Today's news includes a Catalyst stories on just how few neighborhood kids attend some CPS high schools and why Illinois lost Race To The Top (again), as well as Vallas move to Bridgeport, Connecticut:
Charter-school agency’s funding raises questions WBEZ: new government agency could boost the number of charter schools in Illinois. But the way the agency is financing itself raises questions.
City to pull workers from Maggie Daley charity Tribune: The City Hall practice of assigning public employees to work for the clouted After School Matters organization will end in January, according to the city's cultural affairs office.
Forest Park meat company brings holiday joy to Austin school Forest Park Review: Weinstein hopes to keep partnering with the school for future holidays, he said. Weinstein Wholesale Meats has been in Forest Park since 2006, moving from the West .
National education reformer to lead Bridgeport Ct Post: Chicago Public Schools chief for six years, Vallas was credited for helping to turn around a deeply troubled school district and erasing a $1.2 billion budget deficit.
Kids learn the rhyme and reason of religious differences Tribune: The fourth-grader from Chicago's Sacred Heart Schools said he was happy he got to visit a synagogue. "I didn't know what was in it," said Luke Penner.
Neighborhood high schools losing students Catalyst: Five years ago, no high school enrolled fewer than 20 percent of the students in its attendance area. Last year, nine schools did, and Hirsch and Tilden enrolled just 13 percent of students in their neighborhood.
Race to the Top application thwarted by unfinished programs Catalyst: Illinois also lost points because the state had not yet launched a new preschool and child care rating system, and had not begun efforts to educate child care providers and preschool teachers about new early learning standards.