Friday, March 22, 2013

More Info About The Courtenay/Stockton Merge

photo courtesy CPS/Courtenay website

From Ald. Pawar's latest newsletter:

What does this mean for Courtenay Elementary? Courtenay Elementary will be moving from its current location on Berteau and Hermitage to the current Stockton Elementary building located at 4420 N. Beacon Street (46th Ward). Stockton Elementary will be closing and assuming the name, leadership, and faculty and student body of Courtenay Elementary.

Why is Courtenay moving? In the current space, Courtenay students do not have a library, separate lunchroom facility, gym or science labs. The new building has all of these amenities. In recent years, Courtenay has had to implement a lottery system for admission because of a lack of space to grow enrollment. Moving to a new building will allow Courtenay to grow and take in existing students from Stockton.

Why is Stockton closing? According to CPS, enrollment at Stockton has declined 17% in the last ten years and the building is less than half full. Current Stockton students will have the option to stay in the current building, but will attend Courtenay Elementary, a level 2 school.

So CPS is moving Courtenay staff and programs from their current building to the Stockton building and renaming it Courtenay? Yes. Students that choose to attend Courtenay (from Courtenay and Stockton) will have a gym, library, science labs and a lunchroom at the new Courtenay facility.

What happens to the teachers and staff at Stockton? No specific details have been provided. However, CPS anticipates most Stockton students will stay in the school under the Courtenay name. Teachers at Stockton will have preference for open teaching positions at the new Courtenay Elementary. Teachers will be hired based on seniority and teacher reviews. If Stockton teachers are not hired by Courtenay, these teachers will be placed into a reassignment pool.

What will happen to the existing Courtenay building? I made clear to CPS that the community will be involved in any decision on the Courtenay property. CPS will be working with my office to schedule a community meeting to develop a plan as this moves forward.


  1. Is it fair to say we may have a good school in Uptown? Wow.

  2. We -may- but a lot remains to be seen. What will the class sizes look like at the new school? Likely 30+ per classroom which isn't a recipe for academic success. These types of transitions rarely go smooth, and almost always come with severe disciplinary problems. In addition, plan on seeing little if any help from CPS to manage this transition. The special ed. rate at that school is still going to be far, far above what is the 'norm'. Lots of question marks. And don't assume all of those Courtenay students are going to come to Stockton anyway, which may put old/newStockton in the same peril it is in right now: low enrollment.

    Any why is the enrollment so low? Look at the demographics of Uptown that Stockton draws from, look at the demographics of the school - what's missing?

    Otto Kerner said it best (and if you haven't read the Kerner report, it should be mandatory reading because it's more relevant today than it has ever been): The system is SEPARATE and UNEQUAL.

  3. You mean the 1968 report written by the convicted ex-governor of Illinois?

    A more current reference may be of more value to everyone Bronco Billy...

  4. You mean a report that is still widely read? A report that is still valid? A report that demonstrates the striking separate and unequal status that minorities have in this country?

    Why don't you tell us all how much different things are now from when that report came out?

    The Kerner report is an indictment of white society and their insistence on having separate facilities for their precious white babies. Nothing has changed since then, in fact its even worse.

    I think the argument that you're trying to make is that since Kerner was convicted, that there is no racial inequality? Yeah. Not so much.

  5. A few links for your enjoyment, Sneki.

  6. BB, I get the impression that you must be younger than 35...because if you had lived through the race riots of the 1960s, the white flight from central cities that followed, and certainly the civil disobedience campaigns of the 1950s and 1960s, along with overt discrimination in housing, schools, and accomodations that were rampant through the period of school busing, you wouldn't seriously be making the assertion that "separate and unequal" is worse now than ever. People like you will never be satisfied until you bankrupt the broader society of all moral, spiritual, and financial value...stop whining about your perceived injustices and use what God gave you between your two ears to prove that you and those you value can rise higher on your own talents and intellect.

