High school hopes to change image two years after beating death

May 23, 2012

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The principal of Chicago's Fenger High School wants to change the school's image.

That's because a lot has changed since the videotaped beating death of 16-year-old Derrion Albert made national news two years ago.

Arrests and suspensions are down significantly. Attendance and the number of  freshman on-track to graduate are up.

The problem, Dozier says, is that nobody wants to go to Fenger.

"Because of how our school’s unfortunately characterized, we have trouble getting students in the building," Dozier told the Board of Education Wednesday.

Fenger currently has half as many students as it did two years ago.

Alderman Michelle Harris wants the board to continue to support Fenger and said the school's recent success should be "nationally showcased."

In recent years, Chicago Public Schools has opened a number of new selective, magnet and charter high schools.

Those schools pull kids away from their neighborhood schools, like Fenger. Neighborhood schools can become underenrolled and could face closure.

Also at yesterday’s meeting, the board approved a new selective enrollment program for South Shore High School.

For unfiltered audio of the May Board of Education meeting, see extras below.