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Comments

  • Karrie E. Alms: Amazing insight into the world of politics awaits any reader at pibgorn … from a Demon’s...
  • Tony: Homefield is Dynegy. Dynegy is Ameren. There Charging You twice for the same energy. Do you really thihk $.04...
  • SouthEnder: Also does anyone remember the Velvet Freeze located on Jefferson St, up the street from the Warner Homes....
  • Eric Pollitt: I flew economy class to Hong Kong for Christmas vacation, which is a 14 hour flight. When I got back...
  • Mike: Homefield has been sold to dynery. Google dynegy scandal to see who your new parent is. If this upsets you give...
  • mortified: Fun while it lasted. Godspeed!
  • aaron: your blogging will be missed but i know that your spirit of fairness will remain alive in your other...
  • Jon: CJ, your blog was a revelation and an inspiration. You have a wonderful talent that is an asset to the...
  • Billy Dennis: Of course the Chronicle is done: Screw you. The Chronicle is one of the best researched blogs...
  • Paul Wilkinson: CJ, am sorry you have ended your blog. It was well done. It seems many have given up as we keep...
  • Sharon Crews: Your voice is definitely needed in this community. Thanks for all your insights.
  • emergepeoria: Your blog is great resource to research Peoria issues. I hope you leave it up.
  • BucketHead: I was not suggesting that, I believe the both of you had very strong common sense and that lead to your...
  • C. J. Summers: Without anonymity, there is no courage among my detractors. Take a look back at the wide variety of...
  • Of course the Chronicle is done: Without Sandberg to give stores to the Chronicle there is no Chronicle.

Peoria Charter School Initiative

Thursday night at the Civic Center, the Peoria Charter School Initiative brought in students, parents, and teachers from the Chicago Math & Science Academy to talk about the benefits of charter schools. Here’s a portion of the presentation:

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144 comments to Peoria Charter School Initiative

  • Sharon Crews

    JC: Whittier’s Reading scores: 65.2, 89.2, 83.8, 74.3, 68.6, 83.6
    Northmoor’s: 66.7, 67.4, 73.6, 78.8, 88.7, 83.6
    What are you talking about–both started out in the same place and both have had fluctuations–in the last year Northmoor went down; Whittier went up (way up). Besides, these scores don’t represent a change in the school’s delivery; each year a different group of students is tested–and that is the problem with the whole NCLB premise. It looks to me as though Whittier had 3 years in the 80′s; Northmoor had only 2 years in the 80′s.
    Maybe you were using the math scores–in general, I would say that the primary schools, especially, have done much better in math than they do in reading–I didn’t check them out this time–will later.
    However, Data/Research is right; no matter how great the program, District 150 can’t afford it any more–never could.

  • Frustrated

    I am not going to join in the great Edison debate except to say, if parents perceive it is working for their families, then isn’t that enough? Are there so many satisfied “customers” in District 150 that we can afford to disregard that this is an achievement, in and of itself.

    I also like the fact that Northmoor Edison allow families that feed into TJ a way out which has helped to stablize some of the neighborhoods in the TJ attendance area.

  • Sharon Crews

    Frustrated: So perception is worth $800,000, plus the extra in teachers’ salaries? How is that a fiscally sound policy for District 150–the “eye of the beholder” test? Perception against Edison (and there was considerable opposition from parents at the time) didn’t keep the district from bringing Edison in–and 150 did lose families. Also, I don’t understand why Edison is being paid $800,000 now that the number of Edison schools has been reduced from four to three.

  • Qui audet adipiscitur

    The cost isn’t that much more per student. I refer to JC’s excellent FOIA request which revealed:
    Operational Costs per Student (2008-09 school year)
    Washington Gifted: $5,489
    Rolling Acres Edison Junior Academy: $6,068
    Northmoor-Edison: $6,462
    Franklin-Edison: $6,622
    Roosevelt Magnet: $7,487
    Valeska Hinton: $8,657
    Manual Academy: $11,714

    The cost per student is roughly the same if Edison is doing the work, or of the District is doing the work.

    At least we’ve moved away from ninja’s and test score conspiracies…..
    Peace.

