New Journal To Monitor Chicago Reforms

January 24, 1990 6 min read

An independent publication that will “monitor, document, analyze, and support” Chicago’s parent-led experiment in school reform is set to be launched in February.

Catalyst will be published by the Community Renewal Society, an urban service agency, and edited by Linda Lenz, an education writer for the Chicago Sun-Times.

The publication will be issued in two formats. Six months of the school year, it will appear as a newsletter aimed at members of the recently elected school councils and the local school community; in this format, Catalyst will feature articles on innovative programs.

For three months of the year, the publication will take the form of a journal directed at leaders in education, government, and community affairs at the local, state, and national levels. The journal will highlight the experiences of reformers and offer in-depth analysis by education experts.

The premier issue of Catalyst, scheduled for publication on Feb. 15, will be a 48-page journal.

“Catalyst will link communities and offer constituencies the opportunity to share ideas and concerns,” said Gwendolyn J. Jordan, chairman of its editorial board and director of the crs’s community-development division.

Funding for the publication will be provided by a consortium of independent and corporate sponsors, including the Chicago Community Trust and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Catalyst will be distributed free to a targeted audience of parents, community leaders, local school councils, and policymakers. The general public may order subscriptions, at a rate still to be determined, by writing Catalyst Subscription, Community Renewal Society, 332 South Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60604.

In step with the publishing industry’s merger and international-expansion trends, the French company Groupe de la Cite, one of the world’s largest publishing concerns, and smg Associates, an American management group, have announced the formation of a partnership to establish a new educational publishing house in the United States.

The Millbrook Press Inc. will initially publish curriculum-oriented supplementary books--works designed to amplify the information provided by textbooks--for elementary- and secondary-school children.

The company plans eventually to publish children’s trade and reference books as well.

The new publisher’s primary market will be school libraries and the approximately 15,000 public libraries that have children’s collections.

Beginning in January 1991, Millbrook will publish 90 titles during its first year.

With offices in Brookfield, Conn., and New York City, the new publishing house will be operated as an independent American company by smg Associates, with the participation of Groupe de la Cite.

A film of Tracy Kidder’s best-selling book Among Schoolchildren--to be made for Universal by the director Steven Spielberg’s Amblin’ Productions--is in the planning stages.

Rights to the Pulitzer Prize-winning author’s chronicle of a year in the classroom of a Holyoke, Mass., 5th-grade teacher reportedly sold for $400,000 in a deal negotiated by H.N. Swanson Inc., a Los Angeles-based literary agency, for Mr. Kidder’s agent, Georges Borchardt Inc. of New York.

Further details regarding the film’s cast and release date are not yet available, according to a spokesman at Georges Borchardt.

The American Library Association has named this year’s winners of the John Newbery and Randolph Caldecott Medals, two of the most highly regarded awards for children’s books.

Lois Lowry received the Newbery Medal for Number the Stars (Houghton Mifflin). The award is intended to honor the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children published during the previous year.

The Caldecott Medal, which recognizes the illustrator of the year’s most distinguished American picture book for children, was awarded to Ed Young for Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story From China (Philomel Books). The book is Mr. Young’s translation of a Chinese tale.

Three other titles--Afternoon of the Elves by Janet Taylor Lisle (Orchard Books); Shabanu, Daughter of the Wind by Suzanne Fisher Staples (Alfred A. Knopf); The Winter Room by Gary Paulsen (Orchard Books)--were named Newbery honor books.

Four works were cited as Caldecott honor books: Bill Peet: An Autobiography, illustrated and written by Bill Peet (Houghton Mifflin); Color Zoo, illustrated and written by Lois Ehlert (Lippincott); Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins, illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman and written by Eric Kimmel (Holiday House); and The Talking Eggs, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney and written by Robert D. San Souci (Dial Books for Young Readers).

Another new publication, making its debut this month, is written for corporate directors of education programs and funds.

Business-Education Report will feature short articles offering readers national perspectives on the growing investment of businesses in education.

Also included in each issue will be the “Corporate Directors Column,” in which managers of corporate educational programs will address specific problems and suggest possible solutions from a business point of view.

The monthly newsletter, to run six to eight pages, is published by InfoMedia Inc., based in Largo, Fla.

The rate for subscriptions--which include a copy of the publisher’s directory of partnership practitioners and a year’s subscription to Partnerships in Education Journal--is $150 for one year or $250 for two years; write Business-Education Report, 1132 Gershwin Dr., Largo, Fla. 34641.

A publication first issued last fall is designed to help teachers foster leadership skills in their students.

The Developing Leader for Today and Tomorrow, published bimonthly from August to April, appears in both an elementary edition, for grades 3 to 6, and a secondary edition, for grades 7 to 12.

Each issue of the eight-page publication includes articles, lesson plans, and activities for promoting responsible leadership in students.

Both editions of The Developing Leader, published by Master Teacher Inc. of Manhattan, Kan., are edited by John Koehn, assistant superintendent of instruction in the Oconomowoc (Wis.) Public Schools, and Nancy S. Blair, director of educational leadership at Cardinal Stritch College in Milwaukee.

The annual cost for a single subscription of five issues is $19; for two to four subscriptions, $16.50; for five to nine subscriptions, $14.50; and for 10 or more subscriptions, $12.50.

Inquiries should be addressed to Master Teacher, Leadership Lane, P.O. Box 1207, Manhattan, Kan. 66502.

R.R. Bowker, a leading publisher of bibliographic reference works, has acquired Children’s Magazine Guide, a subject index to children’s magazines designed for use by elementary- and junior-high-school students.

In announcing the acquisition, Ira Siegel, Bowker’s president, said that Children’s Magazine Guide “expands the nature of our readership while providing librarians and teachers with an important tool to extend the research capabilities of young students.”

Bowker purchased the index from Pleasant T. Rowland, founder of the Pleasant Company of Madison, Wis., who had acquired it in 1981. The publication was begun in the 1940’s by a group of elementary-school librarians in the Madison (Wis.) Public Schools.

Currently, 36 children’s magazines are indexed in the Guide, which is published nine times during the school year.--jw

A version of this article appeared in the January 24, 1990 edition of Education Week as New Journal To Monitor Chicago Reforms