Schools 'tri' tackling equity all at once

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By Michael Romain

Staff Reporter

A new Tri-District Equity Committee established by the three public school districts in Oak Park and River Forest is coming into being. The new body is a gesture of unity and a signal that the districts are committed to seriously confronting the race-laden academic opportunity gap between students.

After a May 1 town hall meeting in River Forest that included members of Districts 90, 97 and 200, each of the three boards approved a motion to designate one of their members to sit on a joint board committee "to work on collaborating and articulating our joint efforts," according to the motion.

In Oak Park, D97 board member Katherine Murray-Liebl and D200 board member Sara Dixon-Spivy were selected to sit on the new committee. The River Forest District 90 school board named board president Ralph Martire as its tri-district member.

— Michael Romain 


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Kevin Peppard from Oak Park  

Posted: June 14th, 2017 6:53 PM

This District has been grossly overtaxing, and no one notices while they work on these phantom issues. I live in OP now, but am a fourth generation RFer. D90 has more cash on hand, adjusted for its scale, than OPRF High School, a known cash hog. The State Board of Education reports yearly on what districts hold as balances in their operating funds on July 1. D90 had 641 days worth last year. OPRF had 513, down from 808 awhile back. D200 will be going up after last year's large tax increase. The State gives its top ranking for 180 days worth at that time of year. Figure it out for yourself. And don't say it's needed for capital expenditures, because those should be bonded out, so the people who get the benefits get to pay for those.

Tom MacMillan from Oak Park  

Posted: June 14th, 2017 9:50 AM

If it was one of the varsity sports, they would have a try out and everyone could show up. Then the best kids would be the starters and, this being Oak Park, the second string kids on the bench could form a committee to declare the process unfair and demand equity, forcing the best athletes to take a bench and let everyone play. But that wouldn't make any sense in sports. But somehow it does in academics.

Kevin Peppard from Oak Park  

Posted: June 13th, 2017 11:58 PM

I've got good news and bad news for OPRF on the Achievement Gap. First the good news. In 2016 the Black/White Achievement gap narrowed by 8 points from the year before. Now the bad news. Both races went down in achievement, but the Whites went down faster. Check it out on the Illinois State Report Card for OPRF, and enter the right parameters: Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it.

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