Reader Article on Chicago School Segregation

June 16, 2013 at 11:49 am 201 comments


The Reader has a fascinating article about the history of segregation and desegregation in the city that is fully interesting history and information.  the link is below if you want to read it.  I highly recommend it as it addresses some of the topics we seem to always wonder about and even includes some sane sounding quotes from Karen Lewis! (Link at bottom of the post.)

Some interesting portions:

Yikes: In June 15, 1863—exactly 150 years ago this coming Saturday—a “Colored School” opened in Chicago. The city’s black residents hadn’t asked for it.  The Chicago Times exulted that the city’s white children would henceforth be spared “the degrading necessity of associating with the negro.”

Forty-one percent of the city’s public schools—277 of 681—are at least 90 percent black. Sixty-eight percent of the black students enrolled in the Chicago Public Schools are in these schools. Non-Hispanic whites account for 32 percent of the city’s population, but only 9 percent of CPS’s enrollment.

In 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court made school desegregation yet more difficult. In a case involving the Seattle school district, the court ruled, 5 to 4, that a school system cannot use racial classifications as part of a desegregation effort, even if the plan is voluntary. School systems can still use student socioeconomic profiles in making such plans.

The Consortium on Chicago School Research identified 46 truly disadvantaged schools.  They were at least 90 percent African-American; most were 100 percent African-American. Another 95 African-American schools were not quite as poor but still high in poverty.  The consortium measured student improvement on reading and math tests between 1990 and 1996. In the truly disadvantaged schools, only 15 percent of the students improved significantly in reading; in the integrated schools, 42 percent did. In math, 17 percent improved significantly in the disadvantaged schools, compared with more than four times that—60 percent—in the integrated schools.

The authors of Organizing Schools observed that a special concern for urban schoolteachers are students “with extraordinary personal and social needs”—children living “under unstable home and community circumstances, including homelessness, domestic violence, abuse, and neglect.” Such children “can make extraordinary demands on teachers,” and “even extraordinary teachers can be quickly overwhelmed,” the authors wrote.

Karen Lewis: Given all that, how did she feel about the future of schooling in Chicago? “I’m always optimistic,” she said. “That’s just my nature. I have to be optimistic. If I was a pessimist, I just would not do this work.”

Trying to make separate equal

Having failed at desegregation, Chicago has tried instead to provide quality education in poor, racially isolated schools. That hasn’t worked either.

By @stevebogira
The story has links to some other articles on the history of desegregation in Chicago as well.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Per-Pupil Funding: Coming Soon to a School Near You Update on the Budget Cuts – Eric Zorn speaks out

201 Comments Add your own

  • 1. marcsims  |  June 16, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Low income children and teens need to see the world outside of the old neighborhood.


  • 2. CarolA  |  June 16, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    How about this thought: In my school, we have over 65% Hispanic children. Those students are placed in bilingual classrooms and not integrated with the remaining 35% to save on the need for hiring another bilingual teacher to “service” them. Of the remaining 35%, the Polish speaking students are in their own classroom. So we actually have an integrated school that is very segregated. Sad.

  • 3. K D  |  June 16, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    I see increasing resistance to the small amount of integration we have now. Whitney Young’s African American % has dropped steadily from 41.3% in 2000 to 25.7% in 2012.

    I regularly read comments from people who want that % to decrease more. Those people would fit well in the years described in the article…1963 and 1863

  • 4. cpsobsessed  |  June 16, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    I don’t intepret it as resistence to diversity and much as it’s that they want the diversity but still want to be sure their kid gets a seat. Which obviously if everyone who felt that way got their child in, it would decrease diversity. I think people want both, which unfortunately isn’t going to happen given the limited resources.


  • 5. formerCPSer  |  June 17, 2013 at 3:28 am

    White people’s view of diversity: 70% white, 10% asian, 10% black, 10% hispanic.

  • 6. Mary K  |  June 17, 2013 at 5:24 am

    In my opinion, Karen Lewis is part of the problem and not the solution. The Chicago Teachers Union has given us one of highest cost public school systems in the country with some of the worst results year after year. The union is getting fat and the kids are getting a terrible education.

  • 7. Andre X  |  June 17, 2013 at 7:02 am

    formerCPSer said “White people’s view of diversity: 70% white, 10% asian, 10% black, 10% hispanic.”

    Now that sounds like something a TRUE racist would say. Does CPS teach its students to be racist? It seems that way based on that comment. Shameful and ignorant.

  • 8. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  June 17, 2013 at 8:05 am

    @3 @5 @7 The is a difference between diversity and integration. Diversity just means a range of different social and economic characteristics. The ideal would be equal portions of all creeds, colors, ethnicities, and economic status. But you could never make every school in Chicago ideally diverse because the population is not made up of ideal proportions. @5 is correct, many whites would see 70/10/10/10 as diverse, but those people wouldn’t necessarily be wrong. The same would go for 70% black/10 each of others, 70% Asian/10% each of others, or other permutations. That’s certainly better than schools with 90% or more of one ethnic/racial group.

    Integration, with its opposite being segregation, is a different concept, and that was the focus of the article. The aim is to prevent racial segregation, be it from intentional government policies or de facto residency choices. The city and Illinois could do more to integrate schools. As the article suggested, altering the state’s school district boundaries so that they cross local jurisdictions, with magnet schools at the borders of majority white and black areas, would help. The city could relocate SE and other magnet schools to intra-city racial boundaries or more equi-distant points. None of this would require quotas.

  • 9. HS Mom  |  June 17, 2013 at 9:07 am

    @4 – Yes, I agree and add that the lack of uniform policy/rules play a part in defeating the system intent with regard to diversity. If the system were better defined and true economic diversity established then those that do not get in would more easily accept their situation. The results would be unarguable based upon an economic situation of X and score of Y.

    Great to see good things happening outside of selective enrollment

  • 10. southie  |  June 17, 2013 at 10:46 am

    @5. formerCPSer

    “White people’s view of diversity: 70% white, 10% asian, 10% black, 10% hispanic.”

    On a recent visit up to the northside, that’s what we saw, and to us, it didn’t feel “right.” That’s not the world we live in down on the southside. It seemed like a different planet.

  • 11. JMOChicago  |  June 17, 2013 at 10:53 am

    @2 CarolA: What school is that? I don’t think I have seen a school where all of the classes are segregated by language (I have seen bilingual pull-out services, but homerooms are more integrated than not.) With CPS policy pushing bilingual differentiation into the responsibility of classroom teachers and away from the pull-out model, I can’t say that it won’t become more prevalent as teachers are struggling to meet the needs of a larger class with more diverse needs, but I haven’t seen it yet.

  • 12. Mayfair Dad  |  June 17, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    @10 southie and others:

    Many Caucasian taxpayers define diversity as achieving a mixture of ethnicities in the proportions present in the entire population of the City of Chicago. Other customers of the Chicago Public School system question why Caucasians, who represent only 8% of CPS customers, are so over-represented (by percentage) in the most desirable SE high schools on the north side of the city.

    Compared to citywide averages, and where the density of Caucasians is highest, the proportions are easily explained. But that explanation won’t satisfy those who point to the relative paltry percentage of whites in the CPS population.

    So what is the appropriate diversity goal: citywide proportions or proportions reflecting the current customers of CPS?

  • 13. mom2  |  June 17, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Citywide should be the goal. The reason – if you are attracting more people into the system, it would be because people think the system is good or better than the alternatives. That would be a goal everyone would want. Right now, there are people that opt out of CPS because they feel alternatives are better. Everyone should want them to want to be in the system.

  • 14. Charla  |  June 17, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    @10 and others Chicago is 32% black, 31% white, 25% Hispanic. CPS is OVERWHELMINGLY black. Our local CPS high school, Morgan Park, has had 2 students murdered there, as well as gunshots fired during a football game, within the school year. Read that last sentence again, stop for a moment and think about that.

    2 kids murdered.
    Shots fired at a school event.
    This is for a school in a integrated neighborhood, and most families do not feel that the students are in a safe and quality learning envirnment. I do not fault white families for not sending their kids to most CPS schools that are not SE or predominantly low-income AA. We MUST fix our problems and not blame others.

  • 15. formerCPSer  |  June 17, 2013 at 4:40 pm


    Morgan Park is a chicken-egg situation. The reason the school has gone down the drain? Because white residents pulled their kids out in the late 80’s, and to fill those seats the school had no choice but to select kids from outside of the neighborhood… I went to Morgan Park…I was in the minority of kids who were from the attendance area. A huge difference between the kids from Beverly/Morgan Park and everyone else…Huge.

  • 16. Charla  |  June 17, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    @15 It almost sounds like that MPHS needs white students or else the school will turn all ghetto. It is hard for me to say this but that seems to be the truth. I am not sending my children to a school where they will be with gangbangers, kids shootin kids, no respect for they teachers, and I do not fault white, black or mexican families for not sending THEIR kids to school with THESE kids. I saw over the weekend that 40 people got shot, but these were all South an West side bangers. Not out in Beverly or Jefferson Park or Lake View… and then people come up on theInternet & say that white people racist for not wanting to send they’re kids to the places where these bangers go. Smh.

  • 17. Chris  |  June 17, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    “The city could relocate SE and other magnet schools to intra-city racial boundaries or more equi-distant points.”

    Young, Jones and Westinghouse are pretty well located for those purposes. More Blue Line and Orange line proximate SE schools would help.


    Uh, NO. Your conception is *COMPLETELY* out of date:

    Student racial breakdown (2011-12):
    African-American: 41.6%
    Latino: 44.1%
    White: 8.8%
    Asian/Pacific Islander: 3.4%
    Native American: 0.4%

  • 18. formerCPSer  |  June 17, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    These are misconceptions/generalizations about MPHS… A neighbor asked me if someone had been shot in the school. He was surprised when I told him no. A neighbor asked me if there was prostitution and drug use in the bathroom. She was surprised when I told her no. I think that rumors/tales about morgan park have spun completely out of control. I went there from 2007-2011 and felt completely safe. Were there some kids who didnt value education and didnt need to be there? Yes, and they dropped out. My class dropped from 467 students freshman year to 320 senior year. And those 320 students? All graduated and 3/4ths went to college. I dont know what gang bangers people are talking about at MPHS. Have students died? Yes, two died while I was there – and it was NOT on school property.

  • 19. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 17, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    18. formerCPSer | June 17, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    MPHS is really rough and there are gangs. There’s fights and ppl running pockets walking out of school. You may have felt safe~but it’s not safe…that’s why the alderman and the new principal did the showcase and trying to fix the it to have ppl in the neighborhood enroll, which won’t happen unless it becomes SEHS or wall 2 wall IB.

  • 20. Totismommi  |  June 17, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    I am very new to cps, but am wondering why select schools are not dedicated to the problematic students, therefore making all cps safer for the students wanting an education. I did not grow up in cps, but I remember expulsion being a very real option for students disruptive to the learning process. Seems like maybe a few military style schools for disciplinary issues might raise the desirability of many schools.

  • 21. SoRi  |  June 17, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    @17 Chris

    Are you saying that it’s the racial makeup that is causing the horrible performing CP schools? And that SEHS in “bad” areas won’t make a difference if the kids and parents (parent?) don’t care about getting an education?

  • 22. Charla  |  June 17, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    @Irish Why is the Alderman not pushing to make MPHS a selective enrollment school? They did that at South Shore…

  • 23. truth  |  June 17, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    2 kids were NOT murdered at MPHS. Why are you spreading lies?

  • 24. truth  |  June 17, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    @14-is that you angie?

  • 25. Charla  |  June 17, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    @23 One student, a boy, was murdered after a MPHS basketball game that went bad at Chicago State U. Another student, a girl, was murdered when someone shot into the vehicle she was in with fellow students. A MPHS football game was cancelled after someone brandished a weapon in the stands during the game.

  • 27. formerCPSer  |  June 17, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    @26 And this all of course happened off school grounds. MPHS cannot be held responsible for what its students do when the day is done.

    And I dont think it should be SEHS at all – that would mean four SEHS on the southside (five if you count jones). I feel like the better answer would be for MPHS to abolish all its magnet programs (World Language for example) and just do wall-to-wall IB. Literally, 2/3 of the enrollment is from out of the nieghborhood.

  • 28. Charla  |  June 17, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    @27 2 of 3 events happened at school events, whether they wer on school grounds does not matter. If my children cannot go to a school function w/out me worrying about they safety, then that school IS NOT SAFE. MPHS IS RESPONSIBLE for student safety at their events, btw…

    I think we agree that MPHS cannot be a safe school that all families would consider UNTIL they go SE or wall to wall IB. Even then it will take YEARS to get ppl to change they opinion about it being unsafe.

  • 29. Angie  |  June 18, 2013 at 5:27 am

    @24. truth : I never post under different names, unlike CTU shills pretending to be someone else.

  • 30. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 18, 2013 at 6:57 am

    22. Charla | June 17, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    I don’t know why the alderman didn’t push for MPHS to become SEHS or w2w IB. I know many parents wanted MPHS to become w2w IB and had that gone through next year, those same parents would have prolly sent their kids there. Since it didn’t, that’s why only 50 ppl showed at the MPHS showcase.

    It could be that the Beverly area would no longer have a ‘neighborhood’ HS if it became w2w IB; however, it’s not used by the ‘neighborhood’ now, so I don’t know how that would have really been a consideration.

  • 31. local  |  June 18, 2013 at 9:40 am

    It might be a little woo-woo, but could Emanuel be “punishing” the 19th ward for not voting for him as mayor?

