Archive for August 2011

How Does a CPS Student Survive a Sibling’s Violent Death—Twice?

Charinez Jefferson, the 16-year-old young mom killed in a shooting on August 16, was in the news again Monday.  Eighteen-year-old Timothy Jones was charged in her murder.  Jefferson leaves behind two children—one is the child she was carrying at the time of her death.  A memorial with teddy bears and balloons stands on 64th street... Read more »

Keep DREAMin': Immigration Reform Ain't Gonna Happen Soon

The DREAMers are sleeping better this week.  This week’s passing of the Illinois DREAM Act allows undocumented high-school graduates, who have attended high school for at least three years, to apply for privately funded college scholarships.  Anyone with a taxpayer or Social Security number can also enroll in a state-run college-savings program.  Furthermore, high-school counselors... Read more »

Cameron Diaz and Other Reasons People Hate Chicago Teachers

They say there are two topics to avoid among new friends: religion and politics.  These days, I add a third—education.  Cameron Diaz’s new movie Bad Teacher isn’t going to make conversations about education easier.  Diaz plays a teacher in the profession for all the wrong reasons.  The movie isn’t getting good reviews and, this summer,... Read more »

You Speak So Well

It was after a faculty meeting a few years ago that one of my colleagues came up to me in the parking lot and said, “Ray.  You speak so well.” I responded, “Uh. O.K.” She continued to talk and, in her mind, expand the compliment while silently, in my mind, I wondered, “Why do you sound... Read more »

Like the Cell Phone, the Teen Is on Silent

I have 12-year-old students who have fancier phones than I do.  Despite the fact they have these high-tech gadgets, they struggle to communicate–with me, their parents, each other, and, probably, themselves. What teenager wouldn’t want a fancy phone?  It plays music. It takes pictures.  It connects them to the Web.  It does everything.  It does... Read more »