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Richards students reflect on the Hamilton musical

For some Chicago high school students, Wednesday, March 15 was not a typical day in the classroom. A long line snaked outside the Private Bank Theater downtown, where well-dressed students waited to be let inside the historic landmark.    With the support of a number funders including the Rockefeller Foundation, 20,000 Chicago high school students […]

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One Summer Chicago program kicks off citywide

Thousands of youth across the city began working part-time positions at sites in and around their neighborhoods Monday, June 29 as part of the city’s One Summer Chicago program. First launched in 2011, the youth summer jobs program provides valuable on-the-job training, mentorship and life skills classes to Chicago youth. Since its inception, the program […]

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Jesus “Chuy” Garcia talks politics at The Hideout

A standing-room-only crowd filled The Hideout Inn, located in the Elston Avenue industrial district, Tuesday, Jan. 6 for a chance to hear from mayoral candidate and Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia at “First Tuesdays with Mick and Ben.” The monthly talk show is facilitated by Chicago Reader writers Mick Dumke and Ben Joravsky as […]

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Reflecting on 75 years of impact

Milestone marks a journey from organizing to service delivery in an immigrant community The Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council, a community organization that became a model for other neighborhood councils across the country, is celebrating its 75 years of service this year. The organization was first founded out of a vision to empower residents […]

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Bilingual Teachers in Short Supply for Preschools

In fall 2010, Illinois became the first state in the nation to require bilingual education for English language learners in preschool. Preschools with at least 20 English learners who speak the same language would now have to do the bulk of teaching in those children’s native language. Since then, preschools have struggled to create native-language […]

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Early Childhood Education Agencies Ask For Restoration of Funds

About 100 parents traveled to Springfield to urge legislators to increase state’s budget on education Early childhood education agencies in Chicago headed down to Springfield Wednesday, May 15, to advocate for more funding for the state’s Preschool for All (PFA) and Child Care Assistance programs. At a press conference on Tuesday, May 14, children from […]

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Fuzzy Math: The CPS Budget Crisis

As citywide opposition to Mayor Emanuel’s massive school closing program comes into sharper focus every day, the rationale for the plan gets fuzzier and fuzzier. Take the question of money. When CPS chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett accepted her utilization commission’s call for taking high school closings off the table, the potential savings from school closings was […]

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Parents Search for Alternatives as Strike Rolls on to Fourth Day

CPS board of education officials and CTU delegates announced last night progress is being made in contract negotiations. But while the strike rolls on to the fourth day, parents say it is becoming more difficult to find a place to leave their children. “For the past three days I haven’t had a problem with [the […]

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On Strike: Chicago Teachers Head to Picket Lines After CTU, CPS Contract Talks Fail

For the first time in 25 years, Chicago public school teachers are on strike. After heavy negotiations between delegates of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) and Chicago Public School (CPS) officials, CTU president Karen Lewis announced last night no agreement had been reached. “Negotiations have been intense but productive. But we’ve failed to come to […]

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From Security Guard to Teacher

This article is part of an ongoing Catalyst Chicago series that will follow minority teacher candidates through their student teaching experience, job hunt and first year in the classroom. Michael Vargas held down three jobs while he studied to become a teacher through the Grow Your Own program, an initiative that aims to create a […]