Angry White Parents

Angry White Parents

Uh, oh.  Now, with its budget cuts (and to a certain degree its new budgeting system and awkward rollout), CPS has angered North Side parents who largely stood by during the whole school closings thing you may recall we spent the whole year talking about. This changes things -- though it's hard to tell how much.  Meantime, some (but not all) principals and teachers are only too glad to feign surprise at the budgets they're getting and to pass the buck back downtown rather than make tough decisions surrounding enrollment, program costs, and priority-making.  

CPS Budget Cuts Bring Out 'Urgency' in North Side Politicians, Parents DNAI: Ald. Ameya Pawar led the call for TIF funds to be used to ease budget cuts at neighborhood schools.

More officials call for use of TIF funds to stop school cuts WBEZ: What seemed to most upset the parents at the event was the combination of the longer school day which went into effect last year, with less funding for arts and other classes.

CPS secrecy fuels parental ire over school cuts Chicago Tribune (Zorn):  The way they're doing it now, keeping parents guessing and wondering if it's time, at last, to move to the suburbs? Putting teachers and support personnel into professional limbo while moving money from column to column?
Local School Councils band together, reject CPS budgets Sun Times: Local School Councils from more than 30 schools have joined a new coalition that publicly rejected draft budgets from Chicago Public Schools on Tuesday morning, calling then inadequate to pay for the education Chicago’s children deserve.

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  • Actually Alexander Wendy Katten from Raise Your Hand and other parents from that organization were major organizers of the opposition to school closings. These parents came from these very middle class north side elementary schools. So I clearly do not agree with your statement "CPS has angered North Side parents who largely stood by during the whole school closings thing you may recall we spent the whole year talking about."

    Now are these parents going to be more highly mobilized over cuts to their own kids schools, you bet they are. But really for the first time many white middle class parents have locked arms with minority parents from lower income communities to take on the CPS Board. In many ways this is a historic event and these parents who have the resources to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to support their children's schools have recognized that their schools are not islands.

    Many of these parents are highly skilled professionals who know how to read a budget, who are lawyers, doctors, CFOs, college professors, and on and on. They also vote and they are now looking at our Mayor and his promises of a brighter day for public education in Chicago from a very different perspective. No doubt many voted for Mayor Emanuel and now have real regrets over that decision.

    Austerity has fallen on us and neither the very poor or the middle and upper middle class much like it.

    Rod Estvan

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    In reply to Rodestvan:

    Thanks Rod for pointing out the obvious to this. I was as some of these meetings along with many many other parents to show our solidarity to those that were targeted to be closed even though our schools were not. How does one have a blog on CPS and not even live in the city? For that matter, how does one run the CPS and not even live in the city?

  • Need boots on the street at the frontline, Alex.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    People need the guts to vote out the aldermen who blindly go along with these programs. The elected officials talk a big game, but always vote the party line. If you want real change, you need to change the people making the decisions. Otherwise it's just a waste of time.

  • Eventually there will be system failure no matter what the neighborhood.

    You guys love the government in your schools, and now it is in your sex lives, in your health care and listening to you and your complaints.

    Better be on the politically correct side of whatever you do.

    You have been warned.

  • In reply to Richard Davis:

    Eventually?!

    There has always been a system failure! Where have YOU been?

    Loosen the scarf around your head and let the blood circulate!

  • People need to learn how to do some basic math. If you didn't see all the budget cuts coming then you weren't paying attention. It's quaint that the parents blindly supported the teachers, but now they are paying the price. The math doesn't add up. If parents really want to fix the system they have to accept the harsh reality that the money isn't there to keep every program at every school. It's also not there to keep every school open. Now, with those two realities as the basis for a conversation, how will they all work together? The current system of blame, blame, blame followed by threats and more threats isn't helpful.

  • In reply to Shari Schmidt:

    I think many of these parents fully understand the basic math of CPS budgeting. I have been in Springfield when some of these same parents have been lobbying or additional education funding and changes to our state's current constitutionally based flat income tax system. Groups like Raise Your Hand are extremely pragmatic and reality based in my opinion.

    The idea that there is a finite amount of money for education that Shari raises is not new, but the actual scope of that pot of funds is a matter of debate not just in Chicago but in school districts across our state. These funding issues apply not just to traditional CPS schools, but also to charter schools too. Then there is the issue of the allocation of dollars in that pot, a good example of that is the Board's proposed expansion of the alternative school sector when both charter schools and traditional schools are being cut.

