Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Glenbrook South teacher Jeff Yordy, dead at 55, led award-winning horticulture teams ]]> Lead story image

At a north suburban high school known for academics, Jeff Yordy made his mark teaching horticulture. Mr. Yordy, who died March 29 at age 55 following heart surgery, started teaching at Glenbrook South High School in Glenview in 1984, and the school horticulture team he coached won the state championship for an astounding 22 years of his tenure there. ]]> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 10:50:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Gresham staff, parents protest plans for CPS ‘turnaround’ ]]> Lead story image

Gresham Elementary School Principal Diedrus Brown continued her very vocal fight Tuesday to save her school from undergoing a so-called “turnaround” — but this time with about 40 teachers, parents and students marching with her. ]]> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 16:26:18 -0500 <![CDATA[ Gresham supporters rally against planned CPS turnaround ]]> Lead story image

Gwen Herbert offered two reasons Tuesday to keep Gresham Elementary School open: A doctor and a lawyer. ]]> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 02:21:27 -0500 <![CDATA[ Byrd-Bennett declares school closing process a success ]]> Lead story image

As fervent supporters defended several schools pegged for major changes this fall, Chicago Public Schools chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett on Wednesday said last year’s historically massive school closing process made the district stronger “in spite of dire predictions.” ]]> Thu, 03 Apr 2014 11:18:59 -0500 <![CDATA[ CPS website will collect ideas, gauge interest in closed buildings ]]>

Chicago Public Schools is collecting ideas and proposals for more than 40 of the school buildings it shuttered in last year’s massive school closing on a website the district launched Friday. Members of the public and community groups can submit proposals for the old school sites at, which has a full list of available school sites; the website also includes financial and physical information about each property, according to CPS. “Each neighborhood has their own vision for these buildings, and we look forward to hearing their proposals of how we can find a new use that boosts economic activity … ]]> Fri, 28 Mar 2014 16:58:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Museum’s science program helps teachers and students: study ]]>

The Museum of Science and Industry’s program teaches middle school educators to better instruct their students in science class. A study tested teachers participating in the program as well as teachers not participating and both group’s students. It found the museum’s program directly affects a teacher’s science knowledge. The students of teachers participating in the museum’s program also did better in the study’s tests and had a better understanding of the scientific concepts and how they apply in real life, according to the study. ]]> Thu, 27 Mar 2014 02:20:05 -0500 <![CDATA[ It’s official: Gordon Tech to become DePaul College Prep ]]> Lead story image

Gordon Tech College Prep will become DePaul College Prep as soon as summer, the school’s board announced Wednesday. The school at 3600 block of North California Avenue will be renamed DePaul College Prep, but its campus will be known as Fr. Gordon Campus, according to a letter sent to Gordon Tech families. ]]> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 11:01:26 -0500 <![CDATA[ Protesters: Don’t punish teachers who didn’t administer ISAT ]]> Lead story image

A group of about 100 people rallied Monday in the Bridgeport neighborhood to call on Chicago Public Schools officials not to retaliate against a group of teachers who refused to administer a state mandated test to students. CPS had threatened the boycotting teachers with disciplinary measures including decertification if they did not administer the multi-day Illinois Standards Achievement Test, which began last week. CPS issued a statement Monday afternoon saying school officials were “engaged in discussion with the Illinois State Board of Education about appropriate disciplinary action against teachers who chose not to administer the test.” Parents and teachers gathered at the Monday rally, which was organized by the Chicago Teachers Union, said the boycotting teachers were acting in the interest of children who are already subjected to a dizzying amount of testing. About 45 teachers, mostly from Saucedo Elementary in the Little Village neighborhood, boycotted the test because they felt the ISAT, which is being phased out next year, is gratuitous and a waste of valuable instruction time. Critics say the ISAT does not count toward school performance, student admission in selective enrollment schools, or for teacher evaluation. The test is required of all student in grades 3 through 8. “The test is a corpse,” Anne Carlson, a boycotting teacher from Drummond Elementary, said at the rally, held in a CPS satellite office on the Southwest Side. About 1,700 students spread across dozens of schools opted not to take the exam, according to a CTU news release. “There will be no retaliation,” said Zarina Smith, a parent with a child at Saucedo. “It’s an empty threat. . . . Taking away a teacher’s certification for trying to do their job, which is to teach children, that would be inhumane.” The CPS statement also said this: “While CPS has decreased the number of standardized tests issued each year, the District is required by Illinois law to administer the ISAT. CPS encouraged teachers to follow this mandate, in part because it is tied to funding that delivers critical resources to the classroom. The vast majority of students eligible to take the ISAT across the district – approximately 99 percent – participated, helping teachers identify academic progress as well as those who may need additional support to ensure our students are 100 percent college ready and 100 percent college bound.” Officials from CTU dispute that the ISAT is tied to school funding. Email: Twitter: @mitchdudek ]]> Sat, 12 Apr 2014 06:23:55 -0500 <![CDATA[ Teachers who boycotted ISAT allowed to remain in classrooms ]]> Lead story image

