Mayor’s Education Town Hall Meeting Tonight 6:30pm on Facebook

January 23, 2012 at 5:52 pm 94 comments

I will be LIVE BLOGGING (live blogging, people!) tonight from the Mayor’s Town Hall meeting on education.

We’ll see what scintillating questions Chicagoans have submitted about CPS and what kind of spell-binding answers the Mayor will provide!

If all fates align, I will use a notebook computer (a notebook computer, people!) to make live comments in this post.   Not sure yet if there will be snarky commentary.  We’ll see what snacks are provided at the meeting first.

I know that CPS made an official announcement today about the longer day.  I also had a conversation with a CPS spokesperson about it and will share some of that discussion later.

I’ve never watched anything live on Facebook so you’ll have to figure that one out on your own….

When I told my son I was going to a meeting with the Mayor, he asked if he “wanted to speak to me” because of the comments I made on the photo in the previous post.  God, I hope not.  I hear he actually has a good sense of humor.


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More Longer School Day News Tracking the Tiers…New Tiers Posted

94 Comments Add your own

  • 1. cpsobsessed  |  January 23, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    Ok, that was a bust. The other blogger and I were put in the Overflow Room so I didn’t get to see anything live and the school couldn’t give us a password to get online so I have headed home.

    I will say that Westinghouse is an AMAZING-looking facility and the kids who were also in the overflow room to watch were very adorable. One even tried to get me online but had his efforts thwarted by some adults.

    I had an interesting drive up Kedzie avenue, trying to decide whether I’d send my son on a bus each way down to Westinghouse someday if it were an option. I don’t think I’ve every driven up that street before. It looks a little sketchy down by Westinghouse. However I realized that Kedzie probably looks a little sketchy up by me (Lawrence) if I didn’t know any better….

  • 2. cpsobsessed  |  January 23, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Rahms a good talker, I’ll give him that.

    Turnaround schools – he has seen the test scores. So I have! They look good for elementary schools. High schools, not so much.

    Natl Org for Time and Learning. We are different than Finland. Our demographics are different. They’re more homogeneous. They place strong accountability on principals which CPS is now going to start doing. (I can’t argue with this.)

  • 3. HSObsessed  |  January 23, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    You didn’t miss much. He just took the opportunity to talk up all the CPS initiatives.

  • 4. IB&RGC Mom  |  January 23, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    It was disappointing! He hardly answered any of the questions.

  • 5. cpsobsessed  |  January 23, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    Did he say anything about the lincoln elem situation? They worked so hard to get the votes for their question.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 6. cps alum  |  January 23, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    He doesn’t know what he is talking about. His alma mater– New Trier– doesn’t do geometry until 9th or 10th grade. A little over half of students do Geometry in the 9th grade including top students. Only 25-30 students a year (in a class of about 1000) have had Geometry in the 8th grade and perhaps 1 or 2 will have had it in the 7th grade.

  • 7. IB&RGC Mom  |  January 23, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    HSO, did you hear it. I joined a few minutes late?

  • 8. IB&RGC Mom  |  January 23, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    There were like 50 questions on there about what about 6.5 hours, but I didn’t hear anyone ask that either. Did anyone else?

  • 9. cps alum  |  January 23, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    He probobly gave the moderator a list of questions and topics that he would and would not answer. I’m guessing they only gave him questions that were benign enough to not elicit one of his outburst/tirades stomping/storming out fits.

  • 10. junior  |  January 23, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Missed the show. Did he answer anything about daily PE?

  • 11. HSObsessed  |  January 23, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    I saw the whole thing and it was very bland, beige, blah. All the questions were softballs that were answered in the standard way you would expect. The very first topic was the “full day” that is being proposed, and he just talked about how we’re so far below average and this is getting us up to average, etc. He said this will give kids more learning time, more time for recess, lunch, math, etc. No talk or questions about funding it. He was asked why he’s bringing AUSL in as an operator for a lot of schools, and he said they’re doing a good job with the kids. Commenters from the public on the side of the screen posted links to the study showing that charter schools do no better than other schools, but none of the comments from the peanut gallery were acknowledged. He was asked the overcrowding/Lincoln question and he said it needs to be addressed, through architectural/engineering solutions, possibly with an addition. He praised Westinghouse’s staff and students a lot, and they did seem like awesome kids.

  • 12. Mom  |  January 23, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    @6, may I ask what the problem is with learning Geometry in the 9th or 10th grade may be? Many moons ago, I was a “top student” in a down-state school. Geometry was traditionally taught in 10th. As “advanced learners” we studied the subject in 9th (same year as the shuttle blew up, coincidentally, while our teacher was a “finalist”). What makes a school bad because the subject is not studied in 8th grade, exactly?

