'Barack Obama High School will reek of Chicago racism!'... Black community leaders blast Rahm's plan to build a 'second Payton' near the Gold Coast while communities are denied even basic public education services... Rahm's administration continues firing veteran teachers, too

Leaders from Chicago's Black Community responded vigorously to the announcement by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel that the supposedly "cash strapped" Chicago Board of Education will build a "Second Payton" selective enrollment high school within a mile of the current Walter Payton high school, while large sections of the city's West Side and South Side continue to suffer from neglect or worse at the hands of the school board and school system CEO appointed by the mayor.

The new high school, which will be named after President Barack Obama, becomes a symbol of Chicago racism even before its doors open. It will sit on the site of what had been the Cabrini-Green Public Housing area. Cabrini, which was once home to thousands of poor and working class families, most of them Black, is now vacant land, with the families that once lived there having been dispersed as far away as Iowa by Chicago housing policies.

Despite the fact that CPS officials, backed by the Chicago Tribune and a dwindling number of other powerful corporate interests, continue to claim that CPS is facing a huge "deficit" and has to implement false austerity programs across the city, the new "Barack Obama High School" will be built at a cost of at least $60 million. It is scheduled to be built less than a mile from an empty high school building (Near North) that has been sitting vacant for more than a decade.

Few Black officials other than CPS CEO Barbara Byrd Bennett came out in favor of Barack Obama High School. A lone cheerleader is Alderman Walter Burnett, whose ward include the area. Burnett's deal with the mayor ensures that even the lowest scoring kids in the area will be able to get into the "New Payton" because there will be a "neighborhood component."

The mayor's carefully choreographed announcement came a day after his hand-picked Chicago Board of Education voted to give a no-bid management consulting contract to the controversial AUSL, which will fire all the teachers and other staff (including principals) at three inner city elementary schools. The proposal to award the consulting contracts, which increase the funding for each of the schools involved by around $1 million per year, was made by CEO Barbara Byrd Bennett, who stood beside Emanuel the next day to announce "Obama Prep."

The expansion of selective enrollment high schools within a mile of Lake Michigan comes as dozens of schools and some entire communities in the city's vast "bungalow belt" (working class and middle class) and ghettos and barrios protest that their schools are overcrowded and that their communities in many cases need additions or new schools. At recent Board of Education meetings, parents and leaders from the Northwest Side and Southwest Side have reminded the Board that their schools needed more. Parents from Canty Elementary School on the city's Northwest Side have now protested for 15 years about the overcrowding at their school. And at one recent Board meeting, a Southwest Side alderman asked that CPS build a new selective enrollment high school in his part of town because, he said, the travel to the available ones for his constituents was very far.

Barbara Byrd Bennett has ignored them all, claiming that "austerity" narrowed the ability of the Board to provide new facilities. Then she again joined the man who brought her to Chicago from Michigan to announce another school construction project to further the privileges of those who already have more privileges than most families in Chicago. Neither Emanuel nor Byrd Bennett addressed the issue of why they are building an expensive new building less than a mile from one that sits vacant. Nor did press reports press the issue.

Chicago Public Schools "Chief Executive Officer" Barbara Byrd Bennett (above, during the April 23, 2014 meeting of the Board) did not even mention the fact that she would be appearing the day after the Board meeting to announce a plan to build a $70 million new selective enrollment high school less than a mile from the tony Walter Payton High School. During the April 23 Board meeting, Byrd Bennett's scripts called for her to claim that the interests of the children of the West Side and South Side will best be served by firing all the teachers and other staff at three schools targeted for so-called "turnaround." Then, despite years of appeals for a general high school on the city's Far West Side (in the Austin community), she dressed up the following day to slavishly continue her repeating of the party line of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who appointed her less than two years ago. Substance photo by David Vance.One response that came out follows:

For Immediate Release: Contact: Dwayne Truss (773-879-5216) If it is not clear to the black community that Mayor Emmanuel could care less about providing well-resourced schools for our children, todays announcement proposing to build a new Selective Enrollment High School named after President Barack Obama at the intersection of Halsted and Division is a slap to both black families and children.