  • Sharon Crews

    I forgot to ask: Why didn’t the perception test work for Woodruff parents who want to keep their school?
    Qui, you picked the most expensive schools for comparison–Valeska is definitely costing the district too much–and so is Manual. Someone help–Is the $800,000 figure included in these numbers? Are special programs at each school part of this cost figure? I’m wondering if Manual’s high figure isn’t based on the cost of a top heavy administration (which academy at Manual?) I’m not knowledgeable as to how these figures are computed; just provide information, please.

  • Frustrated

    Yep Sharon, I think it is worth the difference. In re: to perception — I think it is the driver in this entire process. I think the District offers a competitive education in some of its schools, it just has an extremely difficult time managing perceptions. Edison, is doing a much better job in this regard. Families and teachers I know from Northmoor Edison, cannot stop singing its praises.

    As a parent, I really can’t determine how good my school really is, but it is what I “perceive” when I meet with the teachers, observe the principal, listen to my children tell me about the day and review their homework that forms the basis for my feelings of satisfaction or dissatisfaction.

  • Sharon Crews

    Hopefully, there will be four out of seven people that will disagree with you–it is their perception, not ours, that counts. So if perception is the driver–what about Woodruff or does the perception of only certain parents count? Sorry–that just seems to be the implication.

  • Qui audet adipiscitur

    The per student average cost Districtwide is roughly $6500, again per JC’s previous FOIA request posting up a few pages. To review:
    Washington Gifted: $5,489
    Rolling Acres Edison Junior Academy: $6,068
    Northmoor-Edison: $6,462
    Franklin-Edison: $6,622
    Roosevelt Magnet: $7,487
    Valeska Hinton: $8,657
    Manual Academy: $11,714

    Washington Gifted and the three Edison schools are a bargain or right on target for the District’s average per pupil cost. Why aren’t we expanding the Edison program and reinforcing that success vs. cost?

  • Sharon Crews

    Qui: I’ve concluded that you are out of touch with the reality of 150′s finances. No one has answered my question: Do the above figures include the cost of Edison–just how is this amount computed?

  • dangling participle

    sharon,

    i know you taught english, but the math isn’t that hard. divide 800k by the sum of the total number of students in schools in edison’s contract. take that and add it proportionally to each of the per pupil costs and you have the difference.

    formula = 800,000/(# of edison students total) = x
    x + per pupil cost for y school, where y = individual edison school.

    with all the foia you do, shirley you have student census counts for edison schools…

  • TPBRicky

    Concerning test scores, examining them pre and post Edison shows that post has never achieved what the scores were before the program began at Northmoor. I remember that a member of Woodruff’s newspaper staff [Tommy Stonebock] won the student writing award from the Journal Star in 2002, I believe, by doing a comprehensive piece graphing the precipitous dive the numbers took; all the more startling given the upper 90% scores posted from the three years before compared to the three years after. Funny how the word “choice” is bandied about so loosely – choice for some only. Many from the Northmoor community were not happy that their excellent school was taken from them –they evidently had no “choice.” Certainly helps that Kenny was a former VP – think he has any stock? Inconceivable!

  • Sharon Crews

    Dangling: My question was sincere. I honestly did not know whether or not the per pupil figure included the Edison program–if so, the computation is even more difficult, isn’t it? Don’t you have to add on the extra money that teachers get because of their extended day? I don’t know the formula for computing per pupil cost–do administrative or teacher salaries count?. Does the formula include Title I money or just the money from 150′s education fund. No, I don’t feel a FOIA coming on for this issue. I might be more interested in knowing where the students at Northmoor live. Speaking of numbers–and how they can lie. When demographics state the number of students who meet poverty guidelines–there are degrees of poverty. I would suggest the “poverty” at Northmoor isn’t the same as the poverty in the south end. And, of course, not all students who are classified as poor are academically deprived.

  • Frustrated

    TPBRicky: I remember things a bit differently. Northmoor was performing well before Edison came to be, but enrollment was dwindling due to many families moving into that area electing St. Vincent and other private school options. Already at that time, Rolling Acres subdivision was turning over and beginning to decline. I was part of discussions back then regarding the District’s concern for the future of this school. The Edison program was brought to this school to preempt its decline and according to your figures, it appears to have worked.

