Friday, May 2, 2014

Gated communities for children of privilege

Ald. Pat Dowell
Dowell is not about to use such divisive language. She just wants results. -- Sun-Times reporter Fran Spielman
Julie Woestehoff, executive director of PURE, is a straight shooter. She's quoted in PE&O, letting us know that since CPS leaders vacated the Consent Decree, the city's selective enrollment schools have been turned into “gated communities for children of privilege,” with soaring white enrollment. Remember, these schools were originally created under the deseg agreement as one way to combat years of racial segregation in city schools.

Tepid Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd) who walks a middle ground in the City Council, won't go that far. But even she and Ald. Burns are calling for hearings "with an eye toward modifying the controversial 'socio-economic criteria' put in place when the consent decree was lifted." OK, fine. Hold more hearings. Modify the socio-economic criteria or whatever.

But the usually reliable and accurate Sun-Time reporter Fran Spielman, has no business calling Julie's statement, "divisive" unless she's quoting someone else. It's poor reporting and it's wrong. What's divisive is Rahm using $60 million in TIF money to build another selective enrollment high school (Obama College Prep) in already saturated Lincoln Park. He's using $17 million in TIF funds to expand Payton by 400 seats. This, after closing 50 schools in black and Latino neighborhoods.

That's divisive!

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