    I'm tired of people like you continually attempting to play the race card without cause, ESPECIALLY in this neighborhood, ESPECIALLY in the times we live in. Nothing is going to be gained by being a confrontational racist yourself, in fact, there's a lot to be lost by continuing down that path. Look east to Detroit to see what happens when you do--after post-riots white flight and decades of a black mayor who actively discouraged "white" investment in what he tried to turn into a "black metropolis", that city has lost more than half of its peak population, the city government and school system are essentially in state receivership, the property tax base imploded, the violence spun out of control, hundreds of businesses left, hundreds of schools closed, the infrastructure disintegrated, and Detroit is a mere shell of what it used to be even 45 years ago. Go to Detroit, then tell us that Chicago is "separate and unequal". Go talk with people who lived through Southern segregation--while they're still with us--and tell us how much worse things are now than they ever have been. You make me sick by even making the assertions.

  7. Actually, I'm much older than 35, but I appreciate your thoughtfulness. It helps make me feel younger.

    I don't know if there are many social scientists that would agree with your premise (none, actually). I'm not making assertions, I'm stating fact. There continues to be a wide chasm between white America and non-white America - and Uptown and the "neighborhood" school (formerly Stockton) is a clear indicator of this. In fact, many argue that it is even worse now than it was during the Kerner report's time. Thus, making that report all the more relevant today.

    There continues to be two separate and unequal means through which minorities and the poor can access services. Again, not an assertion - FACT. But hey, deny that segregation and the effects from that have no influence. It might help you feel better, but you'll be wrong.

    Pollyannish views of a perfect racial utopia make me sick.

    1. Well, I think we can all agree Uptown is in no way a "perfect racial uptopia", but whatever...

      Strictly speaking of CPS, ANYONE can apply for schools outside their neighborhood. The process is clear-cut, albeit time-consuming. It requires forethought, research, planning, and a ton of paper shuffling. Most people I talk about this with apply to a minimum of a dozen schools or so. In other words, it requires WORK on the parents' part. It doesn't just come floating down from the nice-school gods in the sky.

  8. Wow bear60640 , very well said.

  9. BB, thanks for the link to the Reader article where Patricia Watkins states the answer is to seek to provide affordable housing in all 77 Chicago communities "to help diversify the neighborhoods." She'd organize a festival-exchange program between neighborhoods "so people can get used to being around each other so they can build relationships and eventually live together."

    Uptown is probably the most diverse neighborhood on the Northside. Can you name another neighborhood close by with such a high rate of subsidized housing?

    I don't see the issue as race relations, but more as one related to class. That's an area that's not being discussed.

  10. BB: To think that things haven't improved and there has no improvement for african-americans since the 1960s or before is horribly naive. I'm not saying that racism doesn't exist or that disparaties don't exist, but to think there has been no progress and in face regression is my mind horribly inaccurate. The level of opportunity available to individuals today is significantly better, the question is whether or not one takes advantage of them. I know it's an anecdote, but my boss is african american, a senior executive in a multi-billion dollar company, and in a position he would never have been allowed to attain 50 years ago. And yes, he still experiences racism, but he's overcome it to become a very successful man.

    there is opportunity to be had today that never existed 50 years ago. A long way to go for sure, but I firmly believe we are in a different day and age where my kids don't care about skin color. The other commenter pointing out it's more about class (though certainly not exclusively) I think is spot on...

  11. Bear60640 gets today's white privilege award for completely dismissing the existence of racism & segregation. Sadly, you compared US to Detriot, but guess what? Chicago is THE MOST SEGREGATED CITY IN THE COUNTRY:

    What's most striking about comments like that and the comment from Sneki is that white people love to say "Well I know a successful black person and if they can do it so can so and so.."

    Do you see how utterly illogical this is? How can you, as a white person, tell a black person that they need to just 'work harder' because 50 years ago 'we wouldn't have LET you have this position' so be grateful for it blah blah blah.

    Seriously, think before you open your privileged mouths. You say 'it
    s a post-racial society!' but ignore the fact that 88% of closings are in black hoods. You ignore the fact that 8/10 marijuana convictions are of young black men.

    You ignore the fact that you blame it all on CLASS RELATIONS, which is to say, you admit this has everything to do with race. Because racism IS classism. And we're seeing it today.

  12. Once again, a reminder that calling your neighbors names is not an effective method of gaining converts to your point of view.

    This blog is UPTOWN Update.

  13. Christ, people. It's not RACIST to not want your kids to doge bullets on their way to and from school. And it's not RACIST to maybe, just maybe, not want to immerse your kids in a culture of accepted violence, such as the gang problem(s) we have here in Uptown.

