Evanston Township High School lags behind its neighbors in meetilng the federally-defined Adequate Yearly Progress standards, however it has one of the largest and most diverse student populations in the area.

Unlike nearby Glenbrook North, Glenbrook South, New Trier Township, and Niles North, ETHS and Niles West failed to make AYP for the 2006-2007 school year, according to results from the Illinois State Board of Education.

But Judith Levinson, ETHS director of research, evaluation and assessment says that it’s hard to find a school that is comparable to ETHS in demographics and population.

“The problem is we are unique.  There are very few districts with our demographic,” she said.  “The schools that are making AYP most of them don’t have subgroups.  There are a sprinkling that do.”

Statewide, the number of schools not making AYP has increased.  In the 2005-2006 school year, 679 schools were not making AYP; in 2006-2007, 896 schools didn’t make AYP.  

Similarly the number of high schools failing to meet AYP is increasing.  In 2005-2006, 221 high schools did not make AYP compared with 328 in 2006-2007, according to state results.

At ETHS 65.6 percent of 11th graders met or exceeded standards for the Prairie State Achievement Examination in 2006-2007; 84.9 percent for Glenbrook North; 79 percent for Glenbrook South; 86.7 percent for New Trier; 66.2 percent for Niles North; and 63.7 percent for Niles West.

ETHS ranks 27th out of the 146 high schools in Cook County in PSAE scores, according to the Chicago Tribune 2007 Illinois school report card database.

AYP is based on these scores as well as other factors like ACT scores and graduation rates.

In an effort to improve test scores at ETHS the administration has instituted many programs including a focused preparatory class for those on the cusp of meeting the standards, improved curriculum, and a revised literacy initiative, Ms. Levinson said.

In terms of student population, ETHS has one of the largest enrollments compared to surrounding districts with 3041 students.  Only New Trier has a larger population with 3105 students.

Glenbrook South has 2684 students, Niles West has 2575, Niles North has 2187, and Glenbrook North has 2089, according to the state.

ETHS has failed to meet AYP five years in a row, forcing the District 202 school board to re-evaluate the structure of the school.

Another year of failing results will trigger penalties that could force the school to reopen as a public charter school, replace all or most of its staff, enter into a contract with a private management company, or implement another restructuring program with fundamental reforms.

The district has until February to choose one of these options or develop its own plan and submit it to the state.

In addition to ETHS, 65 other elementary, middle and high schools statewide have failed to meet AYP five years in a row and are in the restructuring phase mandated by the federal No Child Left Behind Act.  Currently 267 elementary, middle and high schools are in the process of implementing the restructuring plan compared to 138 schools last year.

Niles North Township High School like ETHS was placed in the corrective action category in 2005-2006, which meant it needed to implement one or more of a list of corrective actions that included curriculum, governmental, and structural change.  Unlike ETHS, Niles North made AYP and did not advance to the restructuring phase.  If Niles makes AYP again next year, it will be removed from the corrective action category.

ETHS has a large student population, but also a diverse one.  In order to make AYP it had to have 55 percent of all students in each subgroup meet standards in both math and reading last year.

“The larger you are and the more diversity you have the more ways you have to potentially not make AYP,” Superintendent Eric Witherspoon has said.  “You must make it in every subgroup and in each area–math and reading–in order to make AYP.”

This year at ETHS only white students and students with disabilities made AYP in reading.  In math white students made AYP, while black, Hispanic, disabled and economically disadvantaged students did not.

At ETHS 47.4 percent of its students are white; 36.6 percent are black; 10.3 percent are Hispanic; 3.2 percent are Asian/Pacific Islander; and 2.5 percent are multi-racial.  In addition, 34.1 percent of it’s students are low-income.

In comparison, Glenbrook North High School’s students are 82.7 percent white; .7 percent black; 2.4 percent Hispanic; 13.5 percent Asian; and .8 percent multi-racial.  Only 1.8 percent of the population is low-income, according to the Chicago Tribune database.

At New Trier Township High School 88 percent of the students are white; .7 percent black; 2.1 percent Hispanic; 8 percent Asian; .3 percent Native American; .9 percent multiracial.  Low-income students are 2.1 percent of the population.

