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YMCA workers rally for living wages

Early childhood teachers rallied with supporters at a South Side YMCA on June 28, charging that the Metro Chicago YMCA pays its staff poverty wages and offers a health care plan that is unaffordable to the vast majority of employees. According to one staffer from the Rauner YMCA, 2700 S. Western, low pay and expensive […]

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Advocates Want Better Trained Educators for English Language Learners

Parents and activists are asking Illinois legislators for measures to support students who do not speak English as their first language. The Pilsen Neighbors Community Council and Gamaliel of Metro Chicago, two organizations that focus on education issues, held a press conference outside the James R. Thompson Center on Jan. 17. They want post-secondary institutions […]

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Heading Back to the Classroom

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. Of the two Grow Your Own Teachers candidates Catalyst Chicago profiled earlier this year, just one is headed to the classroom. A research report released this […]

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New Challenges for English Language Learners

With a high number of students who only speak Spanish, a new report shows few Illinois early childhood teachers have bilingual, ESL credentials Elva Garcia’s students begin their day by writing and reading in Spanish. As the day continues, they switch to science and social studies—shifting to English to learn both subjects. “That’s where I […]

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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 […]

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Todos Somos Raza Studies

Local teachers and activists gathered and fundraised in support of those fighting against the ethnic studies ban in Arizona In the basement of a Chicago’s North Side Lutheran church, students, teachers and activists came together for a night of performances, discussion and support in solidarity of the now banned ethnic studies program in Arizona. Recognizing […]

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Tilden Slated for Turnaround: How Many Transitions Can a School Handle?

Tilden Career Academy, located in the Back of the Yards neighborhood, has been among the 10 schools flagged to become a “turnaround” school next year. Without having a clear understanding of what will happen to the school, the students and parents worry that new changes are only going to perpetuate the existing high teacher turnover rate […]

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Transfer Battle: CPS Red Tape Ties Up Incoming Freshmen

Since the beginning of the new academic year, Richards High School principal, Mary Dolan, and neighborhood parents have struggled over the fate of incoming 9th graders who were accepted to other area schools. Parents whose children were ready to start in other high schools but who were also enrolled in the Richards’ roster said their […]