    The city of Chicago can take certain steps to lighten the fiscal problems of CPS, one of which is freeing up some TIF money which the City did under the Daley administration. That doesn't solve the problem however. Closing schools based on the math and numerous studies of actual cost savings in other school districts also does not solve the problem or realize savings at all for several school years.

    The Mayor of the City of Chicago went to the Illinois General Assembly two months ago with a pension proposal that would have cost many teachers and retired teachers a lot. There was little support for it, it was even more harsh than the Speaker's current proposal for State workers.

    So what does the City do? On the last day of the regular session they try to get a CPS pension payment holiday bill passed which failed big time. The CTU joined in that failed effort. Right now the unions, and retired teachers totally do not trust the Mayor to create any sort of reasonable compromise in relation to so called pension reform. Some level of trust needs to be reestablished in this process.

    Mayor Emanuel is facing a rebellion from both members of the Chicago delegation to the General Assembly and City Council on school funding issues. The middle class CPS school rebellion is just one more problem the Mayor faces. Mayor Emanuel's appointment of Deborah Quazzo to the Board whose children went to Latin School really does not help even if she has some fiscal analytic abilities.

    So if Shari wants a dialog then the parameters of that discussion with CPS parents need to be larger than just an acceptance of limited resources for public education.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    The parameters can be set however you want, but the budget creates the reality. First the parents wanted CTU to get its dream contract. Now they want CPS to give them everything they want to create a dream school. It cannot work both ways. At some point you need to sit down and face reality. Money is limited. How will CPS provide the best education available to children within the limited budget?

    As for building trust, that goes both ways. Why should anyone trust the parent groups which seem to want everything? Better teacher contracts! Better arts programs! Longer school days! It's all just one demand after another. You talk about how they understand the issues, but I don't see any of it in the way they interact with CPS and CTU.

    There is a reality check these groups need to understand. You can talk about additional funding for schools, but the State of Illinois is so far behind on payments that adding money to a budget line doesn't matter. CPS will probably never actually receive that money. If you want more money it will not come through the State of Illinois.

    You are correct that the conversation needs to be about more than limited resources. Let's talk about how the State of Illinois is on the verge of default and the toxic political environment in Springfield. You can be certain that nothing as drastic as a change in school funding will ever pass through Springfield. Anyone who thinks differently doesn't understand Springfield. The suburbs and downstate entities see the City of Chicago as a bottomless pit of wasted funding. Those elected officials won't support giving one more penny to CPS. If they did vote for it you'd see a huge turnover of elected officials during the next election cycle.

    You can discuss how these thing damage CPS. You can include community groups and foundations in the discussion. You can make it as comprehensive as you want. However, in the end it always comes down to money. You can frame it with as many groups as you want, but the bottom line is the bottom line. As long as we pretend there are so many possiblities that no one is exploring CPS will continue to fail. Hard decisions always hurt. If CPS and CTU and the parents groups don't come together to make the hard decisions then nothing will change.

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    Also, you cannot pretend that every parent would not try to get their child into a top tier private school if they had the resources. My sister-in-law tried for years to get her daughter into a top tier private school and out of CPS. You cannot fault Ms. Quazzo for sending her kids to the best school she can afford. It's what all parents would do given the opportunity.

  • In reply to Shari Schmidt:

    School closings are not hard decisions, they are easy. CPS created a theoretical utilization number and shut down schools using that and other criteria they threw in. But the problem is they have saved little money and it will take years for any real savings to be realized.

    The families at the middle class CPS schools like Blaine and Lincoln School have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for their children's educations. Clearly its money poor families don't have, but I think its pretty clear these families are fed up with paying significant property tax bills and paying up to their "Friends of" organization only to see CPS cut off their legs.

    By the way right now there are openings at Latin School for the middle grades and up. But the cost for the school for grades 5-12 for the 2013-14 school year will be $29,985 a year plus about $1,600 in other fees.

    So a family has to come up with at least $30,000 a year to educate one student. The after tax income of a family making a $150,000 a year could be about only $88,000 a year depending on deductions. So Latin's cost for one child would eat up about 34% of the after tax income of that family.

    Spending 34% of your after tax income on a child's k-12 education is probably crazy. The problem with going to Latin School isn't slots, its paying the costs which are very high even for a family with a reasonably high income in Chicago.

