The disparity in academic success between black students and white students comes into evidence at some point in the grade school years. By high school the dual tracks have hardened and the social implications of this gap become more obvious in bad behavior, falling grades and dropout rates.
The school board meeting this Thursday at Oak Park and River Forest High School has the potential to move this school forward on two notable fronts. We vigorously support both initiatives. Taken in tandem, those actions would demonstrate that OPRF — its board and administration — is listening to the rising voices in our communities which are calling for this critical institution to change in some significant ways.
Back in 2007-2008 as Oak Park worked its unending process mojo on the village's sign ordinance, times were pretty flush. Business was good. And making the case for all things aesthetic when it came to the signs that businesses displayed was a lot more palatable. By 2009 when the fairly limiting ordinance was passed, the economy was cratering, but the new law allowed for a five-year waiting period before overlarge or possibly unsafe signs had to be vamoosed.
A scheduling conflict prevented the Oak Park village board from holding a goal-setting session last week in which its search consultant had pledged to help the board focus on measurable goals for Cara Pavlicek, the newly promoted village manager.
Social media, in the hands of insecure and sometimes plain mean teenagers, has not always elevated high school life. Instantaneous, sometimes anonymous, Facebook can be a minefield of emotions if you're 13-18 and judge yourself too much by the opinions of peers.
On Monday evening the Oak Park village board was expected to approve the start of a hiring process for an economic development director. This post has been left unfilled for several years. While we understand the rationale for leaving a costly post vacant during an extended recession when development opportunities were smothered, we agree it is time for Oak Park to get back to business.
It is a modest but worthy undertaking. The Huskie Huddle: an occasional session for students at Oak Park and River Forest High School to sit with Principal Nathaniel Rouse and talk about issues related to the school.