Friday, October 29, 2010

Report Card Time

The 2010 Illinois School Report Cards are out and a reader writes:
"I certainly hope these numbers are wrong (for Uplift High School) cuz the way I see it, the longer kids are there, the worse their scores get. 7.5% of 11th graders meet the state standards in math. 7.5%. By those results, most students wouldn’t know how to evaluate these tables."


  1. Wow. Those tables seem to tell the story that Uplift High School can take above average kids and turn them into below average failures.

    And yet, they all go to college. The Shiller college of handouts perhaps, but it's college none the less.

  2. "monsters"? No. Some bad kids, but some really really good ones that I have interacted with. The problem is that NOTHING is done with the bad ones. Let's try to think rationally and proactively before demonizing and overgeneralizing.

  3. The name "Uplift" alone reeks of low achievement...

    If I ever have kids, I'm sending them to private school.

  4. From the report card: "The school’s graduation rate was only 46.0 percent."

    So 90% of Uplift kids go to college, or 90% of 46%?

  5. While I do not teach at Uplift, I am a CPS teacher in a far worse community than Uptown.

    I don't believe the teachers (at least the majority of them) are to blame for the low scores. The students and their parents are to blame.

    We have seen how the Uplift students act on the streets; now imagine that in a classroom and in the halls of the school. CPS has many administrators hands tied as to how the students can be disciplined. Believe me we would love (both staff and well behaved students) to see the chronic behavior problem student expelled or sent to an alternative school to recieve specialized attention for their continual disruptive behavior.

    You also need to look at the students attendance rate. I am sure the students that did not do well are absent from school 2 or more days each week.

    Take into consideration that special education students scores are counted in the overall number as well. The state give the same test to a special education student as they do a regular education student (highly unfair to the spec. ed. student and the school). The state doesn't care that the special ed. student is reading at a 3rd grade level, or is severely developmentally handicapped; they still expect them to pass the same test as a regular education student.

    Next, the parents are not involved for the most part. During report card pickup/parent conferences less than 20% of the parents actually show up to discuss their child's grades and behavior.

    When I call home, I get disconnected numbers or the parent/guardian basically says "I can't do anything with them. I give up. Do what you need to do."

    Many students also do not care about tests at all. I can't tell you how many of my students simply just bubble in any answer because they do not want to take the test. They see no reason to take the test seriously if they aren't going to college.

    Remember that teachers are dealing in Human Capital. We can not physically or mentally control our students actions. They are not computers that we can program and if the program fails wipe out and start over. We also can not "fire" them for lack of performance like boss can their employee. Because we are neighborhood schools, we can not kick them out of our schools; we have to keep them on our rosters and just put up with the bad behavior, poor attendance, and apathy.

    We work hard as teachers to turn our students lives around and make them see that education is the way out of poverty and a way to better themselves. Sadly, many do not listen.

    If you don't believe me that teachers are working our hardest to see students succeed, then volunteer at your local neighborhood school - not at the Northside College Preps, Walter Payton's, Whitney Young's, etc. that can hand pick the best of the best.

    I am sure there need to be changes made at Uplift, but look at the whole picture, not just the teachers!

  6. What Hopeless said sounds familiar to me. I have a lot of teachers in my family, some in large cities, and they say that the parents, for the most part, hurt more than they help - their attitude tends to be "Quit picking on my kid!"

    I just finished the entire five-season run of the HBO show "The Wire." Season 4 deals with the schools, teachers' efforts to educate, and having to "teach to the test."

    We need to privatize the schools...the federal government has no business trying to run public schools.

  7. "Remember that teachers are dealing in Human Capital. We can not physically or mentally control our students actions."

    The issue is the local school administrators, teachers and politicians will not publicly admit to any problems. I grew in the area, and my memories of public school was trying to avoid getting beat up. I was scared to death everyday of waking up and going to class. I don't want my kids to go through that same type of school hell.

  8. So not only is the Uplift experiment leading to mayhem in our community at large on a daily basis, but it is also failing at educating the students.

    While I know some of the Uplifters live right here in Uptown, perhaps the commute from all corners of the city for these already at risk youth isn't what they need to be doing?

    While I am sure these numbers don't tell the whole story, I think its time to change.

    The only constant is change, and similar to our housing stock, community standards, retail base, and overall quality of life, I support efforts (including very drastic ones) to change this school for the better.

  9. The students are more interested in the math on the streets then in the classroom. Blame the parents and neighborhood atmosphere along with the dealers on the corners.


    100% correct!

  11. So has anyone taken up Hopeless' challenge to volunteer at Uplift? After all, it IS the neighborhood school, and there are YOUR neighbrohos who go there.

    Mark Zipperer lived behind Disney Magnet school, and was able to make a difference there.

    Will anyone who posts here do the same? Are any of the aldermanic candidates or their supporters involved in anything to help the students and their families?

    Or are they writing them off as failures.

  12. PB and others

    I am disappointed I was not told the whole truth by a government paid school administrator. She might not have read the report when she made that statements. It was very misleading.

  13. Refresh my memory.....'JP Paulus':

    A) Does not live in Uptown
    B) Always can be counted on for a Rod Serling/Twilight Zone comment.


  14. J P Paulus I value my safety too much that volunteering my time at Uplift has not ever crossed my mind. Additionally I do not like graffiti, or Marxist ideas. I speak for myself but would not be surprised if others feel the same way.

    Andy. I think read on your rather hilarious campaign website that you supported Alderman Schiller and that she was being blamed for things out of her control. The principal of Uplift did not tell you the truth and you said that upset you. Now you know the feeling most in Uptown have about the current Alderman, she has been less than truthful to the residents all too often. If you are going to run for public office you should really wise up and find out what is going on.