    I would venture to say the demographic of Northmoor back in the day is different from the Northmoor Edison of today. So you are not really comparing apples to apples in looking at test scores. It is my impression that Northmoor Edison now serves a broader cross-section of the population and therefore educates more students with learning challenges and yet, is still succeeding in its efforts.

  • TPBRicky

    Tough to validate any of your points. What is an indisputable fact is that the three years after immediate implementation of Edison resulted in a staggering decline in test scores when compared to the three years prior. Fact. I have them and can produce them Thursday, for what it is worth.

  • Carrie W

    TPBRicky – not sure if it really matters now how the school was performing before the Edison model was implemented at Northmoor. The demographics and enrollment are different now than they were then – what is the point of comparing? The district decided to offer this option, it has been accepted by many in the community as a choice for families who want to take advantage of it for their children, and it is doing very well. Time to move on.

    One thing to note, the benchmark system that all Edison schools use is now used in most primary and middle schools – not 100% sure on that, however JC can verify since she has collected that data. Let’s look at how many students/teachers are receiving benefits from this tool. Give it a bit of time and then look at those schools and their scores before and after receiving the benefit of using the benchmarking system. How much would it have cost the district to implement a district-wide benchmarking system and the necessary support to go along with it?

  • Sharon Crews

    First of all, benchmarking isn’t magic (probably a system made more possible by the “computer age”–the state has such a system available for free, right? If not, 150 should be able to go on its own with a similar system. Secondly, Northmoor before Edison was a good school–better than good. Then Edison offered the choice to students from other areas (and those students probably weren’t at the same high levels as were the original Northmoor students). Scores went down at first. The same thing probably would have happened if “choice” without Edison had been offered. Who is to say that the “old” methods at Northmoor wouldn’t have produced the same improved results over time? Third, I still believe that as time went on Edison found a way to do some cherrypicking. Again, Edison is a “for profit” company–it will do what has to be done to make a profit, and the profit isn’t higher student scores; the profit is money. I just want someone to explain to me what makes Edison’s delivery better than that at Whittier, Charter Oak, etc.,–it can’t be just benchmarks because everyone is using them now, right? Besides Whittier and Charter Oak have produced comparable results.

  • Jon

    The Interactive Illinois Report Card shows composite ISAT test scores (all subjects, all grades) data going back to 2002. Because classes from one year to the next can vary, I think it more helpful to look at 3-year averages when comparing test scores. Also, there is a fairly clear correlation between the % of low income students to test scores (Sharon, your point that “low income” can itself vary greatly, notwithstanding). Grouping the primary schools by % of low income (as currently defined), you get the following:

    Less than 50% Low Income Schools
    Kellar – 07-09 average meets/exceeds: 89.0%
    Northmoor Edison – 07-09 average meets/exceeds: 88.3%
    Charter Oak – 07-09 average meets/exceeds: 87.7%

    60-80 % Low Income Schools
    Hines – 78.3% meets/exceeds
    Whittier – 76.7%
    TJ – 76.7%
    Wilson – 76.0%

    90+% Low Income Schools
    Franklin – 73.0% meets/exceeds
    Garfield – 54.0%
    Glen Oak – 45.7%
    Harrison – 53.7%

    Grouping the Middle Schools (I ignored Washington Gifted for obvious reasons and Roosevelt Magnet since it is K-8) by Low Income you get:

    Less than 30% Low Income School
    Lindberg – 91.3% Meets/Exceeds from 07-09

    52% Low Income Schools
    Mark Bills – 72.7% Meets/Exceeds
    Rolling Acres – 80%

    72-75% Low Income Schools
    Coolidge: 68.0% Meets/Exceeds
    Sterling: 52.3%
    Von Steuben: 77.3%

    90+% Low Income Schools
    Columbia: 72.0% Meets/Exceeds
    Lincoln: 46.7%
    Trewyn: 43.7%