    Nobody is denying racism exists, but some of us will NOT put our kids in a shitty school just so some of you feel better about said school's demographics. And that's just the way it is.

    --->rolling my freaking eyes<---

  14. Hey ChiTownPhilly,

    This probably comes as news to you, but let me shout it, so you can hear: NOT EVERY WHITE PERSON IS "PRIVILEGED". I will venture to point out to you that plopping us all down into a neat little column (or big, bad, privileged column) in your mind, makes you a wee bit racist yourself.

    And yes, forgive me my awful European ancestors. Me, who lives in a 1-bedroom, 700 square foot apartment with 3 kids and my husband. The same husband who busts his ass about 70 hours a week to keep us floating in this economy & trying to maybe get ahead at some point. Now come tell me how privileged we are. And while you're at it, please enlighten me as to why I should send our kids to school in gang-ridden Uptown when I can send them somewhere else safer. To make you feel better? Don't hold your breath.

  15. Caring Neighbor said...
    Once again, a reminder that calling your neighbors names is not an effective method of gaining converts to your point of view.

    This blog is UPTOWN Update.

    Thanks, I'll remember that the next time Irish Pirate slings another insult wrapped in his "wit."

  16. I'm the tall handsome guy on the left in this Python clip and "Toucan" is the much smaller mentally ill guy on the right.

  17. So who's fault is it that 8 of 10 marijuana busts are african-american (I'm trusting your "fact" here)?

    I didn't say my boss had to "work harder", only that he clearly has found a path to a success despite growing up very poor (and with no mom or dad). That path would never have been open to him 50 years ago. Today the opportunity exists for anyone that wants to focus on education and advancement in their life. Yes, it is much harder for children growing up in areas where schools aren't as good, but much of it has to do with family structure (or lack their of) as much as the school.

    Bottom line is we should be celebrating in this post the fact that I strong performing school is coming into our neighborhood to help all, white, etc.

    And, btw, I didn't grow up in privilege either...small town, lower middle-class. Appreciate your assumptions though.

  18. Philly,

    did you actually read that HuffPo article .. or, even the entire headline?

    Chicago Most Segregated City In America,... Despite Significant Improvements In Last Decade

    No one is denying that, on racial grounds, things are less than perfect in Chicago, and the nation, however, there's more at play here than just a "privileged" group of folks being assholes, etc.

    Our previous alderman, for example, put a lot of effort into creating a mixed/diverse neighborhood towards a housing integration strategy, which seemed like a good idea .. however, according to the article you reference,

    "the fight against housing segregation seemed to offer the possibility that once the races mixed more readily, all would be well. Forty years later, we know that this dream was a myth"

    So, one cause of the current state of affairs isn't that people aren't trying to make things better, it's that the strategies being utilized haven't been effective (prob for more reasons political than anything else).

    But, expand your mind and think about why "this dream was a myth". There's a lot of productive conversation to be had right there which centers on the science of human nature.

    Additionally, to your point about 88% of the closing occurring in African-American communities, you should have clicked one of the reference links in the article you provided:

    Chicago's Great Migration: Blacks Leaving Historic Neighborhoods To Return South

    Is it simply that the big ol' bad white person is hammering the poor lil' black person, or might it be that people are leaving the communities where those schools are located?

    Most likely, some combination of both, plus other things.

    Also - if you, and Bronco Billy - want to start swinging the racist bat around, be careful that you don't hit each other.

    I hear your point about whites condescending to blacks ie "Well, if that one black guy can do it ..."; but, the converse of that statement is to think/assume that *unless* an African-American is given something from a white person, they have no chance to succeed.

    And that's just bullshit.

    Also - racism is not classism. To combine the two is not only illogical, doing so shuts down very important aspects that should be discussed in order to achieve a goal that many of us share.

    Like so many others, you're not wrong - but you're not right, either.

    If we're ever to defeat societal mis-givings and hatred, we need to stop acting in ways that perpetuate misgivings and hatred, wouldn't you agree?

  19. ... said

    I disagree, ALL white people ARE privileged. That's why it's called WHITE privilege, it's about your skin color. Yeah, others are more 'privileged' in a material sense, but I'm not talking white man in uptown v white man in old towne. You are talking about classism, which is also a problem. Yes, you struggle mightily and I commend you and your husband, but as white people, you still are afforded some 'privileges' that brown people are not, say for instance, waiting for a friend at sunnyside/hazel without being stopped and frisked by the police.

