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 May 27, 2020

George Floyd’s Death Was Murder, Plain and Simple

As part of my job as an educator, I have, at times, had to restrain teenagers. I was trained to do so. It is my…

By Derek Davidson

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Posted May 26, 2020

I’m a Black Woman on My Way to Becoming a Doctor Because I Never Gave Up

I grew up believing that excellence is not an option, but rather an obligation.  I breezed through high school. I didn’t have to study hard…

By Oluwaseun Adebagbo

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Posted May 27, 2020

COVID-19’s Impact on First-Generation College Students Is Complicated

As a nonprofit leader and educator who works with college students of African descent, I am intimately aware of how challenging getting through college can…

By Esi Kagale Agyeman Gillo

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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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