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Rahm Emanuel, Chicago mayoral hopeful, calls for more teacher training

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This morning, Rahm Emanuel announced his plan to double the number of teacher training academies in Chicago.

Rahm also discussed the importance of teacher training with Nivine Megahed and George Litman, the President and Vice President of National-Louis University (NLU), NLU Dean of Education Alison Hilsabeck and Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL) students and staff.


Expanding teacher training academies

There are currently six urban teacher residency programs in Chicago. (By the end of 2010, there will be seven.) These programs combine a full year of Master's Degree level university course work with a full year of progressively responsible teaching under the guidance of a mentor teacher. After their year of training, successful graduates are employed as teachers in one of Chicago's schools, where they receive ongoing coaching and support. More than 80 percent of the program's 368 graduates over the past eight years are still teaching.

Double the number of teacher training academies

Rahm would like to double the number of academies and allow the graduates to teach in any Chicago public school - traditional, turnaround, magnet or charter. The current teacher-training program produces 50-70 new teachers each year, at a cost to CPS of $3.5 million. The program could be scaled up over two years to produce 150 new teachers a year, at a cost to CPS of about $10 million. Training academies would also have capacity to re-train teachers already serving in Chicago to prepare them specifically for making a difference in the city's most underperforming schools. The program would be funded with savings from the district's professional development budget, which has demonstrated little evidence of effectiveness.


CPS contribution

Academy contribution




$3.5 million

$2 million

$5.5 million



$10 million

$2 million

$12 million

Use the new corps of highly trained teachers to turn around more high-need schools

Teacher academy graduates currently serve in nearly three dozen public schools. This new corps of highly trained teachers will allow CPS to turn around two high schools and six elementary schools each year. By the end of his first term, Rahm will graduate more than 1000 teachers and turn around an additional 35 high-need schools.

A record of fighting for teacher training and resources

As a congressman representing Chicago's north and west sides, Rahm fought for additional funding for the Chicago Public School system. In 2005, he secured $2 million in state funding for a similar teacher training academy that was jointly implemented by the Chicago Public Schools and the Academy for Urban School Leadership, He also helped secure a new gifted program at a local elementary school and secured a $1.2 million juvenile justice grant for CPS.


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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on December 7, 2010 12:22 PM.

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