With guest, Louder Than a Bomb poet Nate Marshall

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Pushing out the low-scoring kids

I worked at Robeson High back in 1996, with a group of teachers who were actually trying to keep kids like Demetrius Davis from dropping out, using small schools, personal connections, and any means necessary to keep them in school and off the streets. Now that testing rules the roost, the name of the game in Chicago is push out the low-scoring kids to save the school from sanctions.
Demetrius began the school year determined to graduate. But all this year he struggled academically. He’s had a lot working against him--a spotty history of attending school, partly because he’s been in and out of juvenile detention. He’s a dad already—with three kids. And his mom, a recovered drug addict, only recently began to advocate for him at school. Then at the start of the second semester at Robeson high this year, he got another blow. Robeson decided to kick him out. (WBEZ City Room)

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