The proposed use of $60 million in Tax Increment Funds (TIF) for 1,200 students ($50,000 per student) is money that should be used to provide adequate funding for all of Chicagos neighborhood schools rather than cater to wealthy middle-class families the school is targeting.

Facts about Mayor Emmanuels education plan concerning black students:

-- Mayor Emmanuel closed 46 neighborhood schools on both the West and South Sides of Chicago.

-- The Mayor announced the expansion of the International Baccalaureate (IB) in five elementary schools. Three of the five will be based on the North Side of Chicago.

-- The Mayor just privatized three neighborhood schools by giving no bid contracts to the Academy of Urban School Leadership (AUSL) formerly chaired by the current Board of Education President Dave Vitale.

-- Mayor Emmanuel supported opening new charter schools in African-American communities where neighborhood schools were closed. Especially in Austin where the Chicago Education Partnership (CEP) is led by the same leadership of the By The Hand Club for Kids-a Moody Bible Church sponsored organization-with no history of ever operating a school. The school was granted conditional approval by CPS as to give it time to redo its poorly proposed curriculum. The leadership of the proposed school is all white.

-- 68% of the schools located in North Lawndale are privately managed by several unaccountable organizations. The student population is over 90% African-American. Those who control the management of those schools are white.

-- Austin Business and Entrepreneurship Academy (ABEA) did not staff critical classroom (biology, science, and music) teachers until March of 2014 because Mayor Emmanuels per pupil budgeting policy resulted in budget cuts of $600,000. The Chicago Tribune just documented that charter schools are 65 times more likely to expelled black students without restorative practices then neighborhood schools. How is that for an effective school to prison pipeline?

I am calling on black elected officials to begin telling the Mayor following:

stop his creation of a multi-class school system

stop privatizing schools in black communities

fairly fund all neighborhood schools

support a fully elected Chicago Board of Education.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE. April 24, 2014. CONTACT: Mayors Press Office. 312.744.3334

CPS Office of Communications. 773.553.1620


School to Be Named After President Barack Obama

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett today [April 24, 2014] announced plans to build a new selective enrollment high school for School Year 2017-18 (SY17-18) that will be named the Barack Obama College Preparatory High School. The school will ultimately enroll 1,200 students, creating more opportunities for students and continuing Mayor Emanuels pledge to provide more high-quality options for families across the city.

We must seize every opportunity to ensure our students receive a world-class, 21st century education and that they are able to take advantage of the academic opportunities they have earned, said Mayor Emanuel. Year after year, too many of our students who have put in years of hard work are turned away because as a city we havent had the capacity to meet their capability and this important investment will help us fix that.

This will be CPSs eleventh selective enrollment high school and, as with other selective enrollment high schools, students from across the City will make up the student body. It will open in the fall of 2017 with an inaugural freshman class of nearly 300 students and will add subsequent grade levels each year following. Approximately 70 percent of the schools seats will be made available to students through the selective enrollment admissions process.

The school will also establish a neighborhood preference for students to fill the remaining seats. This enrollment model has proven successful at Jones College Prep and Westinghouse College Prep.

Selective enrollment schools are highly competitive and the demand from parents and students far exceeds the capacity. Applications for these schools grew 8 percent this school year with 16,440 students vying for one of approximately 3,200 seats throughout the district. As in years past, more than 2,400 students this year who qualified for admissions into a selective enrollment school were denied because there were not enough seats available.

All of Chicagos children deserve a rigorous academic environment that is well suited to their individual needs and designed to prepare them for college and beyond, said CEO Byrd-Bennett. When a student has worked hard to make the grade and excel, we need to do our part to provide them with opportunities that will ensure they can live up to and achieve their full potential.

The new selective enrollment school announced today builds on Mayor Emanuels and CEO Byrd-Bennetts plans to expand selective enrollment options throughout CPS. The recent expansion of Jones College Prep will accommodate an additional 800 students by SY16-17, raising the schools total enrollment to 1,700. Similarly, Mayor Emanuel and CEO Byrd-Bennett announced plans last year to expand the nationally ranked Walter Payton College Prep by additional 300-400 students in coming years.

