Four students at Austin Polytechnical Academy are launching a new manufacturing cooperative within the school today, with help from the Center for Workplace Democracy and Manufacturing Renaissance. MECH Creations will manufacture trumpet mouthpieces. [via]
The Illinois Student Assistance Commission has shortfall$2 million budget this year, and asked 9,800 students to pay back 10 percent of the MAP grant money they've received. While UIC is helping out its 320 affected students, students at other schools may not be so lucky. (Thanks, Veronica!)
"I think we should pause to appreciate the irony that Mayor Emanuel sends his children to a unionized private school while working overtime to break the public school teachers' union in Chicago." Ben Joravsky on the University of Chicago Lab Schools.
Last weekend, the Glass Slipper Project held its last "boutique" date of the 2013 prom season, during which it provided hundreds of prom dresses, shoes, makeup and accessories to needy teens free of charge. If you have a donation to make for next year, get in touch.
Chicago Girls in Computing is working to "provide a friendly environment for high school girls in the city of Chicago who are interested in technology." They're raising money on Piggybackr to make it happen. (Thanks, Veronica!)
Rachel Perveiler, a teacher at Finkl Academy, has created a library on the back porch of her Little Village apartment.
Leroy Franklin has coached the Simeon Wolverines to victory on the baseball diamond for decades, but one triumph has eluded him: the state championship. Could this be the year?
The United Neighborhoods Organization has paid the company of an outgoing board member more than $1.8 million in school construction contracts, the Sun-Times reports. It's far from the first time UNO's been caught up in a scandal related to schools or clout.
Mayor Emanuel announced this morning that he will immediately be closing all campuses of the University of Chicago (ranked #4 by US News and World Report) and Northwestern University (#12) in a gesture of fairness towards the devastating closures of CPS schools announced last week. "If I'm screwing over one group, it's only right to screw over all of them," he said in a breaking press conference at City Hall. Several charter universities are looking into buying NU and U of C's now-empty campuses.
CPS students are tested early, often and with regularity. The Reader's Steve Bogira examines the climate of testing in Chicago Public Schools, and why some parents and students are opting out.
Despite Chicago State University's money scandals, financial aid screw-ups, an
abysmal graduation rate, and their inability to hold on to statues purchased with money intended for a financial aid office, several of its administrators are getting significant pay raises.
If you're not able to make it to the Loop to watch the rally against CPS school closures, the Sun-Times is live-blogging it.
The list of schools to be closed numbers 54; principals described it as a bloodbath. Here's a map of the closed schools overlaid on a map of poverty levels by community area.
In the wake of the CPS Persepolis debacle, several bookstores have sold out of the graphic novel and protests have continued. Eric Zorn and Ben Joravsky do a good job of laying out just how badly CPS handled it.
Chicago philanthropist Penny Pritzker resigned from the Chicago School Board in anticipation of being nominated for Secretary of Commerce. CTU head Karen Lewis had a few things to say about her departure.
School Cuts provides a clearer picture of the criteria CPS is looking as it determines which schools on the semifinal list by showing you the data as well as other contributing factors.
Northwestern's law school (ranked #12 nationwide) will begin accepting fewer students, capping tuition increases and working harder to limit student debt to account for the shrinking popularity of law degrees in an oversaturated market (other schools have already implemented similar plans).
Eight school busses were stolen last night and driven to a West Side scrapyard. While they were quickly located by following their GPS signals, they were torn to shreds when the authorities arrived.
Ever wonder how the city reached the number of schools it could close? One big part of it is by upping the standard elementary class size to 30 students. That number is far higher than the district's average and nearly 10 students higher than the state's average kindergarten class size.
If you've listened to one or both of the "This American Life" shows related to Harper High School shooting during last school year, and felt yourself thinking "Man, I wish there was something I could do to help." Well, rest easier because now you can. The school's administrators have started a fundraiser. They'd love to get $2 million to provide ACT prep classes, after-school programming, transportation assistance, college tours and more.
The U of C has placed two officers on leave after a protesting undercover officer was uncovered by the Chicago Maroon. The school's president and police chief are distancing themselves from the events, so who produced the culture of surveillance?
Michelle Obama came to town last week to promote Let's Move!, her healthy exercise initiative for children. The plan may be uncontroversial, but a fifth grade teacher says that the local implementation of the event resulted in some unpleasant and unhealthy effects on the kids who participated.
In other U of C protest news, the Chicago Maroon uncovered that the school planted an undercover detective in a recent demonstration. The officer, who was dressed in plain clothes, carried a protest sign and even symbolically placed a sticker over her mouth, kept contact with the deputy chief throughout the demonstration while covertly probing demonstrators about their plans. UPDATE: The school's provost and president have announced an "external independent reviewer" to investigate the events.
High school basketball star Jabari Parker only recently announced where he'll play college hoops, but he's already been introduced to the world of sponsorship deals thanks to Simeon Academy's deal with Nike.
The U of C's Cultural Policy Center and the Southside Arts & Humanities Network want to know what you do on the South Side. The survey touches on civic engagement through art, music, work, worship, and research, and should take about 10 minutes.
Chicago Public Schools aren't the only ones contracting. The Chicago Archdiocese announced it is elimintaing 75 jobs and closing or consolidating five schools.
If you're looking for something new to read or unusual books for collaging, the U of C library's annual book sale kicks off today. The "good" books tend to go during the first couple of days, but what's left for free by March 1 is usually pretty interesting.
Grid Chicago (not to be confused with Grid Chicago or The Chicago Grid), reports on athletic company endorsements in Chicago high schools.
Brennemann School in Buena Park once had a secret hiding behind its simple street-side facade: shell-like Bertrand Goldberg-designed classrooms. Sadly, they've since been enclosed in a box to protect them from the elements. [via]
In other student activist news, Chris Bentley surveys the current divestment campaigns on Chicago-area university campuses.
It turns out that Northwestern's planned demolition of Goldberg's Prentice Women's Hospital isn't its only public relations mess. In the face of mounting criticism, the university is launching an investigation to determine how to assess its historical relationship with John Evans, a university founder and namesake of Evanston implicated in the Sand Creek Massacre.
This American Life has already posted part one of their epic Chicago youth violence episode.
Part two will air this coming Friday, Feb. 22.
Now that the NHL lockout is behind us, professors at UofC's Booth School of Business tried to determine if hockey salaries are worth it. According to the researchers, a little Moneyball-style stats analysis could work wonders to find diamonds on the ice.
Chicago Public Schools released a list of 129 schools recommended for closure yesterday. The Sun-Times editorial board things CPS should "continue listening" -- which it will do in the next round of community meetings; CPS released a set of criteria for determining whether to close a school. The Tribune has a map of the schools on the list. CPS will release a final list on March 31.
Four aldermen called for a moratorium on new charter schools during the 2014-15 school year so that the effects of pending school closures can be assessed. Meanwhile, the second in command at charter school operator UNO resigned after the Sun-Times found he had paid state grant money to businesses run by family members.
The city wants 2,000 more cab drivers, so Olive-Harvey College is hosting a free taxi driver recruitment day Feb. 7. Interview with cab companies and learn what's entailed to get licensed.
And that someone is whoever at Chicago Public Schools mistyped an URL in an email to parents about standardized test scores, instead directing them to a private website about women's sexuality.
Is it ever appropriate to say the n-word in a classroom? When a white teacher used it in a conversation about bullying and hurtful language in his all-black 6th grade classroom, it resulted in a suspension, even though the kids didn't take offense.
The Reader's Ben Joravsky examines how the Emanuel administration is determining which schools to close.
WBEZ's education team put together an interactive map showing all the CPS school closings and "turn-arounds" since the 2001-2002 school year. Interesting to compare and contrast it with the Sun-Times's map of shootings and homicides.
If your new year's resolution involved learning to dance, the Chicago Human Rhythm Project has a deal for you. It's offering a week of free dance classes next week, Jan. 7-13 at its new American Rhythm Center in the Fine Arts Building.
Researchers at UofC have found that attitudes about people based on their accent is determined at a young age.
Thinking about trying something new in the new year? A class via Dabble will let you dip your toe before diving in.
College dorm food is generally not that great. Unless you happen to live near Robert Lipman. The UofC first-year runs a monthly underground restaurant in various secret locations -- including dorm communal kitchens.
The mystery of the package addressed to Indiana Jones that arrived at University of Chicago last week has been solved. It turned out to be a reproduction prop being shipped from Guam to Italy, which fell out of its package in Hawaii and was sent to the only visible address.
Right now there are 591 projects on DonorsChoose for needy classrooms in Chicago schools. Give a hand if you can.
A CPS-promoted school fair featuring "some of Chicago's great public school options, including charter schools," advertised almost no traditional schools -- but still found space for dozens of charter schools with the district's lowest ranking.
CPS is asking Springfield for more time to decide which Chicago schools to close. CPS's current deadline is Dec. 1, but proposed legislation would extend the deadline until March 31. The Dec. 1 deadline was chosen so that families would have time to apply for magnet or selective enrollment schools. Legislation to extend CPS's deadline passed unanimously in the House Executive Committee and the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday and now moves on to the the full House and Senate for voting.
Are Chicago Public School students' low test scores a result of lead poisoning? Megan Cottrell investigates in this week's Reader.
Since 2011, 35 percent of Chicago's schools have failed at least one health inspection -- due to improper food storage, rodent droppings in the food, and in one case, a live snake caught in a glue trap. [via]
Sixty students from the Chicago-area headed to Wisconsin today to take part in the Mikva Challenge, a non-partisan organization, "Elections in Action" program. The students will spend the weekend learning about and taking part in the presidential campaigns.
Crain's reports on whether Chicago City Colleges' transformation plan is taking it the right direction.
A Whitney Young High School student dared to challenge the dean of students to a dance battle. The dean shut him down with his own footwork.
The Reader's Steve Bogira introduces two freshmen whose paths to college were about as different as could be.
DePaul has entered a "partnership" with Gordon Tech to oversee the Catholic high school.
Get to know CPS's new chief, Barbara Byrd-Bennett, through the Sun-Times', Tribune's, and Catalyst's assessment. The Sun-Times offers advice to Mayor Emanuel, while Greg Hinz has the backstory on Brizard's departure.
Jean-Claude Brizard is leaving the Chicago Public Schools following a brief, controversial stint as CEO.
Comedian Steve Harvey, whose new daytime talk show is taped here, is giving young men (Chicago residents only) who live in female-headed households a chance to be part of the "Steve Harvey Mentoring Weekend," an interactive camp Nov. 16-18 designed to teach the "principles of manhood, leadership and community empowerment." The application deadline is Friday, Oct. 12 at 5pm.
The University of Chicago announced it will do away with its swimming test requirement for incoming students. For nearly 60 years U of C has enforced the rule that students who cannot prove they can successfully swim 100 yards must enroll in a swimming course.
The newest installment of our documentary series, The Grid, gets to know Envision Arts Studio, a branch of the social service agency Envision Unlimited that provides Chicagoans with intellectual and developmental disabilities a disciplined studio practice in a community setting.
Later this year the U of C is kicking the Seminary Co-op Bookstore out of its 50-year warren of rooms and relocating it to a former residence hall. In the meantime, Seminary Co-op Documentation Project has been following the process and producing audio interviews, photographs and other interesting tidbits about the bookstore. Background is available in this 2011 GB feature by one of the documentarians.
University of Chicago Lab School Director David Magill is against using standardized testing to determine teacher evaluations, a major sticking point between the Chicago Teachers' Union and Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Emanuel's children attend the South Side private school.
A CPS teacher is doing a Reddit AMA ("ask me anything") from the picket line with the help of her husband.
The CTU strike is all over the national news, with coverage from The NY Times, The Washington Post, Forbes, CNN, NBC News, Reuters, and pretty much everyone else. Back in Chicago, a demonstrator had some disappointing news about the mayor.
Now that the strike is on and CPS is implementing its "Children First" program, one can view a map of those locations. Other student programs are available below and after the break.
The Lookingglass Theatre is offering daytime drama workshops during the strike; $65 a day to participate.
Buzzfeed collected a few tweets from students last night regarding the strike.
The Caucus of Rank-and-File Educators (CORE) released a video telling the history of teacher strikes from 1968 to 1987:
"We have failed to reach an agreement that will prevent a labor strike." CPS is implementing its "Children First Plan," in which 144 schools will provide supervision for part of the day, and many churches, community organizations, parks and libraries will provide activities and "safe havens" for students. Additional details about the conflict are available in the CTU statement and CPS statement.
The CTA will provide free rides to students on the first day of school next week, thanks to a $150,000 donation from the Sun-Times. And 500 students at five high schools will get free CTA fare all year through a $50,000 grant from philanthropist Wendy Abrams.
Chicago Public Schools and the Teacher's Union inched closer to a strike on Wednesday, with CTU giving its president authority to call a strike and the school board approving a $25 million contingency plan.
Gov. Quinn chose the end of Ramadan to sign into law a bill that gives college students the ability to reschedule tests or assignments when they conflict with a religious holiday.
If you're intrigued by suburban companies moving back downtown (including today's United announcement), you may be interested in Forgotten Chicago's "Corporate Kings of the Suburbs & Stern Pinball Tour," which will visit several midcentury suburban corporate campuses. Their upcoming Hyde Park modernist walking tour looks promising too.
CBS Sports reports that UNC posted what appears to be the college transcript of Bears' defensive end Julius Peppers. If they're his, let's just say he wasn't hired for his grades.
The Pritzkers' Hyatt Hotels Corp. is receiving a $5.2 million TIF as part of the Harper Court redevelopment project on 53rd Street. The seven schools surrounding the TIF district are losing $3.4 million from their budgets -- which happens to be the about the amount that CPS loses in property taxes because of the TIF. Meanwhile, Penny Pritzker serves on the CPS board. Curtis Black explains.
The University of Chicago is the 5th happiest college in the country, according to a recent survey from Newsweek and The Daily Beast. If the U of C is no longer "where fun comes to die", consider this t-shirt (long a staple of the typical UChicago wardrobe) a collector's item.
Whether you're hanging on to the last days of summer or begging for them to end, the start of the school year is almost here. Since expensive school supplies are a burden for low income families, Heartland Alliance set up a great website for you to sponsor a child for the start of school, or the whole year. Own your geekery, and let some kid know the joy of sharpening brand new pencils this year.
UNO is taking over part of St. Scholastica Academy this fall, and will open a charter school catering to Latino immigrant students. St. Scholastica will continue to run a senior academy until its currently enrolled students graduate.
CPS and the Chicago Teachers Union reached an agreement last night in which the district will hire 477 new teachers to help offset the longer school day. Negotiations continue on the overall teachers' contract.
Bring a new children's book to Next Door in Lakeview, and it will grace the shelves of Manierre Elementary School's library. Next Door'll see your book and raise you a backpack full of school supplies, which will be donated to Lakeview High School.
Apparently, Fermilab has had a bison farm since 1969. The team that oversees them got a surprise when the cows started birthing on May 30.
A suburban teacher's math question claiming the Packers are "a much better team" than the Bears got a written response from Charles Tillman.
If the sticker on the back window wasn't enough to let other car drivers know you graduated from U of C, the school's alumni association wants to know if you want personalized license plates.
