Catalyst Issues

Browse our Feb 1990 — Jun 1995 archives. (Available in PDF format only.)

  • The digital divide

    District leaders want schools to integrate more personalized learning technology in the classroom. But many schools lack up-to-date computers, fast internet access and quality teacher training, compounding the tech disparities students face at home. Download a PDF of the Spring/Summer 2016 issue.

  • The rise of Noble

    Begun as a mom-and-pop shop in 1999, the Noble Network of Charter Schools has grown into the largest and arguably most successful charter school network in the city. Its expansion has come with growing pains and increased scrutiny of some of its key policies, including discipline and testing. Download a PDF of the Winter 2016 issue.

  • 25th Anniversary Issue

    Catalyst founder Linda Lenz began covering Chicago schools in 1978 as a reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times. She left in 1989 to create this issues-oriented publication. Here she puts key developments in perspective and talks about what’s changed in the past 25 years. Download the Fall 2015 issue in PDF.

  • Sports and Fundraising

    Sports are integral to the typical high school experience, but many schools have to scrape together money to field teams. It’s all part of the race to raise private dollars to provide a well-rounded education. Download the Spring 2015 issue in PDF.

  • College Persistence

      More CPS graduates are enrolling in college than ever before. The district wants to raise college completion for CPS alumni to 60 percent. But money, academics and cultural challenges make for a rocky path to a degree. Download issue PDF

  • Catalyst Chicago issue cover, published Nov 2014

    The race for City Hall

    Jobs and schools promise to be top issues in next year’s city elections. The mayor’s education agenda faces its toughest test in the African-American communities that gave him strong support in 2011. Download Issue PDF

  • Catalyst Chicago issue cover, published Jul 2014

    Drugs in schools

    Most drug violations in CPS involve an ounce or less of marijuana. Schools are quick to call police, yet rarely have the resources to offer education, counseling or other non-punitive help to students. Download Issue PDF

  • Catalyst Chicago issue cover, published May 2014

    Teacher turnover

    CPS has never had a strong, districtwide program of teacher induction and mentoring to stem an attrition rate that is higher than the national average. Instead, efforts to retain teachers depend on smaller-scale programs and individual principals who make it a goal to empower—and keep—their teachers.