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The race for City Hall

Jobs and schools promise to be top issues in next year’s city elections. The mayor’s education agenda faces its toughest test in the African-American communities that gave him strong support in 2011.

Educare preschool boosts academics, parent involvement

An Educare parent fills out a daily form with information on the health of her 3-year-old twin daughters. The form provides a regular avenue for communication with teachers. File photo by Jason Reblando

A follow-up study of students who attended the Ounce of Prevention Fund’s Educare early childhood center show promising results—for parents as well as students.

Among the findings:

-- Graduates are outscoring their classmates on the reading portion of the ISAT: 67 percent of Educare students now in elementary school passed the reading portion of the ISAT, compared to 57 percent of a comparison group of students in the same schools.

-- In both preschool and 3rd grade, students scored higher than the national average on measures of social-emotional learning.

-- On a vocabulary test, students scored slightly lower than the national average but did just as well, compared to other students nationwide, as they had in preschool.

-- Fewer than half of the students who received special services at Educare still needed those services in elementary school.

A report on the study appears in the journal Early Education and Development.The findings were presented this week by Ounce of Prevention.

A hallmark of the Educare program is a focus on helping parents find the best elementary school for their children, as well as helping children make a successful transition into kindergarten.

Educare has begun to focus on sending children to better schools. The percentage of students attending neighborhood schools shrank from 66 percent in year 1 of the study to 38 percent in year 6 of the study, when 62 percent of students went to charter, contract or magnet schools.

 Portia Kennel, senior vice president of program innovation at the Ounce of Prevention Fund, says the experience of participating in Educare sets up families to continue building social relationships and accumulating “social capital” after they leave the program.

“We are creating a culture of parents who are armed out there to make sure their child gets the best education, and see themselves as responsible,” Kennel says.

The study also found, however, that some parents have struggled with schools that don’t value their input – and with helping students with homework once it gets more complicated.

Parents of Educare graduates, Kennel said, have now started an alumni network to continue the support they received in the program.


Richard Jackson wrote 1 year 48 weeks ago

School Closings

In the Pershing Network meeting at Fuller Park' how can a Principal Eric Dockery define Dewey Academy as being utilized by disputing CPS designation of its classrooms as underutilized because he has converted classrooms into a digital media and computer labs. Rooms benefited education. The under utilization means there are not enough students in the school. Not enough students in the classrooms. Not enough classrooms with children in them. There are only 2 classrooms on the 1st floor of the school that can hold over 500 students. Only 272 students at the school. 62 students has left the school since September enrollment. This is what under utilized means. The school is short of about 250 or more students to fill the capacity. You don't place computers in rooms in school to fill up rooms. You place students in rooms with a teacher to fill up classrooms.

Marc Sims wrote 1 year 47 weeks ago

Crime in African American neighborhoods

We have to help "some" low income African American women raise well behaved children who read at least at grade level. Will "we" donate our time or money to an organization that tutors and or mentors African American boys and girls? Let's stop this crime in African American neighborhoods!

Anonymous wrote 1 year 46 weeks ago

Plot to keep kids out of neighborhood schools

This sounds like a plot by Rahm and big business. "Ounce of Prevention" is Rauner's wife's business. So they are trying to privatize our preschools citywide, so that these "private" preschools can counsel parents not to send their kids to the neighborhood schools, but to charters, which are "private" schools paid for with our tax dollars. Its all a good ole boys back slapping fun time, stealing our tax money to fund charter's patronage armies, which then fund the politicians who gave them our money.......the only ones losing out are our kids. How does "Ounce of Prevention" stack up to neighborhood public schools preschools?

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