Calling it "gangster-style clothing," 37th Ward Alderman Emma Mitts introduced a resolution denouncing saggy pants, sideways baseball caps and excessive jewelry at Chicago Public Schools. Saggy pants are already against CPS dress code, but the rule's enforcement has been lax in recent years.
The Center for Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern and the University of the Michigan Law School have set up a national registry of exonerations, which collected more than 2,000 cases of wrongful convictions over 23 years.
On May 7th and 10th, Open Books partnered with Chicago Public Schools and took their volunteer Reading Buddies and Booksmobile to several elementary schools to offer pop-up book fairs to eager young readers who had participated in the program all year and achieved their literacy goals. That these are students who don't often get to enjoy the gift of a new book only sweetened the deal and, as the photos show, enthusiasm never waned, rain or shine. Interested in becoming a Reading Buddy?
Columbia College's president, Warrick Carter, announced that he will retire in August 2013. As Chicago Journal notes, Carter led the school's aggressive real estate purchasing campaign. He made headlines earlier this year for telling a student to shut up during a Q&A.
Chappell Elementary is holding a kids' book drive for Japanese children affected by last year's tsunami. The school, a world language magnet, is starting a Japanese studies program next year -- and the principal's been selected to participate in an educator exchange program sponsored by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Chicago.
Naomi Schaefer Riley, a blogger for the Chronicle of Higher Education, was fired this week after she accused the first dissertation topics of NU's Black Studies doctoral program of being "left-wing victimization claptrap."
CPS teachers are seeking state support to increase The Chicago Teachers Pension Fund (CTPF), which is currently underfunded by millions of dollars. Senate Bill 3628 would allow $270 million to flow into the CTPF but, after that, state contributions would fall to ten percent of what it provides to the Teachers Retirement Fund, which is for teachers outside of Chicago. If the bill were to pass the senate it would still need to find support in the Illinois House. Controversial spending by the Teachers Retirement System (TRS) of Illinois adds an element of question to the debate.
A student at Uptown's Uplift Community High School responds to charges that students at the school are responsible for increased violence in the neighborhood.
Malcolm X College will be moving into a brand new building in 2015, and its current one will become home to the Chicago High School for the Arts as well as city arts organizations.
This December, basketball fans will have a new local event to watch: the Chicago Elite Basketball Winter Classic, which will pit some of the country's best high school teams against the best locally, including Simeon, Whitney Young and De La Salle.
Chicago State's new media policy is so overreaching that faculty may not even be able to speak to reporters about their research.
Yet another unexpected side effect of the housing bubble: fewer young families are able to move to the suburbs for better schools.
With the primaries over, the next election to focus on is local school councils for Chicago Public Schools March 23. CPS has created a map of LSCs to see whether anyone's running for yours, and CenterSquare Journal and Roscoe View Journal are devoting full coverage to elections in their neighborhoods.
The University of Chicago is looking for a new carillon player for the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial Carillon. Job requirements include being able to play the carillon for 30 minutes straight and "ability to climb 235 winding stairs to reach the playing cabin without medical risk required." Pay? $50 per performance. [via]
The listing, for posterity (click to enlarge):
And a sample of what you'd be getting into:
Columbia gets more attention for the recent announcement that it will get rid of an independent Fiction Writing Department, and not renew the contract of longtime Chair Randy Albers. Inside Higher Ed points to a book that may have gotten this whole "prioritization" thing going.
The Sun-Times has a handy map to see if your neighborhood changed CPS socioeconomic tiers.
The Chicago School Board voted unanimously to close or turn around all 17 schools under consideration.
As the school board meets to consider closing or "turning around" up to 17 CPS schools, a study finds that the turnaround method may not actually work, and WBEZ reported on the possibility that CPS has a policy of not making repairs in schools it's considering for closure or turnaround -- as far as 10 years in advance of any decision.
There's a rally this afternoon at 4pm at Lake View High School, Ashland and Irving Park, in support of the schools on CPS's short list for closure and turnaround. The rally will then march up to Mayor Emanuel's home.
A group of parents, students and supporters have occupied Brian Piccolo Specialty School. The group's first statement was released just before midnight on Friday via Occupy Chicago, and live streaming video has been established inside the school.
The Chicago Architectural Foundation recently launched DiscoverDesign.org, a free online tool for aspiring young architectural designers. This month, CAF introduced a design competition for high school students, challenging them to redesign their cafeteria.
The McCaskeys have joined the fight to save Crane High School, "Papa Bear" George Halas' alma mater, from closure.
Chicago hip hop artists Sev Seveer and Defcee launched Organic Beat Market, a youth-mentorship organization set on "breaking down stigmas around the culture by working with parents and teens directly." Two of the program's participants just released the organization's pilot project, The Promse EP.
In Mechanics, Megan Doherty chronicles adjunct instructors' fight to unionize at East-West University.
After working for President Obama's reelection campaign, strategist David Axelrod will be taking his talents to Hyde Park to work for a new political institute at U of C beginning next year.
Dennis Kass teaches history at a Little Village high school. But he's also a lawyer, and for the past four years, he's offered free legal advice to students and their families through the Chicago Law and Education Foundation.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel will hold another Facebook town hall meeting on January 23. Emanuel's previous virtual town hall was the first of its kind from a sitting mayor. Chicagoans can submit education-related questions online here.
Want to teach yourself how to be an architect -- or at least how to design like one? Black Spectacles can help.
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists hosts its third annual Doomsday Clock Symposium next Monday, Jan. 9, after which they'll adjust the clock if deemed necessary. It is currently at six minutes to midnight.
A law passed by Illinois congress in August takes effect today, allowing school officials to suspend/expel/discipline students for threats they make against other students or staff online, whether it be a blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Student's at Evanston Township High School raised funds for local cafe by blasting Justin Bieber's repetitive tune, Baby, between class periods, forcing classmates to fork over the dough to get it off the intercom.
An internal UIC study found that the amount of leftover cafeteria food on plates after each meal the school served collectively produced enough food to feed 200 people each day.
Sen. Mark Kirk says nine of the top 10 high schools in Chicago are charters. Ben Joravsky checks his math.
Two Chicago schools, Audubon Elementary and Northside College Prep, were awarded the National Blue Ribbon for excellence in education this year. Roscoeview Journal talks with Audubon's principal, John Price, about his school's accomplishment.
MentorMob, a site for putting together "learning playlists" of tutorials and informational pages, launched this week in alpha.
The University of Chicago Conference on Jersey Shore Studies is this Friday. There is much to discuss and still time to register.
The Meadville Lombard Theological School made a big move from rural Pennsylvania to Hyde Park in 1926, where it has been located ever since. That's going to change by the end of the year, when it's moving to the Spertus Institute building at 610 S. Michigan Ave.
MentorMob officially launches today. It's a site for crowdsourcing knowledge to help collectively teach a variety of subjects, from salsa dancing to chemistry.
Chicago-born and -educated researcher Dr. Bruce Beutler won a Nobel Prize for his work with two colleagues on immune system diseases and treatment.
Give your kid the five-star treatment, at school. The city will implement a five-star rating system for early childhood programs beginning in July 2012.
After six more schools started a longer day on Monday, a total of 13 schools have answered the Emanuel administration's call to add 90 minutes to their schedules. With, um, hundreds of schools to go, the administration's two month push probably can't be considered a resounding success...
Incoming DePaul students are introduced to the city with a course called "Discovering Chicago," which covers various aspects of the city. This quarter, there's a new segment: "Discovering Nonviolent Chicago."
The Super Nanny Academy blossomed into a program after a Chicagoland pediatric therapy group and a nanny agency came together. The first-of-its-kind program helps train nannies to care for children with all different types of disabilities.
The Old Town School of Folk Music is holding one of its volunteer orientation sessions this Saturday, Sept. 17. For helping out at the school, volunteers can earn credit towards free classes or concert tickets. Full details at the school's volunteer page.
If you can't wait for the University of Chicago's Jersey Shore conference, this conference schedule with paper titles should help build some excitement. Paper titles vary widely, from "'You Dirty Little Hamster!': The Abject and the Monstrous Feminine inÂ Jersey Shore" to "Situating the Situation: Psychogeography, Mimetic Desire, and the Resurgent Indo-European Trifunctional Paradigm in Seaside."
Street-Level Youth Media returns to Wicker Park after a fire destroyed their community center 3 years ago. The new 5,250-square-foot facility features state-of-the-art A/V labs, sound stage and gallery space. A grand opening benefit reception is slated for September 29th.
Each year, the Sun-Times Charity Trust awards grants to Chicago organizations that support youth in education, art and civic engagement. This year, the Trust has set up the Sun Shine Project for the greater Chicago community to "shine a light" on worthy charities and select projects that deserve a grant. The nomination phase is happening right now!
Elmhurst College is now asking prospective students if they consider themselves members of the GLBT community.
Most Chicago Public Schools start back on Sept. 7, but there are a ton of teachers who are lacking some sadly basic items for their classrooms. If you have a couple of extra bucks to share, you can be a Donors Choose hero and help. For example, Ms. J's kids need reeds for their instruments, Ms. S's kids need scissors and puzzles, and Mr. W's kids need composition notebooks.
For a few days this summer, a group of girls went to GADgET Camp to learn about manufacturing. The Girls Adventuring in Design Engineering and Technology Camp focuses on girls between the ages of 12 and 16 and is the only all-girls camp that is is funded by national organizationNuts, Bolts and Thingamajigs. Antigone Sharris, an engineering instructor at Triton College started the program. Can't wait to see what these girls make.
The City has started proceedings to rezone Greenbaum Park in Humboldt Park RT-4 residential. Ald. Reboyras says it's so that it can become an "on-campus park" for Grand High School next door, but neighbors are skeptical.
The Illinois General Assembly Legislative Scholarships have been abused quite a bit over the years -- the latest being Rep. Dan Burke's award of a scholarship to a former secretary's daughter who may not have met the requirements of the program. Gov. Quinn has been trying to get the scholarships eliminated.
University of Chicago fourth year Mitchell Kohles challenged the automated storage and retrieval system at the U of C's newest library, the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library, to a race. How did Mitchell do? Let's go to the tape, err, YouTube video.
CPS head Jean-Claude Brizard has proposed a 2.4 percent property tax hike to help cover the school budget, as well as a longer school day; not surprisingly, not everyone's excited. Brizard was on WBEZ last night answering callers' questions about the tax and everything else.
In Mechanics, Monica Reida explains some of the intricacies of getting a student into the CPS school of your choice, and why Mayor Emanuel might have picked a private one.
The NFL lockout just ended, but
Phoenix Arizona Cardinals running back Jason Wright is apparently still opting for the backup plan: the former Northwestern Wildcat retired to enroll at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business.
Joravsky and Dumke delve into the privacy grey area surrounding the city's charter schools.
The Reader looks into how a CPS teacher could go from "excellent" to "do not hire" in a year.
The Whittier Parent Committee began their sit-in anew at the fieldhouse last night. Workers delivered debris containers to the site, and according to the Committee's Facebook page, police have arrived to arrest people who are blocking access. We have a reporter on the way; meanwhile, follow our coverage of Whittier in Mechanics.
School's out -- what's next? Chicago Parent has some fun ways for your kid to spend the summer that let them get hands-deep in grubs, paint, plants and more.
Reports are coming in via Twitter that a demolition has arrived at the Whittier Elementary School fieldhouse, which parents and community members fought to save last year. Earlier this week the CPS board decided to go back on its promise to allow the community to take over the fieldhouse. We've got a reporter heading down and will update as the story unfolds. UPDATE: The sit-in is back on. UPDATE 2: Full story in Mechanics.
The Whittier School community is once again gearing up for a fight, as the new CPS board decided to go back on the agreement reached last year to renovate the outbuilding that had become an ad hoc library and community center.
Michigan Avenue is currently blocked by a Chicago Teachers Union/Stand Up Chicago protest. Former GB staffer/current CTU organizer Kenzo Shibata is tweeting it live. (Thanks for the correction, Ryan!)
The keynote speech at the U of C's symposium on the arts and the city is a conversation between David Simon and Wendell Pierce of "The Wire" and "Treme" fame. Watch the conversation live on facebook now.
Lightning struck in Rogers Park this morning and took out some poor defenseless chimney bricks near Pratt and Greenview at the Lake Shore School. Luckily, no one appears to have been injured. Transmission contributor Dan Snedigar took some pictures of the debris.
See, people are getting good jobs in this economy! Former mayor Richard Daley will become a fellow at the Harris School of Public Policy at University of Chicago starting in July; his primary task is to use his sizeable Rolodex to coordinate ten guest lectures.
Dabble launched today, offering Chicagoans the opportunity to take a class on something they've always been curious about -- and also to try their hand at teaching something they're passionate about.
That's right, the Museum of Science and Industry is looking for a new month-long resident.
Speaking of the U of C's new Mansueto Library, its Grand Reading Room is opening to U of C students faculty and staff on Monday. So if you know someone affiliated with the school, maybe you should give them a call.
The controversial human sexuality class at Northwestern (previously) will not be returning to the curriculum in the fall, the university announced yesterday. At least one Wildcat hopes the school changes its mind.
A U of C student is looking for startup funding to hold an academic conference this fall on "Jersey Shore," so if you're looking for some real discourse on Guidos, Juiceheads, and "GTL as a practice of the self and way of life," this is the event for you.
Northwestern grad Stephen Colbert will receive an honorary degree from the school during commencement June 17. Think of it as a delayed two-for-one special.
At the turn of the last century, the Linguistic Survey of India recorded 179 languages and 544 dialects from around the Indian subcontinent and Burma. The Digital South Asia Library at the University of Chicago recently digitized two dozen of the phonographs and posted them online.
Some CPS schools have banned lunches brought from home in an effort to promote healthier eating. Students and parents are, of course, not all happy about this.
Chicago unions and charter schools are exploring new territory with new kinds of contracts ... and conflicts.
Northwestern officials now accuse journalism professor David Protess of doctoring records and lying to lawyers and the dean of Medill. The Reader's Michael Miner gets Protess' comment on the allegations. (Previously: 1, 2)
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago is considered one of the most free-thinking colleges in the country, if not the world. But this article in F Newsmagazine describes the firing of Roxane Assaf and links it to her political thoughts related to how the United States media covers the conflict between Israel and Palestine.
Alderman Reilly convinced Northwestern to delay entering their demolition permit request for the Bertrand Goldberg designed hospital for 60 days. Of course, the Stone Institute of Psychiatry won't move out until September, so that might not be much of a concession.
After being relieved of teaching duties, Northwestern journalism professor David Protess has announced that he will launch the independent Chicago Innocence Project as a non-profit continuing the work of the Medill Innocence Project, which he founded.
NPR looks at how a mix of security guards prevent after school violence by spending time in and around Woodlawn's Hyde Park Academy.
Well, win the opportunity to earn one, anyway. Lake Forest Graduate School of Management is running an essay contest, and the payoff for 50 contestants is a scholarship to its executive MBA program. The catch? You have to have been laid off since Oct. 31, 2009. See the site for other stipulations.