  • 32. local  |  June 18, 2013 at 9:56 am

    Sorry that I can’t remember the source, but I read a study that showed that white families in public schools pull their kids out of a school once the racial mix of the school dips below 30 percent white.

    The brain cell that held this is gone, but I’m trying to remember what the racial mix of Whitney Young’s general student (not Deaf) population was when it opened as a magnet school years ago. I don’t remember the stats, but I do remember it feeling “right” as a student there. Not “easy” but “right.” A rich mix of SES & races that worked really well. There was no SE then. Late 1970s.

    As my oldest child has moved through her CPS & Chicago-resident experience, her educational & extra-curricular programs have increasingly moved from her being an “extreme minority” in terms of both race and sex, to a more integrated setting as she’s in HS now. (Except for one: she is still an extreme minority on her current sports team.) As we are starting to look for colleges, we’re shocked at how little racial diversity, and to a lesser extent, SES diversity, we’re seeing. An interesting tidbit: Her first teen love relationship – with a classmate, which she’s enjoying now, is an interracial one.

  • 33. InterestedWhit  |  June 18, 2013 at 10:08 am

    @20 Totismommi
    This would be ideal but because of federal and state laws and CPS policy, it’s not very easy to get rid of students with behavior problems. The student has a right to attend his/her neighborhood school. The school would have to go through a long process that I believe teachers consider tedious and time consuming. Many of them don’t keep antidotals on students with behavior problems. These are required for the student to be evaluated. When a teacher is willing to do this and a student is evaluated and found eligible for services to address an emotional disorder and a recommendation is made by the team for a therapeutic school, an administrator outside the school has to sign off. It’s almost a miracle to get this done because CPS has severely limited its number of alternative and therapeutic schools and they discourage kids being removed from their neighborhood school under the guise of inclusion.

    There is also administration at many of these schools that will not even suspend students for offenses – that the CPS’s Code of Conduct indicates that they should be suspended for – because the number of student suspensions counts against them on their evaluation. It’s a tangled web and very sad because they take so much away from the kids that are at school to learn.

  • 34. Chris  |  June 18, 2013 at 10:29 am

    21. SoRi: “Are you saying that it’s the racial makeup that is causing the horrible performing CP schools? And that SEHS in “bad” areas won’t make a difference if the kids and parents (parent?) don’t care about getting an education?”

    Whaaaaaat? Where are you getting that?

    I was responding to the suggestion that having SEHS schools on ‘borders’ would help by noting that there are 3 already, and that more that are in a combo of (1) borderish locations, and (2) near transit that provides easy access to a number of very different neighborhoods, would aid in that ‘border’ location. (btw, I’m dubious about the benefit of ‘border’ locations; transit access–for sure; border, ehn.)

    So, basically, your fever dream of what I was thinking when I typed that seems pathological to me.

  • 35. SutherlandParent  |  June 18, 2013 at 11:09 am

    As @15 formerCPSer says of Morgan Park High School, “I was in the minority of kids who were from the attendance area.” Certainly white families from Beverly aren’t sending their kids to MPHS—but I think a lot of middle-class black families aren’t, either.

    Barnard is the only feeder elementary school that has similar economic and racial makeups to the high school.

    MPHS is 96.5% black and 73.6% low income. Here are the breakdowns for the feeder schools:

    Barnard—96.3% black, 77% low income
    Esmond—97.7% black, 92.6% low income
    Kellogg–77.2% black, 45.9% low income
    Clissold—62.1% black, 37.1% low income
    Sutherland—50.6% black, 22.2% low income
    Cassell—75.4% white, 28.9% low income
    Mt. Greenwood—79.7% white, 23.8% low income

  • 36. local  |  June 18, 2013 at 11:12 am

    Re MPHS: “but I think a lot of middle-class black families aren’t, either.” I can vouch for that. Even some area teachers and cops have told me that they have looked for and found alternatives to MPHS for their kids.

  • 37. local  |  June 18, 2013 at 11:19 am

    “It’s a tangled web and very sad because they take so much away from the kids that are at school to learn.”

    Yes, very sad. It’d be great if these kids got the ED/BD/LD/OHI intervention needed, likely, when they were in primary school (or pre-school/home in early-life). Systems are in place for this. But, the system implementation is very broken.

  • 38. klm  |  June 18, 2013 at 11:59 am

    OK, I will make the point that I always make when this sort of topic comes up.

    Every parent knows that education is key to any possible decent future for their kids. Middle-class parents (by that I mean those that think like ‘middle-class’ ones, no matter if they are low-income or upper-upper-middle class and no matter their race or ethnicity) that have commonly graduated from college/grad school and that have competed in and been involved in the current modern post-industrial economy know this all too well, Many/most middle-class parents research school options like their kids’ entire future success depends on where they go to school –because at some point it kinda’ does.

    Middle-class/upper-middle-class people want schools that educate as well as those in Northbrook, Naperville, Deerfield, Hinsdale… terms of ISATs, average ACT, etc.

    No, these are not snobbish social climbers or petty prejudiced people, just caring parents that know that their kids will have to compete with kids that went to schools like New Trier, Hinsdale Central, Stevenson, etc., when they are applying to U of I’s engineering school and when they are competing on the bell curve for a good grade in Organic Chemistry 201 at Purdue. Nobody wants their kid to be an academic rock star at Low Scores High School then have to drop out after freshman year in college, because of the realization that it’s easy to be “smart” in a HS where 12th graders are doing 8th grade academics, while other kids snooty neighborhoods and suburbs were “learning to learn” and getting an excellent preparation for higher learning (this happened to my own sister).

    If middle-class parents can get a “good” education for their kids from a CPS school, they will happily enroll their kids in one (Lincoln’s bursting at the seems). That’s why CPS SE and magnet schools with good test scores get tons of applications from these kinds of families and why family homes are worth more when they are in the Edgebrook, Lincoln, Bell…enrollment districts. If not, they’ll go private or move to a suburban district with good schools.

    I think some people seem to think that people aren’t enrolling their kids in certain schools simply because of the racial make-up, plain and simple. Really? In 2013? Maybe in the 1960s, but not today. If anything, the contemporary desire for Diversity among educated types would indicate the opposite, in many cases.

    Also, there’s the glaring issue of the achievement gap. On average, American black 8th graders are 3 grades behind their white peers and by 12th grade it’s 4 years!!!!

    So, even if a school with mostly black enrollment is doing average for its demographic, then it’s still going to have low ISATs and ACTs, etc. In turn, that school would appear to be a no-way school for most middle-class people, even if the student population were 100% white and 100% non-low-income.

    As for integration, well, yes, yes, yes to that (my own kids are black), but I’m not sure that it’s a panacea for eliminating the achievement gap. Even high-spending school districts with large middle-class black populations (e.g., Evanston and Oak Park-River Forest) are having a difficult time grappling with this issue. At Evanston Twp HS, more than 90% of white 11th graders meet/exceed standards, but only something like 1/3 of black 11th graders.

    Also, there’s the obvious 3 things that keep the city less socio-economically integrated, including with regards to CPS enrollment: Crime, Crime and Crime. Yes, I know that kids are safe IN most schools, but it’s what happens OUTSIDE them that’s most worrisome to people. I mean, Hadiya was not shot IN King College Prep, but she was shot close by during the school day while enjoying a break at the nearby park with her school friends. Oh yeah, the guy that shot her also went to that same HS a year or 2 before. No, the issues with MPHS didn’t happen IN the school, but, God, there were shootings and even a gun death at a school-related function. Aren’t people supposed to worry about what goes on with their kids in high school, both IN and OUTSIDE the school? Are people supposed to send their kids to a HS where football games and other events turn gunfire-violent in order to show that they’re not prejudiced? People aren’t being paranoid, just good, concerned parents in many cases.

    There are CPS schools (including 1 or 2 SEHSs) that make a big point of letting people know that there’s a large number of neighborhood adults that look out for kids, so that they will not be as likely to be be victimized going to and from school. Well, why should people blame parents that don’t want to send their kids to a school where this is even such an issue?

    It’s the crime in crime-plagued neighborhoods that scares people into never wanting to stay or send their kids to a school there, not the lack of Starbucks, yoga pants and white people.

  • 39. formerCPSer  |  June 18, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    While its true that some middle class black parents in the Bev/MP area dont send their kids to MPHS, many do – they are more open to it than the middle class white parents, I believe, because of the race issue. Many of the friends I had at MPHS were the children of pharmacists, police officers, firefighters, and teachers.

    A few bad apples spoil the bunch, @kim, #38. The vast majority of students at King don’t get shot down the street from the school, but the vast majority are recieving a great education… If a school isn’t a glass and steel wonder that seems to exude perfection like Payton or Northside, its unacceptable to many people, especially North Siders, especially whites, especially the middle class, or whatever label is appropriate.

    Btw, Payton/Northside/Whitney/Lane/Jones aren’t perfect. I have a friend whose white boyfriend at Whitney did cocaine habitually. For the record, I never knew of anyone at MPHS to do cocaine (marijuana for sure, but never cocaine).

  • 40. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 18, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    38. klm | June 18, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Exactly true and wonderfully stated!

    39. formerCPSer | June 18, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    True~SEHS are NOT perfect. I don’t think any1 was claiming that. But if it’s between a school that has a high ACT score and one that has the CPS average~ALL parents would want their child(ren) to go to the former.

    That’s interesting abt MPHS, but I don’t think that’s like that now. All the black city workers I know send their kids to Catholic schools. From what I was told ~ more kids at MPHS live outside the boundaries.

  • 41. HS Mom  |  June 18, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    “If a school isn’t a glass and steel wonder that seems to exude perfection like Payton or Northside, its unacceptable to many people, especially North Siders, especially whites, especially the middle class, or whatever label is appropriate.”

    This statement is debatable on so many levels. The most obvious is that “acceptability” for anyone is a matter of whether you can get in or not. Most white people cannot get into Payton or Northside no matter how you try to label it. So acceptability becomes what you can afford, where you can get in, location in proximity to home, the best program for the strengths of the child etc. In Chicago we have many choices. People will make the best choice for their situation.

  • 42. Charla  |  June 18, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    @39 It is not only white families, I also do not want my children going to school with a bunch of gangbangers or hood kids who are there to be babysat. You may not remember but Ignatius was across the street from a CHA project but because the student body was there to get an excellent education AND the administration would discipline students, families paid tens of thousands of dollars to send their kids there. That school bldg was a dump back up until the mid-90s.
    Mt. Carmel is in a fkd up area. St Rita is less so. But families are ok sending they kids there BECAUSE they are with other STUDENTS, NOT a-holes walking through the hallways yelling “Awwight….?”

  • 43. formerCPSer  |  June 18, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    @40 yeah, the vast majority dont live in the bev/mp area, but i would not say that the majority of black city workers send their kids to catholic school. I think that the black middle class, in beverly and through out the city have a stronger affiliation to public schooling. The 25% of MPHS student body that is non low-income comes from somewhere. in my experiences, they came from Beverly,Morgan Park, Ashburn, and sometimes, Washington Heights and Chatham.

  • 44. Chris  |  June 18, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    “If a school isn’t [something] its unacceptable to many people, especially North Siders, especially whites”

    King is something like 30 minutes each way further from my house than any of the “northside” SEHS (in which I’m including Westinghouse, Young and Jones). And we don’t live particularly close to (and do live south of) NSCP.

    Say that’s just an excuse, if you like, but it matters.

    Being on time reliably would involve walking out the door at 7 (for 8:45) and not reliably being home before 5:30–assuming *no* after school anything. I don’t find that reasonable.

  • 45. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 18, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    43. formerCPSer | June 18, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    I was just talking abt the black city workers I know in the beverly/mp area. Their kids are going to CPS for grammar school and Catholic for HS.

  • 46. To Klm  |  June 18, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    Hidiya was killed nearly one mile from King in a park called Harsh Park located at 44th & Okenwald. Have you ever visited the neighborhood around King. I left the open house at around 8pm & felt pretty safe. No one was hanging around & I didn’t hear any gun shots. King is located in an upcoming area called bronzeville!

  • 47. anonymouse teacher  |  June 19, 2013 at 6:23 am

    I personally am not very invested in the area around King, but 46, you do realize that in Chicago, a mile is like an entire world away right? Most Chicago neighborhoods, safety wise, must be considered block to block. At least if one is considering the south, west and some parts of the north side. My own neighborhood is really block to block. I live in a working poor area, homes are valued around 100K or less. A mile away? Million dollar homes.

  • 48. @47  |  June 19, 2013 at 6:54 am

    Exactly! That was the point I was making about klm’s post #38!

  • 49. klm  |  June 19, 2013 at 10:26 am


    I’m somewhat familiar with the area, believe it or not.

    Look, I’m not happy (I think there’s a misconception among some people that any comments or concerns/fears about ‘crime’ mean concerns/fear and comments about ‘black people’, which may be true in some cases, but not most –certainly not with me) saying that “crime” is such a concern. I grew up in an inner-city housing project and even there, most people were decent and many were genuinely kind. It’s the 20-30% that were not that effectively destroyed the quality of life for the rest of us –nothing like having a gun pointed to your head to make one a little more fearful of crime, take it from me and my own personal experience.

    I have lots of extended Chicago family and friends (my spouse and kids are black, but I’m white). Many live on the South Side in what are quite pleasant, seemingly nice (some virtually 100% black) neighborhoods. I understand why some people get defensive –they’re honest, middle-class people living their lives in nice, well-tended homes, taking care of their kids like good parents do, have lovely neighbors, etc. –then somebody who’s probably never been to Chatham or Pill Hill goes and stereotypes all South Side neighborhoods as quasi-Cabrini Green violent ghetto no-go areas.

