MOVING IN/ON Margaret Small, former director of UIC’s Interactive Mathematics Project, has been named co-director of the Young Women’s Leadership Charter School. The other co-director is Mary Ann Pitcher, a teacher from Harper High. … Kay Kirkpatrick, formerly director of communications at the Consortium on Chicago School Research, has been named assistant dean for strategic communications for the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago
CPS will provide high school English teachers with a suggested reading list that includes such previously required works as “Romeo and Juliet” and “A Raisin in the Sun.” But teachers will be free to choose other material they deem “appropriate for their individual school,” explains Roberta Brooks of the CPS Department of Curriculum and Instruction. She adds, though, that teachers likely will continue using the previously required texts because schools already have purchased the books.
During the last three years, a principal has been ousted due to allegations of grade tampering, the faculty has been rocked by turnovers and LSC meetings have become notorious for their shouting matches.
To end the turmoil at the Pilsen school, School Board President Gery Chico has called for administrators to consider reconstitution, educational crisis and, finally, intervention.
The Academic Accountability Council recommended intervention for all 11 high schools with less than 15 percent of students scoring at or above national norms in reading. But the board said it lacked the resources to take on that many schools at once and went with five instead, Bowen, Collins, DuSable, Orr and South Shore.
In many ways, the recently announced intervention program shows that schools chief Paul Vallas and the School Board have learned from their mistakes. But it also shows they’ve missed a few key lessons. To overcome its built-in defects and succeed, intervention will need outstanding principal leadership at the five schools swept under its umbrella.