October Board Meeting!

There's some education news, but not much, in the papers today, so let's talk about the GAP alternative high school in the funeral home and look at tomorrow's Board meeting.The meeting agenda includes adoption of the revised budget, a new school wellness policy, establishment of IB programs at Kennedy, Farragut, Bronzeville, Schurz, and Juarez high schools, and calendar modifications for tracks E and R.

When does the Board approve or swear in Byrd-Bennet -- or did that happen already?  When does she fire or transfer everyone in the Central Office -- or is there no one left to fire or transfer?

Link to agenda and background materials here.


City, CPS start reviewing early childhood applications Catalyst:  More than 200 agencies have applied for early childhood funding under a new process requiring schools and community organizations alike to compete for preschool and infant education dollars.

Illinois Teacher of the Year goes to Schaumburg English teacher, coach WBEZ: Curtin teaches English at Schaumburg High School in North West Suburban District 211. Schaumburg High School Principal Tim Little didn’t hire Curtin, but he inherited him six years ago.

Newark Teachers Union Embraces Performance Pay, Wins Peer Review In These Times: In cities without Zuckerberg philanthropy, or in future Newark contracts, Ravitch noted, performance pay is more likely to come at the expense of other raises. She also faulted NTU for not taking a page from the Chicago Teachers Union.

Is it ever OK for a politician to deceive the public? Sun-Times: It was a story broken by Chicago Sun-Times reporters Fran Spielman, Rosalind Rossi and Lauren FitzPatrick on Thursday night. Back in August, reports of Brizard's pending demise began swirling amid bitter negotiations between CPS and the teachers union.

People With Lots of Friends In High School Earn More Money Chicago Magazine: And the reverse is true, and the disparity is even greater—socially isolated high school students make less over the course of their lives than their peers, according to studies based on the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study, the nation's oldest long-term study of adolescents. Could smaller classes help?



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  • The proposed Alternative High School called Prologue, which already has several schools, wants to permanently locate themselves directly into the nucleus of our community. Their school will have at risk youth up to age 24 and they want to move directly across the street from our elementary school Pershing West Magnet School. This will most likely cause the Pershing West Parents to seek elementary options elsewhere!! Currently, 66% of children in grades 1-4 within the attendance area boundaries of Pershing West attend private School already, according to the 2010 Census. When it's time for high school, they then leave the area and the community is used as a dumping ground for at risk high school students citywide. Why so many Charter Schools in one community? Again, the community residents already lack high quality options.

    When I asked The Chief Alternative School Officer Ms. Vidis 1 month ago her reasoning behind placing at risk youth directly across the street from our elementary school children; she said she did not investigate the impact this school would have on our community safety and security. She only looked at how many students they would have and the space they needed. I then told her that she would never suggest that CPS move an Alternative High School directly across the street from her child' s school. Then I also asked if she looked at the socio-economic profile of our community "THE GAP", which is according to CPS a Tier 4 & 3 community? She also said no. I asked if she looked at the fact that we only have 758 high school students who live in Douglas as a whole and how practically none of them attend school within Douglas? Of the 758 high school age students in the area, actually 68 were in private school according to the 2010 Census. There is also a downward trend in enrollment in the neighborhood high school Phillips which is actually filled with people from outside the community even though it is a neighborhood school and Dunbar has 300 students in it within a 3 community area; if we were to combine Douglas with Grand Boulevard and Oakland and practically none of 300 students would come from Douglas where Gapco Community resides.

    I also do not undestand why this school chose a funeral home over a regular CPS building. Do they expect to share the gym, auditorium, lunchroom and playground area with our children??

  • In reply to Original Grandma:

    Dear Original Grandma, we are fighting against this alternative school coming into the Bronzeville area..P.S.- Tell your husband I said hello.

  • Thanks RP!

  • My question is why did CPS convert 4 elementary schools in this area to high schools when few people live there? Shouldn't they be closing schools?

  • At least Bronzeville is getting warning, which is more than Chatham got when Milburn Alternative moved in in total secrecy.


  • In reply to district299reader:

    We'll trade them their 1 for our 10.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    We didn't get a warning, we got lucky that they needed a zoning change. If they didn't need the zoning change we would have found out about the school when they were moving in.

  • This community has 10 high schools and none of them have any type of selective program. Over the past two years, CPS has added STEM and IB programs to various schools and yet none of the 10 high schools in our community were chosen. We are being disrespected by CPS because they have continued to place schools in our community either without soliciting our input or flat out ignoring our concerns. When ChiArts was being proposed, a CPS official told some residents that our community was ideal for new schools because they deemed it safe, free from gangs and close to major transportation. It's obvious that CPS needs another selective enrollment high school, so I propose turning Dunbar into a selective enrollment high school. Dunbar is not a neighborhood high school so they would not be taking away a neighborhood school. Dunbar is more centrally located than King or Brooks in terms of access to public transportation.

  • ACE Tech HS is in that area too, isn't it?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Yes Ace Tech HS is in the Bronzeville Area.

  • It is obvious to me that the Gap and other areas within the Douglas Community are being used as a staging area for Charter startups. It is true that Douglas is a very attractive community and has a low crime rate. Charter school operators are able to use this community as a magnet to attract their citywide students. As the CPS begins to set up their separate and unequal school system in Charters for minority students; these charters have time to establish themselves to the families that have chosen their schools over regular CPS schools in undesirable neighborhoods. What a sorry little trick for families; using a lure to attract desperate families from their unsafe and undesirable neighborhoods to charters startups in our area that are marketed with a glittering appeal.
    Remember, I said our community is mostly a stating area for charters. First they build up their enrollment and reputation as a school in a very desirable community and at the same time CPS also prepares to close and consolidate many CPS schools. CPS does not care that we only have 758 high schools students in Douglas as a whole. CPS does not care that the non charter High Schools in our community are also saturated with at risk students who also do not live here, driving our residents out of the area for high school options that are not dominated by at risk students.
    CPS does not care that the 6,000 high schools students that they are bringing into our community are mostly students who disrupt our community or drain police resources. CPS is looking at their big picture, not ours, and our safety is being compromised for their purposes. They do not care that we pay about $6,000 in property taxes and lack a variety of school options for our students, not just on the high school level but on the elementary level as well! Heck they are more than willing to drive elementary parents away from our magnet school Pershing West by not recommending to Prologue to put their school in an at risk community somewhere else!! However, I believe once schools are closed and consolidated by CPS in other communities: there will be more buildings on the south side and charter school relocations will begin. It will be very easy to move the charters in Douglas that are already filled with students, to their respective communities. After all, the charters in our area are filled with people who do lot live here!! Once they are relocated to their new homes, there will most likely be more room for new charter startups and CPS will start this process all over again in our area with new charter startups. CPS does not care how they are annoying the heck out of us!! They do not care how they are affecting our property values, I doubt that any of the CPS decision makers live in our community or are affected by their decisions that dwindle away our safety and security. Our homeowner quality of life in a desirable area has been compromised by CPS and their ugly Charter machine!!! This staging area needs to be stopped for the sake of our children who are being robbed at gunpoint by these at risk students, so why do we need a Prologue Alternative School? Somebody please tell me!!!!!

  • Shame! Shame! Shame! So CPS wants to fund the school you mentioned above in a funeral home in your community. And at the same time, ChiArts will be removed to operate across town. Does this seem like a fair trade. An alternative school for folks that were kicked out of other alternative schools for the school I provided a link for below. How insulting!!


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