Crossed Fingers For Obama 2

Today's education news includes a listing of schools with top ACT scorers (just two or three are CPS), a Tribune feature on a literacy push in some CPS schools, a new report about teacher absence policies costing instructional time and big money, and Tim Furman on the need for an elected school board. (See previous posts for updates on the new Board meeting sign-up process and the effort to slow down the school closing process.) Chicago-area schools produce multiple top ACT scores among students Tribune: Seven of the top 10 Chicago-area high schools with the best combined test scores on the Prairie State Achievement Exam — which includes the ACT and is taken by all juniors in the state — recorded multiple 36s in the class of 2013, according to the Illinois State Board of Education's recently released annual school report cards.

Literacy push opens new chapters for young readers Tribune: Inside a Cardenas Elementary School classroom in Chicago's Little Village, Marisela Aguirre's students gather to review their latest vocabulary list. Using flash cards that include words including "coax," "wheezes" and "smidgen."

Can you kill an idea? WBEZ: The Taliban believes that women have few and limited rights and no need for education. Over the years the Taliban has destroyed 200 girl schools in Pakistan. They have also tried and subsequently beaten and publically humiliated women and girls who sought out education or any form of social freedom.

Improving Teacher Attendance Will Increase Student Achievement, Save School District Resources NYT: Today a new study from the Center for American Progress sheds light on the often overlooked problem of excessive teacher absence and makes a case for how our nation’s school districts can improve student achievement  

Dear Illinois Legislature Tim Furman: First, the people of Chicago have spoken very clearly (over 86% of those voting) indicated that they want to vote for the members of their school board, like residents of every other town in the state.


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  • One school which always seems to have a lot of teacher absences is Prosser Career Academy High School and they were ranked 2nd in the city a few years ago by FoxChicago, who did a report on CPS teacher absences. FoxChicago reported Proser averages close to 8% teacher absences/day, close to ten (10) subs a day are needed at Prosser.

    Also, the culture at Prosser is horrible as details about another scandal at Prosser Career Academy High School are coming out, this one came a few months after the football hazing scandal.

    This scandal happened in December, 2011 and involved two Prosser coaches (Darren Thurman and Danzel 'Pops' Scott) and a female freshman student. And, DCFS did an investigation because the female was a ward of the state. Neither coach had any type of teaching or coaching certification to coach throughout CPS. Also, Thurman was put on the CPS 'Do Not Hire' list and is also a Army recruiter In Chicago.

    Both coaches were fired after one coach verbally and physically harassed the freshman female student. The female student reported the incident to Prosser security and her guardian. And Principal Kenneth Hunter fired both coaches and cancelled the entire wrestling program in the early months of the 2011-12 season.

    One of the wrestling coaches (Thurman) fired was also a defensive coordinator on the Prosser varsity football team in 2011. Hunter had lauded this coach as an improvement over previous coaches at Prosser.

    What's known is both of the coaches were uncertified, African American, hired by Hunter, Prosser alums, and are in their early to mid 20's.

    As per usual, it appears Prosser Principal Hunter didn't notify CPS, Calvin Davis, or the Chicago Police about the scandal.

  • Who peed in your corn flakes this morning? Your posts about Prosser make it clear you have some personal vendetta against the administration? You should elaborate on your own grievances with the administration, as opposed to the naming and shaming of particular individuals. I think if you are going to use this forum as means to disparage specific individuals in your building with incompetence, immoral or criminal acts, you should identify yourself. Hiding behind anonymity is cowardly and undermines the veracity of your claims.

  • I am considered outspoken but I do not use my name on here not to protect myself, but my administration. This forum provides information about specific issues in CPS. It provides anonymity which is paramount because CPS does not protect its whistleblowers in spite of the law.
    Several school principals and CAOs have been mentioned on this blog as being abusive. This principal at Prosser obviously has issues and I would not want my name used either. It is all too easy for principals to trump up false allegations against a teacher especially male teachers.

    If these allegation are false I am sure they will be disproven although I do not see a groundswell of support for this principal at least on this blog.

    It has been my experience as a veteran teacher that "in school" issues only end up on this blog because all other avenues have failed. CPS central office needs to start paying attention to these types of issues and monitor teacher transfer rates at certain schools BEFORE it hits the media which then reflects poorly on all of us.

  • I for one can tell you the endless Prosser/Hunter diatribe is getting really old. We understand - you don't like Ken Hunter. Writing the same angry article in response to any topic is pretty silly. It's not winning me over to your cause.