  • 13. also obsessed  |  January 24, 2012 at 1:00 am

    @12. I agree.

  • 14. CPS_Parents  |  January 24, 2012 at 2:27 am

    The town hall was a farce. He addressed maybe three questions from facebook and didn’t really offer any real answers on the length of the day — especially if he would consider 6.5.

  • 15. sskcorn  |  January 24, 2012 at 7:59 am

    So tired of the Finland comparison, they are also leaders in suicides and alcoholism. Want to emulate that too?

    Townhall was disappointing and shows that he really has no answers or solutions just an initiative he wants to push/ram through.

  • 16. Joel  |  January 24, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Good point. I lived in Finland for 3 years. It’s wonderful, but has plenty of problems as well. My favorite was the region where my fiancee was from, which was known throughout the country as the place to go for drunken knife-fights. That being said, it’s a beautiful country with amazing people.
    People here who are trying to emulate what is happening there are fairly moronic, since the country’s history, mentality, and demographic is so vastly different from ours. Is it a good place to look for ideas? Absolutely. Will they ever be incorporated here (meaning CPS, or any large urban district)? Absolutely not.
    One of the main differences in education in Finland has to do with the actual educators. In order to become a teacher, you are going to be testing and on par with students who are engineers, doctors, and lawyers. In America, the education programs are not as discerning as they should be.

  • 17. junior  |  January 24, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Finland is relevant because they value teaching, train and attract top talent to teaching, and then give them autonomy to do their jobs. This is not the case in the U.S.

    Early in the 20th century, teaching was one of the few professional options for the smartest and most capable women, and they made for a great teaching cadre. But, as other avenues opened up for talented women and the system did little to incentivize top talent to enter the field, quality has decreased.

    From SuperFreakonomics:

    In 1960, about 40 percent of female teachers scored in the top quintile of IQ and other aptitude tests, with only 8 percent in the bottom. Twenty years later, fewer than half as many were in the top quintile, more than twice as many in the bottom. It hardly helped that teachers’ wages were falling significantly in relation to those of other jobs. “The quality of teachers has been declining for decades,” the chancellor of New York City’s public schools declared in 2000, “and no one wants to talk about it.”

  • 18. cps alum  |  January 24, 2012 at 11:54 am

    @12– There is nothing wrong with studying geometry in the 9th or 10th grade. Rahm was implying that CPS is behind becuase we don’t do it in the 7th grade. He doesn’t know what he is talking about. Most kids aren’t ready for the abstract logic thinking needed to do Geometry in the 7th grade— but Rahm doesn’t know this.

  • 19. cps alum  |  January 24, 2012 at 11:54 am

    @12-13 Did you what the town hall?

  • 20. AnonymousAnonymous  |  January 24, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    12-13-14 i agree, too.

  • 21. cpsmama  |  January 24, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    I watched a portion of the town hall and I agree that it addressed too few of the real questions behind this initiative. I happened to watch the question about Geometry in 7th grade and Mayor Emanuel’s response that CPS shouldn’t be behind suburban schools was a lovely sound bite but it really underscored his lack of knowledge about the realities of education. There are very few 7th graders in geometry anywhere. Heck, even at NS, Geometry is a sophomore class.

    He also seemed to harp on “consistency” of curriculum & length of day and that made me think that a consistent grading scale could/might be on the horizon…. maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part :/

  • 22. anonymous  |  January 24, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    21 — Lenart offers only 1/2 year of geometry in 8th grade.
    Keller offers 1 year of geometry in 8th grade for a few.

  • 23. cps alum  |  January 24, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    I’m a math teacher.

    There is Geometry and there is GEOMETRY.
    A course where students memorize formulas for area and volume, and learn geometric facts about triangles, quadrilaterals and parallel lines is NOT the same thing as a proof based rigorous course where students start with a few axioms and postulates then hypothesize and prove geometrical theorems of both planar and solid figures. T

    While younger students in the 4th or 5th grade might be able to memorize/learn that the sum of the angles of a triangle is 180 degrees and it takes logical reasoning and abstract thinking to get to the point where you can PROVE this fact. There is a reason that Geometry was traditionally taught in the 10th grade. By age 15 most (not all) students brains have developed to the point that they can handle the abstract thinking required to make a logical mathematical argument. (While some students develop earlier hence the few students who do take a proof based Geometry course in the 7th/8th grade, the vast majority of children just aren’t there yet.) The reason kids learn Geometry is because it is one of the most accessible areas of mathematics where students can understand the purpose and beauty of mathematics. Start with very few givens and then PROVE everything else from this.

    This is exactly why I said that Rahm has NO CLUE what he is talking about. Perhaps we need someone who actually knows a little about education and brain science making policy decisions when it comes to curriculum.

