Friday, May 30, 2014

Mechanics: I Ran for Local School Council and Maybe I Even Won!

The author of this article - Phil Huckleberry - discusses his experience as a candidate for his neighborhood school's LSC. He apparently won the election, but discovered at a recent meeting that the results have been challenged. That school's LSC won't meeting until next year after new elections, and the school's LSC functions would be governed instead by CPS' central office. Something pertinent Mr. Huckleberry said in his piece:
Now, this story isn't about me and my awe-inspiring 21 votes. It's not about whether or not there was some sort of problem with the election.

This is a story about bureaucracy.

I can rail against charter schools or say negative things about the mayor just like a lot of people who write words that get put on the Internet. I can talk about how great Karen Lewis is just like the next cherished Chicago journalist.

But here is the crux of the situation: Bureaucracies put bureaucracy first. And the reality is that Chicago Public Schools is a horrifically clunky bureaucracy, steeped in nonsensical inefficiencies, ultimately overseen by an unelected board who are themselves nothing more than hand-picked highly privileged bureaucrats. The system is failing its students because the system is more important than the students.

There are a lot of smart and dedicated administrators within CPS. But things are never truly going to turn around so long as everything is about CPS and not about the actual students.
I suggest you read the whole thing, and of course we hope to hear your thoughts on this.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

CSU Presidential Library Support Requested

We were aware of some meetings regarding the future Barack Obama Presidential Library as it pertains to Chicago State University. While Mayor Rahm Emanuel is encouraging a single bid for the city to become home to a library many sites in Chicago are seeking one especially the President's former employer University of Chicago.

You can check out Curbed Chicago's coverage of Obama's Presidential Library Chicago State's bid for the library. The contents of the e-mail you will see below.
Hello,

Our 95th Street Panel of Development,Business Development Coordinator, Michael LaFargue, asks each you to write a letter of support from your POD, business, church or block club... in support of a presidential library being build at CSU. Original letters, not form letters are requested.

Chicago State University Presidential Library LETTERS OF SUPPORT

Write and Mail To:
  • Dr. Wayne Watson
    c/o The President's Office
    Chicago State University
    9501 South King Drive
    Chicago, Illinois 60628-2123

EMAIL TO:
  • wwright @ csu.edu
    Wanda Wright, Director Community Relations

ALSO, Please CSU Presidential Library Online Petition:
Library Petition is on the Menu to the left i.e. "show your support"!!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Strausberg: Pfleger says no one shot or wounded last night is proof ‘We can do this’ #putthegunsdown

Fr. Michael Pfleger
An interesting account written by Chinta Strausberg for those events connected with #PutTheGunsDown from last Friday. Here's hoping everyone had a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend.
Pfleger says no one shot or wounded last night is proof ‘We can do this’
Fed more than 500 at city-sponsored peace rally
By Chinta Strausberg

Police officials confirmed Saturday that no one died or wounded last night—an unusual state in this violence riddled city but good news to Father Michael L. Pfleger who said, “God is just waiting for us to be the inhabitants of the earth he called us to be and last night should tell us one very important truth…we can do this.”

The nearly 200 citywide “Summer of Faith” peace rallies took place last night and just a few weeks after Mayor Rahm Emanuel and radio personalities signed unto a “Put The Guns Down” anti-violence prevention campaign. Many of those attending the rally held at Saint Sabina’s Renaissance Park held signs bearing that message.

“I thought the night was a wonderful showing of what community is all about and should be every day….people from blocks all around, children playing games and dancing, adults laughing and dancing, teens playing basketball and everybody eating,” said Pfleger. “We fed over 500 people. It was a vision of what we all want and can have if we come together.”

Joining Pfleger were Amy Emanuel, the wife of Mayor Rahm Emanuel who was accompanied by Cyndy Lyons and Dr. Anita Blanchard, associate professor at the University of Chicago, Police Supt. Garry McCarthy, Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-16th), WGCI’s Tony Sculfield, DJ Farley “Jackmaster” Funk, and many others.

