Pulaski Elementary Vs. Bucktown (Part Dos)

Back in August and September there was a ton of discussion about what should happen to Bucktown's Pulaski Fine Arts Academy, a relatively successful elementary school that was no longer serving many neighborhood kids.  Click below to see the old post and the many many comments that followed.

After much debate, some mainstream coverage, protests, and a Board meeting, the school leadership and the community were supposed to be coming up with some sort of plan that addresses everyone's needs.  Is this happening in reality?  I have no idea.  But I'm hoping those who are involved will fill us in.
What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary?

There's
another gentrification battle brewing, 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.
Unlike 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.


Comments

Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 6:12 PMBy: 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.

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.

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.

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's in education. I have more education in this field than our current CEO
and others making decisions in our field. No wonder so many teachers leave the
field of education and/or leave the city to teach in the suburbs. Instead of
being rewarded for our hard work, we will be required to find a new job. However,
I am not concerned about myself or other wonderful teachers at my school...we
will find new jobs because we are highly qualified and any school would be
lucky to have us!! I worry about the equality and equity of education within
the city of Chicago.

Tue Aug 18, 2009 at 12:23 PMBy: BCO..explain please What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? why is it so easy that the staff at Pulaski will
be fired and replaced by new people, how is that ok? What if someone went to
your place of work and did this to you, said you are not performing well enough
so you need to be replaced. How can you look yourself in the mirror when so
many hard working, passionate and dedicated people will be
fired????????????????

Tue Aug 18, 2009 at 12:26 PMBy: Pulaski's IB will not be diverse What's
Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? someone made a comment that a
benefit of the IB program will be diversity...where? Bucktown's population is
caucasian, the whole school will be caucasian, while they phase out the Latinos.

Tue Aug 18, 2009 at 2:36 PMBy: Disturbing Process What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? One of the most disturbing aspects about this
whole proposal is the unsettling speed in which it has taken place. While the
proposal for a new school is so eagerly being considered, other much needed
school renovations at Pulaski have always been faced with roadblocks from the
powers that be. How is it possible or even fair that a whole new school would
be approved by the board of ed. when that money could be put to better use
systemwide, not just at Pulaski? Oh, I know why, because the old adage proves
true, "money talks" and those that have it can pull the strings. THIS
is the lesson unfortunately learned by not just the hardworking staff at Pulaski,
but it is also an implied lesson that the students will learn too.

Tue Aug 18, 2009 at 2:57 PMBy: get some facts What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? Someone wrote:
"someone made a comment that a benefit of the IB program will be
diversity...where? Bucktown's population is caucasian, the whole school will be
caucasian, while they phase out the Latinos."

There are many ridiculous statements on this blog, but I think the one claiming
that the Pulaski IB program would promote segregation (instead of desegration)
is the most ridiculous. Pulaski is currently 92% Latino, 4% white. Right now
23% of the students come from the (Bucktown) attendance area, so clearly
Bucktown is not all white as you would want people to think. And it's likely
that there would still be substantial room for students from outside the
attendance boundaries after this program gets up and running. The reality is
that having 92% of ANY race is segregation -- bringing in a mix of students is
actually called "DE-segregation". Really, look it up -- I'm not
kidding.

So, your main argument seems to be about teacher jobs. But with all the
misinformation on this thread, I'd really like to hear something more official
about the teacher jobs. And then, are we supposed to operate the neighborhood
schools for the benefits of the teachers, or the students/families?

ROTFLWMDCTMN (rolling on the floor laughing with my drink coming through my
nose).

Tue Aug 18, 2009 at 3:47 PMBy: to get some facts What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? RUDE...this is about the whole Pulaski Family,
we are a family,
students, and staff...this change will affect the entire population,
a small percentage of students will be left at the school in the gifted program
every other student will be forced out, and their teachers, educational
support, clerks...etc...KARMA is real, you may get what you want now, but in
the long run...it's going to bite you hard.

Tue Aug 18, 2009 at 4:09 PMBy: To Get Some Facts What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? I find it interesting that you are the one
looking for more "official" information toward the end of the post
when you are the one telling others that they need to get facts. We are all
looking at this from different perspectives, so we may have different opinions.
I think that we should agree to diasgree and keep the rude comments to
ourselves. This will be more productive if we share what we know and go from
there.

Tue Aug 18, 2009 at 4:38 PMBy: get some facts What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? Yes, let's share what we know. How do you know
people will be fired, and why do you say that students will be kicked out? I
have seen communication (I believe from the alderman) saying that no students
would be kicked out, as this program would start out at the Pre-K/K levels.

And plenty of new programs have started up using the existing teaching staffs.
What information do you have about teachers being fired?

Tue Aug 18, 2009 at 4:52 PMBy: to get the facts What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? the student body out of the attendance will be
kicked out, period. The gift program only has 9 classrooms, meaning 9 teachers
will have a job only for a short period due to the phasing out of the gifted
program eventually, Pulaski has about 800 students, the rest of the student
body will be kicked out. When CPS implements new programs they give pink slips
to the entire staff, if you have worked at a school that is being phased out,
you are tainted in the application process, there will not hire current staff from
Pulaski, you can call the board if you don't believe that. Pulaski has 2 PreK's
which and 3 Kinders, when the IB Program takes over, it will only have 1 PreK
and 1 Kinder, so those staff members are out of jobs with the general education
students and staff. Let me explain again: Pulaski IB 2010 School
*1-Prek
*1-Kinder
*9 Classroom in the gifted,
everyone else will be kicked out. That was stated at the "Community
Meeting"

Tue Aug 18, 2009 at 5:08 PMBy: Current Pulaski Student What's Going On
At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? I don't believe the current students would be
kicked out. I think they will be allowed to graduate. However, younger siblings
would not be able to enroll. This will probably cause parents to pull their
kids if they have younger siblings. My assumption is that the current general
ed. program will phase itself out more quickly than the proposal allows.
Another concern for the gifted program is that siblings will not necessarily be
able to enroll in the IB program. Parents of gifted students may not want to
send their child to Pulaski and their other children to another school.

Tue Aug 18, 2009 at 5:13 PMBy: factual question What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? the thing everyone wants to avoid is uprooting a
successful program and not getting as good or better a program in its stead.

unanswered questions:

-- did the current administration at pulaski fail to adapt or respond to
neighborhood changes in any measurable way?

-- is the new IB program going to have the quality and enrichment that new
parents seem to want, based on other schools' experiences?

-- what does the alternative (middle way) look like, in terms of creating a new
school that was appealing and welcoming to both existing and new families? no
need to reinvent the wheel or guess at a solution: how did other schools like
nettlehorst or burley or _________ do it?

-- alexander

Tue Aug 18, 2009 at 5:21 PMBy: Call Me Confused What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? So, there are IB programs around the city in
neighborhood schools that did not and do not require removing students and/or
staff from a building or phasing out students and staff or anything of the
sort.

Why exactly doesn't Pulaski open up an IB program and keep its current student
body and teachers? Send the teachers for IB training if they need it. Offer IB
to whoever is enrolled in the building. Whatever neighborhood families want to
enroll at Pulaski can go ahead and do so at any time to take advantage of an IB
program in a school. That's always been true.

I don't see the problem here. Would someone please explain?

Tue Aug 18, 2009 at 7:27 PMBy: you must be new to CPS What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? "I'd really like to hear something more
official about the teacher jobs." Looking for the "official"
line in CPS is not going to lead you, despite your ROTFLWMDCTMN, to the real
information and the real implications. But, feel free to believe that, if you
wish. Time will teach.

Tue Aug 18, 2009 at 8:04 PMBy: an LSC federation? What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary?
http://www.southsideunited.org/announcementsevents.html

What's up with this?

Tue Aug 18, 2009 at 9:04 PMBy: To Call Me Confused What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? "Why exactly doesn't Pulaski open up an IB
program and keep its current student body and teachers? Send the teachers for
IB training if they need it. Offer IB to whoever is enrolled in the building.
Whatever neighborhood families want to enroll at Pulaski can go ahead and do so
at any time to take advantage of an IB program in a school. That's always been
true.

Yes! Exactly this is exactly what the staff and Pulaski family would like. What
is disturbing is that CPS is proposing a SEPARATE IB school rather than an
integrated program. This is not the typical way this type of program is
implemented, yet, for some reason, the Bucktown community has been able to
persuade CPS to consider this separate school idea.
I don't see the problem here. Would someone please explain?

Tue Aug 18, 2009 at 11:15 PMBy: to current pulaski student What's Going
On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? what upsets me is that all the information
concerning this whole IB issue is not being said. The 2009-2010 school year
will be as it alwasy has been at Pulaski, starting that next school year
2010-2011 ONLY THE GIFTED CLASSROOMS WILL BE OPEN, all other classrooms will be
CLOSED, it was said at the 'Community Meeting' that Pulaski will not accept new
enrollment after this year due to the IB being put in place.

Tue Aug 18, 2009 at 11:33 PMBy: Woof What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? Ok, I don't have a dog in this fight, but this doesn't make
any freaking sense. If an IB program is desired, just leave everything as is,
since it seems to be going well, and open a freaking IB program.

Tue Aug 18, 2009 at 11:42 PMBy: exactly What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? CPS obiviously all of sudden now has the funds, so open a
Bucktown IB Program and leave Pulaski Fine Arts as is.

Wed Aug 19, 2009 at 7:47 AMBy: Current Pulaski Students What's Going On
At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? From talking with the principal, my
understanding is that PFAA will NOT be enrolling new students, however, the
students that are currently enrolled will be able to continue and graduate 8th
grade. As Pulaski IB adds a grade each year, Pulaski Fine Arts Academy will
lose one. This is the current proposal. Anything can change and unfortunately,
that is the name of the game in CPS.

Wed Aug 19, 2009 at 8:18 AMBy: To Get Some Facts What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? You are right, bringing in another race to a
school is desegregation. That is not what is being proposed for Pulaski. The
neighborhood students (which the majority are white) will not be joining the
current school (which is a majority hispanic). Instead, there will be a new
school created for the neighborhood students, PFAA will be phased out and the
Gifted Binlingual Program will remain a seperate school. That is why people
feel this is segregation. Bringing the IB program into the current school would
be desegregation, but that is not what is being propsed.

