Current Events Archive

Schools on the Line

On Thursday, October 6th, from 7:00pm - 8:00pm, Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard will appear on WBEZ 91.5FM for the second edition of the monthly live call-in program, Schools on the Line. This month, however, the show will only be taking calls and emails from the students of CPS (anyone under 21) - offering a perfect opportunity to have your students think about and prepare questions they want to ask the CEO of CPS.

Some ideas to get them thinking:

  • I Dream a School... - Ask students to brainstorm (individually or as a class) qualities of their ideal school community. Then consider how the reality of your school differs from their ideal and compile a list of things they would like to see change and why.
  • Compare and Contrast - Are there things students think your school does particularly well or poorly? Do they know of other schools that seem to do handle these issues better?
  • Extended School Time - Mayor Emanuel and Mr. Brizard have both spoken repeatedly about plans to extend the CPS school day. What ideas do your students have about how they believe schools should use that extra time?

To participate in the broadcast, students can:

  • Join the live broadcast at 7p.m. Thursday, October 6th, by calling 312-923-9239
  • Leave a question or comment for Mr. Brizard ahead of time by calling 312-948-4886. (Students should include their name, age, and what school they attend.)
  • Email questions to: (Students should include their name, age, and what school they attend.)
  • Twitter: @AskBrizard


America Remembers 9/11

Interested in addressing the 10th anniversary of 9/11 in class? Check out the following resource ideas from various civic education and media organizations around the web:

  • PBS NewsHour 9/11 Video Quilt     For the past month, PBS has gone across the nation asking Americans five questions about how life has changed since 9/11. Watch what people have had to say (consider doing a 'Stand and Declare' activity as students watch each interviewee's response) or use the 'Submit Your Video' button on the page to give your students a chance to share their own answers. (For more individuals' recorded stories about the impact of 9/11, see StoryCorps' 9/11 Initiative website as well.)

  • Facilitating Constructive Conversations about 9/11     Conversation Guidelines for Schools and Academic Settings, developed by the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, provides useful steps for having respectful conversations about 9/11 and religion. It is intended to help students with differing perspectives understand one another.

  • Bringing 9/11 in the Classroom: Useful Lessons     Teaching Tolerance's collection of resources to address many religious and cultural issues-issues that are likely to remain in the news through the 2012 elections and beyond.
  • Oral History and September 11     This lesson from the Choices Program asks students to explore the human dimension of 9/11 by conducting an interview, consider the benefits and limitations of using oral history to learn about the past, and assess their own views on 9/11.
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