What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary School?

There's another gentrification battle brewing in a CPS school, this time over Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary.  


I don't know all the details, but it sounds like the long-discussed plans to bring in an IB program to replace the fine arts program -- a change supported by the neighborhood association, the principal and the the LSC have suddenly morphed into something with a lot more sharp edges for the kids, teaachers, and administrators at the school.

Read below for more of the back story, and write in or email me if you have better information.  Based on what I know now, this seems like another unfortunate story where current and prospective CPS parents are put in a zero-sum situation rather than being helped to work something out that serves everyone.  

nlike many schools that falter once neighborhood demographics change and special funding is removed, Pulaski has maintained a strong enrollment (800+) and increased its academic achievement over the past few years.  But it hasn't attracted new families, who want something with more enrichment and rigor for their kids.   Just 16 percent of Pulaski kids come from the neighborhood.  
So bringing in a new program like IB makes sense, and phasing it in over time seems reasonable as well.  Rename the school too if that helps -- Bucktown Academy?  
What doesn't obviously make sense is making the new program separate from the old school, with its own budget and administration -- essential two schools operating in the same building at the same time.  That seems expensive and unnecessary, given that teachers and administrators can always change via hiring and LSC contract renewal.  And it seems unfortunately simililar to what CPS does to low-performing schools, which Pulaski isn't.  
So too does not allowing younger siblings to go to the same schools if they want to during the transition.  You can be sure that siblings will be strongly considered within the IB program, so why not between the new IB program and the old neighborhood program?  Seems stingy to me.
I wish that the new parents and neighborhood folks had gotten themselves represented on the LSC and done this internally, working with Principal Karl or replacing her if they thought she was resistant to change.  Maybe they tried -- I don't know.  But here as in Ravenswood that always seems to be a problem -- change-minded families try to do the work from outside the school, and end up with something more conflicted and controversial than necessary.  
I haven't seen anything on paper, or talked to the folks at CPS or the Bucktown Community Organization folks who are apparently pushing this proposal along.  There was a community meeting last Tuesday, the 4th, and there's apparently a hearing at the Board a week from Friday, the 21st.  The principal and the LSC are opposed to having two schools at Pulaski, as is (I'm told) the AIO, Jim Cosme.  
Most of the time, things like this are done deals.  Pulaski has no connected parents or friends to reach out to, and its scores and enrollment may not be good enough for CPS to tell white-collar parents to suck it up and give the school a try.  But once in a while, schools wriggle free from these kinds of things, and here at least there seems like there's the possibility of preserving the strengths of the existing school community while bringing in new offerings and young families.  
What do you think?  What do you know?  Write in and let us know.

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  • Pulaski is a great school. Scores have risen steadily over the past 5 years and that is with a population of underprivileged students. This is not just about regentrification, but about segregation as well. We all know that one of the biggest problems of "neighborhood schools" is that basically they are segregated by the race and culture of people that live in the neighborhoods. In this case the children that currently go to Pulaski are Latino and the neighborhood is largely Caucasian. Pulaski would end up being a white school on one side and a brown school on the other. This proposed type of segregation that will happen if the board has its way has been happening since the Civil Rights Movement when Real Estate Agents refused to show houses to African Americans in mostly Caucasian residential areas. You would think we would have learned something since then!

    What is also scary about this is that there is no data that states that the IB program works in CPS elementary schools. However, there is plenty of data stating how well Pulaski's current program is working.

    I also wonder how the neighborhood plans on sustaining the school. Sure they are wealthy, but they do not have 4 children or more that will keep Pulaski in business for many years to come. I also find it interesting that the man that started this whole issue is not even sending his child to Pulaski. On top of that he admitted to having friends in "high" places since growing up Bridgeport. We don't have to think too hard about who his friend is now do we?