    I get that.

    I also know that I’ve been pulled aside by some concerned black people that let me know that my eldest black son’s getting old enough to have to know how to handle himself in certain Chicago neighborhoods. If he’s not from that ‘hood, people will want to know “what or who he’s representing.” How many young people are shot because of mistaken identity or because they are at the wrong place at the wrong time? This doesn’t happen too much in Lincoln Park or Oriole Park, but, God, even in Chatham an off-duty cop was shot.leaving his parents’ house by thugs playing a drinking game, there’s been random shootings (a mother and her boyfriend picking up a birthday cake for her kid). There are parks were kids are not allowed to play.

    How many times do we read about random shootings (like the guy chatting in his car with a woman after a date) just a few blocks from the Obamas’ house?

    I’m worried about my kids going to a party on the South Side and a fight ending with some thug coming back with his posse to shoot up the place –because my family members that live there have warned me. This stuff happens! There are neighborhoods where muggings are almost a normal part of life and I don’t want my kids going to school in one, sorry. We’ve known people whose innocent black sons were shot dead for no other reason that being at the wrong place at the wrong time (2 of my spouse’s second cousins sadly fell into this category, same goes for a woman I used to work with).

    There’s been a huge exodus of middle-class black families out of the city (mainly the South Side) and the very real fear of crime is the main reason. One of my friends bought a house in Chatham a dozen years ago, paid $325K, plus put in more money to fix it up. She’s selling at a huge loss –asking $150K, but getting only a few offers of around $100K. Crime is the reason she’s moving –looking at Oak Park or Frankfort (two big meccas of middle-class black suburbia for people wanting less crime and good public schools without the stress of lotteries or SE admissions). How many hard-working people have paid their mortgage on time for 30 years and lovingly taken care of their home only to find that the neighborhood thugs and drug dealers have effectively made their home worthless? How many black families are much less wealthy because criminals have destroyed the value of their biggest asset (their home)?

    Sorry about the diatribe, but it’s not rogue white police officers or racist rednecks that frighten me and my black spouse concerning our black sons, but thugs and violent gun-wielding gang members. Accordingly, we’re kinda’ trying to keep them away from places where those kinds of people congregate and don’t have much else to do but bother honest people, when possible and without being paranoid avoiding all the good that exists in places like the South Side. Yes, we love the vegetarian soul food restaurant and the cupcakes at the famous bakery in Chatham –we go to these places a lot because we want them to thrive and we want the neighborhood to do well. We do our part. I only wish crime weren’t such a problem, I really do.

    I’m sorry, but sometimes the sky really is falling.

  • 50. CPSMom  |  June 19, 2013 at 11:43 am

    33 said: There is also administration at many of these schools that will not even suspend students for offenses – that the CPS’s Code of Conduct indicates that they should be suspended for – because the number of student suspensions counts against them on their evaluation. It’s a tangled web and very sad because they take so much away from the kids that are at school to learn.

    Yes and yes. Completely and utterly true (and our experience in our school for the last 6 years).

  • 51. RL Julia  |  June 19, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    Middle-class African American families are the biggest demographic leaving the city these days.

  • 52. anotherchicagoparent  |  June 19, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    True story(2010) When my child didn’t want to go to either of the top two SE high schools, some of his classmates told him “You know you will have to go to school with black kids.” My kid was shocked I was shocked how did I not see this the last 8 yrs they had been in the same class. The apple never falls very far from the tree.

  • 53. Counterpoint for discussion  |  June 19, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    To 49:
    Rogue white officers or racist rednecks might be the solution because the opposite has not worked in the location you are writing about? They still have to obey the US Constitution, it’s just their aggressive style that is different. They may use probable cause for stops more so than someone that is tolerant and all inclusive of differences in behavior. A friendly all loving person tolerates and embraces all, including “disorder”. The opposite type of person is total law and order with no breaks.

    I think your point was that the thugs need to be put in check! The problem is the community needs to get behind the officers that are aggressive without then complaining that the officers are not taking into account social differences of behavior.

    Allow the officers to do their jobs without IPRA involvement and a positive change will result.

  • 54. HS Mom  |  June 19, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    @53 nicely put

    @52 Do you mean to tell me that 8th grade students are not aware that African American students attend Walter Payton HS? Please do not suggest that this is the norm.

  • 55. anotherchicagoparent  |  June 19, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    All I know is this is what was said to my child when he told him where he wanted to go to school.

  • 56. anotherchicagoparent  |  June 19, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    I’ve also heard You know what kind of people go to the neighborhood high schools and they will never change racism does exist.

  • 57. HS Mom  |  June 19, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    yes I agree racism and ignorance are pretty close cousins. No doubt it exists.

  • 58. anotherchicagoparent  |  June 19, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Oh by the way we are doing fine at the high school my child chose made a lot of great friends.

  • 59. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 19, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    58. anotherchicagoparent | June 19, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    So glad he made some nice friends!

  • 60. Patricia  |  June 19, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    @klm Thanks for your insightful posts. I really appreciate the perspective you bring to the conversation.

  • 61. Charla  |  June 19, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    Why does Karen Lewis bring up white racism for school closings? Ms. Bennett is black, the schools that they are closing do nothing for the Afircan American children who go there. But this is white people closing those schools because they’re racist. Karen Lewis is desperate bc she is protecting her union teachers and saying all sorts of stuff to try to make people think that these schools should not be closed.

    I hate that. The reason are kids have an achievement gap? Because CPS is racist, not bc we send our kids to gang-infested schools, where they drop out or don’t learn nothing, and most parents got no education themselves. It’s bc CPS is full of minority-hating whites who want our kids to fail and be losers in life. All right

  • 62. HS Mom  |  June 20, 2013 at 9:11 am

    Here’s an article on gun violence in Chicago and elsewhere. Features a couple kids from Lindblom.

    Hits on issues described by KLM @ 49

  • 63. Soside Mom of 5  |  June 20, 2013 at 10:36 am

    All parents are concerned with safety. They would be foolish not to. For those parents and community residents who have concerns about the safety at MPHS, I’m sure they attended the LSC meetings following the two events at off campus sports functions this year to see what was being done to ensure students’ safety. Or maybe not. Maybe they just vented their concerns online, where little can be done to make changes. I was at these meetings, where the administration, LSC, and CPS security officials presented plans to increase safety at on and off campus functions. Little known fact…the most prevalent misconduct within the school setting during the 2012-2013 school year was misconduct code 3-11: unauthorized use of a cell phone. I would imagine this offense occurs at most schools on a fairly regular basis.

    The alderman, administration, LSC, and concerned community members are working to increase the attractiveness of the school to the neighborhood as a whole. MPHS has much to offer, including the 7th/8th grade academic center, where 99% of students meet and exceed standards on the ISAT, the International Baccalaureate Middle Years and Diploma programs, and the World Languages program. Students have access to multiple AP courses, including AP Spanish and French, AP Art Studio, AP Biology, AP English Literature and Composition, AP English Language and Composition, AP Psychology, AP Microeconomics, AP Statistics, and AP Calculus. MPHS has a history of strong athletics, and has won championships in basketball, football, track and cross country. CPS has just spent $20 million on renovations in the building (long overdue, as the older building is 97 years old!). The auditorium has been completely renovated, now featuring a beautiful stage and cushioned seating, while maintaining all of the lovely plasterwork original to the room.

    MPHS’s current graduates are moving on to prestigious colleges, including Northwestern University, University of Chicago, Stanford University and the University of Illinois, many with full academic scholarships. Over $4 million in scholarships were awarded this school year.

    MPHS exceeds CPS averages in ACT composites, percentage of students scoring over 20 on the ACT, percentage of students meeting/exceeding standards on the PSAE, and four year graduation rate. It is below the CPS average in terms of drop out rate.

    For those in the community who feel that MPHS is not a viable option, I urge them to take some time to actually visit the school during one of the open houses to be held in the fall. Call the alderman and get information from him about upcoming programs and partnerships. Meet the principal. Meet the teachers. Meet the alumni. Meet the students.

    CPS is not going to build a new high school within the 19th ward. There is no money to do so, there is no space to put a school that would have all of the niceties that go along with a state of the art high school, such as a large athletic field, swimming pool, tennis courts, etc. (all of which MPHS does have). To turn MPHS into a SEHS would further isolate students in the 19th ward, as there would be no high school options that would not require admittance through a lottery such as that offered at the Ag School (minimum stanine of 7 required on reading and math on ISAT), exceptionally high scores on the SEHS point system (we are tier 4–how many students have the 899 points required for Payton or Northside, the 880 required for Jones or WY?), or the $15,000+ per year for a private school. All residents in the neighborhood pay a good deal in taxes. To turn our back on the existing schools benefits nobody, except possibly CPS, who then no longer feels the need to invest in it’s schools. Strong schools=increased property values. It’s a win win situation. MPHS recognizes the areas where it needs to improve. After two years without consistent administrative leadership, it can finally begin on a path to do so.

  • 64. Charla  |  June 20, 2013 at 11:13 am

    @63 That’s nice and all, but the school is infested with gangbangers and kids who just want to hangout and f*ck around. tven when older bangers leave, every year u get freshmen to do the same BS, or transfer in. It will remain this way until the school goes SE or wall-to-wall IB.

    When did Lane Tech go SE? Where do those neighborhood kids who cannot get in go?

  • 65. Neighborhood parent  |  June 20, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Charla @61 – KL is playing to a particular constituency. If she were really running for Mayor, do you think she would use those talking points?

  • 66. local  |  June 20, 2013 at 11:31 am

    @ 63. Soside Mom of 5 | June 20, 2013 at 10:36 am

    It’s be great to see MPHS racially integrated again. The school community would likely need to share/publicize the following information beyond the good news you’ve noted above, given what I’ve learned about area white families’ concerns.

    > The school would have to have an environment that is not racist and does not tolerate racism by any member of the MPHS community.

    > The graduating white students aspiring to top-tier colleges would have to post ACT/SAT scores that are in the top 50 percent of the colleges’ incoming class scores, as white students won’t have the significant AA or Latino diversity edge, which colleges seek. (Please don’t skew this as a comment about race and academic achievement. Rather, it responds to the values and reality of college admission decision-makers.)

    > The sped would have to be effective and comprehensive. + The school would have to embrace positive culture regarding inclusion of sped students.

    > There’d have to be a plan for enrollment of a significant number of white students at the start of some future schoolyear, so the new students would not be an extreme minority.

    From what I’ve heard, these are the nitty-gritty concerns about re-integration of MPHS. Perhaps the new principal and the alderman can address them. The area needs an excellent neighborhood high school that both black and white local residents attend and where they can reach their educational goals, imho.

  • 67. Cps alum  |  June 20, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Lane tech was never been a neighborhood school. It started as an all boys technical training school, then in the ’60s it instituted an selective additions policy. In the ’70s girls were admitted. Until the late ’90s it was more like a magnet with minimum stanine scores, rather than selective enrollment, although it was not district wide. You had to live north of some southern boundary…I can’t remember if it was 86th street or 56th street..but there was definitely a southern boundary.

  • 68. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 20, 2013 at 11:35 am

    63. Soside Mom of 5 | June 20, 2013 at 10:36 am

    MPHS ACT average is 18.1 (CPS is 17.7); PSAE is 34 (CPS is 31) those scores are just too low. When doing comparisons~it’s good to look at the state~MPHS is far below IL State. As for Chicago Ag ~their stanine is a 5 and I hope they increase it to a 7~they’ve already increased boundary by narrowing it to a smaller amt of the City as a whole. Their PSAE & their ACT (20.2) exceeds IL State.

    64. Charla | June 20, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Exactly. While MPHS has the curricula that I want for my kids, it doesn’t have the environment or learning conditions. If it went w2w IB, many ppl would consider it.

  • 69. anotherchicagoparent  |  June 20, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    67 Back in my day Lane Tech used 7th grade Iowa tests of basic skills plus grades for admissions. Those who lived north of Roosevelt had to apply to Lane. Those who lived south of Roosevelt had to apply to Whitney Young.

  • 70. Iheoma  |  June 20, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    I think that the comments in this string have really gone off topic. The Reader article focused on the systemic differences in resources and funding between schools in different parts of the city. It’s easy to focus on MPHS and discuss crime in general, but I think a deeper discussion about the “apartheid-like” system that exists in CPS is important. The MPHS and personal safety issues have been discussed in detail in the SEHS tier thread, the AC enrollment thread, the ask questions to alderman thread, ect. It’s easy to keep having the same discussion but it would be a more challenging and robust discussion if we could move forward into discussing the article itself – which why I think CPSO wrote her post.

  • 71. local  |  June 20, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    “Those who lived south of Roosevelt had to apply to Whitney Young.” Huh? When it opened to the general students population in 1975, WY took students from the entire city. There was no limit/boundary, save “Chicago resident.”

  • 72. local  |  June 20, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    If it wanted to maximize the number of racially (including whites) integrated high schools, CPS could start with the neighborhood high schools in racially integrated neighborhoods, like MPHS’s. Lake View, etc.? These schools present opportunities for racially integrated schools. I would hope that each school’s programs would be racially integrated, not just racially segregated programs within one building.