While Mrs. Emanuel briefly spoke to the crowd, McCarthy gave a clear blueprint of how to eliminate the violence that continues to grip Chicago neighborhoods. “Violence is not a police department problem. It’s a community problem. It’s kind of true, but it’s everybody’s problem and we are all part of the community. We all live in the city of Chicago,” McCarthy said.

Quoting the mayor who often says, “A murder or shooting in the city of Chicago affects everybody in Chicago” none of this not in my backyard, none of this that says it’s on the South Side, who cares, or if it’s on the West Side, who cares. If it’s in the city of Chicago, it affects everybody,” McCarthy said.

“This is a police problem. It is a community problem, and it’s a legislation problem and we need some leadership to step up and give us a hand, but it’s not going to happen because of anything we’re doing. It’s going to happen because of something we are all doing.”

Senator Collins said, “This is the best effort made by a community to come together on behalf of promoting peace….Anything that we can do and show that we care to one another, respect another, counts” and that includes coming out to have fun.…

Sculfield, who grew up at 79thand Aberdeen, asked the crowd to chant “peace” and to “lay the guns down.” “We had a long, tortuous winter and we want our babies, our kids and our families to be able to come out and enjoy the summer weather. We want to sit on the porch. We want to go to the park. We want to play in the back yard. We want to bring the grill out. We want to enjoy ourselves….” “Put the guns down, now.”

“We are going to be doing this once a month…. We need real men in the communities, real citizens…. We’re going to take this city back….Put the guns down. Peace,” bellowed Sculfield. Funk echoed Sculfield’s message also chanting, “Put the guns down.”

Father Pfleger announced that Chris Baker, who owns a tattoo shop in Oswego, Illinois, will remove any gang tattoos for free on Friday, June 13th during Saint Sabina’s 7 p.m. end of the school year march to proclaim peace in the streets rally. When asked why does he provide this free service, Baker said, “God gave me the ability to tattoo letters which I love and this is my way of giving back some love and right now Chicago needs some love.”

Friday, May 23, 2014

5th District Candle Light Peace Rally #putthegunsdown

This rally will take place on tonight from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM at 113th & Michigan. An event such as this is scheduled to take place at roughly the same time in neighborhoods throughout the city of Chicago. Please let us know if you're holding such an event in your neighborhood feel free to mention to us on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Black School Principal critical of Emanuel takes to blog, airs complaints

 Got wind of this story via the Newsalert blog:
 The Chicago Sun-Times reports:

"An outspoken elementary school principal who recently blasted the mayor’s office for silencing Chicago Public School principals in an opinion piece he wrote for the Sun-Times, is now airing comments from other school leaders on his blog.

Troy LaRaviere, principal at Blaine Elementary School in Lake View and a veteran of the U.S. Navy, called the administration’s interaction with principals “insulting,” in an opinion piece he wrote in Saturday’s Chicago Sun-Times.

“While publicly praising principals in speeches and with awards, behind the scenes this administration has disregarded principals’ knowledge and experience,” he wrote. “They have ignored and even suppressed principals’ voices in order to push City Hall’s political agenda for Chicago’s schools.”

When principals questioned the merits of Emanuel’s signature longer school day in 2012, for example, “CPS officials were then dispatched to tell the principals their opinions didn’t matter,” LaRaviere wrote."
You should read the original  opinion piece here it's pretty explosive!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Chicago Teachers Union votes to oppose Common Core Standards - Chicago Sun-Times

 
http://www.ctunet.com/
Chicago Teachers Union votes to oppose Common Core Standards - Chicago Sun-Times

I've been hearing about this Common Core for a while and most of what I heard isn't good. I think it's time for me to check out what Common Core is and why the Chicago Teacher's Union is on record opposing this.

Here's an official statement from the CTU on this development.

Monday, May 5, 2014