    @Sneki "So who's fault is it that 8 of 10 marijuana busts are african-american (I'm trusting your "fact" here)?

    Answer: The police, and cook county court system. Do you know who Toni Preckwinkle is? She's smart, read about her.

    Same goes for you as above, white privilege isn't about economic status or income, it's about your skin color affording you comforts or abilities others do not. As a white guy, I don't worry about reaching in my pocket if a cop is around, but as a black man, you do. White privilege is how white people ignore all of these mental and psychological barriers that are faced daily by people of color. Things we never even think about.

  20. If I'm a racist, then you all better be prepared to call just about every single social scientist in the world a racist. It's not like what I'm saying is controversial. You sound like climate change deniers.

    I do not know how to embed pictures, but thought this image would be helpful to illustrate just what segregation looks like. This doesn't happen by accident. It's the direct result of purposeful policy that has helped create a permanent trans generational underclass.

    Finally. For the love of all that is good and holy, will some of you please pick up a book and read something about social science? Please? Some of these comments are embarrassing. Here is a book by Massey and Denton that is a great read and super informative.

  21. ALL white people ARE privileged.

    ... so the homeless white folk under the Wilson viaduct who are getting hassled by the cops are privileged?

  22. yo said...

    ... so the homeless white folk under the Wilson viaduct who are getting hassled by the cops are privileged?

    It seems as though you're trying hard to deflect what Philly and Billy are saying with a purposefully obtuse comment. “Privilege” means a state of favor or advantage; homelessness is a situation and experience that’s completely and utterly contrary to that no matter what color you are.

    Another bit of reading that can help to answer the question posed about marijuana busts - along with why the US, in 30 years, has gone from around 350,000 to over 2 million in prison, is this book.

    To Billy and Philly, thanks for your comments and the linked reading. A transplant to Chicago, the only thing I’ve not been proud of about this city is its enduring segregation. I guess that’s why I’ve always thought Uptown was special - the map Billy linked shows a confetti of different-colored dots.

    But it looks like pink is on the move.

  23. no matter what color you are.

    That was my point.

  24. I've been reading UU for a long time, mostly for neighborhood info, sometimes for sheer entertainment value and witty banter [thank you, Pirate(s)].

    Unfortunately, it's turning in to a big, fat whine-fest lately. Boo-hoo, poor me, poor them, boo-hoo for everyone & everything. I'm sick of it. I've lived in Uptown since the mid-90's. It's a changing neighborhood to be sure; thanks to our current Alderman, it seems to be changing for the better, finally. I'd say, if it's not to your liking, there are any number of lovely neighborhoods in this fabulous city to take your whining, hand-wringing selves to. Onwards & upwards for those of us digging in and staying, don't let the door hit you on the way out, and have a nice day!

  25. Wow, CTP, ALL white people are privileged, huh?

    That's just... awesome. Does your guilt cause you to self-flagellate, Scarlet Letter-styles? Or have you chosen a pauper's life as self-punishment for yourself, like Mother Teresa? I'm thinking some therapy might help. Although, I hope you pay out of pocket, as your privileged self shouldn't avail yourself of resources that should only be for the non-privileged among us.

    Too subtle? Did the sarcasm not come through? >>>rolling my eyes<<<

  26. White privilege is a pretty simple concept. Western civilization has produced a hierarchy according to skin color. Privileges have historically amassed to the people at the top and this has happened through the power of intertwining institutions. In our case, the benefits of this system have gone to people with the lightest skin, but one could theoretically imagine another set-up where it worked the opposite way.

    None of us asked for it to be this way and it is very difficult to see how this persists because we all have our point of view, our experience and, of course, things do change. But even because some things have changed drastically in our own life times, that doesn't mean that the set-up is entirely gone. One of my favorite reads recently is The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson. In the book, she recounts the story of a black man who was both a WWII vet and a physician. He moved from somewhere in the deep south to California. However, in the long drive from the south to California there were no hotels willing to give him a room. He patiently and respectfully showed them that he had the money and explained that he was very tired from the long drive. In some instances he promised to be gone by daybreak---thereby denying himself the services he was rightfully owed as a hotel patron. No one gave him a room in any of the states he passed through on his way to California and he had to sleep in his car. Doing so risked problems with the police, especially because his car was a beautiful Cadillac.