    I think the Reader story reviewed a bit of backstory about segregation/desegregation CPS-style, but then touched on the challenges facing schools that are now high-poverty and racially isolated. For some readers (for me), Borgira’s story makes me wonder how a formerly black/white integrated and relatively well-performing nabe HS wound up shifting to almost 100 percent AA when the surrounding community remained almost 50-50 black/white. It’s one of the models, if one can call it that, that is seen in CPS.

    Your phrase “apartheid-like” resonates. I recall seeing students at both the CPS Kellogg ES and the Catholic Christ the King ES (which are literally across the street from each other), which are also in a richly mixed black/white neighborhood, and thinking “this looks just like the Johannesburg train system during Apartheid,” with whites heading one way and blacks heading the other at the end of the work day.

    Some historians of CPS/Chicago would point out that the closing and turning-around of some HSs in high-poverty neighborhoods had a domino effect for schools like MPHS, as everyone looks for a better situation for their kids, gang turf gets disrupted, etc. Because we’re not historians, I think convo trends toward what we know, like the Lake View threads did.

    One thing to consider: Is MPHS on its way to become a top performing all-AA HS? Wonder where it will be 10 years from now.

  • 73. Charla  |  June 20, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    @72 Maybe Christ the King families just want to send their kids to a Catholic school. Familes around us can send their kids to St. Barnabas or Sutherland, which is CPS and mostly white. Some like CPS, some like Catholic… doesn’t always have to be a racial thing.

    For MPHS, I have no idea about 10 years, but in the next few years I see NOTHING that makes me change my opinion of the student body: gangbangers coming in year after year, messin up the environment for REAL students.

  • 74. cpsobsessed  |  June 21, 2013 at 12:28 am,0,7420577.story?page=3

    Little bit of a tear jerker about 4 kids from Fenger HS who are headed to college.

  • 75. Esmom  |  June 21, 2013 at 7:35 am

    @67 True but up until it turned SE you could pretty much count on getting in if you lived on the north side. Which is what we were counting in when we bought a house near there in the mid-90s. That backfired on us. 🙂

  • 76. Counterpoint for discussion  |  June 21, 2013 at 9:04 am

    To: 70
    Your assertation “more challenging and robust” is elitist. Yes, I said elitist. The elephant in the room is gang banging at CPS schools. Directing more money to a school without dealing with the criminal aspect of CPS student behavior is a shill. Chicago should not be the repository for poor student behavior that disrupts learning.

  • 77. Iheoma  |  June 21, 2013 at 9:52 am

    @76 – Can you discuss further how my comment was “elitist”. I’m really open to hearing your opinion on how my comment presented that way. I did not advocate sending more money to particular school or ignoring criminial behavior that happens in school(s).

    That said, I think that a discussion on the lack of intergration and current status of MPHS is very narrow and misses the scope of the Reader’s article. I think #8’s comment on the difference between “intergration” vs. “desegregation” is really interesting. Should CPS have the goal of desegration – in my opinion – yes. I say this because I do believe that CPS has a developed in an apartheid system. There’s this understanding that “those” schools fail because of poor student achievement, gang banging, disinterested parents. Versus “these” schools that have higher achieiving kids, motivated parents and the designations such as magnet, SEES or SEHS. “These” schools get more resources because it’s for “these” kids. The Reader article really highlights how historically, the placement of the schools really has lead to this. Of course we can all say “not my kids” and “not in my backyard” but the reality is that if CPS doesn’t figure out how to intergrate the schools racially, economically and socially the problems will persist. Moving SEES and SEHS to more centralized locations would be a step in the right direction but I think the better plan (in my opinion) would be to get rid of SEES and SEHS and provide those services in neighborhood schools.

  • 78. Counterpoint for discussion  |  June 21, 2013 at 10:17 am

    By adding the word “more” in front of challenging and robust an evaluation system was created by the writer affirming that their position was superior. The writer elevated the status of his/her position while lowering the value of the opposing viewpoint. So that’s how your written word was elitist. You elevated your position by reducing the value of anothers. Remember you asked for the reason your comment was elitist.

    1. (of a person or class of persons) considered superior by others or by themselves, as in intellect, talent, power, wealth, or position in society: elitist country clubbers who have theirs and don’t care about anybody else.
    2. catering to or associated with an elitist class, its ideologies, or its institutions: Even at such a small, private college, Latin and Greek are under attack as too elitist.
    3. a person having, thought to have, or professing superior intellect or talent, power, wealth, or membership in the upper echelons of society: He lost a congressional race in Texas by being smeared as an Eastern elitist.
    4. a person who believes in the superiority of an elitist class

    I agree with you to get rid of SEES and SEHS and to provide those services in neighborhood schools.

  • 79. charla  |  June 21, 2013 at 11:00 am

    @77 Do you even know what “apartheid” was?

  • 80. Iheoma  |  June 21, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    Yes Charla – I do know what apartheid means. That’s why I used the word. There may be other words to describe the systematic differentiation among two or more groups of people, I just think that apartheid is a good word to describe CPS right now.

    @78 thanks for your clarification. I disagree but I appreciate your opinion. I don’t assume that I have better ( or more) knowledge than anyone on this board and it was not my intention to present that way. However, I do still strongly believe that a conversation about desegregation in CPS can extend beyond a discussion of MPHS.

  • 81. anotherchicagoparent  |  June 21, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    71 Local Maybe my memory is bad but when I applied to Lane HS in early 80’s I kind of remember something about Roosevelt being a cut off. I could be wrong. Lincoln Park also had IB program at the time.Those were the top three at the time.Lane, Whitney, and Lincoln Park. Whitney Young always seemed to have the Academic center which I know accepted from all over city.

  • 82. anotherchicagoparent  |  June 21, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Or maybe only Lane Tech had a boundary early on?Hmm? LT was definitely selective at the time though on two factors I previously stated no added SE test. It states Whitney opened as magnet school 1975.Also states it was a selective school in 1975.

  • 83. cpsmama  |  June 21, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    @74 cpsobsessed- great article about the 4 Fenger graduates- I truly hope they continue to persevere in college.

  • 84. Counterpoint for discussion  |  June 21, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    To: 80
    Good reply. We’re still friends.

  • 85. Charla  |  June 21, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    @80 Who are the “oppressed” people in CPS apartheid? My tax dollars pay for beautiful new schools (like Simeon), anti-violence campaigns for Fenger children but the local high school for my kids is un-usable bc of all the bangers mkin it unsafe. My family lives in Tier 4, so the system is rigged to make it HARDER for my children to test in to better schools than Tier 1 & 2 kids. I work or the City so I cannot move out due to residency requirements.


  • 86. local  |  June 21, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    Charla – Yes, it’s tough to be in the “middle” – not being super-resourced through either personal wealth or poverty programs in Chicago. Tough too, if your kid cares about getting educated, but isn’t a 99-percentile/straight-A student in CPS. It sucks.

    The future? Feels like this whole nation is cutting out the middle and pushing all people into either the very wealthy or the very poor.

  • 87. Tired and Broke White Guy  |  June 22, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    Lewis’ latest rant has me wondering what determines if a person is to be considered rich anymore. Lewis stated, “When will we address the fact that rich white people think they know what’s in the best interest of children of African-Americans and Latinos, no matter what the parents’ income or education level?”

    But, couldn’t someone making 1/3 more and working 1/3 less than the average Chicagoan be considered rich?

    According to the CPS website, 49.3% (11,482 of the 23,290) CPS teachers are white and make an average of $72,000 a year for a 181-day school year. I was never really good at math, but, I found this to come out to nearly $400 a day or $300 a day after taxes or $1500 a week or $6000 a month with two full months off for the summer, three weeks off for Winter and Spring Breaks, and a sprinkling of other days off throughout the school year .And, to me, these numbers say CPS already has several rich, white people deciding what’s in the best interest of African American and Latino children.

    I wonder if Karen Lewis could imagine how Chicago’s economy could be improved if the 35%-40% (8151- 9316 of the 23,290) of her CTU membership lived in Chicago and spent that money in Chicago’s economy, not in the suburbs Indiana, or Wisconsin where those CTU members live? And, the 35%-40% doesn’t include a percentage of the other 20,0000 non-teaching CPS personnel allowed to live outside Chicago as well, including principals, assistant principals, and counselors.

    At an avg CPS teacher salary of $72,000/year, that’s between $586,872,000- $670,752,000 a year doled out in teacher salaries for non-Chicago residents.

    I have an idea Karen, tell your CTU membership to ‘CHOOSE CHICAGO’, not Naperville, Wilmette, Schaumburg, Mundelein, etc ..or better yet, tell your CTU membership to teach there if they like it there so much and then CPS can hire new teachers that are Chicago residents, pay taxes in Chicago, and vote in Chicago mayoral elections.

    BTW: Doesn’t Lewis live in Arlington Heights or some neighboring ‘burb? If she wants to run for mayor, she’d better put a box of her stuff in someone’s basement in Chicago.

  • 88. Iheoma  |  June 22, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    Tired and Broke – Lewis lives in Hyde Park and is indeed a resident of the city of Chicago. I think that she would have an easier time proving her residency than our current mayor did when he ran for office.

  • 89. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 22, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    87. Tired and Broke White Guy | June 22, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    I think Lewis was talking abt rich white billionairs/venture capitalists such as Pritzker, Brauner, Vitale who have nothing in common w/white middle class ppl either that send their kids to CPS. Her message probably didn’t come out as good as it could have.

  • 90. formerCPSer  |  June 22, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    Tired and Broke White Guy

    Your post reeks of racial resentment. Many CPS teachers live within the boundaries of the city, the ones that don’t were grandfathered out b/c they lived in the suburbs before the order making all city workers live in the city OR they got an exemption. People dislike Karen Lewis because she puts race in our faces in the most segregated city in America.

  • 91. ...seen it all....  |  June 22, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    CPS employees do not work for the city.
    You can live in the city and shop in the burbs.
    Should we shut down the expressways and stop all of the suburbanites from coming in to work in the city?
    Which other school system has a residency requirement?
    I guess the Waste Management workers who collect garbage in the burbs who make more than teachers, are rich?
    Sharp African-Americans are not going into teaching because they can make more in other professions.
    CPS is being forced to hire teachers who have been “let go” from suburban districts because living in the city is too expensive for teachers who have college loans to pay off-be realistic.

  • 92. Tired and Broke White Guy  |  June 22, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    @seen it all:

    CPS Teachers ARE considered city employees and why most are required to live in the city with the exemption of grandfathered (those hired before November 20, 1996) and need basis subject area employees. Read the paperwork you signed, especially the one you signed to say you’re not indebted to Chicago for parking tickets or anything else.

    Unfortunately, many need basis subject area employees (who allow CPS to pay for their entitled, smugness selves) will have to move to the city pretty soon with the 850 layoffs and those losing their jobs due to budget cuts at schools…and those cuts will hit the hardest in SPED, PE, and in the Counseling departments.

    Will there a need baiss for PE, SPED, and Counselors if there’s 100’s of each out of work? Nope…and that’s bad for those living in the suburbs on residency waivers.

  • 93. Iheoma  |  June 22, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    Charla – as a parent who went through the AC admission circus in a tier 3 neighborhood(which was tier 4 when we actually applied) I get your frustration. I do think that there are two distinct systems within CPS. Maybe that’s one of the reasons you’re so frustrated about what your kids need to gain admission to the “better” school system. Apartheid.

    Tired and Broke – what do you think of the Reader article?

  • 94. ...seen it all....  |  June 22, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    CPS is NOT a city agency. We do not have ANY of the city employee benefits-pension, leaves, upgraded insurance, and TUITION REIMBURSEMENT!
    Which other school district has a residency requirement?
    Sounds like you are a little threatened by the competition…..

  • 95. mom  |  June 22, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    @94 what are you talking about? Aside from tuition reimburemnt, CP has great insurance and pensions.

  • 96. Tired and Broke White Guy  |  June 22, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    @seen it all:

    Hey Genius: Read the Residency Policy:

    ALL CPS employees work for the City of Chicago and the BOE

  • 97. Tired and Broke White Guy  |  June 22, 2013 at 9:42 pm


    Please post the link to the Reader article.

  • 98. anonymouse teacher  |  June 22, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    Anyone have experience in grant writing for schools? I’m not talking about the little ones like Donors Choose or CFE, I mean big grants. If you do, can you post a way to contact you offline? The teachers at my school are forming a summer grant writing group to help our school. Thanks.

  • 99. anonymouse teacher  |  June 22, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    @97, the Reader article link is posted at the top of this thread.

  • 100. ...seen it all....  |  June 22, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    My spouse is a city worker. Our insurance is not as good as the city’s insurance. You ned to compare the cost, co-pays and other factors.

    Some city employees can retire at age fifty with twenty years. There is no age penalty like in CPS. Why does a teacher who has thirty years and is age 52 have to take a 48% per cent cut (6% penalty a year) because he/she is not age 60? The general public does not realize that a teacher cannot afford to retire due to this age penalty.

    Ask the young teachers at your school if any on them have been able to qualify for the much touted paid for maternity/FMLA leave that city employees have had for decades. We have never had paid maternity leave…..don’t you think that is odd? If a teacher gets ill she must use up any sick days, then it goes to unpaid days and after after five months you are dropped from the insurance-doesn’t matter if you are in the middle of cancer treatment…..

    Are you aware that some city employees can be off for medical leave for year and receive full salary AND benefits.

    CPS receives millions in state and federal funds so I don’t wan to hear “I pay your salary” because you don’t….

