Back of the Yards

Posted May 11, 2018

My Neighborhood Was Terrorized by Police Raids But It Was the Teachers Who Kept Us Safe

Most years, I celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week with smiles and maybe a nice card for my daughter’s teacher. This year, I’m appreciating the teachers in…

By Maureen Kelleher

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Posted Sep. 5, 2017

‘Will They Cancel Everything?’ A DREAMer Copes With the End of DACA

My neighbor, Oscar Carrillo, has lived almost all of his 18 years in legal limbo. His parents brought him to the United States as a…

By Maureen Kelleher

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Posted May 26, 2017

Sometimes Your Kids Can Be What It Takes to Go Back to School for the Third Time and Graduate

Like many first-generation college Latinx students, Priscila González struggled through her freshman and sophomore years at Chicago State University. She struggled with managing time, learning…

By Claudia Alvidrez

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Posted May 2, 2017

Chicago’s New Graduation Requirement Can Work, If Students Have the Support They Need

This June, Back of the Yards College Prep High School in Chicago will hold its first graduation ceremony. It’s a brand-new neighborhood high school where…

By Maureen Kelleher

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Posted Oct. 6, 2016

How Chicago’s Noble Network Pioneered High School Innovation at Scale

If you set foot on campus at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, the Land of Lincoln’s flagship four-year school, 1 of every 5 Black…

By Maureen Kelleher

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Posted June 29, 2016

Coffee Break: Chicago Principal Barton Dassinger Tells Us the Truth About Personalized Learning

Barton Dassinger, principal of Chavez Elementary in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood, promises to give his children more guidance on picking a college major…

By Maureen Kelleher

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Posted May 26, 2016

I Wasn’t Getting Deported, I Was Going to College

Growing up, it was hard for me to find the right path. But thanks to Rauner College Prep, a Noble Network high school in Chicago,…

By Manuel Cardoza

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Posted Jan. 7, 2016

How My Neighbors Taught Me That Success Is Not One-Size-Fits-All

The Sunday before Christmas, my friends Fernando and Oscar came by for a visit. When they were small, they lived in an apartment across the…

By Maureen Kelleher

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Posted Oct. 6, 2015

Thanks for Calling My Daughter M’ija

M’ija. My daughter. Sweetheart. I have long had an observer’s love for this Spanish word, a contraction of “mi hija,” my daughter. When I first…

By Maureen Kelleher

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Posted Sep. 21, 2020

Advocating for My Students Requires Being Political on My Own Time

With election season upon us, like clockwork, the collective efforts to stifle the political opinions of educators has begun. Navigating this climate requires a nuanced…

By Lindsey Jensen

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Posted Sep. 23, 2020

We Must Vote for the Candidates Who Will Implement the Right Policies for Our Kids

I first met Shennell McCloud when she was Director of Recruitment, and then as Director of Advocacy for KIPP New Jersey, a charter school network…

By Laura Waters

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Posted Sep. 22, 2020

I Hope I Never Lose Another Student to Suicide

“I’m going to end it!” Unsure of what I heard, I questioned back, “End what?”  Her response was, “My life!” This brief encounter led to…

By Jill Miesner

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Accountability

How does the federal government support our public schools? Find out the ABC’s of ESEA, ESSA and No Child Left Behind →

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