Friday, July 24, 2009

That Uplift Cafeteria Sure Is Expensive....

.... or is it just a handy straw to grasp at when attempting to explain how a hundred million dollars ($100,000,000 - eight zeroes) in TIF funds is being spent?

- Ald. Shiller claimed at yesterday's meeting that TIF funds were needed for the cafeteria at Uplift, to the tune of $350,000

- In an email today from Rep. Greg Harris: "In the interest of full transparency, I want to specifically itemize the projects which I supported for inclusion in the legislation that serve the 13th District. The items included are the result of input from the 4 Aldermen whose Wards are located within the 13th District (Alds. O'Connor, Shiller, Schulter and Smith)... Uplift School Cafeteria and Improvements, $350,000"


  1. So where did the money come from? TIF or Pork?

  2. Perhaps Representative Harris could be persuaded teach Helen to.....Itemize! It would solve a whole lotta problems in her future!!!

  3. I learned at CAPS the other night that Uplift is for kids from all over the city (and that's why there are so many fights when school gets out 'cuz the kids have to get over to the Wilson el and don't go quietly). When it was just plain Arai, before Helen's bestest and favoritest revolutionaries took it over, was it just for local kids? Or was it changed when it was made "Uplift", and once again Uptown plays host to the entire city's problems?

  4. I'm not sayin'...I'm just sayin'... check out Uplift's stats as of July 09: Reading is at or below the city mean (a very low number)on percentage of students exceeding state standards. Math is slightly above the city mean (also a very low number)on the percentage of students exceeding state standards.

  5. I'm impressed to hear that 100% of seniors from Uplift are going to college.

    I'd be highly impressed if there were something to support that more so than Helen's word.

  6. She didn't say that 100% of the kids graduation from Uplift go to college did she?

  7. I wondered about that WCE and Yo because even New Trier does not have a 100% college attendance rate. (They might have a 100% eventual college attendance rate however. Some kids like to take time off before college.) Anywhoo...I tried to look up stats on Uplift and I couldn't even get average ACT scores as an indicator of how many kids go on to college and what kids of schools might accept them.

    As for state tests, the upper grades test scores are below the district average but the middle school kids are above the district averages. (go kids! go!) Uplift did not make "adequate yearly progress" in 2008 on the No Child Left Behind standards. (for what that's worth)

    I am not saying that Shiller is lying (maybe "rounding up" though). I am interested to know if we have a really effective school in our midst. Also, how many kids drop out? I don't know.

    I suppose I will have to put some more effort into finding whatever data is out there. Maybe a teacher at Uplift could provide the information? If the school is doing as well as Shiller's comment suggests, more people in the community should know about it.

    Sorry if any of the information here is inaccurate or misleading. I just did a quick search. It is not my intention to slight the accomplishments of the school or the kids. I was just trying to verify a comment that didn't seem to pass the sniff test, so to speak.

  8. Helen said 100% of the Uplift graduating class were going to college. At that point, her minions clapped loudly and muttered a few "Amens".
    Does Rep Harris' report indicate that Helen's pants are on fire and she can account for even fewer $$ than we thought?
    Who is the audit company she used? Maybe they should get some free publicity.

  9. Since UPlift is no longer a Middle School, there are voting age kids attending there. Even if you weren't good in school, I think you can do the math on this one.

  10. I wonder if Greg Harris knew he would be exposing Helen's lie when he sent his email the day after Helen's forced public meeting? He did mention the need to be transparent.

  11. It's fine to be anti-TIF. But seriously, TIFs are so complicated people's eye's glaze over when they hear about it.

    So what you really have to do is pose the problem as anti-tax. Because if you think about it, all other taxes go up an equal or higher amount to account of the funds being siphoned off by the TIF.

    Make this a tax rebellion, not a TIF rebellion.

    Remember "Don't tread on me" or "Taxation without representation is tyranny".

    If Helen's fish tank isn't a pork project, I don't know what is.

    TIFs do have a beneficial purpose, but they last too long. They are not transparent. And they make the alderman a Santa Claus.

    TIF = Tax Increase for the Foolhardy.

  12. Does someone know what the difference between the ISAT test and the PSAE tests are? ~75% of students at Uplift meet the ISAT standards for reading, but only ~15% meet the PSAE standards for reading.

  13. To TygerKub----Uplift is attracting gang problems from across the city. When it was just Arai, it was considered a community school. Now, Uplift is taking kids from across the city and they are bringing their turf wars to Uptown.

  14. Shiller has friends, but she has to pay people to be her friends - with YOUR property tax dollars