Friday, September 10, 2010

"This School Did Not Meet Federal Education Standards"

A reader writes in:
"This must be what Laura Washington talks about when she references how Ald. Shiller is all about schools! And that 'success' delivers the results of what we as a community are stuck with on Leland and Sheridan."


  1. Hey, I mean 11% of the students there meet state standards, yet according to Helen 100% of them go to college.

    On the scale of Helen's lies, that's still quite a whopper.

  2. LOL. That's right, where is that quote?

  3. look at some of the other schools on that site and you'll see "this school did not meet federal education standards" a lot. look at lakeview high (not in the 46th ward), amundsen, senn; you'll see similar reports. Tough to pin all that on the alderman when schools in surrounding wards and all over the city have similar reports.

  4. Oh, that certainly isn't all Shiller's fault.

    Then again, I don't recall her using other schools as an example of her awesome stance on (re)education, either.

  5. Lack of education is one of the root causes of the problems in the community. Most of the teachers do the best they can. If students don't have a support structure (family) at home and live in poverty (90%+ at Uplift) they'll have a hard time succeeding.

  6. That is not the point. Ms. SHiller did say that 100% of those students go to college. Reminds me of when Sadamm H. had a free election and won with 99% of the vote.

  7. Even thou I personally feel teachers are over paid, my taxes show so, and certainly not over worked I still feel that alot of the problems are related to the structure of family support. Alot of parents just don`t care. When I went to school the class size was way over 40, teachers taught longer hours and we even went home for lunch 1 hour. We all went to high school and graduated. Drop outs, which where none I can think of, where forced to go to to Cooley high and that was enough fear to finish school. Parents where way more involved and went weekly to PTA meetings and and teachers held parents night every two weeks. Alderman, as useless as I feel most of them are, should not be given alot of the blame for failure of our schooling system to teach students correctly.

  8. Yo, please, let that go--you know why? Because soon a new alderman will be here, and it would be nice if you and some of the rest of you could move away from picking at and resenting Uplift because of its "connection" to Shiller. Uplift is NOT about Shiller, it is about teachers working hard to provide education and opportunities for our neighborhood kids. Uplift is not perfect and most certainly has room for improvement--as do many of our public schools-- but I hope the new alderman will actually work to build a relationship with that school and work to support the administration in its efforts, and certainly not follow the suit of some of our readers who delight in trying to use Uplift as more ammunition against Shiller. I just do not get what constantly picking at this school accomplishes other than to try to alienate and stigmatize the kids who go there.

  9. Wiseguy:
    You think teachers are *over* paid?

    Please explain!

  10. Really Wiseguy? Overpaid and underworked?

    You obviously have no idea what a teacher in a typical Chicago Public Schools classroom is dealing with, which begins with too many students who arrive on day one well below grade level.

    Then there is the impact of parents who are satisfied with D grades, because hey, it's not outright failure, right?

    Not to mention the behavioral problems...

    And it's all tied to a cycle of poverty.

    Whether you believe it or not, the academic outcomes of all students have a direct impact on everyone's quality of life, including yours.

  11. Sorry if I offend any teachers on my thoughts but this is how I feel and my ever growing tax bill that takes a ever growing tax bite is all the proof I need. I guess we did not have behavioral problems when I went to school as everyone got good grades and finished high school and went on to college.
    I’m fed up with teachers and their hefty salary guides. What we need here is a little perspective. If I had my way, I’d pay these teachers myself…I’d pay them babysitting wages. That’s right. Instead of paying these outrageous taxes, I’d give them $3.00 an hour out of my own pocket. And I’m only going to pay them for five hours, not coffee breaks. That would be $15.00 a day. Each parent should pay $15 a day for these teachers to babysit their children. Even if they have more than one child, it’s still cheaper than private day care.

    Now, how many children do they teach in a day, maybe twenty? That’s $15 X 20 = $300 a day. But remember they only work 180 days a year! I’m not going to pay them for all those vacations. $300 X180 = $54,000. (Just a minute, I think my calculator needs batteries.)

