In the three years since she and her family emigrated here from Ecuador, Eliza has moved smartly through bilingual education classes, earning mostly As and Bs along the way, and now is even serving as a mentor to freshmen. On Saturdays, she studies English at Truman College.
Duncan wiped out the Intervention office, removing Intervention Officer JoAnn Roberts, her staff of about 10, and the team leaders at each of the five schools undergoing intervention, Bowen, Collins, DuSable, Orr and South Shore. Each school retains the four curriculum specialists from the intervention teams, who will now report to their principals.
At a meeting later this month, the board is expected to review intervention data, including test scores that for the most part, continued to drop. Reading scores dropped at three of the five intervention schools. Math scores dropped at four, with the fifth posting a gain of only a tenth of a percentage point.
Chicago Public Schools has concentrated its efforts at improving problem high schools on teacher performance, but so far to little avail. In 1997, CPS subjected seven failing high schools to reconstitution, a get-tough measure that allowed the board to evaluate and dismiss teachers. A year later, the board rolled out re-engineering, a kinder, gentler version of reconstitution that holds teachers accountable through peer reviews. This year, CPS hit five schools with what might be called the iron fist of accountability—intervention.
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.
Chicago Public Schools are moving ahead with plans to help 3,500 teachers start grappling with new and controversial state recertification requirements, even as state educators continue to wrangle over the precise wording of the rules.
In 2001, about 5,000 additional teachers are expected to start the process; 13,000 more the following year. Cozette Buckney, CPS chief education officer, says 90 percent of Chicago’s 27,000 teachers will be taking courses towards recertification within four years.