Wed Aug 19, 2009 at 10:20 AMBy: rationale? What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? It sounds to me like the proposal was crafted as a
compromise between trying to not disrupt a moderately successful existing
program and trying to bring in more community involvement. An IB program must
be accredited by the IBO and those accreditation requirements make it such that
the entire entity needs to be IB (thus the separate principal, etc). However,
given that Pulaski has a reasonably successful fine arts program, I think the
current student/parent population wouldn't want to see that program transformed/disrupted.
The proposal allows those students who chose a fine arts curriculum to maintain
that.

Wed Aug 19, 2009 at 11:22 AMBy: Confused What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? I'm confused.

An IB program must be accredited by the IBO and those accreditation
requirements make it such that the entire entity needs to be IB (thus the
separate principal, etc).

Given this requirement how does a school operate an IB program as a part of a
school without a separate principal? There are IB programs integrated into
existing schools all over the city that did not require a phaseout of anyone or
any other program.

I'm so confused.

Wed Aug 19, 2009 at 6:05 PMBy: Get this straight What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? First I would like to say that the neighborhood
has only been to Pulaski 3 times in the past 3 years.
The first time was to see the pre k and k classrooms. We were told then that we
were not ready for the neighborhood children, our program was not quite up to
par. Still we said come and try us out we have great programs here.

The next time the BCO education persons came to an LSC meeting. This is the
meeting where the chairman lied to the LSC and the principal about how the IB
program would work. We said great, please bring the IB program we always want
to learn better ways to teach. (We didn't find out until August we were lied
too.)

The final time was 4 days before the end of the school year. There were few
questions about curriculum and many questions and comments regarding our small
gym, our auditorium that needs to painted etc. I am sure you can see how this
continues.

I would like to say that CPS does not paint there buildings but every 15 years.
Schools are given money to maintain schools not to make them pretty.

Pulaski follows an excellent CMSI Math program that was written by the UIC.
This program helps our students learn to think out of the box and relate math
and Science together.

We use small group differentiation in our classrooms to teach reading. That
means that if your child is having trouble keeping up, we know this within a
week of learning the new information whether your child is having trouble. With
that information we pull the children having trouble aside for 1 to 5 (at the
most)instruction.

The neighbors only mention the crazy dismissal no-one mentions anything about
the curriculum. Isn't that interesting since they seem to want such a good
education for their children.

We wanted an integrated school with the IB program. That was what we at Pulaski
signed on for. That is not what the BCO is now talking about or the board.
Again just to make it clear we were all for integrating the IB program, but
that is not what will happen.

Another point is that when the "New Pulaski" loses numbers (which
will be sooner than later) those kids are coming from overcrowded schools which
means you won't have a choice but your children will be going to school with
children bussed in from schools where crime is an every day occurrence.

Teachers will lose their jobs and the board is not required to find them jobs.

Children and families that have been going to Pulaski will stop coming because
they will not want to drive one child to one school and another to a different
school.

Segregation will exist at Pulaski. The IB program has to have its own building.
They will have separate teachers and staff. One building will house the gifted
Bilingual program and what is left of the current Pulaski and the other will
house the IB program. This is going to cost a lot of money. It is amazing the
board can find money to spend where it is not needed and yet where it is needed
they are in debt for millions of dollars. It will cost less to integrate the
staff and train them than opening this separate school.

One last thing. Pulaski has put out invitations to neighbors, we have had
picnics in which teachers voluntarily came and played games with the children
and invited the neighborhood. It didn't look like a scary school on those
Saturdays and yet none of the neighbors showed up.

Wed Aug 19, 2009 at 6:18 PMBy: this is why it is called 'magnet' What's
Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? to attract the (white) higher income
parents to the school.

Wed Aug 19, 2009 at 9:11 PMBy: Let's Have A Conversation What's Going On
At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? The issue is NOT Pulaski versus the
neighborhood, Pulaski versus IB, Pulaski versus change and progress. The issue
is that the proposal, in its present stage, threatens to shut down a successful
school, and it doesn't have to.

There is an alternative that could satisfy all parties, which many posters here
have brought up: Integrate the IB program into the existing school. This is
what the school wants.

The school doesn't want a fight with its neighbors-- what a terrible
environment that would set up for everyone! The school needs its neighbors,
welcomes them. The school wants this issue examined-- warts and all (and there
are a lot of warts). It is not as simple as some of the proposal's supporters
have made it out to be, and there are many inherent consequences that have been
swept under the rug in public correspondence.

Let's have an open, transparent dialogue wherein all stakeholders are brought
to the table and TOGETHER we develop a strategy that works for everyone. This
just makes sense.

Wed Aug 19, 2009 at 9:15 PMBy: thurgood Marshall Must Be Rolling in His
Grave What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? I was discussing this
with some young people and a boy of 13 put it best....But this is a Public
School! That's right. It is a Public School.
If the parents of Bucktown children want a more "rigorous" education
for their children, then get them tested, get them accepted into a Magnet
School and bus them there or drive them there. These are the sacrifices that
parents (especially some very low income parents) have had to endure for years.

CPS offers amazing educational opportunities for the kids who want to excel.
Their parents have to work for that. And working for that should not mean
having to massacre the existing education of current students at Pulaski--- and
the lives of some of those parents!

This is a Public School System. When we put money in the CPS pot, it is for the
whole pot, not your privileged little neighborhood!

This insipid unneighborly manner of going through this from withOUT the school
is despicable. Instead of using all of this energy to antagonize the existing
Pulaski staff and the current student body, the new Bucktown residents decided
to create this negative way of usurping a school. It's a cowardly way of
approaching change in your "COMMUNITY" ---- oh but wait, maybe these
people don't know what community means. Let me give you a hint, it ends in
UNITY! Which means working from withIN the school and creating your changes.

If you feel so strongly that your real estate taxes entitle you to a better
education, try the North Shore and send your kids to New Trier or move to
Skokie...better yet, further away to Naperville!

I am a graduate of Pulaski School. Class of 81. I was in the Gifted Program then.
At that time, our school was absolutely diverse! My best friends were Polish,
African American, Mexican and me, the Puerto Rican!

The school is NOT diverse because the current Bucktown residents are NOT
sending their children there. Why? Heaven forbid they adopt some true culture
from someone of diversity, huh?

Again, I understand everyone wants the best for their children. Especially when
it comes to an education. That desire, however, should never have to come at
the price of "shitting" on people who have less resources than you
do.

Go ahead and COMPETE for your cream position in the top Public Schools like
others have had to do in Chicago. Just because you live there does not mean
your are entitled to absolutely anything.

This is a slap in the face to social progress!

Wed Aug 19, 2009 at 9:32 PMBy: look at Jones and South Loop What's Going
On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? CPS has been doing this for years. They
are very good at it.

Wed Aug 19, 2009 at 9:44 PMBy: Really? What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? Let's have an open, transparent dialogue wherein all
stakeholders are brought to the table and TOGETHER we develop a strategy that
works for everyone. This just makes sense.

Um...you do realize we're talking about the Chicago Public Schools system,
don't you?

Transparency? Actual dialogue? Involving stakeholders in a meaningful way?
Working with instead of dictating edicts? Everyone, not just some ones?
Sensibility? In CPS?

Good luck with that.

Wed Aug 19, 2009 at 9:46 PMBy: looking at Jones and South Loop What's
Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? so...CPS created Jones and South
Loop and were successful...but CPS ALSO offered this Bucktown community the
CICS Bucktown Campus only 4 blocks from Pulaski Fine Arts Academy and WHY
didn't the community enroll there? How can this community promise to fill the
large Pulaski buildings when they were given a brand new school only a few
years ago and turned their backs on it?? Why isn't this charter school on the
chopping block as Pulaski is?! Go figure...

Wed Aug 19, 2009 at 9:51 PMBy: p teacher What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? TEACHERS! FOCUS ON THE TEACHERS! Pulaski has great teachers
and they really educate their students. Just looks at scores compared to other
neighborhood schoolds!! Come on!!

Wed Aug 19, 2009 at 10:03 PMBy: neighbors of Jones What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? Isn't Jones working on a set-aside of seats for
students from the neighborhood? Isn't this causing a big stink? Mixing the SE
and the neighborhood students? Hmmm. Some parallels with Pulaski? Kind of?

Wed Aug 19, 2009 at 10:13 PMBy: broad brushes What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? It is disappointing to see so many people who
want to characterize how/what "the neighborhood" or "the
school" think or feel. I was under the impression that neighborhoods or
schools don't think, but individuals do (although, clearly some individuals do
*not* think). Why not speak for yourself and your own ideas instead of trying
to paint whole groups of people in a certain light? Pulling out stray
individual comments from a single meeting seems like an odd way to find out
what a "neighborhood" thinks.

And does "the school" (whoever that means -- teachers? admin?
parents? students?) as a whole really want an IB program for the entire school?
I know if I had chosen a fine arts school, then I probably wouldn't want a
sudden transformation for my child to an IB program. The approaches do not seem
that compatible. The phase-in of a new program seems to make sense from that
perspective -- those who chose a specific fine arts curriculum could keep it.
Is the underlying issue here a fear that teachers/admin of the current program
will get the boot? Perhaps that's a legitmate fear/complaint -- I don't know
the facts there -- but then have a discussion about that and not let other
assumptions about other people's motivations taint the issues.

Question -- How successful is the general program at Pulaski? The report card
test scores seem to include the gifted program -- anyone have data on the
general program?

Wed Aug 19, 2009 at 10:35 PMBy: high class parents do NOT want charters What's
Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? they know how poor they are, the
high turnober, the lower scores and how poorly they perform. So one sould not
be surprised that CICS s not drawing these parents.

Wed Aug 19, 2009 at 10:54 PMBy: To Charter High Class What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? As one venerable reporter said, "Charters
are for low-income students, so we won't investigate. We didn't investigate
when low-income students received inferior education at neighborhood schools,
we won't investigate them at charters either. Chicago doesn't care about
low-income students or families."
Charters, neighborhood ... that's not the issue. It's class.

Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 12:25 PMBy: Pulaski! What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? SAVE PULASKI FINE ARTS
ACADEMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:54 PMBy: Jonesing What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? "Isn't Jones working on a set-aside of seats for
students from the neighborhood? Isn't this causing a big stink? Mixing the SE
and the neighborhood students? Hmmm. Some parallels with Pulaski? Kind
of?"

I'd say the Jones issue has more differences than similarities. Yes, families
that live near Jones want to go to Jones and families that live near Pulaski
want to go to Pulaski. Sort of a universal truth that families want to go to
what they perceive to be the "school in their neighborhood".

The difference is that families living near Jones want to go there because they
feel it is an outstanding school, which doesn't appear to be the case at
Pulaski. Whether Pulaski is an excellent school is always going to be
subjective. The fact is very few families living nearby choose to go there.

Also, Jones is not a neighborhood school, it's a citywide testing school.
Pulaski is a neighborhood school with no testing for its neighborhood program.

Also, Jones is very difficult to get into, but as the Pulaski principal said
herself at the community meeting, everyone who applies to Pulaski gets
accepted.

Not trying to express an opinion one way or the other, but I do think the
differences outweigh the similarities.

Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:56 PMBy: feeling hurt What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? Can't we all just get along!!!

Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:23 PMBy: jones was once a pulaski What's Going On
At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? do not forget this.
It was Jones Commercial--successful minority and closed so that it could become
and elite school. The Jones Com students were well dressed and got great jobs
and walked past winos and criminals and homeless everyday to get there. Now you
have the high and mighty south loop where daley lives and they demand their
piece of the pie. The homeless and riff raff are gone--lots of empty lofts, but
high priced condos and homes that pay high city taxes. Do not fool
yourself--there is no doubt that the new Jones was designed to attracked the
uppers who could buy there--and now they want in--even if their high class kids
have lower scores--this was the intent back then and it will happen now. So
yes, there will be similarites more here with jones and pulaski, some are more
equal than others.

Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 8:11 AMBy: Puzzled with Pulaski push out What's
Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? Let's face it, the neighborhood
people do not want their kids to be a minority at a school, they want caucasian
to be the majority and hispanics to be the minority. That is
"comfortable" to them... this is 1950's all over again and I am
disgusted if you can't see this. Racism still exists in strong force, this
gentrified community is continuing the racist cycle and will ultimately teach
not only their kids to be racists, but all whom are involved. So Sad.

Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 2:55 PMBy: Response to puzzled What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? Really? Who made you the spokesmen for the
"neighborhood people"? Did you survey the entire neighborhood for
their opinions? Did you also ask the Hispanics at the school if they want to be
the majority? If they say 'yes', does that make them racist? I'm sorry, but too
many folks bandy about the 'r' word irresponsibly without thinking about it.
Happily, those people are in the minority, and I find that that different races
and classes usually come together well in public school settings (something
about being a parent and having common goals about education that can bring
people together). A few rabid loudmouths get all the attention, but the
everyday friendships that are made by individuals across races/classes are more
common and are valuable contributions to the progress our society is making.
You have the potential to see that at Pulaski, too. Be open-minded, be
respectful, be tolerant, live up to what your children deserve.

Puzzled wrote:

<<
Let's face it, the neighborhood people do not want their kids to be a minority
at a school, they want caucasian to be the majority and hispanics to be the
minority. That is "comfortable" to them... this is 1950's all over
again and I am disgusted if you can't see this. Racism still exists in strong
force, this gentrified community is continuing the racist cycle and will
ultimately teach not only their kids to be racists, but all whom are involved.
So Sad.>>

Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 6:12 PMBy: Teacher Bucktown Parents I just wanted to
give some of the Bucktown parents some information, from a CPS educator's
perspective. An IB program is more than likely not the only answer to your
children's educational needs. Do your homework. Research shows that programs
alone (e.g. IB) are not the answer to educational success. You know what has
the most influence on your children, their TEACHERS! Come meet the teachers at
Pulaski Fine Arts Academy. They are intelligent, diverse, caring, and very
knowledgeable. They are people you would want teaching your children. Please
Bucktown Community, I urge you to work to find a way to compromise!

Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 9:52 PMBy: Puzzled What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? Really? Who made you the spokesmen for the
"neighborhood people"? Did you survey the entire neighborhood for
their opinions?

There's no need for a spokesmen or survey's ... the writing is on the wall.
You'd have to be blind, deaf and dumb to not see the REAL reason this community
will not send their kids to Pulaski. Most say instruction is not rigorous
enough...have they EVER walked in the door, sat in the classrooms and evaluated
the instruction? Hmmm...perhaps just heard the scores and said they were not
high enough...never stopping to think that this school has a large ELL
population and ELL and Special Ed scores are INCLUDED in the school scores
which makes 75% passing ISAT an AMAZING percentile. If the entire community
would actually send their kids to this neighborhood school the scores would
probably increase to near 100%!

Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 10:36 PMBy: WakeUpMayfair What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? People!: IB is good. EACH and EVERY CPS school
shoul dlobby and FIGHT for it. Winers get lost and create your own sub-par
school system.

Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 12:58 AMBy: to wakeupmayfair What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? how old are you??? so immature

Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 1:37 AMBy: to wakeupmayfair What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? Not only is it immature, but you apparently
haven't done your research! Also, those "whiners" are KIDS who don't
want to be divided from their peers just because people like you think they
should create a "sub-par school system" of their own, which Pulaski
isn't. That's rude at best and ignorant and disgusting at its worst - I thought
humanity was better than that, silly me.
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-pulaski-school-city-zone-21-aug21,0,1243138.story

Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 5:31 AMBy: George N. Schmidt What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? Quikc history review.

CPS put IB programs into Hyde Park High School, Steinmetz High School, Amundsen
High School, and Austin High School (among other general high schools) back in
the day when Paul Vallas began sabotaging the general high schools. The Daley
administration did this sabotaging first, by creating the academic magnet high
schools and draining the talent pool, later by explicit teacher bashing, which
grew to greatness once Arne Duncan came into power. Arne's teacher bashing and
school closings were just a continuation of what Vallas had begun, and that is
simply continuing under the latest hand puppet of Richard M. Daley, Ron
Huberman.

By 2003, CPS had the "data" (Ron Huberman's already made that word an
obscenity, and he hasn't even gotten started) on the IB programs. Where is it?
Not the traditional data from Lincoln Park (which had IB long before the Daley
Great White Hope Miracle Management Team arrived in 1995 to save the world from
black people and the poor), but the data from the general high schools that
were supposedly being upgraded (while the top kids were being creamed off) by
the addition of IB (and the rest of that alphabet soup of stuff that they
prattle about and then get amnesia on once they move on to the next mindless
talking point).

This skirmish at Pulaski Elementary (which I understand we'll report on
factually at substancenews.net within 24 hours) is nothing different from all
those other quasi- upper middle class fantasy power trips. First, the fantasy
about getting your kid into a "really good" school like Latin or
Northside Montessori. Then, the notion that if the same kid doesn't get into
one of the elite schools (or you can't create one, like that ridiculous
monstrosity at Wrightwood and Ashland, Prescott) your life is ruined.

A good neighborhood school doesn't need IB or any other gimmick. And good
neighborhood elementary schools combined with decent neighborhood high schools
(visit almost any suburb, although some are more challenged than others) will
do just fine. If your kid isn't ready for algebra by sixth grade and calculus
by 10th, so ____ what? Half those kids with the high SAT scores over the past
20 years wound up part of those criminal gangs at AIG, Lehman Brothers, Bear
Stearns, and the rest of the crooks who destroyed the "global
economy." When what people really needed in Chicago was people who could
pull a toilet or keep a roof from leaking -- among a hundred other things.

IB and AP are necessary, but highly overrated. In many places, they are a
fetish of a much deluded Yuppy class. Happy kids learn. And succeed. I could
give examples, but I'm charging based on ability to pay, so call if you want...

This whole thing would almost be funny if there weren't so many people being
messed up and suffering because of the fantasies of the few. Those fantasies
have to be checked before we can restore mental health to the (mostly white)
middle class. And therein lies the real problem.

Last week while my family was dealing with a few local issues, the little ones
(four and eight) rented "Daddy Day Care." Which they've watched about
a dozen times in six days. I got through it once (the contrast with the drill
and kill school is droll; the propaganda for edupreneurs not). Some people have
aspired for centuries to establish these silly "standards based"
programs, and the literature about how nasty they are goes from "Nicholas
Nickelby" to "Mathilda" and up to "Daddy Day Care."

And one more thing...

If CPS had abolished the Office of New Schools during the recent round of cuts
(guess what, Huberman expanded it) and told all those corporate clones (most of
whom have less than two years actual real world teaching experience; many none
as in zero) to come back in five years with some descriptions of their
experiences in real inner city schools, this mess at Pulaski (or any of 20
other places currently under attack in different ways by the avatars of
"innovation" at "New Schools") would end tomorrow.

There is a source of this infection in Chicago.

It's on the fifth floor at 125 S. Clark St.

And only a small part of it is toxic in the person of the newest
"CEO" and his team of CTAs and MBAs. The others have been there down
the hall, promoting teacher bashing, union busting, and the privatization of
public schools over there at the Office of New Schools.

Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 9:45 AMBy: college-bound What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? An aside: I assume people advocating IB in CPS want it to
help advantage their children for college. As someone who encounters graduates
of IB programs as they enter college, I am shocked at the level of
dysfunctional close-mindedness, sense of entitlement, elitism, and nastiness
I've experienced with the IB grads I've met. It's anecdotal, but markedly real
in my experience. Sad to say.

Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 11:05 AMBy: To college bound What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? That is so heart wrenchingly sad. Unfortunately
I encounter the same thing in the elementary aged IB students at the school
that I work at. When there are so many amazing, open-minded, independent
thinking students and children world wide, why are we allowing this horrendous
culture to be created? Even as teachers who do not participate in this culture
try to open the minds and hearts of these (neglected) children, their parents
and their limited societal influences counter the efforts. The hope lies in
those who are not being raised in this way.

Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 11:37 AMBy: go neighborhood schools What's Going On
At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? I have to agree with George on this one. I am
a part of a neighborhood school (which is starting to go through
gentrification) and we are STRUGGLING to grow our school, keep programs that
sound "attractive" to perspective families, all while having our
top-performing students being creamed from the top. It is so frustrating to see
great things happening at this wonderful, regular neighborhood school but not
being able to compete with the many Northside schools that have the
"programs" parents want for their kids. The unfortunate thing is,
many of these great "programs" (Classical, Magnet, Gifted) don't have
very much happening in the way of instruction.

I have spent much time in the Northside schools deemed "fantastic" by
scores to be appalled by the lack of instruction that is happening in these
programs. If parents only knew! Parents think that scores are the end all and
be all, as well as this new administration with "Performance
Management" (whatever that is) but giving students a book that is above
grade level and then handing the students a packet of "dittos" and
telling them to quietly complete the packet by 12:00 while the teacher goes to
her desk and reads a book or uses the internet to shop, is not good
instruction. I have seen this happen at some of the "top" schools on
the North side, as my job was traveling from school to school looking at instrction.
I just get so frustrated in knowing that there are many wonderful, regular
neighborhood schools who are doing great things, but because they don't have a
title attached to their name, they are suddenly considered not to be a viable
option for parents. Sad. Where has the support for the neighborhood schools
gone? It is a shame. As long as there continues to be programs who skim off the
top of regular neighborhood schools, there will never be enough support for
them to be considered options for parents who don't necessarily know what good
instruction looks like.

By the way, by attaching a title like IB, Fine Arts, Magnet, Montessori, Gifted
or anything else to the school's name, doesn't mean that this school is
actually being trained enough in this kind of program to actually be
implementing it. Fancy titles doesn't equal good instruction.

Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 12:49 AMBy: In the know What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? For the record I support the current staff and
students at Pulaski, but I blame the principal, Leonor Karl, for the position
they are in. Mrs. Karl is a decent principal, but from what I hear she tends to
do it all her way. She rarely asks the staff for input. The staff (with a few
exceptions) is truly outstanding. Mrs. Karl knew almost a year ago that this
could happen and she ignored it and kept her teachers in the dark. Now she is
saying she was "blindsided." I think she would not be caring so much
about these changes if she wasn't about to lose her job.

Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 2:16 PMBy: Thurgood Marshall Must Be Rolling in his
Grave What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? I was at the hearing on
Friday and was sooo impressed with the staff diversity, but MOSTLY with the
eloquence of the past student speakers.

I realized that a bunch of Caucasians, or people married to Caucasians, got
together and decided they could begin to be publicly RACIST....when in company,
why not, huh?

Basically, they "believe" their kids are going to be child
geniuses--Baby Einsteins, and they should not have to rub elbows with the likes
of those Hispanic paupers!

I was disgusted with some of the remarks made.

Of course people want their children to walk to school...or better yet, spare
themselves of a long drive to a good school. What struck me was how they wanted
the conveniences all for themselves. HEY BCO, there are a load/hundreds of
parents currently getting up early to get their kids to Pulaski on time DAILY!
These are probably people (based on Stats) who work hard labor jobs where they
wait on people, stand on their feet all day---physical jobs, not cushy sit on
your executive chair jobs. WHY are they doing that? Because those are the
SACRIFICES parents make to send their children to the BEST school they can
find!

Did it ever dawn on your egocentric minds that some people don't have it so
easy. Some of those STUDENTS have to wake up ridiculously early to be on the
bus, on time, to be at school.
The high school attendance stats prove how seriously the kids/parents that go
to that school take their education!!!

And the to guy who was so "BOTHERED" that all of the wonderful
families had to leave Bucktown to the Northshore to send their kids to a better
school....Oh, poor families! How horrible that must be to able to afford to buy
a home in the North Shore JUST so Susie and Brad can get a good education! I'm
just in tears for them and for you!

Hey BCO---I dare you to have your kids tested into one of the Magnet schools!
Maybe you'll find out they're just not that brilliant.
Scared, huh?

The hearing proved that if your kids are WORTHY and WILLING, that CPS offers
amazing opportunities to become AMAZING citizens in Chicago/World! But you
should have to EARN that, not just have it handed t you because of your
address.

Just because you manipulate information to state Pulaski has such horrible ISAT
scores, and you canNOT have your child in that horrid learning environment,
therefore--WE, BCO need an EXCLUSIONARY IB program that is ONLY available to
residents...
Just because you may get an IB program does not guarantee your children will be
great students.

Also, I hope you realize that all of the praise that has been given to Pulaski
students by Columbia College Staff ("young analytical, critical
thinkers...") and the organization granting GRANTS, is giving witness and
testimony to the HISPANIC kids...seeing the school is mostly Hispanic. But
heaven forbid your little darling has to rub elbows with the likes of those
spics, huh?

I say take the WHOLE school and stick the IB Program up your ****!!! I would
actually hate to think that some of those amazing kids I heard speak on Friday
would be tainted by the poisonous elitism you are bound to pass to your
offspring!

Tsk, tsk!! sounds like a High Class Problem to me!

Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 11:51 PMBy: to in the know... What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? you don't know anything about Pulaski or Mrs.
Karl

Mon Aug 24, 2009 at 11:31 AMBy: In the Know What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? So are you saying that Mrs. Karl is not a
"decent principal" or that the staff is not "truly
outstanding."

Mon Aug 24, 2009 at 1:51 PMBy: To in the know What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? Why do you think Mrs. Karl will lose her job?
The current Pulaski will still need a principal since it will house the gifted
program that will not be phased out. Pulaski's gifted program will always need
its own principal. The only way she will lose her job is if the LSC does not
renew her contract.

Mon Aug 24, 2009 at 1:58 PMBy: unanswered questions What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? why didn't principal karl start a new program on
her own?

why didn't parents try and get something going at pulaski?

Mon Aug 24, 2009 at 8:04 PMBy: to unanswered questions What's Going On
At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? Mrs. Karl has started and implemented many
successful programs at Pulaski (see some of the recent posts for more details
on the Arts Partnerships, for example). This is why another poster stated that
Pulaski has outstanding teaching because it has risen their scores more than
100% under Mrs. Karl's tenure (and I might add with children with whom the odds
are stacked against - so to say). Decatur, for example, has something like 99th
percentile scores only because they only enroll kindergartners who already read
into their school (what kind of amazing teaching needs to happen in schools
like that?)

And as to why the 'parents' didn't try to get something going at Pulaski?
Well...the Pulaski parents LIKE the progress at Pulaski because they are ACTIVE
on the LSC and parent groups that are the proper AGENTS for CHANGE within any
Illinois school.

Unfortunately, the BCO has NOT made any attempt WHAT-SO-EVER to run in the LSC
or even attend any of the meetings. They said "...the LSC forum is not how
this community chooses to operate" - sorry State of Illinois - it's just
not good enough for the BCO

Mon Aug 24, 2009 at 8:07 PMBy: interesting What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? where did they say that the LSC wasn't the forum for them?
is that in print somewhere or was it said in public?

/ar

Mon Aug 24, 2009 at 8:10 PMBy: to unanswered questions What's Going On
At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? Mrs. Karl has started and implemented many
successful programs at Pulaski (see some of the recent posts for more details
on the Arts Partnerships, for example). This is why another poster stated that
Pulaski has outstanding teaching because it has risen their scores more than
100% under Mrs. Karl's tenure (and I might add with children with whom the odds
are stacked against - so to say). Decatur, for example, has something like 99th
percentile scores only because they only enroll kindergartners who already read
into their school (what kind of amazing teaching needs to happen in schools
like that?)

And as to why the 'parents' didn't try to get something going at Pulaski?
Well...the Pulaski parents LIKE the progress at Pulaski because they are ACTIVE
on the LSC and parent groups that are the proper AGENTS for CHANGE within any
Illinois school.

Unfortunately, the BCO has NOT made any attempt WHAT-SO-EVER to run in the LSC
or even attend any of the meetings. They said "...the LSC forum is not how
this community chooses to operate" - sorry State of Illinois - it's just
not good enough for the BCO

Mon Aug 24, 2009 at 8:13 PMBy: interesting What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? alexander...
It was said at the LSC meeting this past April when the BCO finally attended

Mon Aug 24, 2009 at 8:25 PMBy: urban life What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? it's so funny because they claim that they moved into the
city for an urban life, they want a 'controlled' urban life, like the burbs,
are you kidding me. We live in the City, they just don't want to mix with the
people at Pulaski...period.

Mon Aug 24, 2009 at 9:15 PMBy: In the know What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? I wonder what the test scores would be if you took out the
gifted bilingual students test scores? I think you would find a drastic
difference...

No one can argue about the wonderful programs at Pulaski; however, we are
forgetting that who the customers are. The community that the school serves.
Obviously the product that Pulaski was putting out did not meet the needs or
demands of its community. A principal with vision would have seen this and made
appropriate changes (like Isabel Colllins did at Drummond). This is a horrible
situation and I hope and pray it gets resolves to everyone's satisfaction.

Mon Aug 24, 2009 at 9:33 PMBy: STOP UNO NOW What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? get to the Board meeting on Wednesday and show
the Board that we will NOT be pushed around anymore. Say NO to Uno!

Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 10:24 AMBy: To in the know What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? You bring up a point that I have heard a lot and
I want to address. The scores would be lower if the gifted students were not
included; however, they would be higher if we did not include our ELL
population (25%) or our Sped. population (10%). I believe that we have a high
percentage (35%) of students that typically do not score well on the ISAT...can
we pull their scores out of the general pool of Pulaski students as well? We
are responsible for ALL students at Pulaski and they all represent who we are.
We can't take certain groups out of the mix because they raise or lower our
scores. That would be misrepresentative of our school.

Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 3:52 PMBy: In the know What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? To the previous post- ANY school could say the same thing
about their ELL and special ed populations, but not EVERY school has a
"gifted" program. Nice spin.

Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 7:46 PMBy: what? What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? Not every school has 25% of their population speaking
English as a second language! Have you ever taken a test in a secondary
language? It is extremely difficult. Pulaski also has 10% special education
students. That is much higher than the average school. I have even heard that
certain non-for-profit legal organizations have been recommending Pulaski to
parents as a good school for students with special needs. This is not a typical
population. The fact the the scores are at 75% is amazing.

Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 9:37 PMBy: In the know What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? You are so right - many schools have MORE than 25% of their
population ELLs. 10% is about average in CPS for special education populations.
Pulaski does have an outstanding special ed program - too bad one of the best
teachers has left. Listen - stop making Pulaski out to be the best thing since
sliced bread. It's a great school but there are many great school in CPS. Has
Pulaski made AYP each year - from what I hear the answer is no, but most
schools with large special education populations and ELL populations don't make
AYP. Goethe did every year (except this past year) and they have a similar
population to you.

60 years ago when Pulaski first opened it was a predominantly Polish
neighborhood. When more hispanics moved in should the school have just ignored
that population?

Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 10:08 PMBy: to in the know What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? JOIN US! SAVE PULASKI FINE ARTS ACADEMY!

Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 10:54 PMBy: to in the know What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? The hispanic population integrated with the
polish population typical Chicago Politics the polish segregated themselves
west and the hispanics dominated Logan Square. Now we have more of the same -
Here's a "Bucktown" analogy for you...
Movin', movin', movin',
Though they're disapprovin',
Keep them dogies movin', rawhide.
Don't try to understand 'em,
Just rope an' throw an' brand 'em.
Soon we'll be living high and wide.
My heart's calculatin',
My true love will be waitin':
Waitin' at the end of my ride.

Move 'em out, head 'em up,
Head 'em up, move 'em on.
Move 'em out, head 'em up:
Rawhide.
Cut 'em out, ride 'em in,
Ride 'em in, cut 'em out,
Cut 'em out, ride 'em in:
Rawhide!

Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 11:04 PMBy: to in the know What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? don't worry - I'm sure soon, very soon you'll
"...be livin' high and wide"
Thanks for working together with those fine Pulaski teachers

Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 11:10 PMBy: to in the know What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? WHAT

Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 12:25 AMBy: again. . .what? What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? I agree, some schools do have more Special
Education and ELL students. However, the "literature" passed out
recently comparing Pulaski to other schools did not seem to be paying much
attention to that. Bottom line, it is curious to have two groups of people who
claim to simply want a program set in place and then to have one group
insistent upon uprooting over 800 children. If the community wants this program
and cared about doing what was right, they would move forward with IB in a one
school format. It gives the Bucktown residents what they asked for (if that was
really all they were after) and does not displace current students. It is
interesting that this solution does not prove "viable" to everyone.
It makes you wonder if some of the people involved have a more precise motive.
It seems that the IB program is just a way to clear the school and repopulate
it with a different group.

Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 12:35 AMBy: In the know What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? I hope some of the previous posts were not
Pulaski teachers because if so, maybe the BCO is right.

Stop getting so defensive. I fully support Pulaski, and I am sorry if the
reality of the situation hurts. I would not want to be a teacher at Pulaski. If
I could I would march in support of the school.

Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 2:47 AMBy: In the know What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? If I could march in support of the school I would.

Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 6:48 AMBy: Uproot who? What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? again...what? uses terms such as "uprooting over 800
children" and "displace current students" despite the fact that
no such thing would occur. In a couple of weeks 800 students will find
themselves enrolled at Pulaski and none of them will be displaced or uprooted.
None.

Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 8:23 AMBy: Dan What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski
Elementary? The school is Marching TODAY!
Meet at the school at 11:30 or call Pulaski for more details
(773) 534-4391

Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 8:41 AMBy: really BCO What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? we know no one will be affected this year, why are you
covering up the truth that if IB is in place, yes students will be uprooted
that following year, YES THEY ARE PHASING OUT THE FINE ARTS PROGRAM WHY ARE YOU
NOT SAYING IT OUTLOUD BCO, if the IB is in place the teachers and aids in PreK
and K will be affected negatively, they will no longer has jobs

Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 11:00 AMBy: to in the know/bco What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? As the parent of one of the child who will be
affected, I can assure you my child will be PHASED OUT of his current program.

This stinks of B.O., BCO, when YOU PUT A SPIN on a situation which is
impossible for teachers/students alike. What's the problem with letting my
child be part of the IB program along with the others? Oh, yes, we forgot...It's
Bucktown's school, not a PUBLIC institution.

Come out and march today if you support one Pulaski!

Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 12:16 PMBy: Still Confused What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? No one has been able to explain this to me yet
in a way that makes any sense at all.

What exactly are the obstacles to incorporating IB into the current Pulaski
makeup so that it has an IB Program, a Fine Arts Program, and a Gifted
Bilingual Program?

How exactly are two of these three programs mutually exclusive?

Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 2:42 PMBy: Disgusted What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? These three programs are mutually exclusive because what
the neighborhood wants is a white school. Naturally, it would be politically
incorrect to say this but they are not preaching simply IB. They are preaching
NEW COMMUNITY SCHOOL THAT ONLY ACCEPTS NEW STUDENTS FROM THE BOUNDARIES! Do you
all understand the bottom line now?

Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 2:52 PMBy: Money Talks What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? Let me see if I've got this right.

The Bucktown community surrounding Pulaski doesn't send their children to their
local neighborhood school. But CPS is going to create a neighborhood school for
them.

Communities on the southwest side do send their children to local neighborhood
schools which are massively overcrowded. But CPS will not create another
neighborhood school for them.

Really?

Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 5:15 PMBy: 8th District What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? The schools west of Cicero from the Stevenson to
87th (the city border) are extremely overcrowded but no new schools have been
built since the 1950's. These parents need to picket or go on hunger
strikes-maybe they will get some relief for classrooms aproaching 40 students.

Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 6:49 PMBy: Disgusted What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? To Money Talks and 8th District:
Yes, yes yes! Now you are getting the real picture. This is racism cloaked in
community love and it's all so political. Someone in Bucktown has good friends
in City Hall but it sure isn't anyone employed at Pulaski Fine Arts Academy.

Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 8:47 PMBy: curious What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? WHAT HAPPENED AT TODAY'S BOARD MEETING FOLLOWING THE MARCH?

Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 10:26 PMBy: Response To Money Talks What's Going On
At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? What rock have you been living under
regarding the SW Side? You said "Communities on the southwest side do send
their children to local neighborhood schools which are massively overcrowded.
But CPS will not create another neighborhood school for them."

Do you know how many tens of millions of dollars in new school construction
have been spent on Chicago's southwest side in the last 10 years? Maybe $300
million?

I mean, get a clue. You can argue that it hasn't been enough, but more new
construction dollars have spent in that part of town than any other.

Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 11:16 PMBy: and SW side schools have What's Going On
At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? benefitted so much more than the far SE side
schools--you want overcrowding....but alas, CPS makes us cannibalize each
other.

Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 11:20 PMBy: Maya What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? go to

ajviola-treehouse.blogspot.com

Thu Aug 27, 2009 at 12:07 AMBy: Michael, the Archangel What's Going On
At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? First to address some of the posts:

Parent Advocate - How can you say that the children at the gifted bilingual program
are not gifted? Do you know the children? Do you teach there? The gifted
students alone test in the 90th percentile on their ISATs. You don't call that
gifted. I myself came from that program and I can tell you that Pulaski's
gifted program prepared me to earn a 4.2 GPA in high school, graduate at the
top of my class and speak at graduation, earn a 3.91 GPA in college, and I will
be attending law school next fall. So do not tell me I was not a gifted
student.

In the know - I can obviously tell that you have never visited Pulaski or tried
to get to know the school. ALL of the bilingual students do speak SPANISH. I
would know since I actually attended that school and that program for 6 years.
Dismissal is run as smoothly as possible, they've been doing it their way for
more years than you've probably lived there and they've survived haven't they?
Maybe if you got to know the school you'd realize that. Why do you even care
about how they run their bus calls? Shouldn't you be more concerned about how
effective their gifted program is?

The funny thing is that I actually feel bad for the future IB students of
Pulaski (the proposal will probably pass because these kids do not have the
connections or money to stand up for themselves). I really do feel bad. They
will NEVER have teachers that care as much about them as the teachers at
Pulaski. Their teacher's will not stay up wondering how they can reach a kid
who if they fail will probably be just another statistic. They won't genuinely
care about their well being. These students won't be visiting their teachers
ten years later to tell them how they inspired them and to thank them. The
students will be taught by these parent's examples that if they have enough
money they can have anything their way and they should not care if other people
lives are negatively affected.

It's ironic that the IB program values diversity, yet these parents want to
segregate Pulaski. What a great lesson on diversity that will be. I thought
Brown v. Board of Education taught us that separate could never be equal? What
will you tell your son/daughter when they ask you why all the brown kids are on
the other side of the building. And what will the parents of one of the
Hispanic kids tell their child when they ask why all the white kids are
separated from them?

It's sad what is happening. It's sad to see that not enough people care about
the fate of minorities and those on the lower end of the income totem pole.
It's especially sad to see that people are willing to destroy other people for
their own selfish purposes. The bible teaches us to be our brother's keepers. I
hope the next time these parents go to church they stop at the door and ask
themselves whether they are truly trying to live by the Lord's words and be
their brother's keeper before they step inside.

Thu Aug 27, 2009 at 12:24 AMBy: Well said, Michael What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? I've been wondering many of the same things. If
these parents were truly interested in diversity, they would work with the
current Pulaski staff and parents and find a way to merge the two schools. Can
you imagine, children of all skin tones, income levels, and abilities in one
school? That would be diverse.
I would love to send my kids to a place like that!

Thu Aug 27, 2009 at 1:48 AMBy: Mark Buban What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? I want to thank all the organizers of Wednesday's march, I
feel honored to have been a part of it! As an outsider, I'm inspired by your
tenacity and drive. I hope your dreams come true and that Pulaski will stay one
school! Beyond what those children learn within the walls of Pulaski, they got
to see an example of real democracy in action, I hope they never forget it!
Great job today everyone!