  • CPS has been aware of the nonsense going on at Prosser and the way Ken Hunter has been running his fiefdom for years. Those who reported him were outed by CPS and faced repercussions, including being fired and displaced by Hunter. This site offers a forum to inform people of how Hunter has created abusive and intolerable working condition for Prosser teachers. Hunter has been suspended for various misdeeds in the past, but, his political 'juice' always seems to bail him out. Plus, Hunter installs his people in the Prosser LSC and he's untouchable as they 'rubber stamp' anything he wants them to as they're more figureheads than anything else. We have an admission's rep/football coach without a degree and any kind of teaching or coachng credentials that bullies staff members. We have a teacher assistant aka toolroom operator, a former Prosser teacher and Hunter friend, who does nothing but show up and collect a paycheck. We have a computer technician who was a caught having an affair with a female student 4 years ago, then was arrested (not charged) for stealing Prosser computers and parts. We have two female twin teachers who were hired as Special Ed. teachers without having their proper credentials while other displaced CPS teachers weren't given a chance to apply for their open positions, because the positions were never listed. (One of the twins is the daughter-in-law of our APs girlfriend). We have only 7% of our teachers being Black with 40% White teachers. etc, etc. etc
    And, if you report Hunter and his crew, you're outed by CPS and made to be the problem.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Hey dist 299 reader.
    I hope you have contacted the police or DCFS about these serious allegations.To be precise you must contact your immediate supervisor if you have ,good for you If not your are guilty of a crime yourself.
    Only once in 41 years was I put in a situation where I was privy to a students story of a sexual situation he found himself in with a staff member.
    Right to the AP we went if you do not do that you have no balls.
    It is not your call to decide if the kids story is true. It is your primary duty as a teacher, not to mention an adult, to protect the health and safety
    of your students. If they fire you for it ,that’s why we have lawyers .

  • What happens now with the elected school board issue?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Well the advisory votes can be used as part of an argument for an elected school board in the Illinois General Assembly assuming a new bill gets drafted next session. But lets be clear, after what happened yesterday in the vote for the IL Gen Assembly the Democrats have total control.

    The Democrats have 71-47 veto-proof majority in the Illinois House and a 40-19 veto-proof majority in the Senate. You can no longer attempt to play Republicans against Chicago Democrats, the Republicans have been wiped out. This means that Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President Cullerton will need to either support the bill or be totally neutral. Therefore the sponsors would have to be major Democrats in order for it to have a chance.

    Given the fact that the Mayor will be opposed to an elected school Board this will require some type of a breach between the Mayor and the Democrats in the Assembly. I am not sure that is going to happen, its possible, but not likely.

    Rod Estvan

  • Your rants about Prosser (aka the Anti-Christ) only reinforce the negative portrayals of teachers found in the media. You certainly don't offer a counter-narrative that is positive or that is child-centered.

    I’m not incredibly religious, but if this were a confessional, the priest would have administered a spiritual drubbing for your trespasses.

    ✔ PRIDE - a desire to be more important or attractive than others, failing to acknowledge the good work of others, and excessive love of self .. Often leads to preaching or exhorting others while being blind to their own failing

    • “…admission's rep/football coach without a degree and any kind of teaching or coaching credentials …
    • “Neither coach had any type of teaching or coaching certification to coach”

    ✔ ENVY - desire for others' traits, status, abilities, or situation.
    • [Thurman] is also a Army recruiter In Chicago
    • “Hunter had lauded this coach as an improvement over previous
    coaches at Prosser”
    • “installs his people in the Prosser LSC and he's untouchable”
    • “Both of the coaches were uncertified, African American, hired
    by Hunter, Prosser alums, and are in their early to mid 20's.”
    • “Prosser teacher and Hunter friend, who does nothing but show
    up and collect a paycheck”


    ✔ SLOTH - avoidance of physical or spiritual work.

    IMPLIED , as you are obviously negating your teaching responsibilities with your incessant & tiresome blog entries about Prosser.

    From your previous posts I would guess you are a former Prosser coach, who was either dismissed by or has been overlooked by the Principal. Or not? In fact, you wrote the word coach or coaches 19 times today and made references to sports at least 7 times.

  • BTW- I haven't seen many reactions or commentary to overwhelming support for an elected school board.

  • for what it's worth, the citizens of bridgeport connecticut rejected a move to a mayoral-controlled school board last night -- despite lots of support from reformers and mike bloomberg types who thought the system should be switched.

  • @wtf: You must work for CPS, specifically CPS Investigations (or you're one of the Prosser people being mentioned) because they too turn around and start blaming whistleblowers and find fault with them instead of doing something to stop the problems arising at clout heavy schools. I had a colleague report wrongdoing at Prosser and one of the investigators turned around and started threatening them for knowing about the problem(s) and waiting to inform them.

  • I would love to see Mayor Rahm Emanuel show up at Prosser Career Academy and thank Ken Hunter for underfunding the after school and sports teams of their budgeted CPS monies, so Hunter can go off to England with a few 'pet' teachers and students 1-2 times a year. In fact, Mayor Emanuel was supposed to visit Prosser, but, Hunter asked him not to come, stating students were testing when they weren't.

