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Jackson Jr. still can do something positive with his life

Jesse JacksJr. SandrJackson

Jesse Jackson Jr., Sandra Jackson

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Updated: September 17, 2013 8:18AM

I’m a 69-year-old white Vietnam vet, married 42 years and broke most of my life, so I am not one to identify with Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife.

However, though I have had my misgivings about his father, I have to commend Jesse Jackson Jr. for standing up and taking responsibility for what he has done.

I also believe that Jesse Jr. has great potential for good; he has talent and abilities that can benefit the city, state and nation.

He deserves his punishment, but I hope he can someday put this behind him and find a place in our society where we can benefit from his abilities. To Jesse Jr. I would say, “Don’t become the crook that so many people think you are, become the man that you can be.

James M. Mulhearn,

Vittum Park

Bad moves on standardized tests

The Chicago Sun-Times on Aug. 6 created a great visual table displaying the changes in standardized testing in the Chicago Public Schools. However, the article did not delve into why these changes were made. For example, CPS has decided to remove the Explore Test in grades 8 and 9 and the PLAN test in grade 10. Both of these tests are essential to track longitudinal data on our high school students who are dropping out in large numbers.

Don’t you think it makes sense to keep these tests so we know which high school students are college-ready early on? The removal of the NWEA MAP tests for grades K-2 makes sense since this standardized computer-based test is not appropriate for young children. Yet, the article failed to mention the incoming KIDS (Kindergarten Individual Development Surveys) assessment for early childhood classrooms, which will be implemented by the State of Illinois in conjunction with the private West Ed test makers.

The Chicago Public Schools need to follow up with an explanation for these drastic changes in testing, especially if teachers are to be evaluated in accordance to student achievement on these assessments.

Samina Hadi-Tabassum,
Associate Professor of Education, Dominican University

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