Chicago’s Marshall Metropolitan High School is experiencing a drastic school turnaround with principal Kenyatta Stansberry leading the way. Stansberry, 39, is one of a new breed of principals charged with reforming some of the worst schools in the Chicago Public School system. This is her second turnaround high school. Where other educators run from buildings paralyzed by violence, chaos, and virtually no learning, Stansberry thrives.
"The minute you slip up, the minute they think you're not paying attention, they're going to think, 'It's OK. We're about to get away,'" says the mother of two and former preschool teacher who now butts heads with the most challenging of CPS students. "You have to be consistent."
That consistency has helped Marshall, a school that habitually landed in the bottom rung of the state's high schools, show signs of improvement this year. Attendance has gone up by 22 percentage points. Seventy percent of freshmen are on track to graduate, up from 30 percent last year. Results for the most recent Prairie State Achievement Exams won't be available until July, but school officials are confident of big gains over 2010, when only 2.6 percent of students met or exceeded standards.
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