Fenger Flip-Flop: Board Reverses Itself After Last Week's Summit

398px-U-turn_icon.svgSo much for the secret Huberman plan, the laundry list of anti-violence ideas floated by the Mayor last week, and the so-called violence summit.  Less than a week after ruling out any changes in attendance areas for students attending Fenger, the Board has reversed itself and will now allow some Fenger students to transfer to Carver mid-year and will revamp Carver Middle School into a new charter high school.  Stories here here and here.  I have to admit I'm surprised.  I didn't think that the pressure was all that strong either locally or nationally.  And I don't think the change will do much to solve the underlying problems.  But then I still don't know exactly where the Ville is or why it's called that.  What do YOU think?

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  • Call a cop or real estate agent from that area around Fenger and ask them what the "boundaries" of the neighborhood are and why it's called Ville. They might know.

  • thanks -- good idea.

    meantime, senator durbin has apparently been working the safety issue from washington:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-il-chicago-youthviol,0,8308.story

    / alexander

  • cps was forced to change. working on this story.

  • A long time friend of mine who was born in Roseland and mother too tells me the Ville is Shelden Park--hope this helps.

  • Happy for this change. The fire was at their feet and it was time to wake up about it. If Ron and Michael are about change and a new approach, well they had to step up here. This will save Frymd's a-- as well and still cover up the massive mistakes he has made at Fenger. He really should be demoted or even let go,,, Under the circumstances, the right thing was done here. There was a horrible and viral death. This is better for the students at this time and this is what counts more then all else. Don't think Rev. Jackson's voice was not heard.

  • I agree with Alexander in that this decision will not address that underlying problem. However, by making this decision CPS is admitting the restructuring of schools and the resulting changes in attendance boundaries may present significant challenges to ensuring student safety.

    As we know, the only way we can begin to address the problem is to admit that there is a problem. To date, I can say that CPS' position on this issue has been to deny, deny, deny possibly due to the high-profile of the Ren2010 initiative.

    I am hoping that some real progress can be made.

  • So the altgeld students who want to go to carver will not only need a parent to speak up for them, but will have to show 'good grades.' The students from altgeld who do not have a parent to advocate for them and/or have poor grades, (and the poor grades and attendance could be because they could not get to fenger--fear, bus fare, etc.) will be even pointed out MORE as they leave the altgeld area and go to fenger! How dumb can CPS be? (monique) CPS says that there are only 142 (or so) of altgeld students who could go to Carver. Carver only had 350 students in a huge building. Let the altgeld students go to Carver--period.

  • This plan is a lot of talk and although I hope I'm wrong, I don't think it offer much in the way of help. The students can go to Carver IF they want to be in a military school, and IF they meet the requirements. Additionally, military schools in CPS retain the right to "disenroll" students who exhibit behavior problems. And look what's next. Carver Middle School magically morphing into a charter school. So the kids from Altgeld still don't have a well-supported, resourced and safe option in their neighborhood, and CPS gets another charter school, all in the name of "responding" to a crisis. Hmm...

  • Rev. Jackson and Altgeld residents--do NOT be fooled by what CPS says they will do. They already lied to the altgeld Alderman--you must keep an eye on what they do, NOT what CPS says. ! Be warned.

  • Retired Principal said: Atlgeld Garden Fenger students and parents who want their students to enroll in Carver Military Academy High School, MUST agree and sign the Military Academies Standards of Conduct and Intervention or Consequences Policy! Which states: Students enrolled in a military academy who repeatedly engage in acts of gross misconduct or insuboridination, or repeatedly fail or refuse to wear the required military uniform, may be subject to disciplinary reassignment by the military academy principal to another school (back to Fenger High School, at any time)! Students who have been reassigned for disciplinary reasons from any miltary academy must be accepted by the nearest non-military attendence area school (Fenger High School)! Upon their child's enrollment at a military academy (Carver Military Academy High School), parents/guardians shall be informed of the military policy, expectations of the military academy, and the disciplinary reassignment policy, and shall indicate by SIGNATURE their agreement to adhere to the terms of these policies!

  • from the sun times story it seems like ald. beale cut the deal but may already be worried that he's getting shafted. no surprise there, but who knew that ald. beale (or any of the other ald) had any clout over city hall? i still don't entirely get why the board changed course, even if only a little bit. very unlike them.

  • Earlier this week, Jody Weis was on the morning radio show on FM 92.3. He emphatically stated that the City, CPS & CPD would NOT let gangs dictate the attendance boundaries of CPS schools. Hmmmmm...this plan, which is a step in the right direction seems to contradict his statement.

