WBEZ Series Focuses On School Life

Chicago public radio put out an in-depth series on the teachers and students at Robeson HS a few weeks ago, but many may have missed it due to other news and the holiday season. B

It's not too late to check it out -- one of the few examples these days of reporters getting deep into the life of a school and the intersections between what is said about schools and what really happens in them.

School Tries to Beat Drop Out Odds WBEZ


Chicago’s Robeson High, on the city’s South Side, the graduation rate

is just 39 percent. It is a place where more students quit than

graduate. Almost all of the 1,600 kids here fail to meet state

standards.But everyday, administrators, teachers and students come to

school hoping to make a difference.

I am an occasional guest on WBEZ's Eight Forty Eight show. For the rest of the series, click below.

Talk with Students About the Issues


Chicago Public Schools, only around half the freshmen who enter high

school will earn their diploma. We're hitting the halls of Robeson High

School to see what it will take to reverse the tide. We’ll follow

several students as they try and stay the course. We’ll get to know

staff and administrators who want desperately to help them.

Meet students and administrators from the school below. And tune in beginning December 15to hear their stories. Stick with us as we find out whether this

neighborhood high school can breathe new hope into the lives of

students at risk, and change a system where the odds of graduation are


The School:

School Tries to Beat Drop Out Odds

We're following Chicago's Robeson High as the school attempts a new pilot program to keep freshmen from dropping out.

Posted on 12.15.2008

Jamelle and Mykelle: Two Friends Facing the “Watchlist”


and Mykelle spent their first weeks of high school without permanent

teachers in their most important classes. At the end of the first

quarter, both are getting F’s. Mykelle cuts classes regularly and

Jamelle’s mom is thinking of transferring him to an alternative school.

Posted on 12.11.2008

Sarah: Rising at Robeson


a good student with a strong drive—and a bit of an attitude. She dreams

of being a doctor, and Robeson staff believes Sarah’s proof that they

can educate kids who want to learn.

Posted on 12.10.2008

Demetrius: At a Crosswords


stakes are high for student Demetrius Davis. He knows he can go the way

of his two older brothers, one of whom is dead and the other is in

jail, or he can reject street life and focus on graduating.

Posted on 12.9.2008

Mr. Thomas: On a Mission


at Chicago’s Robeson High School is not for the faint of heart, as

principal Gerald Morrow likes to put it. But there’s one fellow walking

the halls of Robeson who never seems to lose his cool: Rodney Thomas.

Posted on 12.8.2008

Mr. Kuriakose: Trying to Stick with the Lesson Plan


K. is determined to get kids to learn algebra, but he also has to deal

with staplers being hurled across the room and students cussing him out.

Posted on 12.7.2008

Mr. Morrow: A View from the Principal’s Office


Gerald Morrow has faced the same issues that his students confront

daily. How can he show his students that they can overcome these

challenges just like he did?

Posted on 12.6.2008

Paige: Transforming the System


is part of a young, energetic and idealistic cadre of administrators

hoping that data and new programs will help reform Chicago’s struggling

public high schools. But she’s up against a behemoth bureaucracy.

Posted on 12.5.2008

Mrs. Davis: A Mother's Struggle


mom Mary wasn’t always there for her 14 year old son growing up, but

now she’s determined to make amends—and make sure he graduates.

Posted on 12.4.2008

Filed under: Media Watch

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