    What does the above say about the three Edison schools? Well, Franklin and Rolling Acres are doing considerably better than their peers, based on how I categorized the schools. True, Northmoor does about the same as Charter Oak, but I’m one of those who think that nearly 90% meeting/exceeding test scores is a pretty difficult statistic to improve upon, at least when your population is 40+% Low Income. (The data also shows that Columbia and Von Steuben far exceed their “peers”)

    Why do I focus so much on low income when it comes to test scores? Consider the following sample of the average Reading and Math Test Scores for the district as a whole:

    3rd Grade – 70% meets/exceeds for low income vs 90.5% for non low income
    5th Grade – 62.5% for low income vs 86.5% for non low income
    7th Grade – 56% for low income vs 82.5% for non low income
    11th Grade (PSAE Tests) – 14.5% for low income vs 59% for non low income

    That shows the difference between low income and non low income INCREASES as kids get older:

    3rd Grade – 20.5% difference between low income and non low income
    5th Grade – 24.0% difference
    7th Grade – 26.5% difference
    11th Grade – 45.0% difference

    Again, though, with respect to the Edison schools, the current data strongly suggests that they exceed their peers (based on % low income) in average test scores the last 3 years (at least). Of course, I wonder how much of that has to do with the curriculum, required parent involvement, longer school days, etc. Whatever it may be, it sure seems to be working.

    Finally, if you really want to play with numbers, compare those schools (within the groups of low income) by their mobility rates – by and large the top performing school within each group is the one with the lowest mobility. I’d say that if you really want to improve test scores, you do whatever you can (increased busing costs, for example) to keep kids with the same teacher for the full year. Additionally, think about how “choice” schools like the proposed charter school invite students who are more likely to stay with that school (by choice or by commitment).

  • Frustrated

    Jon – great analysis. The District could use a man like you. I hear the stat of 70% poverty in Peoria Public Schools. How does that break out by race?

    You may be interested in this article, Schools Turning to Wealth, not Race, to Integrate Schools:

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/e.....come_x.htm

    The problem in Peoria schools is that there is not sufficient students NOT at proverty level to integrate. (Sorry, awkward sentence). That is why it is important to offer more choice schools to bring more middle class families back. If the District can bring more balance back to its school population it will be better for all.

  • kohlrabi

    If you are going to measure the success of the Edison schools based on a sample size of 3 – you should really include Loucks in the mix. Edison is really successful except when it isn’t! Loucks didn’t succeed. If you compare Rolling Acres (as a relative success) with its peer middle schools – compare Loucks to its peer middle schools.

  • Sharon Crews

    I still believe strongly that the Edison schools select (or the parents select–it doesn’t matter who selects) the highest performing of those students designated at the poverty level. I taught school in a poverty area for 43 years, and I am very well aware that there are bright students among them–they are the ones who move to the “choice” schools. Therefore, I don’t believe you can say, “Look at how well Edison does with the same percentage of poverty compared to Glen Oak.” The true test of Edison’s success rate would be to make Glen Oak (as is) an Edison School. Loucks came close to the test–and it failed. “Stack the deck” at any 150 school and it will improve. The charter school will “stack the deck” in the very same way. These companies do not get into business to fail–they will not accept impossible situations (other 150 schools have to accept the impossible situations). Most of those who argue in favor of Edison and choice are parents–and I understand and even approve of your desire to convince District 150 to offer the best for your children. However, someone has to look out for the good of the whole district–and I certainly would hope that would be the District 150 school board and administration (but so far that’s just a hope of mine).

  • Frustrated

    I don’t think it is any conspiracy but Sharon, I agree with you. Likely the low income students that apply to attend schools like Northmoor Edison are from more stable families that just happen to be poor and thus these students are likely better able and prepared to learn and their parents are more plugged in and willing to do the work to help their children succeed.

    It is my belief that the “highest performing of those students designated at the proverty level” that managed to escape to Northmoor Edison would not be doing nearly so well academically if they had remained in their old school environments.

    So is the extra cost of Edison worth it. Absolutely!!!

