Sunday, November 30, 2014

Action-Based Communities Project for CPS Middle School Teachers

On January 22, Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago (CRFC) will offer a free ABC Project: Action-Based Communities training to middle school teachers at Chicago Public Schools. ABC Project engages 5th-8th grade students in “civic learning through doing.” The program will help teachers guide students through the process of  identifying and addressing a problem in their community; creating a web-based presentation of their work; and sharing their recommendations with local experts and policymakers at a hearing in the spring.

Held in downtown Chicago at the GE business offices, the training will be led by Chicago Public School teachers who have participated in the program in the past.  Attending teachers will receive all of the materials necessary to lead the program with students as well as many useful strategies and ideas for successfully implementing the program in the classroom.

Teachers who attend the training also have the opportunity to receive:
  • A free set of ABC Project classroom materials
  • Reimbursement of registration fee
  • Reimbursement for sub coverage
  • Support for implementing the program in the classroom
  • An opportunity for students to present a completed project at a hearing in Spring 2015
CRFC is a CPS Strategic Source Vendor (#22296) certified to provide professional development for instructional support aligned to REACH.  ABC Project is aligned to the Common Core State Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies for grades 6-8, English Language Arts for grades 5-8, and the Anchor Standards for College and Career Readiness.

If you are interested in this opportunity, please sign up now as space is extremely limited! The deadline to register is Thursday, December 18. Please note that a $50 deposit is required to reserve a spot in the workshop, but will be fully reimbursed upon completion of the workshop.

Learn More or Register
Copyright © 2014 Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago, All rights reserved. 

Our mailing address is: 
Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago
205 West Randolph
Suite 1245
ChicagoIL 60606

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Follow up information regarding the PARCC exam and opting out

At our November 19 meeting, Deb Hass, representing Raise Your Hand, gave an informative presentation on the different problems that have been identified regarding the PARCC exam and its proposed implementation this spring.

For more information from Raise Your Hand about ways in which you, like CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett, can encourage the Illinois State Board of Education to "Park the PARCC", click here. You can join over 4000 people who have signed a petition to get a PARCC waiver this year here:

Please share your feelings with your elected representatives. This legislative fact sheet may be helpful in talking with them. The Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference has put together a website with the emails and telephone numbers for city, state, and national representatives for those living in Hyde Park/Kenwood:  (you have to scroll down to get to them)

For information about opting out of standardized tests, see More Than a Score, and in particular, this website, which includes a universal opt-out letter as well as sample opt-out letters.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Roundtable on SB 16 on Education Funding: December 9

Tuesday, December 9, 2014, 6:30 pm

Education Funding Roundtable with Ralph Matire
Sixth Grace Presbyterian Church,
600 E. 35th Street

Click here for the flyer with more information.

High school students needed to test games at University of Chicago

Game Changer Chicago Playtest Sessions (December 4, 6, 11)

Game Changer Chicago (GCC) Design Lab within Ci3 (the Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Innovation in Sexual and Reproductive Health) is looking for high school students (grades 9-12) to provide feedback on its board, card, and digital games. These sessions take place Thursdays weekly from 5:00pm - 7:00pm and Saturdays biweekly from 12:30pm - 2:00pm on the University of Chicago campus in Hyde Park. For more information and to participate, click here

Inspiring high school students to become global citizens

Global Glimpse

Global Glimpse is a not for profit organization working with partner public high schools to inspire America's next generation to become responsible global citizens through after school programming and 3-week transformative summer travel in the developing world. They provide need based scholarships to 100% of accepted students and are the only organization making this kind of educational travel program accessible to low income youth on a large scale. For more information, click here

Collegiate Scholars Program open to current CPS high school freshmen

Collegiate Scholars Program Application for Class of 2018 (February 15)

The Collegiate Scholars Program (CSP) is a three-year enrichment program for public high school students in Chicago, offering the opportunity for students to take interesting and challenging courses taught by University of Chicago faculty and gain skills and experience to help gain admission to our nation’s most selective colleges and universities. The application for the high school graduating class of 2018 (current high school freshmen) is now open and will close February 15, 2015. For more information and to apply, click here

Friday, November 21, 2014

Summer Journalism Program at Princeton for High School Students

There is an an all-expenses-paid program for high school student journalists from low-income backgrounds that will take place for 10 days next summer on the campus of Princeton University. The program is entering its 14th year; since 2002, approximately 260 students from high schools across the country have participated. The program’s goal is to diversify college and professional newsrooms by encouraging outstanding students from low-income backgrounds to pursue careers in journalism.

Classes at the program are taught by reporters and editors from The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, The Daily Beast, Time, National Journal, New York Magazine, The New Republic, ESPN the Magazine, CNN and NPR, among other media outlets. Students meet with numerous Princeton professors, as well as Princeton’s president and dean of admissions. They report an investigative story, cover a professional sports event, produce a TV segment, and publish their own newspaper. And they receive guidance on the college admissions process not only during the 10 days of the program, but also during the fall of their senior year of high school.

