$30 Million Plan to Save Kids

Rosalind Rossi, Chicago Sun-Times, September 4, 2009

Using a newfangled probability model, Chicago Public School officials have identified the 1,200 Chicago public high school students most likely to be gunshot victims–and will direct millions in resources to help them this school year, Schools CEO Ron Huberman revealed Thursday.

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Those students most at risk will get a personal “advocate,” a social worker and a job in an attempt to turn around their lives and help stem the cycle of student shooting deaths that totaled 37 last school year.

Before a packed room at the City Club, Huberman outlined a broad range of ideas on multiple fronts for this coming school year:

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He also expressed interest in the “Jesuit model” in which schools are headed by a president instead of a principal with an administrative certificate.

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Determined to attack the problem, Huberman assigned analysts to study the characteristics of all CPS high school students shot in the last five years. The “brutal facts,” he said, are that such kids were more likely to be black males, homeless, special education students and students at alternative schools.

Such kids also tended to be at least two credits behind in high school, to have been absent for more than 40 percent of the school year and to have committed nearly one serious school violation per school year.

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To encourage safe passage to the 38 schools, the gang boundaries kids must cross on the way to school will be identified so extra parent or police patrols can be deployed to those areas.

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