Niles North High School is more diversified with 50.9 percent white students; 6.6 percent black; 9.3 percent Hispanic; 31.5 percent Asian; .1 percent Native American; and 1.6 percent multi-racial.  Last school year 17.5 percent of its student population was low-income.

Ms. Levinson said that schools like New Trier and Glenbrook North don’t have the same population of subgroups that ETHS has.  Out of the data from schools in the metropolitan area that includes schools from Hoffman Estates to Libertyville, Ms. Levinson estimated that 14 districts that made AYP had no subgroups at all and about 44 high schools in that sampling aren’t making AYP.

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26 Comments

  1. Now we are making an excuse for Diversity?
    It looks to me the ETHS administrators are looking for an excuse? The bottom line the majority of black students are all failing at ETHS. What would be of real interest is there anywhere in Illinois that any large black subgroup of students at a public high school is meeting the standards?

    It appears to me about 1/2 of the black students who finish 12th grade at ETHS are below grade level and can not even qualify to go to college. While it might appear District 65 is doing Ok on the ISAT scores there appears to be talk they have lowered the test standard thus the improvement.

    It now appears ETHS is making an excuse for the black students and their failure. So much for the miniority achievement network. Given ETHS is one of the highest funded High Schools in the state of Illinois there should be no excuse about lack of funds which many claim is the problem for poor achievement of low income students!

      1. One important point
        Has anyone looked for a high school where predominately African-American high school students of the same socioeconomic background as our ETHS students are performing at or exceeding grade level standards? Wouldn’t the best strategy be to find them and figure out how we can do what they’re doing? I would exclude any school that has limited or application-based enrollment, (which is often the case when outside programs are discussed) as they don’t represent a congruent group of students. If someone out there is using “feel-good bafflegab” that puts students in college, then I think we need to consider it, along with anything else that works.

        Another, more pressing, issue – presenting school spending as a per-pupil dollar figure doesn’t really help us understand how those dollars are being used. Are we really spending exactly the same amount on each student? How much are we spending on students’ actual education (teachers, classrooms, school supplies, instructional time) vs. administration, facility management, and extra-curricular activities?

        I’d like to see the dollar figures adjusted for the above, and I’d like to know where spending lies across the curve of students’ achievement. I’m not implying that anything is amiss, just that the current system isn’t particularly transparent – and parts of it don’t seem to be working.

  2. Comparison
    Does anyone know how Oak Park/River forest fared on these tests? That seems to be a better school to compare ETHS with than New Trier.

    1. Oak Park / River Forest vs ETHS
      Took a few moments to look up Oak/Park River Forest ‘s Report Card. Like ETHS, Oak Park / River Forest did not make AYP for all subgroups either. When comparing the high school performances across all Cook County high schools, in some categories ETHS does better, in some worse than reported in the summary figures. Is there room for ETHS to improve its service to the entire Evanston community? Absolutely. Is there reason to recognize the improvements made and where we are right now? Yes on that score too. I sincerely hope that the ETHS board has where the school placed in all of its subgroups with respect to the other High schools in Cook County as well as the state in their briefing.

  3. I don’t like the fact these
    I don’t like the fact these give stats in terms of race. It’s like college enrollment or potential employers would ask graduates of ETHS their race to find out if they were a good student.

  4. A reason to be more creative
    Numbers don’t lie, minority sub-groups at ETHS are not achieving at the same high rates as the white students. So, now what do we do about it?

    What NCLB does, with its very strict reporting of test results and passing rates, is make it very clear exactly who is achieving and who is not. With more than 300 schools in Illinois having sub-groups who did not make AYP, the last thing the state is going to do is take over ETHS. Much of ETHS works. Some of it does not for some students.

    So, what are the NCLB “failure” options? Open a charter school. Well, why not? The whole school doesn’t have to go charter, but why not look at some options for alternative charter schools that some students could choose to attend. There are some families who would be thrilled to have a two-way immersion charter school. Would that help the Hispanic students raise their achievement? There are some families who would very interested in an African Centered Charter School. Would a small school within a school make a difference in test scores? Some folk have expressed an interest in a apprentice-track school where students would spend part of the school day learning trades. Why not that kind of charter? If we looked at this as an opportunity to be creative, it could really be exciting.