  • 101. charla  |  June 22, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    @100 Does your spouse get AT LEAST 2 months off in summer? 2 weeks in winter? 1 week in spring? All federal holidays?

    Look, being a teacher is a hard job, but there are many advantages and benefits that a CPS teacher gets that someone like a traffic aide doesn’t. Firefighters get a different benefit structure, as do garbage men, but YOU picked this as a career.

    And yes, I *do* pay your salary.

  • 102. Tired and Broke White Guy  |  June 22, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    @seen it all

    #1 City employees don’t get the ‘bang for their buck’ in terms of their contrubting to their pensions and it being matched by 2.5 by CPS.

    #2 CPS teacher pensions have killed Chicago taxpayers for years. CPS teachers, up until this year were allowed to bank 325 sick/vacation days and paid out at the rate of pay they were making in their last years’ pay rate per day and not paid out at the amount each day was banked…ex.) if someone banked a sick day 10 years ago and their rate of pay was $250/day…they weren’t paid out at that rate when they retired and got their sick day payout , but, the $500/day they were earning there last year of work

    Also, if a teacher’s best 4 years out of their last 10 years of pay came out to $340,000 ($85K X 4), they could take their sick day ‘one time ‘payout and add it to their best 4 year total ….so, if a teacher earned $85K in their last year for 181 days, $469 would be the daily rate of pay….so, if a teacher banked 325 sick days, they would get a ‘one time’ payout of $152,425 (325 sick days banked X $469)…then that CPS teacher who made $85K in their last year of teaching could add the $152,425 to the $340,000 = $492,425 to their pension total which is divided by four (yrs) = $123,106 which is multiplied by 75%= $92,329……, a teacher who never made more than $85K, their pension would be $7329 more a year in retirement………and , you wonder why people are ticked……no other school district may have a residency policy, but, no other school district allows you to banke sick days the way CPS allowed in the pat.

  • 103. ...seen it all....  |  June 22, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    Your facts are wrong-this is TRS not CTPF….stop spreading misinformation. No CPS teacher ever made $500,00 a day and no CPS employees was allowed to add more than 40 days to increase the pension(?) (2 year PEP) (ended last year) days to up the pension. You’re quoting suburban numbers. In the suburbs if you notified the district that you would be retiring your salary would be bumped up by 20% for your last two years and the pension would be based upon that salary.

    My friend just retired from CPS after 34 years and is receiving 5000.00 a month minus the insurance. We don’t get SS.

    Call the pension board or go online to the CTPF where all of this will be refuted.
    Teachers cannot bank vacation days. Teachers get two weeks of paid vacation-one week at Christmas and one week in the spring. Summers are unpaid. Don’t most people in professional jobs get four-six weeks of paid vacation? Perks such computer access, cell phones, internships, paid professional development, conferences, seminars …….doubt they’re bringing in the toilet paper!

    I don’t take many days off because I don’t want my students to sit all day with a sub. So I guess I should start taking them or I’ll look greedy?

    Do any of you realize the amount of competent administrators who are leaving/have left CPS for the suburbs in the past five years?
    There is an admin drain and the sharp young teachers will not stay in schools with inept admin….who will be teaching in CPS in ten years?

    #101 I learned that people who rant about paying for public sector people’s jobs really aren’t worth responding to as their ignorance runs too deep.

  • 104. Tired and Broke White Guy  |  June 22, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    @seen it all:

    Do you want the official CPS release and Better Government Assn report on th sick day payouts and their use as pension escalators too? Or, do you want the Sun-Times’ Rosalind Rossi article from 2006 on this?

    Get you head out of the sand, like the rest of your CTU brothers and sisters. You guys (CTU members) have been killing Chicago taxpayers financially for years.

  • 105. Kathleen Powers  |  June 22, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    As I previously stated teachers do not bank vacation time. These were administrators who are allowed to bank vacation days. BTW administrators are not part of CTU Obviously, if you’re a poor broke white guy you did not make wise career choices. Don’t blame the teachers get retrained and get the job you deserve!

    Sent from my iPhone

  • 106. Tired and Broke White Guy  |  June 22, 2013 at 11:51 pm

    @Kathleen Powers: You’re wrong

  • 107. Tired and Broke White Guy  |  June 22, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    Scroll down and read “New Sick Day Policy”

  • 108. Jim b  |  June 23, 2013 at 12:01 am

    Pensions in illinois are doomed because of “pension holidays” (not funding), poor returns on investments (daley’s nephew & company) and the like… In 1995 gov. Edgar wanted to shore up pension but the actuary they hired low-balled the estimate of cost, go figure! So it’s not like pensions (for most) are extravagant or that retirees live soo much longer.

  • 109. Tired and Broke White Guy  |  June 23, 2013 at 12:02 am

    @Kathleen: Did you know APs are part of the CTU?. It’s because some elementary school APs teach classes and all APs got lumped into the CTU.

  • 110. ...seen it all....  |  June 23, 2013 at 12:17 am

    APs used to be part of the CTU but that was years ago. Teachers could only bank sick days-admin could bank vacation AND sick days. Most teachers do not end up with a lot of sick days when they retire due to caring for sick children or parents. I believe you have teachers and administrators mixed up. We get 10 sick days and 3 personal business days. Administrators work year round and sometimes have to work during”vacations” so that’s why they were allowed to bank the days.

    CPS does have history of hiring CEOs at astronomical salaries and paying them huge buy-outs to leave. This is what you should be upset about, not teachers’ sick days.

    I find it sad that teachers have become the scapegoat for everything wrong in society. I am sure that you noticed during the strike that there were very few older teachers left in CPS-there’s a reason and it is not the students.

  • 111. Pete  |  June 23, 2013 at 4:14 am

    This conversation is great, but it comes down to parenting. I dont care what race you are, stop making excuses for you kids and hold them accountable. Nobody says this and the politicians are scared as hell to say this….

  • 112. Pete  |  June 23, 2013 at 4:28 am

    @ tired broke white guy,

    The “rich white people karen lewis is talking about is bruce rahnner(sp) and rahm. He is a union busting a-hole getting an endorsement from 890am. He wants no government workers to have any union. Sorry you’re stuck with Mikey shields and your co-workers cant stand together and let the city off the hook for not hiring more police. Keep working vri. That’s why your tired…

  • 113. Tired and Broke White Guy  |  June 23, 2013 at 7:51 am

    @ Pete

    Your Karen Lewis threw all whites under the bus with her latest rant and she did it before by questioing why you (CTU) have so many white teachers from outside the city teaching Chicago kids. If you’re white, you should be extremely upset with her constant racist cries. The latest US census has chicago down 100,000 people over ten years ago and the lost is great in the areas where the school are closing.

    Why don’t you and ALL your CTU pals move back to the city, pay property taxes to help pay your salaries and other CTU members’ pensions, vote in the mayoral election, and force Rahm out?

    @seen it all:

    You’re right teachers couldn’t bank vacation days because they didn’t get any to bank. But, there are stil quite a few APs in the CTU, call your union rep to find out. Since, APs are in the CTU, a teacher can’t file a grievance against them…check it out

    It seems to me you guys (CTU) got your rear ends kicked and now are crying ‘Mommie, Mommie”. Why don’t you CTU move, accept your loss, and welcome the future.

  • 114. just another parent  |  June 23, 2013 at 8:24 am

    @100 “Why does a teacher who has thirty years and is age 52 have to take a 48% per cent cut (6% penalty a year) because he/she is not age 60?”

    Unbelievable, complaining about taking a hit for retiring at 52? Really? Not a reasonable rant when we are scraping for every penny.

  • 115. Iheoma  |  June 23, 2013 at 9:04 am

    Tired and Broke,

    You successfully derailed this conversation. The post was about an interesting article by The Reader. Even when you were given the specific link to the article you still choose to discuss your views on CTU and Karen Lewis. What’s wrong with discussing the post? You have made multiple factually wrong statements ( e.g. Karen Lewis doesn’t live in the city, teachers bank vacation hours) and you continue to make them in the face of factual evidence because you’ve got a point to make. Come on – stop ranting and join a conversation.

  • 116. Tired and Broke White Guy  |  June 23, 2013 at 9:37 am


    I asked where does Lewis live, I didn’t say she lived outside Chicago. And, I corrected my statement about teachers banking vacation days. Learn how to read. If I derailed the post, too bad as white people like me feel like Lewis threw us under the bus. if you’re white and don’t feel that way, then your head is in the sand.

    As for the original post, my summation is if charter schools are cheaper and they perform the same as CPS schools, then I say close all the CPS schools and go to charter schools. CPS schools are a huge drain to Chicagoans and liberal CPS teachers and thjeir backers don’t get it and mostly because they’ve had it easy compared to the average Chicago, especailly with a boatload of CTU members taking their monies and living and aiding suburban economies and truning their backs on supporting Chicago’s economy.

    If the CTU was so concerned about white teacher living outside Chicago and teahcing inner children, the the CTU should encourage al their members to move to the city and be a part of the communities they work in. How is a young white girl in her 20’s going to be able to understand what a gehhto child goes through on a daily basis. And, more often than not, these young babes work a few years for CPS and then bolt to greener pastures of the suburbs.

  • 117. Tired and Broke White Guy  |  June 23, 2013 at 9:45 am

    These facts (below) are staggering, even if half the amount of CTU members guesstimated live outside Chicago:

    I wonder if Karen Lewis could imagine how Chicago’s economy could be improved if the 35%-40% (8151- 9316 of the 23,290) of her CTU membership lived in Chicago and spent that money in Chicago’s economy, not in the suburbs Indiana, or Wisconsin where those CTU members live? And, the 35%-40% doesn’t include a percentage of the other 20,0000 non-teaching CPS personnel allowed to live outside Chicago as well, including principals, assistant principals, and counselors.

    At an avg CPS teacher salary of $72,000/year, that’s between $586,872,000- $670,752,000 a year doled out in teacher salaries for non-Chicago residents

  • 118. rich white folk  |  June 23, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Is this what Karen Lewis is referring to?
    another rich white folk on the CPS board ?
    charter ties…..??

    This was on Fred Klonsky’s blog…..

    NY Times, May 31, 1987

    Miss Hicks Weds Stephen Quazzo
    Deborah Tyler Hicks, an associate in corporate finance at Merrill Lynch Capital Markets in New York, and Stephen Renato Quazzo, an associate in the investment banking division of Goldman, Sachs & Company in New York, were married yesterday. The Rev. Barnum C. McCarty performed the ceremony at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Jacksonville, Fla.
    Ann T. Hicks was maid of honor for her sister. Marco L. Quazzo was his brother’s best man.

    The bride, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Milton Hicks of Jacksonville, graduated cum laude from Princeton University and expects to receive an M.B.A. degree in June from Harvard University. Her father is president and chief executive officer of Computer Power Inc., a data processing company serving the mortgage banking industry, and is chairman of the Enterprise National Bank in Jacksonville. Her mother, Ann T. Hicks, is president of the board of trustees of the Jacksonville Art Museum.

    Mr. Quazzo is a son of Ugo R. Quazzo of New York and Jacqueline M. Stamato of Rome and of Essex Fells, N.J. He graduated from the Deerfield Academy and cum laude from Harvard College, and received an M.B.A. degree from Harvard. His father is president of Orbis International, a New York import-export company.

    Fred Klonsky | June 22, 2013 at 9:53 am | Categories: Rich white people who know more about education than everybody else. | URL:
    Comment See all comments

  • 119. just another parent  |  June 23, 2013 at 10:08 am

    @115 the broke guys position on CTU, part of the CPS mix/mess, and KL’s recent statements about rich white people is very much a counterpoint to your assertion that CPS is “apartheid like”.

  • 120. seen it all....  |  June 23, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Please read….

  • 121. cpsobsessed  |  June 23, 2013 at 10:37 am

    @120L It seems to be a long article bashing the reform movement and charter schools as being places that suck the soul out of education, correct? I think that is sort of what Karen Lewis was referring to (what do these people know about education poor kids?) but she had to sensationalize it by putting the race twist on it.

    To me, the dilemma remains: For schools like those mentioned in the Reader article (ie, 50 schools in chicago that are super-super low income, likely decades of extreme poverty, parents likely not HS grads or able to help the kids flourish… how to educate these kids and break the cycle? It doesn’t seem as that anyone has cracked that code. Certainly not large urban school systems. Not the CTU. Not the dedicated teachers and admin who have limited resources and may be working their butts off. Not the charters, reliably. Charter schools like Harlem Children’s Zone who offer massive wrap-around services have succeeded, I believe, but not in a way that widely replicable. The larger charter operators have *some* success, but not in every school.

    I don’t know that it’s fair for Lewis to bash on the rich white people (education reformers) for doing it wrong when nobody seems to be able to offer up a solution that can be implemented on the paltry education budgets we have to work with.

    So instead we get stuck back in arguing about who’s way it better and the CTU fights to protect their jobs (which is the job of the union) and the problem still isn’t getting solved.

    And now Rahm *wants* to offer things like a longer (fuller!) day and full day kindergarten to try to make a difference in those schools, but by doing so we’re choking the rest of the system.

    Agh. Now I’m mad and depressed.

  • 122. local  |  June 23, 2013 at 10:58 am

    @ 98. anonymouse teacher | June 22, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    Donors Forum: Go to them for support/guidance/resources.

  • 123. Iheoma  |  June 23, 2013 at 10:59 am

    @116 Tired and Broke – I can definately read. I’m not a white man, I’m not tired and I’m not broke. I’m a literate graduate degree holding, professional African American woman. Best wishes to you as now want to have the conversation devolve into personal name calling.