"I am pleased to join the Mayor and CPS CEO Barbara Byrd Bennett in providing another high-quality education option for parents of CPS students from the Cabrini Green, Near North neighborhoods and City-Wide," said Alderman Walter Burnett, 27th Ward. "We have seized an incredible opportunity to continue to invest in our future through education."

The school project will be funded through approximately $60 million in TIF funds and will be built on Chicago Park District property near Skinner North Classical School, a high-performing, Kindergarten through 8th grade elementary school. The expansion and renovation of Jones College Prep in the South Loop was made possible thanks to $115 million in TIF funds, part of $1.2 billion in TIF dollars committed to CPS to support building and improving local schools.

The school will be centrally located and accessible to mass transit and expressways, making it accessible for students from across the city.

Mayor Emanuel and CEO Byrd-Bennett have taken a series of steps to improve access to high-quality schools. Other investments have included 5,000 additional seats in early education centers, a full day of school for all students starting in kindergarten, and more access to rigorous courses such as IB or STEM that are aligned with the job market to prepare our students for the 21st economy. Early this week, Mayor Emanuel and CEO Byrd-Bennett also announced that five elementary schools across the city will establish new International Baccalaureate programmes beginning next fall, adding an additional 1,500 IB seats in the district and making CPS the nations largest operator of IB campuses.

CPS serves 400,000 students in 658 schools. It is the nations third-largest school district.


By Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah and John Byrne. Tribune reporters. 7:28 p.m. CDT, April 24, 2014

Chicago students vying for hard-to-get spots in the city's most competitive public high schools will get a new selective enrollment high school named after President Barack Obama.

For parents frustrated with a gut-wrenching process that some have compared to getting their child into an Ivy League school, 300 additional freshmen seats come as welcome news.

A lot of parents in the city will be happy to know there's more school seats in a central location, said Rebecca Labowitz, who runs the cpsobsessed blog, frequently filled with comments from parents about the district's selective enrollment admissions process.

Her son, a 5th grader, will be a freshman the year Barack Obama College Preparatory High School is scheduled to open in the fall of 2017. Located just north of Skinner North Classical School, near the former Cabrini-Green public housing complex, the school will pick about 70 percent of its students from throughout the city through the competitive selective enrollment process, and the remaining from the neighborhood.

For Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the announcement, coupled with an earlier University of Chicago study released Thursday showing more freshmen are on track to graduate high school, was an opportunity to celebrate a new course for Chicago Public Schools.

For the first time in the city of Chicago, I get to say that (U.S. Education) Secretary (William) Bennett, who in 1987 said the city of Chicago is the worst public school system in America, you're wrong. Dead wrong, Emanuel said.

The freshmen-on-track graduation rate has gone up from 57 percent in 2007 to 82 percent, according to the University of Chicago study, which was touted by Emanuel's office today.

Mayoral critics noted the $60 million high school was announced a day after CPS voted to turn over management of three failing schools in impoverished neighborhoods on the city's West and South Sides to a private organization. They contend that instead of investing more resources in top-tier schools that serve a small number of students, the money should be used to help neighborhood schools across the city, many of which saw severe budget cuts this school year.

Some also wondered why Obama College Prep was not being built on the South Side in the president's Kenwood neighborhood or in the community where First Lady Michelle Obama grew up, rather than among well-to-do North Siders. The mayor last fall announced a $17 million addition for another top tier school, Walter Payton College Prep, located nearby.

He's clearly trying to satisfy a certain demographic by putting in another selective enrollment school right near another one, said Wendy Katten with parent group Raise Your Hand. This is only going to impact a small percentage of students. It's not going to address a citywide need for strong neighborhood high schools.

Selective enrollment schools are highly competitive. This school year, the district received applications from 16,440 students for 3,200 seats. More than 2,400 students were denied.

CPS' top schools which rank among the best in the state admit students based on test scores, grades and results of an entrance exam. CPS also factors in the socio-economic demographics of applicants' communities, or tiers, to increase diversity, which results in students from wealthier neighborhoods needing near perfect scores to get in.