    Another “sanction” of NCLB is to replace the teachers and staff. This really is for those schools that are completely non-functioning. It allows the administration or school board to ignore tenure and rebuild a staff from scratch. I find it hard to imagine that the state would require this from ETHS, but if implemented may give the administration the opportunity to rebuild whole departments to reflect the reality of the student body. That is, does ETHS have the right teachers to teach the students who are not learning or testing well? If this is not so, then the NCLB sanction could be a blessing in disguise.

    I don’t think anyone believes that ETHS is mismanaged. What I see as a parent seems to be working well. But, there is no school choice in Evanston. So, if a professional management company was allowed to create an alternative school, perhaps it could come up with something that would really engage students in those poor performing sub-groups. Chicago has been so creative since it fired it’s school board. Even it you don’t like the idea of military schools, the option is there for interested students. Are those students scoring higher on tests? So, how about a private school that partners with Oakton CC, had students earning college credit as juniors, with, let’s say, a medical/technical focus. If ETHS students knew that on graduation they were already one year towards a nurse’s or med tech degree, that might really get some student’s attention. And those jobs are going begging!

    Right now at ETHS, I see two schools. Those students in honors and AP who are very focused on the march towards college. And then those other “regular” kids, whom we never hear much about. How about we train a creative focus on the options that those other kids have, and expand them with a much larger number of choices than what they have now. Then, maybe, they will want to pass a test.

    1. ETHS
      Candace, I could not agree more. For all the liberal gnashing of teeth over NCLB, it at least finally gives us the raw data that has been suppressed. In ETHS’s case it isn’t for lack of maney — at $17,500 per pupil that is private school money.

      Let’s face it, ETHS is really two schools: an AP Honors school and an urban school. Both are primarily the products of D65, and in the case of the urban school segment we need what amounts to triage.

      It would be a real test of NU’s commitment to its host city, if it would set up and staff a charter or magnet school for the urban school segment of ETHS. The University of Chicago has done this in Hyde Park — why cannot NU do the same?

      The trade school aspect is one that has been put under the rug for decades under the guise of tracking. Let’s face it, if these kids are not performing by 3rd or 4th grade, we have a real problem. A trade program would at least give these kids a chance to make a living. Germany has had a trade school program for decades.

      It is time for creative approaches and not the “we need more money” cry. Do we need a 2×4 to the head to recognize that what we have is not working?

    2. ETHS
      Candace, I agree. There well may be additional creative ways to engage high school students. Some may benefit from a two-way immersion, African Centered, apprentice track, military track or medical/technical focus. Your question remains, “are those students scoring higher on test scores” as a result of these types of implementations? I’ve read statistics that report “yes” and others that report “no.” Also, not all students on the regular track are failing, nor are they exclusively African American and Hispanic students. Some regular or “average” ETHS students advance toward college and later enter successful careers. Let’s not ignore them. And while some teachers are apt; culturally aware, maintain high expectations for themselves and students, others do not. So I wonder if ETHS links human resources to student outcomes. For example, are ordinary/average teachers – – teaching average students, while extraordinary/talented teachers – – remain to teach honors/AP students? I don’t know, but it’s worth considering. Creative measures in terms of how resources are allocated could be explored.

      I find the most important point you made is that students be allowed “CHOICE.” If ETHS mandates student enrollment be seperated into two classifications and two schools based on test outcomes; one demographic predominately white and the other of multiple ethnicities that will include a small percentage of white students, I predict a fall out unlike any we’ve ever experienced. Continued priority and attention should be given to students falling below academic standards. However, a more holistic strategic approach in the planning stages may advance ETHS’s obligation to each student and the whole child.

      1. Will ETHS exist next year?
        Tressa – you ask for some comments – If NCLB – really happens – how will ETHS respond?

        ETHS is working for talented students the majority white and a small number of black and hispanic students. The vast majority of black and Hispanic students are doing poorly along with a small group of white students. We already have two high schools – the question is will they exist after a reorganization?

        AP classes and the lack of miniority students does not mean much – what is really important are black and hispanice students performing well in regular and honors classes? The answer to this is they still are not doing well.

        If a class (subject) is AP the work load is much more demanding on the students – ability is not the main issue it is the desire to do the work. (ofcourse the students must be able to keep up)

        You seem to believe the AP teachers are some how better than the regular teachers? I would not suspect the ability to teach should vary unless the high school and individual department place the worst teachers at the lowest level since they feel parents will not complain?