Northwestern has removed Professor David Protess, head of the Medill Innocence Project, from teaching an investigative reporting class in the spring quarter amid allegations of mishandling of evidence in one of the project's wrongful conviction cases. Students are protesting.
Northwestern and its partnership with Google to provide email and other services for its students is targeted in a lawsuit alleging the applications are inaccessible to students with vision impairments and constitute discrimination.
Chicago loves student design contests. The latest one will feature a CPS high school student's design on 10,000 reusable bags to be handed out at farmers markets. Here's some info from one of the sponsors.
Columbia College and USC have teamed up with YouTube to create "Creator Institutes" to train students in digital media. To be one of the 10 students in the YouTube-Columbia College Creator Institute this summer, apply here.
After years of resistance to adding another professional program, the U of C is collaborating with the Argonne National Laboratory to create an engineering program -- only this engineering program is molecular engineering.
The president of Northwestern has announced an investigation into the motorized sex toy (aka "fucksaw") demonstration in a recent human sexuality class. (Previously.) Meanwhile, Rachel Rabbit White got the other side of the story from the people who put on the demo.
UofC economics professor John List received some attention for his $10 million experiment tracking 600-plus students from pre-school into adulthood to gauge the impact of different education practices.
A popular Human Sexuality class at Northwestern was treated to a live demonstration of a sexual device (the "f*cksaw") last Monday. Some are not amused, but the school's administration has stayed quiet on the issue, claiming that watching a woman get aroused in front of 600 students falls under "the broad range of academic freedoms."
While the protests in Madison continue, Chicago has its own labor fight in the works. The Chicago Math and Science Academy is arguing it is "private" and therefore exempt from an Illinois law granting public school employees the right to form unions for contract negotiations. The argument is seen as particularly controversial because the relevant Illinois charter school law defines charter schools as "public."
Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism and McCormick School of Engineering announced today the creation of the Knight News Innovation Lab, funded by a four-year, $4.2-million grant from the Knight Foundation.
Founder Sue Khim describes EduLender as "Lending Tree for student loans" -- it allows you to quickly compare your school loan options side by side and pick the one that's right for you.
Watch Chicagoland turn darker on this iteractive map of adults with college degrees.
...not exactly, but they are not going to use an ancient anti-prostitution law to crack down on problems stemming from NU students living off-campus. (Previously.)
In an effort to control the community problems stemming from Northwestern University students living off-campus, the City of Evanston is resurrecting a long-unenforced law that prohibits more than three unrelated people from living together. The ordinance, which will take effect July 1, was originally intended to shut down prostitution in the city. Somewhere, Chet Haze is writing a song.
The Women in Science and Engineering Mentoring Initiatives Center for Research on Women and Gender at UIC received a Presidential Award for excellence in science, mathematics and engineering mentoring.
Set aside some time this afternoon to pore through the Uncovering New Chicago Archives Project's stacks.
Area schools are finding ways to keep Martin Luther King, Jr.'s message relevant to today's kids.
The deadline for "Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day" is this Friday. Taking place February 24th at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory, the event aims to "spark girls' curiosity about engineering and science, and showcase career opportunities." Application forms are available online [PDF] -- act now!
The Museum of Science & Industry will host the US debut of the third edition of Body Worlds exhibit. "Body Worlds & The Cycle of Life" opens March 18. Meanwhile, the International Museum of Surgical Science is currently hosting a rival show, "Our Body: The Universe Within."
The University of Chicago beat out Harvard and Yale in online brand presence. On the other hand, UofC is only number two -- University of Wisconsin is tops.
On any one day, our latest subject in the Classroom Mechanics oral history project will find herself in a room with up to 20 children who may speak any mixtures of English, Spanish, Arabic or Polish.
Northwestern University is offering a class this semester called "Consumerism and Social Change in Mad Men America, 1960-1963." No word on whether or not Roger Sterling's "Sterling's Gold: Wit and Wisdom of an Ad Man" is listed on the class syllabus.
About 100 graduate assistants at UIC received paychecks for $0 in October and November due to the way the university is interpreting tax codes.
Mayoral candidate City Clerk Miguel del Valle tells Gay Chicago Magazine that if elected, bullying in Chicago schools and community policing will be priorities for his administration.
Catalyst's latest issue takes a look at the next mayor from an education standpoint.
The Old Town School of Folk Music is hosting its (free!) annual open house tomorrow night. Try your hand (or foot) at everything from go-go dancing to songwriting to banjo playing during the evening of free classes, workshops and performances.
Columbia College announced it is purchasing 820 S. Michigan Ave., the headquarters of Johnson Publishing. The company, which is the publisher of EBONY and JET, will move out within 18 months as part of a cost-cutting strategy.
A student-faculty collaboration at IIT has designed a "replicable, low-cost, durable, practical laptop charging" device for Haitian primary schools, 95% of which do not have electricity. They just won an award for their work and are raising money to implement the project.
The National Women's Law Center has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights against the Chicago Public Schools and another 11 districts for Title IX violations.
The NY Times and Chronicle of Higher Education feature the U of C as an exemplar of what's happening in college admissions, where the number of applicants to many elite schools is skyrocketing.
Because they're still widely available, says a UIC researcher.
Things are tough for the kids up in Evanston. Northwestern's administration first chastises them for crudely referencing oral sex in front of neighborhood kids, and now they shouldn't go in blackface for Halloween. The holiday is "a time when the normal thoughtfulness and sensitivity of most NU students can be forgotten and some poor decisions are made."
Today marks the start of Classroom Mechanics, a new oral history project in Mechanics, sharing the firsthand stories of teachers in Chicago schools. Micah Uetricht interviews a young teacher at Robeson High School.
The NY Times draws from research by current University of Chicago sociologist Mario Small and three former U of C sociologists, Maria Kefalas, Robert Sampson and William Julius Wilson, to draw attention to a renewed emphasis on studies of poverty and culture.
The City Clerk's office is accepting entries for its annual vehicle sticker art contest. This year's theme is "Education Is Key." The winning entry will be displayed on over a million windshields next year, and will net its designer a $1,000 savings bond. (Nine runners-up will receive savings bond prizes, too.) The contest is open to Chicago high school students and runs through Nov. 5. For official rules, entry forms, and ideas on how to get started, click here.
The U of C recently publicly announced that it accepts and funds undocumented students.
Speaking of home, the Whittier school occupation just got a little more politically interesting with City Council calling on CPS to reconnect gas heat service to the occupied field house.
If you've been following our Whitter Elementary School coverage. You may be happy to know that the parents are continuing to take things into their own hands and have created their own library filled with donations and are getting training from librarians so they can run it themselves. And they have no plans to back down until they get a library.
Groupon wants to help put a "Groupon baby" (a baby parented by a couple who used a Groupon on their first date) through college.
So far in the battle to save Whittier School's Fieldhouse, we've mostly heard from the adults on both sides. In Mechanics, Cinnamon Cooper finds out what some of the kids have to say.
At various times Monday and today, Ald. Danny Solis, the police and demolition crews have shown up at the Whittier School Fieldhouse, which is currently being occupied by parents trying to keep the building standing to serve as the school's desperately needed library. Anne Elizabeth Moore has been reporting from the scene on Twitter and telling the story on her blog.
Smithsonian magazine has organized a national Museum Day this Sept. 25, and the Adler Planetarium is a featured participant. Many of the other museums in Illinois are also participating; download a ticket here.
Wonder how your local public school is measuring up? The Tribune has an easy site for you to check its 2009 report card.
The Jane Addams Hull House Museum reopened last week after an extensive renovation.
Odd that it's launching at the beginning of the school year rather than the end, but Chicago OnBoard promises to be "life orientation" for post-college.
Chicago Public Schools start the new school year on Sept. 7. Check out DonorsChoose's list of projects in CPS classrooms looking for a little help.
Northwestern's Medill School, Mozilla, Hacks/Hackers and The Media Consortium are collaborating to offer "Open Journalism & the Open Web, a free six-week interactive course that will bring together journalists and programmers. It starts Sept. 15, and just got BoingBoinged, so it may have already filled up; if it proves popular, chances are it'll be offered again.
The Museum of Science and Industry will be invaded by Kermit and the rest of the gang a month from today -- better get your tickets now.
U.S. News and World Report has the University of Chicago ranked at no. 9 (shared with Dartmouth College and Duke University) and Northwestern University at no. 12 in their list of best colleges for 2011.
TIF districts are created to freeze the amount of property tax funding stuff like parks and public schools. Now the Chicago Teachers Union wants to direct TIF money to fix Chicago Public Schools. Hmmm......
Hadji Bakara, the former keyboardist for Wolf Parade, is now a PhD student in U of C's Department of English Language and Literature.
Layoff notices went out earlier this week for hundreds of Chicago Public School teachers. The Chicago Teachers Union is meeting with CPS today to determine exactly how many, but WBEZ reports the number could be as high as 1,500.
The NYTimes profiles the CPS anti-violence advocate program with a headline that makes less sense the longer one thinks about it.
The NYTimes notes that the U of C Law School's 186 point grading system has helped protect it against the grade inflation pressures felt at other schools.
We've got soccer on the brain in Tailgate right now -- especially a local program that teaches both teamwork and communication skills through a combination of soccer and poetry.
Lauren Rivera, a professor at Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management, looked into how nightclub bouncers determine who's cool enough to get in and who stays outside.
Kanye West, Common and Lupe Fiasco performed last night for students at three Chicago Public Schools that improved their grades, behavior and attendance this year.
Unlike the US Census, the Department of Education's survey of students' race or ethnicity doesn't include an option for Latino/Hispanic (or Arab, for that matter), forcing Mexican-Americans and others to choose between White or American Indian or some other inaccurate option.
Chicago Public Schools is apparently on the search for math and reading computer software that could help teach students each day, sans teacher supervision.
CPS security guards might be worsening the tension in the halls rather than keeping the peace.
All incoming IIT students will be receiving iPads when they arrive in the fall.
Friends of Pritzker School is raising money by auctioning off some pretty cool birdhouses by local architects and others.
The New York Times uses The School of the Art Institute's Fashion Department to illustrate Chicago's most common dilemma in the arts.
The $6.1 million left over from donations to the Chicago Olympic bid is funding World Sport Chicago's programs for inner-city kids. As the Sun-Times quips: "World Sport Chicago is the only remaining legacy of Daley's Olympic quest."
Thanks to an effort bringing Michigan-grown fruits to Chicago Public Schools, one child encountered his first fresh, whole peach.
A federal court has rejected the University of Wyoming's cancellation of Bill Ayres' talk at the university for "safety reasons." The administration's controversial cancellation of the speech was against the wishes of the school's Social Justice Research Center, who invited Ayres to campus.
The Chicago Public Schools will be left with zero "top-ranking" officials who have classroom experience after their chief education officer, Dr. Barbara Eason-Watkins, leaves to take over the schools in Michigan City, Indiana.
This Sunday at Northwestern University, comics creators, graphic novelists and education experts lead a one-day workshop on using comics to teach reading and increase literacy in the classroom. It's organized by new local nonprofit Reading With Pictures. Free for educators, librarians and comics professionals.
Robert DeNiro's Tribeca Enterprises is now a 50 percent partner in Flashpoint Academy. The media arts school will now be known as Tribeca Flashpoint. Does this mean we'll see more of DeNiro in town? [via]
A University of Chicago group is taking discussion of education beyond of the classroom and wants you to participate. Ripple is a free conference seeking to bring together those interested in education with Chicago education experts, from Tim Knowles of the Urban Education Institute to Bill Ayers. You can register online, if you're so inclined.
The Shoreland Hotel, once housing for University of Chicago students, is now set to become apartments. The developer that bought the historic building in 2008 for $16 million has hired Jeanne Gang, the same architect behind Aqua, for the apartment conversion.
Staff at Libertyville-Vernon Hills Area High School District 128 are not permitted to email students from personal email accounts. A new policy that went into effect this week also prohibits online gaming with students as well as communicating with them via text message. [via]
Research out of Northwestern demonstrates that dirt and germs are good for long-term heart health.
While everyone is discussing healthcare, the Illinois House is clearing the way for four-day school weeks to reduce government spending.
The Chicago Teachers Union is finding itself in an interesting political game with State Sen. Heather Steans, a charter school supporter. Steans is pushing for the elimination of the residency requirement for CPS teachers as a quid pro quo for earlier union concessions.
Are you the master of flip cup? Form a team of four (or sign up solo and meet new friends) for Flip Madness — a flip cup tournament on 3/27 at Mad River benefiting Rock for Kids. Beer, food, entertainment provided. Details in Slowdown.
As a perk of the job, UIC's new chancellor has a nice townhouse that recently underwent a $500,000 makeover, which is not sitting pretty with students and staffers facing possible job cuts and tuition hikes.
Grace Groner, a woman who lived in an austere one-bedroom house in Lake Forest, donated $7 million to Lake Forest College when she passed away in January. The origin of her fortune? Stock purchased for $180 in 1935.
IIT's student body is 73 percent male -- so what are you waiting for, girls? Get an engineering degree and get your man!
Newcity has a new review of a show at DePaul that features reject art. The art will be sold from its collection to purchase more desired pieces, but visitors can still cast their vote on what they think is good, bad or just plain ugly.
As if Chicago State didn't have enough problems, State Representative Monique Davis and the institution have some explaining to do after a $25,000 sculpture owned by the school ended up in her office.
The Sun-Times discovered a flaw in the new economics-based CPS admissions categories, due to their Census tract basis.
All but three of Adlai E Stevenson High School's first semester staffers quit the school's newspaper over charges of censorship.
The U of C's applications for undergraduate study jumped 42% from last year.
Last year, Judge Richard Posner, one of the U of C's most famous professors, came out as a Keynesian -- basically the opposite of the storied Chicago School of economics. The New Yorker looks at the aftermath and the rise of Keynesian economics in this week's issue.
The University of Chicago's dean of admissions stirred up controversy recently when he shared with potential applicants an admissions essay that likened the university to a lover. Students and parents on CollegeConfidential shared distress that the essay was praised while other similarly creative ones get ignored.
The NYTimes explores the use of race as an enrollment criterium in the Chicago Public Schools and what changing to a different criterium might mean.
Illinois General Assembly Legislative Scholarships can be awarded to just about any student -- even lawmakers' families -- with little or no oversight, an investigation by a team of Columbia College Chicago journalists in collaboration with Illinois Statehouse News found. Read even more coverage on ChicagoTalks.org.
For the second time in a week, the entire west campus of UIC (Ashland to Damen) is without power, with the exception of the UIC Medical Center, which is running on a generator. The upside: studying for finals via candlelight is so romantic. UPDATE (10:45pm): electricity restored, but heat and hot water are not working.
Chicago Public Schools has a chronic truancy problem, but the students aren't the only ones who skip school. FOX Chicago's Mark Saxenmeyer analyzed CPS records from last year to find out how often teachers were absent from school -- and how often those absences fell on Mondays or Fridays -- and made the database available online. [via]
To celebrate the release of Crescat Graffiti: Vita Excolatur, a book of graffiti found in U of C's Regenstein Library, author/photographer Quinn Dombrowski has launched the RegRemix contest -- do something nifty with the graffiti in any medium by Dec. 20 to be entered. See here for full details. [via]
Police have confirmed that Chicago Board of Education President Michael Scott was found in the Chicago River near the Merchandise Mart earlier today. Update: Early investigation has determined that Scott appears to have shot himself.
