Tuesday Morning News Roundup (May 29)

There are ways to reduce violence -- let's use themSun Times
Arne Duncan, CEO of Chicago Public Schools, is right to ask whether such acts would be tolerated in affluent school districts. We cannot relegate inner-city ...

School gives boys the key to becoming real men Tribune
D'Angelo Gardner didn't like it when
staff members at Urban Prep Charter Academy for Young Men started
telling him to tuck in his shirt, pull up his pants, straighten his tie.

Girls Still Rock
Chicagoist

Last year when Chicagoist spoke with the ladies from Girls Rock! Chicago, the camp was in its first year and had been mildly successful, even though they were finding the camp difficult to publicize.

More cash sought for schools Tribune
Chicago Public Schools
Chief Arne Duncan said the district needs more money, but it also needs
long-term stability to better plan for classroom and capital ...

CHANGE OF SUBJECT Tribune
He and Chicago Schools CEO Arne Duncan, 42, who also played pro ball overseas in his day and also still has some serious game, scored nearly all the points ...

Students Lose Bid To Hold Graduation At Lane Tech WBBM
Chicago Public Schools
officials have decided Lane’s commencement ceremonies will not be at
Lane Stadium after all, but at the University of Illinois at ...

Witnesses' silence kills communitySun Times
But ask the parents of the 20 Chicago Public Schools students who have been killed thus far this year, or the survivors who are still waiting for someone to ...

Grappling with online success Sun Times
Since 2003, through a partnership with Chicago Public Schools, NFTE has worked with more than 1700 students throughout the area. ...

'CSI' comes to the MSI: Museum of Science and Industry Medill Reporter
CSI
couch potatoes, take note: a new exhibit at the Museum of Science and
Industry puts your crime-sleuthing skills to the test with an
interactive display based off the forensics on "CSI."

A Parent in Prison, a Void at Home Washington Post
That means Chicago public schools security guard Otis Gordon, 54, takes the family to see his wife in prison once every three months, since he doesn't have ...

Influential Hispanic leader, educator Tribune
After more than 30 years with the Chicago Public Schools, Ms. Miller taught at DePaul University. Then, the University of Illinois at Chicago. ...

Filed under: Media Watch

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  • Mr. Briggs article was maybe a little over the top. It had almost a missionary quality to it. I undersand why D'Angelo's mother wanted him so desperately to be admitted to be admitted to Urban Prep Charter Academy.

    I also understand why most of the boys at the school change out of their uniforms when they leave school. This happens at other charter high schools that have uniforms and I have witnessed it myself.

    Part of the problem I think is that some charters have their students put on the appearance of being students attending an elite prep-Academy that generates some resentment from youth that embrace contemporary urban culture. A culture that has created both amazing art forms and sometimes glorification of urban violence.

    It is completely unclear what the correlation is between students wearing blazers, white shirts, kahaki pants, crimson red ties and academic achievement. While these are attributes of the education of some wealthy children, there are also some wealthy children attending very elite schools with no dress codes who also are for the most part high achieving.

    We have known for a very long time that educational outcomes and social class are linked. Putting on a blazer will not address that fundamental reality. The primary charater of the story, D'Angelo, faces very large obstacles in achieving sucess, assuming we are talking of success in terms of graduating from a competative college and after graduation moving into the top quartile of our society in terms of income.

    The reason I make reference to the top quartile of income in our country is that is exactly who real private prep-academics are marketed too, blazers and all. If one spends much time at all listening to rap one can easily hear a harsh social critique of the progeny of the real prep-academies and their place in the social order of things. Mr. King and Urban Prep appear to be asking their students not only to become literate intelligent citizens of our nation, but to accept social conventions that are seen as pretentious within their communities. This is really asking a lot I think.

  • As you all may recall the focus of Mr. Briggs article was the struggle of one student in the context of an inner city neighborhood in relation to his school dress and his attendance at an all male charter school. Now why Mr. Briggs thought that this approach to the story was critical is not clear to me.

    Possibly Urban Prep presented the story to the reporter that way, possibly not. But the entire emphasis of the article was seeing Urban Prep as a source of social redemption for students such as D'Angelo. The article had very little concretely to say about D'Angelo's academic achievement. The article made a general comment about the students attending the Prep Academy being on average about 2 years below grade level, which I found interesting.

    8:32 pm has been at the school and believes it is making progress for its students. I hope that is the case and I hope D'Angelo does succeed. I have visited charter schools as both a Corey H. Monitor here in Chicago and one charter school located on Native American Reservation. Because my area is special education and my job was compliance monitoring I had access to performance data and service records. For this very special population I found at least at the charters I reviewed that these students with disabilities were performing equally poorly as there counterparts in regular CPS schools or in Bureau of Indian Affairs schools. I was impressed with the efforts that University of Chicago's elementary charter were making with their students with disabilities and I am hopeful that positive outcomes will be a result.

    Currently as pointed out in the Tribune article there is no information on performance for Urban Prep because the school is new. However, even next year I would expect that no public academic performance data related to students with disabilities in attendance at Urban Prep will be found on the school's report card. This is because of an ISBE rule that restricts public access to performance information at various grade levels unless there are more than 10 students in the subgroup of disabled students.

    I would be more than happy to visit Urban Prep as 8:32 pm suggests if the school would allow me to review even idenity masked performance data for its students with disabilities. In all honesty the outcomes for even relatively moderately disabled students in our city are simply put abysmal so I would be happy to see Urban Prep work for these students.

    But I would suggest that there are relatively few emotionally disturbed urban students who could survive the code of conduct and dress depicted in Mr. Briggs article. In fact parents of emotionally disturbed students have for some time believed that various CPS military academies would be good for their children due to their high structure and from what I have seen that has not generally been the case. But, I will admit this information comes mostly from special ed staff at two of these military schools.

    Urban Prep may be a good fit for some students with learning disabilities that do not have, what is called in the special ed world, maladaptive behaviors. But, yes I would be interested in visiting the school. I can be contacted at either Restvan@accessliving.org or rdest@aol.com

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