    The Mayor should not have any standing in the affairs of the schools unless he feels there is mismanagement going on. Maybe that is the case here? He has appointed an inept school board and he feels the need to get his own way by wriggling in his friends and opinions into school board affairs. It is a very sad day in Chicago when children, parents, and teacher's hard work is overlooked to appease a pessimistic population of neighbors that have never asked to see Pulaski's curriculum, has only been to Pulaski 2 times in which the size of the gym and the outside ascetics were their main concern.

    Let's hope that as the children in the neighborhood grow they will leave behind the racial inequalities that are fostered in the neighborhood by their parents and truly work and strive for the equality that Chicago needs most.

  • Previous comments:

    By: CPS really wants us to What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? cannibalizing each other. There is no plan other than the chaos and cr-p shoot for our schools and the poor children.

    Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 7:36 PMBy: cps mom What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? This sounds like another Anderson/Lasalle II in the making.

    Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 12:16 AMBy: IB All or nothing What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? The IB Primary Years Programme (Prek - 5 or 6) requires that every student in a building be enrolled in the program. There can't be a 3rd grader in IB and a 3rd grader in fine arts in the same building.

    Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 12:46 AMBy: what about regional gifted bilingual? What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? so if IB can't be in the same building with another program, then how about the regional gifted bilingual program? will that have to go, too? cuz that's all that will remain after the fine arts phases out and the IB phases in. that's the "two-school" approach that i'm hearing about -- though i'd love to see something on paper.

    -- alexander

    Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 9:57 AMBy: In the know What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? I hope and pray that Pulaski Fine Arts Academy can be saved, but this whole mess could have been prevented...

    Almost a year ago the principal was told of the Board's intention to do away with Pulaski as we know it. Instead of mobilizing her troops then she put her head in the sand and figured since Arne Duncan left this too would go away. All of a sudden a community meeting happens giving the teachers and staff a few days notice. The Board and the community have had months to prepare for this and the poor teachers have been cast aside and were kept in the dark.

    The Regional Gifted Bilingual Program is a truly wonderful thing (on paper). Unfortunately the only way to get into this program is to be basically "on-level" and have a hispanic surname. Many of the students don't even speak Spanish. I believe that those students who are truly "gifted" could actually be serviced in the IB program.

    If I were a staff member at that school I would do everything I could to get out now BEFORE the "transition" begins!

    Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 10:14 AMBy: how it has to happen? What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? it sounds like the principal and LSC could have been more pro-active about what was going to happen but i'm curious about whether it always happens this way -- at drummond, at pritzker, etc.?

    drummond before montessori
    pritzker when it was still wicker park ES
    burley before it was burley

    etc. -- does the existing administration ever get a chance to revamp and upgrade on its own or is it pretty much standard that the new folks come in with their own team etc.?

    seems like in some cases -- nettlehorst? -- the school grows with the community changes. but those situations seem to be the minority.

    -- alexander

    Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 10:58 AMBy: close observer What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? FYI.. any changes that occurred at Burley were initiated from within. It was the school that initiated the Literature-focused magnet cluster program, after Arne , in his initial role at CPS, created only 4 magnet cluster progams: math/science, fine arts, world language and scholars(whatever that is). Schools were told to adopt one of those or lose their deseg. funding/positions. And what about schools (Pulaski?) who have been told to adopt the program designated by Academic Enhancement or face possible closure? Great choice! I wonder how many of the new Track E schools were given a similar proposition.

    Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 11:19 AMBy: In the know What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? It doesn't help that very few kids from the community actually go to school there. If you are ever there during dismissal it is a three ring circus. Too many buses and kids running wild in the neighborhood. People who live there want the kids that "don't belong" gone gone gone.

    Drummond saw the writing on the wall and thought outside the box and got the Montessori program. The yuppies in the neighorhood are dying to go to school there. Pulaski should have been more proactive.

    Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 11:55 AMBy: close observer What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? To: In the know: perhaps you are right, but alot of those "don't belong" kids are coming to school in BMW's and Mercedes. Plus, no slam on Drummond (or Mayer) but who wouldn't be dying to get their kids into a FREE full-day pre-school program, which is one of the perks Montessori offers.
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    Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 12:02 PMBy: CPS supporter What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? The CPS is always faced with tough decisions. What do you do when you have a neighborhood school where 85% of the attendees come from outside the attendance boundary? Is it really a "neighborhood" school? CPS knows from experience that the best way to transform a school is to offer and market a special new program. It worked at LaSalle II, Drummond and other places. With Pulaski, the school will remain a neighborhood school, so unlike the situation with a Magnet like Drummond, any child in the attendance boundary will have a space. This will keep numerous families from inside the neighborhood from having to consider out-of-the-neighborhood schools, or move to the suburbs. The change-over process will likely result in a good number of job changes for teachers and staff, but over the years hundreds and hundreds of children and families will benefit from being able to walk to a true neighborhood school. Is that not the greater good? The CPS has to make tough choices to move forward. This is the right thing to do.

    Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 12:02 PMBy: In the know What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? Exactly right about Drummond!!! They have long waiting lists because they found somehthing the community wants!! Why wouldn't a school want to serve its immediate community?

    Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 2:38 PMBy: Catbus What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? Don't call it "Bucktown Academy." In CPS, "Academy" is code for "Full of impoverished, underachieving students whom we think we can motivate by giving the school a high-flown name." Don't think the public doesn't notice this.
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    Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 6:12 PMBy: dear in the know What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? "Exactly right about Drummond!!! They have long waiting lists because they found somehthing the community wants!! Why wouldn't a school want to serve its immediate community?"

    Please answer this: What good then are the long wait lists? Where then do parents who are on the wait lists year after year send their children to school? Please answer this....

    Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 6:18 PMBy: In the know What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? Drummond is a small school - it can only hold so many kids. Rumor has it that there will be a new school in Bucktown called Bucktown Academy to maybe help those individuals in the community on Drummond's waiting list.

    Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 6:22 PMBy: yes, but drummond What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? parents wait now--so what are they to do as money for buildings and buildings being built move very very slow for CPS.
    Where then dothey send their children to school?

    Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 6:52 PMBy: NO thank you IB What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? The entire Pulaski Family was not given all the information regarding the IB Program, no one would have voted for this, if they knew the whole truth. The idea of 2 schools, and the phase out of the fine arts and gifted program is a JOKE. This is modern day SEGREGATION. What? The people in the neighborhood can't handle dismissal time, and they want those that don't belong in the neighborhood to be gone, gone, gone...really? Did you actually write that? Like I said, modern day segregation. It's so FUNNY to me that people that are wealthy feel as though they are entitled to everything and anything. Do any of you Pro-IB followers understand that there are ONLY 3 GIFTED BILINGUAL PROGRAMS FOR THIS MINORITY, when there are numerous opportunitites for those of lighter skin?????????????????????????????????? And, by the way those in the program all speak SPANISH!

    Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 7:11 PMBy: Parent Advocate What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? Parents could just send their children to their own neighborhood schools. And demand that CPS support those schools with as much extra funding and resources as the New Schools around the city get (a disproportionate share).

    Closing a gifted bilingual program without opening another is problematic to be sure, but overall I don't have an issue with making a neighborhood school an actual neighborhood school. That's what should be happening at Gunsaulus, too.

    The gifted bilingual program isn't really a gifted program anyway. Gifted children make up something like 1% of the student population. It's just a program for motivated, smart, regular kids. And they should be serviced in their neighborhood schools.

    Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 7:40 PMBy: clarification What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? "Closing a gifted bilingual program without opening another is problematic to be sure, but overall I don't have an issue with making a neighborhood school an actual neighborhood school."

    The proposal is NOT to close or affect in any way the gifted bilingual program at Pulaski. The proposal would affect Pulaski's neighborhood program.

    Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 8:38 PMBy: Ravenswood community What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? For the record, Ravenswood is no longer in conflict. We have made HUGE strives forward due to the new administration. I am guessing Alexander is referring to the former principal, Erin Roche. If anyone follows the blogs here or at Substance news.net, you know that Erin Roche was the problem in the school, not the school community. Just like at Ravenswood, now, Prescott (Roche's new school) is in EXACTLY the same turmoil. In Ravenswood's case, it was the administration that was bad. It doesn't sound like the administration at Pulaski is bad.

    Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 9:08 PMBy: internal vs. external What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? i can't really object to the program being changed to something that serves the neighborhood community.

    but let's be honest that this is a zero sum game -- families who get their kids to bucktown to go to pulaski don't have great options in their home neighborhoods and don't have much political power to create better options.

    and -- i have yet to hear otherwise -- it would have been great if the community gotten involved on the pulaski LSC and moved towards creating more appealing programs within pulaski rather than going through the board of ed route as has happened.

    maybe that happened -- i don't know -- but there's something sideways about this situation that i can't quite put my finger on.

    -- alexander

    Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 10:05 PMBy: In the know What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? What's wrong about the situation is that there are some outstanding teachers at Pulaski that will lose their jobs. CTU should be doing something to protect these teachers!

    Wed Aug 12, 2009 at 1:50 AMBy: To Parent Advocate What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? Well, CPS does not provide a gifted bilingual program at every school, there's only 3, only 3... why would you take that away from children and there families, and to say that only the Pulaski's Fine Arts Program would be affect, is like nothing? Do you have any idea of all the parternships Pulaski Fine Arts has? Do you realize how many students will be forced out of the school? Do you realize that when CPS implements a new program they FIRE the entire staff, which is what they do at failing schools, and we all know Pulaski Fine Arts is successful and not failing. But, regardless of what we say, those folks in Bucktown will get what they want because money=power in this world. That IB Program will fail.

    Wed Aug 12, 2009 at 2:03 AMBy: And, by the way... What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? THEY WANT 2 SCHOOLS, THOSE IN THE GIFTED COULD NOT ENTER THE IB PROGRAM!!!! DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT!!!!
    SEGREGATION!!!THOSE STUDENTS IN GENERAL ED WILL HAVE TO LEAVE, THEY WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO TRANSFER INTO THE IB PROGRAM!!!DO YOU IB'ERS UNDERSTAND THIS. I remember when Bucktown was a real neighborhood, so long ago

    Wed Aug 12, 2009 at 4:12 AMBy: George N. Schmidt What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? "...but let's be honest that this is a zero sum game -- families who get their kids to bucktown to go to pulaski don't have great options in their home neighborhoods and don't have much political power to create better options..." (Alexander, earlier).

    That's nonsense, Alexander.

    It's a bunch of elitist crap to boot.

    It's probably also an example of that White Blindspot that has made Catalyst's lucrative corporate spin so dear to so many of us for so many years.

    Who had edicted that the neighborhood elementary schools do not provide "options" for the children of the community? While you're at it, which schools (and families) are we talking about?

    And on what basis, going back how long?

    This is the same logic -- actually, a biased kind of theology which is now being debunked widely as a result of its political, economic, and ethical bankruptcy -- that underlies most of the corporate media reporting on CPS.

    "Zero sum game"? Says who?

    Based on what evidence?

    The perception of whom?

    Thanks for sharing. It helps put a lot of what circulates here at District 299 and in the vaporous pages of the new Catalyst into perspective.

    Wed Aug 12, 2009 at 10:56 AMBy: Confused What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? I really don't understand what seems to be a red herring argument of segregation. You're complaining that the children in the regional gifted bilingual program won't be allowed in the IB program? For one thing, these are families who have by choice self-segregated into a program that is exclusively Hispanic. For another, I don't see anything in the IB program that discriminates against their application/admission in the IB program, if that's what they want to do. But what makes you think that many of them would even want to be in the IB program if they have chosen, of all the programs in the city, to attend a regional gifted bilingual program? Help me understand.