Elementary school students in Oak Park, Naperville and Villa Park are learning early about making "zero impact" on their environment. They're recycling, composting food scraps after lunch and sending far less trash to area landfills.
Thanks to the Chicago Scholars program, over 250 Chicago high school students will meet with reps from over 50 colleges and universities at UIC today. Admissions decisions and a million dollars in scholarships will be handed out on the spot! Check the eligibility guidelines to get some high-schoolers involved in time for next year.
Research from student reporters in Northwestern's Medill Innocence Project has overturned convictions and reopened cases. Now they're being challenged by the Cook County State's Attorney with a subpoena. The Daily Northwestern has more information.
The Committee for Safe Passage to Schools is trying to organize a boycott of Fenger High School for students from Altgeld Gardens next week, after yet more fighting at the school yesterday.
CeaseFire is getting renewed attention in light of the violence at Fenger High School, but Beachwood Reporter's Steve Rhodes thinks it's a load of hooey, likening it to the failed DARE anti-drug program in the '80s and '90s. Related: a profile of CeaseFire gang mediator Tio Hardaway we ran last summer.
Stats Monkey is a project at Northwestern's Intelligent Information Laboratory that might one day make sports reporting obsolete. Of course, that'd just mean more time for sportwriters to be columnists. [via]
Salon has an essay from an anonymous 17-year-old at Fenger High School about what life is like for students from Altgeld Gardens before and after Derrion Albert's beating death earlier this month.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is currently speaking at the University of Chicago. His invitation has been controversial on campus, and a variety of groups have assembled to protest the event. Two counter-protesters are also present.
An update on a story we covered in the very early days of GB: Sho Yano became the youngest-ever person to earn a doctorate from the University of Chicago when he received his PhD in molecular biology last month -- at age 18.
Chicago Treasurer Stephanie D. Neely and a panel of experts are targeting the Chicago college community tonight at the University Center in the South Loop [PDF] to advise students on overwhelming credit card debts and a lack of budgeting skills. Register here. Oh, and bring credit card offers to shred to win a shredder, because what college student doesn't need one of those?
Michael Salmonowitz makes a case for why Chicago's gangs are like Al-Qaeda. Meanwhile, another fight broke out at Fenger High School while Arne Duncan and Eric Holder were in town to discuss youth violence.
Bernadine Dohrn, writing on the Huffington Post, reminds us that "Were this in Colombia, the Congo or Myanmar, we would recognize that children who are recruited into warring groups by much older adults to fight as child soldiers must be disarmed, demobilized, rehabilitated and reintegrated into the community."
Here's a little background about the $30 million CPS plan to combat student violence.
Substance News alleges that at least 540 people on the Chicago Public Schools payroll make more than CPS chief Ron Huberman -- to the tune of nearly $1 billion.
Splash!, a free enrichment program for Chicago area high school students, is happening tomorrow. The classes look really cool, so if you know any high school students looking for something different to do, they can register now.
Joey Feinstein, founder of Climate Cycle, is a finalist in Nau's $10,000 Grant for Change. The program seeks to support those who "those who instigate lasting, positive change in their communities." Climate Cycle definitely does that.
Harnessing the freaky cool power of Google Maps, the Tutor/Mentor Connection shows Chicagoans where to find tutor and mentor programs. But it also goes way further, showing maps of poorly performing schools, crime in the news, and even support groups like churches and universities, all to pinpoint areas in which organizations should create and nurture tutor and mentor programs.
Today is the first day for five newly built CPS schools. The total cost? $277.8 million.
The "Tribune Watchdog" story yesterday about a $40 million given to Chicago State that the university didn't ask for was good -- and awfully familiar to readers of the Chi-Town Daily News, where it's been written about twice already. [via] UPDATE: Ironically, the Reader's Michael Miner reported today on the Tribune as a victim of the same copycat game.
The Chi-Town Daily News reports that the City Colleges' television station, WYCC, produced "free videos of powerful politicians and friends of the chancellor" and allegedly fired the station manager when she complained.
InternChicago launches later this year as a place for students to find internships, and businesses to find interns.
Historically, the South was the area with the highest test score differential between white and black students. Guess who is on the list now.
A staffer at the University of Chicago recently decided to document a different sort of creative writing going on at Regenstein Library, with highly entertaining and, at times, insightful results. [via]
The thought of year-round school is enough to make any elementary school student pound his or her head on their locker in anguish. So if you hear repeated banging coming from the vicinity of Herzl Elementary School in North Lawndale, you'll know why.
The U of C's Main Quad will be undergoing a dramatic transformation this summer, including converting its streets into pedestrian thoroughfares. A map is also available through the Facilities Services site.
Students from Nettlehorst Elementary will be marching in this weekend's Pride Parade, which goes right past the East Lakeview school. Some bloggers and commenters on the Tribune's story aren't so happy about it.
Last week, New Yorker writer Atul Gowande delivered the commencement speech at the University of Chicago Medical School.
Chicago Public Schools intends to cut up to 1,000 non-classroom jobs in an attempt to close a $475 million budget shortfall. Everyone from janitors to management could lose their jobs. CPS CEO Ron Huberman's new executive team will eliminate half the positions within the next two weeks and the other half over the next year.
The Old Town School of Folk Music is kicking off the summer season with a series of short class sessions. Instead of the usual eight-week session you can sign up for a quick four weeks of music or dance. And the schedule of classes looks amazing; everything from the music of the Muppets to cardio samba. There's probably something in the list that'll appeal to your inner rock star, so check it out and sign up for the next session before classes start (by Monday, June 8) to get a discount price.
The Chicago Area Participatory Economics Society at the University of Chicago recently held a talk on participatory economics and finance, and it's available for download on the Internet Archive. Learn something on your commute for once.
U of C student Steve Saltarelli has founded Men in Power, the U of C's first and only men's advocacy student group. He first proposed the group in a piece for the Chicago Maroon back in March. The Trib has more.
While researching a post about Playboy's possible de-listing from the NYSE, the Reader's Whet Moser unearthed a database of Playboy centerfolds (NSFW, obviously) maintained by a University of Chicago library employee.
"After Graduation: Creating Opportunities for Employment, Education, and Community & Family Involvement" is the focus of this year's Chronic Illness and Post-secondary Education Symposium at DePaul University on April 28. It's designed for those with chronic illness and disability, as well as those who work with them - and this year's keynote speaker is Karen McCulloh, executive director of disabilityworks at the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. Get more info on registration and speakers in Slowdown.
The Chicago State University student newspaper, Tempo, is publishing again, despite an ongoing lawsuit in which it is alleged that the newspaper's advisor was fired and the newspaper has been threatened with censorship and budget cuts following articles critical of the administration.
The Invisible Institute takes a look at the 61st Street Community Garden and its troubles, now that the University of Chicago and Chicago Theological Seminary are planning on using it as a staging area [PDF] for the construction of CTS's new building. CTS is moving to make room for the Milton Friedman Institute.
In case you missed it, CPS CEO Ron Huberman was the Friday night guest on "Chicago Tonight". Video of his appearance is available on-line here.
The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center will be opening in Skokie on April 19. You may request tickets to the public grand opening ceremony or get a sneak peek by purchasing tickets for the Inaugural Gala on April 2.
Can't make it down to the Oriental Institute but want to learn more about mummies? The University of Chicago Magazine created an interactive mummy dissection that combines photographs, CT scans and interviews with researchers to examine the Institute's 2,800-year-old dummy -- without cracking the seal.
Theodore "Ted" O'Neill, director of College admissions at the University of Chicago, will be retiring from the job in June. He will remain at the U of C as a full-time teacher, writer, and researcher.
Following the murders of three South Side students in one day, CPS may soon be paying attention to gang boundaries in its attendance areas and transportation routes. Perhaps Huberman's experience with the CTA will pay off after all...
There are changes afoot on Mayor Daley's Chicago Board of Education, with current board president Rufus Williams about to tender his resignation and former board president Michael Scott set to return.
Yesterday, 5,000 DePaul students' U-Passes were deactivated by mistake, leaving more than a few students a little less confident about the CTA.
In A/C, Lora Gordon profiles the Arab American Action Network's after-school creative writing program.
The U of C chapter of SDS has issued a request for alternative proposals for the university's Milton Friedman Institute for Research in Economics. The group got the idea from an earlier Chicago project, 3 Acres on the Lake.
Newly-installed Chicago Public Schools chief (and former CTA chief) Ron Huberman was booed today by a crowd of parents, teachers and community officials upset about plans to close and reorganize 22 schools.
The Straight Dope examines the details of U of C's nuclear claim to the first nuclear fission, and uncovers some faulty math instead.
The Mayor is reportedly considering CTA President Ron Huberman for Arne Duncan's old job at CPS.
Chicago Public Schools has announced the list of 16 schools that will be closed, relocated or consolidated at the end of this year.
The University of Chicago is the top volunteer producer for 2009 in the small school category for the Peace Corps. The University of Washington and George Washington University are at the top of the large and medium school lists respectively.
Chicago Public Schools spent nearly $70k on 30 cappuccino/espresso machines, 22 of which remained unopened five months after the purchase. This purchase and other actions are covered in a report issued by the CPS Office of the Inspector General. [via]
Ah, there's nothing more exciting than an academic smackdown, like the one between U of C economist and Freakonomics author Steven Levitt and
Northwestern Northeastern criminologist James Alan Fox on the subject of black teen murder rates. Levitt criticized Fox for "ominous reports he produced about juvenile homicide...in the 1990s." Oh, snap!
CPSAlumni.org has put together an iTunes playlist of songs by artists who attended Chicago Public Schools, from Benny Goodman and Nat "King" Cole to Kanye West and Lupe Fiasco.
As many as 20 CPS schools could be consolidated or closed by the next school year. The list of affected schools will be released in mid-January.
Starting next month, male and female students at the University of Chicago will be permitted to live together in university dorm rooms.
Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management didn't do itself any favors by accidentlally sending out acceptance emails to 50 applicants it rejected.
Morton O. Schapiro has been named as Northwestern's new president, effective September 2009. Schapiro is currently the president of Williams College and an expert on "the economics of higher education," which is fitting, as he was the ninth highest-paid college president in the US last year, raking in a $515,000 paycheck.
Vote now for your favorite design for next year's Chicago vehicle sticker. It's theme is "Dog Friendly Chicago" and all the stickers were created by Chicago Public School students.
Know a University of Chicago student or alumnus? Know two or more? Print out these U of C-centric Bingo cards for them to enjoy during the holidays. Then stand back and watch the geek-tacular fun ensue.
Yesterday, IIT announced it will build the first smart microgrid electricity system in the United States. The system promises to "virtually eliminate" power outages and allow the university to sell excess electricity, all the while saving at least $2 million a year.
In an unusual turn of events, a student group is sponsoring an updated Chief Illiniwek dance at the U of I. One of the reasons, apparently, is that it inspired at least one student "to be a complete man."
I bet you're wondering what happens to all the furniture, supplies, and appliances used by Obama campaign offices now that the election is over. Wonder no more: they're being donated. Two-hundred offices across the country have already donated or have pledged to to schools in their communities via iLoveSchools.com.
If you love pregnant seahorses, endearingly floppy manatees and cephalopods like I do, you'll be excited to learn that every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday during the month of November (except Wednesday, 11/26), the Shedd Aquarium will offer free general admission and discounts on inclusive packages.
The city's Northside College Prep high school once again nabbed the top spot in a survey of area schools. But the news wasn't all good: Chicago schools also claimed 42 of the 50 lowest scoring spots on the list as well.
CampusGrotto.com has released their list of the 25 most expensive colleges for the 2008-2009 school year, and Hyde Park's own University of Chicago comes in at no. 18 with $48,588 (tuition plus room and board). [via]
Mayor Daley has apparently pulled the plug on plans for a high school serving gay and lesbian students.
The CPS has received a major donation to create a biotech education program for junior high/high schools to the tune of $5 million over five years. The program, sponsored by Baxter International, includes the creation of a Biotechnology Center of Excellence and two new Ren2010 schools. And not a moment too soon as local math scores reach Third World-levels.
If you're not blogging yet and still want to try, there's a class this weekend that's right up your alley.
Bowing to pressure from politicians and donors while citing "safety reasons," the University of Nebraska rescinds a months-old speaking invitation for Bill Ayers.
The controversial "Green for Grades" program's first payouts totaled $265,986 in cash rewards to 1,650 students at 20 participating CPS high schools for good grades in five subjects. While it sounds like quite a bit, none other than Mayor Daley offered some perspective: "Wealthy parents in the suburban areas give their kids a car."
The controversy over the U of C's proposed Milton Friedman Institute is in the news again following faculty and student denunciation of the Institute at a faculty senate meeting alongside a member of the Institute's faculty committee declaring he is open to changing its name.
One of 20 new school proposals unveiled Wednesday, the Pride Campus of Social Justice High School might just be the most interesting, with its promise to provide a safe, "gay-friendly'' atmosphere to students. [via]
Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan as Secretary of Education? That's the buzz according to local education publication Catalyst, which cites Duncan's role as an education advisor and close friend to a certain Barack Obama.
We're all feeling the economic pinch, but Chicago schools are really feeling it. You can help fund educational projects through Donors Choose, where you can search by neighborhood, topic and grade level...and help buy kids a new microscope, workbooks or even an area rug to spruce up a dull reading corner.
Science Chicago, "the world's largest science celebration," kicks off today and runs for the next year. Check out the website for events happening around the city.
The new CPS/CPD project will let students send anonymous text messages to provide crime tips, but the real story is the ridiculous "CRIME" graffiti photo used in the article.
High schoolers who are homosexual, bi-sexual, or questioning their sexuality may soon have a school of their own. The Greater Lawndale Little Village School for Social Justice has submitted a proposal to the Chicago Public Schools for a Social Justice High School-Pride Campus to open in 2010. A community hearing will be held at the Center on Halsted on September 18, and CPS will make their decision by the end of October.
So, Reverend Senator Meeks' boycott of Chicago Public Schools is pretty much on, and he'll be leading supposedly 125 buses up to New Trier High School in the northern suburbs -- which is playing along by allowing them to come to the Northfield campus, rather than the main one (good thing; there's nowhere to park up there.)
NASA named another telescope after a U of C researcher, and this time it's Enrico Fermi. The article also provides a list of other U of C affiliates similarly immortalized, from Chandrasekhar to Hubble.
State Sen. Rev. James Meeks says the boycott scheduled for the first day of school in Chicago is still possible. According to NBC5, Meeks was told a meeting time would be planned this morning (Wednesday) to discuss matters, but the meeting has yet to be scheduled.
A U of C researcher discovered a 9,500-year-old, 200-body graveyard in the Sahara. Other than being the biggest find from that era, it also shines significant light on the life of humans when the desert wasn't actually a desert.
The New Republic on what U of C's right-leaning law faculty think of their former colleague.
