Thursday, September 17, 2009

Chicago High School Test Scores Stall

Catalyst Chicago issues a report today with the headline, Chicago high school test scores stall, including those at transformation schools.

In a forum hosted by Catalyst Chicago, research was presented which suggested that getting more adults and learning opportunities in the lives of kids attending poorly performing schools, or more social capital, can have a positive influence. Making tutor/mentor programs available in these neighborhoods, starting with elementary school, and staying involved through high school, is a way to build these connections between volunteers and youth.

How can people from business, faith groups, hospitals, universities take a leadership role in building and sustaining tutor/mentor programs? Start by learning to use the maps and database on the Tutor/Mentor Program Locator

The map below shows locations of tutor/mentor programs in Chicago, locations of middle schools, and high schools, on the 2008 Illinois State Board of Education low performing list, and the poverty levels of different parts of Chicago. On the Program Locator you can turn layers of information on and off, so you could just look for programs serving high school youth, or elementary school youth, or doing pure mentoring.

The map below illustrates how you can zoom into a section of the city to take a closer look at a neighborhood, and the availability of tutoring and/or mentoring programs. In the Asset Section of the Program Locator we've put in layers of information for banks, insurance companies, drug stores, faith groups, hospitals and universities. You can turn these on, and off, to create an understanding of the assets in a neighborhood who could be working with educators and non profits to build a wide range of mentor rich tutoring/mentoring and workforce development programs.

On this map, we also show that I-55, the Stevenson Expressway, spits the neighborhood, bringing thousands of commuters through this area as they go to and from work and homes every day. With innovative leadership from the "assets" and leaders in this part of the city, many of these commuters could begin to become volunteers, donors, advocates, talent, and partners of tutor/mentor programs and schools in the neighborhood.

These ideas are shared in a section we call Tutor/Mentor Institute. We try to help you understand these ideas with the blog articles we write on this blog, and on other blogs hosted by Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection.

We've been a small voice in a huge city for more than 16 years, building and maintaining this knowledge base, so anyone can get involved in trying to help Chicago area kids successfully move through school and into jobs and careers.

The Tutor/Mentor Connection is not funded by the city, state or federal government and has received no money from Chicago Public Schools in the past five years ... and very little before that!

We depend on YOU, the people who read this blog, and who use the information, to support our efforts because you want the same results that we want. You learn ways to donate to us by reading our fund raising blog or by using this form.

Don't let our light go out because we can't find the dollars to keep it burning brightly.

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