With guest, Louder Than a Bomb poet Nate Marshall

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Rahm ecstatic. Nobody killed on Day 1

"This is true community policing." -- Chief Garry McCarthy

The Mayor's troops held the line on Immoral Monday.

Nobody was killed, at least between the hours of 7-8 a.m. and 3-4 p.m. when thousands of cops, fire fighters, Streets & San crews, yellow-vested $10/hr. new hires, and $85K/yr. business-suited CPS staffers manned the 92 Safe Passage routes at an estimated cost of $15.7 million.

However, a 28-year-old man was shot along one of the routes and a 14-year-old boy was shot to death near another one, the day before school started.

Actually, in all the years I've been in Chicago, sending all three of my kids to CPS schools, I can't recall any student ever being shot or killed on their way to the first day of school, even without the full-scale mobilization of troops to guard against the invisible army of "jaw-jacking" shooters supposedly poised waiting behind abandoned buildings to strike at dawn.

But that's probably because we've never had a mayor (and we've had some doozies) willing to put thousands of children in harm's way with such a disruptive, ill-thought-out, and arbitrary school closing strategy.

Rahm skipped the triathlon to prepare for Day 1.
Lost in all the high-fiving was the fact that 400,000 students were returning to a grossly underfunded, racially-segregated school system with over-crowded classrooms, dwindling arts programs and special-ed programs decimated. And good luck to thousands of kids and teachers stuck in non-A/C schools today as temperatures soar above 100.

Congratulations, Mr. Mayor. Now on to Day 2. The whole world is watching.

Closing schools diaspora

That's what WBEZ calls the dispersal of thousands of inner-city school children, scattered from closing schools to 287 schools in the system, many of them not designated as receiving schools or given any extra supports or staffing.
... numbers obtained through an open records request show some 2,200 students from closed schools have not enrolled in welcoming schools, suggesting that the ripple effects of the largest school closure in recent American history could  go well beyond the communities where the closures took place. 
 The scenario also puts at risk the district’s promise to send every student to a higher performing school. For instance, Beidler, which itself has been on the shortlist for closure in the past, now has to manage an influx of students from eight shuttered schools (Stockton, Ross, Pope, Marconi, Goldblatt, Garfield Park, Calhoun and Bethune).


  1. Sinister manipulation of children, teachers, parents, families, communities. It's never been easy to cope inside this gargantuan system. However,this human chess game with rules being rewritten on each day's page is a bizarre nightmare even Stephen King would be unable to plot.

  2. Please chill, guys--take any money you have (especially you greedy, money-grubbing pensioners who are just filthy rich) and make your way to The Four Seasons. Spend locally!
    And--speaking of chill--I noticed (while on the Red Line) in passing some schools that the windows were opened (because they only had FANS propped up in those windows, not air conditioners), the heat index being 101 (and I was VERY aware of that as an antsy adult who was, later, driving not very far in a car with no A/C).
    Imagine how the students and teachers felt ALL DAY--EXTENDED school day.
    (At least one suburban school district bussed their kids to a building that is air conditioned.)

  3. "...some 2,200 students from closed schools have not enrolled in welcoming schools..." which suggests that rahm's plan for totally depopulating chicago's real public schools is well under way.


Agree? Disagree? Let me hear from you.