        You also seem to believe the the teachers must be “culturally aware” – I do not understand how black students who were born and lived here all their lives have some type of culture that is so different from the white students- Hispanic students who for example have come from Mexico do have a different cultural experience. There are many people who have come here from other countries who have done fine here in the schools and their cultures are far more diverse than anyone born here regardless of race.

        My view of how ETHS might change – possible the lower functioning students should end up with the same teachers for 2 to 4 years of their education. Thus the chance to develop stronger relations. Also these students should have educational plans – currently only Special ed students have such plans – that is they should be clear on the needs and how the district is correcting the needs – it is my view most of these students are not getting correct supports – they are just passed along. These students are not AP material that I am suggesting this program for students who are low functioning C,D,E grade students.

        Remember Allan Alson wanted to increase the number of black students in AP classes – this did nothing when the vast majority are not even doing well in regular classes.

        1. ETHS will be diffferent
          Hi Junad, I did not ask for comments, I asked for practical solutions. My point is ETHS should work for ALL students, not only whites and a small percent of African American and Hispanic students. But I will agree, the school is more segregated within the classrooms than not. I was thinking about an ETHS math teacher’s impassioned speech regarding 8th grade geometry. He’s an effective speaker; a stellar, talented and gifted ETHS teacher. I thought it may be beneficial to low performing students to benefit by his expertise- – that’s all. I do not know whether or not AP teachers are better and regular teachers are worse – – that’s not what I wrote. I do believe, however, teachers should be culturally aware and sensitive. Colleges and universities today incorporate multiculturalism into educational curricula because it’s important to the profession of education. How one teacher or another incorporates their understanding of individual cultures into their pedagogy makes a difference in terms of mutual comprehension, teaching and (student)learning. I agree with you on one other point. That is, I know you do not understand the importance of being culturally aware, Junad. It’s obvious.

          1. Multicultural Bafflegab
            Ms. Randolph, exactly what is “being culturally aware”?

            I do not think we are in some international camp with a multitude of different ethnic and cultural entities. The basic “cultural” differentiation we have here at ETHS and D65 is basically socioeconomic. What you seem to be hinting at is the usual PC multicultural bafflegab that stresses “feel good” over learning. I would think we want students to know how to read, do math, make decisions and know the basics of citizenship. They can be as “culturally aware” as they want, once they do that. Without the ability to read and comprehend, usually by 3rd grade, none of that “awareness” means anything.

            This is a circular problem, because unless students actually learn these things they won’t be able to hold decent jobs. Without decent jobs they will be condemned to remain in lower socioeconomic straits, as will most likely their offspring.

            At what we spend per pupil, I would imagine the resources are there. Could it be something outside the school environment is impacting them? Bill Cosby thinks so.

          2. Multiculturalism
            Mr. Brugliera: You’re entitled to your opinion. Having raised four academically successful African American students in both D65 and D202 I can tell you first hand positive self-worth and self-esteem are integral components found in students that succeed at high levels.

            Bill Cosby is a funny guy. However, I do not agree with the COMEDIAN’s perspective. I did, however, find the “bafflegab” word selection hilarious. Thanks for the laugh. Instead I agree with experts versed in the field of education who’ve made public presentations to Evanston in the recent past. The hosts include: Dr. Ford (Northwestern), Dr. Price (ETHS), Dr. Gwendolyn Webb (D65) and Theresa Perry (ETHS/D65) to name a few. Our opinions and perspectives resonate one to another. There are a multitude of books, authors, specialist and periodicals on the subject. If you’re interested, you should check them out.

            In the meantime, I will not attempt to educate you on the merits of cultural awareness found in teachers among the profession. What’s most important is ETHS and D65 teachers value and understand its’ relevance. When I find the characteristic lacking in my child’s teacher, I partner with him or her to ensure my student’s “in school” experiences are optimized.

            Since this portion of the formula works in favor of my Black children’s academic success- – then it’s reasonable to deduce it may work for the majority as well.

          3. Multicultural Epiphany
            Dear Ms. Randolph, unfortunately I was born much too early to have all the advantages of feel good pedagogy and multiculturalism. My parents emigrated here in 1920, my Dad had no formal education, my Mom had perhaps a 3rd or 4th grade equivalent, and both worked.

