Stories by Matt Masterson

Labor Issues Could Force 1st-Ever Charter School Teachers Strike

UEU spokeswoman Erica Stewart, far right, joins protestors outside the UNO Charter School Network offices downtown Thursday to call for greater urgency during ongoing labor negotiations. (Matt Masterson / Chicago Tonight)

The United Educators of UNO plans to strike next week if it cannot come to terms on a new labor agreement with the UNO Charter School Network.

Alderman Backs Off Controversial Merger of Kellogg, Sutherland Schools

(Scott Smith)

A Chicago alderman dropped his controversial plan to combine two elementary schools within his ward, but some parents are still concerned about what the rest of his proposal could mean for other schools in the community.

CPS, Teachers Union Reach Tentative Deal to Avert Strike

A last second agreement averted a second major strike in four years for the Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public Schools. (Matt Masterson/Chicago Tonight)

A strike by Chicago Teachers Union members has been averted after the union reached a tentative agreement with Chicago Public Schools and the Board of Education.

With No Deal in Place CTU, Board of Education to Negotiate Through Weekend

CTU President Karen Lewis said negotiations between the two sides would continue over the weekend and through Columbus Day if necessary, but as of Friday afternoon, she had “nothing substantial” to report.

Former Gov. Quinn Calls for Elected School Board in New Court Case

Former Gov. Pat Quinn is one of seven plaintiffs in a pair of civil suits filed this week calling for an end to mayoral control of the Chicago Board of Education.

Pat Quinn is among seven plaintiffs who have filed suits in Cook County and federal courts, claiming the law granting Chicago’s mayor authority to appoint board members violates city residents’ due process and voting rights.

Librarian at Center of Student Protest Last Year Among Latest CPS Cuts

(Courtesy of Alvita Payne)

Sara Sayigh, a 60-year-old librarian on the historic DuSable High School campus, was one of nearly 250 educators and support staff CPS laid off this week because of shrinking budgets and declining enrollment.

Camps, Day Care Available for CPS Students if Teachers Walk Out

(YMCA)

The YMCA and other community organizations across the city plan to hold strike camps for CPS students if the district and Chicago teachers can't reach a contract agreement by next week.

As Teacher Strike Looms, Parents Make Plans for Kids Missing School

(Don Harder / Flickr)

Some parents are skipping family events and stockpiling paid time off to make sure they're able to watch children during a possible teacher's strike next month.

Plan to Merge Kellogg, Sutherland Schools Met With Parent Scorn

(Scott Smith)

A proposal designed to eliminate overcrowding at Mount Greenwood Elementary by shuffling around neighboring schools has been met with disdain by local parents.

CTU Overwhelmingly Votes to Authorize Teacher Strike

More than 95 percent of voting union members in favor of strike

| Brandis Friedman
(Chicago Tonight)

More than 95 percent of Chicago Teachers Union members who participated in last week’s three-day authorization vote said they were in favor of another work stoppage. 

New Student Health Center Announced at Bronzeville School

(WBEZ / Flickr)

Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Friday announced plans for the city's 33rd school-based student health care center at Drake Elementary.

CPS Data Show Minority Students More Likely to be Suspended, Expelled

More than 96 percent of district suspensions and 99 percent of expulsions affected minority students last school year. (Max Klingensmith / Flickr)

More than 96 percent of district suspensions and 99 percent of expulsions affected minority students last school year.

CTU Voting Underway to Authorize New Strike

CTU teachers protest outside a Chicago Public Schools Board of Education meeting on Aug. 24. Teachers and schools across Chicago will spend the rest of this week voting whether or not to authorize a possible strike later this year. (Matt Masterson / Chicago Tonight)

Teachers say they feel the Chicago Board of Education has forced them into a possible strike with repeated staff cuts.

Arne Duncan to Springfield: Change School Funding Model

Arne Duncan (Chicago Tonight)

Former U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan talks about education funding, a new University of Chicago program helping more students earn bachelor's degrees, and a potential teachers strike in a one-on-one interview with Chicago Tonight.

CPS Head Investigator Claims District Auditors Interfered in Theft Probe

Nicholas Schuler (Chicago Tonight)

Internal auditors reportedly ignored multiple warnings from the CPS inspector general against conducting its own probe into the theft of tens of thousands of CTA transit passes, which the OIG says jeopardized a possible criminal prosecution and hindered its investigative efforts.

Chicago Education Activists Plan Protest at Presidential Debate

Jitu Brown appears on “Chicago Tonight” in September 2015.

In an election cycle hitting on high notes such as hairdos, walls and mishandled emails, the topic of public education seems to have been left by the wayside.

Tutor Group Helps Principals Transition from PARCC to ‘New’ SAT Exam

As high school juniors across Illinois prepare to take the SAT exam next April, a local tutoring group is helping school leaders prepare for a shift away from the maligned Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers test.

UIC Hoping to Boost STEM Inclusion Through New Grant Program

(Nicholas James / Wikimedia Commons)

A new two-year grant program will seek out new community-based methods of getting minorities and women involved in science, technology, engineering and math careers.

University of Chicago Ranked Among Top Colleges in US

Julius Rosenwald Hall at the University of Chicago (Chuck Szmurlo / Wikimedia)

The University of Chicago tied for third place in U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 collegiate rankings, up one spot from where it stood in each of the previous two years.

Aldermen, Public Make Voices Heard on Proposed TIF Funding For CPS

(Parents 4 Teachers)

A proposed change to city law that could divert tens of millions in tax incremental financing (TIF) dollars to the cash-strapped Chicago Public Schools will likely undergo some additional changes before it comes to City Council for approval.

Former CPS Buildings Getting New Life As Residential Apartments

The former Mulligan Elementary School in Lincoln Park has been transformed into residential apartments as part of the city's plan to redevelop shuttered CPS buildings. (Courtesy of Chicago Department of Planning and Development)

Shuttered classrooms and long-closed gymnasiums will soon give way to multi-bedroom suites and rooftop decks overlooking the city skyline as area developers work to resurrect buildings that once served as Chicago Public Schools.

CPS Progress Report Highlights Gains in On-Track, Dropout Rates

Mayor Rahm Emanuel (Matt Masterson / Chicago Tonight)

Students at Chicago Public Schools have steadily improved their attendance and on-track-to-graduate rates while trimming back their annual dropout rate over the past five years, according to a new district progress report.

Laid Off CPS Teacher: ‘I’m Not as Optimistic This Time’

Educator Faces Prospect of Another Year Outside the Classroom

(Matt Masterson / Chicago Tonight)

Classes resumed Tuesday for students across Chicago, but many of the 500-plus teachers laid off in August could be left outside the classroom this school year.

CPS Announces Record-High Graduation Rate for Class of 2016

(jeco / Flickr)

Nearly three out of four seniors within Chicago Public Schools earned their diplomas in 2016 – a district record – as graduation rates increased across neighborhood, charter and traditional high schools.

Dyett High School Reopening 1 Year After Activist Hunger Strike

Doors at the school will reopen next week in Bronzeville for the first time since the 2014-15 school year. Chicago Public Schools announced last fall the school would be transformed into a neighborhood school focused on arts.