Stories by Matt Masterson

Former Ed Secretary: ‘No Silver Bullet’ in Elected School Board Debate

(U.S. Department of Education / Flickr)

Despite ongoing calls for an elected school board, John King, the former U.S. chief of public education, said Thursday there’s “no silver bullet” management style to boost school success.

Expansion Plans at Speer Academy Charter School Stall Out

(Courtesy of Noble Network of Charter Schools)

A Chicago charter school looking to expand its building size and enrollment will have to hold off on those plans after an alderwoman refused to support the project.

New ‘GoCPS’ High School Application Site Goes Live

(Chicago Public Schools)

The districts’ common high school application website officially went live this week, less than a month after the Board of Education approved the new model.

Former Yankee Great Mariano Rivera Talks Baseball, Life With CPS Students

(Matt Masterson / Chicago Tonight)

The future Hall of Fame pitcher stepped back on the mound Tuesday, offering insights and tips to players from four Chicago Public Schools baseball teams.

Middle Schoolers Get 1st Look at Professional Life at Mock Job Fair

(Matt Masterson / Chicago Tonight)

Students at James Madison Elementary may be a few years away from entering the workforce full time, but that isn’t stopping them from getting a leg up on the interviewing process.

CTU Running Full Staff No-Confidence Vote on CPS CEO Claypool

CPS CEO Forrest Claypool speaks to the media on April 19, 2017. (Chicago Tonight)

As the city and Chicago Public Schools scramble to find funding to keep classrooms open through the end of the school year, the Chicago Teachers Union is taking up a staff-wide referendum vote of no confidence in district CEO Forrest Claypool.

New Bill Would Curb Pre-K Expulsions in Public Schools

(Barnaby Wasson / Flickr)

How young is too young for a student to be expelled from school? A new bill going through the state Legislature would keep preschoolers from being kicked out of class.

Agassiz Elementary LSC Votes to Keep School Name

Stakeholders had raised concerns over school’s “racist” namesake

(Agassiz Elementary School / Facebook)

A Lakeview elementary school will keep its name despite a push from community members who wanted to shift away from racist undertones surrounding the school’s namesake.

CPS Expanding Parent University Program

As Chicago Public Schools works to try and improve its parent engagement, the district announced it is expanding a neighborhood-based learning program already used by thousands of families.

Rauner Says Thompson Center Sale Could Net Millions for CPS

Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno and House Minority Leader Jim Durkin filed legislation that would direct future property tax receipts from a possible Thompson Center redevelopment to Chicago Public Schools. (Ken Lund / Flickr)

Gov. Bruce Rauner says property taxes generated from the sale of the James R. Thompson Center could top $45 million per year, and Republican-backed legislation introduced Friday would send every one of those dollars to Chicago Public Schools.

Passages Charter Teachers Vote to Strike

Nearly all of the 46 teachers, paraprofessionals and teacher assistants at the Passages Charter School in Edgewater say they are in favor of going on strike.

Illinois Weighing Down National Higher Ed Spending Numbers

Overall state and local government support for higher education across the country fell by $130 per student in 2016, the first time that figure failed to grow in four years. And one group is pointing the finger squarely at Illinois.

Summer Safe Passage Program Growing in Chicago

(WBEZ / Flickr)

The Chicago Park District and Chicago Public Schools are teaming up this summer to help ensure safe travel for thousands of youth participating in recreational programs and sports leagues.

Former CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett Sentenced to 4 1/2 Years

Former SUPES co-owner Thomas Vranas receives 18-month sentence

Courtroom sketch of Barbara Byrd-Bennett pleading and crying in front of U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang. (Thomas Gianni)

The disgraced former Chicago Public Schools CEO will spend 54 months in prison after a federal judge sentenced her Friday for the yearslong kickback scheme she ran while chief of the cash-strapped district.

CPS Aims to Simplify High School Applications With New ‘GoCPS’ Model

Chicago Public Schools is hoping to simplify its rigorous high school application process with a new plan promising to save time and limit headaches for families and students.

Parents, Advocates Want Details On CPS Plan For End of School Year

CPS CEO Forrest Claypool speaks in Dec 2016 at a Chicago Board of Education meeting. During Wednesday’s meeting, he offered no new details on the district’s plan for the end of the school year. (Chicago Tonight)

“This could be a critical week for the future of our schools,” CPS CEO Forrest Claypool said Wednesday at a Chicago Board of Education meeting. “Ending school early would be a tragedy for Chicago students.”

CPS Adding New Course on History of Jon Burge Torture Cases

Darrell Cannon, one of the Burge torture victims, speaks before the Chicago City Council in 2015. (Chicago Tonight)

Chicago teachers will spend the coming weeks preparing for a new course on the history of the disgraced former Chicago Police Department commander who, for two decades, systematically abused and tortured suspects on the South Side to force confessions.

Chicago Researchers Pushing For Expanded Social Emotional Learning

Officials from a Chicago-based education collaborative looked at years of studies on social and emotional learning and found consistent, positive effects on student behavior and outcomes.

CPS Scores Top 5 Public High Schools in New Rankings

Lane Tech was ranked as the No. 5 public high school in the state of Illinois, according to U.S. News. Chicago Public Schools took each of the top five spots on the list. (LonelyBeacon / Wikimedia Commons)

In addition to having the top five highest-rated public high schools in the state, Chicago Public Schools has two of the top 100 high schools in the country, according to new rankings from U.S. News and World Report.

Report: Chicago Ranked in Middle for Teacher Rent Affordability

High rent prohibits many U.S. teachers from living in the same cities in which they work. That’s according to a new report from the rental marketplace Apartment List. But in Chicago, teachers are faring better than their coastal peers.

CTU Posts Schedule of May Day Actions

(Chicago Tonight)

While there won’t be a May 1 strike, the Chicago Teachers Union is encouraging its members to take personal days to participate in other rallies and events to celebrate International Workers' Day.

Judge Delays Decision on CPS Motion in Lawsuit Against State

Chicago families will have to wait a little longer to find out when the school year will end for Chicago Public Schools.

Suspended CPS Teacher: ‘I Just Hope To Return to the Classroom Quickly’

(Chicago Tonight)

Students, teachers and community members gathered outside a Little Village elementary school Tuesday to call for the reinstatement of an outspoken Chicago Public Schools teacher who faces termination.

Chicago Activists Call For Action on Elected School Board Bill

(Raise Your Hand Action / Twitter)

Parents and community activists protested outside the Chicago office of Senate President John Cullerton on Tuesday to demand action on a bill that would grant the city an elected Board of Education.

Brighton Park Among Areas That Could be Hit by After-School Funding Cut

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin visited with education and community stakeholders Monday afternoon at Burroughs Elementary in Brighton Park to pledge his support for federal after-school funding that’s facing the ax in President Donald Trump’s proposed budget.