Unit 4 to be asked to create charter school on north side

Unit 4 to be asked to create charter school on north side

CHAMPAIGN — A six-year decline in academic achievement for black Unit 4 students in grades 3-8 has some community members poised to ask the district to create a charter school on Champaign's north end.

The school, which would be called North Champaign Academy and serve grades K-5, has been offered as a solution to the rising numbers of black students in Unit 4 who are performing at levels below state expectations for their grade. Organizers shared the highlights of their vision with The News-Gazette ahead of Monday night's school board meeting, when they plan to make a formal request to the school board.

Lifelong Champaign resident Nathaniel Banks, an NCA steering committee member, emphasized that the idea isn't meant to be an attack on the district. Unit 4 reserved comment on the plan since it hadn't seen it, spokeswoman Emily Schmit said.

"I don't think the district itself has been negligent," Banks said. "But the reality is the educational process is, by nature, conservative. The job of educational institutions is to preserve the culture that people are living in. The current culture is such that the needs of black people are not respected in the culture, so the system can only do so much."

The group cited data compiled by the Illinois State Board of Education, which releases annual "report cards" for each district that detail how third- through eighth-graders performed. The numbers that concern the charter school backers come from 2011-17:

— In 2011, black third-graders comprised 15.2 percent of Unit 4's lowest-achieving students in the reading category.

— By 2017, that number was 52.1 percent.

"We're mentioning the numbers because that has a direct impact on the quality of life in the community," Banks said. "If you can't succeed in school, you can't succeed after school."

Another committee member, Champaign pastor and Centennial football coach Lekevie Johnson, called the statistics a "cause for concern."

"The district has a wealth of resources," Johnson said. "But somehow, educating African-American babies has become an issue. Maybe there hasn't been enough done, or enough attention paid to them, or maybe there haven't been enough opportunities for parents to talk about how to bridge the gap.

"Has the district put forth the effort? I'm sure they have. At the same time, we haven't bridged the gap."

'Entrepreneurial spirit'

Charter schools are publicly funded educational institutions that can't turn away anyone but, by nature, typically have target audiences and an application process to filter students appropriately. Those audiences are referenced in the school's charter, which is essentially a contract that lays out the mission, performance goals and student group the school most wants to serve.

For NCA, the target audience is specifically low-income black students. Since poverty tends to be cyclical, NCA founders hope the school can change such students' trajectory in life early on.

"The percentage of poor people in the black community has remained constant throughout the years — and that's part of the impetus for trying to change that paradigm," Banks said.

In Champaign County, black residents are twice as likely as white to live in poverty. Data from the 2015 U.S. Census Bureau population estimates showed that 41.5 percent of African-Americans had incomes below the poverty level, while the rate for whites was 17.2 percent. Those figures have influenced a number of aspects about NCA — from curriculum to programming to social services.

"A very intimate and aggressive relationship with parents and families is crucial to this school system," Banks said. "The public school system is not made for that, and it's not their agenda. Our agenda, really, is to connect the children and their families to resources locally that can help the families, so they can help their children."

Despite the fact that NCA is proposed to serve grades K-5, organizers have prioritized financial and entrepreneurial literacy within the curriculum. Community activist Craig Walker said the school would operate with an "entrepreneurial spirit."

"Students will learn about various industries, including civic government, finance, trades and agriculture using the local economy to have engagement with local businesses and community leaders," Walker wrote in an email to The News-Gazette.

Second try for Banks

Part of that emphasis comes from those who have been involved with shaping NCA's vision.

"The NCA team has an impeccable record of strong relationships with all segments of the Champaign community," Walker wrote. "The group holds or has held positions of trust and responsibility in Champaign institutions, including the University of Illinois, a local bank and Champaign schools. They have either attended Champaign schools or currently have children in the Unit 4 school system."

Banks is no stranger to this process, having submitted a similar proposal in 2001 to both the Champaign and Urbana school districts.

