"Gut Check" Confusion [updated]

ScreenHunter_16 Jul. 27 09.25.jpg

Last week it was reported in Catalyst (here) that that Ron Huberman was going to do a "gut check" on the results of the revised magnet admissions plan to make sure that it wasn't going to resegregate schools that are among the only desegregated ones in the city and -- it seemed -- make sure that didn't happen. 

UPDATE:  An eagle-eyed reader points out that the Tribune's version (here) of the gut check quote is much more ambiguous:

"We will have the opportunity to do a gut check and determine if we have achieved socioeconomic and racial diversity."

Over the weekend, however, CPS's Monique Bond clarified that there would be no such process for the upcoming year.  She wrote me:
"Huberman's "gutcheck" comment simply translates into his commitment to monitor and revisit the plan after one year."

So -- if I understand correctly -- no gut check.  The revised plan passed by the Board (revised

Deseg Presentation.pptx

) stands as it is. Black and brown kids -- you're on your own. 


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  • Huberman doesn't know what he's doing, hence his meritless "gut-check" comment.

  • NO ONE knows what they're doing. That's the horror.

  • the new york times weighs in with this story about the magnet and selective admissions changes giving lots of good context about places like SF where segregation has increased since race was removed from the criteria:


    but the NYT doesn't deign (know enough?) to address the flip-floppery going on about the last minute changes and the gut-check stuff.

  • here's the original tribune version -- much more ambiguous:

    did huberman get it wrong? did catalyst? does WBEZ have it on tape?

  • "Black and brown kids -- you're on your own. "

    Snort. Good one.

  • When is the 5th floor going to announce the next round of furlough days?

  • Is Daley trying to get rid of Huberman? really-wait a moment. This guy is failing--crash and burn. Did he butt against the old man in some way that this appointment is meant to make him look bad or put him in a negative lite? I don't mean to get all 24 on this, but it is all just so weird.

  • How about if your black and brown kids have white parents? Does that counts for or against us getting into an SE school?

  • Crash and burn? Please give detail...

  • The understanding of what the data means is a mess, every big and little thing is top secret, NO TRUST, no follow-through on anything, the selective enrollment (this alone) is wait and see (crash and burn), omg-no organization list, FENGER, lies in the budget and in positions; charters a lie, low scoring and a mess, special ed being sued and due process being the only result for basic services for students, great teachers without jobs, schools cannibalizing each other, and the cops dislike him and CTA continues to be a mess. There is more,(do you need more?, but it is a day off, so this is enough.

  • So, Russo, are you saying that there will be no gut check, just a review? I sat right there in the board meeting and heard Huberman say that he WOULD adjust the percent of students admitted through the neighborhood lottery if the 40 percent resulted in less diversity in the neighborhood schools. This is why the policy says "up to 40 percent" and does not specify 40 percent. Are you saying they are now retracting this? Please clarify.

  • In reply to SarahKarp:

    I meant less diversity in the magnet schools...

  • In reply to SarahKarp:

    that's what they're saying, sarah -- far as i can make heads or tails of it - that the gut check refers to future years, not this upcoming fall. you can see the quote from bond above, which she gave in response to my asking her what the gut check meant, and you can also see the tribune version of the gut check quote, which is ambiguous as i read it. time for someone to put a tape online -- you, or WBEZ, or george -- and let us all hear it for ourselves. can you do that? if so, it would be great.

    / alexander

  • In reply to SarahKarp:

    I don't see how they could mess with the lottery once people are notified. Maybe if names are drawn and they do a gut check before notification. But what are they going to do? Call 10 white kids who think they're going to Hawthorne (or rather their parents do) and tell them they're out to get some minority kids in? I think even CPS knows this won't fly.
    I have to say I like the idea of there being some kind of gut check and CPS not acting like this is the perfect solution. Changes can take a while to work out. Stink when your child is the guinea pig, but there's only one way to get started on a path of change..

  • In reply to SarahKarp:

    good point, cpsobsessed --
    i don't think anyone's saying that there should not be a chance to review and revise the policy once we see how it is going. and i don't think there's any way the board could give then take away someone's slot. but there remains some confusion about whether the board is going to do a preliminary run to see how the numbers work out, and then adjust the "up to 40 percent" factor to change the outcome BEFORE the letters go out. again, no one seems to know if this is really the plan or not -- catalyst seems to think so, monique bond seems to be saying no. stay tuned. thanks for commenting.

    / alexander

  • In reply to SarahKarp:

    Just like the old system--run a lottery and throw the results away, then pick who you want. And no reporter will know if an Alderman's kid or doner's kid gets in since CPS will claim student privacy. This is a BIG stinkin' scam right under our noses.
    Why can't we smell it?

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    ...or a reporter's kid, or a ...

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    I agree that there is no way to change things once parents are notified which I think is immediately after the lottery. If my child was chosen and I was asked to give up my spot or worse yet ordered to, I would sue and probably win because it would be reverse discrimination. No minority parent would accept a last minute notification that oh you were accepted but now you're not and they can't expect a neighborhood parent to accept it either.

  • In reply to SarahKarp:

    Mr. Huberman will never do a gut check because if he ever did, he would rush straight to church! CPS is in big trouble because our CEO is systematically trying to destroy it from within and there is no one to stop him. Our union is a joke and he has degraded the principals in the "performance management" briefings to the point that if they challenge him, they may find themselves on the chopping block. He has not made one decision to benefit our students. In all my years, I have never seen a CEO with such a disregard for education and minorities. The majority of the people he fired were African American, and all the groups and people he has hired have been White. I realize now that if you are not White you will not find anything you need within CPS and because there are no checks and balances, all you see running around and heading organizations are young white people. From the joke that is CNTC(shame on you Ellen Moir) to Teach for America, etc. It is truly sad what is going on but no one with any real power has the guts to stand up to them. For years I did believe that CPS and its leaders cared about the children but now I know that it is all about power and money.

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