U.S. Department of Agriculture documented 22 violations for inhumane treatment of animal subjects at Loyola's med school, some of which led to the deaths of rabbits and dogs.
I guess coming up with a "valid new theory of trading" means one has a lot of money to throw around.
U of C graduate student Matt Friedman discovered evidence that helps fill in the mystery of how flatfish like flounders and halibut evolved to have eyes on one side of their head.
An update on this Revenge of the Second City column: the Chicago Teachers Union is going ahead with plans to remove its vice president, Ted Dallas, on allegations of misspending.
Ashley Martinez, a 12-year-old CPS student won a new car for having perfect attendance. Well, at least her family will enjoy it...
Well, for Chicago it's a green school initiative, but some media companies are teaming up to fund some green modifications for schools in Chicago, Miami and San Francisco.
The U of C's plans to create the Milton Friedman Institute are meeting significant resistance from the school's faculty.
Catalyst Chicago, the independent school publication, reports on the recent influx of minority students into suburban school districts and the challenges both groups face.
"No, I take Marx very seriously; I think [the computer] alienates the worker from his productionâ€”I do not understand. With a typewriter, I hit a key, and it goes bam." The Maroon interviews luddite religious studies professor J. Z. Smith. (Full transcript here.)
The Community Media Workshop's Making Media Connections Conference takes place next week, so don't forget to register if you're planning on going. For an outside perspective on the conference, check out Nonprofiteer's assessment.
The Daley commencement brouhaha is really picking up, with Northwestern President Henry Bienen telling a student, among other things, "By the way you think a commencement speaker has any thing to do with the national stature of Northwestern tells me we failed here in educating you."
Undergrads from the University of Chicago have launched the first archeological dig of the site of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, aka the "White City." The students are following in the footsteps of another famous U of C archeologist who's been in the news a lot lately.
The Center on Halsted will host a screening for "Dottie's Magic Pockets," billed as the first children's program for kids in gay and lesbian families. The show features puppets as well as real-life families. Bert and Ernie approve.
Helmut Jahn's proposal for the addition to the U of C's Joseph Regenstein Library would definitely be the most radical building on campus. More details are available in a Trib article, along with these thoughts about the design: "The hesitation is: 'Where is my large, drab rectangular box to have books stored in?' This is very different, but it will still do what that box was going to do."
In Waukegan, the staff aren't catching students hacking on school computers, they're catching teachers smoking pot in the teachers' lounge.
Illinois Congressman Mark Kirk is sponsoring a bill to ban access of Second Life in schools and libraries, citing its lack of robust age verification and the abundance of "wholly inappropriate activities" that may take place there. The American Libraries Association (ALA) is among those who are opposed to this legislation.
According to an email sent out to those affiliated with DePaul University, two buildings, Lewis Center and O'Malley Place, were evacuated due to bomb threats. Update: Information is also available on the DePaul website.
The buzz is growing over The University of Chicago Law School's recent decision to cut off wireless Internet access in classrooms. Something about students chatting, checking email or playing solitare during class...
Some of the greatest minds of our future have been given funds to tackle the pressing problem of zombie attacks, thanks to the University of Chicago's UnCommon Fund, a program designed to provided funding for, um, unique student projects. Other proposals that received modest grants include a clothing-optional Halloween Party. OK, to be fair, other approved projects are a bit more serious.
Thanks to Ariel Capital, students at Ariel Community Academy get to practice investing with $20,000 that's given to each first grade class. Don't worry, they don't get to touch it until sixth grade.
Famed author Dave Eggers, the inspiration behind 826CHI, was one of the recipients of a 2008 TED Prize. His wish was for more people to become engaged with their local public schools, and they've launched Once Upon a School to help make this happen.
CPS is now considering public boarding schools for disadvantaged students.
Engadget points us to the fact that Chicago-based nonprofit Innovations for Learning is supplying 500 Chicago elementary schools with their $50 Teachermate PC over the next two years. Go ahead, get one.
Mayor Daley just announced that the 4,500 cameras in 200 (out of over 650) Chicago Public School buildings will be connected to the city's 911 Emergency Center to give the city a "comprehensive school security plan." The Department of Homeland security is reportedly picking up the $418,000 bill.
While some Newberry Library seminars started earlier this month, plenty of Winter/Spring term courses (in subjects ranging from genealogy to mystery-novel writing) don't start till some time in March, or even April. Click here for details about classes and schedules.
Like so many other sites of terrible events, NIU will raze the building where the recent tragedy occurred.
DonorsChoose is a non-profit that allows you to select which educational project you would like to donate money to. There are plenty of worthy projects in the Chicago area; as you do your taxes, consider putting a little of that refund toward furthering a kid's education.
The University of Chicago launched their new homepage today. The result of a massive research, redesign and restructuring effort, the new site focuses on U of C-related stories and news, instead of simply lists of links. This is the university's first major online facelift since 1999. (See for yourself via the Wayback Machine.) Give 'em your feedback here.
District299, Alexander Russo's excellent blog on Chicago Public Schools, recently made the move to Catalyst Chicago's website.
Five West Chicago eighth graders were suspended for staging and filming a fake fight in the school bathroom. Because, you know, a "student who sneaks into a bathroom for a YouTube shoot could slip and hit his or her head on a sink and be seriously hurt."
Congrats to Carlos Kenig of UChicago, recipient of the 2008 Bôcher Prize in mathematics for "important contributions to...nonlinear dispersive partial differential equations." Where's my prize for typing that correctly?
If you haven't checked it out already, you may want to swing by the Chicago Center for Green Technology and check out elementhouse, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign entry in the 2007 Solar Decathlon.
While the Chicago Public Schools' "Renaissance 2010" program (or "Ren10") is nearing its goal of opening 100 new schools by 2010, almost half of the communities identified as the most in need of high-performing schools have yet to get them, according to the Chicago Catalyst.
Wanna see "nerds" beating the hell out of each other? Head over to the University of Chicago where their Fight Club-esque "Thunderdome" combat society is hoping to body slam the image of 90-pound, slide rule-wielding weaklings. Not everyone is in awe of the physical spectacle. "We come almost every week, mostly to laugh," said one second-year student.
The Tribune has compiled an extensive report of the 2007 season for the Mooseheart Red Ramblers. Complete in three parts, with supplemental video and photos. Suburban high school football at its most enthralling.
U of C palentologist, and beautiful People person (1997 edition), Paul Sereno recently unveiled the remains of a heretofore unknown dinosaur. Called Nigersaurus taqueti, and described as a "cow of the Mesozoic" and "fern mower," due to its herbivorous nature, Sereno and his team discovered the fossils in the Sahara desert in Niger.
The University of Chicago just opened a center that will study everything from "painting of the 18th Century ... to the history of hip hop music." It promises to have a public presence, so hopefully we'll all have some more interesting events to attend soon.
CPS teacher Will Okun has become something of a celebrity education blogger at the NYTimes "On the Ground" blog sharing the real world challenges of urban educators. His most recent entry details how his students feel about the race of their teachers.
Considering the periodic uproar to "save the children from the evils of social networking," it's more than a little amusing to see the new CPS email/collaboration system so labeled. Teachers began using their shiny new @cps.edu addresses on Nov. 1st, and 5th - 12th graders will be getting accounts throughout the school-year. CPS is using FirstClass from OpenText.
Chicago is number one in public military schools (we'll have six by 2009). Advocates say the schools build better students through military history classes, regular uniform inspections, and marching drills. Critics, however, think the military is taking advantage of a school system composed largely of nonwhite kids from low-income families.
Learning opportunities both offbeat and conventional fill the Fall/Winter calendar at The Discovery Center, Chicago's self-proclaimed "Lifelong Learning Center". Can't afford to escape the cold and vacation in a warmer climate this year? Sign up for the "Out of Body Adventuring" seminar and astral-project yourself to Cabo San Lucas for the weekend. Or just learn how to paint, write a screenplay or become a private investigator. Classes start now and run through March 2008.
The Trib made a gadget that lets you measure your high school's performance against schools statewide. It's nice to see the tippy top of the list loaded with Chicago institutions.
Three Chicago-area college newspapers won the 2007 Associated Collegiate Press Newspaper Pacemaker Award: Columbia College's The Columbia Chronicle, the Courier from the College of DuPage, and the University of Chicago's Chicago Maroon.
Someday this equation will make sense, if soon to be inaugurated IIT President John Anderson gets his way. Anderson would "love to see a little college town develop" around IIT's Bronzeville Campus, and in the meanwhile is charging ahead with efforts to improve student life and the school's national profile.
Facets Film School's first fall term has already started, but the second fall term begins the first week of November and ends right before Christmas. Classes are weekly (with Thanksgiving week off), 7 to 10 PM, and cost under $100 for the term. If you like Woody Allen dramas, outlaw couples, movies out of Hong Kong, or Howard Hawks movies (and who doesn't?), you still have time to enroll. You can find more details here.
Hobnob and hear the stories and tips from Chicago design heavy hitters at the SEED Conference this October. This one-day event, featuring 37Signals, Coudal Partners and Segura, will be composed of discussions on design, entrepreneurship and inspiration. it's $399, so see if your office will pick up the cost.
Chicago City Day School and The Latin School of Chicago grace the Forbes list of most expensive preschools with tuitions of $17,750 and $17,425, respectively. Note that a good portion of the Forbes information about Latin is incorrect. [via]
One in four of Chicago Public School principals are new this year. Chicago Public Radio's David Schaper followed an elementary school principal around for a day to see what challenges she's facing.
CPS students reported to school this week in record numbers with 93% of the district's 409,000 students attending class on Day 1. CPS managed to record this eventhough their much ballyhooed new attendance system (IMPACT) was down for much of the week. The most eye-catching CPS stat of the week comes from the CCSR: CPS Freshman on average miss/cut 19.6 days of class.
Feeling jealous of all the kids going back to school this week? You can join them (sort of) by signing up for a seminar at the Newberry Library. Courses range from genealogy (of your family or your Chicago house), to literature (Dickens, Joyce, Shakespeare, Garcia Marquez, and others are featured), and also include history, art, music, philosophy, and creative writing. Courses start mid-month or later. For more information, click here.
Oh, indie t-shirt buyers! You can do more than support the economy when the new Threadless store opens on September 14. You'll also be able to take basic design classes and advanced design workshops conducted by Digital Bootcamp.
Neil Gershenfeld's Fab Lab (check out his concept video from TED, and more background on "Personal Fabrication") will be in Chicago next week for a conference at UCHICAGO and the MSI. Rumor has it that a Fab Lab installation will be setup at MSI for public consumption, but nothing has been officially announced yet.
The University of Chicago tied for ninth place with Columbia University on US News & World Report's annual list of America's best colleges.
In 69 of the 87 Chicago Public Schools that were deemed to be failing for two consecutive years, not one teacher's performance was rated "unsatisfactory".
Sustainablog offers an interesting take on Columbia College's decision to revamp graduate programs in Architectural Studies and Interior Architecture that focus on sustainability. "Green is the mainstream," says Sustainablog's author.
DvA Gallery is auctioning off original artists' brushes to help raise money for Americans for the Arts, a nonprofit working to increase the visibility and stability of arts education across the country. Each brush is signed by the artist and framed in shadow boxes (a few even come with drawings or books). Check out The Brush Project for photos of the brushes and the artists' works. The auction is on ebay, and ends this Friday.
In an interesting move the state legislature passed a law stating kids will need to attend school if they want to be able to drive.
Starting on Sunday, the Stockyard Institute, AREA Chicago and other organizations will initiate "Pedagogical Factory: Exploring Strategies for an Educated City" at the Hyde Park Art Center. Throughout its run, topics will include "How We Peoples Make a People's Atlas of Chicago," "How We Grow: Self-Education and Urban Farming Gathering" and "How We Brew/Bake/Mead Etc Cottage Expo."
Chicago State University's President Elnora Daniel finally talked about their recent audit controversy (high travel expenses aboard cruise ships and heavy bar tabs on the state's dime), and generally dismissed the problems as not being egregious. Apparently, we can rest assured that sloppy record-keeping with state funds will not continue. She didn't say that we should go back to not paying them any attention, but might as well have.
The University of Chicago was just given $100 million -- anonymously. The gift will launch the new Odyssey Scholarships program, which will serve students from low- to middle-income families. Due to the size of the gift, almost a quarter of enrolled students will benefit from it at any given time.
Car, that is. A couple of weeks ago, IIT's Armour College of Engineering entered a car in the student 2007 Formula Hybrid competition. They finished in 5th out of 6th in overall points, but more than doubled their previous speed record. They have their eyes on first place next year.
Bloomberg's recent review of Johan Van Overtveldt's book about the University of Chicago Department of Economics has one heck of a headline, alongside some interesting information about the department. If you like what you see, you may want to catch his upcoming speech.
The Reader takes a look at Chicago Public School's lunch program and efforts to improve it. You might also be interested in Lori Barrett's in-person take on the same, awhile back in Drive-Thru.
Here's a list of the Chicago-area winners of National Merit college-sponsored scholarships, otherwise known as "the kids everyone wants to sit next to in Science Lab".
The Knight News Challenge has been kind to Chicago. Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism received a grant to create scholarships for programmer-journalists -- such as Adrian Holovaty, creator of ChicagoCrime.org, who also received a grant and has left the Washington Post to start EveryBlock. Geoff Dougherty of (recently redesigned) ChiTown Daily News also received a grant to continue his citizen journalism project. UPDATE: Also, Daniel Sinker, co-editor and publisher of Punk Planet, received a Knight Fellowship at Stanford (thanks, Mark).
There is a good chance that some of you readers are educators or know an educator and that you've got some ideas about how your politics and your teaching could be better aligned. An impressive collection of leftist education organizations have banned together to produce this summer's Free Minds Free People: Education for Liberation and the deadline for cheap admission is coming up on the 21st. Be sure to check out the national conference June 21-24 here at the Little Village Lawndale High School.
The Virgina Tech shootings, in which 32 students were shot in one morning, caused immeasurable grief and a justifiable uproar. Curiously, less notice is given to the fact that 27 Chicago school students have been beaten, stabbed, shot, or suffocated this year alone.
A substitute teacher at a Chicago elementary school thought it would be a good idea to show the R-rated film Brokeback Mountain to an eighth grade class. Not surprisingly, the family of one of the students is now suing.
South Shore High School students were given stacks of paper and drawing utensils and the single question, "Which Chicago do you live in?" The maps they drew were reviewed to assess the kids' consciousness of their relation to space, perception of where they live beside where power resides (i.e., downtown), and more. The results were quite interesting.
Elementary students at the Lab School have been building their favorite pieces of the Chicago skyline in Joyce Carrasco's class for more than a decade. Check out examples from the class of 2004-2005. Dibs on the Morton Salt building! [via]
Following last year's teacher firing, Chicago Public Schools gave notice to more than 775 probationary teachers on Friday.
Paul Vallas, former CEO of the Chicago Public Schools and candidate for the governorship of Illinois, is leaving his post as the CEO of the Philadelphia school system this year. Vallas plans to return to Chicago, but the rumor mill is suggesting that his stay at home will be temporary and that the New Orleans Public Schools will make a play to lure him to Cajun Country.