    Every kid develops at their own rate. Just because a few 8 month old babies can walk doesn’t mean we do physical therapy with all the 12 months old that don’t. We don’t hear doctors proclaiming “Those babies are behind…put them in a boot camp walking school!” Some children learn to read by age 3 –but this doesn’t mean that all kids have to know how to read before they leave nursery school. (The part of the brain that is required for reading doesn’t fully develop until age 7, that is why reading was traditionally taught in the 1st grade.) A kindergartener who is struggling to read may be just as bright as the one who read at 4, they just have developed differently.

  • 24. cps alum  |  January 25, 2012 at 2:08 am

    I wonder if Rahm is planning on pulling his kids from Chicago Lab since most students take Geometry in the 9th grade there (per the program of study on the UofC Lab website). They must be behind since they aren’t taking it in the 7th grade.

  • 25. Joel  |  January 25, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Algebra II-9th
    Calculus AP-12th
    Is that the standard path through high school that most of you had?

  • 26. Mayfair Dad  |  January 25, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    All this talk about Geometry makes my head hurt — just like when I was in high school!

  • 27. anonymous  |  January 25, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Thank you math teacher for trying to stop the insanity. ; )

  • 28. Concerned Party  |  January 25, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    @25 My standard math path (in an east coast high school):

    Algebra I – 8th
    Geometry – 9th
    Algebra II – 10th
    Pre-Cal – 11th
    Calculus AP – 12th

  • 29. Curious  |  January 25, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    @cpsobsessed…Westinghouse does have a AMAZING Facility & Staff!!! My daughter is a freshman & loves the curriculum at GWCP. Plus its a Selective Enrollment School.

  • 30. LR  |  January 25, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    Geometry prior to 8th grade is a bit far-fetched – and I don’t believe that is the standard track in the burbs now (my parents still live up there and mom works at the public high school). The boy that lives next door to my parents is in Geometry in 6th grade, but he attends some Math and Science Academy up there (not a public school). He also builds his own working cars, which he drives up and down the street, if that says anything.

  • 31. klm  |  January 26, 2012 at 10:24 am

    OK, I’m all for a rigorous math curriculum, but what’s the rush to move things up a year or two? As a math teacher pointed out above, learning basic concepts and formulas is NOT the same as being capable of solving complex math problems by contstructing correct solutions by taking real knowledge, creating a mental construct and applying it effectively.

    Schools may push through Geometry in 8th grade, but since all knowledge is cumulative, isn’t it better to have a really strong foundation in the long run, rather than “get kids through it” as fast as possible so that a school “looks good” on paper?

    The same can be said of any subject (history, science, foreign languages, English …) but since math is so essential in our modern economic system and so much future employment (even manufacturing jobs require complex math capabilities these days), I’m afraid some kids with just give up and be turned off math, rather than go at a pace that’s most reasonable.

    I’d rather my kids have a 100% solid foundation in Algebra I in 9th, Geometry in 10th, Algebra II/Trig in 11th, Pre-Calc in 12th, etc., than moving things up by 2 years and having only a 50% ( or less) capability in thoses subjects, so that they’re not overwhelmed later on (college, job training, …) because of a flimsy foundation born of an airy-fairy notion that an education’s better if we move math up a grade or 2. Why the rush?

  • 32. anonymous  |  January 26, 2012 at 10:53 am

    31 — Agreed.

    It all depends on how the school sets up its math program. Keller is nice in that kids who show proficiency in the regular math go into Algebra/Geometry. And b/c Pre-Algebra / Algebra is also an option.

    Wonder how Hawthorne school does it?

  • 33. Esmom  |  January 26, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    31, agreed also. And with the emphasis shifting to college prep, you’d think a solid foundation based on the track you mentioned would help with a more successful transition to college.

  • 34. liza  |  January 26, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    One of the biggest problems I have with programs like Everyday Math and Trailblazers math curriculum ( I have been trained in and taught both) is that it does not provide a strong foundation of concepts or skills. New concepts, and lots of them, are thrown at kids a few times and then disappear only to show up farther down the line. My issue with this is many children never get the opportunity to master many of these skills or develop a working knowledge of these concepts because they are not given adequate time to practice and retain new skills before we must move on to something else. I end up with students who are like jacks of all trades, but masters of none. At training sessions, we are told to just keep pushing on, the students will pick it up when we “spiral” back to it. Many of them are not picking it up and fall farther behind. I wish we were building a good foundation in the early years. I think more kids would be successful in math in the upper grades and high school.

