AM News: Whittier Library Saga Still Not Resolved

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Federal Judge Suspends CPS Recall Plan for Teachers A federal judge says Chicago Public School can hold off on recalling laid off tenured teachers... Lack of Libraries Could Leave Chicago Public Schools Lagging CPS:  There are currently more than 160 schools without libraries, according to CPS spokeswoman Monique Bond...Pilsen Parents to meet CPS head, alderman Wednesday Medill Reoprts:Now CPS head
Ron Huberman will meet with the parents and Alderman Solis to figure out
if an agreement can be made... Ald. Carrie Austin Calls on Educators, Parents to Curb Youth Violence Chicago Talks:  The 34th Ward gained national attention in September 2009 after the
beating death of a Fenger High School student was caught on a cell phone
camera.  Austin said the incident was not related to Fenger... 2nd teen pleads guilty in deaths of former CLTV host's parents Sun Times:  A second Hammond teen pleaded guilty Tuesday to murdering the parents of former CLTV talk show host Garrard McClendon... $5,000 kindergarten tuition in Wilmette? Wilmette parents may be asked to pay $5,000 per year for their children to attend kindergarten in the public school district. That option -- and several others -- could be avoided by a
tax-increase referendum, District 39 Supt. Raymond Lechner said at a
meeting Monday... Police Search For Missing Northern Illinois Student Antinette
Keller, or Toni as she goes by, disappeared last Thursday while taking a
walk near the NIU campus. Her unusual disappearance has left students
and school officials coping with absence of one of their own.

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  • Anyone else notice the overuse of the words "whine", "whiner", and "whining" in the last few months. Reminds me of other obnoxious (overused) terms such as "Having said that,...", "data-driven", and "At the end of the day,...". Don't know about you, but people who say others are "whiners", sound kind of whiny.

  • Instead of complaining about Lewis or CTU, how about focusing the attention on a judge that flip-flopped. Who pressured this judge? How much money was put in an unmarked envelope and then left on the judge's desk? Who recently paved the judge's driveway for free? Why is it that the feds have given CPS stimulus money but it is not being spent on jobs during a recession? Forget about whose whining, but ask why those who have power to rehire teachers and have not done so. Thanks to that judge, Dick Daley and Humpin Hubey, more unemployed CPS teachers are moving toward being destitute.

  • Are libraries really that important in the digital age?

    My understanding (as a HS teacher) is that the grade schools use the library period to spell the grade-level teachers.

    In my school, we have a row of PCs available for student use, and then a set of laptop computers that can be checked out. From my vantage point, it appears that students use the computers far more than print resources. Over the past 18 years, I bet I could count the number of classes I have taken to the school library on my two hands. (I consider my friendly school librarians to be very helpful, but I'm not sure they do anything that I couldn't do.)

    Are libraries still relevant?

  • (The following is a message from Caro Gaete)

    Good afternoon queridos amigos,

    Hope everyone is feeling spiritually mentally and physically strong. Just want to share notes from todays meeting with Ron Huberman, Whittier Parents and elected officials. We are very excited about the first step in the right direction that was taken today. (Below are notes highlighting today's meeting). Yes, we recognize that this is potentially a great VICTORY; however, we are not leaving the field house until it is official. Thank you all for your continued support; the greatest victory of this struggle has been the power the parents have demonstrated that when a community comes together they can overcome any adversity. El Pueblo Unido jamas sera vencido.

    un besote

    Caro
    (Written by Jacky Levy Illinois Facilities Task Force Consultant)Here is what I heard Huberman agree to:

    1. Demolition of La Casita, and construction of a soccer field, are BOTH OFF THE TABLE. Huberman agreed to "codify" this. This can be done in the form of a CEO report to the CPS Board meeting next week, saying in writing that the demolition order has been cancelled.

    2. Huberman agreed - pending a legal review - to lease the fieldhouse to the Whittier Parents' Committee for $1.00 per year. This would be an "exclusive" lease arrangement - meaning that CPS would NOT do an RFP - other groups wouldn't be offered a chance to "bid" or propose to take over and run the fieldhouse.

    3. Huberman agreed to the immediate removal of the storage container from the playground.

    4. Huberman agreed that CPS will pay for a detailed inspection and assessment to pin down the exact work and cost of the work needed for La Casita to comply with fire and building codes. This will happen within one month's time.

    5. Huberman agreed that CPS will work WITH the parents to design a final plan for a Whittier School Library. He did say it won't be as large or fancy as the one at Orozco (since that was a new bldg), but there will be a follow up meeting next week to continue working on details for this and other aspects of the agreement.

    6. Huberman agreed to report to the CPS Board meeting next week on Whittier. It isn't crystal clear exactly what form this will take (I've made one suggestion in point # 1), but the other key agreements or reports to the CPS Board need to include:

    --- Ald Solis re-affirmed that Whittier will get what is left of the initial $2 million in TIF funds for which the community lobbied. Solis is already talking to the City's Corporation Counsel to make sure that the TIF funds are "locked in" for Whittier. You'll need more clarification from CPS and the Alderman, but Huberman said today that the $356,000 in TIF funds that has been repeatedly mentioned, is actually a larger sum (based on the whole TIF allocation being larger than you originally thought), it hasn't been spent yet, and the Alderman will work with the parents and Huberman to make sure these funds are "re-programmed" for the initial safety repairs for La Casita. Huberman also said CPS initially said "$356,000" but that wasn't all just for DEMO, it was to pay for the soccer field as well. SO. . . Now that CPS has agreed NOT to demolish, or build the soccer field, all that money in "on the table" again.

    -- Over the phone, State Rep. Ocevedo agreed to talk with the State and with Sen. Munoz to re-program the $200,000 in State school construction funds, originally to be spent on ADA improvements at Whittier, toward the La Casita and library work, as needed.RE: The TIF $$$$ - To make sure the money is there, there has to be an "IGA" - "Intergovernmental Agreement" - between the City and CPS. However, Solis and the City may already have such an IGA in place, it might just need to be "amended" to "re-direct" the $$ to the Whittier Parents' priorities, instead of the demolition and soccer field
    RE: What CPS wants in exchange for agreeing to all this:

    Huberman focused on the combustibility (fire hazards) in the fieldhouse, and based on arguing for the safety of the children, asked the Whittier Parents Committee to agree to keep kids out of the building for now, and agree to limited use and access for adults. The folks at today's meeting agreed. However, it sounded to me like the moms will stay in the building until next week's board meeting and the Parents Committee gets the Demo cancellation, cancellation of the soccer field, and "partnership" agreements in writing.

    Congratulations, this is a great victory! The more people you tell about all the things that Huberman agreed to today, the better - THEN the parents can organize to hold him to what he said.

  • Regarding my post on the Substance Website commented on by NO BS. A big part of the analysis came from the CPS legal Memorandum and I quoted directly from that document. It also took the argument made by CTU in their now amended complaint. I think the 7th will be making a significant decision in relation to existing state law that relates to school districts and teachers unions if it supports CPS. As I said I am not at all sure they want to go there.

    Other than Mr. Franczek who is representing CPS, I do not know who the "employment experts" are who believed the court was totally incorrect as NO BS suggests. I sure there are some, but I would like to know who is being referenced by this comment?

    As to the Court agreeing it made an error by issuing the stay I have not yet seen a transcript of the hearing where the stay was issued. As I have stated the Judge read something into the record and I do not know what that was. His written statement is only this: "Motion hearing held on 10/19/2010 regarding # 63. As stated on the record and for the reasons stated on the record, The Defendants

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