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Cairo Stats - Why aren't we producing geniuses? (Read 22609 times)
New Cairoite
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Cairo Stats - Why aren't we producing geniuses?
Mar 10th, 2008 at 11:40am
 
Reading      Math      Students
per teacher      
     Cairo Junior/Senior High School
4201 Sycamore Street
Cairo, IL 62914      7-12      47.4%      43.4%      12.7
     Bennett Elementary School
434 18th Street
Cairo, IL 62914      3-6      56.4%      70.4%      12.7
     Emerson Elementary School
3101 Elm Street
Cairo, IL 62914      PreK-2      n.a.      n.a.      12.1
                             
With 12.X students per teacher, why are we not producing geniuses in our schools?

Just for the heck of it, I checked out the city where my daughter went to school:  99.0% 99.0% 22.9. Almost 2x as many students per teacher and look at the difference in the test scores.

So, smaller class sizes are not the answer. When I ask about certain teachers I have heard of, I am told they are excellent teachers. I asked someone connected to the school about Isom and was told he did a great job, but the school board wouldn't let him do what needed to be done.

We can't blame class size. According to those I talked to, we can't blame the teachers or the superintendent. We have all heard of Marva Collins and what she was able to do in Chicago. Her bio says, "That little girl who had been labeled as border line retarded (by the public schools), graduated in 1976 from college Summa Cum Laude. It was documented on the 60 Minutes programs in 1996. Marva’s graduates have entered some of the nation’s finest colleges and universities, such as Harvard, Yale, and Stanford, to mention just a few. And, they have become physicians, lawyers, engineers, educators, and entered other professions."

Marva proved "it can be done". Why isn't Cairo doing it? Is the current school board commited to doing it? Are there any truly commited teachers and, if so, why is it not being done? Marva was just one person and she really made a difference in so many lives, not just the students, but ours. Your next successful surgery may be done by one of her students and you may have a very personal reason to appreciate her belief in those kids.

Thank you "dragon-in-hiding" for the reference.
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New Cairoite
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Re: Cairo Stats - Why aren't we producing geniuses
Reply #1 - Mar 10th, 2008 at 11:49am
 
Oh, I forgot! It's the parents! It's the poverty! It is whatever we can blame it on without having to do anything about it. It is whatever makes us feel good. It may be the parents and the poverty that makes the difference. So, you take that limitation and overcome it!

Do I need to remind you that in every profession, there is someone who graduated at the bottom of their class? Do you want someone who graduated from Cairo High or Marva Collins Prep doing your surgery? Or, treating you when you are taken to the emergency room unconscious and unable to ask where they went to school?

We all have a tremendous vested interest in graduating Marva Collins quality students. The Cairo stats are a reflection on the community, just like the Orinda stats.
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Re: Cairo Stats - Why aren't we producing geniuses
Reply #2 - Mar 10th, 2008 at 1:13pm
 
I compared the stats for Cairo, Meridian and Egyptian at schoolmatters.com.  Cairo (not to defend the low scores) did better than the other two schools.  So it's not just Cairo, it's the whole area.
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Re: Cairo Stats - Why aren't we producing geniuses
Reply #3 - Mar 10th, 2008 at 3:08pm
 
Years ago St. Joe had one teacher (nun) with two classes in one room (1-2),(3-4),(5-6) & (7-8) with anywhere from 18-25 kids in each class.  So one room would have maybe 30-50 students in it.  Yet they always scored one of the highest in math and did well in reading.  So I've never bought the "we need smaller classes".

You need teachers that care, parents that expect and kids wanting to learn.
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Re: Cairo Stats - Why aren't we producing geniuses
Reply #4 - Mar 10th, 2008 at 3:20pm
 
Ice-P, take a look at Mounds! The scores in Cairo could certainly be a whole lot worse.

I don't know if you have children. If you did, would you ask that they be just as good as the other kids in class or ask them to do their very best? Why not ask them to strive for excellence? Excellence in everything. If you go out and watch a kid's ball game, you will see parents yelling at their kids and really pushing them to score. I wonder if those same parents ask the same academic achievement of those kids. From my experience, they do not.
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Re: Cairo Stats - Why aren't we producing geniuses
Reply #5 - Mar 10th, 2008 at 3:36pm
 
Still-here - teachers, parents, kids - that sounds like a community, a community committed to a better education system in Cairo. A community that will benefit from any improvements it makes. Can we learn from Marva? I recall reading her book about 10 years ago. Can we support the parents, demand more from our teachers and instill a love of learning in young children? Most libraries have programs for young children. How many children are in the school? I think you suggested separating boys and girls. Have you heard from any of the school board members indicating they would support that idea? I think, from my experience, it is a great idea.