    I know you teachers will say, “What about those who have ten years of experience and a Master’s degree?” Well, maybe, (just to be fair) they could get the minimum wage, and instead of just babysitting, they could read the kids a story. We can round that off to about $5.00 an hour, times 5 hours, times 20 children…$5.00 X 5 X 20. That’s $500 a day times 180 days. That’s $90,000. HUH? Wait a minute…! Let’s get a little perspective here.

    Babysitting wages are too good for those teachers. Did anyone see a salary guide around here???!!!

    Hope this answers how I feel.

  12. Wiseguy,

    I get that you are unhappy with how high the taxes are. Many people will agree with you, especially when considering the quality of return we appear to be getting for the money (particularly in this neighborhood). That being said...if you truly think that the salaries of teachers are the factor that pushes rates so high you have completely missed the bus. I usually enjoy reading your comments and opinions, however the conviction you display about something so patently false is unsettling at best.

    I'm not claiming to be an economist or tax expert, but there are FAR more questionable investments our city (and country) makes with tax dollars than education. While the merits of various tax expenditures will vary with the opinion of different political perspectives, things like TIFs, mismanagement of housing subsidies, useless studies and research, misused menu money of public officials, etc etc etc all are more blatantly wasteful than education.

    Good education is an investment. It is one of the best examples of planning for the future success of our country there is. If we continue to abandon education (as the current trend indicates, cutting classes, eliminating teacher positions, and taking away the arts) the cost to taxpayers to support generations of kids who don't have enough knowledge to support themselves and continue American innovation is going to go way up.

    If you think practically, quality teachers will have the greatest impact both in areas where parents are involved and also in places where home support is practically nonexistent. Teaching is HARD work, and if the salary isn't at least moderately representative of that work then quality teachers will look elsewhere. It's not much different than in the business world, with corporations defending huge compensation and bonuses to justify getting the best talent. If anything, teachers continue to be underpaid, particularly when considering the pressure and politics that have been added by No Child Left Behind.

  13. (part 2...)
    Comparing teaching to babysitting is simplistic and naive at best. The amount of training and work that goes into becoming a teacher is far more rigorous and demanding than many professions that pay more. When you add in the frustrations of lack of principal support, responsibilities way beyond the scope of teaching, and threats of termination for underperforming students who have no chance of meeting standards, it's really not even worth it for many. I'm an example myself....the stress, headache, and frustration greatly overshadowed the joy I got from teaching kids, so I left and am pursuing a career that will help me fight to improve the system.

    I think there are arguments to be made for altering the pay structure of teachers in an attempt to reward those who are actually better teachers. This might involve paying poor teachers less, but also needs to pay great teachers much higher. Studies have shown that education is rarely selected as a career by undergraduate students with the highest grades and test scores. Something has to be done to draw the best and brightest to pass that skill on. Again, I don't claim to have the answers, but I know paying less is NOT going to get the job done.

    If you can find the studies and facts to back up your position, I'd honestly be interested to know. Until then, blaming teachers for your tax bill is a little baseless. If I were you, I would do some serious research, look around, and pick another group on which to focus your displeasure.

  14. Wise Guy-

    I'm no teacher. Your logic sounds great till you look at the big picture. Most importantly, think about where you would be now if you never had a teacher. Prolly on the street like a lot of drop outs.

    The other reasons your logic is flawed is

    1. Who pays for the structure(school building)
    2. Who pays the bus drivers?
    3. Who pays the principles etc?
    4. Who pays the janitors thAt keep the schools clean and healthy?
    4. Cafeteria workers?
    5. Social workers?
    6. In school specialists if let's say your kid has a speech problem as I did in elementary school?
    7. The guidance counselor that guided you on what classes were good for you and helped you decide on the right colleges to apply for?
    8. Sports?

    And so on and so on and so on.

    If anything I think teachers are under payed assuming we are talking about teachers that do shape and mold you for college and the real world, to me that is priceless.

    I can't even imagine what you'd say if you saw a bill for sending your kid to a private school.

  15. Hey Wiseguy,
    I just checked the CPS salary guide, you hit the numbers almost exactly correctly, but you ignore some important points. A teacher with a bachelor's degree starts at $54,342. The top tier with a master's degree makes $93,745. I do believe most class sizes are larger than 20, and a teacher's day is longer than 5 hours. They have to teach for the school day, meet with parents, grade papers and make lesson plans. In reality, they're making quite a bit less than a sitter and providing a much more important service.