    A few years ago, Hunter left Prosser's sports' budget at zero dollars by April which forced the girls softball team to take their own cars to a game. And, one of the cars, with 4 girls and driven by one coach, was crashed into by a drunk driver and sending all of them to the hospital. None of the girls had permission slips and CPS let Hunter had it for his lack of oversight and not following CPS policies. ..Oh, I forgot to mention, Hunter was so enraged by the accident, not for the girls getting hurt as Hunter didn't even check on any of the girls in the hospital for a few days, but because he got yelled at again by CPS.

    Mayor Emanuel walking around at Prosser would be a sideshow just for watching Hunter run around like a chicken without his head and be nearing a major coronary.

    When Daley visited a few years ago, Hunter tightened security and cleared the halls so much that Prosser looked like a prison under lockdown forcing Mayor Daley to ask where the students were at. Hunter had instructed all teachers to keep students in their rooms until Daley left and then had to scramble to find students and directed one of his people to bring down some IB kids to talk to Daley.

    Though, Daley got a peek at regular students when a class bell ring, the teacher couldn't stop them from leaving her class, and they all piled out of their rooms, wondering into the halls, and making the halls look like Mardi Gras with all the wild crap going on. I looked at Hunter and thought he just melted into the floor by his embarrassed reaction. That teacher was let go after the year a result of Hunter's anger from his embarrassment, something Hunter is well known to do.

  • Any time any dignitary has been in the building we went on lock down.
    Except for one congressman who showed up so drunk he fell down the
    stage stairs.
    Nothing you have written is new.Why don't you take your med's or
    lay off the weed? Better yet confront your daemons or get professional

  • rbusch: I've caught your act on the comments on this board before and you always have little to say in terms of content, just some online jawjacking. I will not even dignify the weed or meds comment because you sound like the people in the know at Prosser or at CPS when I voiced MY complaints, you flip things to blame the person objecting to the problems and don't address the problems....status quo for CPS

    I taught at Prosser and I couldn't wait to get out of there and teach soomewhere else. The school I'm at right now isn't the greatest, but, my mantra is...."It's better than Prosser."

    The Prosser principal and his posse are all educational gangsters and wil bully people. And, this includes a few of the female counselors and clerks which cover up all kinds of nonsense.

    We have all seen people like this and worse who seem to be bulletproof. People who keep their job in spite of overwhelming evidence they should be fired. People who we know should not have been hired. But, for some reason, these people running the show at Prosser are bulletproof and CPS does little about them, the state of the school, monies be misspent, and the quality of education the students receive there.

  • Dear D299
    I think you could find a worst case of jawjacking than me. After
    all I spent 41 teaching in South side High Schools I prefer to
    call my comments experience. I taught for 25 years at
    Simeon a vocational school like Prosser. These vocational
    Schools are after all selective enrollment ,the seemingly one
    criteria for ALL successful CPS schools ,including charters.
    The life of a teacher in a selective enrollment school is vastly
    Different than teaching in a General high school.
    The cynical pun about meds and weed is a result of the continuous rant
    Of yours about Prosser and its principal yet you never say
    what you did to correct the situations you describe.
    I fully understand the vindictive nature of the beast.
    But you are no longer there. Move on with your life
    And let the past go.

  • I have one name for the retired Simeon teacher with his head in the sand, that name is Marilyn Jenkins-Evans.

    Here's a link to a report on Evans:

    It appears you were there when Evans was at Simeon as a bookkeeper and embezzling $456,000. How did you or others not know what was going on? Either you were too naive and clueless, knew about it and looked the other way, or you were in on the scam.

    Evans is another reason why all CPS schools', especially Prosser, discretionary funds should be made public and all spending should be detailed online on each school's website. It's not the schools' monies, it's the taxpayers and they should know where the money is being spent. Where is the money going? And, when the public finds out where the money is going at Prosser, I guarantee their principal will be gone and so will his partners in crime.

    So, my suggestions to change things at Prosser would start with getting rid of Principal Ken Hunter, followed by full disclosure of monies spent by Prosser and for what, getting rid of the uesless shop classes and bring in the STEM program, and then bring in a new administration, teachers, counselors, and staff more like their students. Meaning = More African-American and Latinos at Prosser.

    Why do I still care about Prosser? It's because my friends, students, and colleagues are stuck under this goon's leadership. people need to know about Prosser and how poorly it's run. If taxpayers knew, they'd be PISSED about their money being wasted.

  • Dear dist 299

    it could be i didn't know about it because i was not there.I left Simeon in 1995 and believe she came later since i had never heard of her till
    the scandal broke.
    This guy Hunter was he ever in a sort of Principal student teacher
    program? we had a guy named Hunter who shadowed
    the Bogan principal for a couple of months in the late 90's
    or early oo"s but he then went someplace else.In fact a couple of other
    people also did the same thing..

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