    Also- what is CPS going to do about all the other non-Fenger CPS students who deal with the same issues about safely getting to and from school through various gang territories - today's Tribune has an insightful article about this. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-safe-passage-intro-16-oct16,0,4133626.story

  • thanks, yomama -- i missed that one. and yes, what about the rest? should CPS revamp its plans or -- my preference -- should city hall do a better job re gangs and intervention? amazing that things got so bad before it started getting attention. thanks again / alexander

  • Retired Principal said: ENROLLMENT AND ADMISSIONS GUIDELINES FOR CARVER MILITARY ACADEMY HIGH SCHOOL- Accepts students citywide, freshman level only (CPS is changing this requirement), based on 7-th grade test scores, attendance, grades and interview (CPS said interviews with Atlgeld Garden Fenger students would count for more).TESTING- NONE REQUIRED (What test is CPS talking about giving these Atlgeld Garden Fenger students?). DEMOGRAPHICS- As of 2008-2009, the largest demographic at George Washington Carver Military Academy HS is African-American. As of that time, this demographic made up 49.6% of the student population. The second greatest demographic was Hispanic at 49.2%! NUMBER OF STUDENTS, 2008-2009, 504!

  • good question, RP -- the board has not yet released the letter sent to fenger parents outlining the plan.

    meantime, steve rhodes at the beachwood reporter points out that the city's police beats are also outdated so as to avoid looking like they're conforming to gang territories.

    http://www.beachwoodreporter.com/column/the_friday_papers_180.php

    interesting -- are the areas set up in any logical way or are they, also, outdated divisions?

    / alexander

  • It is a shame. Carver has really struggled and lagged behind the other military academies because they had to take kids from Altgeld. Finally, the Carver scores have been coming up. Everything Carver has achieved will be for naught now that they have to take the Altgeld kids again. What is really unfair in this situation is that the kids at Carver, who have worked hard and earned a place at that school, are being punished because the gang bangers from the Ville and Altgeld cannot get along.

    Those Altgeld students had the same opportunity to attend Carver as every other student did. If they could not meet admissions requirements as a freshmen, then they should not be admitted now. It is not fair to the Carver students who are trying to make something of themselves.

  • The altgeld students should never have been thrown out of Carver in the first place. CPS has to stop robbing peter to pay paul!
    If an altgeld kid cannot afford the military uniform and fees, will he be kicked out of carver? If an altgeld kid has their uniform stolen--like those nice $100 military coats they get, will they get kicked out since they cannot pay for it? hey CPS, you always open a school within a school--so set up one for the altgeld kids in carver and share the big facility there --it is done at little village with 4 principals and 4 aps and a campus manager--are not the altgeld kids worth it? And get that great principal back you kicked out of fenger--bring him to the new carver school-- You caused this mess--fix it!

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Actually, the military provides those uniforms for free. Now if a student loses pieces, then one must pay for a replacement, but if a student is jumped and files a police report, then the uniform items are replaced at no cost.

    And with all of this talk about the dangerous route the Altgeld kids must take to Fenger, how come no one is talking about the long commutes these kids at the academies take? I teach at a SE school on the far north side and I have students that travel all the way from the Fenger neighborhood to come to school everyday. They need to be on a bus by 5:30 to make it on time and traverse the whole south side. And our attendance rate is over 92%.

  • In reply to scordelia:

    Oh, and students can get reduced fees or waivers if they receive free or reduced lunch.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    history repeats--the principal at Carver now has no military experience. He was a former AIO who needed a job--the Board took care of him and all removed AIOs by just putting them on that new principal list without application. Someone should tell Dr. Johnson that he has a discrimination lawsuit and to get a good lawyer--especially if he is displaced when Best Practices closes. It was Frynd who changed his mind over Dr. Johnson at Fenger and he should be held accountable for this. He just loves to break all the rules, is even hailed for it, and then he act incredulously when it is demanded he is held accountable! (He got away with it at Jones, so why not.) He has no problem going after teachers or great African American principals like Dr. Johnson. Shame on him and please stop him before another student is killed or injured.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    I have a theory--his name is Stephen Flisk and he is from Quigley. There is a whole slew of incompetent administrators who entered CPS after Quigley closed. One of them was chosen to run a NW high school over two much much more experienced candidates and that has been a disaster. Someone from Qugley's board must have been connected because everyone from there landed on their feet.

  • Retired Principal said: Dr. William (Rick) Johnson, former principal of Fenger High School was also the former principal of Carver Military Academy High School! Dr. Johnson didn't have any military experience, therefore he was removed as principal of Carver Military Academy and sent to Fenger High School! At first CPS said that Dr. Johnson could stay at Fenger High School during the "turnaround" and then CPS changed their minds and sent Dr. Johnson to Best Practice High School! Best Practice High School (across the street from the United Center) is being phased out to make way for the new charter school controlled by the Chicago Bulls! Don't you just love CPS! P.S.- What was Robert Runcie doing being the spokesperson for CPS in regard of Fenger High School. What's up with that?

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