More black teachers

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As complex and stubborn as the achievement gap between black and white students remains, an equally difficult challenge is increasing the number of African American and minority teachers in our local public schools. 

We'll stipulate as to the challenge on both fronts. And then we'll pile on some criticism of districts 97 and 200 for their years and decades of blather and timidity in actually taking on these challenges. 

Yep. It's hard to find black teachers, especially black men. More demand than supply. Better options than teaching, etc. Finally, though, with both districts profoundly focused on equity issues, we seem to have broken through the "let's place some ads in online education journals" approach to hiring. Doesn't hurt that Oak Park Call to Action is trying to force the issue with a petition drive.

Our two Oak Park school districts will travel to the Howard University job fair this spring. That's smart. So are D97's recent moves to make equity a focal point in their recruitment efforts. Let's hope the job fair trip conveys the urgency and the opportunity that awaits a young black teacher in these schools. Let's go recruiting, stealing black teachers. Bonuses for referrals. 

This is important and it is hard. But what we've done in the past doesn't cut it.

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Tom MacMillan from Oak Park  

Posted: February 16th, 2018 8:04 PM

Why is Howard University the smart move for recruiting? There are smart black graduates from all sorts of Universities. How about recruiting some from Big 10 schools? Sending OPRF school staff all the way to Washington DC on a recruiting field trip sounds like more of a fun little road trip for some OPRF admin, they can certainly recruit right here in Chicago. How about Northwestern?

Ray Simpson  

Posted: February 16th, 2018 3:23 PM

@Rick - except in this community " we can't change who we are until"YOU" choose to change who "you" are." After all I am perfect - haven't you noticed? (Ken Trainor just dove for his Malox bottle)

Rick Boultinghouse  

Posted: February 16th, 2018 2:03 PM

Ray, You hit the nail on the head, "Kids do not see color if we don't point it out to them." Our entire US history is based upon racial disparity. We can't change who we are until we chose to change who we are.

Ray Simpson  

Posted: February 16th, 2018 12:22 PM

@Molly - Diversity is fine but should not be a factor. Skin color has no bearing on Pi x D or rules of spelling or how to set up a power saw. Kids do not see color if we don't point it out to them.

Molly Sackler from Oak Park  

Posted: February 16th, 2018 12:11 PM

We want the best teachers for our kids. That's why we are signing the petition. All kids benefit from a diverse group of teachers.

Ray Simpson  

Posted: February 15th, 2018 7:23 AM

@ Bruce - are you suggesting that white male teachers are entitled to some sort of civil rights? How can that be?

Bruce Kline  

Posted: February 14th, 2018 11:32 PM

And Ray, race based hiring is clearly against federal law. (Title VII, Civl Rights Act 1964).

Steve Krasinsky  

Posted: February 14th, 2018 6:21 PM

Here's the petition link. Please sign & share! http://www.oakparkcalltoaction.org/petition/

Ray Simpson  

Posted: February 14th, 2018 3:39 PM

Why is the color of a teachers skin important? If the best teacher happens to be white and he is passed over for "COLOR" quotas you are doing a disservice to our kids! Get over this race oriented set of objectives and shoot for the BEST!

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