People "adopt" families at Christmas time and buy them presents. Could we do something similar in the school with school sponsorship? Do we need a Big Brother/Big Sister program in Cairo? If each one of us sponsored or worked with one student, we could make all the difference in the world.

Or, maybe there is a Marva wanna-be in Cairo. Does IL law provide for charter schools?

Cairo is really a very special place with special people. Our kids deserve the best and the best anyone can give them is the opportunity and education to be whatever they want to be. They need to know anything is possible.
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Re: Cairo Stats - Why aren't we producing geniuses
Reply #6 - Mar 10th, 2008 at 4:58pm
 
Just a couple more thoughts! Like Still_here, I don't think class size matters, either. When we were kids, we were packed in like sardines. If a new student came, they always found room for another desk.

I was reminded of a school bond request about 10 years ago. Teachers came out and said, in public, that if they got paid better, they would do better, the students would do better, scores would be better, etc. I wrote a letter to the editor with my observation that we, in the private sector, would get fired if we went to our bosses and said that we knew we weren't doing our jobs, but that if he/she gave us a raise, we would start performing the job we were already paid to do.

I recall checking and Marva Collin's teachers were paid about half of what that district's poorly performing public school teachers were getting paid.

Eventually, the state came in and took over that district. What does it take for the state in IL to step in?
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Re: Cairo Stats - Why aren't we producing geniuses
Reply #7 - Mar 10th, 2008 at 5:56pm
 
Exactly!

Teachers at private schools usually are always paid less than their counterparts in public schools.  Yet they prefer to work in the private sector because of the positive environment.
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Re: Cairo Stats - Why aren't we producing geniuses
Reply #8 - Mar 11th, 2008 at 12:47am
 
I would like to know how many of you on this board have sent their children to the local schools?  There is an excellent question for you.  Yes, you are concerned, yet are you concerned enough to send your own children to our local public schools and get involved in the schools?

I have said this before and I will say it again.  If you do not have a vested interest in something, you cannot properly support it.  I sent my daughter to Cairo High.  She graduated from there.  I was called in one day to the assistant principle's office.  When he came in, he asked who I was, I said daughters name and I was her mother.  He looked shocked, and exclaimed, that explained a lot. He told me that people that have any other options at all do not send their children there.  They were profiling students there, and the ones that had designer clothing, gold and diamond jewelry were assumed to be dealing drugs.

That is showing what the impression is by the people that run the school of their students.  If that is their impression, what will they teach?


You can give me flack on this, but I sent my child to the public school here, and this is what I dealt with.  In a word, they told me anyone that had any money did not send their children there. 


So,I ask you again, how many of you sent your children to our local schools and tried to make a difference, or were you afraid that they would just fall through the cracks?

It is time for the people of this community to take control of the school, control of our streets.  This is your community, you are the ones to change it.
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Re: Cairo Stats - Why aren't we producing geniuses
Reply #9 - Mar 11th, 2008 at 10:44am
 
When parents send their kids to "better" schools it really messes things up. It's done everywhere. I was the only parent on my block in Rock Island to send my kids to the local grade school. Fifteen other kids on our block went to the better schools on top of the hill. In almost every case the parents gave bogus excuses for having to send their kids to a different school.

Anyway, that happens everywhere. But it doesn't mean that CHS has to necessarily fail. It means that in order for it to succeed, it needs to learn from the successes of other schools similarly situated. And there are many, many examples of schools with predominantly low income students (many living in homes with substance abuse) that have found what works.

Learn from the successes of others! It's done in art, music, business, science...the school board needs to read up on WHAT WORKS. Then implement the changes.

Beginning with school uniforms:)
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Re: Cairo Stats - Why aren't we producing geniuses
Reply #10 - Mar 11th, 2008 at 11:49am
 
carla wrote on Mar 11th, 2008 at 10:44am:
When parents send their kids to "better" schools it really messes things up. It's done everywhere. I was the only parent on my block in Rock Island to send my kids to the local grade school. Fifteen other kids on our block went to the better schools on top of the hill. In almost every case the parents gave bogus excuses for having to send their kids to a different school.

