After criticism that suspensions were being used far too frequently, Chicago Public Schools shifted its discipline practices. A report out of the University of Chicago this week shows that while suspensions are down, some of the most vulnerable students are still being suspended. We discuss the report with U of C's Lauren Sartain. Also, we check in with Sound Opinions host and WBEZ blogger Jim DeRogatis, who's been covering this year's South by Southwest festival in Austin.
When Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel promised to double the number of dropouts CPS would serve, few guessed that he intended to look past existing alternative schools to out-of-town, for-profit companies to fix the problem.
Ever heard the expression "Faster, higher, that's Maine's Flyer?" We hadn't - until a group of 20 students at Maine South and Maine East High Schools produced a documentary of the same name to commemorate a World War II plane funded by a student-led war bond sales effort 70 years ago. We talk with Maine East teacher Phillip Ash and student, Rachel Stan about their work on the film. Also, we discuss the launch of new CPS Latino Studies program.
Chicago Public Schools ended its standoff with the State of Illinois over the new mandated standardized state test. All students in the Chicago district will have to take the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, exam this spring.
On Friday, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago is offering its first Festival of Forgiveness. Over a 24-hour period, people can come to pray and seek forgiveness whether they’re Catholic or not. We examine the role of forgiveness in religion. And, a look at Jesus “Chuy” Garcia's hope to recreate the type of racial coalition embodied by Mayor Harold Washington in the ‘80s. Also, we discuss Irish film with Chicago's Irish Film Fest director.
Chicago Public Schools is contracting with for-profit companies to give teens a faster way to earn a high school diploma. Some worry the new, part-time, online alternative schools lower the bar and make a second chance more appealing than the first.