Although Unit 4 didn't accept that proposal, Banks said this time feels different.

"Since then, the notion of charters has been on the radar, nationally, locally and statewide," Banks said. "Most of the people in the black community know that our children aren't doing as well as they need to be doing. There is more awareness that there may be something that could be done as a charter school."

The district will have to decide, among other things, whether it's able to provide financial support for such a school. State law mandates that the per-capita tuition cost — or tuition the district would pay NCA for a student to attend — fall between 75 and 125 percent.

"We're doing what we need to do," Banks said. "It's up to the district to decide what the merits are."

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Local Yocal wrote on February 22, 2018 at 7:02 am
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A long overdue conversation. The News-Gazette reported in 2015 that only 6 African American students in the graduating classes at Central, Centennial, and Urbana enrolled at the university. One of the primary ways African Americans have been kept out of the economy is to undereducate them and sick the criminal justice system on them. 

A specifically designed Charter school would give kids a chance to step in the right direction at an early age. 

chief21 wrote on February 22, 2018 at 8:02 am


Wouldnt that be segregation? Why not let parents choose....School Choice!! Charter schools nothing more than Public schools attempt at Private schools concept.

GLG wrote on February 22, 2018 at 8:02 am

Funny, The high Schools of St. Thomas Moore, Uni High, St. Mathews Catholic School, Juda Christian  and many other schools have black students, They seem to be doing OK. Maybe these students have parents that are actualy involved with their lives, Not to mention some disipline when they need it! People send their children to these schools to get them away from the out of control disruptive students that are just hanging around in school untill they are old enough to go to jail! These parents also pay tuition at the private school as well as property taxes to support the public schools, Many people pay nothing for their children to go to public school. Can you imagine the hell that would be raise if some one  said " Lets build an all white high school because only 95 % of our students are going to college, We need to do better"

rsp wrote on February 22, 2018 at 12:02 pm

Maybe you should go look into those schools and see how many black kids they have. If you took all of the black kids from all of those schools it might fill a classroom. Most of they were thought of as white schools when they were built. Rich white schools where white people can send their kids to get away from the black kids. You talk about kids hanging out until they go to prison? Some of these schools start as k-5, so you are suggesting a 5 year old is prison material.

And even when school fees are waived for low income people, they still pay property taxes. Property taxes are what pays for the schools. Exactly where did you go to school?

Joe American wrote on February 22, 2018 at 1:02 pm

rsp, there you go again, spouting off that which you know nothing about.

"Rich white schools"?  Really?  Before you go making uneducated statements,  you might want to look into  the numbers of families attending these schools on scholarships and financial aid simply because they ARE the parents that the OP referred to - the ones who give a rat's patooty about their kid's education.

 

 

rsp wrote on February 22, 2018 at 3:02 pm

Most of them were thought of as white schools when they were built.

Who taught you how to read? I've been in these schools, by the way. Have you?

Bystander wrote on February 22, 2018 at 8:02 am
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 By 2017, reading levels deteriorated to 52.1 percent of African American children reading at the lowest achievement level?

 

And whose fault is that? When African American children are born out of wedlock by fathers who don't work, raised on rap lyrics, don't do their homework at school, do drugs and sex at an early age, commit crimes like burglary and armed robbery, don't get a job, and then have children under these circumstances, what do we expect? Garbage in, garbage out.

 

There are generations of African Americans who have given up on getting an education, following the rules, and doing a job to the best of your ability. The News-Gazette should interview what comes into the county jail or youth detention center. They would not be impressed by the ethics of these people. 30 years of African American music celebrating thug culture and sex have numbed young people into thinking hustling is something to aspire to. 

 

There needs to be a gut check within the African American community that asks, really, where are you going. You don't see Asians shooting each other every month. What you do see is Asians at the head of the class in reading, math, and science. Where is there in the black community a resolve to commit to academic and civic excellence? 