  • 35. cpsobsessed  |  January 26, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    I think the spiraling worked for the low grades but now that we’re in the getting-hard stuff it seems scattered, just as you describe.
    And this is exactly what parents warned me about.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 36. rmcd  |  January 27, 2012 at 10:00 am

    @34: from what I can tell, this is the problem with CPS as a whole, and probably with public education in America altogether: a focus on test scores and rote learning means zero value placed on instilling foundations and fundamentals, which then help kids to think critically. This is not just a problem with math; just because a kid can read phonetically by kindergarten doesn’t mean he/she understands the foundations of language. I saw this first hand when I taught college English at a top university — very few of my students understood why a sentence was or wasn’t syntactically correct, and most thought that a basic plot summary equaled textual analysis. Most had a hard time even with the plot summary.

    No one seems to care about producing kids who can think, only kids who can help raise average test scores. And I am most emphatically NOT a mathematician, but if my understanding of “averages” is correct, half the kids will always be in the bottom half, and rising average scores will simply redefine the parameters of failure. So this emphasis on test scores will never produce a system in which everyone is succeeding.

  • 37. klm  |  January 27, 2012 at 10:54 am

    @34 and 36

    You are both right on. I’ve read about “Singapore Math” which is a curriculum that seems to do a good job at getting kids to incorporate “the big picture” of mathematics in order to get kids thinking more like little mathmeticians, rather than learning a few concepts, then moving on to a few news ones, then a few more, etc., which seems a little disjointed (my kids have Everyday Math) when problem solving requires wide-ranging abilities, when real complex problems are involved that require complex thinking, not simple piece-meal concepts. Singapre Math originated in Singapore (obviously and it’s also obvious that tiny Singapore can’t compare to our hugely complex socioeconomic mix), but from I understand, it’s been incorporated to the national curriculum of Israel (a nation with lots of immigrants and socioeconomic diversity more like the U.S.)with real positive results. It works by having kids conceputualize more than just remembering facts, formulas, etc. For example, playing with 2 things then adding 2 more so that one can see 4 of them being created (rather than just knowing 2+2=4 by rote).

    The Chicago Grammar School (a wonderful [albeit relatively new] private school for anybody interested and able to pay) uses Singapore Math and from what I understand, it’s been a great tool/method for getting kids to think conceptually about math that has impressed parents and visitors.

  • 38. ChicagoGawker  |  January 27, 2012 at 11:25 am

    @34. Yes! Yes! This is totally what I saw in my kid after 4 years of EM. It destroyed her confidence in her ability to do Math. I have wanted to scream “The Emperor Has No Clothes” about spiraling and EM, but there is dogmatic support for it in this city. Some of you want to check Jump Math, a program used in Canada with good success with disadvantaged kids. It breaks down steps to operations into small parts and does not move forward until each step is mastered.

  • 39. liza  |  January 28, 2012 at 9:37 am

    @38 Thanks for the info about Jump Math! I just ordered some of their materials to use for my RTI kids. I love the way it keeps building on the concepts in nice small steps, and their is plenty of practice opportunities. I also will be using their fractions unit with all my students. We just finished Scantron, and my students bombed on fractions. Not enough spiraling, I guess.

    Shhh! This, of course, will be done in secret! (God forbid I don’t follow EM to the letter and stick to the pacing chart!)

  • 40. Chicago Gawker  |  January 28, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    @39 I used the Jump Math books at home with my kid this summer and now she’s making As and Bs! (Unfortunately after 3 years of EM failure, she sobbed when I informed her we would be doing 20 minutes of math every day, she hates math so much) Started with the fractions unit and it really boosted her confidence. You may also want to check out the Jump Math founder’s book “The Myth of Ability” I wish jump math would catch on here in the US

  • 41. Eric  |  January 30, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Here is an interesting article on Finland’s school system:

    In theory, American’s value education for all, but can we have an education system that adequately prepares every student while following this very American notion of competition?

  • 42. anonymous  |  January 31, 2012 at 2:57 am

    Among all the differences, the poverty rate in Chicago is 31%. It’s around 4% in Finland.

  • 43. klm  |  January 31, 2012 at 9:10 am


    Good point. There are so many glaringly obvious socioeconomic differences. In the U.S., we spend plenty on education compared to other countries — even compared to “compassionate” places with generous welfare states like Sweden and France (at least in terms of K-12 spensing, preschool-wise is a different story) that some people like to believe are doing a better job than us at educating kids, so they must be spending more money, right? Wrong.