    Wed Aug 12, 2009 at 8:56 PMBy: Does it even matter, BTOWN What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? will get what they want, it doesn't matter that children will be transferred to other schools and the staff will be fired

    Wed Aug 12, 2009 at 9:07 PMBy: just like dodge and south loop What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? they get the poor and low scoring kids out and then brag and promote the principal for getting such high scores. that is how the game is played here.
    If you are poor, you need to move on.

    Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 10:11 AMBy: Misinformation? What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? My understanding is that no children would be transferred out of the existing program. My understanding is that the new IB program would begin at pre-K and K, and would be added incrementally one grade per year after that. If that is incorrect, then please provide an alternate source of information. If you just to use a forum to spread misinformation or to create false boogeymen, that's just sad. Just find a health care town hall meeting instead.

    Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 10:52 AMBy: information vacuum What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? i've asked cps for the official recommendation, but so far no response.

    what i've been told is that the new program would phase in as the old one phased out.

    however, younger siblings of current students would not have any preference or priority in the new program, so in reality it may not work so smoothly as it sounds on the surface.

    plus which, they'll basically be attending a lame duck program within the school rather than being a part of the whole school.

    that's all i know --

    alexander

    Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 1:22 PMBy: WSJ story on charter schools What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203863204574346500121979982.html

    Expanding the Charter Option

    ...Jaime Guzman, deputy of the Office of New Schools for the Chicago Public Schools, says contract schools that want charters instead will go through an approval process in the fall, and if approved, will open as charters in the 2010-11 school year. Other proposals will be considered starting next May. "We are expecting a deluge of applications," says Mr. Guzman.

    ...The U.S. Education chief, for one, is cheering from the sidelines. "I am a big fan" of Urban Prep, says Secretary Arne Duncan, former chief executive of the Chicago Public Schools. "When something is working, give more children those kinds of opportunities," he says.

    Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 1:58 PMBy: TO MISINFORMATION What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? you make it sound so lovely, THERE SHOULD BE NO PHASE OUT OF THE CURRENT SCHOOL, IT'S NOT FAILING. AND, THE K AND PREK TEACHERS WHO ARE EXCELLENT WILL BE FIRED!!! ITS SO WRONG

    Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 2:56 PMBy: DEAR PULASKI STAFF What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? Again This Union leadership has made it clear to chicago teacher union members that the current leadership has been ineffective in the negotiations of contracts,organizing charter school,supperessing the loos of jobs, and the handling of day-to day crises. Once more we see no job protection and are UNION on Summer vacation. Members need to help members in true solidarity. Vote CSDU

    Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 3:14 PMBy: To Chris What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? Chris,

    Awesome comments. Add more! CSDU is losing votes by the post. Please, keep writing!

    Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 4:53 PMBy: hey pulaski-hey ctu What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? this is what they have been doing to OUR other schools for over 2 years now--and no one did anythibng to help us as we were closed or moved into or pushed aside by charters and contract schools. Now it is happening to high perform schools, where were you when we were on the sinking ship. Chicago is Daley's world and he intends to take over it all.

    Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 9:49 AMBy: WAVE What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? CHARTER SCHOOL, TRUN AROUND,AND FRESH START. ALL THESE PROGRAMS ARE DESIGN TO BREAK UP THE UNION. WE UNION MEMBERS NEED TO WAKE UP TO THIS FACT. HIGH PERFORM SCHOOL ARE NEXT. PLEASE LET NOT ATTACK EACH OTHER. NO SCHOOL IS SAFE ARE JOBS AND PENSION ARE ON THE LINE. wE DO HAVE A BROKEN CONTRACT AND IT WILL DESTROY PROFESSIONAL DIGNITY.

    Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 11:45 AMBy: Failing What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? I think you have to acknowledge that a neighborhood school that can only attract 15% of its enrollment (if that is a correct number) from its neighborhood is failing in one respect.

    Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 5:14 PMBy: TO "FAILING" What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? UM...NOT. It's not failing, those in the neighborhood don't see enough people that look like them in the school...that's the whole issue, go to the school and integrate man. But, of course those with money and connections to city officials will get what they want, and Pulaski minority's will be pushed with the staff.

    Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 1:48 PMBy: go to What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? telemundochicago.com, search Pulaski Fine Arts Academy

    Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 2:34 AMBy: from way back What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? Parents who drive their kids daily to Pulaski are not "outsiders." Most of them are people who got kicked out of Bucktown thru gentrification. They're actually part of Bucktown's history. I mean the Latino part of Bucktown's history which is never acknowledged. They are law abiding citizens who want the best for their kids and know Pulaski is a great school and they are very open to neighborhood kids going there. Also, the students in the gifted program do speak Spanish and their success speaks for itself as to whether they're just above average. If the neighborhood families were sincere about getting an International Education for their children, they would already have them attending Pulaski.
    Anderson/LaSalle/Drummond/Pritzker/Burley/Ravenswood/etc. It's all a Master Plan to get minorities and low income folk out of Chicago- DALEY POLITICS! With which comes a bad education which you won't know about from the data and you're all going to have really underpaid teachers because the better teachers will leave the system.
    Also, we need to look closely into the loosely termed IB and Montessori programs. Just because a whole bunch of rich people go to a school doesn't make it a good school.

    I hope both sides work it out and Pulaski Fine Arts Academy sets an example!

    Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 7:08 AMBy: Montessori and IB What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? I wholeheartedly agree with looking closely at schools that advertise having these two programs. The name Montessori is in the public domain and there are no rules and regulations that govern what actually is a Montessori School. Each school defines their own vision and one needs to be careful about what that vision is. IB, as interpreted by the city of Chicago, is a mysterious mess. I am personally familiar with an elementary IB program in the southern part of Chicago which to me seems to a very traditional program with some extra paperwork added for the students to complete.

    Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 8:56 AMBy: IB What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? The IB programs at Sutherland and Kellogg don't seem to be very true to the IB goals and requirements. Why?

    Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 9:42 AMBy: IB INO What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? I teach at a neighborhood school that offers a small IB program. It is an IB program in name only. Why? Most of the teachers do not and have not received IB training. (Neither CPS nor the school is very interested in paying for it.) Perhaps not coincidentally, there isn't much buy-in from teachers or students. They mostly just jump through the hoops they are absolutely required to jump through, and make the rest up. That's our IB.

    Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 10:07 AMBy: concerned teacher What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? where is the union? isn't this the time when teachers need protection? my understanding is that pulaski is NOT a failing school and that scores have risen dramatically in the past decade.

    Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 1:27 PMBy: so? really What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? sorry to be so blunt, but the CTU has been allowing CPS to close successful school since laast year. Where have you been? Now it comes to Pulaski and everyone goes--oh no! Where is out Union.
    The CTU let these school drown. So why not Pulaski and others to come? Teachers need to get their acts together and get the current 'leadership' OUT. There are no lifebaots here, our demise is spreading into the roots. If teachers vote back in this same leadership--we will get what we deserve. Sad but true.
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    Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 2:18 PMBy: Clissold IB What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? The IB program at Clissold is a just a name put on a middle school that has lacked direction for many years.

    Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 2:29 PMBy: Sad But True What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? The IB program at my school is just a name put on a school that has one major result, intended or not: it attracts a more pale, majority-culture student.

    As a neighbor of mine put it: "Before the IB program I just couldn't imagine sending my children to their neighborhood school. Everyone was Mexican and spoke Spanish! How could I have my kids surrounded by that?!?"

    Sad.

    I wouldn't be surprised to hear something similar from Bucktown parents. If they want a neighborhood school, neighborhood schools being something I support, there is nothing preventing them from enrolling their children at Pulaski tomorrow.

    Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 3:20 PMBy: to Clissold IB What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? Very true. The IB label was put on Clissold to encourage parents from tranfering their children to the Morgan Park 7&8 grade program years ago. The smartest kids were leaving Clissold after 6th grade and this helped to curb the tide. The program was always a joke. Hype, no substance.

    Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 3:46 PMBy: diversity What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? As it stands, Pulaski is not a diverse school (85% Hispanic, 4% white). Many parents -- of all races -- want more diversity than that in a school. Some parents are fine with sending their kid to a school where they are different from the entire rest of their class (4% means about 1 white kid per class), but others are not comfortable with that. I've heard this point of view expressed by whites, Hispanics, and blacks. I don't think it's terribble or racist for parents to not want their child to be the only one of their race in a classroom and to be exposed to a greater diversity of backgrounds. If the IB program is what it takes to create a diverse school, then that's at least one benefit of the program.

    Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 9:03 PMBy: from the other site What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? here's a comment from the tribune (chicago now) version of the site:

    Pulaski is a great school. Scores have risen steadily over the past 5
    years and that is with a population of underprivileged students. This
    is not just about regentrification, but about segregation as well. We
    all know that one of the biggest problems of "neighborhood schools" is
    that basically they are segregated by the race and culture of people
    that live in the neighborhoods. In this case the children that
    currently go to Pulaski are Latino and the neighborhood is largely
    Caucasian. Pulaski would end up being a white school on one side and a
    brown school on the other. This proposed type of segregation that will
    happen if the board has its way has been happening since the Civil
    Rights Movement when Real Estate Agents refused to show houses to
    African Americans in mostly Caucasian residential areas. You would
    think we would have learned something since then!

    What is also scary about this is that there is no data that states that
    the IB program works in CPS elementary schools. However, there is
    plenty of data stating how well Pulaski's current program is working.

    I also wonder how the neighborhood plans on sustaining the school.
    Sure they are wealthy, but they do not have 4 children or more that
    will keep Pulaski in business for many years to come. I also find it
    interesting that the man that started this whole issue is not even
    sending his child to Pulaski. On top of that he admitted to having
    friends in "high" places since growing up Bridgeport. We don't have to
    think too hard about who his friend is now do we?

    The Mayor should not have any standing in the affairs of the schools
    unless he feels there is mismanagement going on. Maybe that is the
    case here? He has appointed an inept school board and he feels the
    need to get his own way by wriggling in his friends and opinions into
    school board affairs. It is a very sad day in Chicago when children,
    parents, and teacher's hard work is overlooked to appease a pessimistic
    population of neighbors that have never asked to see Pulaski's
    curriculum, has only been to Pulaski 2 times in which the size of the
    gym and the outside ascetics were their main concern.

    Let's hope that as the children in the neighborhood grow they will
    leave behind the racial inequalities that are fostered in the
    neighborhood by their parents and truly work and strive for the
    equality that Chicago needs most.

    -- alexander (for "teacherwhocares")

    Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 9:55 PMBy: well said alexander, but What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? "The Mayor should not have any standing in the affairs of the schools unless he feels there is mismanagement going on."
    This is a contradiction in terms.

    Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 11:19 PMBy: are you kidding me? What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? "This proposed type of segregation that will happen if the board has its way has been happening since the Civil Rights Movement when Real Estate Agents refused to show houses to African Americans in mostly Caucasian residential areas. You would think we would have learned something since then!"

    Are you kidding me? That is how this city became so segregated! There were millions to be made with real estate agents who approached white home owners telling them to sell now or loose everything. Block by block. Every home sold was a commission, and another commission for the new home they moved to and so on and so on. The real estate industry made millions.

    Tue Aug 18, 2009 at 11:19 AMBy: Feeling disillusioned What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? I have been teaching for 5 years. I have an undergraduate degree in elementary education and I am working on my second master

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