    I think our Mayor has become out of touch even with Chicago families making double the median household income of home owners in this city which is around $64,882 a year. He is living in a rarefied world of people like Ms. Quazzo who he apparently believes reflect somehow Chicagoans and their children.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    The union represents active teachers and has little time for retired teachers. , like me, who are on our own.That is a painful fact of life
    worth remembering .

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    You’re comments are bulls-eye on nearly everything, except
    “Closing schools based on the math and numerous studies of actual cost savings in other school districts also does not solve the problem or realize savings at all for several school years.”

    Several school years?!

    Your prolific writing (at least measured on this blog) suggest that you are an ‘evidence’ based, quantitative kind of guy.

    So what kind of qualitative ambiguity are you parroting by Pez dispensing the word ‘several’?

    If you were truly being honest you might have written
    “Closing schools in Chicago will most likely never solve the problem, nor will it ever save money”

  • In reply to district299reader:

    The studies on school closings, in particular relating to other urban cities does indicate a cost saving per child over a number of years assuming the closed schools are quickly destroyed or sold off. But these savings are relatively small. To see some of these studies search Catalyst. I have some at my office but I don't have access to my server today.

    Let's be clear I have never opposed closing schools as an abstract principle. I have never taken positions similar to either groups like parents 4 teachers, Occupy Chicago, or the CTU on this issue. But in no way do I agree with CPS that there will be a benefit for the children moved from even schools operating at 40 percent of theoretical capacity.

    The fiscal issues faced not just by CPS, but across Illinois are now massive. Closing schools can not fill the gap nor can freeing TIF funds. But putting together many things, including increased taxes on those can easily afford to send multiple children to a private school like Latin can reduce the impact of the crisis.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Why do you believe that closing schools will not save money in future school years? You really believe that running half empty school situated every few blocks in depopulated neighborhoods is efficient?

  • In reply to Shari Schmidt:

    “People need to learn how to do some basic math”
    Basic Math?!
    Try advanced math! you know, the kind that adults use. You might (but I doubt it) realize how absurd your conclusions are

  • Mayoral Control of schools, i.e. "the current system" isn't helpful either. Hasn't been for years. How about some more transparency before we decide where to make cuts? Do you really accept what CPS lays out as it's current financial woes to be fact? The Mayor's office and the Board are dishonest and misleading, and most of the Council are sheepishly complicit. Could the next mayoral candidate please step up and pledge to send his kid to a neighborhood school?

  • Why just "white" parents?

  • Fourth of July 'Block Party' Protest Planned Outside Emanuel's House | NBC Chicago http://ow.ly/mDfom

  • I attended the Common Sense LSC meeting that Alex talks about. Obviously, he was not there.

    I also have attended meetings about school closings. Raise Your Hand was extremely vocal and active in taking action against school closings as were other parents and LSCs from the north side. There were parents of all races rallying against those actions, but honestly, as a % of school closings, there were fewer on the north side. Parents are going to be most vocal about what impacts them personally and so since most closings were on the west and south sides, more parents from the west and south sides got more press.

    The meeting organizers contacted LSC members from all schools for which they had email contacts of LSC members and that included schools on the west and south sides. The meeting was put together pretty quickly and therefore due to limited access to LSC contact information, did not reach everybody. The goal is to have city-wide involvement. There were people from schools in those areas at the meeting as well, but Alex just chose to generalize because the meeting took place at a north side school which has a higher white population. Alex, I think you're going for the easy route in an effort to inflame or put down.

    The goal of the group is to demonstrate that education must be a priority not just in words, but in time, resources and money. It also make clear that this is a shared responsibility, and it is too easy to blame only the pension problem. Illinois' poor education funding started way before the pension funds lost so much value.

  • In reply to HooliganUligian:

    Part of the motivation for the response of north side parents is white guilt. (Or perhaps more correctly affluent parent guilt).
    But try cutting back on north side magnet and SE programs to send more funds to level 3 neighborhood schools and see what happens.

  • In reply to Donn:

    So what is so wrong with a little white guilt?! White guilt probably helped end slavery

  • In reply to district299reader:

    "White guilt probably helped end slavery". That's not white guilt, that's just plain old guilt. You know, keeping people as slaves an all. So please don't wear "white guilt" as a badge of honor. Only an ignorant white person would think people should be grateful that they acknowledge white privilege via "white guilt". Too funny.....