 

But liberals like Yodler here want to believe its the Big Bad White Man oppressing the poor minorities and there should be more set-asides granted to the African American community. Yeah right. The African American community needs to get its act together and join in working in this economy.

 

Local Yocal wrote on February 22, 2018 at 8:02 am
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Well if you so give a damn, then we can count on your check donated to Restoration Urban Ministries, or The Don Moyer's Boys and Girls Club, or Courage Connections, or Caanan Academy, or Urbana Neighborhood Connections Center, or First Followers, or the Build Programs Not Jails group, or Champaign County Health Care Consumers, or S.A.F.E. House, or The Cunningham Children's Home, or any number of organizations relieving the burden of working class people. 

 

The caricature of African Americans that you have learned could apply to any poor white kid. The difference would be that the white kid would not be subjected to the brutalities of prison for years and years. In fact our court system would go out of its way to afford the white kid a lenient probation. One data point never measured is the severity of sentences across racial lines. A trip to the courthouse would show that, anecdotally, blacks seem to get the worst of the criminal justice stick. We know that to be the case in the schools, measuring the suspension and arrest numbers. 

 

Somehow black children, for the most part, are not getting properly educated in our public schools. They are made to feel unwanted and are treated to zero tolerance policies that sees them as a problem to be dealt with. Any infraction and they are suspended from school. Falling behind academically, they have little motivation to participate in what appears to be a rigged game against them. The Youth Assessment Center never publishes the success statistics of placements in schools or jobs. Probably because placement in a school or job rarely happens when the criminal justice system gets involved in a person's life. Our largest local investment is in sanctions and imprisonment, not careers and education programs.

 

Financing the educations, the local businesses, the new homes, and the infrastructure for a whole new renaissance in the black community requires some serious dollars be directed toward the African American community. Law enforcement has been first at the tax trough for too many decades. It's time to invest in better outcomes.

Bystander wrote on February 22, 2018 at 8:02 am
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At least I have a job with a salary by which to make a donation with, Yodler. You should go look up the definition for the word, "job", Yodler, you might find one helpful in solving your marijuana addiction. 

 

That's quite an accusation you level at the entire district of school teachers, thinking them to be the evil racists holding a grudge against black children. The fact is suspensions, expulsions, and arrests are earned. You should read the SRO incident reports describing the behavior of black children in the schools. There are serious disruptions in the classroom that cannot be ignored just because little Demetri is black. The number one reason for a suspension is fighting. Or should we just let fistfights be the norm in school?

 

Our largest local investment is in schools and education- not law enforcement. Or have you forgotten the $180 million tax dollar investment into the Unit 4 school referendum? Or the $25 million dollar renovation at Yankee Ridge Elementary in Urbana? We spend plenty toward rectifying the achievement gap. All students have an equal chance to succeed in our local school districts. It's not the teacher's fault some don't want to follow instructions and do the assigned work on time. 

 

In light of the ongoing gun violence, domestic batteries, and drug use in our town; we can ill afford to jeopardize public safety by going lax on law enforcement. The only reason you can sit back, stoned at the computer all day, Yodler, is because the good guys are protecting you from the bad guys. But then, when do you, Yodler, ever venture into a poor neighborhood?

Local Yocal wrote on February 22, 2018 at 8:02 am
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There remains a need for remedial education, after-school mentoring, apprenticeships, scholarships, small business loans, addiction intervention, affordable housing- (especially for formerly incarcerated people,) and good-paying jobs to repair the neglect and discrimination that Champaign-Urbana has perpetrated against poor communities of color for decades. Whatever dysfunctions there may be among the poor, (and I would submit it cuts across all races) the white power establishment has contributed to keeping it the way it is. There would be money to invest if law enforcement wasn't always buying another taser, another squad car, another officer's salary and pension, building a jail cell, and building a courthouse. Funny how in all the contortions made about the "opioid crisis" none of the solutions involve what was meted out on the African American community during the crack epidemic of the 80's: and that's jailing the addicts. Funny how local unions and the trades in general rarely have an African American working on construction projects around town. Funny how the most acceptable form of discrimination there is in town is that of employers discriminating against anyone with a criminal record. 

