Southwest side Chicago Public Schools organize against Noble Street Charter School Network

Today’s anti-charter-school public meeting at Kelly High School, organized by the Brighton Park Community Council, appeared to have two objectives: 1. Change the public’s negative view of Southwest side neighborhood high schools 2. Prevent Noble Street, which operates 16 campuses, from opening and getting any Chicago Public Schools money. The variety of student speakers and... Read more »

Why hiring more Latino teachers is not the solution

On Friday, the Chicago City Council Latino Caucus released a statement criticizing Mayor Rahm Emanuel for the lack of Latino leaders in the Chicago Public Schools.  Interim CPS CEO Jesse Ruiz resumed his position as vice-president of the Board of Education—not president–generating some backlash against the mayor for not naming Ruiz to a higher leadership... Read more »

Why Chicago Public Schools CEOs fail at being transformational leaders

Today, Mayor Rahm Emanuel named yet another Chicago Public Schools CEO–Forrest Claypool—to lead our troubled school district.  Yes, we are troubled at the school level, but today’s troubles are due to poor district leadership.  In the last 20 years that I’ve been in education, the CPS CEOs failed to transform our district because Paul Vallas,... Read more »

Mayor Emanuel announces Little Village park--but it's not enough

Yesterday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a new 21.5 acre park in Little Village on land that used to be a polluted brownfield and sits next to Cook County Jail.  “We want to prove that when you actually have all these activities, crime goes down, kids are safer,” they mayor said at the press conference. Kim... Read more »

Male Chicago Public Schools student finds courage through sewing

Male Chicago Public Schools student finds courage through sewing
At Catalyst-Chicago’s Classroom Story Slam Friday, I was honored to read one of my student’s essays.  Carlos Hernandez is a junior who is a humble gentleman, an honor roll student, a part-time dishwasher at an Asian restaurant, and simply a cool fella–who dresses sharp as hell.  He is a leader simply because he is himself,... Read more »

Teacher Stories at Catalyst-Chicago's Classroom Story Slam

This Friday, Catalyst-Chicago holds its third Classroom Story Slam as it celebrates twenty-five years of education reporting. The idea behind this event, according to Founder and Publisher Linda Lenz, is relationship building and inspiration. A number of teachers, including me, told stories about opportunity and equity at the last two events. My story about teaching... Read more »

Chicago Public Schools student struggles but graduates

This guest post is by my student Diana Morales, who graduated last week. I remember being so excited to enter high school. Graduating from eighth grade was so much fun but at the same time scary because I knew what was coming my way. Once I entered high school and completed my first year I... Read more »

Chicago Public Schools graduate on the responsibility that comes with education

Chicago Public Schools graduate on the responsibility that comes with education
My proudest moments as a teacher are when I can sit back and watch my students use their own words to express themselves.  Lisseth Perez delivered the closing speech at Monday night’s Hancock College Prep commencement ceremony.  Inspired by the missing 43 students of Ayotzinapa, Lisseth moved many in the audience to tears and had... Read more »

Chicago Public Schools student explains education

This year, I had the pleasure of working with a brilliant young man in my journalism class.  Juan Toledo possesses a passion for writing.  A couple of weeks ago, he told me about his poetry.  His social consciousness recognizes the inequalities that exist in education.  Despite his own educational challenges, something somewhere went right in... Read more »

How a Chicago Public Schools student dealt with grief

Lidia Lemus is a junior at Hancock College Prep High School on the city’s Southwest side.  Earlier this year, she faced the death of a loved one for the first time.  While everyone’s journey through the stages of grief is different, Lidia offers this reflection about her experience. On Wednesday February 11, 2015 I received... Read more »