Labowitz said there's a need for high selective enrollment schools on the South and West Sides as well, but North Siders feel more anxiety because of the nearly impossible scores required.

There's a great sense of need on the North Side because it tends be a tier of parents who have high scoring kids whose kids don't get a North Side seat, Labowitz said. For many tier 3 or tier 4 parents, the only acceptable option is a selective enrollment high school. For many, neighborhood high schools still haven't earned the reputation of being academically challenging or safe.

While most fight for seats at North Side College Preparatory School, Walter Payton and Whitney Young, the addition of more seats at Jones College Prep last year a project begun under former Mayor Richard Daley added 125 more spots for freshmen. The Payton addition to be ready in December 2015 will add about 100 more.

At Obama Prep, which is slated to open in the fall of 2017, the school will ultimately grow to 1,200 students. The school will be funded through approximately $60 million in TIF funds and will be built on Chicago Park District property.

Because the school would be paid for with tax-increment financing funds, it would not add to CPS' burdensome debt load. However, some view the tax-increment financing mechanism itself as a drain on school coffers, since the funding for TIF projects comes from property tax dollars, a portion of which would typically go to the school district.

Emanuel refused to get into specifics about any discussions he has had with Obama about the naming of the school, but said the president is aware of the project.

I'm not going to put words in his mouth, but he knows about it and he's excited about it, Emanuel said.

Tribune reporter Heather Gillers contributed to this story.


April 25, 2014 at 9:03 AM

By: John Kierig

obama hi.

They should build it where the Robert Taylor homes stood or down on the old South Works. Then see how many of Rahm's rich friends try to clout their kids in, a la Rauner.

p.s. i'm an about-to-be canned special ed teacher at McNair. Thanks for keeping up the good fight.

April 25, 2014 at 3:21 PM

By: Diane Crawford

In support of education for all Americans

I love the idea of more high schools in Chicago,however, I will not appreciate those new high schools when open only open for the wealthy of the Chicago area not all Chicago residents...keep hope alive for all Americans it has sadden me to keep in mind the struggle continues for fair treatment

April 25, 2014 at 6:48 PM

By: Kimberly Bowsky

Obama High

The comment by Casey, an unidentifiable malcontent, is ignorant. Reveal yourself and say that again.

In keeping with the spirit of segregation, the selective enrollment high school that will sit on land reserved for the poor of our city will be aptly named. In history, you always need someone with the face that looks like those of the oppressed to put the final nail in the coffin.

The President will be quite proud.

April 25, 2014 at 9:04 PM

By: Rod Estvan

Please delete Casey comment

Casey violated the Substance ground rules, please delete the comment. Also I would add that then the high rise projects were destroyed the residents displaced were promised the city would have TIF money to build mixed income housing. Does the new Obama HS look anything like mixed income housing?

Rod Estvan

April 26, 2014 at 7:43 AM

By: George N. Schmidt

Racist comments and White Sox victories

Sorry to our readers that we didn't get to delete the racist comment by a Troll using the name "Casey" that went up late yesterday. A bunch of Substance and CORE people were enjoying the White Sox come-from-behind victory over Tampa last night (also, fireworks night). So I just don't want to be one of those fans who is on his telephone from the outfield seats while our team is coming from behind -- again and again. (Sox won, 9 - 5 on a grand slam in the 9th). Racist trolls can wait for their well deserved deletions. She (name "Casey") gave an email address of Assoles, whether at City Hall, among Robert Redford's buddies, or at 125 S. Clark St are not as imaginative as they would like to think they are...

April 27, 2014 at 12:26 AM

By: Richard Biegaj

Fact Checking

George: You're not fact checking! The White Sox won 9-6, not 9-5 as you reported. I know your expertise is not sports reporting, but come on, now, let's at least get the final score correct! Thanks.

April 28, 2014 at 3:14 PM

By: Paulette Lane

The Proposed Barack Obama High School!!

In the Crains 4/28/14 Article titled "Demographics tell different story of Obama High School plan" states the following:

"If the mayor truly wanted the president's high school to serve the city, he could have chosen the Near South Side or Bronzeville, where an elite school also would have promoted much-needed economic development."