We have a long way to go toward justice and healing.

Bystander wrote on February 22, 2018 at 9:02 am
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Let me guess: "Reparations now!" eh Yodler? As if there were endless tax dollars to spend. 

Local Yocal wrote on February 22, 2018 at 9:02 am
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Nothing wrong with re-evaluating priorities. Somehow, we are told there are no tax dollars available to spend on water fountains, bike paths, museums, libraries, good teachers and schools, petting zoos, universities, swimming pools, sculpture parks, trains, scholarships, quality daycare, street musicians, healthcare, electric cars, small business loans, fruit trees, public showers, hospitals, theaters, parks, renewable energy sources, murals, ice cream trucks, trade schools, quality nursing homes, public transportation, carnivals, solar apartments, gymnasiums, and victory gardens- stuff that would do the planet and body good; and instead, we are lectured that the only available tax dollars must be spent for more government employees, more government employee pensions, more sports stadiums, more jails, more cops, more prisons, more squad cars, more fire trucks, and a posh Courthouse. 

cjw61822@hotmail.com wrote on February 22, 2018 at 9:02 am

Uh Yodler..............

 

how much did Champaign County just spend on a bike path to the Vermillion County line along 150?  Or is that out of your AOE?

 

 

bb wrote on February 22, 2018 at 12:02 pm

 

Not really relevant to this interesting discussion, but I have a little AOE on this one.  The rail trail has been primarily funded by the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP), which is a federally-funded grant reimbursement program (Transportaion Alternatives, or FAST Act) Illinois manages that requires a 20% local match. To date, I'm pretty sure that nearly all of the local matching funds have been charitable contributions from individuals, advocacy groups and businesses, including a $150,000 contribution from Jimmy John. A separate state grant that was planned to be used as matching funds to build a bridge on the Vermilion County side has been frozen. There may have been another small state grant, but I don't know of any local taxing body that allocated money as matching funds for the Rail Trail. Urbana allocated a portion of it's annual bike funds to help pay for a feasibility study on building trailhead/access options.

The ITEP program distributes about $30-$50M annually across the state to qualified projects (out of about some $250M requested).  A couple years ago, Champaign got $2M for the Bradley Ave "complete streets" redesign and construction that includes a bridge. The Rail Trail got $225,000 that year for phase 2 engineering. Mahomet has also benefitted greatly from ITEP grants.  They can be used for a variety of things besides pedestrian and bike trails - like scenic overlooks, preserving water quality from road runoff, wildlife collision mitigation, etc.

 

 

Kirsten wrote on February 22, 2018 at 9:02 am

"Where is there in the black community a resolve to commit to academic and civic excellence?"

Like maybe asking for a black-focused charter school?

 

cjw61822@hotmail.com wrote on February 22, 2018 at 9:02 am

I could not agree more.

 

Let this be the first of many charter schools in the area letting parents decide what charter school they would like their child to go to.

 

Christian

 

Muslim

 

Black

 

Buddist

 

Asian

 

 

This school is a good start for not only NE Champaign, but the rest of the community as well.  Excellent idea.

 

Of course, I thought Charter schools were opposed by the teachers union for some reason.  Guess I was mistaken

Objective Reporter wrote on February 22, 2018 at 2:02 pm

When designing all of these separate schools, let's make sure they are equal.  

Champaign Guest wrote on February 22, 2018 at 9:02 am

I don't think this statement is correct:

"In 2011, black third-graders comprised 15.2 percent of Unit 4's lowest-achieving students in the reading category."

As I read the report it's actually that 15.2 percent of black third-graders were in the lowest-achieving reading category.

msorice wrote on February 23, 2018 at 1:02 am

The 15.2% to 52.1% comparison is innumerate. The proportion of black students scoring at Reading Level 1 compared to average in fact decreased by about 5% from 2011 to 2017, when we account for a change in standardized tests.

