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On elected school board issue, all eyes on Lori Lightfoot

We’re Cassie Walker Burke, Adeshina Emmanuel, and Yana Kunichoff and we cover public education in Chicago. Have a story idea? Great. Write us at One more reminder: Chalkbeat Chicago is regularly live-tweeting events and meetings on Twitter. Follow us @ChalkbeatCHI, @cassiechicago, @public_ade, and @yanazure.

Week in review

The power of preschool: The potential for preschool to lift multiple generations out of poverty is one of the key findings from a pair of new studies from University of Chicago Professor James Heckman. Chalkbeat dives into the findings.

Teachers of color share wisdom: What advice would veteran teachers of color give to new recruits? Chalkbeat asked three teachers, who contributed to a report on educator diversity by the advocacy group TeachPlus.

A classical fight: Inconsistent messaging from Chicago Public Schools this spring over a classical program at a Southwest Side elementary may have left some families in the lurch for finding other options. Chalkbeat has the story. 

Sexual misconduct allegations at Hubbard High School: The school district has moved to fire four teachers in connection with allegations of sexual misconduct at Hubbard High School, and and put one of the school’s former principals on a do-not-hire list for her alleged mishandling of abuse complaints. The Chicago Tribune has the story.

Promotion time: Chicago mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot has promoted Chicago Public Schools chief financial officer Jeannie Huang Bennett into a new role managing the city’s finances. Lightfoot said this week that the city’s budget hole is bigger than previously thought. Crain’s explains.  

A long way to go: Today marks the 65th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision, which ruled that racial segregation of public school students was unconstitutional. Yet today, school segregation remains one of the biggest issues in public education. Chalkbeat reviewed research showing how school segregation has persisted even as neighborhoods have grown more diverse. And here, we remember Linda Brown, who as a child stood at the center of America’s school segregation battles.

Looking ahead

Inauguration day: As Lightfoot begins work Monday, one of her biggest jobs will be running the city’s 600-plus schools. Here’s a look at changes that could be coming to the district under Lightfoot, from Chalkbeat.

Board meeting: The Chicago Board of Education’s monthly meeting is Wednesday. Advance registration for speakers and observers opens Monday.


This week’s #HighFive goes out to the students, educators, school leaders, schools and community partners chosen as finalists for the Obama Foundation Civic Action Recognition Awards. The award spotlights teachers who are doing exemplary work in civic education and helping encourage youth voice. Educators who are finalists for the Civic Education Leadership Award are Dustin Voss, Fenger Academy High School; Elizabeth Robbins, Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy; Daniel Michmerhuizen, Benito Juarez Community Academy; Leah Whitesel, Farragut Career Academy; Sabrina Anfossi Kareem, Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy Middle School; Christopher McCabe, Ogden International; Jane Leyderman, Dever Elementary School; Erin Henry, Shoesmith Elementary School; and Shana Pearlmutter and Peter Barash, Bell Elementary School.

See a full list of award finalists here. The foundation also gives out a Civic Culture and Commitment Award to schools. Finalists for that honor include Bell Elementary School, Belding Elementary School, Dever Elementary School, Michele Clark High School, Marie Sklodowska Curie Metropolitan High School, Solorio Academy High School, and Uplift Community High School, whose efforts to tackle enrollment declines we covered in this recent story.

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