    As we have discsussed previously, there isn’t a problem so much with white and asian kids in this country learning, at least compared to other countries (I remember reading a statisitic somewhere that white and asian American kids in states like Massachusetts and a some others score just as high if not better on PISA tests than kids in Finland). The achievement gap (black kids, especially black males are on average something like 3-4 years behind their white peers by 11th grade –spend time at any mostly black or latino public school ihigh school in Chicago or Detroit and tell me what you see skill-wise doesn’t make you want to cry). The situation for Latino kids is not much better. Demographically, kids from these low-scoring groups in the U.S. are some thing like 1/3 or more of our students (the majority in places like Texas, California and Florida). States with the “whitest” student populations (NH, MA, MN, IA, etc.) are the ones that do best on average test score-wise because they don’t have a large “achievement gap” demographic to bring down their avaerages. Sad, but true.

    I’m not so sure that if somebody suddenly sent black and latino kids from the Southside and Westside to Helsinki, they’s suddenly become world-beating test-takers. Maybe I’m wrong.

    I’m not for a moment suggesting that we should just throw up our hands and accept things the way they are, there’s so much room for improvement for everybody. I’m simply pointing out some cold, hard facts that make our situation different than Finland’s.

  • 44. Anonymous  |  January 31, 2012 at 11:50 am

    I read this and was shocked; we have 10,000 homeless students in Chicago.

    It shouldn’t matter what their test scores are. They deserve to be cared for. This is the civil rights issue of our time, and we deserve a compassionate society that will address the issues these children have — not push more testing on them. It’s nonsense.

  • 45. Eric  |  January 31, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    @ 42 and 43 Kim

    You both make the excellent point that the problem is still class and race.

    LBJ knew it with the War on Poverty, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the original ESEA. All equity based policies.

    This shifted when Reagan switched the focus in education from “equity” to “excellence” (i.e. the standards movement via A Nation at Risk).

    This is where the Finland comparison comes in. Since they prioritize equity you end up with a more “educated” population, who therefore have more opportunities to gain employment meaning less poverty. Also, they have a huge social safety-net, which, yes they pay for in taxes, but it prevents people from falling into deep poverty through medical bills, unemployment, acts of god, foreclosure, or whatever.

    In the US, our schools are expected to be this safety-net, or “great equalizer” to solve social inequality, but in reality it’s not working.

    Our national education system is still based on competition. Which means winners and losers, and this is where we stand today.

  • 46. liza  |  January 31, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Rod Estvan posted this on the 299 blog. I thought it went well with the last few posts.
    The truth is Chicago has been in a state of permanent reform long before 1995. The history of public education in Chicago is littered with one reform plan after another going back to at least the early 1900s. A common thread running through these reforms is that education for poor children, whether they are white ethnics newly arrived from Europe, black children up from the south, or minority urban youth born into poor communities is that education is the great equalizer.

    Its not, that is a great myth and assuming any reform plan can equalize poor children’s outcomes to those in our society who are not poor is part of perpetuating that myth. It does not mean poor children can’t learn, but it does mean members of higher social classes regardless of their race will push their own children harder based on the mean test scores necessary to be admitted to competitive colleges and/or skills necessary to become highly competitive workers. So if we lift the test scores of poor children up it will only cause those looking over their shoulders to send their children to more prep programs, provide even more enrichment, and put even more money away for college.

    Some poor children will rise to the top because of the individual skills they have and exceptional parenting, the majority cannot. We live is a class society, it will not go away just because the current Mayor or even past reformers believed education to be the great equalizer. To say its not fair is an understatement, its the reality we live with in our highly competitive society based on individual gain. The Mayor wants his own children to have an edge so that is why they are in Lab School, for that matter that is why my one of own daughters went to Payton and prepared for the ACT as early as her freshman year in high school.

    I have always believed even given this framework it is wrong to give up on poor children in urban areas even if the end game is somewhat more literate poor adults and not a pathway to the middle class that public education promises to the children of the poor and hasn’t ever been able to deliver in America’s urban centers.

  • 47. cpsobsessed  |  January 31, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    I like Rod’s thoughts, but I don’t know I’d assume that the Mayor or JCB thinks they’re going to magically put at-risklow socio-economic kids on par with his own (or with Tier 4 kids.)
    But heck, it it not worth a valiant effort to help these kids graduate with good reading skills and adequate math skills and some groundwork, for those who can do it, to continue to college?

    I have to have hope that if more citizens had basic reading, writing, and math skills that more of them could make the leap, break out, rise above, figure out a better way. I think the goal is to bring these kids up to a decent level and we’re not even doing that. Not that I’m saying it’s easy or anyone has figured it out. Whether I agree with his tactics or not, that seems to be the goal of Rahm, no? To at least make some improvement?

  • 48. Chris  |  January 31, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    “they’re going to magically put at-risklow socio-economic kids on par with his own (or with Tier 4 kids.)”

    Wait, every kid in Tier 4 is *not* at-risk and *not* low SES? How fine grained is thre new tier map? House by house?