If you are interested in education research, you may want to check out the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, which is in town this week. Events are open to the public, but you'll need to pay the hefty registration fee.
Northwestern is in negotiations to open a campus in Qatar, where coursework would focus on Journalism and Communications and students would have to meet Northwestern's general admission (and tuition) requirements. The programs may negotiate internship opportunities with Al-Jazeera, which is headquartered in Qatar.
Bruce Lupori, a teacher at an Evergreen Park elementary school, put a bag over a kid's head in some wacked-out attempt at humor. The student wasn't hurt and no charges will be filed, but Lupori is on paid administration leave.
Ever get the jones for school lunch? If you're hankering for childhood delicacies such as mini corn dogs, crappy pizza and ham and cheese pinwheels, compare and contrast these school lunch menus from the Francis Parker School, Arlington Heights school district, Morgan Park Academy, and Saukview Elementary.
College newspapers may not be known as paragons of journalism, but some local schools have some trailblazing pieces online, such as Columbia Chronicle's Jackass of the Week column. Other recent college paper wackiness comes from an article about Microsoft vernacular, an apology from a paper that got it all wrong and a pseudo op-ed arguing for a "Star Trek Defense" system against illegal aliens.
Have you ever walked out of a test sure to your core that it was rigged? Illinois elementary school kids had good reason this year.
IIT is about to boost the Chicago Department of Fleet Management's Green Fleets Action Agenda [pdf] with a prototype plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. The city will decide whether it wants more of the cars after a four to six month trial.
They are the Oscar's (not Golden Globes) of education. Today six of the area's finest teachers were presented with Golden Apple Awards for excellence in teaching. Way to go! Pssst...post-awards party in the teacher's lounge.
After being delayed by wack technical problems for months, results of the Prairie State Achievement Tests finally reached Chicago schools. Parents, students and educators are furious at these delays, which prevented them from doing informed prep for next month's test.
Ever wanted to learn Portuguese? Casa de Cultura Brasileira has you covered. Opened in January, the school and Brazilian cultural center offers classes from beginners up to advanced levels, and the next round starts in March.
Now that the locally produced General Social Survey completed its 26th run, the New York Times published a sneak peek of the 2006 results. Some interesting findings include a precipitous drop in the percentage of those who have a "great deal of confidence" in the military since 2004, as well as a 50% decline in daily newspaper readership since 1972.
Navy Pier is the home of "Target Chicago," a display of "Chicago-specific content from the DEA Museum's 'Target America' national touring exhibit." A quick search of the museum website yields no exhibits about crack in Los Angeles. Go figure.
Or, at least has an intellectual understanding of their attitudes, thanks to the recently completed Black Youth Project. The findings claim to reveal "an unexpected duality in the attitudes of black youth in America," and indicate (among other things) that the majority of black youth would prefer it "if mainstream rappers cleaned up their acts."
Making no mention of what the bad news might be, South Side Congressman Daniel Lipinski's resolution praising "Catholic Schools for their ongoing contributions to education" passed unanimously. The resolution was planned to coincide with Catholic Schools Week (Jan 28-Feb 3). There are over 250 Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago.
Fortunately, the irony that the Illinois Institute of Technology's student newspaper hadn't been updated since January 31, 2006 wasn't lost on its editors. Oh, irony, thou must find elsewhere to roost.
Starting in the 2008-2009 school year, Lindblom Math & Science Academy will be the first CPS high school to shift to a year-round schedule. Bonus nonsensical Daley quote: "If we can spend billions of dollars to put a person on the moon, how, in this day and age, can we give kids two months off?"
Eat your heart out, Oprah. While the daytime talk show queen attends to affairs at The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa, a musical group made up of ex-political prisoners from that country will tour the Chicago Public Schools. Yes, the kind of schools where students only care about sneakers and iPods. "The Robben Island Singers" were imprisoned with Nelson Mandela during Apartheid. They travel the world riffing on social justice and human rights. The singers will perform at Kenwood, Whitney Young and Roosevelt, among other CPS schools, throughout the first half of February. And a film crew will accompany them for a DVD.
It's that time again: the Newberry Library is offering seminars on everything from Irish writers to genealogy to the history of the sleeping car. Click here to see if there's a course for you. Seminars begin next month.
Hanna Holborn Gray was U of C's president from 1978 to 1993, serving as the first female president of a major university. As admirable as the professor's life has been, Gray's official presidential portrait has a more colorful history, having been repeatedly critiqued, stolen, and, in one case, inscribed with Apocalyptic verse.
Northside Preparatory High School, one of the Chicago Public School's eight selective enrollment high schools, has selected Barry Rodgers to be its second principal, succeeding Dr. James Lalley. Rodgers was chosen over 38 candidates from around the city and the nation. Northside was recently named one of the top 25 high schools in the nation by Newsweek. Rodgers is a local product-- a graduate of Queen of Angels and Gordon Tech. Northside's student newspaper, the Hoofbeat, gets extra credit for breaking the story on their website and for using Joomla to power it.
The University of Chicago's Center for Astrophysical Thermonuclear Flashes was awarded a couple million hours of time on a government supercomputer to run supernova simulations. The simulations could shed light (heh) on "dark energy" and other little-understood phenomena.
NPR documents the debate over the University of Chicago's future acceptance of the Common Application. The university will continue to use parts of its Uncommon Application, but that doesn't mean everyone's happy. If you're curious about all the fuss, read some previous Uncommon questions.
A group of Chicago cyclists (myself being one of them) have organized a ride to raise awareness of the growing number of cyclist fatalities in the Chicagoland area. Named the "Fallen Rider Memorial Ride", the ride will start at the Thompson Center at 6pm tomorrow, January the 3rd and will ride to Diversey and Pulaski at an easygoing and respectful pace. The goal? To highlight how important driving and cycling are to Chicago and how the two require attention and respect. A PDF flyer can be viewed, downloaded, printed and passed along from here.
Purdue University Calumet, a Division I NAIA school and a member of the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference, has cancelled the remainder of its mens' basketball season after more than half of the team's members were declared academically ineligible after the fall semester. The Peregrines' entire coaching staff resigned.
If you'd like to know more about the Chicago Public Schools than what you can discern from short, mass media pieces, check out Catalyst Chicago, the local outpost of the urban education magazine. Be certain to visit the guide to CPS and research sections, which provide original content and links to research institutions.
Following the recent sentencing of an Urbana woman who killed a cyclist while driving and downloading a ringtone to her cellphone, the parents of Matt Wilhelm the deceased, have started a coalition to lobby for a law and education to reduce distracted driving. Looks like that cellphone ban hasn't been working out too well.
Since college kids don't have enough online personae to manage, what with MySpace pages, Facebook profiles and Xanga blogs, UIC is exploring the possibility of a school-wide implementation of LiveJournal. The goal? Building community via an informal mode of student, faculty and staff interaction.
Today Roosevelt University offered all first and second year students at Social Justice High School a full ride, provided they graduate with at least a 3.0 GPA, earn a 20 or higher on the ACTs, and fulfill a handful of other obligations. Good luck, high schoolers!
Hoping to stand out from the glut of generic "season's greetings" cards this holiday season? Try this: Sign up for the Chicago Center for Books & Paper's cheap papermaking class (Nov. 4 -- only $25!) and make your cards yourself!
At least five suburban student newspapers are in trouble, and as Northwestern School of Journalism Dean Richard Roth puts it, "I hope they're not going out of business. We have enough problems with newspapers without losing them in high school."
Inside Higher Education notes that, thanks in part to the Collegiate Scholars Program, which identifies promising Chicago Public Schools students and assists them in applying to top-tier universities, the number of African-American students enrolling at the University of Chicago is at an all-time high.
Looks like the Chicago Bike Federation has a new website for their Drive With Care campaign. At first, I thought it was real, but then I knew that any memorial like "The Brittany" had to be too good to be true. Well done, chaps.
In BusinessWeek's 2006 rankings of graduate business schools, Northwestern's Kellogg slipped from no. 1 to no. 3. The best would-be MBAs won't have to look far for the new top dog, though: University of Chicago's GSB now leads the pack.
Chicago's first virtual charter school, creatively named the Chicago Virtual Charter School, is a month into its first school year -- and just got served its first lawsuit. The Chicago Teacher's Union claim it's more like homeschooling than a true school, and therefore shouldn't get public funding.
Check out this quicktime movie of Good Morning America wherein the author of the Princeton Review's The Best 361 Colleges announces that the students themselves picked the University of Chicago as the best undergraduate experience. Who are these students? And how much were they paid? As a former occupant of "The Level of Hell that Dante Forgot," I find this shocking, indeed.
Are you a college students or a recent grad? 826CHI needs you to assist with day-to-day operations of the writing center. If you've got 10-15 hours per week, then send your resume and a cover letter to Leah Guenther at leah [at] 826chi [dot] org.
On October 8, the Shimer College Convocation and Reception will take place somewhere new: IIT's main campus. The Great Books college will still have some operations in Waukegan, but most activity will be in Chicago.
If you're the proud owner of one of these traditional Chicago homes (like I am!) then you've got to check out the Historical Chicago Bungalow Association. The HCBA connects homeowners with funds, ideas and vendors to help you make your home even more awesome. Check out October's free seminar on practical interior design solultions at the Woodson or Sulzer libraries. Register now.
What to make of schools like Northeastern Illinois and Chicago State, where graduation rates are among the country's lowest? That question's raised in today's Times, following on a report issued last spring. Since then, debate has swirled, but no one, it seems, can agree on an answer.
If one of your new year's resolutions was to read Ulysses or Gravity's Rainbow, you're in luck: the Newberry Library is offering courses in each of these notoriously difficult masterpieces. Also offered are courses in Louis Sullivan, Friedrich Nietzsche, history, genealogy, and writing (including a one-day novel workshop). Click here to see if there's a course for you. Seminars begin next month.
Five Chicago-area colleges and universities were recognized this month as being among the 100 best in the nation for GLBT students. Columbia College, DePaul, Northwestern, UIC, and Northern Illinois are all profiled in The Advocate College Guide For LGBT Students, which scores the 100 gay-friendliest campuses based on school policies and student surveys. U of I Urbana-Champaign campus and western Illinois's Knox College also make the cut.
Sandra Gray is a master's student in urban planning and public administration at UIC. Her thesis project discusses CTA customer service, particularly on the Red Line. If you're a regular rider and have something to say (who doesn't?), she sure could use your help. Take her survey here.
Becoming a social studies or history teacher just got considerably easier in Illinois. The Illinois State Board of Education lowered the passing grade on their test to 57%. That's right: you can fail and still pass.
The Mies van der Rohe Society is offering inexpensive architecture tours at IIT, highlighting not only Mies' work (e.g., Crown Hall and the Carr Memorial Chapel), but also the grounds (designed by Alfred Caldwell), the campus center (designed by Rem Koolhaas), and the new student residence (designed by Helmut Jahn). Click here for details about self-guided and docent-led tours.
The Teaching Excellence Network is "an online professional community for teachers across subject areas, grade levels and school type, from urban, suburban and rural areas all over the state and country." If you or someone you know is a teacher, this is the place for you.
Know any academics? The Illinois Humanities Council is seeking candidates for its Road Scholars speakers bureau, which presents experts in fields ranging from ancient literature to wildlife biology to audiences of ordinary folks throughout the state. While scholars in all fields are welcome, themes emphasized this year include genetic engineering, U.S. roots music, and Abraham Lincoln. Click here for details and an application. The deadline is September 15.
In a move to boost Chicago Public Schools' attendance rates, the district has partnered with sports teams, radio stations, and even Southwest Airlines for the Back to School Sports Challenge. While some prizes will be handed out just for attendance, essayists can win a trip to Disney World or a chance to be a DJ on Power 92. So, kids, see how rewarding staying in school can be?
Do you teach? Curious about how to incorporate documentaries into your classroom activities? Need more ideas for improving your students' media literacy? How about applying hip-hop in the K-12 setting? Cinema/Chicago is presenting a three-day Teacher's Institute from 15 through 17 August, to be held down at Columbia College. It's cheap ($25 a session; $150 for the whole shebang--cheaper if you're a Cinema/Chicago member), promises to be enlightening, and the registration deadline has been extended till this Friday. Click here for details.
Inside Higher Education profiles DePaul's Jim Duignan in his quest to bring art to kids in Chicago's urban neighborhoods. In addition to making his own work, Duignan's Stockyard Project has been contributing to the development of young artists for the past 10 years.
In more School Boards vs. Blogs news, a 17-year-old student in Plainfield School District 202 has been suspended and threatened with expulsion because of his criticism on his blog of the school's disciplining of another student. His Xanga.com site isn't accessible from the school's computers, but administrators are saying that his comments caused "a disturbance at school".
I doubt any of our readers are currently enrolled in Libertyville/Vernon Hills public schools, but you'll still be slightly alarmed to hear that School District 128 is now holding its students responsible for anything posted on MySpace or elsewhere on the Internet. Expect a lot of teenagers suddenly going anonymous in response.
Who would have thought a map of Chicago's neighborhoods would be so controversial? Not only has the Chicago Neighborhood Map designed by Christopher Devane upset realtors and developers because of a new motto, "Home is Where the Hood Is," printed across the top, but Chicago Public Schools has slapped the mapmaker with a cease-and-desist order to keep him from offering the map to schools.
The Associated Press reports that Northwestern has suspended its women's soccer team in light of hazing allegations. Website BadJocks.com posted a number of photographs it attributes to "a public picture sharing site," and the story develops.
So you know that teacher we told you about who wrote scathing commentary about Fenger High School on his blog, then leaked it on purpose? He wrote an email to Dawn Turner Trice, who'd written a column about him last week. The upshot: the blog was a misunderstood cry for help.
Richard Stallman, who is the Moses of the Free Software movement, is coming to speak at UIC on Friday morning. Known genius and controversial figure, he's an engaging speaker who doesn't blunt words. Get there early--it is expected that the hall will fill up.
Like beer? Like science? Head to Map Room at 6:30pm on Wednesday for the inaugural session of Cafe Scientific, where UofC's Sean Carroll will present the topic and subsequent discussion, "Why is the past different from the future? -- Cosmological perspectives on the nature of time." Discuss over beers. (Thanks, Ian!)
The Times on Vita Excolatur: "Since its inaugural issue in October 2004, Vita has been a constant challenge for a university trying to balance ideals of academic freedom and its role in loco parentis." Which, ya know, is one way of putting it...
Whether reading Devil in the White City excited your interest in Chicago history, or you've resolved to go back and study some of the classics you avoided in high school, or you're wondering if your life story might make a good novel (or at least a short story), the Newberry Library probably has a course for you. Classes start in June.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation continues to take an interest in Chicago's schools. The foundation just gave Chicago Public Schools a $21 million grant, the largest it's ever given to a local school district, to fund a more challenging curriculum in English, math and science at 14 local high schools. This just a week after announcing plans to open four Outward Bound schools in the city.
The Museum of Science & Industry unveils a big new exhibit of the works of Leonardo da Vinci tomorrow. The 20,000-square-foot show will feature models of the 15th Century master's inventions, a digital copy of one of his sketchbooks and a lot more. The exhibit runs through Sept. 4 and costs $21 for adults, $15 for kids, which includes admission to the rest of the museum.
