We at Catalyst have spent much of the past year exploring ways to serve you and, therefore, our city’s children better. Our new vision is an expansive one that is based on what more than 200 people told us in interviews, focus groups and surveys:

  1. It takes more than the professional school improvement community to improve outcomes for children, so Catalyst will revise its product mix to reach more audiences.
  2. People want to talk about what is working, what is not working and next steps. Seen as a safe space for that discussion, Catalyst will promote a diverse and constructive dialogue on improving the educational experiences of our children.
  3. It takes more than a school to educate a child, so Catalyst will incorporate into its reporting issues in the larger community that impact children’s learning.
  4. Chicago is not an island, so Catalyst will establish a greater presence in the suburbs and the state capital and will work to develop a multi-city network of urban education news services.

In April, we took our first steps towards fulfilling our new vision. We produced an in-depth special report on Chicago’s high school transformation—a condensed version was published in Crain’s Chicago Business as well. We followed up with a summit that featured Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan and Washington Post education columnist Jay Mathews—more than 250 community and school leaders participated. Soon we will post a report on that gathering online to continue the conversation.

Next school year, we will publish five such in-depth reports and, to be more timely, move some content of the newsmagazine, including Comings & Goings, Updates and Viewpoints, to our Web site. We also will augment increased online news content with a community calendar and a “Yellow Pages” of school-related organizations.

This combination of print and online products will replace the newsmagazine that you are now reading. Click on FREE E-MAIL ALERTS and fill out the online form to make sure you don’t miss out on any news or information.

In addition, under the new strategic plan of Community Renewal Society, the non-profit organization that publishes Catalyst, we will engage in more collaborative reporting with The Chicago Reporter, our sister publication.

As we at Catalyst plunge into a new future, we ask you to help us out. Please share your ideas and your reactions to our efforts. We look forward to the feedback.

Best regards,

Linda Lenz  Veronica Anderson
Publisher  Editor in Chief
lenz@catalyst-chicago.org   anderson@catalyst-chicago.org

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