            Though I was born here, near where Cabrini Green was located, I did not speak English until I went to kindergarten, but spoke a dialect that most of the people on my block spoke. Unfortunately we did not have ESL, ACC, or TWI, and as a consequence I had to learn it by immersion in a class of English speaking children.

            Hampered by that lack of cultural awareness, and parents who were not English proficient, somehow I had to skip several grades. Despite all that lack of cultural awareness and sensitivity, my parents insisted I go to school. I went on to earn a BSEE from Northwestern and an MBA from the University of Chicago Executive Program.

            Just think, if all that cultural awareness had been present, what vistas would have been open to me. But at least I have managed to generate a chuckle from you. If I recall, Thomas Aquinas defined man as a rational risible animal. I find all this multicultural bafflegab amusing. Too bad, some take it seriously.

          4. It is serious, Mr.
            It is serious, Mr. Brugliera. My parent’s early years were subjected to living with lynching and castrations of their young classmates in the United States of America during post-Reconstruction. They had little formal education until they migrated to the northern states during the ‘50’s. And lest we forget the movements made in the ’60’s and ’70’s. Think back to the school outhouses, barns and shacks for Black students and fallacious laws that followed, which dictated the equal yet separate rule in education between black and white students. The family tree of these current Black ETHS kids you all are so fond of pointing to came from the same humble beginnings. The outcome in education turned out to be separate, but not equal. Correct? My grandparents on both my paternal and maternal sides worked sugar cane plantations in Louisiana. Indentured servants. My maternal grandmother, 14 years of age – – raped by a 26 year old white man: The sugar cane plantation overseer. My wonderful beloved mother; a product of that salacious encounter. My father entered into the military at age 14. The racist conditions of his community forced him into a psychological fight or flight mode – – so he chose to flee and live. Anyway, I guess 14 is the magical Negro number, equivalent to a high school freshman’s age for those willing to survive. My parents did not get highly involved in their 5 children’s education. Not to the extent and expectation that Evanstonians think is appropriate of Black parents. Educating students is the responsibility of school district educators. So, I’ve become one to comprehend that parent involvement is not the end all and be all that makes or breaks student achievement in the Black community. Our Black family thrived just as your immigrant family thrived in spite of the odds. Just think, had cultural awareness and respect been common place during our parent’s times (or even during our times), our roads would have been less narrow, skewed and rocky. It’s in the journey we learn to adapt and overcome challenges. We all have our testimonies, Mr. Brugliera. Our histories cannot be changed. However, I believe our futures can be persuaded in a positive direction by our influence.

          5. Of course it is serious
            Our histories cannot be changed, they are a sunk cost, but we can change the future.

            I disagree that family or parental influence is not the end all. The prevailing culture that my parents came from was that education was not a big deal — my Dad was a shepard in his old country. In fact education was often a problem, because it got you into trouble with the land owners. My peers finished high school here and went to work to help buy another rental property. Buying property was a big deal, it was unheard of in the old country.

            My Dad was a construction worker, my Mom worked in the clothing industry, but for some reason they both realized that the way to get ahead here was to have an education. They stressed that, and made no end of sacrifices to have my brother and I receive an education.

            Thus, my parents made a great difference in my life. Without that push from them I would not be where I am today. As for cultural awareness, it is there. Even with my parents gone, we celebrate our cultural heritage, maintaining traditions around holidays. First with our kids and my parents, and now with our grandkids. But above all, we are American. And we are polyglot. My wife is a WASP tracing her heritage to the Mayflower, yet she jokingly says she married above her. Sicily, where my parents came from, is a Heinz57 hodgepodge of nationalities and cultures –my Mom had red hair.

            So my advice is, recognize your roots, but don’t forget you are in the United States, and do not discount the impact of family. Sen. Moynihan recognized one of the unintended consequences of the LBJ Great Society — its negative impact on the Black family. He was correct.

          6. Thanks
            My mom’s hair was naturally blonde; her eyes – – hazel. Needless to say, my dark skinned Dad encountered problems being coupled with her.

            Although we do not agree on all points, I concur family value, and education are not to be discounted. Your commentary has import.