Thu Aug 27, 2009 at 1:48 AMBy: Mark Buban What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? I want to thank all the organizers of Wednesday's march, I
feel honored to have been a part of it! As an outsider, I'm inspired by your
tenacity and drive. I hope your dreams come true and that Pulaski will stay one
school! Beyond what those children learn within the walls of Pulaski, they got
to see an example of real democracy in action, I hope they never forget it!
Great job today everyone!

Thu Aug 27, 2009 at 2:24 AMBy: George N. Schmidt What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? Construction on the "southwest side"
since the 1950s is pretty obvious to anyone who drives across that piece of
Chicago. New schools include Curie High School, for crissakes. Trouble is, CPS
churns its facilities people so often that nobody even has a chance to put
together a complete inventory of all "public" schools (which has to
include those UNO charter thingies that have been spread around out that way).
CPS used to publish a useful annual review called "Selected School
Characteristics" which include a lot of those "data" that are so
much in the news nowadays. One bit of those "data" included the
year(s) the schools were built and/or opened, capacity, and other stuff.

When Paul Vallas and Richard M. Daley moved CPS from Pershing Road to 125 S.
Clark St., Vallas ordered the people moving to take a minimum amount of
information (usually, four boxes the size of those storage boxes you can get at
Office Max), deliberately destroying a lot of the official records. That was not
an accident, since it became easier to give away large amounts of public land
and play word games with even larger amounts once the institutiional memory was
wiped out. From the point of view of George Orwell's "1984," since
Richard M. Daley took over CPS in 1995 there has been a concerted effort to
dump enormous amounts of information down the "Memory Hole."

This is one result. People say stupid things ("no new schools on the
southwest side since the 1950s..." blah blah blah) and then other people
repeat those stupid things until they form the basis for a set of beliefs.

I spoke about this last Wednesday (August 19) at the budget hearing at Robert
A. Black Magnet, after people from the "Southwest Side" and
"South Side" had spoken about facilities planning discrimination
against "their" communities in favor of the "north side." I
tried to point out (with much else to deal with that night regarding the
budget) that there was fierce overcrowding on the "northwest side",
too, and it was simply a bit of silly divide and conquer to continue to promote
that myth.

At yesterday's Board meeting, anyone paying attention could have seen a brutal
example. Once again, the LSC president and parents from Reinberg Elementary
came to protest against the overcrowding of their school (1,400 and rising).
They were accompanied by their Alderman (Tom Allen) who spoke to the Board
about the problem. Reinberg is at Roscoe and Central -- definitely as
"northwest side" as Cicero and Archer is "southwest side."
And Reinberg is part of a cluster of huge elementary schools, all of which, on
the "northwest side", have more than 1,100 children in them this
year.

A bit later in the same meeting, parents and the principal from Edgebrook
Elementary School (definitely "north side" although you could argue
it's "northwest side") stood up to ask the Board to deal with the
overcrowding at their elementary school (roughly Pratt and Central, four miles
north of Reinberg), which has now gone over 400 children in a building with a capacity
for fewer than 300 (let's admit that "overcrowding" is a relative
term: relative to the space in the facility.

Edgebrook, which is in one of the city's most affluent communities, has almost
as many mobile classrooms west of its main building as Reinberg has them east
of its building. The "communities" couldn't be more different except
for one thing: both have schools that are fiercely overcrowded. Today.

Back to the "Selected School Characteristics."

I don't expect that the publication of a common book of "data" such
as CPS used to publish as a matter of routine would end these silly statements
about whether the "south side," "southwest side," or
"north side" gets more of the facilities pie, but some data
standardization might help. Since the miracle management team took over, the
facts have all been going in the opposite direction, as noted above with
reference to Paul Vallas's destruction of much of the written record of
Chicago's public schools as part of that politically connected move from 1819
W. Pershing Road to 125 S Clark St.

Thu Aug 27, 2009 at 2:50 AMBy: George N. Schmidt What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? An hour before the Board meeting, at about 3:00,
more than 150 people from Pulaski (adults and children) picketed outside CPS.
After some picketing, they were joined by GEM, which held a press conference. I
assume some of that must have gotten on TV, although I wasn't anywhere to see
it. There were many cameras filming. All of the people on the sidewalk -- not
only the people from Pulaski -- opposed the proposal to create a new Pulaski
for the IB program.

At the very end of the public participation portion of the Board meeting
(roughly 6:30 p.m.), there were three speakers from Pulaski. In the usual CPS
Solomonnic method, two "sides" were represented. Two speakers were
"against" establishing a special school for the IB program at
Pulaski.

One was "for."

You'll be able to see that on Saturday when the Cable TV version of this
reality airs Saturday on Chicago Cable.

The presentation on behalf of establishing the separate IB "school"
was eloquently incoherent because it ignored the simplest fact: IB exists all
over Chicago inside existing schools, so why should CPS establish a separate
"school" at Pulaski for a program that has been doing quite well
everywhere else without this double principal kind of thing.

Interestingly, one of the Board members (Bobins) asked the most pointed
question of the young mother who claimed to be representing "500
residents" in support of creating the separate IB school inside the walls
of Pulaski.

After pointing out that all the other IB programs in CPS were inside other
schools, Bobins asked why the Pulaski IB program supporters were clamoring for
a separate school within a school (which would have resulted in a separate
principal, etc., in this era of supposed budget crisis). The answer was that
the 500 person "community organization" (is it called "Bucktown
Neighbors"?) wants their own school for their own IB program because they
have very very very high "standards" and the present principal and
teachers at Pulaski simply don't meet those "standards."

Bobins repeated his question: why not put IB inside Pulaski, which is what
everyone else is doing?

The question= basically boils down to why if IB has been working at Steinmetz
HS and Wildwood Elementary School (and all the other place where IB is in
operation, including the grandmother of them all, Lincoln Park High School,
which had IB for years before anyone else wanted it) are the "Bucktown Neighbors"
(if that's what they're calling their "500-member" self) are
demanding a separate school-within-a-school until they can evict the Pulaski
people.

The young lady answered that only by creating a new "IB" school could
the "Bucktown" people get to fire the current principal and teachers
and bring in "their" people.

Hence, the Pulaski struggle is not an isolated aberration in the annals of
affluent entitlement claims. It's a continuation of the trend that Arne Duncan
began with all his nonsense about "underserved communities." In this
context, "underserved communities" are places where wealthy people
have gentrified and wanted to rid "their" community of the last
vestiges of the lower classes -- including principals and teachers who have
been teaching the lower classes proudly for years (and who hence must be
polluted with values that don't include those rarified "highest possible
standards" being pushed by those 500 families in "Bucktown
Neighbors."

It's that racist, that elitist, and that silly, and you can see it all when you
watch the video Saturday. The final speaker during public participation was the
Bucktown Neighbors speaker. (A dozen people were cut off from speaking when
Michael Scott declared participation over after that little offering).

Thu Aug 27, 2009 at 6:20 AMBy: Schools west of Cicero! South SIde What's
Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? Curie is on Pulaski. Pulaski is east
of Cicero.
The original statement was,"The schools west of Cicero from the Stevenson
to 87th (the city border) are extremely overcrowded but no new schools have
been built since the 1950's".
Where are these new schools? NOT WEST OF CICERO! The population is moving west
to escape the gangs in the east section of the 8th district. They have been
moving west for the last ten years-anyone in CPS know how to analyze that data?
Obviously, a map would help show that the schools west of Cicero are in dire
straits and our parents are too stressed paying their mortages and city taxes
to take off from work to picket etc. We have very overcrowded classrooms
irregardless of CPS spin regarding occupancy.

Thu Aug 27, 2009 at 7:02 AMBy: not only... What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? ... did 150 teachers, students, parents, and partners
gather outside CPS headquarters-- they walked the 4.3 MILES from Pulaski to 125
S. Clark St. Democracy in motion!

Thu Aug 27, 2009 at 7:28 AMBy: Correction Thurs 6:20 A.M. What's Going
On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? Oophs! I wrote that before I had any
caffeine I should have written the area between the Stevenson to 65th street
not 87th -the area between 73rd and 87th west of Pulaski is also extremely
overdrowded-by the way for the North Siders reading this blog I did not include
the area beween 65th and 73rd west of Pulaski to Harlem because it is a
suburb-also aren't Bogan and Kennedy which are the two general high schools for
this are also overcrowded?

Thu Aug 27, 2009 at 7:34 AMBy: to BCO What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? guess what...you showed yourself yesterday, The Board of
Education clearly saw what your real issue is...race, and class.

Thu Aug 27, 2009 at 8:27 AMBy: interesting What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? One of the PreK teachers at Pualski priniciples of teaching
are based on the Reggio Emilia Approach to early childhood education, I have
read over and over again that this approach is best practice in THE WORLD.
"Reggio Emilia Approach to preschool education as the best in the
world."
Reggio Schools, "hailed as the best preschools in the world"
"The Reggio Emilia Approach worlds best practice"

Thu Aug 27, 2009 at 12:13 PMBy: ajviola Press Release from Pulaski Fine
Arts Academy To clear up much of the confusion expressed in previous posts,
here is the text of a recent press release issued by Pulaski Fine Arts Academy.

Date: August 24, 2009

PARENTS, TEACHERS, AND STUDENTS TO MARCH IN PROTEST
OF CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS (CPS) CLOSING DOWN SUCCESSFUL SCHOOL

PULASKI UNITED MARCH: WEDNESDAY, August 26, 2009
Depart: Pulaski Fine Arts Academy, 2230 W. McLean 12:30 PM
Arrive: CPS 125 S. Clark St., 3:00 PM
Route will follow Milwaukee Avenue from Leavitt to Kinzie, then down Madison to
Clark.

Pulaski stake holders will march to the CPS board meeting to rally support for
keeping the school alive. The proposal is being forced forward during the
summer vacation and at an unusually expedited rate.