  • 49. cpsobsessed  |  January 31, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    Sorry, I’m a data person. Statistically there has to be more real Tier 4 kids than real Tier 1 kids living in a Tier 4 zone. Or one billionaire who skews the whole block. 🙂

    That wouldn’t even work though because they take what, 5 other variables into account?

  • 50. cpsobsessed  |  January 31, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    Click to access Census_Tract_Six_Factor_Tiers_12_15_10.pdf

    This Tier map doesn’t list the 6 factors, but it is interesting in light have having been looking at new homes lately.
    Green is Tier 4, Red is Tier 1.
    At the corner of North and Western is Tier 4 directly across the street from Tier 1. I can’t picture what’s down there, but Western is a big dividing line between Tier 3/4 and 1/2. There aren’t that many areas where you have Tiers 1 and 4 right across the street from each other.

    It looks like I will be moving to an area that is firmly entrenched as Tier 3. And I chose it because it’s a little safer. Despite any benefit for SE applications, the Tier 2 neighborhoods have more crime reported. Unless you can find some little Tier 1/2 haven, I can’t see living there just for the edge you get in applying to schools.

  • 51. Lakeview Mom  |  January 31, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    @37, re: Singapore, no it can’t compare to the U.S. in terms of diversity, but don’t forget that it’s a multiethnic population of Chinese, Malays, and Indians; there were well-publicized “race” riots in the 1960s, martial law, and plenty of ethnic tension. It’s a lot more diverse than you think.

  • 52. RL Julia  |  February 1, 2012 at 11:14 am

    KLM @ 42 – “As we have discsussed previously, there isn’t a problem so much with white and asian kids in this country learning, at least compared to other countries ” I’d love to see the study you are referring to – most of this country’s children are still classified as white – and not all of them are doing so well educationally speaking. The state’s you listed: NH(88% white) , MA(70% white), MN (76% white) , IA (83% white) all might have wonderful schools – I honestly don’t know – but I don’t know about Vermont, Maine and West Virginia all relatively poor states that are whiter. I think it really has to do more with income and how that income is distributed on a whole. You might want to check out this op-ed:

    I think it probably informs the discussion about the effects of income and,parental education far more than thoughts about race. The race isn’t the problem – the culture and over-arching cultural assumptions associated with race are more problematic in my opinion.

    Oh- and I got my data on the race of children (circa 2009) from Annie E. Casey Foundation: here: – a pretty cool site.

  • 53. LR  |  February 1, 2012 at 11:38 am

    O’Hare Airport is Tier 3 : ) Kind of made me laugh to think the airport has its own tier.

  • 54. Anonymous  |  February 1, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    45 Eric

    It’s just absurd to pushing standardized tests on our poorest kids. Homelessness is an overwhelming.

    And that is the problem with an unfunded long day, long year initiative.

  • 55. not surprised  |  February 1, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Tier breakdown/map won’t be released until later to coincide with SEHS results. I spoke to someone at OAE office who just received an office email today. Deadline? What deadline? Why bother stating a release date.

  • 56. CPSDepressed  |  February 1, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    So is the answer to develop a curriculum for homeless children, or to do away with standardized tests for all?

  • 57. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  February 1, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    @54 – Say whaaa…? That’s big news. They can’t “coincide” the SEHS results (assuming that means admission) with the setting of the tiers. CPS needs to have the tiers in order to assign the seats.
    This will totally seem like they’re engineering the outcomes (who audits the tier calculations, anyway?) if the tier AND seat assignments appear at the same time. Moot point, I guess, whether it’s February 1 or March, because both dates are after the last missing piece, the exam. I’m guessing that when they announced the January 31 date, they thought their programmers and data people could get the desired results in a weekend after the last exam date (which wouldn’t that far of a stretch if they hired them based on merit.)

    When I last peeked in, the only supposed reason given for the hold up was some missing data for 1 of the 6 factors (don’t know where I saw that, probably here.)

  • 58. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  February 1, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    In the interest of not feeling completely senile, I fetched the last tidbit I saw:

    55. WRP Mom | January 18, 2012 at 7:38 am

    When the website wasn’t updated last week, I sent an email to the OAE. I finally received a reply yesterday (so it took 8 days to reply):
    “We are still awaiting information on one of the five characteristics used to determine to the tiers; we now expect the tiers to be updated by the end of the month.”
    It was signed by Karen Burroughs Hannsberry, Communications Manager, Office of Academic Enhancement
    …I thought there were 6 criteria used to determine tiers, not 5. I wonder what information they could still be waiting on, since the census was in 2010.

  • 59. Elementary mom  |  February 1, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Just for everyone’s information testing for selective elementary spots is ongoing, it is not finished yet.