Students selected for the program will have all their costs, including the cost of travel to and from Princeton, paid for by the program.

The application process will take place in two rounds. The first round of the application should be filled out online here:

We must receive this part of the application by 11:59 p.m. EST on Friday, February 20, 2015.

Those students selected to advance to the second round of the application process will be notified in March. They will be asked to provide printed copies of the following items via U.S. mail: an official transcript; the first page of the 2013 (or 2014, if available) income-tax return form (the 1040 or 1040EZ form) of their custodial parent(s)/guardian(s), or a signed statement by their parent(s)/guardian(s) saying that their income is below the level at which they would be required to file income tax returns; a recommendation letter from a teacher; and clips from their high school newspaper or other publication (optional).

To be eligible for the program, students must meet the following qualifications:

- They must currently be juniors in high school.

- They must live in the continental United States.

- They must have at least an unweighted 3.5 grade point average (out of 4.0).

- They must have an interest in journalism.

- The combined income of their custodial parent(s)/guardian(s) plus 
child support payments, if any, must not exceed $45,000.

Note: This program is for students from low-income backgrounds. If the combined income of the custodial parent(s)/guardian(s) plus child support payments, if any, exceeds $45,000 and a student still wishes to apply, he or she may attach a letter explaining why his or her family qualifies as financially under-resourced.

Additional information about the program is available at

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Celebration of the 25th Anniversary of Local School Councils

The Office of Local School Council Relations and Family and Community Engagement invite you to the 25th Anniversary of Local School Councils on Monday, December 8, at Lane Tech College Prep from 6:00pm - 8:00pm. Refreshments will be served.

For more information and to RSVP visit:

Scholarships to City Colleges of Chicago

The Chicago STAR Scholarship at City Colleges of Chicago provides assistance in the form of tuition, fee, and book waivers to qualifying Chicago Public High School graduates. With the help of this scholarship, thousands of Chicago students have the chance to earn an associate degree with no out of pocket costs.

This opportunity is available to Chicago Public High School graduates that meet three academic requirements:
1. Graduates from a CPS high school with a 3.0 or higher GPA;
2. Places into college-level Math and English via the ACT or COMPASS;
3. Enrolls in one of CCC's pathways.

This includes undocumented students and students at CPS charter schools.

For more information, go to:

All-CAC Holiday Party: December 10

Everyone is invited to the All-CAC Holiday Party hosted by the office of Family and Community Engagement. There will be plenty of food, beverages, music, give-aways, and holiday cheer!

Wednesday, December 10
4:00pm -- 8:00pm
IIT's Technology Business Center Atrium
3440 S. Dearborn Walkway

Free parking available (entrance at 34th and State). Detailed instructions provided upon RSVP.

Please RSVP by December 5 to or 773-553-5757

December, January, and February meetings to be held at Kenwood

Kenwood Academy High School (5015 S. Blackstone) will be the location for the HPKCAC's December, January, and February meetings.

The dates are:
Wednesday, December 17
Wednesday, January 28
Wednesday, February 25

The March meeting will be held at William H. Ray Elementary (5631 S. Kimbark) on Wednesday, March 25 at 6:00pm. A tour will be offered at 5:30.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Warren Simmons to speak on Equity and Urban School Improvement: December 3

Generation All Speaker Series Invitation presents Warren Simmons, who will speak on the topic of Equity and Urban School Improvement.

The event will take place at Kenwood Academy High School Auditorium on Wednesday, December 3, from 6:00pm to 7:30pm.

Come hear about education reform efforts nationally and locally. Learn about the history of urban school reform, discuss the importance of community involvement in the process, and share your perspective on how we can move forward as Chicagoans in shaping the future of our public education system. 

Co-hosted by The Chicago Community Trust and Kenwood Academy High School.

Click here to register to attend.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

University of Chicago CCSR Study of CPS Middle School Students

The University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research (CCSR) has recently published a study of middle school students and predictors of their success in high school. Since the HPKCAC has made supporting our middle school students a priority, this study may help to inform our discussion. Click here to access the study.

November CAC meeting at Murray

The HPKCAC's November meeting will be held at Murray Language Academy (5335 S. Kenwood) on Wednesday, November 19 at 6:00pm. A tour will be offered at 5:30.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

What is High Quality Assessment and How Do We Get There?

Raise Your Hand is sponsoring a panel on High Quality Assessment on Tuesday, November 18, from 6:30pm - 8:30pm at 1647 S. Blue Island.

Translation from English to Spanish will be provided.

This is a free event and open to the public, but you must register in advance.

Click here for more information and for the link to register.