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More segregation anyone? Should Chicago continue to cater to families who don't want to go to school with THEM? Hancock High conversion to a 'college prep magnet school' hearing scheduled for Tuesday

The public is being quietly invited to a significant hearing on whether Chicago Public Schools will continue to bow to pressure to increase racisl segregation during these years since the Board of Education of the City of Chicago was released from federal oversight because of its century-long history of the most vicious segregation of black families and African American children. And that is the fact of Chicago history -- Chicago and its public schools did not segregate "minorities", Chicago ruthlessly segregated black people.

Everyone who has studied the vicious history of Chicago's racial segregation knows that the boundaries of the so-called "Southwest Side" have evolved according to the borders of Chicago's South Side African American communities. As late as the 1970s, the "Southwest Side" ran west from Ashland Ave. Within a few years, that border became Western Ave., a mile farther west. And now it's west of Western.

One of the strangest realities of Chicago's racism is how it even impacts driving patterns. Many people who drive south in Chicago do so in a way to avoid the city's Black Community. Hence, when the "border" was "broken" at Halsted St. nearly a half century ago, [white] drivers stopped using Halsted to go south, and shifted to Ashland. When Ashland was "broken" the [white] drivers drove south down Western. And so on.

It was also true of the schools. The Board of Education catered to white (and more recently, Latino) prejudices against Black people by creating schools according to those prejudices, rather than otherwise. When Ralph Bunche Elementary School at 66th and Ashland opened, for example, its west boundary was outside the school's front door. Children from west of Ashland Ave. were not "districted" to go to Bunche, while Bunche drew kids from "east" (which was where the Black people had moved). That pattern was replicated dozens of times that I uncovered in researching a project we at Substance called "How Chicago Segregates." Whether we were looking at the gerrymandering of schools in the South Shore area or on the West Side, a dozen miles away, the racial profiling of schools and the intensity of segregation were always the same. Chicago's schools were gerrymandered to contain the city's Black community.

Less admitted was that the same patterns of Black containment were used when a growing "Latino" community came to Chicago. The demand for a school for "our community" on the "Southwest Side" became a demand for a school that would have few -- of no -- Black children. The most obvious examples of this level of vicious segregation are the UNO charter schools, and anyone who wants to view segregation in the 21st Century can stand outside any of a half dozen UNO charter schools and count the number of Black children you see. But similar patterns were done within the city's regular public schools.

More than a decade ago, I reported at Substance that Arne Duncan was practicing a long standing Chicago policy of White Supremacy. Duncan complained to one of the officials of the Chicago Teachers Union that I had been calling him a "racist" -- which I had not. Someone who is philosophically and personally against racism can do racist stuff, and implement white supremacist policies. Duncan's should be counted among the most notorious in the singular history of Chicago's century-long segregation. Between his radical commitment to the expansion of charter schools and his racist school closings, Duncan was the pioneer in 21st Century segregation long before he went to work for America's first African American president.

Now, the question is Hancock High. Established for the "community" of the Southwest Side that didn't want their kids in the same building with THEM (a term often heard by people who are talking about African Americans when no African Americans are around) more than a decade ago. Now, in 2014, the Board of Education is suggesting that it is OK to double down on that segregationist reality.

The hearing is Tuesday, October 21....

Chicago's Hancock "High School" was created out of an elementary school building because some members of the local "community" did not want to send their children to the local general high schools. Many critics believed that the fear was based on a racist objection to the children attending local high schools -- no matter how good those schools were -- where there were large numbers of African Americans.And so on October 21, CPS will hold a hearing which is really about whether the school board will continue segregating using the old code words:

Office of Strategy Management..... Public Hearing Regarding:

Proposed changes to attendance boundaries of Hancock, Hubbard, Curie and Solorio high schools and the

Related change of academic focus at Hancock Tuesday, October 21, 2014

5:30-7:30 p.m.