  • Sharon Crews

    I agree, Frustrated, but there is always a “but” with me, right? District 150 needs to try much harder (and that would be with discipline) to create their promised safe, learning environments in all schools–they have not tried yet. Certainly, their efforts can’t include such shams as exist at Manual right now. Much hype but no substance.

  • Jon

    Frustrated – the data doesn’t break down low income by race.

    kohlrabi – I agree, it would be preferable to include Loucks. Unfortunately, once a school closes, it no longer seems to appear on the Interactive School Report Card website, so I don’t have access to the data.

    Sharon, I also agree that the highest performing low income students tend to go to the Edison schools. The point is it gives them an “out” from their less desirable neighborhood schools. I want to expand the choice for all students – not just for those like your favorite freshman (or is she a sophomore now) who was able to get a better option for her than Lincoln/Trewyn and Manual – but expand that for students who are not “gifted” or can not handle the rigors of the IB program. However, I don’t think anyone is suggesting “give me a charter school and screw everyone else” or anything of that nature. Clearly, we must address those students who are performing below expectations – and that is an extremely tall order for the district to do given so much parental apathy. In the interim, we must give those capable students more options. Forcing “good” students into “bad” schools is not looking out for the good of the whole district. Realistically, you’re going to spend more money on trying to bring up the non-performing students/schools – and rightly so. That is why I’m not going to criticize the cost of Manual, where nearly 90% do not meet testing expectations – until it has had a chance to succeed.

    Incidentally, any idea why Columbia and Von Steuben seem to do so well among their “peer” groups? Perhaps it is as you suggested – a different kind of “low income” relative to those at Trewyn, for example. However, if I’m dirt poor and living in the Trewyn district – you bet I want my kid to be in a Columbia or Von Steuben learning environment. Of course, if I’m one of those parents who doesn’t give a crap – the one whose kid is at a decidedly disadvantage – you probably have to try something different to educate my kid – different than what is done at Columbia – and thus the reason to ultimately separate kids (to a certain degree) based on such factors as capabilities and parental involvement – rather than one size fits all.

  • Sharon Crews

    The freshman in my life wasn’t at Lincoln/Trewyn–she lives in West Peoria (her option was Calvin Coolidge but she qualified for Washington)–she isn’t living in poverty (well, maybe yes–her dad is a 150 teacher and her mom is a college grad, stay-at home mom who coached the Manual speech team and now the Richwoods divers–her daughter and another diver :) About Columbia–I think the Columbia teacher (former Loucks teacher) who spoke at the BOE meeting a few weeks ago revealed the secret–he says discipline is well-enforced at Columbia. Jon, I am not asking you to give up your desire for the better options–I’m just reminding 150 that they have obligations to the rest of the population–150 is a public, not a private, school system. I will continue to criticize the cost of Manual because all the money is not being spent on the right solutions–more harm than good is being done. Let’s see–one industrial arts teacher and two science teachers have already walked off the job this year–and I believe a couple of others and at least one more will at the end of the semester. I think it’s fairly unheard of for teachers to walk away before the end of a year, much less before the end of a semester.

  • Stephen Scanlan-Yerly

    First I highly doubt that she lives in poverty if here dad is a district 150 teacher. A first year teacher with a dependent is I believe close if not already above the poverty line based on income.

    Second many of the neighborhoods that feed in to 150 schools are unstable and thus that instablity is brought to school. Schools will not improve until the neighborhood demographics improve. What do you do to disipline a student who would rather not attend school? Punish them with detentions, suspentions? Those teachers will leave and attempt to find jobs in schools or districts that have students not detainees.

  • Jon

    “Jon, I am not asking you to give up your desire for the better options”. But aren’t you opposed to Edison, opposed to the charter school, and have misgivings about Washington Gifted since it takes the high performing students out of the neighborhood schools? You may not be asking me to give up the DESIRE for the better options, but you’re not exactly giving me many, if any, options within the public school system :)

    Of course, I also think that the district has obligations to the “rest” of the D150 population – but that doesn’t mean a charter school is a threat – especially when it will educate the kids for less than the current cost. You criticize the administration and yet seemingly think it should be the sole provider of public education. I say we try a few options, giving parents choice.