Pulaski 2nd Grade Teacher Carol Navarro says: "What is being proposed means two
racially and economically segregated schools. We don't want that, and we don't
think our neighbors want that. Unfortunately, we just found out about the
two-school idea less than a month ago, and it's being jet-propelled when
school's not in session and before everyone really knows the consequences."

The Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is currently considering a proposal to phase
out Pulaski Fine Arts Academy and to use the facility to house a new
International Baccalaureate School meant to serve the Bucktown neighborhood.
During the phase-out, the two schools would operate completely segregated from
one another in the same facility, with separate unit numbers, budgets,
cultures, and administrative staffs.

In its proposed plan, CPS would eliminate one grade each year, starting with
pre-school and kindergarten in 2010; all that would remain of the current
Pulaski would be its Regional Gifted Bilingual Center for English Language
Learners, which serves 100% Hispanic families. This program makes up
approximately 25% of the current 827-student population. In addition to the
gifted program, Pulaski houses a Fine Arts Magnet Program, a 21st Century
Community Learning Center, and an Illinois Parent Information Resource Center;
all of these programs would be phased out with the school.

Parents, teachers, and students at Pulaski have expressed outrage and sorrow
over the thought of losing their school, saying that the move is unfair and
unnecessary. Some consequences of the two-school structure include lost jobs
for highly qualified teachers, families having to split siblings between different
schools, and setting a dangerous precedent for CPS.

Principal Leonor Karl states, "This is what they do with failing schools. We're
not a failing school. We are succeeding, despite a range of obstacles."
Families, teachers, and external partners view Pulaski as a unique success
story in a city known for its challenges with public education for low income,
minority students. With high enrollment rates of children from low-income (92%)
and Hispanic (91%) families, with 25% English Language Learners, Pulaski's test
scores have risen dramatically over the past decade (from 40.5% to 75.9% ISAT
composite).

Students, parents, and teachers say that the success of the school has to do
with the unique culture of learning created by committed students and parents
and by talented, dedicated staff members, all of whom were initially in favor
of the prospect of getting the IB program at their school. "The program sounds
great. We think it's a good fit for our school, and we support the
neighborhood's desire to implement it at Pulaski," says Lorraine Cruz, parent
and CPS Local Schools Councils (LSC) president, "but we don't want it like
this."

Pulaski has been under-utilized by the neighborhood in recent years, and 77% of
students live outside the enrollment area. Bucktown is a gentrifying community,
with an estimated average household income of $92,344. Its population is
comprised of 27.5% Hispanic and 68.5% Caucasian individuals.

School officials are eager for neighborhood parents to enroll their children at
Pulaski, but they want one school where all children learn together. Below are
the concerns inherent in the proposal:
There is no known precedent wherein a non-failing school has been phased out in
order to start a new school. Pulaski has been performing well academically and
was not at risk of being closed, yet the school is being treated as a failing
school. Usually, the new program is integrated into the existing school.

Pulaski families who live outside the attendance area will not be guaranteed
admittance of their children into Pulaski's pre-school program or kindergarten
after 2010. This will force many parents to choose between splitting their
family between two schools versus disrupting their child's learning to move
him/her to a neighborhood school.

Highly qualified teachers will lose their jobs as the school is phased out.
These are the same educators who are not only responsible for Pulaski's gains
but also excited about the prospect of being a part of IB. In schools where the
program has been integrated into the existing school, teachers who demonstrate
their commitment to IB have largely retained their positions.

As the number of students decreases, Pulaski will lose necessary support staff
positions which are funded based on enrollment numbers. This includes social
workers, counselors, and physical education teachers. Sharing space with an IB
would enable Pulaski to accommodate a much smaller number of students.
By separating the Regional Gifted Bilingual Center (which serves 100 % Hispanic
students) from the neighborhood IB school (in a community that is approximately
70% Caucasian), CPS runs the risk of operating de facto racially segregated
schools side-by-side, a prospect that is not favored by the neighborhood or the
school.

On August 21, a representative from the Board of Education heard public
opinions about the proposal. Outraged Pulaski teachers, administrators,
families, students, partners, and neighbors will attended the public hearing
and demanded a change in the proposal that would keep Pulaski a united school,
open to underserved students from afar in addition to Bucktown families. In an
unusually fast-track timeline, the Board of Education will vote on this
proposed new school on September 23rd.
###

Thu Aug 27, 2009 at 1:37 PMBy: Amazed What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? I am astounded and amazed that CPS would even consider such
an obviously racist plan! I am speechless.

Thu Aug 27, 2009 at 4:35 PMBy: In the know What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? To Michael, the Archangel-

Congratulations on going to law school. That is a huge accomplishment! I'm sure
you were/are truly gifted and belonged in a gifted program. Sounds like you
graduated from Pulaski around 8 years ago - Mr. Archangel - things change. I
won't defend myself to you because I know what I know. I do hope and pray
things go the way of the current Pulaski community. With that said, it should
also be a wake-up call that they should begin doing more community outreach if
they have the opportunity. Fences need to be mended on both sides.

Thu Aug 27, 2009 at 10:38 PMBy: Bucktown Rep at the CBOE What's Going On
At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? I was at the CBOE and heard the rep from the
Bucktown parents group, or whatever they called themselves. I was astonshed at
how blatantly racist she was, and how blatantly she bad mouthed the current
school. As someone whose children do not even attend Pulaski, she seemed to
think she knew an awful lot about how to run it, even suggesting that if a
second separate school were formed, then "they" could later determine
which administration was really the best one. What an arrogant and elitist
person she was!! And she tried so hard to explain why her children should not
have to go to school with little brown kids, but failed to give a cogent
reason, and only revealed herself as not wanting to go to school with
"those" people.

Pulaski-my heart goes out to you. I hope your school wins this one.

Thu Aug 27, 2009 at 10:42 PMBy: Money Talks What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? To in the know,

I would like to respond to your comment that Pulaksi "should be doing more
community outreach." Here are some facts :

1. The school has a community outreach staff member who has dedicated years of
service with great effort to the school.

2. The school has hosted many events and welcomed community members to attend.
All the events are free and accessible to community members. Community members
without children in the school have showed no interest in attending these events.

3. There is an LSC that is OPEN to community members. None of the LSC members
are part of the BCO.

4. On the school website, it clearly states that the school offers tours. The
head of the BCO visited the school ONE time last school year. The date he choose
was the last Friday of school. Other members are welcome to attend the school
whenever they choose.

Do you expect staff members to go door-to-door selling the school as if it were
a product? Maybe you should try working in a school for a week and see how much
time and energy you would have to prawl the neighborhood for prospective
students. Of course, this would be without pay and after you have graded and
entered 150 grades, contacted parents, planned for the next day's lesson, and
attended to your own family.

Yes, great schools change and should always strive to provide the best
education for their students. You want us to mend the fence? The BCO never
invited the school to any meetings, nor came into the school to discuss its
concerns. I think it is sad that the community thinks the way to improve a
school is to give it a fancy name, fire all the teachers, and get rid of
non-Caucasians.

This is not a "wake-up call." This is much more than a wake-up call.
It is the unfortunate reality that money talks and segregation is alive and
well.

Thu Aug 27, 2009 at 10:52 PMBy: Accelerated IB? What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? It is very interested to me that the BCO sold
the program as an "Accelerated IB" program. If the program truly is
"accelerated," I would think that there should be some testing
involved in selecting students for the program. As it is, any IB program is
rigorous and challenging. Therefore, I would assume that the "Accelerated
IB" program would be even more challenging. Yet, proposal allows ALL
neighborhood students to be eligible for the program. I guess that means that
all students in the attendance boundary of Pulaski can handle an accelerated
program and are all gifted. STATISTICALLY IMPOSSIBLE!

Thu Aug 27, 2009 at 11:38 PMBy: AIOs? What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? sorry to be off topic, but has anything been posted about
the AIOs -- who's out? who's in? If this has been addressed, please tell me
where. Has it been addressed?

Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 1:41 AMBy: The IB Proposal at Pulaski What's Going
On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? will not be approved. The Board of
Education has all the facts. They will not create 2 schools. If, they approve
IB at all it will be integrated into the existing school. The BOE knows this is
about wealth and race.

Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 9:06 AMBy: aios What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? on the other thread -- were leaked a couple of days ago

Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 9:27 AMBy: WATCH IT SATURDAY What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? CHICAGO PUBLIC ACCESS-BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING
THAT TOOK PLACE ON WED AUGUST 26, 2009. THE REPRESENTATIVE FOR BCO MADE THEIR
CASE LOOK AND SOUND UGLY, WATCH IT FOR YOURSELF

Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 9:43 AMBy: Where? What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? sorry to be a pain, but what thread? where is the AIO info?
thanks

Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 10:08 AMBy: Retired Principal What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? For information on the CAO's (formerly AIO's),
please read the "Rolling Updates August 24-28" thread, starting from
Wednesday, August 26th.

Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 10:10 AMBy: Surprised about Flisk What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? I am surprised he didn't make the cut. Just
surprised.

Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 6:35 PMBy: Chicago Cable? What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? How can I find the Chicago Cable Channel to see
the meeting? And what time will it be aired?

Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 7:27 PMBy: to Chicago Cable What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? google chicago public access channel online,
clique on satursday schedule its listed there, it looks like in the early
afternoon spot, I am not sure, but I will just leave my television on that
station when I wake up 2morrow

Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 9:33 PMBy: AIO CAO salaries What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? Seems we need a new thread for this topic.
Here's CTDN follow-up on CAO/AIO salaries ...
Big raises for some new area officers at CPS

* Peter Sachs
* • Staff Writer
* • about 10 hours ago

Share

The newly created Chief Area Officer positions at CPS will each earn about
$151,000 per year, according to documents from the school district. For the
nine previous Area Instructional Officers who will slide into the new roles,
that's no change in salary, but some CPS administrators will get raises of as
much as 43 percent.

The new positions replace the existing Area Instructional Officer structure.
The new officers will be responsible for geographic clusters of elementary
schools or high schools, meeting regularly with principals to share performance
data, CPS has said. One officer will be responsible for overseeing all special
education programs.

