For the Record: Gifted education

Students who lose out in the upcoming round of selective elementary school admissions – as well as other students whose families might have never considered applying – have another option: The district’s less-well-known comprehensive gifted programs, located within magnet and open-enrollment neighborhood schools.

Lewis: CTU won’t renew contract for fourth year

After a bitter strike in fall 2012, the Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public Schools reached agreement on a three-year contract, with an optional fourth year under the same terms “by mutual agreement.”

In a recent interview with Catalyst Chicago, CTU President Karen Lewis laughed when asked whether the union plans to terminate the contract in June 2015 rather than renewing it for another year. She indicated that she is pretty sure that teachers would not want to extend the contract.

Elementary on-track rate has merit, but no sure-fire predictor of success

For the last two years, CPS has pioneered the use of an on-track indicator for students in 3rd through 8th grades that now counts for 10 percent of elementary principals’ evaluations.

It’s based on the more widely known “Freshman On-Track” indicator, which has been backed by years of research from the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research.

IB program tackles career ed

A career-related certificate administered by the International Baccalaureate Organization—more widely known for its advanced, rigorous IB Diploma Programme—is the cornerstone of CPS’ efforts to expand its high school IB offerings in new “wall-to-wall” IB schools.

Ticket to a job

Part of the CPS push to improve career education is to have students gain relevant work experience through internships and earn industry-recognized credentials to help them get jobs. But on both fronts, the district is falling short. 

Navigating the work world

In any given week, James Zeckhauser juggles myriad tasks—hustling to find candidates to fill job orders, doggedly following up on applications his students have submitted, helping students practice for job interviews, and coaching them as they fill out online applications and call prospective employers. His main task is to help students find work, but the ultimate goal is broader: to get students to connect with something—anything—that will put them on a path toward post-secondary education or a career.