Catalyst Issues

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

  • Catalyst Chicago issue cover, published Feb 2014

    College and careers

    An overhaul of the district’s career education programs seeks to make classes more challenging and put career-track students on the path to higher ed, but many schools have lost programs, and fewer students are participating overall.

  • Catalyst Chicago issue cover, published Oct 2013

    New school transitions

    The historic closing of 49 elementary schools in Chicago left many parents bitter and feeling left out as they try to get involved in new schools. Yet parent engagement is essential for school improvement, and principals are faced with the challenge of building trust at schools that scored poorly on surveys of parent involvement.

  • Catalyst Chicago issue cover, published Jun 2013

    Adolescent Literacy

    A raft of past programs have failed to substantially improve the reading skills of middle grade and high school students. CPS is trying once again, as part of a federal project that aims to help teens learn how to analyze complex non-fiction.

  • Catalyst Chicago issue cover, published Apr 2013

    School closings

    As CPS prepares to close a record number of schools, the fate of students and communities is in question.

  • Catalyst Chicago issue cover, published Feb 2013

    The Achievement Gap

    A special diversity initiative has given promising black students from the worst elementary schools a seat in top high schools. But the program’s success won’t close the gap for poorer students who need better prospects for a good education.

  • Catalyst Chicago issue cover, published Oct 2012

    The Principal Factor

    Chicago Public Schools is seizing the reins on principal preparation and is considered by some observers to be a national model for its $10 million Chicago Leadership Collaborative. The big question: Will the effort dramatically improve the quality of principals at failing schools that need strong leadership the most?

  • Catalyst Chicago issue cover, published Jun 2012

    Experiencing Trauma

    District leaders understand that children who have witnessed violence or other traumatic events often have trouble in school. But without extra resources or staff, schools are hard-pressed to offer the mental health support that would help students cope with their experience.

  • Catalyst Chicago issue cover, published Apr 2012

    Special Education

    Even as CPS opens more new schools, children with special needs have a tougher time finding options. Placements in private therapeutic schools are scarce, and some charters are reluctant to enroll them.