AM News: Turning Around Marshall High School

High School in Chicago prepares for turnaround
Tribune:  "No
one has come in and said, 'I want to talk to all the kids in the
auditorium and explain what turnaround is.'"...Key teacher union backs Quinn for governor Clout St:  The politically
powerful Illinois Education Association on Tuesday is expected to
endorse Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, citing concerns over Republican
nominee Bill Brady's efforts to cut taxes instead of raising them, union


100 Mother McAuley Students Named Educational Excellence Scholars Windy Citizen:  Nearly
100 students at Mother McAuley High School in Chicago recently received
the United States of America President's Award for Educational
Excellence...New high school to serve Back of the Yards, Bridgeport Gazette:  Starting in 2013, however,
things will be looking up for teenagers in those communities as a new
public high school for more than 1,200 students will open in the
neighborhood at 4700 S. Hoyne Ave...Teacher: CPS layoffs set a 'dangerous precedent' Sun Times:  In Chicago, the very expertise
that boosted Domes and O'Brien out of
regular daily classrooms put them in budget-cutting crosshairs.

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  • I noted with interest the following in the Tribune article about the turnaround at Marshall H.S.: "... a number of students won't return to Marshall next year, according to the head of the school turnaround office, Donald Fraynd. There are about 120 seniors without the credits to graduate who will be encouraged to enroll at alternative schools. Another 20 to 30 with the poorest discipline records will be encouraged to go elsewhere if they can't get their acts together, Fraynd said."

    I will say this without hesitation, if any of the students Mr. Fraynd is encouraging to enroll in "alternative schools," are identified as disabled and they seek representation I will do my best to find them legal counsel. Any attempt to force a disabled student out of a school without holding an IEP meeting to discuss a change of placement is a significant violation of IDEA. These students who are "encouraged to go elsewhere" if they are disabled may also have an entitlement for compensatory education services at the expense of the CPS. The current Alternative Schools are a complete failure for students with disabilities sent to them, and have been found so by the ISBE.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    All Turn-around schools are under the direction of ISBE. CPS has very little control. Since ISBE is involved I'm sure IDEA violations will be given top priority. In other words, Marshall must have some legal ground for "encouraging" students mot to return, if not ISBE would not have approved the memo.

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    eric zorn and his readers weigh in on the marshall turnaround story and who's REALLY to blame for school failures:

    "No matter what, you can't blame the kids. If they're failing, it's our failure. It's the failure of the staff and administration...."

    This quote, along with the pathetic, enabling antics of an overmatched economics teacher, struck me particularly in this story.

    I think there would be much truth to Dorrell's assessment if we were talking about students in the early grades. But by high school, I'm sorry, if they're failing it's their failure, it's a family failure and it's a community failure as well as a staff/administration failure.

    This feels like a grumpy old conservative thing to say, but many of my conservative friends, who normally sound the vuvuzela of personal responsibility, assure me that, yes, these inner-city school failures are directly attributable to the teachers unions and the educrats. Just as Dorrell self-flagellatingly declares.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    I have to agree with you on this point. These high school students should know that homework is their responsibility, that doing their work should not be contingent on their teacher doing a dance.
    It is the failure of the family to allow these kids to think that they don't need an education. It is the failure of the community as a whole that shows that you don't need to read to make money.
    The 'Me' syndrome has taken over. "What's in it for me?" "What do I get?" Remember the school that was paying students for showing up and doing their work? What ever happened there?

  • tick. tick. tick. And still no organizational chart from CO after one and a half one has a clue who to call with a question or even what the current departments are and what their functions might be. So odd.

  • it's a "war on tenure," according to NEA exposed. but is that really true?

  • Acting Marshall Principal Melver Scott, a friend of mine, said it right in the article, "Firings offer school a fresh start"; "Our system (CPS) is working ASS-BACKWARDS." That says it all!

  • I agree.

  • An elected school board selects and hires -- via a vote and, perhaps, community input -- the SUPERINTENDENT of a school. Are there any other districts in Illinois where the school board members are not elected? Where one man appoints all, apparently not trusting residents and PARENTS to decide? Is this not taxation -- highest in the nation, in fact -- without representation?

  • Wait, now I am really upset. I checked the CPS demographics for Marshall, and it shows less than 1000 students at Marshall. So if 120 seniors and up to 30 others are counseled out, that is 15 percent of their students. If my former school had the authority and/or b*lls to eliminate 15 students -- that's 15 total, not percent -- I doubt the school would have deteriorated as it did.

  • You can have LSCs and an elected school board. The LSC law came first before Daley demanded his own picks to the board.

    Isn't there a law/policy already on the books that all school districts must have educational leadership at the head of the boards?

  • The LSCs do not choose the superintendent. In fact, if the non-elected BOE decides to close a school, can the LSC vote to stop it?
    LSCs also exclude some special ed parents from having a vote in their child's school. For instance, my neighborhood school decided they cannot educate my son, so he is tuitioned out to a private school. I fought the BOE for years over the last private school he was forced into, a fight that never ever allowed me a vote in the council overseeing my son's school.

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