Anyway, that happens everywhere. But it doesn't mean that CHS has to necessarily fail. It means that in order for it to succeed, it needs to learn from the successes of other schools similarly situated. And there are many, many examples of schools with predominantly low income students (many living in homes with substance abuse) that have found what works.

Learn from the successes of others! It's done in art, music, business, science...the school board needs to read up on WHAT WORKS. Then implement the changes.

Beginning with school uniforms:)


Parents that send their children to private schools are not messes things up but keeping the public schools on there toes!  When you do not have competition you lose your edge.  Ten years ago teachers would have been competing with St. Joe students when they entered high school and they tried harder to prepare the students. 

I have had a child in Cairo schools until a teacher told me to make a change if I wanted them to succeed later in life.
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Re: Cairo Stats - Why aren't we producing geniuses
Reply #11 - Mar 11th, 2008 at 12:22pm
 
I went to Cairo High School so when a teacher I knew and respected told me it wasn't like when I went years ago and to take my child out of the public schools, I did.  Sad

Did you ever ask how teachers live here and send their children to Cairo Schools?  Roll Eyes
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Re: Cairo Stats - Why aren't we producing geniuses
Reply #12 - Mar 11th, 2008 at 2:40pm
 
I rechecked the site schoolmatters.com and they sure have dumbed it down since I checked it two weeks ago.  Then they broke it down by grade and all sorts of different aspects.  I have found another site that is like the old schoolmatters.com site.  If you really want to know about the school go to greatschools.net and check out the 11th grade scores.  Cairo ranks a 2 out of 10 on the school chart.  Just for fun I looked up my growing up town of Ozark Arkansas and it ranked a 7 out of 10.   Ozark spends less money per student and has more students per teacher and has higher scores so money is not the main issue.   Ozark's size is just a few hundred people more than Cairo, it also is a river town.
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Re: Cairo Stats - Why aren't we producing geniuses
Reply #13 - Mar 11th, 2008 at 4:04pm
 
I think this is a great discussion. It is a first step. I hope something positive comes out of it.

All of us talking here, whether we have kids in the public school or not, care about the quality of education currently provided there, the education systems around the country. I think we all recognize that we are affected now and it affects our future. It is not in society's best interest for children to not be well-educated. We have a vested interest, whether or not we have children in the local school.

I have to disagree with some of you. My first obligation is to my child. My second obligation is to other's children and the community. I do not have young children. But, I think the school is the biggest problem in Cairo and am willing to put a lot of energy into improving it. I cannot do it alone, but together we can do it. Criticising each other for choices we made about our precious children's education serves no productive purpose.

Let's share ideas on what we need to do. I do not know who Still-here is, but he/she/it seems very concerned and looking for a way to help. It sounds like that is what we all want. Cairo is really not a bad place. Those test scores are not that bad. With a little effort, we could make Cairo schools a model for the rest of the country.

Does anyone agree?
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Re: Cairo Stats - Why aren't we producing geniuses
Reply #14 - Mar 12th, 2008 at 8:56am
 
Quote:
Parents that send their children to private schools are not messes things up but keeping the public schools on there toes!  When you do not have competition you lose your edge.  Ten years ago teachers would have been competing with St. Joe students when they entered high school and they tried harder to prepare the students.  

I have had a child in Cairo schools until a teacher told me to make a change if I wanted them to succeed later in life.


I'm not saying I blame them TODAY for doing it. It was those who jumped ship long ago who created the imbalance. White flight is what I'm talking about. It happened in the 60's as whites moved to the suburbs (now they are returning to the "historic districts"; displacing thousands of low-income through gentrification) and it's still happening today in our schools.

I don't recommend that a parent send their kids to their local school because it's the right thing to do. I did that in Rock Island & it was not in my kids' best interest. What we have to do now is improve Cairo High School to the point that those attending other schools will return. Or those new in town will feel comfortable sending their kids there.

What those statistics do not tell you is the level of violence at the school. Until that is addressed, nothing else can be improved. Ignoring threats and cussing by students is contributing to the problem.
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