The new positions were approved in a unanimous vote at Wednesday night's Board
of Education meeting and without any public discussion. Though two reporters
asked for the list of officers at the end of that meeting, Board Secretary
Estela Beltran said she could not immediately hand over that information
because the board reports had not been finalized with internal tracking
numbers.

Beltran provided the reports this morning, more than 36 hours after the end of
the meeting. Beltran did not immediately return a call this morning seeking
comment.

The biggest raises for new area officers are those administrators who held very
different positions previously.

A senior instruction and assessment manager, Akeshia Craven, is getting a 43
percent raise after previously making $105,000.

Curriculum director Shawn Smith, who made $115,000, is getting a 31 percent
raise.

Melissa Megliola, the officer of Autonomous Management and Performance Schools,
is getting a 20 percent raise over her previous $125,500 salary, though her
title is not changing.

In total, the salaries of the 21 area officers, plus the AMPS officer, will be
$3.3 million per year.

Jackson Potter, the co-chair of the Caucus of Rank and File Educators, says the
pay is too high for positions that in the past have done too little to help
teachers and schools.

"This type of institutional mechanism of CAOs or AIOs, whatever you want to
call them, is really insufficient in assisting in creating better models for
schooling," Potter says

Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 10:24 PMBy: AMPS What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? Melissa does not address complaints from parents nor does
she respond to correspondence from parents. I can not believe she is getting a
raise to do nothing but allow new principals who did not earn amps to intimidate
and be rude to students, staff and parents. Once huberman is through cps will
be a bigger mess and will need a complete overhaul!

Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 10:41 PMBy: "paper" of record What's Going
On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? Thanks to CTDN for documenting the
processes of the BOD to vote without public discussion and to withhold
documents. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!

Sat Aug 29, 2009 at 2:17 AMBy: George N. Schmidt What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? "What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski
Elementary?
The IB proposal will not be approved. The Board of Education has all the facts.
They will not create 2 schools. If, they approve IB at all it will be
integrated into the existing school. The BOE knows this is about wealth and
race..." (yesterday here at 299).

We've reported the story as part of Jim Vail's summary of the Board meeting
August 26, and it's true that one Board member (Norman Bobins) asked a critical
question of the Bucktown whatchamacallit spokeslady.

However, I could name a dozen schools in the last six months that were betrayed
by the Board in precisely similar circumstances, and with cases as strong and
marches as dramatic. Carpenter comes to mind. Despite all the facts, CPS voted
to put "Ogden High School" inside Carpenter and to continue to
destroy Carpenter because the "Renaissance 2010" office ordered it.
And the "Renaissance 2010" office -- "New Schools" --
simply brings the mayor's wishes to the Board each month in the form of Board Reports
to continue this massive messing with existing schools.

Schneider Elementary School (now invested with "Alcott High") has
been getting the same treatment as Carpenter.

South Chicago Elementary School has been evicted, and the building is now
infested with one of those ridiculous and pretentious new schooly thingies.

And, of course, less than 90 days ago De la Cruz Middle School was a top inner
city school with local and state recognitions to prove it. And of course CPS
had no intention of giving away the De la Cruz building to the UNO charter
schools, until one day Michael Scott awakened and realize the only thing to do
was give away the De la Cruz building (excuse, me, UNO will pay $1 a year -- so
it's not really a giveaway) to UNO.

Don't stop organizing just because one sleazy retired banker asks a couple of
questions about IB at a Board of Education meeting. Be ready to march next
month -- and as long as it takes.

Sat Aug 29, 2009 at 7:09 AMBy: New CAOs What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? Who is the new SPED CAO?

Sat Aug 29, 2009 at 10:49 AMBy: Liz Parrott What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? A teacher's name and phone number was posted
here on Thursday along with the press release by accident. If you do want to
ask questions or chat with someone at Pulaski about this issue, please call or
email me instead. I will be happy to talk with you.

eparrott@colum.edu
773-534-4998

Sat Aug 29, 2009 at 1:06 PMBy: In the know What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? George is right.

Sat Aug 29, 2009 at 2:30 PMBy: observer What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? so your person speaking for you said, Pulaski
Administration and Staff does not currently meet Bucktown standards, so why do
you have your children enrolled for this current school year

Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 11:32 AMBy: Teacher What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? because WE ARE AWESOME!

Mon Aug 31, 2009 at 7:42 PMBy: Random note about teacher training What's
Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? Pulaski partners with NEIU to train
student teachers. Five out of ten of this year's Golden Apple Award winners
were from NEIU. Thanks to Pulaski and other schools like it, something's
happening right!

Tue Sep 15, 2009 at 10:30 PMBy: PopsG What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? Is it true that my daughter (2nd grade), now doesnt have a
chance to get into the gifted? Gifted program will not be able to enroll any
new students into gifted?

Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 5:18 PMBy: what's going on What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? does anyone have any new information about the
situation at Pulaski?

Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 6:15 PMBy: mom w/child in gifted What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? POPSG; My daughter took the the for gifted in
three grade, so I believe that your daughter will be able to test into the
gifted program if she is bilingual, but will not be able to attend the IB
PROGRAM since it will start in pre-k and k.

Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 6:33 PMBy: feed up with cps What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? Bucktown families want the school for
themselves. They have been heard saying they don't want to send their kids to a
school where their kids are the minority. If they only know all their getting
is a phony program to impress the neighborhood. Just look at the new LaSalle II
a fancy name with no substance.

How is it that they can get away with treating kids this way? What makes your
child better then a minority child? It is so sad.

Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 7:12 PMBy: Hmm. Not So Much What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? Someone should look at "gifted" in
Chicago and compare it to any suburban regular ed school. Moneyed parents are
being sold a bill of goods. Quit trying to clone little CEOs in Chicago
Schools. Send the kids to a neighborhood school, be a parent, and stop looking
for designer schools.

Tue Sep 22, 2009 at 6:55 AMBy: what's going on What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? tomorrow is the big day, cross your fingers that
the board does not phase out a successful school!

Thu Sep 24, 2009 at 6:11 AMBy: curious What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? what was the outcome of the meeting?

Thu Sep 24, 2009 at 9:49 AMBy: Dan What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski
Elementary? No action has been taken.
It will be on the agenda for the meeeting on Oct. 28th.
For further question call
Mary Kay at (773) 553 1600

Thu Sep 24, 2009 at 11:25 AMBy: dan What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? The agenda for the next meeting will be posted on Oct 26.
http://www.cps.edu/About_CPS/The_Board_of_Education/Pages/Boardactions.aspx

Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 8:47 AMBy: Dan What's Going On At Bucktown's Pulaski
Elementary? Just found out the Board wants Pulaski and BCO to work it out
themselves! Then tell the board what they decide at the meeting in Oct.
It seems that most parents with students at Pulaski have no idea this is going
on. I've encouraged Pulaski to activate the Blog on their website.

Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 11:31 AMBy: ?????? What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? Does this make sense to you? The Board is telling Pulaski
and the BCO to work it out and THEY should tell the Board what THEY decided?
Does this sound weird to anyone else?

Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 12:26 PMBy: to hmmmm What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? "Someone should look at "gifted" in Chicago
and compare it to any suburban regular ed school. Moneyed parents are being
sold a bill of goods. Quit trying to clone little CEOs in Chicago Schools. Send
the kids to a neighborhood school, be a parent, and stop looking for designer
schools."
As a parent, who by the way is not "moneyed" (made up word by you?),
I looked for a school that was best for my child and met their needs. You just
want my child in your neighborhood school to bring up your test scores! Why
don't you stop being ignorant -- just because your child didn't get in!

Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 6:49 PMBy: Just My Guess What's Going On At
Bucktown's Pulaski Elementary? I'm guessing that the Board doesn't want it's
fingerprints anywhere near this ugly battle, which is why they won't decide. I
smell law suit or shall I predict, many law suits?

Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 8:54 PMBy: informed What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? The board put it off so it seems like they are giving it
their full consideration. Now that Pulaski's test scores are out of the bag any
hope of things remaining 'as is' are toast.

Pulaski is, by the CPS definition, a failing school. One way or another the
current administration's days are numbered.

In light of the poor test scores the LSC is seriously considering not renewing
the principal's contract, which is up this year.

Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 10:22 PMBy: Wow! What's Going On At Bucktown's
Pulaski Elementary? As a parent, who by the way is not "moneyed"
(made up word by you?), I looked for a school that was best for my child and
met their needs. You just want my child in your neighborhood school to bring up
your test scores! Why don't you stop being ignorant -- just because your child
didn't get in!

Just wow. I'm sorry to see that this is an attitude fostered by school
segregation. Your kid might have nice scores, but no score eclipses a basic
lack of respect for other human beings.

 

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  • Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is drumming up awareness of a new state law that's aimed at highlighting Hispanic history in public schools.

    "Quinn attended a ceremonial signing of Senate Bill 1557 at a suburban Chicago high school.

    "Senate Bill 1557 amends the state's School Code to include an emphasis on Hispanics."

    http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2009/10/quinn-signs-law-to-highlight-hispanic-history.html

  • CBS News was at Pulaski this morning interviewing parents their opinion regarding IB. Will air tonight at 5.

  • ok one more try, why is Olga laluz consulting for CPS? She was spotted @ Cameron last week, as a retired AIO she must be getting between 100,000-125,000 a year in pension benefits. Almost all the schools under her were failures what good is paying her for consulting perhaps she can model her ankle tatoo what a horrible role model for impressionable children she has no shame and boy is she dumb! She abused her position to torment principals in her area or should I say female principals the men are another story...

  • Pattern of corruption and cronyism. For all the talk of cleaning up the system it is obvious that Huberman is probably the worst bureaucrat in Chicago history. He not only continues the corruption but rewards intimidation, retaliation and discrimination(all documented in pending litigation) against teachers and students; on the backs of hard working people covering it up with fake statistical reports and presentations that have nothing to do with the job at hand. That is his established pattern from his days in OEMC. Look at the deficits and deficiencies he has left behind.

    Need we mention CTA!

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