Stories by Brandis Friedman

Parents React to CPS Plan to Reopen Schools to Some Students Next Month

(ponce_photography / Pixabay)

Chicago Public School parents are having mixed reactions to the district’s new plan to bring some students back into the classroom before the end of the calendar year, just as COVID-19 cases in the city begin to increase again.

CPS To Bring Back Pre-K, Some Special Education Students For In-Person Learning: Sources

(WTTW News)

Under the district’s plan, pre-K and cluster program students would return for full-day learning, five days a week beginning next quarter.

How Students in Waukegan Juggle High School with Corporate Jobs

Edwin Morales, a student at Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep in Waukegan. (WTTW News)

The pandemic has upended how we work and how our children attend school. For one school network, Cristo Rey schools, the students attend school and work. Here’s a look at their model — and how it’s changing.

Remote Learning Begins at CPS. Will Virtual Efforts Make the Grade?

(ArtisticOperations / Pixabay)

Chicago Public Schools students are now back in the classroom — virtually, that is. Students officially began remote learning Monday, but many people argue that nothing can replace time in the classroom.

Spotlight Politics: Officials Fear Judge Shortage Could Make Election Day Difficult

(WTTW News)

The Chicago Board of Elections is pleading with the public in order to find election judges for Tuesday’s primary. Our politics team takes on that story and more election news in this week’s roundtable.

CPS Teacher’s Assistant Marks 6th Coronavirus Case in Illinois

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

A Chicago woman in her 50s who works at Chicago Public Schools in the city’s Portage Park neighborhood has tested positive for COVID-19. 

City Grades Itself on Implementing Court-Enforced Police Department Overhaul

(WTTW News)

In a 23-page report filed Friday, the city of Chicago highlights the steps it has taken in the last six months to make progress on implementing a court-ordered consent decree.

Cook County Jail Inmates Develop Plans for Business – and Life

(WTTW News)

If you needed to build a business, how quickly could you pull together a plan? What if you had to do it without access to the internet? These men did just that – in an atypical setting. Here’s how.

CPS: Watchdog Report Highlights Need for Standardized Test Improvements

(WTTW News)

Whether or not Chicago Public Schools students are gaming a standardized test system was the topic of debate during Wednesday’s CPS board meeting.

Creator of the 1619 Project Discusses the Legacy of Slavery

 Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones appears on “Chicago Tonight.” (WTTW News)

This year, the U.S. marks the 400th year since the Pilgrims arrived. But the year before that, a much darker period began with the sailing of the White Lion. We speak with New York Times Magazine journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones about The 1619 Project.

In ‘Keeping Hope Alive,’ Jesse Jackson Reflects on a Lifetime of Speeches, Sermons

The Rev. Jesse Jackson speaks with WTTW News.

A look back at the words of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, whose latest book has been decades in the making.

CPS Attendance Dips on Strike Make-Up Days

(WTTW News)

Only 62% to 66% of Chicago Public Schools students went to class on Jan. 2 and 3 – days that were originally scheduled to be part of winter break but later converted to attendance days following the 11-day teachers strike.

Pay for Senior Teachers Still Unresolved, Months after CTU Strike Ended

The Chicago Teachers Union and SEIU Local 73 hold a massive demonstration in the Loop on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019 -- day five of the Chicago teachers strike. (WTTW News)

Why the Chicago Teachers Union and the Chicago Board of Education are still at odds over the teacher’s contract.

As State Rethinks Isolation Rooms, Some Parents Express New Concerns

(NeiFo / Pixabay)

State education officials are in the process of rewriting rules for timeouts and physical restraints for students across the state. But some parents and educators say those new rules are bringing new challenges to light.

Interim Police Superintendent Pick Sounds Alarm Bells for Activists

Aislinn Pulley of Black Lives Matter Chicago says the group has a number of problems with Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s appointment of an interim police superintendent. (WTTW News)

As former Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck prepares to take over the top job at the Chicago Police Department – at least temporarily – his appointment is sparking criticism. What activists have to say.

Dancing Down Memory Lane Before the Curtain Falls on ‘Hamilton’ Chicago

The company of “Hamilton.” (Courtesy of Joan Marcus)

Just over three years ago, Chicago audiences were introduced to the smash hit musical “Hamilton.” We catch up with two original cast members of the Chicago production.

Internal Document Provides Insight into CTU Bargaining

Chicago Teachers Union members hold a rally at the Lincoln Yards development on day nine of the strike, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019. (WTTW News)

An internal Chicago Teachers Union document obtained by WTTW News shows the union would agree to a five-year contract if the mayor agrees to stop blocking the passage of an elected school board bill in Springfield and “getting back our bargaining rights.”

Chicago Teachers Strike Day 9: Negotiations at a Standstill

Despite a lot of back-and-forth, negotiations between the Chicago Teachers Union and city negotiators appear to be deadlocked. An update on day nine of the strike from CTU headquarters.

CPS Cancels Tuesday Classes as Sticking Points Stall Deal

Striking Chicago Public Schools teachers carry signs on Monday, Oct. 28, 2019, day eight of the Chicago teachers strike. (WTTW News)

The Chicago Teachers Union strike has surpassed its 2012 work stoppage in terms of missed school days. An update on negotiations from Chicago Public Schools and Chicago Teachers Union leaders.

Striking CPS Teachers, Staff Take Message to City Hall

The Chicago Teachers Union and SEIU Local 73 hold a massive demonstration in the Loop on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019 -- day five of the Chicago teachers strike. (WTTW News)

Tens of thousands of protesters rallied and marched on city streets outside City Hall on Wednesday morning as Mayor Lori Lightfoot delivered her first budget address.

How CPS Strike is Impacting High School Seniors Applying for College

Emely Gramajo, a senior at Solorio Academy High School. (WTTW News)

There is still no deal between the city and the Chicago Teachers Union, and the strike is raising specific concerns for some high school seniors. Meanwhile, a former teacher-turned-presidential hopeful rallied with the CTU on Tuesday morning.

Strike Day 2: City Wants 10-Hour Daily Bargaining Sessions With CTU

Chicago Public Schools teachers formed picket lines for the second day Friday as the city and Chicago Teachers Union continued contract negotiations.

As teachers hit the picket lines for the second day, the city called on Chicago Teachers Union leaders to spend more time at the negotiating table in order to reach a deal. 

Contract Bargaining Wraps Up With No Deal Between CTU, Board of Education

This Sept. 10, 2012 file photo shows Chicago teachers walking a picket line outside a school in Chicago, after they went on strike for the first time in 25 years. (AP Photo / M. Spencer Green, File)

Time is running out for Chicago Public Schools to reach a deal with the Chicago Teachers Union on a new contract. 

CPS Teachers, Staff Rally and March as Strike Countdown Continues

Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey speaks during a rally Monday.

Negotiators took a break from the bargaining table Monday as thousands of teachers and school staff rallied in hopes of securing what they called a “fair contract.” 

As Teachers Strike Nears, CPS and CTU No Closer to Contract Deal

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey appear on “Chicago Tonight,” separately, on Thursday, Oct. 9, 2019.

After another day of bargaining, negotiators for Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union appear no closer to averting a planned Oct. 17 teachers strike.

What’s Next in Lead-Up to a Chicago Teachers Strike?

This Sept. 10, 2012 file photo shows Chicago teachers walking a picket line outside a school in Chicago, after they went on strike for the first time in 25 years. (AP Photo / M. Spencer Green, File)

The Chicago Teachers Union has set a strike date of Oct. 17, but the deadline for the city to come to a deal with the 25,000-member union may be sooner.