  • In reply to Donn:

    White guilt is a stereotypical term used by people who don't understand that basic humanity does still exist, albeit in perhaps too small of amounts, and that not all points of view are dictated and shaped by race/class, etc. There are plenty of parents who want to increase the financial pie so that all kids can have a quality education and don't want to engage in fighting over scraps of the pie, as is the traditional Chicago way, and the one you make reference to.

  • In reply to WendyKatten:

    "White guilt is a stereotypical term used by people who don't understand that basic humanity does still exist, albeit in perhaps too small of amounts, and that not all points of view are dictated and shaped by race/class, etc......"

    Holy crap. I would disagree with that statement if I understood how those points are connected. Is Diane Ravitch teaching critical thinking seminars again?

  • In reply to Donn:

    No, Donn. Diane Ravitch didn't teach me anything. I'll try to be more clear - some people care about having sound and fair education policy in their school district not based only on how it impacts their own race/class or family. Your said that in the case of affluent parents, this care is motivated by white guilt, which is a very bizarre and cynical statement. You also imply that white middle class parents are selfish because they don't want their own school to lose money to fund other schools. Most parents I know from these schools have been fundraising to meet basic standards like music, art, language that should be funded for every child in the system.

  • In reply to WendyKatten:

    If lower income white families lived in depopulated neighborhoods with primary schools every few blocks, what would be your position on closings?
    Your position would be that these families need get serious about the educational needs of their children, and that walking a few more blocks to a new school isn't much of a sacrifice.
    But we feel sorry for poor black children. And those black kids, well, they just don't do very well in school anyways. So lets not worry about schools as effective institutions under real budgets. The important thing is that we feel good about being supportive, and that we prove we're not racist.

  • In reply to Donn:

    Why don't we have white families living in depopulated neighborhoods with primary schools every few blocks? Hmmmm... could part of answer include racism?

  • In reply to Donn:

    No, Donn. That's not the case. The next time I walk through over 20 schools on the closing list like I did this year I'll invite you with me so you can actually form opinions grounded in reality and not what you're fed by the PR machine of Chicago. I know that most people only have these sound bites to base their opinions on, and so it's easy to believe the rhetoric, but I can attest from personal experience that things don't fall neatly into this stereotypical picture that you're pushing. Why are you telling me what my position would be on anything, by the way? Do I know you? What's your last name?

  • In reply to WendyKatten:

    Donn'ss lastt namee iss Conn...

    hiss maidenn namee iss Russo

  • In reply to WendyKatten:

    OT-Wendy- Where can LSC members send Raise your Hand the amount taken from our school budgets? Our school lost $700,000. We want this on the record. We did not realize we could vote no.

  • In reply to WendyKatten:

    Wendy, my opinion is based in part by the teachers in my family working on the south and west side. But hey, you take school tours given by people unhappy with change.

    You should have noticed that my "white guilt" comment was not in response to one of your posts. Interesting the reaction it produced, however. Hit a nerve? I don't know the positions you or your group take on schools. Children of more affluent parents typically do just fine in school, and the CTU contract works well with middle class and wealthier schools. Plus, the whole super involved parent maximizing their child's potential thing is kinda boring once one has raised children.

    It's amusing you accuse me of being "fed by the PR machine of Chicago". Who have you been listening to? Perhaps you can explain to me how the students you pity will ever receive enough education under the CTU contract.

  • In reply to WendyKatten:

    I want to personally thank you and the community members that helped to save our northside school where the majority of the students are black and brown and low income. Wendy Katten's actions were from the heart and a sense of humanity, nothing more.

  • In reply to Donn:

    One problem with writing on blogs without using your own name is it causes a lack of restriant. I think that post Donn was a good example of the problem.

    In fact the same sort of guilt argument could be laid on many people including backers of charter schools. By the way how are elementary school budgets going to be effective when they are being cut by hundreds of thousands of dollars. It seems like principals are patching together what they can in order to open next fall.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    True! But on the flip-side one problem with using a real name is way too much restraint! Many of your more insightful comments are in response to anonymous contributions.

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    principals express that their schools have taken so many teacher closures and had to increase class sizes, that instructional will be thread bare. It is expected more closures will be come the 10th day of school. Which will cause class sizes to increase more.
    Per-pupil budgeting is a cancer that ruins public schools.
    btw, if we used names, it would be taken out on the schools, those named, their familes and my fellow teachers.

