Second time around for struggling 3rd-grader

Saleemah Muñoz arrives for the first day of school last September looking polished and prepared, dressed in a blue jumper and white blouse, a new backpack slung over her shoulder and her hair neatly braided with rows of white beads. She looks a bit scared, though, and a little glum as she takes her seat in Judy Owens’ 3rd-grade class at Jordan Community School in East Rogers Park. Her guarded demeanor is understandable: This is Saleemah’s second time in 3rd grade.

Student engagement varies by race and type of instruction

Given a choice between working independently during classes or working in a small group, Von Steuben high school senior Maria Proano would choose the group work. Given the same choice, Von Steuben sophomore Anna Tran would work alone. Proano is Hispanic. Tran is Asian. And that might be the basis for their preferences.

Studies link choice, test gains

As the district opens 100 new schools under Renaissance 2010, students will have more options and neighborhood schools will face greater competition. But are more school options good for kids? For students who choose to leave their neighborhood schools, the answer is likely yes.

Teachers become researchers

As a reading specialist at Henry Elementary in Irving Park, Trish Meegan wondered if students who struggled with timed, standardized tests could read faster if they learned how to monitor their own speed. To find out, Meegan gathered a group of Henry teachers to design a research study and test her hypothesis.

Principal preparation panned

When Arthur Levine set out to study principal preparation programs at universities around the country, he expected to find problems. “Things were worse than I imagined, in all ways,” says Levine, president of Columbia University’s Teachers College.

High school magnets don’t boost achievement

CPS 8th-graders have a Dec. 16 deadline for high school applications, and under Chicago’s open enrollment system, they have many options. But having choices doesn’t necessarily mean better academic achievement in the long run, according to a study released earlier this year.

Hope, apprehension mix as new leaders move in

Last spring, CIESS and LQE met with schools chief Paul Vallas. They offered their support if the board would step in to make changes at the school. In July, South Shore was one of five high schools placed on intervention—the board’s most severe penalty imposed on poorly performing schools.