All posts by taylormullaney

Teachers sample new science ed tools at national exhibition

By Taylor Mullaney

The National Science Teachers Association hosted its 2015 National Conference March 12 to March 15 at Chicago’s McCormick Place, with almost 10,000 teachers in attendance. The conference included a three-day exhibition of the newest science education products on the market, including games and live animal specimens. According to teachers, these tools can provide a way to engage diverse learners in challenge scientific content. Continue reading

Parents speak out against PARCC opt out policies

By Taylor Mullaney

After the first week of state-mandated PARCC academic testing, some parents are speaking out for the right to exclude their children from taking the examination.

The Illinois State Board of Education provided a Frequently Asked Questions sheet about PARCC on its website in January. As to whether individual students or parents can opt out of PARCC assessments, ISBE states:

No. Districts can develop a policy for those students who refuse to take assessments on testing days, but federal and state law does not provide for any opt-out provisions.

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Lindblom to dedicate innovative classroom to legendary journalist

By Taylor Mullaney

When Ethel Payne was a student at Lindblom High School in West Englewood nearly a century ago, she published exactly one article for her school’s newspaper. But, according to biographer James McGrath Morris, Payne was never allowed on the newspaper’s staff.

As a black student during a time when Chicago was deeply segregated, Payne was prohibited from regularly writing articles for the student newspaper. Years later, Payne would become a pioneering journalist of the civil rights era. She reported for the Chicago Defender and earned a title as the “First Lady of the Black Press.”

Thursday evening, her alma mater, Lindblom Math and Science Academy, will dedicate its new journalism classroom to Payne, who attended the school from 1926 to 1930. The dedication is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at Lindblom’s Keeler Hall, located at 6130 S. Wolcott Ave., followed by James McGrath Morris’ reading from his new biography about Payne at 6 p.m. Continue reading

Chicago education tech company targets rural Illinois schools

By Taylor Mullaney

When Ryan Hoch started teaching Algebra II in St. Louis five years ago, he found that his students were vastly unprepared for the futures they wanted.

“When they got to my class their junior year, 90 percent of my students told me that they wanted to go to college,” Hoch said. “They had specific universities in mind, like [Missouri], [Saint Louis University], WashU, different schools that were tough to get into. But then their average ACT was a 15, and the average GPA was a 2.5.”

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Chicago comic school artists react to Charlie Hebdo massacre

By Taylor Mullaney

In 2013, the Europe-based International School of Comics opened a new campus in Chicago. Six weeks after the Charlie Hebdo attacks, Annalisa Vicari, Emma Rand and Christopher Kutz, teaching artists from the school, said they do not fully excuse the publication’s drawings. Vicari, 29, Rand, 23, and Kutz, 41, shared how they think the attacks will affect art education and artists’ limitations moving forward.

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Despite $10 million investment in arts education, experts say much work remains

By Taylor Mullaney and Phoebe Tollefson

When Jim Duignan began the Stockyard Institute in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood in 1995, he realized that the arts could enable kids to actually solve problems in their own communities.

“We could really be building work based on the young people’s questions,” Duignan said. “And whether it was spoken word, or whether it was building a radio station, or whether it was public art or whether it was doing walks….They came alive. They just came alive.” Continue reading

Event to examine aftermath of 2013 school closings on displaced students

By Taylor Mullaney

Two groups that explore public education in Chicago will join forces Thursday night at the University of Chicago Logan Center to discuss what happened to children displaced by the closings of 50 CPS schools in 2013.

The School Project plans to screen “Chicago Public Schools: Closed” as the second segment of its six-part documentary Web series. After the screening, the UChicago Consortium on Chicago School Research is scheduled to present its recent findings on where children affected by the closings are today. A panel discussion will follow.  Continue reading