Chicago Public Schools officials were the first to blink Tuesday in a showdown that pitted teachers who refused to administer a state-mandated test against school officials who threatened to kick them out of the building, or worse, if they didn’t. More than 20 teachers at Maria Saucedo Elementary Scholastic Academy in the Little Village neighborhood who refused to give the test were allowed to teach students who opted not to take the Illinois Standards Achievement Test. ]]> Sun, 06 Apr 2014 06:26:19 -0500 <![CDATA[ Chicago parent group takes ISAT protest to state Board of Ed ]]>

A group of parent-activists cried foul Monday, after the state board of education informed Chicago Public Schools that the district could face “disciplinary action” if it does not administer the annual state achievement test to all students this week. The Illinois State Board of Education made its position clear in a letter sent Friday to CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett, who had previously indicated parents could decide whether their children should take the Illinois Standards Achievement Test. The letter also raised the possibility that funding could be withheld from the district if the test is not properly administered during this week’s … ]]> Sat, 05 Apr 2014 06:33:04 -0500 <![CDATA[ Teachers at second school to refuse to give ISATs, CTU says ]]> Lead story image

Teachers at a second school will refuse to administer an annual state achievement test next week, the Chicago Teachers Union announced Friday. ]]> Wed, 02 Apr 2014 06:09:41 -0500 <![CDATA[ CTU President Karen Lewis blasts metal shredder site across from Pilsen school ]]>

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis injected herself into a long-running neighborhood zoning fight on Thursday, alleging students at a public high school would face danger from a newly approved metal shredder in Pilsen. On Friday, a city panel endorsed the plan, which also was backed by Ald. Danny Solis (25th). Lewis said she was concerned because the shredder site is close to Benito Juarez High School. “That ‘s an environmental hazard for the students and the people who work in that building and should not be tolerated,” she said. “It’s right across the street from Juarez.” She also pointed … ]]> Thu, 27 Feb 2014 22:12:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Charter school students 11 times more likely to be expelled: CPS ]]> Lead story image

The newly released Chicago Public Schools data troubles Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who said he hopes charter operators will follow CPS’ new, gentler discipline policy. “I can’t make ’em. But, I can persuade them, show them a different model,” the mayor said Wednesday. “And we think they’re going to be cooperative and work with us because it’s so promising what we’re seeing at CPS.” ]]> Fri, 28 Mar 2014 08:58:26 -0500 <![CDATA[ CPS chief wants same pension reform state passed for other teachers ]]> Lead story image

Chicago Public Schools chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett made her position on the looming pension overhaul crystal clear — and she’s echoing Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “We estimate that if the Illinois pension reform package were applied to CPS, that this would bring nearly $250 million in savings to the district this year alone,” she told the Chicago Board of Education on Wednesday. ]]> Fri, 28 Mar 2014 08:59:14 -0500 <![CDATA[ Little Village school’s teachers vote to boycott ISAT ]]> Lead story image

Teachers at a Little Village school will refuse to administer an annual state achievement test next week, a move that could ultimately cost them their jobs. About 40 teachers at Maria Saucedo Elementary Scholastic Academy voted unanimously Tuesday to boycott the Illinois Standards Achievement Test, said Sarah Chambers, a special education teacher at the school. ]]> Thu, 27 Mar 2014 06:35:02 -0500 <![CDATA[ Parents rallying to keep Beverly school principal ]]> Lead story image

The principal of a Southwest Side elementary school whose contract was not renewed by the local school council is fighting back. The LSC for Sutherland Elementary in the Beverly community voted 6-4 to not renew Principal Catherine Gannon’s contract at a special meeting Jan. 10. Gannon has been principal at Sutherland since 2006. ]]> Wed, 26 Feb 2014 00:47:33 -0500