Stories by Matt Masterson

School Funding Commission Debating Evidence-Based Model as Deadline Looms

A team of Illinois legislators has spent the past six months looking for some way to fix the state’s broken education funding model. But with only a week left before its final report is due, concerns have surfaced about how soon any changes will be made.

CPS Hoping New Site Will Streamline High School Application Process

On Wednesday, the Chicago Board of Education will vote on a vendor contract between CPS and SchoolMint, a San Francisco-based tech company specializing in digital student enrollment and registration platforms.

CTU Post Claims Furlough Dates Could Violate Labor Contract

(Chicago Tonight)

The ink has barely dried on the labor contract between Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union, but with a wave of upcoming furlough days announced, one side has made the claim that deal may have been violated already.

Noble Charters, CTU Take Steps to Protect Undocumented Students

Educators across Chicago have continued calls for undocumented students to be protected from deportation and discrimination leading up to President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration Friday.

Inside ‘The View From Room 205’: A Q&A with Reporter Linda Lutton

WBEZ reporter discusses the year she spent inside a fourth-grade classroom in North Lawndale

(Andrew Gill / WBEZ)

WBEZ reporter Linda Lutton spent the 2014-15 school year examining the impacts of poverty on a fourth-grade class in North Lawndale for a new story published this week. She spoke with Chicago Tonight to discuss that process.

Report: Illinois Schools Face 16,500 Teacher Absences Each Week

(Chicago Tonight)

Thousands of teachers miss class time within Illinois each week, and thanks to a shortage of substitute teachers, an average of 600 K-12 classrooms are left without an educator each school day, according to a new statewide study.

Trump’s Education Pick DeVos Set for Senate Confirmation Tuesday

Betsy DeVos (Keithalmli / Wikimedia Commons)

Like many of President-elect Donald Trump's cabinet selections, his education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos, a Michigan billionaire and GOP mega-donor, has been met with controversy.

CPS Employees Furloughed as District Works to Balance Budget

Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool announced Friday district employees will be furloughed on four days spread throughout the rest of this school year. (Chicago Tonight)

CPS teachers, staff and central office employees will not work four separate school days spread throughout the rest of the school year as the district continues looking for cost-cutting measures to balance its 2017 budget.

CPS Adds to List of Properties Up For Sale

(Chicago Tonight)

After working to sell and repurpose shuttered school buildings over the past three years, the district announced in a school action update Thursday it will be adding 10 more surplus properties to the list of those available for sale.

CPS Watchdog Announces New Data Analysis Team

(Chicago Tonight)

Chicago Public Schools’ Office of the Inspector General is expanding its investigatory reach this month, adding a pair of data analysis and research experts to its team of district watchdogs. 

Chicago High School Employee Killed in Weekend Shooting

(Jason Goodfriend Facebook)

A Chicago Police Department official confirmed detectives are investigating the shooting death of Jason Goodfriend, 31, who was the business and finance manager at Chicago Tech Academy.

CPS Parent Calls Out Teachers Union Over ‘Library Lockout’

(Woomiusee / Wikimedia Commons)

A Wicker Park elementary parent called out the Chicago Teachers Union in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, claiming the union stopped parents who volunteered to staff their children’s school library after its librarian was laid off.

Chicago Education Program Founders Included in Forbes ‘30 Under 30’

(Courtesy of pilotED)

The brains behind a local nonprofit offering after-school help to Chicago students were included this week on a list highlighting the work of some of the rising young entrepreneurs across the country.

Illinois Scores a C-Plus for K-12 Education in New National Report

Illinois finished 15th out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia in Education Week's Quality Counts report, earning a score of 77 out of 100.

Education Issues to Watch in 2017

(Chicago Tonight)

A $215 million hole in Chicago Public Schools' budget and a sentencing date for its former CEO headline local education issues to follow in the coming year.

2017 Kicks Off Years of Free Entry to Art Institute for Chicago Teens

(Courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago)

Beginning Monday, city residents under the age of 18 will no longer be required to pay the $14 admission fee at the museum in Grant Park thanks to a gift from a pair of Kansas donors.

Chicago Documentary Filmmaker Killed in Ugandan Bus Crash

(Betty Shabazz International Charter School)

David J. Steiner died Monday while travelling through a small Ugandan village. He was there to screen his film “Saving Barbara Sizemore,” a documentary made with Englewood teens about their fight to keep their charter school open.

New U of C Website Compiles Best of 2016 Education Research

(Chicago Tonight)

The University of Chicago’s Urban Education Institute wants to show school and policy leaders how evidence-based research can help improve schools and student achievement.

Chicago Recovery School to Offer Teen Addicts Chance to Get Clean, Earn Diploma

(Adam / Wikimedia Commons)

Planning is underway to open a recovery-based high school designed specifically for students dealing with substance abuse disorders in downtown Chicago next year.

CPS Expands English Language Tutoring Program

Chicago Public Schools will add 51 new schools and approximately 2,000 new students to its after school English language tutoring program.

Emanuel Calls for School Quality Over School Choice in Op-Ed

(Chicago Tonight)

Days after Rahm Emanuel and President-elect Donald Trump met in New York, The Washington Post ran an op-ed Friday penned by Chicago’s mayor in which he called on state and federal partners to focus on boosting school excellence over school choice.

Frigid Temps Force School Closures Across Chicago Area

(Chicago Tonight)

More than 170 schools in the greater Chicago area were closed or delayed their starting times Thursday due to subzero temperatures and bitter wind chills. But even as temperatures plunge below zero this week, Chicago Public School students probably shouldn’t count on any extra time off leading up to their holiday break.

UIC Offering New Course on Life of Richard J. Daley

(Courtesy of UIC’s Richard J. Daley Library)

Days away from the 40th anniversary of his death, UIC announced it will offer a new honors course next semester on Chicago and its late mayor’s role in local, national and international politics in the late 1960s.

CPS Inspector General Report Highlights ‘Misclassification Scheme’

Nicholas Schuler (Chicago Tonight)

A recount of Chicago Public School graduation rates last year found the district had initially reported inflated figures, but a new report from the district’s Office of the Inspector General suggests that process may not have gone far enough.

CPS Passes ‘Welcoming District’ Resolution to Shield Students From Discrimination

(Albert Herring / Wikimedia Commons)

The Chicago Board of Education this week unanimously approved a resolution affirming Chicago Public Schools’ status as a “welcoming district” for all students, no matter their race, gender or religion.