School & District Management

Urban Education

March 28, 2001 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Focus on Education

A network of Chicago’s public-broadcasting stations and other nonprofit organizations will explore some of the city’s most pressing education issues beginning next month.

The group, known as Chicago Matters, is promising to take an in-depth look at how sweeping changes in the city’s public-housing sector are having an impact on neighborhood schools.

In a series of articles, documentaries, essays, and group discussions, the groups also will examine the state of education in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs, including sensitive issues surrounding testing.

Since banding together 12 years ago, the members of Chicago Matters have examined subjects such as violence, religion, health care, immigration and, last year, juvenile justice.

The group is financed by the Chicago Community Trust, which provides $35 million in annual grants to support local agencies serving the Chicago area.

“What Chicago Matters does with its multimedia approach is bring issues to the public in a very dramatic way,” said Don Stewart, the president and chief executive officer of the Chicago Community Trust.

Chicago Matters includes WTTW-TV, the WBEZ public radio station, and The Chicago Reporter and Catalyst: Voices of Chicago School Reform, which are local specialty newspapers.

The wide-ranging coverage promises to raise public awareness and could spark interest in policy changes.

The programming scheduled through June includes a five-part education series on WTTW. The series will open with a segment hosted by Oprah Winfrey on the importance of learning to read.

Meanwhile, The Chicago Reporter and Catalyst will survey Chicago public school valedictorians from the classes of 1990, 1995, and 2000 on how well they were prepared by the schools to enter college and the work world.

WBEZ is planning documentaries that will follow an ex-convict earning his General Educational Development diploma. The radio station will also document the efforts of Latinos trying to succeed in a suburban school.

Mr. Stewart pointed out that the research and lessons learned from this year’s education campaign will be used by the trust in the fall as part of its upcoming five-year school improvement effort.

The foundation plans to invest $50 million in Chicago over that time. “We’ll know a lot more when the Chicago Matters effort is over,” Mr. Stewart said.

—Robert C. Johnston

A version of this article appeared in the March 28, 2001 edition of Education Week


English-Language Learners Webinar The Science of Reading and Multilingual Learners: What Educators Need to Know
Join experts in reading science and multilingual literacy to discuss what the latest research means for multilingual learners in classrooms adopting a science of reading-based approach.
School & District Management K-12 Essentials Forum Get a Strong Start to the New School Year
Get insights and actions from Education Week journalists and expert guests on how to start the new school year on strong footing.
Reading & Literacy Webinar A Roadmap to Multisensory Early Literacy Instruction: Accelerate Growth for All Students 
How can you develop key literacy skills with a diverse range of learners? Explore best practices and tips to meet the needs of all students. 

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management Top Tips for New Assistant Principals From Those Who've Been There
Nurture relationships, learn on the job, take care of yourself—and other key advice.
5 min read
Image of leaders as a central figures to a variety of activities in motion.
Laura Baker/Education Week and gobyg/DigitalVision Vectors
School & District Management L.A. Cracks Down on Homeless Encampments Near Schools, Over the Jeers of Protesters
Under the new restrictions, homeless people would be prohibited from setting up tents within 500 feet of every public and private school.
David Zahniser and Benjamin Oreskes, Los Angeles Times
5 min read
A homeless camp in downtown Los Angeles pictured on Sept. 17, 2019. A proposal to greatly restrict where homeless people may camp in Los Angeles drew protest at a City Council meeting from demonstrators who fear the rules would criminalize homelessness.
A homeless camp in downtown Los Angeles. A proposal to greatly restrict where homeless people may camp in Los Angeles drew protest at a City Council meeting from demonstrators who fear the rules would criminalize homelessness.
Damian Dovarganes/AP
School & District Management Statistics Update: New Trends in Enrollment, Virtual Schooling, and Special Education
New data in EdWeek's statistics pages point to changes in where students are attending school and the services they're getting.
Conceptual image of allocation.
Lea Toews/iStock/Getty
School & District Management Opinion 10 Ways to Include Teachers in Important Policy Decisions
Teachers are the lifeblood of schools, and they should be treated that way.
5 min read
18Goldstein 1126473545