Bright Lights, Bleak Country

I’ve been taking a break from education news for, well, obvious reasons. So lately in CPF Insider, instead I’ve been trying to highlight some of the great things that people are doing in the face of this pandemic. We have to focus on those things because every day it seems like the news can’t get... Read more »

Chicago Public Fools returns in a new form

Dear friends and former CPF readers, I closed up shop at my blog two years ago (two years! what??!). Do you miss me? I miss you! While lots of things are looking up in our schools, in many ways they are still under attack, struggling with unequal resources, and facing ongoing chronic disinvestment. I know... Read more »

4 great changes I didn't see coming to CPS, and a farewell

Friends, now seems a fitting time to bring this blog to an end. I started Chicago Public Fools in 2012 in response to the mass school closure process, confessing that I had begun to see schools and teachers differently as a CPS parent than the way in which CPS was depicted by national and local... Read more »

How to celebrate #ByeRahm properly? It's....complicated

How to celebrate #ByeRahm properly? It's....complicated
That cake right there is my idea of a proper #ByeRahm cake. Super happy, but also bawling, not necessarily all from joy. You see when I heard the news, I went from utter disbelief and elation to remembering so many years of terrible things that I ended up sort of traumatized. I don’t think that... Read more »

Freeing teachers from their union shackles, courtesy of the Illinois Policy Institute

It’s that time of year for some of our most beloved Chicago traditions–the first day of school finally arriving, high school football season, hints of autumn, and the use of CPS teachers’ email and home addresses to fill their inboxes and mailboxes with electioneering and propaganda! I hadn’t even figured out how many CPS teachers... Read more »

How much do you know about mayoral control in CPS? A quiz!

How much do you know about mayoral control in CPS? A quiz!
Friends, it’s finals time, and in solidarity with our students, we’re going to have a little end-of-year quiz. Choose only one option per question! Do not use a #2 pencil! No peeking at your neighbor’s work! How Much Do You Know About Mayoral Control in CPS? Which of the following is a way parents and... Read more »

To the (white majority) school that has, more will be given

Guest blogger Walter Brzeski brings his wide knowledge of CPS facilities data to this piece. He’s a longtime CPS substitute teacher as well as a fellow ChicagoNow blogger and prolific editorial letter writer. Here he looks at the simple question of basic facilities inequities. In the midst of ongoing legal and legislative action to correct... Read more »

In the wake of the mass school closings, one measurable result

To the surprise of not one single CPS family who went through the process, the 2013 mass school closings did not result in the outcomes promised by mayor Rahm Emanuel, then-CPS CEO Barbara Byrd Bennett, and the appointed board of education. This will also surprise zero researchers who were rigorously examining the question at the... Read more »

#itsnotstupid to CPS families: CPS leadership and disrespect

It didn’t seem to take very long for CPS chief Janice Jackson to move into the apparently preordained, appointed-CEO role–a role in which condescension and prevarication seem to be obligatory. We’ve seen a steady progression from that first friendly video she recorded which, if we weren’t talking about Rahm’s CPS, would’ve filled everyone with hope. But we... Read more »

CPS bright stars incinerate lies

You might have missed what Chicago offered the nation this weekend. Our city shared some spectacularly talented and powerful kids with the March For Our Lives in DC on Saturday. Wait. Let me be specific. Spectacular Chicago Public Schools kids. It’s my job to point out the problems in CPS, but I always repeat that the... Read more »