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    One problem with some people posting under their own name is that they focus on building reputation and tend to "grandstand". That behavior tends to diminish good debate and discourse.

    I do have some decent quips that Alex doesn't allow to post. They're milder than so much of the ad hominem nonsense that gets posted here. So I'm not at all clear as to the real "rules of engagement" on his blog.

    I've also made it clear to anyone paying attention why I don't use my full name.

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    Donn- I have only been listening to you and was responding to your remark about "half empty buildings." People who invited me tour their buildings weren't just "unhappy with change," they were wondering why their school was on the list when they had no empty rooms, didn't have their special education population taken into account in the utilization formula, were being sent to a receiving school that performed no better and would lead to overcrowding, etc. Garvey was one school I toured. Luckily it was removed from the list at the last round and then named a CPS lead school for it's social-emotional learning program the next week by BBB. It has zero empty rooms. It's listed as one of those "half-empty" schools on the CPS spreadsheet. Other schools that shouldn't have been on the list weren't so lucky.

    My concern has little to do with pity for black children or whatever you are talking about, but fair and decent policy for all students no matter what their race and class is. A lot of people that live in Chicago tend to reduce everything to race and class. It's getting old for me, which is probably why it hit a nerve.

  • Shari- am not sure if you're talking about Raise Your Hand in your comments but we don't blindly support anyone. No one asked us to be at the CPS/CTU bargaining table last summer. Here's some advice we would have given the mayor: Don't push for a 7.5 hour day when you're broke. This is not all about money. It's about priorities, poor planning, poor leadership and a bullying attitude that doesn't yield results. The mayor sets the tone and the ctu follows. There is a massive amount of money being spent on school closings this year and many of the consolidations will lead to overcrowding and other issues. $17 million for movers, $7 million for safe passage, millions for new transition staff, etc. There was $76 million in the budget this year for new school development, $34 million for network offices. This isn't even an issue of just cps vs. the ctu and not sure why it's always framed that way.

  • In reply to WendyKatten:

    If you read my post, you'll see I did not mention a single organization.

  • In reply to Shari Schmidt:

    Got it. Our name was mentioned by Rod and then you responded so thought you might be referring to us. FYI, I know a whole lot of people who can afford private school and choose to be in public school, although some are definitely reconsidering right now.

  • In reply to WendyKatten:

    I am one of those parents who can afford to have a child in a private school. Because of scheduling conflicts, I was forced to enroll my child at a private school until the principal informed me that the school could not "provide the services my child needed." The principal continued with "the student will be better served in a public school." The public school helped arrange transportation and guidance for scheduling conflicts. Here is just one of the many success stories of public education that should help silence those critics of one of America's best policies.

  • In reply to WendyKatten:

    20 MORE MONTHS--Our city needs to have a viable candidate to run against RAHM--who? If this happens, all-everyone needs to campaign and get behind that candidate. Even if minority candidate.
    As for living in the city; no one wants to go through this, but since Rahm will not follow CPS policy nor OIG words on this as certain ones who are more equal than others get to live outside of the city, or in hotels, anyone could bring a lawsuit to say it cannot be enforced, since the mayor is not following it. (Seek an attorney on this.)
    Surprised that city unions are not pushing this issue to scare Rahm a bit with potential of whites and middle class being free to leave the city. Tis difficult to scare the devil.

  • Thank you Wendy Katten and Rod Estvan for always being the voice of reason.

  • You have to wonder: from Shari Schmidt's LinkedIn page: Award-winning communications professional, focusing on marketing communications and project management. Proven track record of developing and implementing strategic, integrated internal and external marketing programs for consumer and non-profit clients. Adept at working with executive management to deliver key messages to target audiences.

    Specialties:marketing communications, internal communications, media relations, community relations, legislative relations, crisis communications, special events, editorial.

  • In reply to Ira Abrams:

    Shari wrote" Also, you cannot pretend that every parent would not try to get their child into a top tier private school if they had the resources. "

    If she's a Rahm/CPS plant, they need to ask for a discount.

  • In reply to Donn:

    Absolutely correct! Sheri is defending Emmanuel’s decision to send his kids to the lab school. He should be sending them to UNO, LEARN or Noble Charter. Bruce Rauner should do the same.