West Point womens' basketball coach Maggie Dixon was remembered at a memorial service yesterday in North Hollywood, California after dying last week of a sudden arrythmic episode. The ceremony was attended by 1200 mourners, including the basketball teams of both West Point and DePaul, where Dixon was an assistant coach for five years before being named head coach for Army just before the start of the last season. After a 5-7 start, Dixon took the Army team to a 20-11 record and the Patriot League championship, earning West Point its first-ever appearance in the womens' NCAA tournament last month. She and her brother Jamie, the mens' coach at Pitt, became the first brother and sister to coach in the NCAA tournament in the same year. Jamie, 11 years her elder, said Tuesday, "I've said this before—when I grow up I want to be just like her." Maggie Dixon will be buried Friday at West Point; she was 28.
Lectures and speeches at The University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business are no longer constrained to the classroom. Thanks to VideoBank GSB students can now log-on to a "straightforward Web interface" to view MPEG formatted recordings from twelve classrooms hooked up with cameras.
Today's Los Angeles Times runs a lengthy story on how Chicago Schools Offer L.A. a Cautionary Tale as its mayor contemplates taking charge of the public education system. Summed up, "Daley's early victories in Chicago gave way to a much murkier, and less clearly successful, effort to make widespread improvements in teaching and student performance."
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago has announced its May workshops and summer session courses for adults. Learn to paint, bind books, or make collages. Haven’t you been meaning to do something like this long enough?
On February 24, James McCosh Elementary in Woodlawn will be renamed Emmett Louis Till Math & Science Academy. Till was killed prior to starting 8th grade at McCosh. Since announcement of the name change, ten eighth graders have formed an Emmett Till Club.
30 Chicago-area teachers are finalists for the 2006 Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching. Of the finalists, 9 are Chicago public-school teachers from Burley, Chicago Academy, Jahn, Marquette, Murphy, Nicholson, Otis, Piccolo, and Pierce schools. Help Golden Apple to support local education: purchase an education license plate designed by a 5th grader from Grace McWayne School.
We've posted that CPS will be closing four schools with Collins being the only high school (the others are grammar schools). The leadership committee has started a blog to spread information about their campaign to save Collins High School. [Thanks Brian!]
The Sun-Times is reporting that the Chicago Public School system plans to close four schools -- one high school and three grammar schools -- due to low performance. The grammar schools would close at the end of the year, while the high school, Collins, at 1313 S. Sacramento, would close when the current freshman graduate.
Yesterday, The Chicago Board of Education approved creation of The Chicago Virtual Charter School. The school would serve 600 students from grades K-8 via computer. Illinois would join 12 states, including California, Kansas and Alaska, if the Illinois State Board of Education also approves the virtual school's proposal.
Columbia College is facing something of a free speech controversy as it grapples with the aftermath of an employee's sacking for his work on the satirical Wacky Warrick website. The previously anonymous site mocks the college's president, and while Mark Phillips contends he did none of its development on the job, he was terminated after investigators documented his involvement by a midnight raid of his office. The Columbia Chronicle has the story.
The Chicago Maroon reports on CollegeCuteness, a site started by two male undergrads at the U of C. To evaluate the attractiveness of last year's incoming women, the pair posted a sample of their photos on Hot Or Not and did the same for nine other colleges with the intent of comparing the scores. Chicago may not rank last in many polls, but, alas, this one proved the exception to that rule. [via]
Poet Cassie Sparkman hosts the reading series, Literary Gangs of Chicago, every third Tuesday. During the daytime, Sparkman teaches weekly poetry classes through The Poetry Center of Chicago's Hands on Stanzas program to over 170 students at Christian Ebinger School in Edison Park. Last week, Sparkman installed her students' "Poetry + Photos Project" featuring student poems in response to images by photographers Krista Peel and Johnny Knight.
On April 5th, Sparkman will read at The Old Town School of Folk Music with fellow Hands on Stanzas poets in residence and selected CPS students.
A study published today in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management by researchers at Northwestern Memorial Hospital showed that art therapy can reduce cancer patients' pain and anxiety. Applications for the MA in Art Therapy at the School of the Art Institute are due February 15th.
Three 7th and 8th grade students in the International Baccalaureate program at Taft High School in Edison Park were suspended this week because of threatening and sexually explicit remarks about their teacher posted on a Xanga blog. Next week, Taft's principal will meet with parents and students to discuss the "legal and moral issues involved with blogging." An article in today's Tribune talks about the Taft blog incident in context with others where the blogger was not disciplined.
Tiny Shimer College is contemplating a move to the big city from its campus in Waukegan. Apparently the liberal arts school, which has just 110 full-time students (many more go part-time), has been invited to move to IIT's campus on the near South Side. A decision is expected in the coming months.
The Poetry Foundation and the NEA announced that last year's pilot recitation contest for High Schoolers, the National Recitation Contest, (held only in Chicago and Washington D.C.), will hit all 50 state capitals in Spring 2006. Play AP English and visit Poetry Out Loud's website to to browse poems enriched with audio links.
The Chicago winner from last year recited "Susie Asado" by Gertrude Stein. Excited about the educational possibilities, NEA chairman and poet Dana Gioia said to the AP, "I think the competitive energy you see in sports can be brought into the English classroom . . . And you'll have a different set of stars than you find on the basketball court or baseball field."
Today's Monitor runs a story that puts Chicago in the vanguard of US language education trends: teaching Chinese. 3000 students in twenty local schools are learning to speak Mandarin, helped in part by watching Jackie Chan.
If you missed Jonathan Kozol's Humanities Festival talk at the Chicago Temple on Sunday afternoon, you still have a chance to hear the author of Death at an Early Age, Savage Inequalities, and—most recently—Shame of the Nation, when he speaks at the University of Chicago's Rockefeller Memorial Chapel on Tuesday evening. Kozol's talk, which is sure to be impassioned and inspiring, will focus on the de facto segregation of America's public schools. Details in Slowdown.
After a little first day nerves, 826CHI opened on Monday to drop-in tutoring. They helped with math, wrote some stories and played a little chess. In all, it sounds pretty successful and the 826 volunteers are excited to see where the next few days take them. They're still accepting volunteer applications, so if you like kids and love teaching and learning, go here to learn how you can spend some of your extra time.
As it plans to kick off tutoring operations later this month, 826CHI will host an open house on Thursday night. If you're wondering what to expect from this Eggers&co.-backed venture, this article offers insight into the project's larger goals and motivating philosophy. In part, at least, it aims to support teachers' in-class efforts; after all, they don't have it easy.
Just a few months ago, the Chronicle of Higher Education published an article that, in the case of U of C professor Daniel Drezner, at least, may have been prescient. The Chronicle piece argued that if blogging had any impact on an academic's career, it was apt to be a negative one. Drezner expressed that sort of concern at the outset of his own weblog, and he revisited it on Saturday when he posted about having been denied tenure. Inside Higher Ed points out this is the second time in a year that's happened to a blogging junior faculty member at Chicago.
Many of the classes began this week, but it's not too late to register for some of the Newberry Library's fall seminars. Topics include Black Letter Calligraphy, Small Theatres in Chicago, multiple literature and genealogy classes, and writing workshops. The evening and weekend classes average about $150 for eight weeks.
Big doin's over at 826CHI, the children's writing center with folks like Ira Glass and Dave Eggers behind it... For one, the organization announces today that it has found a home in Wicker Park at 1331 N. Milwaukee and plans to open for drop-in tutoring by the end of next month. To get things kick-started and pay its security deposit, 826 is holding a benefit concert at the Metro in late September that will feature the likes of Archer Prewitt and Baby Teeth. Details on that and other events are on their calendar (and, should you forget, Slowdown will remind you). Furthermore, now that there's a space, there's a time-line. That means volunteers are needed. Do it for the kids, man!
As demographics continue to change in Illinois, Inside Higher Ed gives us the story of a suburban community college that's changing with them. Under the leadership of president Brent Knight, Morton College in Cicero has taken huge strides in the past two years to meet the needs of its Hispanic population, this year a striking 74 percent of the total student body -- up from 6.6 percent 25 years ago.
According to a new study, more than 80 percent of Chicago public schools have at least one fast food restaurant within half a mile of campus. So while Chicago may be making the food available inside its schools healthier, kids who don't want granola don't have far to walk.
The Old Town School of Folk Music starts up another session of classes next week, and if you were thinking about taking a music, dance or voice class there soon, you can sign up today and save $15 on the cost of your class. Browse the list of classes that covers a wide range of musical and dance styles, sign up for your class online, and start making beautiful music.
As part of a special section dedicated to education this weekend, the Times looked at the U of C's Lab School, describing it as "as good as prekindergarten gets." Accordingly, UCLS is serving as a benchmark for early childhood education proponents around the country as they push for broader public funding of pre-elementary schooling. Here in Chicago, the Child-Parent Center program has been offering such services to lower income families for nearly 40 years, and a long-term study by University of Wisconsin researchers has shown just how effective this preparation for later learning can be.
I saw Arnie Duncan, the CEO of the Chicago Public Schools, on the news the other day talking about Kitz for Kids, a program that provides school supplies to disadvantaged students. I thought, "Sign me up." But, of course, the local news didn't provide any actual helpful information, like, say, how to get involved in the program. Well, Eric Zorn to the rescue, posting the link to the Kitz for Kids CPS School Supplies Drive on his blog. More than 9,000 homeless students in Chicago need help purchasing basic school supplies, and the kits (there are three different grade level types) each cost less than $15. All kits will be sent directly to those who need them, so consider helping out.
A while ago, I was interviewed for a radio piece about fixed gear bikes for Studio 360, a WNYC/Public Radio show that gets aired everywhere across the nation in cities except Chicago. Funny since it was produced here. Fortunately, there's online radio and while thousands across the nation will hear me wax poetic about bikes, we in Chicago can listen online (lower right, Design for the Real World).
A recent study at the University of Chicago has determined that the smell of grapefruit on a woman makes her appear considerably younger to men. However, the scent of grapefruit on men does not affect women's perceptions of a man's age.
The University of Chicago will spend $42m over the next four years to consolidate eight million volumes under the single roof of the Joseph Regenstein Library. That will make the Reg the largest single research library in the country, a title currently held downstate by the main facility of the U. of I. at Urbana-Champaign. Inside Higher Ed runs a story today, as did the Trib earlier this week.
When Stanley Fish, professor of English and former dean of Arts & Sciences at UIC, talks, people in higher ed tend to listen — if only to argue about what he's just said. I figure folks around here may read his op-ed in today's Times from one of two perspectives: either as academics who want to get in on the fight or as former students who recall Fish announcing just exactly how he intends to teach them composition. Either way, let the "content" begin.
CircEsteem is a non-profit aimed at "building self-esteem through circus arts" in kids from diverse ethnic and social backgrounds. The group's annual Spring Circus is this Sunday at Alternatives Inc., 4730 N. Sheridan, at 11am and 3pm. Call 312/593-4242 for more info. (Thanks, Christopher)
Newsweek has just published the latest edition of one of those educational ranking surveys that people seem to either love or hate: its list of "America's Best High Schools" for 2005. Out of 27,468 public high schools in the US, Chicago's Lincoln Park appears at no. 31; Stevenson High in Lincolnshire, the only other Illinois school in the top 100, shows up at 86.
I was one of the few University of Chicago students who didn't go there because she got rejected from Harvard. As a student, however, it's pretty easy to tell that the U of C is just as difficult as Harvard, maybe more so because we also have to prove our worth. Finally, Michael Steinberger at the Wall Street Journal gives us some props, writing that we've "wielded much more influence in recent decades." So there. Now quit punishing yourselves and go have some fun.
Want to take a class in drawing, writing, photography, acting or even sports? Then you want to bookmark this site. The Chicago Learning Guide is a directory of "professional, personal and recreational classes" available all over the Chicago area. Just click on a subject area to get a list of links to organizations offering classes in everything from architecture to yoga.
Congratulations to 8th grader Phillip Acevedo, who won this year's Chicagoland spelling bee city championship today. His winning words: "cedilla" and "supernumerary". Acevedo and a winner from tonight's suburban Chicago spelling bee advance to the bee finals, which are held June 1-3 in Washington, DC. (For a description of the grueling spelling bee process, see Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg's great book Complete and Utter Failure.)
Super-hip writer, and Chicagoland native Dave Eggers began a tutoring project in San Francisco called 826 Valencia, that has bloomed into a nation-wide phenomeonon. Recently 826 Chicago has grown some internet legs and gained some local help as well. Now a part of the official 826 network (joining recently-opened chapters in New York and Los Angeles), Ira Glass has joined the Board of Directors and Chris Ware and Roger Ebert are new members of the Board of Advisors. Look for an article on the project in this week's TimeOut Chicago as well.
If putting aside more of your money toward good causes is one of your resolutions, but you're unsure of where it should go, check out DonorsChoose Chicago, an organization dedicated to helping out the city's public schools. Teachers write proposals for activities or supplies not funded by the school system and, once they're approved and published by the site, people like us can start making our contributions. It's an easy and interesting way to keep the karma flowing in the right direction. (Thanks to reader Fil for the tip!)
Northwestern is abuzz about the New York Times Magazine article (reg. req'd.) on the culture of alcohol consumption in the school's fraternities. "'He made it seem like most NU frats were like Animal House and portrayed us as Revenge of the Nerds,' [Sigma Chi president Diego] Berdakin said."
The first thing my Career Advising and Planning Services (CAPS) advisor asked me was where I was from. I answered, "New Mexico." She then proceeded to search for jobs in NM. Was I planning to return to NM upon graduation? No. So you can imagine that the rest of my CAPS experience was a rapid downward spiral from there. The University of Chicago Maroon investigated what I learned the hard way: CAPS just plain SUCKS.
Speaking of clubs at local universities, you might be interested in the U. of Chicago Objectivist Club, which meets every Monday night and is open to non-students. (The group probably wouldn't be happy to know that I found their site by googling "Chicago silliness.")
I've got a huge problem fitting into off-the-rack clothes. I've got some pretty good sewing skills, but every time I've tried sewing my own clothes I've wished there was a cool place where I could learn some tips and tricks to make it go easier. Thankfully the proprietresses of Dame Couture are willing to rescue me from having to take a quilted vest or an applique sweatshirt sewing class. These stylish mavens are offering classes that range from how basic sewing, to pillow-making, to make pajama pants.
Tech37 is a blog showcasing the work of students at Collins High School (at Sacramento and Roosevelt) as part of the After School Matters program, backed by Gallery 37. The theme of the class is "Promoting social change through arts and technology," with curriculum by Lacey Graves and Misha Maynerick. Students are blogging about what they discuss and create in class; it's pretty neat to watch creativity being encouraged.
Redmoon Theater, known for their ethereal location-centric productions, is offering classes to "create objects in the style of Redmoon Theater." The two classes currently offered are Lantern making and miniature mechanical Pop-up cards. Both classes are $60. For more information, call 312.850.8440, ext. 110, or email email@example.com.