In the case of Bronzeville, a selective enrollment school also would have made up for its impending loss of Chicago High School for the Arts to, yes, the North Side."

Did you know that CPS is replacing the ChiRts location with Urban Prep, an all boy segregated high school? For years my husband and I have advocated to CPS for a Selective Enrollment High School in Douglas by repurposing the Dunbar facility location and even a feeder classical school option to be added as an additional option in unused space Pershing Magnet and most recently to the closed Drake Elementary building as a relocation for Mcdade that lacks 7th & 8th grade due to lack of space.

At our public hearings in January of this year we also submitted an additional proposal in writing for these options as a follow-up to previous proposals already submitted. In fact weve been submitting proposals on an annual basis to CPS. However, CPS continues to ignore the needs for these options and gives the Northside another selective school. This was in the face of our losing ChiArts, a school one of our children attends. Two of our sons attended Whitney Young, the oldest Jones College Prep and our youngest ChiArts. Our neighbors also have children in Skinner Classical and Whitney Young and Lincoln Elementary.

Now CPS is moving ChiArts to the Ukranian Village and replacing it with Urban Prep!! During the Public Hearing process this year, we had a conference call with Alderman Burns who told my husband and I that our community could seek out Kenwood for a high school option in the future. This is if we dont see Urban Prep as an option for our children. Never mind having options that meet the needs of all the children in our own community for a change.

My husband and I fought to bring ChiArts to our neighborhood and they initially shared with Pershing Magnet and we pushed for a permanent home in our community as we also advocated for a Selective Enrollment High School like we also did earlier this year to CPS in Public Hearings regarding in January. We knew there were families in our community who traveled for these options and we wanted them to benefit by having these options within our own neighborhood, so we amended our alternate proposal to CPS regarding Urban Prepduring the Public Hearing Process to include our tireless annual request to relocate Dunbar CTE to the far south side where the students are traveling from and convert the Dunbar Facility location to a Selective Enrollment High School. ChiArts attracted diversity and so would the Dunbar location. However when the Independent Hearing Officer listened to the voice of community members who were on one accord by the way, he left out our voice from the final Hearing Officer Report. Yes, we submitted very detailed public documents and they were excluded from the report. Then CPS had a Board Meeting in February and we sent our documents to CPS ahead of this meeting date so that CPS Board members could read it before they cast a vote but for some reason the information was withheld. Then I got two phone calls the day after Board Meeting by CPSs secretaries (David Vitales & BBBs) who told me that my documents were excluded from CPS Board members. Both seem to be blaming each other and CPS Board members voted before they went into private chambers at the Board meeting. I wonder why?

In a nutshell Im saying that CPS does not care about the voices of Douglas families and we also have people outside of our community who suggest to CPS to not invest in our community when we are a Tier 4 & 3 community. Our schools are barely repaired when many of our homeowners pay $9,000 in property taxes and we also have a TIF that CPS spends outside our community.

Mrs. Paulette Lane

April 28, 2014 at 11:13 PM

By: Arthur Jumbles

Move the Obama High School to Dyett!

Instead of building the Obama High School on the North side why not put it in the old Dyett High School in Washington Park? It's close to the University of Chicago and likely near to where Obama's presidential library will be built if Chicago is chosen as a site. If Dyett won't work there's 50 other schools that CPS recently closed that could be used.

April 30, 2014 at 7:05 AM

By: Bob Busch


Dunbar is a selective Enrollment School.

April 30, 2014 at 10:51 AM

By: Paulette Lane


Dunbar is a CTE School, not selective enrollment school. They also lowered their standards to qualify for a federal small learning community grant. CPS also told us that practically nobody in our community attends this school and that the students are mostly from the far southside.

April 30, 2014 at 2:46 PM

By: Bob Busch


I beg to differ with you Dunbar Career Academe

is very much a selective enrollment high school.Perhaps you are not well versed in what it takes to become a member of a trade.Not only do Dunbar kids have to preform in a classroom they also have to produce in a shop.

Dunbar does not have a attendance area it draws students from every part of the city.