    Full disclosure, I am not, nor have I ever been a teacher.

  16. "I guess we did not have behavioral problems when I went to school as everyone got good grades and finished high school and went on to college. "

    Really? EVERYONE in your class got good grades, finished high school and went on to college? That is amazing when you consider that, nationally, about 35% of adults have some college experience and fewer than 25% have college degrees. You must have gone to an excellent school.

    And frankly, if you're only willing to pay a babysitter $3/hour, well, good luck finding a babysitter.

  17. Wiseguy,

    You really think that teachers are over paid?


  18. Wiseguy~

    I work in the schools and I will tell you that CPS at the moment is one HOT MESS. Maybe your frustration comes from knowing that too.

    I agree that some teachers are nothing but glorified babysitters and IMHO, they shouldn't even get $3.00 per hour. They should be fired so someone with a passion for teaching can work. The union makes that really difficult to get rid of the fluff, and what we are left with is a sluggish, bloated system. So, all the motivated, effective and inspired teachers who use evidence-based practices because they are fresh out of school and still have the passion get the ax.

    I have a theory that education in Chicago is on the road to being privatized and the powers that be actually want the system to fail. We have administrators with no experience in education running things. Teachers and clinicians are constantly worried about their jobs. We work in an atmosphere that can be characterized as unstable and in a perpetual state of flux as new and "improved" ways to do things are introduced that aren't really better than the old ways. Add to that an immense pressure to produce better test results with dwindling resources and little support coming from students' families and you have CPS today.

    Bottom line: Education is the key to a peaceful, productive, enlightened society at best. Watching a teacher who has passion for his or her work, gets through to the kids, and fights the good fight every day while mired in aweful conditions is amazing and inspiring. Go into a classroom and see for yourself sometime.I'm sure that Uplift has some good teachers. They can't be paid enough for what they do. But the rest of them shouldn't have jobs or get paid a red cent. There are plenty of teachers in line who are willing to work. And they deserve every cent they get.

  19. I'm always amazed at the terrific job Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) have done in educated through public service commercials and events the need to prevent drunk driving.

    Why is there never any organized outreach to parents about their need to prepare their children for school and their need to follow up with their children with homework assignments and the need to repect teachers, administrators and fellow students.

    I'd like to see public service messages that talk directly to parents about what they need to do to make their child's education valued for their future.

    We criticize the government for not spending enough money. We criticize the teachers for not doing a good job. Where is the parents responsibility in all of this?

    Who are the children who succeed in school? It's the children of parents who are motivated towards getting a good education for their children.

  20. I have to agree with people that CPS teachers are not overpaid. I started my career at Accenture working 70 hour weeks with some of the smartest people I've ever met. After a couple, four of those people left to go teach at CPS, because they wanted to make a difference. You know what, they all quit within a year, because non of them could take it. These were people who had no problems working through the night on a consistent basis, and not one of them could handle CPS. You need an insane amount of dedication to teach at CPS.

  21. I always thought that parents in the lower socio-economic groups were as much, if not more, interested in seeing their children succeed in school as middle-class parents. At least that was my experience growing up. The blue-collar 'rents with high-school (at best) educations wanted their kids to graduate high school with either a ticket to college or skills for a job.

    If this is no longer the case...what happened and why? Why would any mom or dad want their kid to be even less successful in life than what they've been?

    Doesn't make sense.

  22. Local Lassie-

    I'm not sure of the official answer to "what happened," but I do agree that there was a time when education was valued more by those who are less fortunate because of the potential it offered.

    One guess--perhaps the parents today never benefitted from their education, thus don't see the value of encouraging it's role in their children's lives. How many parents (especially young parents) graduated high school and had no prospects, then remained dependent on the system. They could have done that without the work in school. If they have no faith or evidence of how education can improve a life, they won't lift a finger. This is just an observation from's amazing to me that two families can look at the same gift of education and see it either with disdain or with reverence. Sadly, it's a cycle of perception that I don't know how to change.