  • 60. North Center Mom  |  February 1, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    I was wondering when the tardy Tiers map would become an issue in the comments. At the moment I am an interested, outside observer. If I were the parent of an 8th grader, I would be very concerned. Here is what I recall:
    *in Fall 2011, the OAE website said the map would be available mid-November.
    *in mid-November, the message was changed to mid-December
    *in mid-December, it was changed to January 8, 2012 (a Sunday, no less)
    *that week, it was changed to January 31, 2012
    *today is February 1, and there is no update.

    Aren’t the 8th grade parents clamoring for information?

  • 61. Elementary mom  |  February 1, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    North Center Mom – Just curious, for 8th graders it is a fait accompli at this point, no? How does tier matter to those entering high school at this point?

  • 62. HS Mom  |  February 1, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    @61 – I’m guessing that it will matter to people once the rejection notices arrive with no round 2 offerings. I would make my stand before that happens. I would think that the process would need to be transparent as to what the changes are and why. Unless there are no changes.

  • 63. Eric  |  February 1, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    @ 56 CPSDepressed

    I think re-developing the curriculum to make it more inclusive is one step. Cultural bias in testing and standards has long been a problem.
    This may become an even bigger problem with the coming Common Core standards.

    DePaul stopped requiring ACT or SAT scores because they found that the test scores were too closely related to parents income.

    @ 47 CPSObsessed

    “Whether I agree with his tactics or not, that seems to be the goal of Rahm, no? To at least make some improvement?”

    His unwaivering support for charters (claiming they’re the “best performing” without the stats to back it up etc.) just shows he’s part of the trend to use public education money for private companies. You can’t just wipe out a bunch of schools, turn them over to corporations, and expect results.

    They already tried this with REN2010 and it failed miserably.

  • 64. HS Mom  |  February 1, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Found something on tiers. The statement is that changes are made to reflect 2010 census

  • 65. Anon  |  February 1, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    Maybe I missed something in this thread, but is there a change planned for s.e.h.s. admissions criteria this year?

  • 66. Anon  |  February 1, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    56. I can’t say of the top of my PC, but it doesn’t seem right to me not to take into account something as serious as homelessness.

  • 67. CPSDepressed  |  February 1, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    I’m all for taking homelessness into account, but I am tired of the notion that because some kids in CPS are homeless or have parents who don’t love them or whatever, it is wrong to have high standards for any kids. Or their teachers.

  • 68. Eric  |  February 1, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    @67 CPSDepressed

    This is the problem with standards. We can’t hold everyone to the same standards if the standards are biased toward the people who create them. NCLB is all about holding millions of different kids to standards that don’t take them into account.

    I agree there should be a base level of education that everyone should have access to, but it should include and be taught in a way that takes everyone into account. What works for a kid in Lincoln Park won’t work for a kid in Englewood.

  • 69. Chris  |  February 1, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    “At the corner of North and Western is Tier 4 directly across the street from Tier 1. I can’t picture what’s down there, but Western is a big dividing line between Tier 3/4 and 1/2. There aren’t that many areas where you have Tiers 1 and 4 right across the street from each other.”

    East of Western = Bucktown
    West of Western = Humboldt Park.

  • 70. Joel  |  February 1, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    I don’t have any experience with the Tier system as my high school is not even in that stratosphere. I also do not have children in the CPS. But reading this thread as it pertains to the Tiers…my goodness. This is what education in America, public education, has come to in Chicago?
    It is absolutely absurd. Samuell Beckett, Kurt Vonnegut, or Thomas Pynchon could not have written this stuff. It is absolutey insane.
    And what is even more insane is that you can get in a car and go 10 miles, plop into a house or apartment, and be in some of the top districts in the country, perhaps the world, and you can enroll your child. And they will be welcomed. They don’t have to take a test. They get to be kids going to high school.
    The amount of frustration, energy, worry, stress, and fear that is fostered and ultimately is layed on the shoulders of the kids is just absurd. I know so many of you are agonizing over this and I feel for you, because if I had a child I would do anything to give them the best opportunities, like my parents did for me. But what many don’t realize (or do realize, but are willing to fight) is that the CPS, the mayoral control, and the CTU has taken so much of that power away from parents. I wish good luck and best outcomes to all involved in the process.

  • 71. Casonia sade logenberry feierabend  |  March 22, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    Fear is facing those people…Control and never having a normal life around those people that are not worth your time?

  • 72. Casonia sade logenberry feierabend  |  March 22, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    CPS is all about stress and tention and frustration and control..Your life is never going to be your life once they grace your doors….Your home is forever tainted.

