If there’s one thing you can count on in Evanston, it’s that people here sing the praises of diversity.

You hear it at school board candidate forums and just about everywhere else in town. 

Ponzi wonders if it isn’t getting just a bit overdone.

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  1. Unhelpful political noise!

    Cartoons like this are distorting serious debate about what is good for our children.

    Has the D202 board voted to end Honors classes at Evanston?


    Has it proposed a progressive and innovative program to bring more students to the table?

    Perhaps. If you don't attempt innovation, you won't find success. As I understand it, the board has voted to pilot a program in a single class and after careful research. The teachers have been trained for this and many support the progressive effort. The buzzclip debate about "pushing out the smart kids" has been nothing but shallow rhetoric and cloaked elitism. Everyone is suddenly an expert on education. Can we please hear the facts?

    Is it possible to consider quality education, diversity, egalitarian principles and fiscal responsibility at the same time?

    Absolutely. This sounds like what makes Evanston such a wonderful community. Compare ourselves to New Trier? No way. We can learn a lot from all of our neighbors but we want to chart a course for Evanston, not just another Northshore suburb. Let's consider making room for everyone at the table, put scare tactics aside and have a meaningful public discussion.

    1. Noise is truth!

      Frankly – the school district here for years ( 25 years )have been dealing with the issue of minority achievement.  Where are the results?    As I recall the first school administrator who start this issue over twenty years ago was arrest by the police on a non -related school manner, and resigned shortly after.

      That is not to say that a small percentage of minority students are doing well.  They are doing fine. 

      It is true Minority students in district 65 are doing worst on a percent basis than the white student, but white student achievement is not that great.if taken over the entire group in the Evanston public schools

      The last superintendent at the High school creating the great minority student achievement network wasting our tax dollars on useless PR. It is my understanding the board allowed him to work 4 days a week on his job for 202 and one day on that effort.  What did that accomplish? Since we are now effecting the honors program?  I am talking about AP classes, which the achieved did not change on.

      I favor elitism, that is education excellence.  The less talented need to be placed in the non-honors classes at ETHS.  District 65 model of pretending everyone should be in the same class is a big joke, that does not work.

      You think that the under performing students are getting help – you need a real reality check, In many cases they are not, many of the minority in district 65 are not getting the special services they need. Watching the last school board meeting – one member stating maybe they should publish all the law suits- what do you think that is about? I  will tell you the better off families are taking district 65 to court for not provide the legal services their children are required to have under the law.

      All the BS statistics the school district s publish, do not tell you how many of the minority students are not performing at grade level, my guess well over 1/3 if not more are one to two grades behind.  Placing them in Honors classes will do nothing.

      If the Obama's moved to Evanston would they place their children in a district 65 school?   I doubt it, given that their kids were in private schools here in Chicago and now in Washington. is the president a elitist or just values good education for his children.  ( As I recall they attend the UC lab school when they lived here )

      For years here we have had school board members who are out of touch with reality, wasting money and running the system down. Ask some of them past and former how many of them provide private tutors for their own children to make up for ETHS and district 65 short comings!

      1. Noise is just noise

        Let's talk truth.

         Look at the scores of district 65's white students and compare them to Wilmette, Winetka, or anyplace else.  The truth is that the white students in district 65 are outperforming any school district out there.  Check it out.  http://iirc.niu.edu/

        And yes, under performing students are getting help.  Response to Intervention is reaching children before they fall too far behind and are unable to catch up.  Children throughout the district are receiving reading recovery, pull out and push in specialist instruction, extended day instruction and extended school year.  Our district has moved light years forward with the Inclusion Initiative and personally, I find it offensive that you do not feel that those children deserve a seat next to the other students in district 65. 

        As far as your comments regarding the high school, my understanding is that any student reading below grade level will not have access to the honors material. 

        These are important issues and I'm glad they are being discussed.  Let's just do it with honesty.


      2. The truth is deafening.

        I'm confused. Is this really a discussion about race or quality education for all?

        The first half of your entire response focuses on the past. We, the league of uninformed voters, want to talk about the future. The school board's proposal seems modest, grounded in real curriculum change rather than PR, and proposes to challenge both the highest performing and those with real potential. Low performers and disruptive students will be in an entirely different class. Teachers have been given resources and training. Our current superintendent is not our former superintendent. You assume it will fail without understanding the proposal and BECAUSE there is a minority interest.

        You favor elitism? Enough said. I don't think it is the school board who is out of touch. They were, afterall, elected by a majority vote to represent ALL of their constituents, not just those who live on the lakefront. Most of these voters didn't get 800s on their SATs either. Many believe there is a difference between striving for excellence and espousing elitism–the latter simply excludes others and robs them of their importance and opinion. This is a public school, created to serve all students. Surely we can make just a little room for those who are close to jumping the gap and attempting social mobility. There might be collateral benefits for all. Isn't this one of the founding principles of our nation?

        Hyde Park is NOT Evanston. If I lived in Hyde Park, I would send my kids to the Lab School as there is no safe and viable public school option in the neighborhood. In Evanston, my kids will go to ETHS (with some students like Sasha and Malia), get a quality education, and also realize the benefits of being part of a larger society, bigger than just the privileged elite. I hope my kids will value our resources and consider sharing them. One of the reasons I (and many) live in Evanston rather than Hyde Park is the school system, one that might get even better if we all work together rather than submitting to superficial debate and obfuscation, Mr Diversity. Let's leave President Obama out of this as I'm pretty sure I know where his heart would lie on the matter.

        Finally, tutoring is a good choice for all students and shouldn't be necessarily seen as a deficiency of our teachers and schools. As you and I both know, education doesn't begin or end in the classroom, public or private, in Englewood or in Kenilworth. I applaud the school board members who have hired a tutor for their kids–there is wisdom in personally investing in education. This interest must be how they became elected school board members. That, and the ability to think of others' interests as well.

        1. The chicago public school – gifted schools are better

          If you lived in Hyde Park and your children could attend one of the select enrollment chicago public gifted schools – they would be getting a good education – the test scores in those schools are higher than New Trier and ETHS.   But that is only at a very few  schools with selective enrollment  and the best and the brightest students the rest of the system is just a Urban school district. ( a few thousand at best in the gifted schools in a system of 400,000)   Elitism at its best!

  2. Silence and distraction

    Nowhere in the constant din is the subject of why the students entering ETHS are not performing — D65. The recent "noise" over the D65 meeting was an ideal distraction away from the real issue. Why are D65 students not up to par.  Why should D202 take all the heat?

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