OPRF parents seek help for students 'in the middle'


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By Terry Dean

Staff reporter

Click here to see the parents' ACT Plan.

A group of Oak Park and River Forest High School parents are concerned that the high school could be doing a better job of helping students who are academically "in the middle."

The parents are urging the board and administration to adopt their "Putting the 'act' into our ACT Plan." Their 14-point plan calls for the school to increase its college readiness benchmark by 10 percent per year, every year, "beginning immediately." The parents noted that only about 44 percent of OPRF students are currently considered "college ready," citing data compiled by the school.

A main concern is helping those kids "in the middle" and improving the number of kids deemed "college-ready." Another goal is improving college-readiness among minority students ensnared in the "achievement gap."

"There are 1,600 juniors and seniors next year, and another 1,600 right behind them at our high school ... counting on us to get going right away," said Cathaleen Roach, one of the parents.

The group formally presented their plan to the administration and the school board on Feb. 23, at the board's regular meeting. Roach and other parents spoke out in support of their plan.

Roach stressed that they don't believe OPRF has a "teacher problem." OPRF has good teachers, but the quality needs to be consistent across the curriculum. For kids in the middle, the parents noted, ACT scores have declined for some and flat-lined for others.

The group also calls for OPRF to use "best practices" in establishing consistency. Several parents expressed concern about the inconsistency in homework given out — some teachers give out a lot and others hardly any.

Roach says the parents have not yet heard back from administration concerning their plan.

  OPRF parent A.C.T. Plan

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