  • 73. Casonia sade logenberry feierabend  |  March 22, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    They truely don’t care about you and your family..It is all a fraud and the big lie is that they are always smiling in your face and telling you they are going to close out your case and they can’t find a reason to carry on but in court it is a different story of stabbing one in the back and catching people out of balance?

  • 74. Casonia sade logenberry feierabend  |  March 22, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Fear for me and Cps is the smile on there face and the reason they do that? They know they are about to make your life stressful>>>In a very sad way…Being around Cps is feeling your a child having a child? The meaning is that cps is parenting a parent and they are going to never leave you alone until your child…Hits 18 years old….Tainted time is all cps is going to inflicked on any human being…

  • 75. Casonia sade logenberry feierabend  |  March 22, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Privacy is washed away with cps in a person life and all the plans you make with your children and mate…Forced to run all that personal information to a 3rd party adult and…I have no police record…But felt like I was on parole.?

  • 76. Casonia sade logenberry feierabend  |  March 22, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    A parents privacy is washed away with one phone call from a complete stranger words….The person who started the Cias and stress and tention and frustration and lost of privacy and followed from place to place and feeling you can’t get away from people who drop in and tell you as a family…How to live your life and what to do with your time and how to plan your time with your child, Trying at often down the road breaks up the family…

  • 77. Casonia sade logenberry feierabend  |  March 22, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    I have been harrassed from day one of being a parent..To tell you the truth…I felt more like a baby sitter then a mother.

  • 78. anonymouseteacher  |  March 22, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    @67 and 68, there is a way to ensure both that all stakeholders are held to a high standard and kids in different situations are getting individualized educations, but not expecting a child with no support to achieve at the same level-at the same time as one with more support than they even need.
    1) kids are tested in the first week or two of the school year.
    2) they are re-tested at the end of the year (and multiple times in between to inform instruction)
    If a child makes more than one year’s worth of growth from the entry assessment, they are getting a good education.
    A child in Lincoln Park may walk into 1st grade reading at a 2nd grade level. That child should be then reading at a third grade level by the end of the year at bare minimum.
    A child in a homeless situation or poverty situation may enter 1st grade not knowing the difference between numbers or letters. (Basic 3 year old knowledge) If that child leaves 1st grade with basic kindergarten literacy, then they have made 2+ years worth of progress in a one year time span. That’s a terrific education. And hopefully then when that child goes to 2nd grade, they can make 1.5 years of progress, so that when they go to 3rd grade, they are almost caught up.

    Of course, poverty, second language issues, home insecurity, abuse, violence, trauma, hunger, a parent incarcerated and other things all affect a child’s ability to make that kind of growth and it is important to remember that. Most Chicago children are facing at least one of these issues. We need more psychologists, more mentors, smaller class sizes and that would help buffer some of these things.

  • 79. Sped Mom  |  March 22, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    @ Casonia – Do you need some help? What could help now?


  • I had though the truth shall set you free and showing the proof and having the people ready to get on the stand and tell there life and history with me and this people have known me from child-hood and we ate at each other’s home and grew up together, DOCTOR DALE REISNER HAS NEVER EVEN HAD ONE SINGLE CUP OF COFFEE WITH ME AND SO HOW WOULD THIS SNITCH KNOW THE TRUTH ABOUT ME…

  • THE GOVERNMENT ACT LIKE ROMAN CAESAR? I wonder if the shut down is going to effect there pocket book, since they are on strike there is no money in there pocket address in direction!




  • DEAR CHILDREN, WONDERFUL, FANTASTIC STAND IN GRANDMOTHER, MILDRED SANDERS PASSED AWAY, DEC 16th 2013…so I have been really in sad, she was my best friend and I had her for a wonderful 34 years, she held on for my birthday, which was a blessing, I got the chance to thank her from the bottem of my heart for me there for me and having a good kind, soul, loveliness of spirit, which is a treasure!


  • 90.  |  April 16, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    What’s up, yes this piece of writing is genuinely good and I have learned lot of things from it regarding blogging.

  • we as parent’s are doomed to suffer and go throw heart ache without are children, we the parent’s who do nothing wrong and going to be treated, like trash and followed around and bothered by some social worker who doe’s this out of joy, and this mean’s getting off on stealing joy out of a person’s like and at the end, it is the pass around deal that is a thrill for people who get joy out of stealing happiness out of people’s life, one day at a time, making every holiday and birthday worthless on so many level’s.

  • no one is going to help and no one is going to do anything against the mighty one’s who control and pass over people, it is there job to give grief and bring on sadness to other’s in life?

  • I really can’t blame the news stations for not spending much time on this issue, if this hard working people where bugged and bothered they would lose so much?

  • keep in mind that your mate could be stabbing you in the back?

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