AM News: Is Fenger Getting Better?

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State has wide gap between high teacher pay and results Sun TImes: Elementary students in Bannockburn had the fourth-highest test scores in

Illinois last year, but that achievement wasn't reflected in the pay of

their teachers, whose average salaries ranked 242nd among elementary

school districts statewide...Derrion Albert: Chicago schools, police work together to fight school crimes Tribune:  Cooperative
efforts include a new police database, conference calls between police
and school officials and increased use of security cameras... Early education program may face big cuts
Tribune:  In
just over a year, 4-year-old Lilia Fisher went from being a shy
preschooler who wouldn't walk into class to a self-assured girl who
climbs the playground equipment.
Her mom, Tina Peano, attributes the transformation to the teachers at
Frederick... Teach-In to Fight Education Budget Cuts on April 17 Chicago Talks:  Join
ANSWER Chicago and local students and faculty in the fight against
education budget cuts that could devastate scholarships and wreak havoc
on Illinois classrooms... LSC Elections: High Schools
Catalyst:  Local School Council elections take place at all public high schools on report card pickup day. Where: Public High Schools.  When: April 22, 2010

Filed under: Daily News Roundup


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  • Sun-Times piece on pay is seriously flawed. Doesn't even ask the question of whether performance pay will mean salaries will go up fast at high-performing schools, or drop at low-performing ones. Then the follow up question: who pays for the first scenario, and who gets hurt by the second one?

  • In reply to cfdz:

    Since when does a salaried person get a reduction in pay due to low test scores? Is that how they do it in the private sector? No one will want to teach due to the instability of pay. Would a bank grant you a mortgage on that kind of pay rate?

  • In reply to cfdz:

    I would agree that people should stop linking Derrion Albert's death specifically to turnarounds. To highlight the death of one for political gain, as Fenger Turnaround authorities (in order to secure additional funding from the Federal government) and critics have done is not fair to the family.

    What is fair is to link the utter mismanagement of tons of extra resources by people who do not know how to run challenging neighborhood school to the resulting conditions at Fenger.

    What is fair is to link the complete and utter failure of the Turnaround process in Chicago as represented by the documented research of increases in violence, pushing out of students and no achievement increase to those who have built their careers on that failure and sold it to the entire country and ask whether it's what's best for our children.

    What is fair is to ask why the media--especially those invested in the Renaissance Schools Fund--seem to run only positive media about turnarounds and negative media about actual open enrollment neighborhood public schools staff by experience African American teachers.

    Finally, what is fair is to ask why our district leadership enforces policies that push experienced and African American teachers out of the system and replaces them with inexperienced, predominantly white teachers.

    To play Derrion Albert's name as a card on either side is irresponsible and is to insult a family, but to ignore these realities is to jeopardize the futures of millions of students across the country.

    xian from CORE

  • In reply to xian:

    At the charter school job fair this weekend, I noticed that, despite servicing a predominately African American and Hispanic population, most of the representatives of the schools were white.

  • I agree 11:23, let's wait for the data. I hear there is a significant drop in enrollement after high school turnarounds due to the big back door for push outs. That data WILL be interesting.

  • So What?
    If you read the story you will find one little reference to the fact that 400 students left
    Fenger. That is all it said so where did those kids go?

  • And if it really is 80 and not 400 as the article states, what neighborhood school would not instantly improve if it could get rid of 80 low performers/behavior problems? (In addition to receiving the hundreds of thousands of dollars in supports?)

  • Been There wrote:

    >>There are good children at Fenger who unfortunately have >>to contend with those students who choose to not be >>about the business of learning.

    This is why I still support the concept of charter schools. I figure if the laws and policies make it so that disruptive, unmotivated, violent and/or malicious students cannot be removed from the schools, then schools should be made for those students who do want to learn, who aren't disruptive or violent.

    Been there also wrote:

    >>Imagine, if every parent in the city who wants their >>child to go to a better school could just transfer them >>away from the violence, poor achievement, lack of >>resources, etc. to a better environment.

    This would be a good thing.

  • In reply to cermakRd:

    >>This is why I still support the concept of charter schools.

    Why charters/privatization? Instead, why not change the rules to give neighborhood schools the same freedom charters have to select, weed out, and remove students?

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Because it's likely to be very hard if not impossible to get that kind of legislation/policy change enacted and enforced.

  • Where do the other students go? You mean the violent, malicious or disruptive students? Ideally they would be sent to a facility where they could learn to control their behavior and have any educational shortcomings addressed.

    I don't see where the IL or US Constitution says that students bent on the disruption of the classroom environment are entitled to continue disrupting the classroom/schoolhouse environment. In fact, such negligence on the part of the administration of such a school might just be in violation of the rights of the rest of the students.

  • I'm not a teacher, so you needn't worry. But what I do know is that all that classroom management takes time away from instruction. I know that schools that can remove the disruptive element wind up with far better scores and far happier teachers and students.

    I know that no student should have to worry about being beaten up by a fellow student. I know that a student that has made an effort to do her homework and study her material should expect to be able to advance in her studies instead of wasting her classtime by reviewing the material because other students in her class couldn't be bothered to prepare like she did.

  • Nice try II
    Dear anonymous

    I am glad someone has decided to play devil

  • You wouldn't trust Catalyst's findings about students being forced out of Harper and into Robeson? Then I can't imagine who you would trust. Catalyst is usually pro-administration reform when they stray from their neutral norm.

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