D202 Superintendent Marcus Campbell and Board President Pat Savage-Williams at a board meeting Aug. 7.

With classes at Evanston Township High School about to start on Monday, District 202 Superintendent Marcus Campbell is urging the community to stand strong against attacks on a progressive public school curriculum.

In his Welcome Back message on the district’s website, Campbell says that ETHS will continue to focus on “our strategic priorities” of social-emotional learning, literacy, racial equity and post high school planning.

“This work,” Campell says, “is not easy.”

Without mentioning any locations by name, but certainly implying places such as Florida, Campbell says, “Educators and school districts have been under intense scrutiny and criticism across the country as social justice initiatives have been repealed.”

The superintendent added that “the rights of people of color and those who identify on the LBGTQ+ continuum seem to be eroding,” to the distress of many ETHS students.

But ETHS, Campbell says, “will stay the course,” and not give up on the school’s goals.

“We won’t defend our equity work, we will live it,” the superintendent adds.

“We will continue in our efforts to address racial disparities,” and “affirm our students” by “lov[ing] them as they are….”

Campell says he is “proud that ETHS is a community that shows care for each other,” and members of that community must “stand together … in this time of great division.”

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Join the Conversation


  1. Thank you for a positive affirmation for students, who already struggle at such a vulnerable time in their lives. Your words exemplify the feelings of caring, committed educators around the country.

    1. Dr. Campbell hasn’t done much to actually improve the lives of students and fix the problems with the school beyond lip service to make ETHS look like it has everything together, in my opinion as a student here. What about the crowded cafeterias and the lack of a/c in the halls? And the vending machines that are shut down at most hours of the day? Certainly he could actually be working on listening to students rather than trying to make himself look good?

  2. Somehow, I missed the reference to academic excellence for all students…

    Glad ETHS is committed to literacy…What about math and STEM?

  3. He’s starting to sound a lot like Horton which should scare everyone. Also what data says any of this works to improve academic outcomes? Seems the opposite if you look at data out of ETHS.

  4. Aren’t there more important things to worry about than progressive school curriculum? Like fixing actual issues in our schools? Evanston moment.

  5. And so goes Dr. Campbell’s ETHS bubble where external realities don’t matter as long as we all feel good inside these walls.

    No midterm or final exams (why stress?)
    Little oversight of class attendance (why show up?)
    Nonexistent dress code (appearance never matters!)

    Shouldn’t a superintendent, who cares about positive outcomes, strive for excellence, grounded in rigor and reality ?

    With ETHS test scores and its national ranking falling, a “stay the course” approach seems arrogantly blind to the real needs of students who deserve more than vapid affirmations and chronic bar lowering. Real academic skills achieved through hard work, thoughtful support, and high expectations, prepare intelligent young minds for college and/or careers — that’s the only way to instill true confidence and intellectual tools fit for a world beyond the bubble.

    1. The no midterms or finals made sense during the year of remote school, when everyone truly was stressed, but how there hasn’t been more of a hue and cry to bring them back, I have no idea. The mostly excellent ETHS faculty will prepare our kids well for higher education, but I have a feeling exam time during fall of freshman year of college has been/will be rough for 2020s grads.

  6. The downfall of Evanston has been accelerated by Horton. DS202 hasn’t wasted any time to team up with DS65. Our kids is our future. For whoever relies on public education, do you need lip service, or solid academic education for our kids? Who is in charge? I am a POC, can DS202 tell me what course it is on to make Evanston looks so uneducated? Where is the common sense? When the other parts of the world are gearing up on hi-tech, what are we doing here?

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