            Sincerely, I thank you for the demonstration.

          7. Please make me culturally aware
            Tressa – Can you explain to me the cultural difference between black children born in Evanston to black parents who were born in this country to their white counter parts?

            They have no more connection to Africa than whites have to Europe. That is very few whites have any real knowledge of the cultures in Europe which they came from. Do the great grand children of someone from England have tea in the afternoon? Most likely they will go get a Starbucks.

          8. Culture
            Junad:

            If you so desire, perform study independent my point of view. I will not present an argument. You should gain understanding relative to different cultures and ethnicities on your own. Incidentally, my family moved from London to Illinois years ago. A staple in English cuisine is tea. Having been flooded with the ordinary, I can’t stand the smell or taste.

            I rather enjoy Starbucks.

  5. Charter School is the answer!!!!
    After years of working in suburban schools I now work in a charter school on the south side of chicago, one of the most impoverished areas with 99% Black and 100% poverty level. Charter schools do not get the recognition they so deserve. We test kids every quarter using NWEA, DIBELS to see their weaknesses so teachers can readjust lesson plans rather than waiting a year later for ISAT scores that are too late to fix. In 3 years, my school raised ISAT scores 67% while the neighborhood school across the street continue to score below 20%. Same kids, same families, same community. The difference: a new staff from scratch driven by a private management company with proven success using research-based curriculum. This is their specialty: Closing the achievement gap. Our teachers have very little experience, very young and very white (my point being that staff race doesn’t have to match student demographics and a good teacher doesn’t mean fancy credentials and years of experience). The difference is our staff is VERY dedicated…no teachers saying “It’s time to go my contract hours are up”. You will find teachers at school at 6am, at 7pm and weekends…if they CHOOSE, which they do all for the sake of the students. The work climate is supportive because since there is no tenure or adversarial unions, teachers WANT to do well and will receive performance based bonuses. I never hear griping about the workload or high expectations. This year alone we already fired 3 teachers and didn’t need to explain a thing other than they weren’t effective teachers. EVERY aspect at the school is results-driven and accountability. Very high expectations for students as well as staff. Research says it takes a minimum of 5 years to change school culture. ETHS doesn’t have 5 years. They need to start from scratch and do what works NOW! If it weren’t working so well and was such a financial strain, Chicago Public Schools wouldn’t have small schools within schools, 65 charter schools and Northtown Charter wouldn’t have the highest ACT scores in the area (22). I know people don’t want to see ETHS change and charter schools sound scary but they work and the results show. Come on…if the s. side of chicago can achieve, so can evanston students. It’s time for a major change and changing a few programs around isn’t going to cut it. They need MAJOR reform driven by evidence-based practices and it’s only going to make the “smart’ kids even smarter.

    1. RE: Charter schools
      If you are teaching across the street from the public school you have skimmed the better students from the neighborhood, those with parents interested in improving the education of their children. Your institution, not being a public school, can refuse the Special Education students, the disabled, and any other subgroup that might impair test scores. This of course does not even touch on those students who have behavioral issues that are not even allowed through your doors.

      So Kudos for continuing to support the Bush administration efforts to move us to a two class society. Oh, and if you have not figured it out, your teachers are not going to be at the Bush parties either, without degrees and training your teachers fall into the have-not category and will not be invited to mix with the rich and richer.

      1. Re. Charter schools vs educational responsibility
        Hari,

        You decree that because I am responsible for educating my child and do not send them to a failing public school, then I am doing something wrong. I am responsible for my child’s education and if, for a variety of reasons, some educational, some social, a school is failing, then I must deny my child the opportunity of an education in the “sense of fairness”. Are we reduced to a Bruce Jay Friedman vision of equality?

        Sorry, that is illogical and harms children.

        Hear of triage? Given the circumstances and the options, you do what you consider best for your kids. That educational money belongs to the children and not to the educational oligopoly.

        Bush’s NCLB was a political compromise. As a minimum, it revealed in a quantitative manner how bad our schools were. It deserves some credit as a start.

