The Year In Review: Chicago Public Schools 2005

Clearly, I've got "year in review" -itis (see below), and so must present what I think are the biggest education stories of the year in CPS. As always, feel free to agree, disagree, or give your own list.


My list includes:

-- Urban NAEP Scores Dump on the Daley Miracle. This year's urban NAEP scores for Chicago tell a much different story than the one you hear about from state and local test scores touted in the papers. While better than LA, Chicago falls far behind New York City and other smaller districts on many measures. Oops.

-- Another Year, Another Plan. This fall's big announcement, the High School Transformation Plan, is a brave and well-considered plan that three months after its announcement still lacks a leader or any news on the high schools that are supposed to volunteer for the experimental curriculum and PD initiative.

-- Last-Minute Reprieve on NCLB Tutoring. The Board won an unexpected and last-minute reprieve from the USDE that allowed it to tutor children attending low-performing schools for one more year. A minor crisis averted. Vindication? I'm not so sure.

-- Ren10 Rolls On. After some initial stumbles, the Ren10 small schools creation process seems to have rolled into its second year fairly smoothly. Where they're going to get the money the need, and how they're going to get around the charter cap, I don't know.

-- Magnet Mess. In part due to the abundance of school choice options the city has developed over the years, the current system has seemed more than ever like a mess in desperate need of rethinking. There are just too many different processes in place, between magnets, cluster magnets, selective elementary and high schools, charters, and NCLB transfers, and too little parent outreach and information.


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