Rahm and Chuy and Chicago and CPS


This NYTimes piece is interesting and links to a survey about Rahm’s term as mayor.  The school stuff factors in prominently.  He cannot dodge the school closing issue.  He likes doing things big, let’s face it.  And that may be his downfall.  He feels he did good.  Lots of people are still mad about it (and will always be mad.)

Take a read and share your thought.  Can Chuy actually do anything different with CPS than Rahm does?  What would the real impact be given the financial situation of Chicago and CPS?


“As Mr. Emanuel faces an unexpected runoff election for mayor, questions are percolating through the race about his brusque style, his handling of gang violence and whether he has favored wealthy downtown interests over ordinary neighborhoods. But in the end, it may be the education agenda that he proudly, defiantly and swiftly carried out that threatens his political future.”


“Chicago Teachers Union leaders urged Jesús G. Garcia, a county commissioner known as Chuy, to enter a wide field of candidates in the first balloting last week against Mr. Emanuel. And they said they would be pressing efforts on behalf of Mr. Garcia, who finished second to Mr. Emanuel, forcing him into the runoff election on April 7.”

“Despite the opposition from teachers, Mr. Emanuel boasts of his record on education, ticking off school statistics he likens to the report cards he says his parents used to post on the family refrigerator for all to see.”

Here is the link with comments from Chicagoans:



March 4, 2015 at 6:43 pm 103 comments

PreSchool Applications open March 2015


I got an email about preschool today. Does this mean the application process is JUST NOW opening up?

I’ve sort of lost track of (or never fully understood) how this all works with the new changes.  Feel free to discuss the process here.

Currently there are nearly 1,500 4-year old children in Chicago who qualify for the federal free or reduced lunch program, but do not attend at least a half-day of pre-kindergarten.


CPS Opens Enrollment for Over 17,000 Early Learning Seats in School Year 15-16

Chicago: Ready to Learn! Continues to Expand in Third Year, Offering Equitable Access to High-Quality Early Learning Options for Families Citywide

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) announced today it has opened enrollment for more than 17,000 early childhood education seats for School Year 2015-2016. This is the third year of Chicago: Ready to Learn!, an initiative designed to bring high-quality early learning opportunities to every area of the city. Starting next school year, the program will expand to include 55 additional full-day classrooms serving 1,000 more students in neighborhoods across Chicago.

Parents of children who will be 3- or 4-years old by September 1, 2015 can access school-based early education opportunities by visiting chicagoearlylearning.org, or one of 24 centralized application sites across the city.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel createdChicago: Ready to Learn! in 2013 by bringing CPS and the Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) together to manage resources under one early education system. Chicago: Ready to Learn! coordinates early learning programs across the city, expanding access to school- and community-based early learning opportunities while improving the quality of early childhood programs.

“We know that the early years are critical to a child’s future success, which is why we have committed to creating a strong foundation that will benefit our students throughout their entire education,” said CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett. “With the support of Mayor Emanuel and DFSS, we have expanded access to programming, while increasing program quality, so that all children arrive in Kindergarten ready to learn.”

Since Chicago: Ready to Learn! began, this joint effort has expanded DFSS and CPS’ early learning programs for 5,000 new children, while raising the quality of existing programs for 6,000 children with added wrap-around services, including intensive parent engagement, nursing services, and community partnerships.

Last fall, Mayor Emanuel closed the gap on pre-kindergarten education for 4-year old children in low-income families. Currently there are nearly 1,500 4-year old children in Chicago who qualify for the federal free or reduced lunch program, but do not attend at least a half-day of pre-kindergarten. Beginning in School Year 2015-2016, CPS will provide pre-k education to these students through capital investments from the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois as well as Social Impact Bonds, supporting programs at neighborhood schools and new community based programs. Since Mayor Emanuel took office in 2011, he has steadily expanded early learning programming through a $36 million investment in the City’s budget.

Research indicates that high-quality early childhood programs boost academic skills, foster independence, and instill a lifelong love of learning. Further, children who attend these high-quality early childhood programs are 29 percent more likely to graduate from high school and earn a 33 percent higher salary on average. In addition to the academic benefits, early childhood programs connect children with wrap-around services like regular medical care, which are proven indicators of better student attendance and academic performance throughout the year.

Applications for CPS school-based early childhood programs can be accessed at chicagoearlylearning.org, a local elementary school, or in the 24 application sites throughout the city. All applications must be submitted in person at one of the application sites Monday through Friday at scheduled times, or at local elementary schools on designated days. Proof of residency, income and the child’s age will be required with all applications, due no later than May 1, 2015.

March 4, 2015 at 7:39 am 10 comments

Neighborhood / Magnet High School Information


As requested, please use this thread to ask questions, share, and learn about some of the non-SEHS offerings in the city.

Parents with kids at a neighborhood high school, please share your thoughts to help get the word out.

I’ll copy the comments from the other high school thread over here as soon as I have a chance.

February 26, 2015 at 10:26 am 95 comments

High School Acceptances 2015

Lincoln Park HS, built 1899

Lincoln Park HS, built 1899

Days away.  Best of luck to everyone in finding the school that is the best fit for their child, whether that is SEHS, magnet, neighborhood, charter, private, or high school homeschooling (AGH.)

Letters are due to mail out by this Friday 2/17 which means some people *may* see mail on Saturday, but most likely Monday.

How are your kids doing?  Any advice from parents who have gone through this before?

Lots of details here:



February 17, 2015 at 9:47 pm 674 comments

What’s new in CPS – JANUARY 2015


Thanks for ChicagoSchoolGPS for the link to next year’s calendar:


Here is news about the PARCC from catalyst–I didn’t know that CPS would only be testing 10% of students this year.


Feel free to post other news or discussion topics in the comments section below:


January 19, 2015 at 9:08 pm 52 comments

CPSO Update (and a PSA)

Hi CPSO readers.  I will be out of commission for a bit.  My mom was hospitalized this week; after being sick for several weeks with a cough and what we thought was the flu, an infection spread to her brain requiring emergency surgery.   The doctors say the prognosis is pretty good for a return to normal and to normal cognitive functioning.  Right now it’s hard to see that happening as it feels like a long way to progress.   But I’m remaining hopeful.

I’ll be sure to make posts as we get closer to the key upcoming dates for test scores etc, but not sure how much I will post before that time.   If anyone has news or articles that would be worth posting, feel free to email me and I can put stuff up to keep the conversation going.  And PLEASE keep the conversation going.  Though I’m not contributing, I’m still reading all the posts as a diversion.

And finally a PSA: I’ve learned that all “regular” winter illnesses like flu and particularly pneumonia can affect older people much more significantly.  If you have a sick parent, please be sure to stay on top of their medical care and get them to a doctor (and/or get a 2nd opinion) rather than waiting it out or waiting for your parent to ask you to help.

Hopefully I will be back soon to continue the obsessing.

January 19, 2015 at 1:44 pm 43 comments

Fun Quiz – what type of CPS parent are you?




Now for something just for fun.  A quiz by a CPS parent (not me) to identify your CPS parent persona.

I am the upbeat parent.  Woo!

And as you know, we do things old-school around here and I can’t figure out how to imbed the fancy link.  So just click on the url link above.

January 6, 2015 at 8:46 pm 26 comments

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