OPRF student newspaper endorses Gevinson, Weissglass, Moore, MacCarthy for District 200 school board

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The student newspaper at Oak Park and River Forest High School has made its endorsements for high school board trustees for the April 9 election.

The Trapeze has endorsed candidates Steve Gevinson, Jeff Weissglass, Julie MacCarthy and Jackie Moore for the four open seats on the District 200 Board of Education. The endorsements were made in the paper's March 22 edition.

Of Gevinson, the Trapeze noted his "lengthy experience as a teacher and administrator at OPRF," and his advocacy for the arts in its endorsement. The paper noted Weissglass' "balanced knowledge of money and management," among his qualities suited for the board. MacCarthy's background working with mixed-income students in the Chicago Public Schools was a plus to the Trapeze. Of Moore, the paper agreed with her stance on resolving the achievement gap by "creating higher expectations for lower achieving students."

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Dan Lauber from River Forest  

Posted: April 9th, 2013 5:01 PM

Darn, they're making me feel like I'm in high school. With one exception, that's exactly how I voted today. Melanie MacQueen seemed like a better choice than Ms. McCarthy -- I get the feeling that she'll be an effective advocate for educating all the children, not just focusing on the high achievers.


Posted: April 9th, 2013 12:06 PM

Let's get someone with some business experience who actually pays their fair share of taxes in these roles.

Bill Kent from Oak Park  

Posted: April 8th, 2013 5:28 PM

Having been a teacher may not be a good choice for a board member position. His ties may be too closely aligned with the teachers and not in the best interest of the general public. I will vote for someone else.

Another minority parent  

Posted: April 8th, 2013 12:50 PM

Our (Hispanic) daughter was initially placed in college prep English, and we were told by staff how to request a placement in Honors English. We did, we also put a reading tutor during the summer and assigned her additional books to read, which we both quizzed her about. She ended up with an A. I never felt discriminated by the department head, or teachers, or anyone at OPRF. I agree that other people's experience may be different.

bowlerBohYes from Oak Park, IL  

Posted: April 7th, 2013 3:09 PM

Need you all to cut down these gas prices and keep them down.Cut down on taxes too.

Speedway from Oak Park  

Posted: April 7th, 2013 1:07 PM

@ sanity - Glad to hear it. Good luck to you and your kids.


Posted: April 7th, 2013 6:44 AM

My kids easily tested in to the honors program and I dropped them down in all but one class. Why? Because I think it's foolish for 14-18 year old kids to stay up until midnight doing homework. Many people seek out the honors to get away from the Oak Park "element" (yes, that's a quote) but pat themselves on living in a diverse community. Fine with me, my kids aren't on the edge of a curriculum breakdown and are living diversity. I am confident they'll get in the college of their choice too!

Speedway from Oak Park  

Posted: April 7th, 2013 2:09 AM

Sometimes when I see the curriculum offered and have been in the HS it appears like a mini college campus. It seems to me many of these courses should be taught at a college level. More needs to be taught at the HS level. I don't see why people don't get this?

Speedway from Oak Park  

Posted: April 7th, 2013 2:01 AM

Have things changed so much in school that parents push their kids into honors programs even though they have not shown the ability for these classes. Is this to get into a better college? For a chance at a scholarship? There should be a way to earn the right to advance, and it should be for all students. Students who disrupt class should be thrown out of the class immediately and report to the office. No student should be allowed to disrupt the education of another.


Posted: April 7th, 2013 12:17 AM

Melanie McQueen is the best choice for District 200 school board. Melanie will work hard for everyone.


Posted: April 6th, 2013 11:43 PM

Again Mr. Gevinson was division head so he could have worked harder on behalf of minority students.Frankly, there are several cases where parents of minority students contacted him to no avail. So actions sometimes speak louder than words. I do appreciate, Teacher, you acknowledging that many of the higher level students have tutors. I would question why minority parents are not told of the option to override placements. Maybe a lack of desire to actually have the minority students move up?

Give it a rest  

Posted: April 6th, 2013 11:11 PM

Teacher, thank you for your insight into the situation at OPRF. Thank you also for your compassion for and commitment to the students.


Posted: April 6th, 2013 10:51 PM

Other students whose parents push them into the honors level when they may be reading below the fiftieth percentile tend to struggle. It is difficult to watch as these students either continue to work hard only to receive C's and D's or simply give up. Some parents see the struggles and ask to have the student move back to the regular track. More sad are those cases where the student remains in the class in order to fulfill their parents' academic aspirations for them.


Posted: April 6th, 2013 10:47 PM

The children of parents who get the overrides sometimes succeed at the honors level, some of them, yes, through the employment of private tutors and/or by coming in before or after school for extra help from teachers. I have also encouraged more of my lower achieving minority students to come for extra help with positive results, but, again, they may not have done it without the invitation. I have also pushed minority students into honors classes with generally positive results.


Posted: April 6th, 2013 10:42 PM

He explained how some white parents manipulate the process in a prior article. They go to the counselor & division head & insist that their child be placed in honors. The school would respond in the same way to both white and minority parents but whites tend to be the ones who take this route. Project Scholar was designed to do this for African-American students whose parents may not have known that overriding a placement was an option.


Posted: April 6th, 2013 10:17 PM

So the minority kids are "questionable" but the white kids get moved into the Honors/AP classes because a white parent has a direct line to Gevinson? Yeah, that's pretty fair and balanced.


