Former teacher Brett McNeil offers a skewed vision of Chicago’s charter public high schools (“The school where our kids belong,” Jan. 23). His criticism is based on the brief time he spent teaching in a charter. My experience has been very different.
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I’ve worked at the Noble Network of Charter Schools for 14 years, and I now serve as principal of ITW David Speer Academy. I’ve watched for years as our school community has grown into a vibrant and loving family of Chicagoans redefining the future for public school students in the city. This is not just feel-good praise — we measure success by rising test scores and college acceptances, not just what our school buildings look like. ACT scores of Noble students average about three points higher than CPS students as a whole, and fully 90 percent of Noble graduates enroll in college. Eighty-four percent are the first in their family to do so.
I regret that Mr. McNeil’s experience as a CPS charter high school teacher didn’t meet his expectations. But it would be a mistake to consider that teaching stint as representing all CPS charter high schools. My school’s staff is a healthy mix of veterans and younger teachers, all united with the singular purpose of serving our students. Yes, the work is hard. But the kids are worth it, and as our results show, charters’ students can accomplish incredible things. That’s the kind of high school experience every student deserves.
principal, ITW David Speer Academy
I have traveled to 18 foreign countries, including Canada, and have always been treated with respect and consideration. However, the one country where its people had gone out of their way to care for me when I was critically ill was Turkey, where its Muslim physicians, nurses, hotel personnel, tour manager and cab driver, literally saved my life, BECAUSE I was a foreigner, and the Pentateuch, or first five books of the Bible, held in common by all three Abrahamic faiths, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, specifies how foreigners are to be treated.
“The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus 19:34
Would that President Donald Trump and his followers be so “Christian.”
Richard A. Kosinski, Edison Park
Not a king
At what point do Donald Trump and the people who support him because he is a businessman understand the principle of government? When you become the president of the United States, you are the highest-level civil servant, with 305 million Americans as your boss. As president, you don’t become a king and have Americans as your subjects.
Scott R. Zuhr, Park Ridge
There appears to be one good thing that has come from this “nightmare from which I cannot awake” election. I’ve never had so many discussions about government, policies and law, in particular, the executive order.
Will every single issue we have to deal with as a nation be a huge uphill, us-against-them battle against this absurd, backward and cartoonish leadership? Issues that violate the human rights and freedoms we are so proud as decent Americans to embrace? What executive order will be issued next, and will it affect you personally?
At least we can hold onto the belief that we as a people are becoming more educated in areas of government that many of us so sorely needed to be as a result of this insanity, and that’s what will empower us. I suppose it’s the smallest glass of lemonade after we’ve clearly been given a lemon, but perhaps the glass is no longer half empty.
Louise Bajorek, Burbank