There are standards a student must meet to be accepted.

As to Douglas are you referring to the monument,the farm he pawned off on the Lincoln Administration.Or one of the most terrible POW camps in human memory where thousands of Confederate prisoners died during the Civil war?

May 1, 2014 at 2:41 AM

By: Paulette Lane


Bob Busch,

Please explain your interpretation of a Selective Enrollment School and what the criteria should be for entering it?

May 1, 2014 at 3:31 AM

By: Paulette Lane


BoB Busch,

I call where I live Douglas Community, because this is what it is called on City of Chicago Maps, not because I am proud of its past history. This country is known for atrosities, so Douglas is not the only place where atrocities have ocurred. That's like attacking someone because they mention that they are from Mississippi, a place that had had slavery, rape and lynchings...etc. In fact Emmett Till was killed in Mississippi and the perpetrators got away with murder. So what's the difference between Mississippi and Douglas. What is your point?? If you dig deep enough into the history archives of any community, I'm sure you will probably find information on atrosites that have ocurred there. But what does this have to do with the selective enrollment discussion?? To bring up the past history of a community is condescending and mean spirited. We were talking about a school in Douglas, our community. Maybe Dunbar should be moved back to its original location on 41st & St. Lawrence seeing that Douglas has such a negative civil war history.

May 1, 2014 at 7:30 AM

By: Bob Busch


\r Selective enrollment requires several steps.\rA student and their parents must fill out an application.\rAcademic and disciplinary requirements must be met in order to be accepted.Personally in regards a career academe , I think there should also be a practical exam .\r\r As far as Douglas is concerned I would not live in any former graveyard whether in Mississippi or Chicago.Thousands of prisoners of war died in the camp and over four thousand are buried in Oak Hills cemetery on 67th street.\r If you want to talk about mean spirited\rseveral years ago Chicago aldermen blocked a proposal to make that mass grave site a national memorial.\r The Dunbar campus is located outside of the boundaries of the old camp which ran from cottage to king drive,31st to 35th st.\rWhile there are monuments to mans inhumanity at Auschwitz,Andersonville and other places there is none at Camp Douglas.

May 1, 2014 at 10:09 AM

By: Paulette Lane


To: Bob Busch,

Chicago Public Schools has this to say at their online website for the CTE High School Guide:

"Lottery Academies: Most of the College and Career Academies are lottery academies. If more applications are received than there are spaces available, students are selected by lottery.

Preference is given to students with minimum stanine scores of 5 in total math and

reading comprehension (except Dunbar, which has no stanine preference."

In the CPS online high school guide it says;

"Selective Enrollment High Schools: Admissions testing is required you will only take one test."

Bob you said that Dunbar was a Selective Enrollment High School but the online guide gives no testing requirement for Dunbar at all. Did you know that Dunbar has an average ACT of 14 and has been on probation for at least 13 years according to CPS online reports. If your child applied to Whitney Young, Jones College Prep. or any other Selective Enrollment High School, they would have to take a test. However to enter into Dunbar, students who have been pushed forward from elementary, due to age restrictions can attend. Does this sound like a selective enrolment process? You did say Dunbar was a Selective Enrollment School. Just because Dunbar is designated as citywide, it does not qualify as a selective enrollment school.

On the matter concerning the history of Douglas. Illinois has had many cemetaries relocated as the city expanded, so how do you know what was on the land where you live, many years ago. You're most likely not over 100 years old. So again how do you know what was buried where you live? How do you know whether it was an old indian burial ground. How do you know whether indians were masaquered where you lived, before America was established?? For all we know human sacrifices could have been done to a spirit god on the land where you now live. You don't know what took place hundreds of years ago where you live now. In the 20th century, lots of shopping malls were built over previous cemetaries as well and I bet you probably shop at them!

May 1, 2014 at 5:31 PM

By: bob busch


You forgot to mention the cemetery Chicago moved to make way for the new Ohare runway.

To some that is progress to others it is mutation.

Why should ACT scores matter in a vocational school?

Finally,since my folks have been in both Chicago and the burbs for over a hundred and fifty years I can assure you we do not live on any cursed land, nor do I do malls.