    A discount is not enough
    I would ask for a complete reimbursement, possibly damages.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    By your logic every parent should try to send their child to just any school? They shoujld do their best to send their children to the best schools possible? Many CPS parents are fighting to improve their schools. Yet, I don't know a single CPS parent who wouldn't move their kids out of CPS if they could afford it. CPS is still the main reason people move their families to the suburbs. It's too much work to try to get a reasonable education for your children.

  • In reply to Shari Schmidt:

    I am a CPS parent who would not have moved his child out of the system. My child attended Burley during a golden moment when it combined economic diversity and high achievement (unfortunately the achievement eventually drove out the diversity). He then went on to Northside, which, while imperfect like all schools, provided him with an excellent education. Next year he will attend a fine private liberal arts college, one of eight that admitted him. However, the recent budget cuts threaten to undermine the very schools he has attended for the last 12 years.

  • In reply to Ira Abrams:

    It's nice when debates turn into personal attacks. It's the first sign that you don't have anything real to add to the conversation.

  • In reply to Shari Schmidt:

    Shari-cant stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.
    If you read the posts, you'll see that no one personally attached you. It is the first sign that maybe you did not have anything real to add to the conversation.

  • In reply to Shari Schmidt:

    Just because you are screeching awful things about public schools doesn't necessarily mean you are are saying anything. I posted the information about your professional credentials (which you might consider as a service, since maybe Donn will hire you based on your comments here) because your comments seemed to be particularly shrill and one-sided. Even if you are not a hired shill--and if you were, why on earth would you be using your own name? Reverse psychology, maybe--even if you are not a plant, I've noticed that people in your line of work lose sight of the difference between reality and positioning, even in ordinary life. Like many wealthy white public education kibitzers, I've noticed that you equate opposition to or indifference to school choice with bad parenting. That's nice, given your own situation. But it leads to a scorched earth policy toward students who don't come from families like yours. If they are too poor or too unsupported to make the kinds of choices that upper-middle class white people make, they should get out of town. There are a lot of roles for public education to play, and while considering the needs and wants of property-tax paying families is definitely important, that's not the end of it from any rational point of view. The city has an interest in providing services to all of the people who live here. I think there is an emerging consensus among people who are concerned about the lowest end of the city that this Mayor does not acknowledge this interest and is surprisingly contemptuous of and inept at the kinds of complex partnerships which are necessary to serve these communities. Your comments are right with him. If you are not getting paid to post here, why are you doing it?

  • In reply to Ira Abrams:

    Who said our children go to private school? I believe school choice is a fundamental right. You should be able to send your chidlren to the best schools possible -- private or public. Would you have such opposition to Mayor Emmanuel sending his kids to a private religious school? Would you have such outrageif he chose to homeschool his children? The problem is it doesn't matter where he sends his kids to school. Your side of the debate has decided he's wrong so all his choices would be wrong. If he sent his kids to a top CPS program then you'd scream that he took a slot of a more deserving family.

    Anyone who doesn't agree with you is immediately dismissed. You judge people simply by whether or not they blindly agree with your position. There's no room for debate. Anyone who doens't agree with you is immediately wrong and under attack.

    No one ever accomplishes social change by bunkering down on one side. There must be room for public debate and compromise if you are going to affect change. Right now it's a group-think, bunker mentality in which one side is always right and the other is always wrong. And it doesn't matter which side you are on. Both sides have group-think.

    I post under my name because I strongly feel if you don't believe it strongly enough to post under your own name then you shouldn't say it. All those posting as "district 229 reader" comments should either use their names or not post. It's cowardly to hide behind an anonymous name.

  • In reply to Ira Abrams:

    Who said our children go to private schools? You continue to make judgements on everyone else because you believe you are the only person who is correct in this debate. I strongly believe people should send their children to the best schools possible -- public or private. You have decided that Mayor Emmanuel is wrong about everything. He has no redeeming qualities in your posts so would it really matter if he sent his kids to CPS? If they were in a top program you'd complaing that his kids took away a space from more deserving families. Would it matter if he homeschooled his kids or sent them to a private religious school? No matter what he does he's wrong in your eyes.

    The two sides of this argument have a group-think, bunker mentalities. There is no room for anything other than the argument each side supports. The minute someone comes along and disagrees they are vilified and belittled. It's like watching a chess match where the players move pieces but never make progress. Unless there is room for open debate this issue will never make progress. Right now there is no progress because neither side can admit the other side might have a point. Compromise is considered defeat, which means there will never be a victory for either side.

