Back Issues

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

  • News Digest

    Evanston pays $1.25M in brutality case


    The city of Evanston will pay $1.25 million to settle a lawsuit with a black Northwestern PhD candidate who was tackled, beaten and kicked by police after being pulled over on suspicion of vehicle theft in October 2015.


    Officers were responding to a 911 call about an African-American man who looked like he might be breaking into a car.  The incident was captured on a dashcam video. The victim, Lawrence Crosby – who was driving his own car – was charged with disobeying a police officer and resisting arrest. The case was brought to trial and Crosby was found not guilty.  


    An internal investigation by Evanston’s police department found officers complied with department policy, though the department issued a statement acknowledging that the video was “problematic” (Sun-Times).


    Crosby was tackled after he exited the car with his hands raised. Several officers with guns drawn shouted conflicting orders, telling him to keeps his hands up or get on the ground. He was tackled before he could say anything. “All of this could have been prevented if I had been given a chance to engage in a conversation at any point,” Crosby said (Injustice Watch).


    In a Washington Post op-ed, Crosby writes: “Every time I see the video from that October 2015 encounter, I experience fear, anger and terror. Fear that the color of my skin will make me out to be a criminal when I have broken no laws. Anger at the blatant disregard for human life and rights that the Constitution is supposed to guarantee to all citizens. Terror to have come — perhaps — within seconds of being shot by people sworn to serve and protect.”


    He notes that his arrest record and news coverage of the incident will follow him the rest of his life. “I feel as though I’m forever going to have to explain myself. As for the arresting officers, are they doing any explaining? Will they have to answer for the rest of their lives for their decision to wrestle me to the ground, pummel me and charge me with a crime?” (Washington Post)


  • 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.