Breaking News Bar
updated: 8/1/2014 10:44 PM

10 big things from Torres' tenure

hello
Success - Article sent! close
 
By Lauren Rohr
lrohr@dailyherald.com

In Jose Torres' six-year tenure, he started new programs, supported minority student initiatives and helped settle a divisive lawsuit that started before he arrived in Elgin Area School District U-46. Here are 10 highlights:

1. Ten Boys Initiative: A 2008 program that called for educators to mentor underperforming elementary, middle and high school boys in groups of 10.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

2. Superintendent Scholarship Program: Established in 2012 to award $1,000 scholarships to students who are first in their immediate family to attend college. Torres personally supported the program by matching donations up to a total of $10,000.

3. Office of Equity and Social Justice: A first of its kind in U-46, office set up to close or narrow the achievement gap.

4. Discrimination lawsuit: Earlier this year, U-46 settled a 9-year-old lawsuit, filed against the district by five families who claimed that school boundary changes discriminated against minorities. Though Federal Judge Robert Gettleman ruled in favor of U-46 for issues such as a 2004 student assessment plan and an English Language Learners program, he determined that the district needed to fix its gifted programs. The school board approved a $2.5 million settlement agreement in February.

5. Destination 2015: A five-year plan listing specific targets and goals for the academic success of the district's students.

6. A new grading system: U-46 implemented a new grading scale last year so that students' grades range from a possible 50 to 100 points. This new system, meant to ensure grades are equally inflated, was met with less than open arms by teachers, parents and even some board members. A common complaint was students got something for doing nothing.

7. Dual Language Program: Launched in 2012 to promote bilingualism and cultural diversity by allowing students to learn in two languages.

8. U-46 funding bill: Torres worked to secure legislation to change the amount of state funding multicounty school districts receive, an initiative that helped the district during a major financial crisis.

9. Restructuring schools: After 10 U-46 elementary schools were deemed "failing" by federal standards last year, the district is restructuring them in areas of management, financing and staffing.

10. Alignment Education Initiative: Program encouraging U-46 to collaborate with partners ­-- businesses, organizations, chambers of commerce and other agencies -- to solve education-related problems in surrounding communities.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here