In fact, I'll add: this claim is deceptive and really must be retracted. I'm also curious: is this newspaper making the claim that those are reasonable numbers to compare, or does that juxtaposition stem from the NCA, or is it perhaps from some other source?

 

Boring details follow! The figures 15.2% and 52.1% come from different tests having extremely incomesurable definitions of "Reading Level 1." The 2011 figure is from the 2011 ISAT, which has an extremely low cutoff for Reading Level 1. Only 5.8% of 3rd graders students state-wide tested at Reading Level 1. Not a single 7th or 8th grader in our entire district scored at Reading Level 1 on the 2011 ISAT.

On the other hand, the 2017 score is for the 2017 PARCC, a different test having a much higher cutoff for Reading Level 1. 21.0% of Illinois 3rd graders rated at Reading Level 1 on the 2017 PARCC.

Another good piece of data: the exact game cohort of 2011 ISAT 3rd grade test takers as 4th graders saw 57.7% of its black students rate at Reading Level 1 on the 2011 NAEP (another test with still another definition of Reading Level 1, one that's much closer to, but usually somewhat more stringent than, PARCC's.)

Fortunately, we can compensate for that change in tests. Let's compute what that really means for Unit 4 3rd graders who are black in each year. Compared to the average student, 2011 Unit 4 3rd graders who are black were 15.2/5.8 - 1 = 162% overrepresented at Reading Level 1. On the other hand, 2017 Unit 4 3rd graders who are black are 52.1/21.0 - 1 = 148% overrepresented at Reading Level 1. Therefore, the "increase from 15.2% to 52.1%" in fact weakly indicates a moderate decrease in the achievement gap over time, when we account for the change in test. The % decrease in proportion of black 3rd graders who score at Level 1 Reading is: (15.2/5.8)/(52.1/21.0) - 1 = 5%.

Now, neither of those numbers is good, obviously; it's right to aspire to a condition in which a child's skin color doesn't predict that child's test scores in this way! However, we can surely discuss ways to get to that kind of outcome, maybe including this proposal, without resorting to the kind of lying with statistics that this claim as published embodies. Shame on the News-Gazette for carrying that in this way!

Champaign Guest wrote on February 23, 2018 at 1:02 pm

Thank you very much for the detailed analysis.  

I had noticed that the old and new numbers weren't really comparable because there was an obvious change in methodology (since it went from a four point scale to a five point scale), but didn't have time to research the details of what exactly had changed.

(Also, 'innumerate' is a great word.)

mrobin665 wrote on February 22, 2018 at 9:02 am

I believe before anyone can criticize the schools, they first must donate their time to get into the schools and see first hand for themselves the learning environment.  Teachers, administrators, staff, etc. can only do so much during the time they have with the students.  A very BIG part of a child's education can be directly linked back to the parent(s)/guardian(s) involvement.  I know as a kid I didn't want to do homework, but if my mom or dad found out that I didn't get it done, there were consequences for MY choices.  They helped me make better choices and infused in me the importance of school and doing your school work.  For some, it takes a lot longer for this to hit home.  It didn't finally hit home for me until the last semester of my Junior Year of High School.  But my parents didn't give up on me, and every time I didn't make a good choice and do my school work, there was always a consequence.

 

If you actually want to make a difference in the community, volunteer to be a mentor.  CU 1-to-1 mentoring program is great (https://www.cu1to1.org/).  You get paired up with a young person, and then you meet with them hopefully all the way through high school graduation.  This is another great way to see first hand how the schools are educating our young people.  I started in this program and was paired up with a 3rd grader.  I got to see how the discipline and education went for my mentee along the way and now they are in 7th grade.  Guess what, my mentee is very bright but they seem to always be in trouble.  And it is choices my mentee makes.  Most of the time it is to seek attention and my mentee is disrupting the class and taking away from the other students learning.  The school staff does everything in their power to keep the kids in the classroom for instruction, but once they take away from the other kids, they must be removed.  I 100% agree with this.  And then, luckily for my mentee, I come in and do my best to get through to my mentee that the teachers are not out to get you, you are being disrespectful by talking out of turn, getting up and talking with your friends, etc.   

