AM News: A Third "Alternative" HS For North Side Families

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for news2.gifChicago slated to launch new North Side high school Catalyst: The Audubon High School follows behind Alcott High School for the Humanities and Ogden International High School, both of which opened in fall 2009.  School District Facing $12M Debt Fox:  Illinois is now more than $1 billion behind in payments owed to school districts across the state because of the budget crisis. But what exactly does that mean for each individual school, for each individual student? FOX Chicago News went  inside one of the area's most financially-strapped school districts: Community Unit School District 300... Chicago Schools Use 'Risk Model' To Predict Student Violence NBC:  In Chicago, school officials have created a "risk model" to predict which students are likely to be the victims of gun violence... Upping Chicago's dismal graduation rates Chicago Reporter:  With only 50 percent of Chicago's kids graduating from high school and shockingly low college graduation rates for some predominately minority Chicago universities, we could use the help... Twenty-Four Options To Pare Down Chicago's Budget Deficit Progress Illinois:  The IG's options focus on cuts, from ending free sewer service for seniors, to eliminating an annual subsidy for World Business Chicago, to ceasing funding for neighborhood chambers of commerce and city tuberculosis clinics. But the biggest savings are seen in staff cuts at the Fire Department and changes at the Department of Streets and Sanitation. 

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  • It is going to be in an unused part of the Gordan Tech building, according to Audubon principal John Price.

  • In reply to SarahKarp:

    This is not true. I read on the gordon tech website that the sponsors of the school turned down the offer and are staying the same.

  • More high schools like this are needed on the north side. No, it is not ideal to attend a really small high school. But if the alternative is between a small, good high school or either 1) being in a position of having to pay for private high school or 2) having to attend a sub-par high school, most parents would take a small high school any day. As it stands, there are only 4-8 options that I would even consider for my own children. And really, of those 5 are truly desirable. That said, if my kids don't get into one of the SE high schools on the north side, we'd need a small local high school. Sullivan, Senn, Lakeview, Amundsen, and Roosevelt are not places I would allow my children to attend.

  • how come lakeview has never gotten that much better, if that's the case?
    it's not like the neighborhood hasn't been gentrified for a hundred years.

  • right -- that accounts for some of it, but still there's not enough room at these places like LPHS and the SEs, obviously -- so i'm wondering why they're not at least putting an IB program inside like they did at lincoln park. it's not pretty, i'm not saying it is, but easier than starting a whole nother school.

  • I thought CPS was broke? I thought it was all about reducing and controling costs, isn't that why the CPS asked teachers to take a pay cut. The math is simple, the smaller the school the greater the cost per student. The CPS annual financial audit lists cost per student and it is more than clear smaller schools cost more per student.

    We can argue that the outcomes for smaller high schools are better, but when you supposedly are going broke, in a state that is broke, it would seem that opening any new schools is a very bad idea in the current situation. We have empty seats in existing schools, even if many middle class families will not send their children to these schools CPS does not have the money to keep opening new schools whether they are charters, contract schools, or traditional schools such as the proposed Audubon High School located at Gordon Tech.

    By the way Gordon Tech has been having trouble recuriting students for some time in good part because working class parents can not or will not afford what the school costs, next year $8,500. Even if they get some aid from the Big Shoulders fund it is still expensive. Saint Ignatius College Prep is $12,400 a year relatively speaking Gordon Tech is not a great deal.

    Part of what we are seeing here is a bail out of the Catholic schools which are being destroyed by charters in Chicago. CICS rents numerous abandoned Catholic schools. Really this was what the voucher bill that failed in the Illinois General Assembly was all about. $8,500 is a lot of money for a working class family that clears maybe $40,000 a year between two working parents. It is about 21% of the after tax/ insurance income of that family.

    There is more to this story than just middle class parents looking for more options.

    Rod Estvan

  • Um, those parents at the new small high schools raised the money or secured grant money to fund those buildings themselves. CPS didn't pay for them.
    I have no trouble sending my children to a school with kids of many different ethnic backgrounds and economic backgrounds. I am sure Lakeview is an okay school. But okay is not good enough. What is their average ACT score? 17,18? My children won't have any academic peers or not enough peers at a school like that. Maybe they'll be safe, as opposed to a school like Crane or Senn, but how much of their time will be spent waiting for the teacher to explain how to line up decimals for kids who never learned that 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th grade? Or waiting for kids to behave so the teachers can actually teach something? Lakeview probably has some fine students and some fine teachers. But would you say most are? Probably not. I don't really care if I am part of the problem. I want my kids to learn something and they aren't going to do that at 95% of CPS high schools.

  • "You can run, but your kids will not be able to hide. They will only know elites like them and there will be few of them--this minority will have no social understanding."

    I don't think not having social understanding is the prime importance for high school students.

    If a class of students starts 9th grade, and they are all involved and interested in their studies, with involved families, I think they can sharpen each others abilities. Doing well at that age, not getting involved in trouble, and being supported by ones peer group in doing well, I think is going to pay off more for the individual than knowing how to deal with other people's differing abilities. Life, in general, is going to teach them how to cope with others. At high school, the most important thing is opening doors and not closing doors to the future.

  • Dear Mr. Big Picture:

    Feel free to send your kids to Roosevelt, Senn, Amundsen, etc. where fewer than 50% of the student population graduates and the average ACT score falls well below the scores achieved by suburban high schools. What a wonderful springboard into adult life. In actuality, very few of the students at these high schools ever attend college and fewer still ever receive a diploma. That's a fact.

  • Class of 2009 - ACT Scores
    Northside: 28.6
    Payton: 27.6
    Whitney Young: 26.4
    Jones: 24.5
    Lane Tech: 23.2
    State of Illinois average: 20.6
    Taft: 19.1
    Lake View: 18.4
    District 299 average: 17.6
    Amundsen: 17.3
    Roosevelt: 16.2
    Senn: 16.2
    Sullivan: 16.2

    Lake View does not meet my definition of a good high school.

  • You are absolutely correct that I am comparing SE high schools to general high schools. Of course the SE schools take the best students. And of course the neighborhood schools are left with the rest. That is the whole point. I don't hold it against teachers. They are doing the best they can with the raw material they are given. But regardless of the reasons for the low performance, I want my kids to have the chance to be challenged and to excel without being shot or beat up or whatever. So, until CPS kicks every single gang member out of their high schools and every single kid who is violent, continually disrespectful, etc....My children will be going to a SE high school to avoid that kind of environment. It is my opinion, as a teacher and as a parent, that education is not a "right" at all costs. At a certain point, from my point of view that point is high school, if kids disrupt the learning for those who do want to learn and do care, they should lose their right to an education. Sounds terrible, but it might actually mean the kids who care even a little bit might actually get what they need.
    Fwiw, I would not send my kids to our neighborhood elementary school. 50-60% of students barely meeting state standards in reading.....what in the world would they do with my kids who read 4 years above grade level? So we went to a fabulous magnet school with many kids advanced like that.

  • I fail to see how doing everything in my power to ensure my children attend schools that are safe, clean and academically challenging is a burden. Maybe you are referring to the extra homework. Anonymous - are you my 14 year old son? Quit blogging and finish your science project.

  • gordon tech will not be leasing the property. the school is staying the same as it is, and it seems like there are big things coming from that school. I read about how their sponsors turned it down on the schools site.

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