Illinois falls short in $20 million
effort to develop 1,000 teachers
Francisco Castellon, a teacher at
Berwyn's Irving Elementary School, works with second-graders Brian Valdovinos,
left, and Itzel Vargas. Castellon is in his second year of teaching after
studying through the state's Grow Your Own Teacher program. (Nancy Stone,
By Diane Rado and Juan Perez
Jr.January 9, 2015
The state has spent more than $20
million in the past decade to develop 1,000 teachers who would work in
distressed public schools and boost the number of minority educators in
But since the Grow Your Own
Teacher program was launched in January 2005 it has produced just 102 college
graduates, and only about 80 of those are teaching.
Hundreds of would-be teachers
dropped out after borrowing from the program for college tuition, fees and
books, and they didn't have to repay the loans under rules laid out by the
state, officials said. Millions of dollars went to colleges and community groups
tapped as program administrators, in some cases eclipsing money spent on the
teacher candidates, state financial records show.
teachers compared with students (infographic)
Teachers who launched their careers through the program
say it changed their lives, and lawmakers who support it stress the importance
of more minority teachers in a state with one of the biggest gaps in the country
between the percentage of minority students and the percentage of minority
But critics such as state Sen.
Matt Murphy, R-Palatine, say Grow Your Own Teacher "hasn't worked and is
"It is an example of politics
still trumping merit, in terms of whether a program warrants continued funding,"
Murphy said. "And again, the goal may be laudable, but the implementation of
this program has not produced a return on investments that is fair to
The Grow Your Own Teacher program
was designed to help parents, community leaders and nonteaching school staffers
become teachers willing to work at public schools in low-income areas.
The Men and Boys of Quinn Chapel AME
Church with Pastor James M. Moody, Sr. (seated center, second row, 4th from
historic Quinn Chapel AME Church has had many national leaders stand in the
Quinn Chapel pulpit including Presidents
William B. McKinley and William Howard Taft, human rights activist Ida B. Wells,
educators George Washington Carver and Booker T. Washington, poet and literary
genius Paul Lawrence Dunbar, gifted preachers Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr., Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rev. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Chicago Mayor Richard
M. Daley, Illinois Congressmen Danny K. Davis, Bobby Rush, Jesse Jackson, Jr.,
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and Illinois Senator Barack Obama (now President
call 773.285.9600 to
have your place of worship invite young Black men to worship with you this
The Institute for College Access & Success has
released its ninth annual report, Student Debt and the Class of
2013. The study found that student debt levels continue to rise with
about 7 of every 10 college graduates accumulating some debt. The average debt
level was $28,400.
report also identifies the colleges and universities where on average students
have the lowest level of debt upon graduation. Among these schools is Princeton
University, the Ivy League institution that eliminated student loans from
financial aid packages and provides generous aid packages for low- and
middle-income families. But many of the schools on the low debt list enroll
large number of low-income students. These schools are able to graduate students
with low levels of debt because their students generally qualify for federal and
state grants that cover all or most of their college costs.
the low-debt schools are several historically Black colleges and universities.
Among the low debt HBCUs are Howard University in Washington, D.C., Fort Valley
State University in Georgia, and Hampton University in Virginia.
there are also some HBCUs on the report's list of colleges and universities that
graduate students with a high amount of debt. These include Kentucky State
University, The Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, and Texas Southern
773.285.9600 to bring young Black men and boys or for more information about
to Mentor Young Men
Take A Young Black Man
to the Movies
Suggested Films, Movies and Documentaries
Dr. Martin Luther King Weekend
Friday, January 16, 2015
Please consider renting or purchasing or viewing these films:
1.Selma, 2.Ali, 3.American
Promise, 4.Amistad, 5.Black Wall
Street, 6.Bring Your "A"
Game, 7.Central Park
Unchained, 9.Do the Right
Thing, 10.Emmett Till - Untold
Story, 11.Eyes on the
Prize, 12.Glory, 13.Hidden Colors 1, 2,
and/or 3, 14.Hurricane, 15.Malcolm
Garvey, 17.Powernomics, 18.Pursuit of
Tails, 20.Roots, 21.Rosewood, 22.Sankofa, 23.School
Anger, 25.Spook Who Sat By The
Blackness, 28.When We Were
Kings, 29.12 Years A
We highly recommend that you pre-screen
any movie or documentary that you might show for appropriate content and
National Save Our Sons Night
Friday, February 6, 2015
Click Here to Learn More about
National Save Our Sons Night.