Tuesday, January 29, 2013

CPS School Utilization Committee Meeting "A Disaster"?

According to Chicago Teachers Union Vice President Jesse Sharkey, that's how it went Monday at the meeting meant to engage the community to work with CPS's School Utilization Committee.  He said the committee expected the crowd to listen to an "hour long infomercial," which it most definitely did not want to do.

"Rowdy" and "heated" seem like polite phrases describing a crowd that wouldn't allow the presentation to take place over its shouts.  Brennemann School principal Sarah Abedalal ended up taking her students and leaving after a can was thrown across the Truman gym and profanity was used.  "We're Bobcats and we're better than that," she told ABC, citing the lack of respect shown as her reason for removing her students from the gym.

You can read more about the meeting at ABC7's website and on DNAinfo.

Well, the crowd made a definite impression.  But will it be one that keeps Uptown's schools from closing?  Time will tell. 


  1. Kudos to Ms. Abedalal for taking her students out of the public meeting. And pokes in the eyes to the CTU and the "adults" who decided it was more important to be a bunch of jerks than to listen first and speak/act later.

    It never ceases to amaze me that people complain that CPS' decision-making process is opaque and doesn't allow public input...and when there IS the first of what was to be two public meetings to discuss how to best utilize the buildings CPS has, the same complainers act worse than the kids they are supposed to be concerned about educating. Don't ask why, again, CPS doesn't have public involvement--you've shot yourselves in both feet and simultaneously answered your own question. One mother expressed concern about her kids' school closing, because "...it is the only school they've ever known." Many of us originally from rural communities and dying towns have lived through schools we went to being closed, and despite that, we turned out educated and mostly well-adjusted contributors to society. So get over it. The antics displayed at the Monday meeting are just as bad and just as unproductive as the Shillerista marches to "run out condos from Uptown" and to "demand" more "affordable housing" in new developments in Uptown. Schools WILL be closed, and the sort of crapola pulled Monday night pretty much guarantees that Uptown's schools will be closed, if for nothing more than to teach the CTU and "rowdies" a lesson in civics.

    My property tax bill just arrived in the mail today, and I'm afraid to open it. So if a bunch of school closings help to keep my tax bill somewhere below outrageous and also forces the Shilleristas to move out of Uptown in order to be more conveniently-located to an open school, I will be a happy camper. I'll even open the door for them to leave!

  2. It never ceases to amaze me when people try to tell people how to react when their kids' well being is at stake. This should have been an meeting with CPS asking for Input from parents and communities. Instead it was a farce. It was just symbolic in nature, but no real substance. Ms. Abedalal had no reason to remove the kids. She did this to garner attention and possibly favor with CPS. Did the meeting get emotional? Yes. Enough to remove the children? Hardly. The community wanted to present a united front. The schools did not want to be pitted against each other. Thank you Ms. Abedalal, for turning your back on the community. I wonder what would be her reaction if it was her child's safety at risk. As far as the mother who wants her kids to stay at the same school, what's wrong with that? I thought continuity and stability were good things for kids. What does the affordable housing/condo fight have to do with this subject. What does the shilleristas have to do with this? Why use this to spew your venom? We are talking about children. Let's stay focused.

  3. Bear,

    Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought Chicago property taxes were quite low compared to those in the suburbs?

    And for me personally, the schools are one of the things that I'm more than happy to spend money on. I think they certainly deserve our support.

  4. Typical CPS behavior...give an "infomercial" when they need to be listening. Craig Bennes is the poster child for CPS leadership. He loves to hear himself talk. He treats Principals like they are hourly workers. He bragged about how he can "work the crowd" when there is conflict. Watch in the video how he fears the crowd.....