 

It is now a time to get out there and be a part of the solution.  MONEY will not solve this problem, building another school will not solve this problem, changing the curriculum and what is in the textbooks will not solve this problem.  The solution is SIMPLE, these young people just need someone there to guide them, teach them, talk with them, and this will move more mountains than building a 100 schools.  These young people just need LOVE.  Someone there to let them know they matter.  The mentoring program, it is 30 minutes to 1 hour a week.  That is it!  This short time spent with them will have long-lasting results.

rsp wrote on February 22, 2018 at 12:02 pm

It's not just the kids that need mentoring. Sometimes it's a new parent, or someone who has experienced a trauma and needs help getting through it. New teachers need mentors, too.

If we all reached out more to help instead of pointing fingers it would change so many things.

clockwork_robot wrote on February 22, 2018 at 12:02 pm

I am all for giving kids the opportunity to learn and succeed... but all kids.  Why is this singling out African American kids?  The article itself said they make up half of the "lowest-achieving students", what about the other half?  They aren't worth helping?  And what percentage of poverty level kids (of all races) aren't in the lowest-achieving group?  What makes them different if they have the same resources?

It also sounded like the poverty statistics for the black community were pretty constant in the time period where the make up of low performing black students went from 15 to 52%.  That indicates that poverty isn't the underlying cause.  So targeting low income students, of any race, isn't likely to solve the real problem.

I completely agree that success requires a relationship with the parents.  There have been studies done showing the correlation of parent involvement and student success.  If the district honestly isn't set up to handle that, start there, but that has not been my experience with our kid.  The teachers have been great and very helpful.  Not because they are forced to by rules and regulations, but because they care and we put in the effort to ask for help.  The district could offer no end of programs for the parents to connect, but if they don't make the effort to use them it is a waste of resources.  You can't force someone to care, it is on the parents to push for what their child needs and be involved in their education.

I am very curious what the comment about there being a wealth of resources in the district is based on.  Is there some surplus of funds that the school board is sitting on that we don't know about?  If there is an inequality in the distribution, that should be addressed, but all students should have equal access to the same resources.  If there are structural changes to how students are taught that improve a child's success in school, why limit that to a small group of students at the expense of the rest?

Wasn't the law suit that brought about school of choice arguing the exact opposite of this?  That low test scores were a product of being racially segregated, and now people are proposing segregation as the solution.  How about we all spend less time and effort blaming racial inequality for academic success and more figuring out what makes the top performing students successful and how that can be used to help all students.  

rsp wrote on February 22, 2018 at 12:02 pm

There are multiple factors involved. In regards to the parents not caring, they do. But consider if a parent grew up in the school district being discriminated against. And I mean cruelly. How is that same parent to advocate for their child? Knowing the experiences of the parent, when that child grows up and has kids, what do you think will happen when it again is time to advocate and there is also no example?

clockwork_robot wrote on February 22, 2018 at 5:02 pm

I do not mean to trivialize any mistreatment that happened in the past, but as a country we need to all take ownership of our own future.  Apathy due to past treatment that hurts their children's future is still a fault of the parent.  They should work to improve conditions and advocate for fair treatment of all students, not a special school that perpetuates discrimination.

At some point, someone needs to stand up and be the example or the cycle won't be broken.  A new building is not the answer, parents and students choosing their future is worth honest effort is.

BruckJr wrote on February 22, 2018 at 3:02 pm

Brown vs. Board of Education

JamBam wrote on February 22, 2018 at 11:02 pm

I doubt this will benefit black students at all.  There are many 90+% black schools in Chicago, East St Louis, Gary Indiana and nearly all of them perform horribly academically. 