If you have the ability (and flexibility) to live abroad for a year, consider this: The JET Programme of the Japanese government pays you Ą3,600,000/year (about $33,000) tax free, and they fly you over and give you health insurance and vacation time. In exchange, you teach English as a Second Language classes. The only pre-requisite is a bachelors degree -- in any major! More info here, or at an informational session November 6 at the Japan Information Center, 737 N. Michigan Ave.
Here's a shocking statistic: nearly 40 percent of Chicago Public School teachers send their own children to private schools, nearly double the national average. Talk about an indictment of CPS.
After months working on a merger of the two schools, Roosevelt University and National-Louis University have scrapped the plan, citing irreconcilable differences. Crain's has more, or you could read the official press release.
The Graham School at the University of Chicago and the DuSable Museum of African-American History have teamed up to sponsor a couple of great classes at bargain prices open to the general public. The first is on Black Protest Music since 1965 and the second is on South Side Blues and Jazz. Registration closes for the classes in September and October, respectively, so act soon.
North Park University is doing the unheard-of: it's cutting tuition by more than 30 percent. The hope is that the lower price will attract more applicants to the small Evangelical Christian college, which ranks among the best in the Midwest according to U.S. News & World Report's annual college survey.
The campaign to increase attendence at Chicago's public schools apparently paid off. According to officials, 91 percent of students attended the first day of school on Tuesday. Excellent! Everyone gets a gold star.
If you're itching to buy a new binder and some #2 pencils, you can get back into the swing of learning new things by signing up for one of the Newberry Library's more than 60 fall seminars. Classes range from "Newberry a la Cart" to classes on literature, genealogy, religion and even writing workshops. Spaces do tend to go quickly, and the first classes begin on September 21, so sign up soon.
As the screaming children outside my window can attest, today's the first day of classes for Chicago Public Schools. This year the school district set up a Back to School website, with information on enrollment options, lists of school supplies, and other crucial stuff for kids and parents, as part of the ongoing campaign to increase first-day attendance, which hit an all-time high of 89 percent last year.
The fall class schedule for Chicago Center for Book and Paper Arts has been posted online. The Center offers excellent classes in papermaking, bookbinding, letterpress and photography. Most classes are starting up in early october with limited space so sign up now!
Kendall College, a four-year culinary school, is moving to Goose Island from its current home in Evanston. The college has a preview of its new "Riverworks Campus" online; the old Evanston campus has been sold to a developer.
When UIC sent out acceptance letters for this fall's freshman class, they were expecting some of the notified students to be going elsewhere. It didn't quite work out that way, and now there are 335 UIC students waiting to get in. About half of the "accepted, but wait-listed" students have been placed, but they still have some left to go. UIC is advising the remaining students to look at other schools, including U of I-Springfield and the ever-popular community colleges.
A new, experimental class at Northwestern called "Using Technology, Making History," is planning on taking the 95-year-old Plan of Chicago, Daniel Burnham's groundbreaking treatise of urban planning, and re-publishing it using technologies available on the Web. Co-taught by an urban historian and a professor of computer science, the class will have students not only digitizing the contents of the original document, but also creating dynamic versions of the maps, including comparisons of the Plan to the realities of urban development over the last century.
If you've got some tired and dusty CPUs taking up space in your living room, or if you've upgraded to a new computer and don't feel right just tossing the old one, you can recycle them and help out Chicago's schools, all in one trip. The City of Chicago, Computers for Schools, GM, the UAW, and Electromotive are co-sponsoring Chicago's first annual Recycle Day at the United Center on Saturday. You can even drop off those old cell phones that are bigger than a small child. The groups will clean up and fix donations, and use them where they can in schools in the Chicago area.
As long as I can remember, I've heard rumors that William Rainey Harper (Community) College was going to go four-year. "They just have to build dorms and they can do it." Yeah, right. Well, it turns out the rumors aren't so far off: Harper's board of trustees will be debating adding bachelor degrees in some fields at a meeting tonight.
Body Electric is a student-edited literary journal presenting work by the students, faculty and staff of UIC's College of Medicine, "based on the experiences of medical education and practice." Although the College of Medicine's website says the journal is still published annually, the online version hasn't been updated in five years, so while you're perusing the fifteen years' worth of material that's there you can experience the height of web design like it's 1999.
Those ambitious Fifth Graders we told you about last month, the ones who were pushing to get their school repaired? They're getting noticed: the class took the information packet they've developed to a Chicago Public School's Capital Improvement Program Open Hearing this week, and they've received word that Ralph Nader will visit the school sometime soon to congratulate them on their work (he already wrote about the program at Common Dreams). Congrats, Room 405!
Columbia's Center for Book and Paper Arts has released their summer schedule. Learn new papermaking, bookbinding, and letterpress techniques at night or on the weekends in their well-equipped facilities.
I bet you never suspected that there is a college at the corner of Irving, Lincoln, and Damen? The College Of Complexes has a weekly meeting with some zany topics at the Lincoln Restaurant. This week's topic is "Autoholics Anonymous", quite timely with gas prices what they are. (Also, site has incredibly large number of bizarre gifs, like this fortune-teller or this alien.) 8pm at the Lincoln Restaurant, 4008 N. Lincoln. $3 plus food purchase.
Feeling smart today? U.S. Census results show that 27 percent of Chicago residents 25 and older have at least a bachelor's degree. The national average is just under 26 percent. The state average is even better: 28 percent, which ranks Illinois 14th in a list of states by education. (Not surprisingly, Massachusetts is #1, with 35 1/2 percent of its population with college degrees.)
Recently, Ralph Nader visited a crumbling Chicago elementary school and found something strange: all 19 students in Brian Schultz' classroom have taken on a new curriculum. What's this all about? To document the terrible disrepair and lack of facilities in the school; and, to build community, state and national support for a new school. These are fifth graders; they all live in and around the Cabrini-Green housing project and their school, Byrd Community Academy, is literally falling to pieces around them. Read more about this situation, and tell friends - get others involved, they need more media attention! Also, check out the tutoring program and see how you can lend a hand...
U of I students are staging a sit-in at one of the administration buildings on campus, protesting the controversial Chief Illiniwek mascot. And, since this is the 21st century, they're blogging the protest.
Walter Payton Prep's Brian Desmond is among the youngest to attend the exclusive and secretive Microsoft MVP Global Summit in Redmond, Wash. The youngest is a 14-year-old from Australia. (Being a Mac guy, I must take it for granted that this is a big whoop.)
"Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature" is a traveling exhibition, currently at the Moraine Valley Library in Palos Hills, that encourages audiences to examine the intent of Mary Shelley's novel discuss her and their own views about personal and societal responsibility as it relates to science and other areas of life.
There's a new fraternity at Northwestern: Zeta Zeta Zeta, or ZZZ. The Tri Zetas are a pseudo-fraternity that encourages "excellence through superior sleep," and was created as an alternative to the usual fraternities and sororities for NU students who are more interested in getting some more shut-eye. Great idea!
In a curious package of articles in today's on-line New York Post, it is revealed that NYC's Mayor Bloomberg looked at CPS Elementary school promotion policies to try to improve achievement before kids move on to higher levels. They refer to the stricter standards, and elimination of "social promotion" as a South Side Success Story. The New York Times confirms this success. All this flattering attention coincides with another New York periodical reporting that perhaps the strict policy isn't what its cracked up to be.
Police say two students tried to pass $120 in conterfeit money at Von Steuben High School. The school cafeteria is not where I'd go to spend $120 -- that's a lot of sloppy joe -- but long ago I gave up trying to understand today's youth.
The Golden Apple Foundation has announced its winners of the 2004 Golden Apple Awards. The Sun-Times reports that the 10 winners were selected from a field of 681 nominees, and each winner will receive a fall-term sabbatical at Northwestern, an Apple computer and $2,500.
"ThreeWalls is a nonprofit organization dedicated to contemporary art and art education. Our mission is to provide workspace for emerging artists who are at pivotal points in their careers, and to offer the public new approaches to contemporary art-practices through unconventional exhibitions and educational programming." They've been busy.
The Associated Press is reporting that the Chicago Public Schools misspent $1.5m in federal funds earmarked for improving schools for impoverished children. Apparently, the money was spent on, among other things, cheerleading uniforms and floor waxers. Between the underfunding and misspending, it's a wonder our schools are in such poor shape.
The ongoing cafeteria closings at Chicago Public Schools has prompted a top-to-bottom cleaning of all 600 Chicago public schools, CNN.com reports. The cleaning will start on Monday at a reported cost of $2 to $4 million. Students will receive cold breakfasts and lunches from outside vendors instead of hot meals during the cleaning.
The spring class schedule for the Center for Book and Paper Arts has been published. Evening and weekend classes are available on such subjects as Paper marbling, Asian bookbindings, Letterpress, and Silkscreening.
A new study from the University of Chicago suggests city residents aren't getting enough play, to the detriment of their communities and cultural institutions. Between later marriage, the prevalence of divorce, and domestic violence, Chicagoans spend about half their lives single and half of their single lives alone. Researchers also found neighborhood, ethnicity, sexual preference and friends could significantly limit people's sexual behavior. Research leader Edward O. Laumann -- hailed as "the new Kinsey" for his studies of modern sexual health -- will release a book on his findings in the spring. [Trib login: gapers/gapers]
The Sun-Times' annual rankings of schools were released today, with two public, non-selective elementary schools making the top 50. No non-selective high schools made the list. Of the selective high schools that made the top 50 only one, Whitney Young, is not located in the Loop or North Side.
At Carl Sandburg High School in Orland Park this weekend, about a dozen kids helped Santa decorate a Christmas tree ... underwater. The 10th annual decorating event is sponsored by a local scuba club, and is meant to encourage interest in scuba-diving (although the tree was eventually lifted out of the pool, so that non-swimmers could help decorate it).
The Goose Island brewery on Clybourn turns into Beer Academy this Wednesday at 6:30 pm. Learn from the Brewmaster, brush up on the ins and outs of brewing, and taste a dozen different beers while you're at it. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. To RSVP or for more information, call 312-915-0071.
The Society of Jesus--known to lay people as Jesuits and to Southern Baptists as Them Thar Agents of the Papacy--is trying to level the playing field for their students in poorer neighborhoods. By getting them jobs at downtown Chicago firms, they hope to give kids valuable work experience, help them make connections, and also procure funding for the schools themselves. Is this an altruistic concern for these kids futures, or evil exploitation of cheap labor? The students seem to think the former, so I'll go with them. Please ignore the eminently ironic picture of the hopeful kid in front of the Arthur Andersen sign.
Chicago blogger and l33t M3nn0n1t3 Trevor Bechtel's wife teaches second grade at a Chicago public school. The class has just started a blog. I don't know what's more fascinating -- the über-cuteness of kids blogging questions like "Second graders are studing animals. We want to know if you need to eat meat to stay healthy?" or the way A-list bloggers like David Weinberger and Joi Ito put on their "talking to kids" voice when they respond in the comments.
We all know that college tuitions continue to grow every year. But why, and what should we do about it? The House of Representatives has just written a report on the matter, but academic celebrity and UIC prof Stanley Fish has his doubts.
The Oak Park Elementary School District is being sued by a group of parents who claim the wireless computer network in the schools could harm their children. (Wonder how many of those parents gave up their cancer-causing cell phones.)
UIC Prof and intellectual gadfly Stanley Fish has an op-ed piece on education in the New York Times (login: gapers/gapers). I'm not a big Fish fan, but the guy who coined the term 'boutique multiculturalism' can't be that bad.
The Daily Herald has an interesting article about the Heartlight School in Palatine, an unusual education environment where "troubled kids" basically run the school, deciding what to learn about each day and dealing with discipline themselves. The school is in desparate need of donations, so if you feel generous, contribute.
It seems appropriate that it would take a high school senior to study the validity of the 5-second rule. Jillian Clarke, a senior at the Chicago High School for the Agricultural Sciences, spent her summer in a program at the University of Illinois: Urbana studying how quickly e.coli would tranfer to cookies and candy, who would be more likely to eat food that fell on the floor, and just how clean the university's floors were.
"Bad" kids in public schools will soon be targeted for prison tours as a way to discourage them from future criminal lifestyles. The CPS was not consulted before the specified bill was signed by Blagojevich yesterday. [Trib. login gapers/gapers]
DePaul University has the happiest students in America, according to the Princeton Review. (Trib login: gapers/gapers)
Ever thought about cooking school? The Tribune has put together a fine rundown of Chicagoland culinary instruction. Schools, stores, and shops are currently offering classes perfect for any palate. [Trib login/password: gapers/gapers]
Columbia's Center for Book and Paper Arts has published their fall schedule for community classes. Make use of the great facilities and reasonable tuition to learn various forms of papermaking, bookbinding, letterpress and pinhole photography at night.
Want some drama with your Frappucino this Friday? "On May 23, 2003, at exactly 5:15 p.m., in ten Chicago Starbucks, professional actors will simultaneously perform original monologues written by Chicago Public High School students in Chicago Dramatists' Outreach Program." The
press release story in Backstage says to go to chicagodramatists.org for more info, but they don't have any.
Mess With the Bull, You'll Get the Horns. (A bit late in posting this, but oh well.) Glenbrook North HS graduate and TMN contributor John Warner discusses the hazing debacle at his alma mater.
This Thursday, May 15 and Friday, May 16 are "Call the Mayor" days. If you care about the Chicago Public Schools, and the children being dispossessed by a rash of school closings without parental input or adequate planning, please let Daley know your opinion by calling (312.744.3300), faxing (312.744.2324), or emailing (firstname.lastname@example.org) your concern.
Information on the CPS closings is available in the following documents (MS Word .doc format):
- Letter to Daley detailing reasons why schools should not be closed without additional input and planningCall the Mayor flier in Spanish
I just finished up a site for the Chicago Bike Federation, called Student Bikes. It promotes, educates and informs university and college students on how they too can bike to school. Also, this Monday, May 12th, DePaul University, the DePaul Bicycle Club and Mayor Daley's Bicycle Ambassador's will be hosting a presentation called Commuting to Class. Details: DePaul's Lincoln Park Campus, Levan Center, Rm 502, 2pm-3pm.
Hazing has gone on in high schools across the country for years, but it usually isn't an organized event, and it usually doesn't get caught on tape. Glenbrook North High School students are eating up their 15 minutes of fame on national television thanks to a video of Powder Puff junior-senior rivalry gone awry. Charges are expected to be filed soon.
More Columbia (my, my aren't they busy), as part of their conference taking place at the moment, "Dignity Without Borders: Arts, Media and Human Rights", the Chicago Anarchist Film Festival took place this past May 2-4. Revolutionists should not have missed it. However, the Human Rights Film Festival is balancing that all out starting today, May 5-7.
Speaking of Columbia, but Bloody 'ell! Irvine Welsh, author of Trainspotting, The Acid House, Filth and Porno, is now teaching at Columbia. Apparently two courses this semester and word on the street is that he is living in Lincoln Park...my eyes are peeled.
Congrats to Gravity, Columbia College's three-issue-old general interest magazine, on winning a Gold Medal for excellence in college publications from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. Gravity may be new, but it has plenty of experience behind it -- much of the staff is employees of New City. Catch a great interview with rapper Common in this month's issue.