Another superintendent out at North Chicago

Illinois State Superintendent of Schools Christopher Koch dismissed yet another North Chicago Unit School District 187 superintendent. Milton Thompson was dismissed on Aug. 24, The Sun-Times News Group is reporting, here via WLS-AM.

Mr Thompson, hired in March 2011, was the 14th superintendent to take the reins of the troubled school district since 1991. The district has failed to meet federal accountability guidelines set forth in the No Child Left Behind law for the last nine years, and the Illinois State Board of Education dismissed the board in June, according to a report in the Lake County News-Sun.

Dr Koch said North Chicago High School has only 13 percent of students meeting or exceeding state academic standards, a figure that falls about 40 percent below the state average.

“That’s simply not acceptable,” the News-Sun quoted him as saying back in June, shortly after the unanimous vote by the state board to take over the district. “We can’t allow these kids to continue to be lost. They’re not going to have opportunities for college or careers or employment. We have to take responsibility and focus the discussion of adults around the needs of the children.”

North Chicago’s new superintendent will be Ben Martindale, a retired Lake County superintendent who has acted as state liaison for District 187 for the last two years. He most recently served as Gurnee District 56’s chief and helped Round Lake District 116 come back from a state takeover that lasted a decade.

“He has experience turning around a failed district,” WLS-AM quoted a state board spokesperson as saying. “He’s a seasoned leader with 30 years experience.”

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Paul Katula
Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more biographical information, see the About page.