Photos, September 30, 2009... 111th, 112th, and 113th St. in Chicago...

111th St. 112th St. Chicago, 2009

A prose poem meditation,

with a nod to Arthur Rimbaud, and Le Batteau Ivre

There were seven Chicago police cars at Fenger High School at 10:00 in the morning on September 30, 2009... You could tell they weren't expecting much trouble, since there was only one cop in each one.

The white jacket security people were everywhere, even wandering around outside the building. Outside they were checking the grass for weapons. Before they fired all the Fenger teachers and other staff in June, someone would have known where those "weapons" were...

The west wall of the Agape Center on 111th St. in Chicago, a few feet from where Fenger High School students Derrion Albert was beaten to death on September 24, 2009. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.A half mile away from the sprawling Fenger building on 112th St, up and east on 111th St. at the side of the "Agape Center," a small shrine was resting against the wall near where Fenger student Derrion Albert was murdered on September 24, 2009.

There have been thousands of these little shrines like it since I began teaching in 1969 at DuSable Upper Grade Center, outside the Robert Taylor Homes. Two mayors named Daley have let the largest and most vicious drug gangs this side of the Rio Grande River take over about half the city, but what the heck, most of the white people are still safe, especially those in Richard M. Daley's "Global City" sprawling in those million dollar condos and townhouses within a half mile of Lake Michigan...

On 113th St, A Fenger student flashed a peace sign and asked to be photographed.

The Fenger Local School Council will meet on October 1, 2009, according to the electronic sign in front of the school.

The Chicago Board of Education has refused since September 24 to answer one simple Substance question: How many of Fenger's veteran teachers were fired when "turnaround" came around in June 2009? Is it true that Fenger's "turnaround" principal and the CPS "Chief Turnaround Officer" never taught a day in a Chicago classroom?

"For Derrion from U Crazy Lady..." Some of it obscured by the duct tape slathered over it on the wall to hold it up. But respected. September 30, 2009, west wall of the "Agape Center" on Chicago's 111th St. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.CPS is paying a buddy of Ron Huberman named Monique Bond to be Chief of Propaganda for the New Data Drive Order in Chicago's public schools. Information is nobody's business but those who are driving the data.

CPS won't answer Substance questions, no matter what form they are in. Ron Huberman uses "Performance Management" against teachers and administrators whose mailboxes are full, but allows his own Propaganda Chieftan to ignore most media questions. How many Fenger teachers were dumped in June 2009, Mr. Huberman?

Every teacher who has really taught in the inner city has what a Vietnam poet called "The Wall Within." It's a list of the names of kids you knew who were dead before they should have been. Not some abstraction for the publicity hounds, the preacher patronage corps, or the data driven madmen and women. Children whose faces you could remember... for a time.

How much did that destabilize Fenger High School in September 2009, Mr. Huberman?

For a few weeks after a tragedy, students at Chicago's inner city high schools can tell the reporters from the police. "I'm a Fenger student," the girl said. "Peace. That's a peace sign, not a gang sign..." "I know," the reporter replied. "The gang sign leans the two fingers on their sides..." "Will you put my picture in your paper?"
"It will be on the Web site by tonight..."
"Peace." Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.
How many gang fights took place inside Fenger High School between September 8, 2009, and September 24, 2009, Mr. Huberman? Who was arrested for that gun shot outside Fenger High School on the morning of September 24, 2009, Mr. Huberman? How old was that 15-year-old who fired the gun? Was he on the list of young men who will receive "counseling" under your $60 million cash for creeps and jobs for jerks program? According to those who rule Chicago, we are in the "Data Driven" age...

Anything that can be reduced to "data" is good. Just ask Michael Scott, for whom every child, even he dead ones, are now "data points."

Or Ron Huberman, who just fired hundreds of veteran teachers, but put $5 million in the new CPS budget for the "Office of Performance Management" to terrorize principals, teachers, and even the highest-ranking administrators. These aliens at the Friday sessions would be a joke if you weren't taking them so seriously.

Was it the best idea to get rid of all the teachers and coaches who knew the children of Fenger and the community, some after they had spent decades of devotion to their work, their vocation, and the children and young adults they taught?

Th Fenger High School Local School Council is planning to meet on Thursday, October 1, 2009, at 6:30 p.m. at the school at 11220 S. Wallace in Chicago. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.When the people of Fenger return to see their old teachers in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and beyond into the future, what will be new teachers and principal of Fenger tell them.

"We're in a race to the top in the global economy..."

"If you can't measure it, you can't ruin it completely..."

"We had to destroy the school in order to save it...?"

"You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs...?"

Tell that to the eggs. 

Feel free to add to these thoughts as time goes on...


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