May 1, 2014 at 11:33 PM

By: Paulette Lane


To Bob Busch:

I f you look at the history of Camp Douglas, it was stated that bodies were also dumped in Lake Michigan. Do you consider our drinking water cursed and do you shower, brush your teeth, wash your car and cook your food with Lake Michigan water?? Also the Douglas Camp was not a cemetery, it was a POW Camp. I doubt that bodies were buried inside the camp. Yes, people died in the camp, but it doesnt mean the camp was a cemetery. According to the history their were many paupers graves that were dug in the Chicago City Cemetery in todays Lincoln Park and also dumped in Lake Michigan. We can infer that if bodies were dumped in Lake Michigan, then they were most likely buried in pauper graves surrounding Camp Douglas in areas like todays Bonneville as well. Again, Pauper graves were later moved from Chicago City Cemetery in what is known as Lincoln Park today, to 67th Street Oakwood Cemetery. Yes this area was a POW Camp, but not a cemetery.

Bob, in 70 A.D. The Roman Emperor Titus killed thousands of people in Jerusalem and hung them on crosses outside the city. History stated that the crosses were never bare. Jesus Christ was also crucified there. Now sitting on all that desecration is what is considered to be the holiest piece of real-estate on the planet. In fact this the very site that billions of Christians believe is the location that Jesus Christ will return to in order to establish his Kingdom. So who are you to say what is holy or unholy because of what occurred on a particular piece of land.

You also asked "why do ACT scores matter in a vocational school."

Are you aware that some of the Dunbar students attend college? Attending a vocational school does not mean that none of the student have college goals. Currently they have a 67% acceptance rate, but that doesnt mean that they are successfully navigating the college terrain with a high graduation rate. In the past the ACT or SAT was a benchmark indicator for calculating the likelihood of college success. Now many of the universities are waving ACT scores for stellar grades. My point is, Dunbar students who have low ACT scores would most likely need a tremendous amount of support to navigate this process, but if Dunbar was a selective enrollment school, the students would most likely be better prepared academically.

You also said "since my folks have been in both Chicago and the burbs for over a hundred and fifty years I can assure you we do not live on any cursed land, nor do I do malls." So you know for a fact that the land that you have lived on has never been Indian burial grounds? Fascinating!!!

May 2, 2014 at 6:56 AM

By: Bob Busch


Now you know how a teacher tricks a person into thinking.Well done,but a little short of facts on Douglas.Read everything you wrote add a few references get a style sheet and you have an essay on that neighborhood.

I taught in a vocational school for

twenty five years.All that time we ran an unofficial college prep program and got a lot of kids hands dirty in shop class.

Dunbar and its brother schools are unique

in that respect and I think your attempts to move it are misguided and selfish.I do respect your position but think it is wrong.

May 2, 2014 at 10:33 AM

By: Paulette Lane


To: Bob Busch

I have a student with a learning disability who recently graduated from DePaul. We drove him by car everyday from the southside to the westside to elementary school. Then we drove him to Jones for high School. It was very taxing on him to stay up late doing homework only to get up super early to get to school on time. He was in prep classes, not special education classes because he could handle the curriculum but he processed informtion slower. In his case, he was a stellar student but needed extra time on tests and he was tired all year long from staying up late and getting up extremely early. This caused him to fall asleep everyday in the car as we travel to and from school, due to lack of sleep. Imagine what the Dunabr students are experiencing on their long school journeys.

It is obvious that most of the students at Dunbar that are failing, may suffer from the same or worse disability and may need intense tutoring to get on track. Traveling long distances to school for a student that is already behind academically would only exacerbate the problem and cause a physical toll on the student. The travel time could be best spent by engaging the student in tutoring classes in a CTE program within their community. This would give them more time to sleep at night.

The teachers at Dunbar have reported truancy in their online CPS Reports, due to the long travel to school. This is why the CTE should be moved to a location that can best serve these students.

After having experienced traveling back and forth with my son, I am able to understand what many of the Dunbar students may be experiencing.

If you think my concerns are misguided and selfish.....whatever!! Have a good weekend!

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