    @119 – Actually it is not. It’s a rant.

  • 124. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 23, 2013 at 11:03 am

    121. cpsobsessed | June 23, 2013 at 10:37 am

    I think a lot of this could have been alleviated if Rahm would have done what many had wanted~start w/the longer/full day in at-risk areas where studies had shown it helped. Money could have been targeted for this at those schools~other areas, the principal could have had the autonomy along w/LSC, Parents what would be best for their kids. I know one school near me where they went to the full day grade k during the middle of the school year and they have many parents pick their kids up everyday well b4 it’s over. IL law says kids have to be in school for 300 minutes, but grade k isn’t mandatory so a lot of ppl did just get their kids at lunch time. As for the rest of the school between 12-18 parents took their kids out a day during the longer day~picked up around 2:30. I’m frustated bc this was done so poorly when Rahm had the opportunity to really help but chose not to.

  • 125. local  |  June 23, 2013 at 11:03 am

    @ 100. …seen it all…. | June 22, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    I don’t see this mentioned much, but what about the public eduction/CPS system has evolved due to sexism, considering the large # of employees that are female?

  • 126. it's the quality not the quantity  |  June 23, 2013 at 11:18 am

    I don’t care where my child’s teachers live, what color they are, language they speak or their sexual preference-all I care about is whether they are good teachers.
    I don’t understand why Chicago is the only city with a residency clause. It would seem to me to be a negative if I was a new graduate in debt.

  • 127. local  |  June 23, 2013 at 11:19 am

    @ 120. seen it all…. | June 23, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Good link. Chris Hedges is a brilliant reporter and thinker, methinks.

  • 128. anonymouse teacher  |  June 23, 2013 at 11:20 am

    @122, thanks, I know Donors Choose well and was fortunate to get funded last year and also got grant money from another local foundation. I’m actually looking for large revenue streams. Would love to help secure funds for non-fiction books for our school to meet Common Core requirements. Right now, our entire school has less than 2K to purchase those materials for the whole year when that is barely enough for one classroom. I’m looking for grants in the range of 50-100K. But I appreciate your help!

  • 129. Charla  |  June 23, 2013 at 11:21 am

    @123 I’m neither tired, broke, white or male, but I agree with tired & broke. I worked my ASS off to get a good life for me and my family in a nice neighborhood. I do not take Section 8, no Link, no reduced or free lunch for my kids at school. I took a student loan and paid it back with interest.

    I am furious at the fact I am paying for a system which has not worked, run by people like Karen Lewis who seems to think that the answer is give teachers more money, raise taxes BUT DO NOTHING to get good high schools to help families like me. We had to have the State of Illinois step in to increase seats for local kids at ChiAg. MPHS is infested with gangbangers, Julian is too.

    Then the excuse is Oh, it’s apartheid! Oh, the white people is messing it up that’s why we have the problems! No, we ain’t doing nothing wrong!

    So sick of this BS. Give us a damn school for the kids who want to be there and go to college and do well. Send the bangers who wann to stir shit up to they local schools, they don’t care, so eff em.

  • 130. lawsuit waiting to happen  |  June 23, 2013 at 11:25 am

    124- I agree with you. A school with high test scores did not need a longer day-maybe CPS should have studied those schools to find out how they managed to get those scores.

    Now we have parents (without background checks) security guards and even the janitors monitoring student lunch and recess-very dangerous and illegal practices being promoted from downtown.

    I had to go through a background check and training to teach religious education but CPS has just opened its doors due to teh longer day-now Rahm is hiring people to walk kids to school-no background checks.

  • 131. local  |  June 23, 2013 at 11:27 am

    @ 121. cpsobsessed | June 23, 2013 at 10:37 am

    Although funding, a biggie has not been figure out (see HCZ), it does seem that there is pretty good idea of what high-poverty kids need to learn, and it includes all those wrap-around services. Does our society value the delivery of that? Apparently not. I still recall anonomouse’s front-line report of “what’s needed” to improve education of poor kids, and that list doesn’t seem to be in the cards for sy13/14 in CPS.

    @ 124. SoxSideIrish4 | June 23, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Great point! Why, why, why didn’t Emanuel tell his appointed BOE to do this? What gives?

  • 132. seen it all....  |  June 23, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Follow the money….not going to the children OR the “greedy teachers”

  • 133. Iheoma  |  June 23, 2013 at 11:45 am

    @128 – I hope you do find a funding source. I think can only imagine how hard it will be to be reponsible for Common Core standards when you don’t have the resources (BOOKS) to do it. I wish I knew of specific grant sources but I don’t. Have you tried contacting local universities with strong research based/focused educational departments. They may be interested in doing some joint grant writing that involves research but may get you some of the texts or other resources in your classroom to use this year and subsequent years. It may be more trouble than it’s worth, but might be worth a try.

    Unsubscribing from this thread. I love a spirited debate but not name calling. I appreciate CPSO’s post because it got me to read a really interesting article.


  • 134. attention 4th & 6th grade parents!!!!  |  June 23, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    Sorry didn’t know where else to put this…. Test Blueprint for the 2014 ISAT Reading and Mathematics Assessments

    ISBE plans to map all items on the 2014 ISAT reading and mathematics assessments to Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The reading and mathematics assessments will be composed entirely of items written to CCSS.

    •The Stanford 10 component of the ISAT assessments will be removed from all ISAT assessments (reading, mathematics, and science). As a result, the information produced by the Stanford 10 assessments (NPR, National Quarters, Stanine, and Lexile Level) will not be available in 2014.
    •After the operational assessments are completed for the ISAT reading and mathematics assessments, the assessment division will be providing more specific details about the composition of the ISAT reading and math assessments. We expect to complete the operational test build in July of this year.

    The 2014 ISAT science assessments will be constructed using the existing science standards. However, the Stanford 10 portion of the assessments will be eliminated. The assessments will be constructed with items developed by Illinois educators.

    For the 2013 ISAT results, the Stanford 10 assessment results will not appear on any of the paper reports produced by Pearson. The Stanford 10 results will be present in the electronic files each school district receives.

    Should you have additional questions, please contact the Assessment Division at: 1-866-317-6034.
    ***for the AC & SE exams what do you think OAE will use????
    Also to everyone…the percentiles WILL NOT be on the parent report for this years ISAT so we will probably have to ask the principal for them!!!!

  • 135. Tired and Broke White Guy  |  June 23, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    @seen it all;

    Please don’t tell you’re one of those SPED inclusion teachers who only have one kid on your educational plate and spend the rest of the time engaged in ‘girl talk’, complaining, and handling your personal business throughout the school day…oh yeah, and you average $5K more than the avg. $72,000/year CPS teacher does ..

  • 136. local  |  June 23, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    @ 135. Tired and Broke White Guy | June 23, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    “Please don’t tell you’re one of those SPED inclusion teachers who only have one kid on your educational plate and spend the rest of the time engaged in ‘girl talk’, complaining, and handling your personal business throughout the school day…oh yeah, and you average $5K more than the avg. $72,000/year CPS teacher does.”

    What are you talking about – “SPED inclusion teachers who have one kid on your educational plate”? I need more details.

  • 137. seen it all....  |  June 23, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    more misinformation-sped teachers make the same salary as gen ed teachers-look up the contract…it is online…CTU site

    as an inclusion teacher I never had less than 20 students on my caseload-as a gen ed teacher the largest class I taught was 36

    Obviously, you have had issues with teachers which is unfortunate because you are assuming way too many things.

  • 138. Tired and Broke White Guy  |  June 23, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    @local : Seen it all is on the BS. Not all inclusion teachers have 20 students on their caseloads. A freind mine subs and she says there’s teachers at Lake View, Prosser, Taft Foreman, Steinmetz, etc that just go class-to-class with one kid. I asked her if the Inclusion teachers with these students 5 periods a day were with them because they were really profund learning disabled and they needed constant help…and she said nope, they’re just are their bouncers.and school mothers..I asked if these inclsuion teachers you run itno do l;esson plans and she saiod not from what she’s seen and she was CPS teacher for 26 years and she should know what’s what…there was an article a week or so ago about SPED being cut across the state because of stuff like this and budget cuts….this retired teacher also said quite a few of these spoosedly SPEd kids get ‘crazy money”…you know money that goes to kids labled SPED and the govt gives them SSI stipends..

  • 139. I LUV LaSalle ll  |  June 23, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    I am a CPS parent at LaSalle II Magnet school . I was hired as a recess lunchroom monitor. I was finger printed, drug tested and had a thorough background check. Lawsuits not necessary!!! Anyone that works for CPS has to go through the same security.

  • 140. Who is watching your child?  |  June 23, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    You were hired so you had a background check-what about “unpaid volunteers”?

    State law stipulates “a certificated employee must be present” no one should be expected to monitor children unless a certificated employee is present other wise if there is an accident the parent can sue….

  • 141. anonymouse teacher  |  June 23, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    @138, I believe what your friend might be seeing are paraprofessionals, not teachers. Some students qualify for them and often do so because of serious behavior issues–one on one aides are very difficult to get, so you can be sure if a child has one, they really need one. If your friend is seeing one staff member following one student, that person is definitely NOT a teacher. The students are getting what they are allowed via the law. It sounds like you’ve gotten some serious misinformation along the way. No teacher is given more money than another on the same step and lane in Chicago. Some suburbs used to offer signing bonuses for shortage areas, I think that practice has ended with budget cuts across the nation. For a long time, large areas of Texas offered moving expense coverage because they couldn’t get teachers.
    Our sped teachers are severely underpaid for the kind of work they do. I personally believe sped teachers, who tend to burn out at much higher rates than the rest of the profession (which is at 50%) should start at nothing less than 100K per year. Sped is terribly difficult and CPS sped teachers typically have double or triple the case load of their suburban counterparts.

  • 142. cpsobsessed  |  June 23, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    I believe anyone who volunteers on a regular basis has to go through these checks.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 143. seen it all.....  |  June 23, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    141….thank you so much

    My friend who is a retired sped teacher from Chicago subs in the southeast suburbs and has yet to discover a sped teacher with a caseload of more than nine-many of the children do have one to one paras and exhibit none of the extremely violent behaviors she witnessed in CPS….

  • 144. Tired and Broke White Guy  |  June 23, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    I jsut called my friend and she says she experienced the same SPED teachers following 1 kid around for 5 periods and it wasn’t a paraprofessional or TA. i asked if this SPED teacher(s) led any classes by herself and she said Nope that most are getting away with stealing money for what they do.So, this is indeed going on. She’s ticked because she said she had to work her rear end off as regular teacher and SPED teachers go by different rules and workload. She said when she subbed at Taft, there were 3-4 SPED teachers like this and she said it was unreal, especialy after she looked up their salaries on and seen each was making over $65K on the low side and $86K on the high side.

  • 145. lurking CPS teacher  |  June 23, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    @144 I have worked for CPS for over 25 years, both in SPED and Gen Ed positions at four different schools (two high schools, and two elementary). I have never, ever seen what your friend describes as one teacher following one student throughout the day. She is correct that SPED teachers have different caseloads, number of students depending on the disability of the students being serviced, but I take issue with her assumption that SPED teachers aren’t working their “rear ends” off as well. In my own experience, it was way more difficult and challenging to work with SPED students even though I may have had a smaller number or students than a gen ed class. It was one of the reasons I would go back into a gen ed class after several years – I needed a break! Yes, there are a few teachers who think that SPED teachers have it made, but they are sadly mistaken.

  • 146. Tired and Broke White Guy  |  June 23, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Well, she says the new Taft principal and one new AP caught wind of this going on in Taft’s SPED Dept. and their getting rid of 5-6 SPED teachers at Taft involved withis nonsense…..Taft’s SPED Dept is 22 people, 4 men, 18 women (14 white women. 2- Middle eastern women, 2 latinos 0 blacks) ans she says their counseling dept is going from 12 people to 4 (2 men, 2 women), 8 counselors (a ll women0 wil be cut…Taft needs to trim $3M

  • 147. Pete  |  June 24, 2013 at 12:22 am

    @tired and broke

    85-90% of cps teachers live here just like police. Get off your bs. Cops dont get off their asses and vote either. Ctu didnt endorse any mayoral candidate but most teacher voted del valle. Karen is playing the race card because it gets press attention! Any press is good press. If the injunction filed to stop school closings have to be race driven, so be it to save union jobs. No offense taken. If it turns the store front revs and community leaders against rahm to ensure he,is a 1 term mayor good! Some people get paid to vote democrat in elections. Not next time. She is beating him at his own game. Lets judge cops by crime rate and comstat. Numbers are up, cops get fired! God forbid we ask parents to be accountable! When I go to 26 and cal everyone there didn’t do nothing and cops are racist. Doesn’t seem fair right. Neither is the teacher eval.

  • 148. DILLIGAF  |  June 24, 2013 at 12:54 am

    #147 Best response I’ve heard

  • 149. Angie  |  June 24, 2013 at 9:10 am

    @147. Pete: Following the same logic, if busting the union and firing a few thousand teachers who priced themselves out of the job is what it takes to balance the budget and improve education, then so be it. Hopefully, the principals will use this opportunity to get rid of the tenured dead wood that is otherwise untouchable under the union rules.

    However, I have to agree that CTU is beating Rahm at the PR game. They were instrumental in creating the shortfall that necessitates the budget cuts, yet they are successfully shifting the blame to mayor who is doing his best to clean up the mess.

