So this is that Spring I’ve been Hearing So Much About

1 May

Chicago Public School closings point up the dangers of geography

There’s a lot of good reporting out there today.   I miss those days when I could post 3 or 4 links and consider things pretty complete.  Today, I have 7 stories and I feel that I’m just scraping the surface.  I also hopefully will have a story coming soon about some shameful behavior at a South Side elementary school.

In the Chicago Public Schools, Promises Are Made to be Broken

“And now, poof! They don’t have those jobs, since CPS has sent them what’s become known as letters of rescinding. It’s the latest sign that what CPS giveth today, it can taketh tomorrow. And if you don’t like it, you can go teach in Detroit.”

Crime in Chicago’s Vacant Property Soars 48% Since 2005

“The group’s study of public data found that the 2,618 reported crimes in abandoned and vacant buildings last year, a smaller total than in 2010 and 2011, ran the gamut, from six reports of homicide to 522 reported burglaries.”

Prison Costs in Humboldt Park Double Spending on Schools

“Add the incarceration costs for the census tracts where students from the other 53 closing schools live and the cost of those sentences amount to $2.7 billion, which is more than the $2.2 billion cost of maintaining the schools that are closing.”

Chicago Public School Closings Point Up the Dangers of Geography

“The danger Lametrios is trying to elude is grave. Nearly half of the 1,054 youths murdered in Chicago during the past five years were killed within census tracts where schools are closing. In all, these tracts only cover about a quarter of the city. West Englewood’s Goodlow Elementary had the highest number of young people killed within its tract of all the closing schools, with 37 overall. To the Southeast, Altgeld isn’t far behind, with 34 youth homicides.”

Science Charter School Gets Zoning Approval After Heated Debate

““Given what’s happening citywide, you don’t think there’s an issue with end-arounding Chicago Public Schools? We’re closing 54 schools. You don’t see this, at a minimum as an optics issue?” Pawar said.”

Boardwatch: April 24, 2013 Meeting of Chicago Board of Education

“James Morgan, LSC chair for Trumbull Elementary in Andersonville, said that Board Member Dr. Mahalia Hines came to Trumbull on Aprl 23 and saw the truth about the school’s actual utilization. He told the Board that Special Ed students were not being taken into consideration – the formula was not correct – and that Trumbull really would have 80% “utllization” if the formula is calculated correctly. Board Member Dr. Mahalia Hines asked, “How does the appeal process work?” She said that the Board had been incorrect on the calculation for Trumbull. “We made a mistake.”

Will New Teacher Evaluations Help or Hurt Chicago’s Schools

“Stamps is highly critical of the portion of the evaluation that will come from test score improvement. “I have children in my classroom who have witnessed not one, not two, but three and four homicides, deal with homelessness, deal with molestation, deal with bullying, deal with being relocated from one place to another, parents just trying to figure out how to survive,” she said. “And then you want to know why they’re not testing at grade levels? … Then you want to tie–getting to your point–your teacher evaluations to how well your kids are doing on a test?”

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