    All of these things happened because of the skin he was in. Obviously, such discrimination is illegal nowadays but the way that daily life is structured by our racist past has not been entirely washed away. For people who embrace equality and abhor racism, the answer is to keep our eyes open to what is left to us to dismantle. For white people, this increasingly means looking at ourselves and how we may subtly benefit from this set-up.

    I am not writing to anyone in particular, but I really do feel what white people need to put some effort into thinking about these ideas and, hopefully soon, turn the page. It's not a big deal, really. None of us chose this so there is nothing to be ashamed of in recognizing it for what it is. But we are in control of what we let persist. A lot of the ugliest hatred, bigotry and discrimination is now gone. Our task is the subtler stuff. There is a great ancient rabbinical teaching that goes like this ""It is not incumbent upon you to complete the work, but neither are you at liberty to desist from it." That pretty much sums it up for me. The hardest work always requires deep introspection and some kind of sacrifice. But the reward is often personal transformation.

  27. Well said, Sassy.

    IMHO there's more to it than just that, but you've provided a great starting point.

  28. Not a bad paragraph or two Sassy.

    Interesting to take a disadvantage you dont have and turn it into an advantage.

    Your unadvantage is your privilege. Its all semantics.

    Ofcourse if technology and "civilization" based around agriculture had started in Africa and those people had a significant advantage and colonized the world then it would be different.

    Guns, Germs and Steel is a decent book that puts into perspective why certain areas developed faster than others.

  29. I see Comrade Professor Phil is out and about today.

    I knew this thread was going to get weird once I saw the reference to "precious white babies".

    Oh man. I wonder if Phil's comrades incarcerated at County for planning terrorist acts during the NATO festivities feel like they have white privilege. Do they?

    Look up the phrase NATO THREE on google for more information on the thrilling threesome of badassery.

    "All we are saying is give gasoline bombs a chance."

    Since a judge, here comes da Judge, found that the state terrorism statutes that they were charged under isn't unconstitutional it should be fun to watch these mopes on trial.


    I can just see the marches in solidarity and pretentious dancing now.

    I can smell the stink of weed and body odor in my mind's eye or mind's nose if you prefer.

  30. @CTP: Some of us don't need to "combat racism" as a hobby or in a career as a masochistic activist bent on atoning for the sins of our great-great-grandparents. I'm one of them. I combat racism by treating others with respect and dignity every day unless they have clearly given me reason not to. I don't even need to atone for my ancestors' sins, since several members of my family died in the Civil War in order to set other men free--they paid the ultimate price for the sins of slaveholders, despite trying to scratch a living for themselves out of the rocky soil of the northern wilderness. You may feel guilty, and you're welcome to assume that responsibility--don't make assumptions about me or mine.

    Is there racism still today in the United States? Of course there is, but don't mistake dislike for an *individual* or dislike for someone's behavior as "racism", because you WILL get push-back. Many years ago, I kept running into a young man of African ancestry who kept prodding me to interact. In the middle of the dance floor of a popular bar, he loudly accused me of being racist. I replied back, loudly and forcefully, "Dennis, my boss is African-American. My best friend is African-American. I live, by choice, in a majority-black city. I am NOT a racist, and I'm the farthest I could be from it. You are loud. You are obnoxious. You are disrespectful. And I just don't like you BECAUSE of that." He never expected that, and we became friends afterward, when he changed his tune. As far as I'm concerned, this needs to happen more often to get it through some thick heads--you can dislike behavior without it being racist, and not be an apologist.

    But I have an idea that racism, to you and to far too many others, is like an inkblot test--you look hard enough at a meaningless pattern of ink, and eventually you see a cloud...or a cat...or a blender...or a pterodactyl...or racism. It's a reflection of your own thinking, but it isn't what others may see, and most of the time it isn't reality.

  31. @CTP
    Yeah, what bear60640 said.

    Racism is bad enough. We worsen its effect when we cheapen its meaning.

  32. @IP, derp derp.

    I know you find much enjoyment in sitting behind a desk talking tough, being rude, and derailing any adult discussion on these threads.

