Tuesday, January 19, 2010

School Shakeup in Chicago - Think out of the Box

The Chicago SunTimes reported today that "Phillips High and Marshall High School are among 14 Chicago public schools expected to face massive shakeups, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.

The map below shows the location of Phillips High School, and the levels of poverty around it.

Our aim is to encourage the growth of non-school tutoring, mentoring, arts, technology and learning programs in the area around failing schools, so kids have a wider range of people to model jobs and careers, and to help them come to school more prepared to learn.

The Program Locator map is just one tool to do that. It enables you to zoom into a section of the city, build layers of information, such as poverty, poorly performing schools, existing tutoring and/or mentoring programs. It also enables you to add other layers showing faith groups, businesses, hospitals and/or universities who might be in the same area, and that could provide volunteers, technology and dollars to support innovative non-school, and school-based involvement.

About 10 years ago I created a map anlaysis of the area around Phillips HS. Such a report could be prepared by any of the local leaders, or even by students at one of the schools.

Using the other resources on the Tutor/Mentor Connection site, a strategy could be developed that engages all of the resources of the local and expanded community, to help kids prepare for school, and for jobs and careers.

What is a tutor/mentor program? Visit the Chicago Program Links and browse the list of web sites. This shows a wide variety of organizations. However, if you use this list, and links to other tutoring/mentoring programs in other cities, local leaders can borrow ideas from each, and make their own programs the best of them all.

This can happen if business and philanthropic resources become consistently available for the long-term growth of constantly improving programs.

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