    Really, what is the threat of a charter school? Sure, everyone recognizes that they will likely have better scores, because of the self-selection of higher-performing students, but that’s no knock against the teachers “left” in the poorer-performing schools with extreme poverty and/or apathetic parents. By the way, simple supply and demand says that teachers at Kellar should make less than teachers at Garfield since most (not all) would choose to work in the Kellar environment. You’ll note that the average teacher salary of the proposed charter school is less than the current D150 average. No one is going to force anyone to work there. Again, I just don’t see much if any downside to this charter school.

  • Sharon Crews

    Stephen–Plug in a teacher’s salary with five children–but, no, she isn’t living in poverty (or did you miss my smiley face?) Jon, we do love to argue, don’t we? There is truth in what you say; there is truth in what I say. My one and only goal is get 150′s attention to, at least, try to bring order to all the schools. The alternative school for middle and high school students should be a start. 150 just doesn’t ask anything of its parents or students in the way of accountability–I just want to see what would happen if parents were really asked to step up to the plate (I think that many would). I believe the change would be great. As far as arguing about Edison and the charter school on this blog–we do it just for the fun of it because nothing we say matters at all–unless the BOE agrees. So far, Jon, the votes are on your side, so relax. I believe the charter school is a bad idea for 150 right now–there is no longer a bonus, 150 can’t afford to lose any more of its good, average students, 150 can’t afford to lose the per pupil money. A charter school isn’t going to change 150′s image–people will give the charter school the credit, not 150.

  • EmergePeoria

    Aren’t a high number of students at Washington Gifted children of District 150 teachers? Anybody ever FOIA that?

  • Keith

    Emerge-

    Don’t think that is something that can be requested through a FOIA for a couple of reasons.

    1) I highly doubt information on parent’s occupation is gathered/sorted

    2) If it was, it would be information that should be confidential as part of the students record

    What is the basis for your question? Do you think Teacher’s children are given preferential treatment?

  • Hmmm...

    That appears to be what Emerge is implying.

  • EmergePeoria

    :)

    Come on guys, don’t put words in my mouth!

  • Pat

    I imagine that there is a higher incidence of teachers’ children at Washington Gifted just like there are more doctors’ children in medical school. We know the system and how it works. We know what our own children need in the educational process. We have more knowledge than some parents. There is nothing wrong with this.

  • septboy

    does anyone know the cost per student for the edison schools, valeska, manual, washington, vs. rest of the 150?

  • Jon

    Speaking of who gets in to Washington Gifted, Laura Petelle said recently on her blog “The lawyers let me know they’re finishing up the revision of the language about Washington Gifted.” I’ll be curious to see just what that revision says.

  • kohlrabi

    How does the Knoxville Ave Center for Success figure into the alternative middle school idea. Local news – I think WEEK – did a story on Knoxville school this week. 60 students with 6 teachers – no class size over 10 and a waiting list of 100. Story presented it as alternative school – one kid said he didn’t do well – or show up – at former school because the teachers there “were dumb.”

  • Sharon Crews

    Sud–Please note, that unlike you, :) I didn’t continue my comments on C.J.’s Veterans’ Day post. Sud: I agree that the bus situation was minor–it was just my immediate reaction to the situation–and how disappointing it was that because of some clerical glitch the Richwoods band didn’t get to march. However, I would imagine that there are over 100 Richwoods parents who are somewhat irritated by today’s event. I guess I really might come off as angry. I am quite glad that I really don’t feel the emotion of anger with regard to 150–I might be obsessed with 150, but not angry. Most of the time I am just in a state of disbelief. Also, I have found that when I complain about 150′s record and/or practices in the inner city schools and Manual, no one cares (just the teachers from those areas)–I just think we have to make even louder noises before anyone cares at all. 150 can do just about anything at Manual and the rest of the city just doesn’t care.
    Emerge: First of all, I believe that the test that really counts with regard to Washington is the one administered by Bradley–and they don’t know which applicants are the children of 150 teachers. I understand and even sympathize with your implication. However–if you are really interested in getting to the bottom of the lack of diversity at Washington, I would suggest that you run some “test” cases. Encourage some parents (maybe yourself if your daughter is or will be in middle school soon) to get their children tested and/or to ask their teachers why they haven’t been referred. Then, if they aren’t chosen, do some complaining. Traditionally, there have been a good many qualified students who really aren’t interested in going to a special school–and I believe that black students are especially hesitant and do not actively pursue the possibility. It’s time that they did. I would encourage my cousin and her husband to be one of the test cases for their two children (although only in 1st & 2nd grade now)–but I think they are quite happy at the Peoria Academy.

