In 1998, the board also decided to drop mandatory summer school for 9th-graders with low test scores, following a poor turnout. Since low-scoring freshmen who passed their courses went on to take sophomore-level courses anyway, there was little incentive for them to attend, one official noted. However, Vallas has proposed bringing summer school back.

High-school vote heavy for Lynch-Walsh

Traditionally, high school teachers have shown more militance, which grew as the School Board swept into a number of low-performing schools with its reconstitution and intervention programs. Elementary teachers were believed to have been more comfortable with the status quo. This election is the first in which school-by-school tallies were made public, a change Reece supported under pressure from Lynch-Walsh and her ProActive Chicago Teachers & School Employees Caucus (PACT).

No service learning, no prom and no graduation

Young and other members of the Class of 2001 are the first to face the CPS graduation requirement of 40 hours of service learning. The Board of Education adopted the requirement three years ago, but as of March 26, a third of CPS seniors had not completed it, according to the Office of High School Development.

Dearborn Park voters elect new South Loop LSC

“Parents on our slate … represent a diverse group: Three blacks, one Hispanic and one white, which we’d like to think truly reflects what the neighborhood here in Dearborn Park is,” says community representative Larry Young, the only incumbent seeking re-election who won. Young is an Alliance member and the father of two children who attend Andrew Jackson Magnet School.

CAST helps aides become teachers

She walked out of the seminar with an even better deal— an opportunity to complete a tuition-free college education and become a Chicago public school special education teacher through a new CPS program called Project CAST, for Creating A Special Teacher. Developed by the Office of Specialized Services through a federal grant, the program is aimed at easing CPS’s longstanding shortage of special education teachers. Currently, there are 294 vacancies being filled by substitute teachers or general education teachers without the correct certification.