    I also know how much wish I could meet you at the bar and talk about it in person.

    I also know that the right thing to do would be for you to stop trying to patronize me, and anyone else on these threads, every time a meaningful discussion is taking place.

    I also know that you probably are not mature enough to do either, so I will let you do as you please.

    But I do ask, please stop addressing me and patronizing me. I am on this thread to discuss these matters like an adult, with other adults. Can you just drop the act already?

  33. Little Philly Warrior for the Socialist Dream/Howard Zinn Wannabee,

    there was no meaningful discussion taking place on the "precious white baby" thread. Maybe it was taking place in your mind, but not here.

    I don't patronize you--I attack you.

    There's a difference, Trotsky.

    You're trying to portray yourself as one thing here, yet I've run across other comments you've made in other forums glorying violence.

    My "anarchy, anarchy" bit is a direct quote that you made somewhere. Search for it Comrade Meow.

    I've actually been largely ignoring your comments in recent weeks, but sometimes your self regard and idiocy just has to be addressed.

    For example you called the school closings racist since they disproportionally affect black communities. Well since the black population dropped dramatically, the hispanic population increased and whites only make up 9 percent of CPS students any school closings would likely affect the black community more than hispanics or whites.

    That's not racism that demographics. Put on your helmet, I hope you own one, and skateboard down to Englewood and count the vacant lots. You can stop after you reach 5000.

    There are legitimate arguments on both sides of the school closings issue, but claiming racist intent for the closings isn't legitimate.

    Personally, if I were running UU I would never have let the "precious white" comment through, but I'm not running UU. That's a good thing.

    I recall going to a Shiller meeting one time on something. I had to leave because my blood pressure was rising because of the incredible amount of bullshit and flat out lies. Another time I had to step between arguably her main tough guy supporter and some woman he was physically trying to intimidate at Truman College at a Wilson Yard meeting. Again, not good for my blood pressure.

    If I sat down with you I have no doubt my reaction would be the same. I also don't drink swill and I know how you love your PBR.

    As long as you post stupid patronizing drivel here you can expect patronizing comments from me. Live with it, Comrade Che.



    Yes Caring Neighbor I can foresee a comment from you saying you're going to close the thread and we should all love one another blah blah blah blah friggin blah.

    You're a good and decent person CN. Me? Not so much. Phil? Even less.


  34. @IP,

    The silly rants you spend so much time writing clearly shield you from dealing with what it is in your life that makes you an incessant, disrespectful troll.

    I hope it helps you sleep at night, old man.

  35. Enough, guys. Take it private or get a room.

  36. CN,

    is that some type of perverse and twisted April Fool's comment? A room? With Phil? Yuck.

    Anyhoo, I'll take the deeper meaning and move on to something more amusing.

    The finalists for the 2013 National Magazine Awards were announced Monday and a story involving our own beloved Helen Shiller makes the cut.

    "Lawbreakers, Lawmakers" in Chicago by David Bernstein and Noah Isackson
    An investigation into the cozy relationship between Chicago politicians and gang leaders.

    Oh man, it's Sunny in Chicago and Imagoin out to enjoy the sun and await warmer temps later in the week.

  37. I'd love to get a room with Irish Pirate.

  38. " So who's fault is it that 8 of 10 marijuana busts are african-american (I'm trusting your "fact" here)?"**See link below with data (fact)

    I missed this somehow, and reread - here is some information.

    Ask yourself this: does the group of offenders match the overall population trend. In other words - do 8 out of 10 black drug-busted individuals serve as a representative sample of ALL drug users?

    The answer: they do not. We know this for a fact. (again, see link below)

    Ask yourself this question: Why have two separate policies for enforcement of cocaine laws?

    Example: Crack vs Powdered cocaine.

    There has been some change in these disparities, but originally (and for quite some time, about 25 years) equal amounts of powder vs crack cocaine got different penalties.

    Who happened to use crack most? Poor black people. Who used powdered cocaine? Affluent white people.

    Guess who went to prison for longer for the same amount of cocaine? DINGDINGDING. Blacks. And guess what - that policy of penalizing crack more than powder did a number on the black population by imprisoning so many young black males. 25 years of sentencing disparity. How convenient. That's about a generation of black men.

    That's not opinion. That's fact.


    You think this just happens by accident?