        1. Charter Schools vers. Politicians Private Schools
          It is hard to argue against a parent wanting to send their children to charter schools when the Obamas, Clintons and so many in Congress and government go one step further and send their kids to expensive private schools—Arnie Duncan at least put his kids in public school but out of the D.C. area.
          If Clintons and Obamas have so little confidence in public [or apparently even charter schools] and don’t want their kids associating with the “common people”, how can you chide other parents. But the same politicians don’t want vouchers, charter schools, etc. for anyone elses kids—they don’t consider the “common” people worthy even thought they say they “feel for the “common man” and are suppose to represent him. They would cross the street to avoid the common man unless there were TV cameras to show their “concern.”
          It would be interesting to see how many Illinois and even Evanston government employees send their kids to private schools.

  6. As an educator working in an
    As an educator working in an urban school, I think that when we evaluate student peformance data and in the same turn evaluate race demographics we begin to unintentionally use this same information as an “excuse” for low performance. Why are our black children struggling as a “demographic”? Are we pushing them to succeed as a community? Focus on high expectations for all students and real support for all students who struggle to meet the expectation. In simplified terms, expect every student to meet your highest expectation (none of this “It’s okay you didn’t do your homework because you have a tough home situation” which lowers the standards for a child who needs to be pushed not coddled…) Do we look at every freshman student equally and say, “Yes you can succeed. It will take hard work, but you can graduate and go to college.” Money won’t solve the issue. We need a shift of attitude as a society.

  7. Minorities can learn if schools accept them as competent
    U. California Berkeley is a top school and students have to be good to get in.
    However years ago a math prof. found a disproportionate number of black students were failing first year calculus.
    He looked for reasons and studied their study habits. He compared to the Asian students and found a big difference. Both groups spent the same time studying but the Asian students did so in a group and quizzed each other. Black students studied by themselves—-apparently because they did not want to foster the stereotype that they ‘needed help.’
    He devised a calculus course [I think just for black students] but not an easier one—no so hard that no one could pass working by themself—they HAD to work in groups. Not only did they pass but did so well that this became the most sought calculus class.

    Liberals and apparently many in the Evanston system, doubt that minorities can do the necessary work, so they have bi-lingual classes [foreign language is important—not an excuse] and _______-centric classes [so they can be taught at “their level”] instead of assuming they can learn at the same level as whites [or Asians per stereotype] and find the real problem [as the Berkeley professor did].
    Above all have challenging classes that stretch the minds taught by teachers with training [e.g. Math M.S./PhD not Math for Teachers] in their field who can push/pull the minds, pose questions and answer/guide/tutor student questions that may be two, three or more years beyond the actual ‘grade’ level.
    This applies from K-12 but also college.

    1. Why So Few Minorities [and girls] in Science ?
      Schools and generations of parents who have gone through those schools have taught them so poorly that you often hear them say when meeting a mathematician “…or I was never good at math and don’t understand it…” and walk away for fear the mathematician will say “some math.” Children pick-up on this and it appears esp. girls. Minorities are especially hit by this [among other things]. As an example—and I’m not picking on NU nor blaming them since they only can get the students presented with who were prepared in K-12. In the current math graduate students, I see no black faces; in the undergrad math majors, I see two and one may be African from the last name. From appearances why has ETHS sent more to NU ?
      Schools should prepare students in math and science for college—or at least life–by requiring four years of high school math [science] including algebra, geometry, trig./analytical geometry and probably introductory calculus; also chemistry and physics. Students are not dumb—unfortuately parents and teachers seem to treat them that way.
      So how do you change things ? Does it take a whole school change ? No even one good teacher can inspire and change things. Look what Jaim Escaante [“Stand and Deliver”] or if you read about many great mathematicians and scientists you often find one teacher who changed a students path—even one solver of a Hilbert problem that grew up in a poor [to put it mildly] rural Japanese farm [if you can even call it that] yet went on the where he later lectured in French and German universities and conferences—and in French and German !

      Some argue, like it will make the problem go away, that more open immigation laws will solve the science/engineering problems.
      Wake up. Second generation children see how poorly science is taught [and taught to them!], how Wall Street, banking and law pay is so great. Besides they catch “Americanitis”—just look at NU students, not just ‘white American’ but black, Hispanic decent, Asian decent, Polish decent, etc. [first or later generation] with IPods, cell phones, texting constantly when they probably should be ‘hitting the books.’ If they survive these activities [i.e. not get run-over while doing so], science and math will probably not be their life path, even if it their major.

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