Posted: April 6th, 2013 10:01 PM

Here are links to the program description from a prior list of student interventions as well as the current website: http://www.oprfhs.org/academics/Academic-Support-Programs.cfm#.UWDhZhG9KK0 http://www.oprfhs.org/student-services/documents/Intervention_Programs.pdf


Posted: April 6th, 2013 9:56 PM

It did not put those student in an Honors class unless you want to call their "special" class an honors class. These students do not need to be separated. They can survive in honors and AP classes but are not given the chance. Gevinson never gave AA students a chance to move up. You are wrong. We know why you support him (teacher) but be honest. There are many in that building & in this community who know the truth. High expectations for minority students was not a characteristic of his


Posted: April 6th, 2013 9:50 PM

There is a lot of misinformation here. The Project Scholar program took minority students who would normally have been placed in college prep (regular) classes, placed them in an honors course, & also gave them a study hall with the teacher of that class. It worked, but the administrative commitment to the program waned after Gevinson left, and it costed money. That is why it was discontinued.


Posted: April 6th, 2013 8:48 PM

And FYI, the Scholars Program was not promoted by Gevinson so I am not sure why he was "disappointed" it wasn't continued. Plus it was not moving any students up. It put them in a separate class with other students who needed help. It was never intended to move minority students to AP/Honors classes.


Posted: April 6th, 2013 8:46 PM

@give it a rest, there are many minority students at OPRF doing quite well so we don't need to pick your brain too much. The problem is that Mr. Gevinson did nothing to promote more minorities in higher level classes but easily put white students in there who may not have tested in those same classes. @Speedway, parents don't want to say their kids are not in AP/honors classes. Plus many don't want their kids in classes with "those" kids who are "disruptive." Read what you want into that.

Give it a rest  

Posted: April 6th, 2013 7:44 PM

To whomever said I "obviously" have no idea, you are correct. I am not an insider. I am a parent, with a very high achieving minority student now in middle school. We are raising our kids here too, and you are educating them, OPRF staffer. Has anyone in the ivory tower of Districts 97/200 thought about having a look at what is working for us, so that perhaps the formula may be replicated?

Speedway from Oak Park  

Posted: April 6th, 2013 7:24 PM

Can anyone tell me why a student would want to be in an honor's class if they were not prepared for it. Is this why white students need tutors for honors and AP classes. I thought students were placed in these classes by test results and class grades? What is really going on in the high school?


Posted: April 6th, 2013 6:51 PM

Well it's good to see others posting here who know the real Gevinson. It's not a choice for all students at OPRF, I am confident of that. I too have voted and made sure I did not choose him. @already voted, these are not personal attacks, it's stating some obvious issues with him and it's only anonymous because there are many of us afraid of him if he does get on the Board. He was racist in his choices as a staff member. Plus I don't think it's funny to play with students' future.

Anti-Pomous from Oak Park  

Posted: April 6th, 2013 3:03 PM

Actually I am on the staff, thank you very much and I have seen firsthand how Mr. Gevinson has caved to the demands of vocal white parents, putting white students in upper level classes, while sticking minority students in lower classes due to preconceived notions. I don't see anything that would fall into the category of a hater here-just honest opinions and care for the future of OPRF.

Already voted  

Posted: April 6th, 2013 2:40 PM

I already voted for Mr. Gevinson...and am enjoying my choice after hearing the personal attacks against him. Even if he turns out to be lousy on the board, it will feel good to have upset people so spiteful about him. Stay classy, Oak Park!

Give it a rest  

Posted: April 6th, 2013 2:28 PM

I am suspicious of anonymous haters who post on the internet. Personally, I thought what Mr. Gevinson had to say made sense. And frankly, @anti-pompous sounds pompous to me. Many white people seem to think they know how to solve the achievement gap. After a while all the handwringing sounds the same and it would be laughable if it wasn't such a sad and serious matter. The endorsement of the student paper carries more weight to me than anonymous people (are you on staff at OPRF?) posting.

Anti-Pompous from Oak Park  

Posted: April 6th, 2013 1:40 PM

Indeed there has hardly been a bigger hypocrite than Gevinson. He speaks out one end, yet his actions demonstrated the polar opposite. Listen to way he speaks ever? He is the epitome of the entitled white man who cannot relate to the common man.

@give it a rest  

Posted: April 6th, 2013 12:43 PM

Again, you have no idea obviously. I am not the only one posting on here which you can choose to believe or not believe. I also could give you specific examples of people at OPRF who are not supporting Mr. Gevinson for LEGITIMATE reasons but I did not ask their permission to share those stories so I won't. No ONE person cannot change it, but one division head could have had more impact than he did. Stay away from our school, Mr. Gevinson. Take your money and arrogance and run away.

Give it a rest  

Posted: April 6th, 2013 12:25 PM

Yours is a popular technique on this message board - one person claiming to speak for many, yet only one voice repeating the same viewpoint. The gap is not something one authority figure can magically wave away.


Posted: April 6th, 2013 8:03 AM

@Give it a rest, there are MANY who don't support Gevinson for the very reasons I cited. He was the division chair. He could have made great strides in the gap but never did. He LET white parents pull strings and never offered to help any minority students move up. As a matter of fact, he discouraged it. Plus read all his letters to WJ. This is no vendetta. This is the truth and many of us don't want his "experience" on the Board. There are actually many OPRF staff who agree about him

Give it a rest  

Posted: April 5th, 2013 8:56 PM

Are you that same person with the vendetta against Gevinson? If what you say is true, then why did he write an essay in this newspaper discussing his disappointment over the discontinuation of the Scholars program that was aimed at helping to close the achievement gap? He also talked about how some white parents pull strings to get their kids placed in Honors classes. That doesn't sound like someone who is not supporting minorities.


Posted: April 5th, 2013 7:04 PM

They are close but NO to Gevinson. He does not support the minority and low-income student at the school and if we want to make strides in the gap and other areas, he should not be elected. He was part of the institution. We need new people who we can actually trust.

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