Crisis in the Classroom

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May 22, 2015 - Crisis in the Classroom

Kids are almost out of school for the summer, but some long days are ahead for Chicago Public Schools as it tries to close a more than $1 billion budget deficit, most of which is tied to a $700 million pension payment that is due. On top of that, district officials are negotiating with the Chicago Teachers Union over a new teacher contract. Chicago Tonight talks with CTU President Karen Lewis.

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The New University of Illinois President

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May 20, 2015 - The New University of Illinois President

The University of Illinois’ new president is a geophysicist who studies the earth’s atmosphere. But his focus now will be on moving the state’s huge university system forward. We’ll talk with him about possible budget cuts, tuition costs, and his vision for the future.

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CTU Rallies Against Proposed Pay Cut

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May 7, 2015 - CTU Rallies Against Proposed Pay Cut

The Chicago Teachers Union is digging in its heels over contract negotiations with the school district. Find out how far they're willing to go over what the union calls a 7 percent pay cut proposal from the city. Brandis Friedman has the details.

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Steep Cuts for CPS's Capital Budget

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Citing the district's $1.1 billion deficit, Interim CEO Jesse Ruiz announced that the district is proposing a $160 million capital budget for fiscal year 2016 -- a significant decline compared to FY2015's approved budget of $509 million.

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Recruiting for Advanced Placement

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April 27, 2015 - Recruiting for Advanced Placement

Evanston Township High School takes a unique approach to bringing a diverse group of students into Advanced Placement courses.

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Board of Education Suspends Contract with SUPES Academy

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In its first meeting since Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett took administrative leave, members of the CPS Board of Education discussed the recent series of events causing further instability for the school district.

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What’s Next for CPS?

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April 20, 2015 - What’s Next for CPS?

Chicago Public School has appointed Chicago Board of Education Vice President Jesse Ruiz as interim CPS CEO, replacing Barbara Byrd-Bennett who is taking a paid leave of absence amidst a federal investigation of a $20.5 million no-bid contract. What are the implications of this on CPS contract negotiations with the Chicago Teachers Union? Carol Marin and her panel discuss the latest CPS news and the future of the district.

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CPS CEO Takes Leave of Absence Amid Federal Probe

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Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett has taken a leave of absence amidst a federal investigation into a no-bid contract awarded to a company that once employed her.

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CPS Under Federal Investigation

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April 15, 2015 - CPS Under Federal Investigation

Chicago Public Schools is under federal investigation, school board officials confirm. We have the latest details.

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The School Project: Teaching

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May 18, 2015 - The School Project: Teaching

The School Project is a Chicago-based documentary series that is tracking the past and present status of the city's public school system. The sixth and final episode examines education reforms and teaching philosophies.

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New College of DuPage Board Takes Action

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May 4, 2015 - New College of DuPage Board Takes Action

There's a new board chairwoman at the College of DuPage, and she wasted no time making changes. In a contentious first vote on Thursday, April 30, the new majority of reform trustees voted 4-3 to put the school's controversial president, Robert Breuder, on paid administrative leave. 

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The Importance of Community Colleges

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April 30, 2015 - The Importance of Community Colleges

Chicago is already offering free community college tuition to local students, and nationwide, President Barack Obama is proposing a similar plan. The need for an affordable post-secondary education has become so urgent that these are the ideas educators and administrators are developing. We talk to the experts about why community colleges have received a renewed focus, and what they need to do to be successful. 

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The School Project: UnChartered Territory

Charter Schools: For Better or Worse

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April 23, 2015 - The School Project: UnChartered Territory

The School Project is a Chicago-based documentary series that is tracking the past and present status of the city's public school system. The fifth episode examines the expansion of charter schools in Chicago and talks to proponents and critics of the charter movement. 

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US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

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April 21, 2015 - US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, former Chicago Public Schools CEO, is in town for the Education Writers Association National Seminar. Brandis Friedman has the latest. 

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Viewer Feedback: 4/20

CPS Facing Federal Investigation

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April 20, 2015 - Viewer Feedback: 4/20

We share what you had to say about the federal investigation of Chicago Public Schools  in tonight's viewer feedback.

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CPS Facing Federal Investigation, Calls For Bankruptcy

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April 16, 2015 - CPS Federal Investigation, Bankruptcy

Gov. Bruce Rauner said this week that bankruptcy may be the best option for the Chicago Public Schools system to get its fiscal house in order. One day later, it was revealed that the federal government is investigating CPS. News reports say the investigation involves a no-bid contract for principal training awarded to a company that once employed CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett. We'll discuss the challenges facing CPS with a panel of experts.

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Life Since "The Homestretch"

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April 13, 2015 - Life Since "The Homestretch"

The documentary The Homestretch premieres Monday at 9:00 pm on WTTW11. It follows three homeless young people in Chicago as they struggle to graduate high school and navigate their future. That's followed by a Chicago Tonight special edition at 10:00 pm, where host Phil Ponce sat down with three of the documentary subjects to talk about where their lives have taken them since the events of the film, and he also spoke with the filmmakers who spearheaded the project.

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