Tuesday, October 28, 2008

RSD and Alternative Schools

Some rare praise from WCBF for the RSD for this new commitment to expand support for alternative schools for our city's most troubled kids. The only issue I'd point out is that Mr. Vallas is merely expressing a desire to expand alternative programs. I'd like to see it for real, in the budget.

“They are used to getting attention for negative things,” he said. “We turn that culture around. Now they are getting attention when they do something positive. That really makes a difference in their lives at school and at home.”

Students kicked out of other schools, for offenses such as throwing knives or carrying marijuana, find new life through the RSD’s alternative program. It takes in students from every school in the area regardless of district affiliation, Haggen said.

“We are unique because we have the only judicial liaison in the area. So when kids are sent through the judicial system, they come to us,” he said.

It's important stuff.


And indeed Paul Vallas is negotiating a one year contract extension at the RSD. He had been expected to leave after this school year. In spite of all my criticisms, there is something to be said for continuity. I can only hope it manifests underneath as real life classroom stability.


Leigh C. said...

I also hope the BESE is not being set up to be the fall guy for Vallas' leaving after this year if, say, he can't get the contract he wants. C'est la vie.

E said...

It's kind of hard to gauge this right now. Vallas is still considering the Governor's race in Illinois, so it is conceivable that he could sign a contract and then sever. Also it's kind of difficult to gauge Pastorek's relationship with BESE. At times I've heard that there was a rift but I haven't seen any substantive evidence of that.