  • Sharon Crews

    Emerge: You can FOIA the information–and you will get the addresses (without names) of all students at Washington Gifted.

  • Carrie W

    I would be more curious to know how many District 150 teachers have school-age children that are even enrolled in District 150 as opposed to parochial/out of district/Peoria Academy.

    I certainly think everyone who has posted on this topic is genuinely concerned about the health of District 150 and how ALL children can be best served. Accountability is a HUGE issue and quite honestly, I don’t have a politically correct answer as to a possible solution. Having visited charter schools in Illinois, Indiana, and Washington D.C., accountability is one element of each school’s culture I saw as being quite impressive and essential. I’m not just talking students and parents being accountable: teachers, administrators, secretaries, custodians, cafeteria staff – EVERYONE! Do I think we necessarily need a charter school to create a culture of accountability – no, but everyone involved in a school has to have buy in to the culture – therein lies the challenge.

  • Mahkno

    “I would be more curious to know how many District 150 teachers have school-age children that are even enrolled in District 150 as opposed to parochial/out of district/Peoria Academy.”

    There are a lot whose kids do not attend District 150. But yes it would be a curious fact to know where that percentage stands.

  • Sharon Crews

    All you have to do is to look at a teachers’ directory (oh, 150 doesn’t publish one any more) to see how many addresses (teachers and administrators) are not in Peoria. Today, I believe there would be a teacher shortage if 150 teachers were forced to live in Peoria. I don’t know what conclusions you want to draw from that–teachers are no different than the rest of you who want the best for their children. And I hope none of you believe that teachers can turn 150 around–all the stakeholders have to unite in that effort. Teachers do not have the power to make the necessary changes.

  • Frustrated

    The selection of Washington students is much more objective than you are giving the District credit for. Primary school teachers have explained to me that they are instructed to be generous in their referral of students for testing. An outside panel reviews the applicants and selects the students to attend. As Sharon mentioned, my impression is the primary determinant is the BU testing component.

    In the years my children attended, which is fairly recently, I don’t recall many teachers’ children in attendance. There was a Washington teacher whose child did not get into the school. Her child was in my child’s primary class and he was a good student, but apparently must have not tested well?? Who knows. Also, Mary Spangler, former board member, had three children that attended.

    Washington Gifted has been at this for a while. I imagine the school has found that there is a strong correlation between the BU test scores and in classroom performance. I believe the involved screening process is designed for the benefit of the students – the school wants to make sure those selected have a high likelihood of success in an accelerated learning environment.

  • Sharon Crews

    I believe both of Jim Stowell’s daughters went to Washington–so did Jim. Jim had been a Whittier student. I believe that his and Spangler’s children would have started there before either Jim or Mary were on the school board. I think that a significant number of Whittier students have gone to Washington. It would be interesting to learn from what schools Washington students are drawn. Also, I think it becomes a generational thing as with Jim. Ed Griffeth’s son and recently his grandson went to Washington. I would be curious to know how many students that are selected do not accept the invitation. I wonder why Sharon Kherat’s son isn’t at Washington instead of Peoria Academy–my guess is that he is a very bright young man.

  • Frustrated

    Typically, Kellar represents about 1/3 (20) of the incoming 5th grade class. This may be changing, as Kellar’s demographics change, followed by Charter Oak and Northmoor Edison and Whittier.

  • [...] Jennifer Brady to talk about the Peoria Charter School Initiative. Her presentation was similar to the one given at the Civic Center, except that there were no representatives of the Chicago Math and Science Academy (CMSA) in [...]