125 S. Clark Street



Comments:

October 16, 2014 at 7:14 AM

By: Bob Busch

Clout

Hancock the brave.When Hancock first opened it was in a former elementary school at 79th and Kosner.That was less than a half mile from Bogan, in fact it was within the Bogan attendance area.My wife got a job there as a cadre sub.

.I was a librarian at Bogan so we had the real pleasure of driving together.Even back then, 2000, it seemed odd that a new school would pop up so close to Bogan,which was not overcrowded.The Hancock students were suppose to be an " Overflow" from Gage Park High School.Something was real fishy about that.Every day i picked my wife up I could not help but notice the lack of black students.As far as we could tell,Hancock had no attendance area of it's own and several Bogan parents got the run around about sending their kids to the school.Later on Hancock even rented some classrooms at Daley College. When they moved to the old Lourdes

building it was officially called Hancock College Prep School.My point is that it has run a game for years,a " Joe sent me" gate keeper on enrollment.But now perhaps it will come full circle and the younger

siblings of the Gage Park 'Overflow"who do not make the cut can go to school there.

October 16, 2014 at 8:01 AM

By: George N. Schmidt

Hancock High -- Vallas's racism on display in the tradition of George Wallace

The creation of "Hancock High" and the ability of that "new" high school to segregated out the black kids (from anywhere) and even the not-black kids from Bogan was part of the racist policies of Paul G. Vallas, who was "Chief Executive Officer" of CPS from July 1, 1995, through June 30, 2001. Vallas's "Southwest Side" white supremacist perspective on reality was masked by his ability to assemble a cadre of highly paid African American cronies to shill for him. Their work, while Vallas began the work of destroying the careers of African American teachers and principals (as well as custodial workers and lunchroom people) was part of the project overseen by Chicago's ruling class that reduced the percentage of African American's working for CPS from about 50 percent when Vallas was appointed by Richard M. Daley as the first CEO of CPS to the 25 or less percent it is today. Each little piece of that puzzle, including the Bogan - Gage Park stuff noted in the above Comment ("Clout") was part of that program. The program began under Vallas, continued under Arne Duncan, and culminated under Rahm Emanuel's two CEOs.

Vallas's racism is not the old fashioned overt kind, where louts use the "N" word and throw bricks at those of us who marched for civil rights (as I remember dramatically from July 1976 in Marquette Park, to give one example). Vallas and Duncan are master practitioners of the new, 21st Century kind of White Supremacy. The Vallases and Duncans of the world parade around with their black friends while they carry out a ruthless policy of "Black Elimination" and the promotion (as at "Hancock High") of anti-black attacks from behind the scenes.

Thanks for sharing the Bogan / Gage Park history of Hancock High. Maybe this afternoon someone can sit outside Hancock High and ask where all the black kids are. And also why, if CPS is so "broke", Hancock High was created (and financed on its move) when the kids could have been told to go to Bogan (or other high schools).

The fact is, Vallas (and the others, including Michael Scott as Board President) pushed policies that were as destructive to black people (and African American teachers and principals) as the old fashioned racist policies of the Southern governors who tried to block desegregation "at the schoolhouse door." And so... as Pat Quinn claims that Paul Vallas is "good with budgets" (a lie) and "good on schools" (a huge LIE), let's put them in the most accurate historical framework:

Orville Faubus (Arkansas at the time of Little Rock).

Ross Barnett (Mississippi)

George Wallace (Alabama)

and others...

October 16, 2014 at 12:13 PM

By: Bob Busch

Clout II...More on Hancock's surprising myster

I do not want to leave the impression Hancock picked on Black kids. The parents I wrote about were of Middle Eastern origin.

My whole point was that Hancock was a surprise, mystery, and had some very unique policies. Since they were a sort of select enrollment school from day one, I just do not see what all the fuss is about now. Clout trumps all else in this city.

I also thought it ironic that the circle has closed and now some "Hancock kids" might have to return to Gage Park.

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