INCS News

INCS Statement on the Appointment of New CPS Board

The Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) congratulates the newly appointed members of the Chicago Public Schools Board of Education (CPS BOE): Miguel del Valle, president, Sendhil Revuluri, vice president, Dwayne Truss, Elizabeth Todd-Breland, Lucino Sotelo, Luisiana Melendez and Amy Rome. The CPS BOE consists of a diverse group, including former graduates, a parent, a principal and community advocates, who will…
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INCS Statement on Budget Framework for Chicago’s Charter Public Schools

In their mutual commitment to ensuring that Chicago students are provided access to high quality public education, the charter public school community and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) recently concluded discussions in a way that will protect classroom and staff resources and preserve quality programming in charter public schools. Based on this agreement, restoration of fourth-quarter…
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INCS Statement on the Inauguration of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot

The Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) extends its congratulations to Lori Lightfoot, who was inaugurated today as Chicago’s new mayor. INCS is eager to partner with Mayor Lightfoot in deepening support for the city’s public schools, bridging the economic gap among neighborhoods, and supporting other initiatives to lift up families across our great city….
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Parents tell lawmakers “charters change lives” at 2019 INCS Lobby Day

Families and advocates of charter public school students gathered at the Illinois State Capitol May 8 to celebrate the successes of charter schools and to call for equitable treatment from lawmakers as part of the Illinois Network of Charter Schools’ (INCS) Lobby Day. Representing the 64,700 families who have chosen charter public education in Illinois,…
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Charter Public School Parents Meet with Illinois Lawmakers to Call for Fair Treatment

CHICAGO (INCS)—Hundreds of parents of charter school students will gather at the state capitol May 8 to celebrate the successes of charter public schools and to demand equitable treatment from elected officials. More than 64,700 families in Illinois have selected charter public schools to educate their children, and these parents voices will be heard as…
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INCS Response to Strike Authorization Votes

The Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) is disappointed that the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) has issued strike authorization votes at Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy High School, Instituto Justice and Leadership Academy Charter School, Youth Connection Charter School – Latino Youth High School, and Youth Connection Leadership Academy. A strike places significant burdens on…
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Going the Distance

Lena Kendall traveled 20 miles a day in Chicago traffic to take her son to school. Through rain, sleet and snow, she never regretted the commute from 91st and Ashland to Belmont and Kolmar. Kendall’s situation is not unique. About 45 percent of students in Chicago travel outside their neighborhood school boundary. Kendall’s purpose for…
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Illinois Charter Commission Approves Appeal, Overturns Closure

CHICAGO (INCS)—Earlier this week, the Illinois State Charter School Commission upheld the decision to close a low-performing charter public school and voted to approve a campus expansion of an existing high-quality charter public school. The Commission also denied an appeal by another charter school seeking an additional campus and overturned a decision to close an…
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INCS Mourns the Passing of Harrison I. Steans

Illinois lost a true champion. The Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) mourns the passing of Harrison I. Steans, an entrepreneur and founder of North Lawndale College Prep, a two-campus charter public high school.

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Elevating Chicago: Bridging the City’s College Divide

Chicago’s public school system has undergone a dramatic transformation over the past twenty years.The transformation has gone largely unnoticed, but it has had a profound impact on the city’s overall educational performance. Unlike twenty years ago, Chicago students are now just as likely to attend a school choice option as they are to attend their…
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Chicago: A Choice District

Chicago’s public school system has undergone a dramatic transformation over the past twenty years. The transformation has gone largely unnoticed, but it has had a profound impact on the city’s overall educational performance. Unlike twenty years ago, Chicago students are now just as likely to attend a school choice option as they are to attend…
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Paving a New Path

Paving a New Path provides practical advice for the key phases of planning a charter school, from exploring the idea of charter school development to submitting a high-quality charter school proposal and preparing to open your school. Drawing upon the collective wisdom and technical information from the Illinois Network of Charter Schools and other experts…
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Illinois Statewide Survey: Public Education and Charter Public Schools

Education remains one of the highest priorities among voters, and there are strong opinions on the current state of Illinois’ public schools, according to the poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies. Polling more than 600 registered voters, including both parents and non-parents across a wide spectrum of demographics, political parties, and counties in Illinois, the…
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Achieving the Dream: Chicago Charter High Schools Improve Academic and Life Outcomes for Students

Since the first charter high school opened its doors in 1997, Chicago’s charter public high schools have been transforming the public education system to improve academic achievement and outcomes, especially for African-American and Latino students who have historically faced barriers to academic success. This issue brief examines how charter public high schools have moved the…
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Perspectives Interns Exhibit ADL Principles During INCS Internship

Kyla and Kayla, juniors at Perspectives Charter School, recently participated in a six-week internship at the Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) to gain more experience in a work environment. This is one of many internships that Perspectives offers to juniors who attend the school. We asked Kyla and Kayla a few questions about Perspectives and their internship experiences,…
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Divvy Bikes and Education Funding

By Rich Haglund, Chief Operating Officer at INCS Now that spring appears to be fully present in Chicago, I face more competition for Divvy bikes (Chicago’s bike-sharing program). Sometimes I have to walk to a second or third dock near the train station to get a bike to ride to my office. I admit I’m…
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School choice is for teachers, too.

By Rich Haglund, Chief Operating Officer at the Illinois Network of Charter Schools Adults with the means to do so regularly exercise school choice – by moving, by attending private school, or by homeschooling their children. In most communities, unless a large percentage of school-consuming families exercise choice suddenly, the existing public schools are not…
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APA’s Read to Succeed Program Honors LEARN 8 Middle School

On Wednesday, March 15, students from LEARN 8 Middle School were honored by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.’s Midwestern Region (Alpha Mi and Mu Mu Lambda Chapters). Brothers from Alpha Phi Alpha, the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity for African-American men, read poems to students and emphasized the importance of reading and becoming educated citizens. The…
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Changing the Narrative One Tie at a Time

On Wednesday, September 21, young men from LEARN 8 Middle School participated in the Tied to Greatness ceremony. Men of color from the East Garfield Park neighborhood on Chicago’s west side taught the 8th grade boys how to tie their ties and encouraged them to combat the negative stereotypes seen in their environments. Sharing their…
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College-Bound Students Inspire Community at 87th Annual Bud Billiken Day Parade

Representative Christian Mitchell with several college-bound Chicago youth, minutes before the parade began Every summer, families on Chicago’s Southside gather to celebrate the start of the school year at the annual Bud Billiken Day Parade. This 87-year-old tradition launched with a noble purpose: “to provide underprivileged youth with the chance to be in the limelight.”[i]…
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