    I can only hope that taxpayers will finally wise up and realize that this situation is caused by out of control salaries and pensions of the public service unions, and the crooked politicians who refuse to fix it because they are on union payroll. Illinois is losing 17 million dollars per day because of the pension issue. Think about it: the entire 1 billion CPS budget deficit was wasted away in just 59 days.

  • 150. Pete  |  June 24, 2013 at 9:32 am


    You think about it. The problem was never pensions or city workers fault before the housing market crash. When I started teaching in 2004, starting salary was 37k. The cps laid of 1000 teachers shortly after. I have many friends that did not even consider teaching as an option because it didnt pay well and went to the private sector. Then get laid off and blame us!! Get the hell out of here. Stop believing politician media dribble. We are in this situation because politicians mismanaged tax dollars. I have paid every dollar I owed to the pension. That was the system I was hired under. Given this plan WITH NO OTHER OPTION, did not make the system and I will be damned if you tell me it is my fault! The city of chicago has not paid into the pension system in over 10 years. We are not eligible to receive social security in case you didn’t know that.

    As for the union, all government employees need them for protection against the corruption. The CTU fights for better schools for their teachers and students. CPS or politicians do not care about kids only likes to.take pictures with them. Without unions, we would all have to work like slaves to a corrupt system. You dont believe me? The CPS said it had a safety plan for the school closures…in march. When asked to reveal it they could not, then the CFD gets an admin order to “escort students” during the first week. This was in june. That is not a firefighters job, and their local union 1 should fight that order. You are wrong and politiciams

  • 151. Pete  |  June 24, 2013 at 9:35 am

    Politicians are not on Union payroll or we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

  • 152. Jen  |  June 24, 2013 at 9:48 am

    **edited because offensive comment to which it referred was removed from previous post**.

  • 153. Angie  |  June 24, 2013 at 10:41 am

    @150. Pete:

    ” The CTU fights for better schools for their teachers and students. ”

    CTU fights for its union members, period, and please don’t even try to pretend otherwise. Going on strike “for better schools” while demanding more money, job security and lower-cost benefits did not fool anyone with half a brain. If the teachers’ interests happen to align with something that is better for the kids,great. Otherwise, children are the ones who get screwed. Lack of recess did nothing for the kids, but helped the teachers to get home earlier. Keeping low performing and just plain bad teachers in the classrooms actually hurts the kids, but it keeps the union contributions coming, so their jobs are protected. Paying teachers by seniority and not performance does nothing for the kids and higher performing teachers, but it pads the low performers’paychecks, and so on.

    “I have paid every dollar I owed to the pension. That was the system I was hired under. Given this plan WITH NO OTHER OPTION, did not make the system and I will be damned if you tell me it is my fault! ”

    The problem here is that the money you paid isn’t enough to sustain the pension you are going to receive. Your contributions and benefits were negotiated by your union on your behalf, and the rest of the taxpayers are on the hook for the difference between these amounts. While Chicago teachers are required to pay 9% of their salary toward their pensions, they contribute just 2%, and CPS pays the rest.

    From the CTU contract:

    “36-4. Pension Pick Up.
    36-4.1. Amount of Pick Up. The BOARD shall pick up for each teacher and other bargaining unit employee a sum equal to seven percent of the amount due each such employee as set forth in this Article and in the annual salary schedules set forth in Appendix A-1A through A-1D and A-1F through A-1H (except for Appendix A-1K(i) and A-3E) for the Public School Teachers’ Pension and Retirement Fund of Chicago and the Municipal Employees’, Officers’ and Officials’ Annuity and Benefit Fund to be applied to the retirement account of each such employee (not the survivors’ annuity account).

    “Politicians are not on Union payroll or we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”

    Take a look at the list of CTU political contributions, and see how many familiar names you can find.

  • 154. DILLIGAF  |  June 24, 2013 at 10:43 am

    Angie and “tired, poor white guy” are teacher haters…..not opened minded people-very toxic-bitter for whatever reason-they need to seek counseling instead of using this blog to vent…

  • 155. cpsobsessed  |  June 24, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Venting is okay if supported with information, facts, and/or a well thought-out argument . Feel free to provide any of the above with a vent attached. The goal here is to make your case by laying out a solid argument. For those who simple enjoy throwing insults back and forth there are probably better places to post where you will elicit the kinds of reactions you’re looking for.

    (this is directed at no one in particular…. just a reminder.)

  • 156. Charla  |  June 24, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Reality check: Chicago Teachers put in for their pension while others in private sector put in for Soc. Security. Chi teachers can retire much earlier and receive their FULL pensions than those in the private secto

    Cry me a river.

  • 157. disgusted  |  June 24, 2013 at 11:38 am

    We pay 2% because we agreed to allow CPS to pay the other 7% because they said they were bankrupt again. I don’t remember what year this was but I believe around mid-eighties. This is something we never should have agreed to because they have not upheld their end of the agreement. We have to have 34 years AND be age 60 in order to collect a full pension. Insurance is subtracted for the pensioner and an additional 1000.00 a month for a spouse or dependent child. I know people in the private sector who receive a pension and social security plus the insurance is much cheaper and retire with thirty years.

  • 158. cpsobsessed  |  June 24, 2013 at 11:43 am

    @157: so to be clear, pension is around 80% of exiting salary, but then you have to pay a monthly health insurance fee and if you want health insurance for a spouse or child (I assume most retiring don’t have a dependent child) you have to pay $1000 per month for each of those people? I think that’s what you just stated but I never knew the details before so I wanted to clarify.

    I personally don’t know of anyone collecting a pension any more or receiving health care after they retire. I know teachers aren’t eligible for social security, which I still don’t fully understand. Are they also not eligible for Medicaid (or whatever it is that most of the elder population gets?)

  • 159. disgusted  |  June 24, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    CPS teachers receive 75% of their salaries as long as they have 34 years and are age 60. City workers receive 80% of their salaries and some can retire at age 50 with twenty years.

    Traditionally, pensions were offered to workers as a carrot to make up for low wages.

    My father, a CTA bus driver, received a pension and Social Security. Some state and federal workers have free healthcare when they retire. I believe our legislators receive free healthcare…..

    I have friends who do not receive pensions but have employer paid
    IRAs-some can match the funds to get an even larger amount-they will collect social security.

    I love teaching, would not have changed it for anything, but I am so tired of being the whipping boy for CPS’ fiscal mismanagement.

    Please go over to Chicago Public Fools and read the posting on Whitney Young……very sad…..too bad the principal, Joyce Kenner,
    is not running CPS…..she can retire so I am assuming that she is making a stand for everyone.

  • 160. disgusted  |  June 24, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    OOOphs! So sorry-too many things going on-clarification-if the teacher has 34 years then she can retire at age 56….example-if a teacher is 55 and has 30 years she will get a pension that is 45% of her pay because of the 6% penalty per year for being under the age of 60-the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund has a great site-

  • 161. disgusted  |  June 24, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    If we we’re under SS CPS we would pay 6.2 % of our salary for FICA and CPS would have to pay the rest to 15%. If CPS did not pay they would be held accountable by the FEDS.
    We gave up a 7% raise in the 80s (common amount for a raise back then) and agreed to let CPS pay the 7% into our pension fund instead of us. CPS stopped paying-where are the consequences?
    How would you feel if your employer stopped paying his portion of your SS?
    Yet, we are the bad guys?

  • 162. Angie  |  June 24, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    @157. disgusted: “We pay 2% because we agreed to allow CPS to pay the other 7% because they said they were bankrupt again.”

    Essentially, you agreed to add an extra 7% to your salary, and that money still must come out of the CPS budget.

    “We have to have 34 years AND be age 60 in order to collect a full pension. ”

    Private sector workers must be at least 65 to collect full social security. For people born after 1960, that age is 67.

    “I know people in the private sector who receive a pension and social security plus the insurance is much cheaper and retire with thirty years.”

    Yeah, some of the baby boomers got a windfall.The rest of us, not so much.

    “TRS officials state that since Illinois teachers do not participate in Social Security, then the average teacher’s pension of $43,000 isn’t too generous. What officials fail to mention is that their pension calculations average in pensions of employees who retired years or decades ago, as well as part time employees.

    The average teacher who retires today, after 30 to 34 years of service, had final earnings of $84,466 with a pension of $60,756 a year, plus COLAs, a life time value of $1.6M from age 62, plus health care benefits worth up to thousands per year, providing an income higher than 95% of retirees in Illinois!


    Compared to this, how would a private-sector worker’s retirement plan stack up? Private-sector workers typically rely on a combination of Social Security and a 401(k). If the private employee had the same $84,466 final earnings as that veteran teacher, Social Security would pay around $17,750 per year. The remaining $43,000 has to come from elsewhere.

    Private employer’s contribution of 6% of 401K contributions average $3850 per year in retirement and to replicate the public employees guaranteed benefits, a worker with a 401K would have to invest in safe but low interest Treasuries.


    To make up the rest, a private worker would need to save an almost implausible 45% of his salary for retirement! Compare that to the 9.4% of salary that Illinois teachers must contribute toward their pension plan. Many Illinois teachers pay even less because their school districts “pick up” all or part of the 9.4%.”

  • 163. cpsobsessed  |  June 24, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    @Disgusted: I hear ya. I had an employer fold during the internet boom and I lost 1 year of soc sec and I’m still mad about that. I can’t even imagine how aggravating it must be. It appears that the city workers have a very sweet deal, no? (the others that you reference.)

    Clearly some idiots in the past are the ones who got us all into this mess and I would say they’re the bad guys. Politicians? Union leaders? I’m not really sure, but I do think that more emphasis is being placed on those bad decisions now that the pension thing is blowing up.

  • 164. cpsobsessed  |  June 24, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    So does a teacher have to work 34 years in CPS to get anything? Or if they work less than that do they get a smaller amount? Do they still get any health care if they retire before 34 years?

    I am with Angie in general – the pension thing is a pretty sweet deal. But again, somebody somewhere agreed to it. And that was what got us into this mess.

  • 165. Mayfair Dad  |  June 24, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.” –Stein’s Law, first pronounced in the 1980s.

    Plenty of blame to go around but in my mind it is the Democrat politicians in bed with the public employee labor unions who created this unsustainable mess. Now the day of reckoning has arrived.

  • 166. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 24, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    166. Mayfair Dad | June 24, 2013 at 2:47 pm


  • 167. disgusted  |  June 24, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    Wow! Mr Taxpayer (comment removed-referred to militant teachers taking it …..) is very angry and must think using profanity will get his point across. I wonder if he has problems with his tax dollars bailing out banks, giving tax breaks to businesses or paying for DePaul’s new stadium?

  • 168. cpsemployee  |  June 24, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    @cpsobsessed – the pension information can be found at Depending upon when you were hired, a teacher has to be vested in the fund a certain number of years before receiving a pension. It also varies upon what age you can begin to pull that pension without a penalty (depends what year you were hired. Age also impacts the type of health coverage you can opt to buy.

  • 169. HS Mom  |  June 24, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    @158 CPSO “(I assume most retiring don’t have a dependent child)”

    I guess you may likely have dependents if you retire at age 52. Unless there is another source of income, I can’t imagine that many people retire that young. Of course you could “retire” and take on another job working long enough to gain social security benefits, other retirement accounts or another pension.

    As for us, with the cost of college likely going more than 4 years and “just everyone” doing a study abroad program, we’ll just keep working and working and working like the Energizer Bunny.

  • 170. disgusted  |  June 24, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    Even if you worked twenty years under Social Security you would be penalized under the WEP-Windfall Elimination Provision-which penalizes a person for having pension-you may get 10% of what you should get…this is only in certain states and affects policemen and firemen also…..unless you have 34 years or are age 60 you would not retire due to the age penalty-and you are right you could still have dependents under 26(insurance issues) at age 60-women do have babies into their forties…many teachers do not get full pensions due to taking off for childbirth-no paid maternity leave at CPS..

  • 171. local  |  June 24, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    A new post/thread: teacher compensation & pensions?

  • 172. HS Mom  |  June 25, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    @170 women having children in their 40’s is not typical. Neither is retirement at or below the age of 60. If women or men for that matter need to work longer because they take a leave, isn’t that the way retirement plans work?

  • 173. Wacky Principal at Prosser  |  June 25, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    How is CPS going to save money when you have that wacky Principal Ken Hunter at Prosser Career Academy HS adding another asst. principal? Everyone else is cutting salary and you have this goof giving one of his people a promotion and raise of $30,000.and promtoing another SPED teacher to dept chair to replace her.

    Hunter promoted SPED Det. Chair Pam De La Cruz to AP this week. This after pumping up his enrollment by another 100 students for 2013-14. De La Cruz made $86K last years as SPED teacher/chair. While, Hunter made $155K and the other Prosser AP Marlen Lusbourgh made $114K.

    Chicago taxpayers are now on the hook for $385K worth of administrator salaries now at Prosser.

  • 174. Cps mama sue  |  June 25, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    @173- running a school is hardwork. Unfortunately most high schools need deans and APs just to handle discipline, culture, and climate….sorry APs are necessary

  • 175. Charla  |  June 25, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    @174 What is the difference between climate & culture? What additional value does another Asst Principal bring to a school, that could not be handled by the existing staff?