    I post under my own name because I believe if you don't believe it strongly enough to own it you shouldn't say it. Those posting under "district229reader" are coward. If you have something to contribute, do it openly.

  • In reply to Shari Schmidt:

    Ok computer glitch so I sent the same thing twice. Sorry!

  • In reply to Shari Schmidt:

    I also post under my own name, even though, as a CPS teacher, I could arguably be risking a lot more than you. I'm not sure who said your children go to private schools. Wasn't me. I also did not mention the Mayor's children. You are conflating all the arguments with which you disagree and replacing actual argument with wild projection and grandstanding. No wonder you don't think anyone who disagrees with you is making a serious argument.

    You do use your real name (I have to take your word that you are not impersonating Shari Schmidt), however, like others of the most frequent and vehement proponents of the Mayor's policies on this blog, you still don't do full disclosure of your vested interests.

    Accenture, which appears to be your employer, according to your LinkedIn page, was part of a "consulting alliance" mentioned in a December Tribune article about questionable relationships between the Mayor and large consulting firms that, among other things, have managed the Mayor's education PR efforts (great work!).

    According to the Tribune, your company "helped CPS leaders analyze the teachers union contract and helped recruit another outside consultant to become the CPS chief transformation officer, a position that now oversees the school-closings strategy."

    I leave out the Tribune's insinuations of corruption involved in the no-bid contract Accenture received from city. The article can be found at http://ow.ly/mHB4E

    I mention this connection in part because while you are busy echoing the extreme version of the Mayor's talking point that budgets somehow grow fully-formed from natural fields of math and that money spent on CPS is effectively wasted, you are perhaps even personally benefiting (who knows?) from allocations of city funds that the Tribune saw fit to suggest were unethical. (Allegedly.) That's how it looks from the other side of the tracks.

  • In reply to Ira Abrams:

    Ira either teaches drama, or how to be a part time private investigator. Both currently very useful skills in the CTU.

  • In reply to Donn:

    Donn... c'mon, you are casting aspersions? You are without a doubt the top apple polisher / cheerleader for Emanuel and his corporate cronies.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Shari - don't worry, anyone who doesn't agree with the CTUers posting here is immediately branded as being "on the mayor's payroll". Has happened to me as well. I did vote for Emanuel and would do so again based on his record so far, especially regarding education.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    CPS Parent... sorry you are anonymously offended but your profile and posts lack detail that makes you believable. Remember, most of the posters here are the ones who choose to work with the children of Chicago. We know the issues intimately, yet certain know-it-alls try to convince us otherwise. Like our students we can spot a phony a mile away. Your "well-crafted" character and your incredulous disbelief ain't foolin' nobody.

  • In reply to Ira Abrams:

    Nice try Ira. The problem is I don't work for anyone. I'm a communications consultant with a number of clients. I don't benefit from any city contracts. It's great that you can pick and choose what makes your point though. I don't see you mentioning that I work for a major museum. Maybe they will benefit from the field trips? Or, maybe the medical society I do work for will benefit when kids fall on the playground? You can take all my clients and find a way to link them to CPS.

  • In reply to Ira Abrams:

    Also, since you're obsessed with my LinkedIn profile, you do know that LinkedIn tells you when someone views your profile, right? I've had numerous views, but none by Ira Abrams. There are several anonymous and one Chicago Public School Teacher. Why aren't you using your own name when you're in people's LinkedIn profiles? It's not like a LinkedIn profile is top secret information.

  • In reply to Shari Schmidt:

    Wont you please just go away? Go on facebook for this type of banter.

  • Carroll said, "By the time this process is over, the overall impact on classroom learning will be very minimal," though she also noted that "there will be winners and losers" among the schools.
    Then why are principals cutting teachers on the SOW list on DS2?
    All public schools should never be losers--which proves that CPS is destroying the city's public schools. How can you say that overcrowded neighborhood schools with no programs at all--nothing--were getting more than they should have all along. These overcrowded schools have been saving CPS $$$ for years.

  • ...aaaaaaaand that's why people don't attach their real names to posts.

    I know it's easier (and can certainly feel better) to dispute a person's points based on WHO they are versus WHAT they say, but it doesn't make for strong discussion (unless by "strong" you mean "personal"). For more information on making sound arguments, follow this link and scroll down to "ad hominem arguments":

    http://www.theskepticsguide.org/resources/logicalfallacies.aspx

    I'd attach my own name to this, but then you'd have a reason to not actually read what I posted.

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