Charter schools and school choice is a great idea though.   This is really a trick to fix the stats though for these underperforming Champaign elementary schools.  The schools have figured out that it's the black students dragging their performances down, so why not gather all of them up (or as many as possible), and put them all in 1 school.  It'll raise the performance levels of the other schools simply by ridding themselves of the underachieving students.

And when these underachieving students continue to underachieve at the all black school, the school board can then blame it on racism lmao. It's never ending cycle of loserdom.  Cycle never ends till people stop considering themselves victims, and start making good decisions.  That begins with Dad being in the home.  Following the 10 Commandments.  Working. Staying off Drugs. Respect for Authority.  All of life's easy lessons that every race of people in the US can assimiliate too, except blacks.  Why is that so hard for them?  And why do white guilt liberals keep perpetuating the notion that they have no hope?  It's a pathetic cycle.

cjwinla wrote on February 23, 2018 at 1:02 am

It is very encouraging to see the dialogue within this comment thread . There is no wrong perspective on what everyone has articulated as their opinions. What we hope for, and pray for, is a reasonable opportunity to demonstrate real results and improvement in the education level of low achieving students within a Charter School system. That result is a win win for the Champaign County community as a whole. Regardless of how and why any person may think the current status quo came about, if something new, well planned and properly executed becomes successful then the Community as a whole wins. Who among us can be against a result of that magnitude ? So we strongly and respectfully ask that the community of Champaign have an open mind, an open heart, and a discernment of that which has been bestowed upon us, to be willing to reach for the possibility that supporting a Charter School in North Champaign will make a HUGE difference in the education of those whom have the least.

Citizen1 wrote on February 23, 2018 at 9:02 am

Sounds like “separate but equal”.  Didn’t Unit 4 spend a bunch of money in legal fees and years upon years to get away from that?

GLG wrote on February 25, 2018 at 9:02 am

Where is Dr. Arthur Culver when you need him?? How much did he cost Unit 4?

Anyone? Bueller,  Bueller, Anyone? Bueller?

mrobin665 wrote on February 23, 2018 at 9:02 am

I couldn't disagree more.  Building a charter school does nothing to solve the root of the problem.  These kids need support from their home life.  I think you need to look inside yourself and really ask the question: What is it that these under-performing children need?  Self-reflect and know that we need to fix the home, start preaching that we need more stability for our kids there.  The blame game has run its course.  School of choice was to solve this issue, and now that your first blaming tactic has ultimately been proven not to solve the issue, now you are trying another technique that does not address the true issue at hand.

 

It makes me sad, very sad, that real conversations cannot be had.  These kids need LOVE!  They don't need fancy schools, they don't need fancy technology, they don't need....the list can go on and on.  What they need is LOVE.  

 

Again, go be a mentor.  Go see for yourself how much time and effort is put into the kids that are either under-performing or causing the most disruption in the classroom.  The root of the issue, the child just wants to be SEEN!

cjw61822@hotmail.com wrote on February 23, 2018 at 12:02 pm

All for it Craig as long as you do not complain when a charter school you do not like, asks for the same consideration as yours.

metalmomof4 wrote on February 23, 2018 at 5:02 pm

So far this has been one of the most respectful threads I have read on here in a long time. Maybe there is hope for the future. I don't think this is a problem specific to Champaign, any school in our area with a diverse population such as Rantoul, Danville, Decatur, Bloomington could be looked at and compare how the students fare on testing. It does seem that more and more responsibility for raising childen is being pushed onto the schools and teachers instead of the parents. Free lunch, free breakfast, school supplies, coat drives, food bags to take home, after schol programs which are basically daycare. Exactly what involvement do some  parents even have with raising and providing for their kids? If all a child has ever known is a life of someone else giving them what they need instead of seeing things being worked for then that lifestyle is normal for them and what they want to be when they grow up. Parents need to set the example for the future of their children and that starts at home.