  • 176. anonymouse teacher  |  June 26, 2013 at 9:38 am

    I agree that APs are necessary in schools that are above about 500 kids. Principals have to go to so many meetings off site and it is a requirement to always have a type 75 admin on school grounds at all times. Not all schools have staff with type 75s. This year alone, my principal was required to do more than 150 observations of teachers, with the pre-conference, observation and post conference and paperwork taking at least 2 hours for each observation. Next year, there will be additional observations to do. There are angry parents, upset teachers, crazy downtown requests, fire marshalls, lunchroom issues, paperwork galore, kid issues, safety issues, ordering of materials, and on and on. We have two admins in our school of about 800. I would estimate that both of them are in the building or downtown around 60-70 hours a week, with another 30+ hours of work at home plus being on call 24 hours a day. I’m all for reduced admin costs, but APs are needed. Plus, our AP is going to be teaching next year too (a few classes because our budget is awful and he has to). Principals work their rears off, it is an incredibly hard job, and if we take the APs away from them, it drains the whole school. Yes, classroom teachers can take up the work an AP normally does. But what happens then is those teachers cannot do the work that needs to be done in the classroom too. One way or the other, one job will suffer.

  • 177. cpsobsessed  |  June 26, 2013 at 9:46 am

    Yeah, wow, I can’t imagine a school without an AP. And I was forgetting about observations. All the other stuff alone takes a ton of time as well. We’re really getting bare bones here to expect a school to run with just one admin person.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 178. local  |  June 26, 2013 at 11:18 am

    Without APs, where does CPS grow new principals?

  • 179. cpsobsessed  |  June 26, 2013 at 11:26 am

    In pods on the Principal farm?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 180. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 26, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    probably by training them

  • 181. anotherchicagoparent  |  June 27, 2013 at 11:27 am

    I wish I would have kept the letter our elementary school sent out on the time spent on teacher evaluations principals had to do this past year.It basically gave us a schedule of when each would be in the classrooms observing and then listed the very short amount of time per week parents could now actually talk to a principal.I understood after reading that letter why most schools had added an AP. Aren’t those outside principal meetings fairly new(within 3 years) and mandatory too? But hey most of us know just because CPS implements something doesn’t mean they will support it.

  • 182. Leggy Mountbatten  |  June 28, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    #167 I’m a fellow city worker, but I don’t work for the CPS, police or fire, so I pay 9% of my salary towards my pension, not 2%; and I’m lucky because I’ve vested in Social Security, whereas many of my fellow workers haven’t. The 2% pension contribution is so sweetheart it’s absurd.

  • 183. anonymouse teacher  |  June 28, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    @178 and 179, haha! That’s pretty funny. Did you know that CPS is referred to as a teacher farm? Some suburban districts call us that. They wait for teachers to learn how to be teachers (about 3-6 years) and practice on Chicago kids. Once they’ve got it figured out, the burbs then pick off the ones they like and bring them over from our farm. Not kidding.

  • 184. disgusted  |  June 28, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    182-We gave up a raise because CPS was broke again and agreed to have CPS put 7% into our pensions. Bad move on our part-they haven’t put in the funds…this was during the early eighties when some city groups were receiving 21% raises (during mayoral term) and suburban teachers were getting 7-8 %.

    What do you mean by vested in SS? I have the quarters but will only receive 10% of what I should-maybe I have the wrong information.

    A teacher with 30 years who retires at 65 will receive 66% of her salary when he retires. The highest we can receive is 75% while the city receives 80%. If that retiree came in from another field (some come in after raising children others are career changers) they are screwed as far as SS.

    183-I, too have noticed the brain drain to the suburbs especially in sped, bilingual and counseling. The sharpest administrator in CPS (my opinion) just left for the suburbs-better offer. The suburbs actively recruit the sharper teachers and administrators. I have seen student teachers recruited/courted by suburban districts. They are wowed by the up to date technology,tuition reimbursement and small calls size. New teachers in CPS get very little support except from other teachers. As a suburban friend said, “After all, they don’t complain about anything when they come from Chicago.”

  • 185. local  |  June 28, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    @ 183. anonymouse teacher | June 28, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    “@178 and 179, haha! That’s pretty funny. Did you know that CPS is referred to as a teacher farm? Some suburban districts call us that. They wait for teachers to learn how to be teachers (about 3-6 years) and practice on Chicago kids. Once they’ve got it figured out, the burbs then pick off the ones they like and bring them over from our farm. Not kidding.”

    I would also guess (maybe there are stats on this?) that Chicago teachers heading for the burbs after their first 3-6 years are also ripe for starting their own families (in a “good” school district)?

  • 186. NBCT Vet  |  June 29, 2013 at 11:30 am

    @182 Leggy Mountbatten and others,

    To clarify, as an educator in CPS 9% of my salary is deducted and invested in the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund, not 2%.

    How that 9% is divided – 2% here, 7% there or 5% here, 4% there – is ultimately irrelevant. Every penny invested comes out of the compensation I receive for the expertise and services I provide.

    This deferred salary – and that’s what it is, not a perk or a benefit – is part of a full package of compensation that teachers receive. That gets to the root of my frustration with proposed pension reform: my mayor wants me to take a massive reduction in pay because the mayor, the Board of Education, and the state legislature have willfully and intentionally refused to fulfill their end of the bargain. I object.

    I have been planning my entire financial future for well more than two decades now. I came to public education after 14 years in private sector. Though I am still, hopefully, a long way from retirement, my financial planner and I have made arrangements based on my former, current, and future salaries, investments, and, yes, projected pension payouts.

    Fundamentally altering the compensation package to which my employer and I agreed is, in my eyes, totally unreasonable. I would rather see my take home pay reduced than my pension. I can make immediate and relatively simple changes to my life if I bring home less cash on a monthly basis. It is much more difficult for me to adjust my long term, lifelong planning in the face of pension “reform”.

  • 187. NBCT Vet  |  June 29, 2013 at 11:35 am

    re: the CPS teacher farm

    I think it is also true, after speaking with my suburban teacher and administrator friends, that if a teacher stays in CPS too long the view can change to one of damaged goods – as in, “If this teacher was any good s/he would have gotten out of the city years ago. There must be something wrong if s/he is still there.”

  • 188. cpsobsessed  |  June 29, 2013 at 11:38 am

    I think that same hierarchy exists in the business world, really most fields.
    Sad though, that cps teachers in more impoverished areas aren’t given any credit for doing tough work with a greater goal in mind. It seems so much more challenging than teaching 18 lake forest kindergarteners.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 189. disgusted  |  June 29, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    #186 Thanks for the expert clarification.

    This is why many teachers who had planned on retiring based upon the 2007-2012 contract were dismayed to find out that they were not going to receive the 4% raise in 2012 because CPS was broke again. Many retired in 2012 with pensions adversely impacted by CPS’ poor financial planning.

    You are very prudent to start your retirement planning now.

  • 190. local  |  June 29, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Does anyone know the whole story of teacher compensation in Chicago public schools starting in the early 1900s through today? I don’t, but I would guess that it was only relatively recently, maybe even early ’60s, when CPS teachers started making a middle-class living. Anyone know?

    How low, now, in the current economy, can CPS teacher compensation go (ignoring factors such as CPS financial problems, mgt-union contract, etc.? Would $35K/year salary keep a teaching staff as a going concern? What’s the lowest paid to FT CPS charter school teachers? Would that be considered the “bottom”?

  • 191. NBCT Vet  |  June 29, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    #190 local,

    I recommend a fascinating book by John Lyons that covers historical issues of labor/management strife in Chicago, including teacher compensation: Teachers and Reform: Chicago Public Education, 1929-70 (Working Class in American History).

    Interestingly, some of the major issues of today, obviously including compensation, were also major issues at the forefront of the creation of the Chicago Teachers Union – mayoral control, privatization and corporate interests, cronyism and corruption, and how to handle equity and access to public education for all children.

    Highly recommended. If I have time to track down my copy of the book I’ll write up a brief summary of compensation over the decades in Chicago. It’s been long enough since I read the book I don’t currently have the information nestled comfortably and accessibly in my brain.

  • 192. disgusted  |  June 29, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    190-non-public school teachers do not have to be certified nor degreed….
    Catholic school teachers start at $25,000.00 -do not need degrees(although most have degrees though not necessarily in teaching) nor certification except for PE, usually do not keep children with disabilities, have more involved parents willing to pay the $4,000.00 in tuition, and usually are not the breadwinner in the family although they may carry the self-employed spouse on the insurance, some like the religious aspect (missionary zeal) but would not be able to support a family on the low salaries….the Catholic CHurch has many employees who probably qualify for benefits due to the low salaries…some retired teachers from both the city and suburbs do go to teach in the Catholic schools and love the discipline etc….

  • 193. cpsobsessed  |  June 29, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    Numerically speaking, if teacher farming is so prevalent, then cps shouldn’t need to worry abt high paid, tenured teachers utilizing budget money, correct?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 194. disgusted with disgusted  |  June 29, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    I just read much of this thread and am disgusted by disgusted’s whining. I have worked in the private sector, the city and various agencies including CPS. I recently “retired” and am back in the private sector. Believe me, the sick days, vacation days, and pension pick up are very nice perks of CPS. I looked up the windfall provision and calculated how much my setoff would be due to the pension–which I took as soon as if was available–even with the “penalty.” Come on, disgusted, are you really complaining about the penalty if you retire before 60????? It appears the windfall is capped at 396 month so I doubt if you will only receive 10% of what it would be without the pension. According to the calculator, if I continue to work until retirement age at my current salary I will get a decent SS benefit–but not nearly as good at the municipal pension.

    Thanks for the book suggestion @191.

  • 195. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 29, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    192. disgusted | June 29, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    It’s true~at ONE time, Catholic teachers didn’t have to have a degree in teaching~that changed over 30 yrs ago and they have to compensated accordingly.

  • 196. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 29, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    195. SoxSideIrish4 | June 29, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    Get your facts str8. When sisters had to have a degree to teach, that’s when we saw the sisterhood decline. They were no longer coming from a convent at 16 to teach under an older sister or nun, they had to attend college~life changed for many who just wanted to work for children and was introduced to other things in university.

  • 197. anonymouse teacher  |  June 29, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    @193, not necessarily. There are so many factors to consider. Some being:
    -50% of all teachers leave the profession entirely in the first 5 years, with sped teachers leaving at much higher percentages
    -Teachers price themselves out of a move to suburbs at a certain point. A teacher with a graduate degree and who has been teaching in the city for 15 years is making, what, 75-80K when you figure in pension? If you leave the city for a suburb, you do not take those years of experience with you. Districts commonly will only allow you to bring in a year or two. This can mean a 50% pay cut for some. Personally, I think it is worth it, but some people don’t.
    -Some teachers are committed to the city and don’t want to leave, some have made lifelong friends, some just get settled and don’t want change, etc.
    -Suburban teachers tend to stay in their jobs, and there are simply way, way, way more applicants for suburban jobs than anywhere else. So, while CPS does serve as a teacher farm, as long as we have a teacher glut like we do now, there’ll always be higher earners stuck in CPS. But, these things are cyclical, and I can’t remember if I’ve said this before, but back in the late 90’s, I was hired sight unseen by a CPS school in a bad neighborhood. The principal never met me. I sent her my resume, I was out of the country at the time and she offered me the job. That was a time when there weren’t enough teachers and CPS would take anyone, so it was easy to get a job and conversely, easier to get a suburban job
    -Suburban jobs often deal strictly with “who you know”. Fwiw, there was a thread on this blog dealing with Notre Dame and how their grads are pressured and encouraged to hire other grads when they get established in the workplace. After reading that, several teachers and I at my school made a kind of a pact. We are all trying to get out and made a deal where we will help eachother get hired once one or two get out. One guy is looking for admin positions and he’s basically said he’s going to try and cherry pick off the best teachers from our school and bring them to his new school, assuming he gets hired. In Chicago, it is still “who you know” but not nearly as much as suburban districts.

    If you are a teacher in CPS, the best time to leave is somewhere in the 2-6 year range. And NBCT vet is correct, there is a stigma out there against CPS teachers who have stayed in too long. A few years seems to be okay, longer than that there’s a resistance to hire. What I am seeing in CPS right now is a lot of top heavy teachers and a lot of bottom heavy teachers. Not a lot of in between. And, as well, teachers in the system know how terribly dysfunctional it is and when they have kids of their own, yes, want to escape very badly.

  • 198. local  |  June 29, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    @ 192. disgusted | June 29, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Remember when the dear sisters (working for free) staffed the Catholic schools?

  • 199. disgusted  |  June 29, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    194-Description of Ad Hominem

    Translated from Latin to English, “Ad Hominem” means “against the man” or “against the person.”

    An Ad Hominem is a general category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument. Typically, this fallacy involves two steps. First, an attack against the character of person making the claim, her circumstances, or her actions is made (or the character, circumstances, or actions of the person reporting the claim). Second, this attack is taken to be evidence against the claim or argument the person in question is making (or presenting). This type of “argument” has the following form:

    Person A makes claim X.
    Person B makes an attack on person A.
    Therefore A’s claim is false.
    The reason why an Ad Hominem (of any kind) is a fallacy is that the character, circumstances, or actions of a person do not (in most cases) have a bearing on the truth or falsity of the claim being made (or the quality of the argument being made).

    Example of Ad Hominem

    Bill: “I believe that abortion is morally wrong.”
    Dave: “Of course you would say that, you’re a priest.”
    Bill: “What about the arguments I gave to support my position?”
    Dave: “Those don’t count. Like I said, you’re a priest, so you have to say that abortion is wrong. Further, you are just a lackey to the Pope, so I can’t believe what you say.”

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  • 201. daughter quotes  |  March 5, 2014 at 4:04 pm

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