Editorial #5: CPS Strikes Again

Navy Pier Sunset
Navy Pier Sunset

Last week, the culmination of a year’s worth of protests, meetings, and press conferences came to a head when the Chicago Public School Board went ahead and voted to close 50 schools at the end of this school year. This was publicized all over as the most schools closed at one time in history. Yes, we do it big here in the City of Big Shoulders. The problem is – who’s getting bulldozed [again] by those big shoulders? And by whom? The children of a certain socio-economic category, by the mayor and his puppets at CPS.

DNA Info – Interactive Map of Gang Boundaries – This link is to an interactive map on DNAInfo.com, where they show in detail what gang boundaries will be crossed by the students whose schools are now definitely closing in June. It is important that someone took the time to show us live and in color what dangers the children will be facing as they navigate their way to a new school every day.

As a product of CPS back when school was real [despite the Willis wagons],  this is unfathomable to consider, let alone find cohesive words to provide an opinion. This is not just the fault of the teachers, because then and now, there are those who are sincerely dedicated, and those who aren’t. It’s not just the fault of parents, because then and now, there are those who send their children to school hungry, dirty and unraised, and those who don’t. And finally, unbelievably, it’s not just the fault of CPS, although it looks like it! And by the way, there’s a documentary being put together to augment the original one made during the Boycott of ’63, partially caused by the Willis wagons; so many similarities today.

After careful consideration, it appears that all three caused the eventuality of school closings, although 50 is extreme. This is why: [a] the teachers who really teach are being drowned out by those who don’t, administrators who don’t listen to them, and a silly system that’s more concerned about test scores than inherent abilities to comprehend. When you can comprehend, you can learn anything. It’s like learning the laws of geometry – once you know them, you’ll always solve the problem. It’s like they’ve eliminated the formulas that heretofore gave us the primary mechanism to THINK STRAIGHT when it came to being educated and retain what we learned; the ability to apply what was necessary and mentally file the rest away for some future date. Isn’t that how it’s supposed to go?

Then there’s [b] – the parents who had the kids way too young, so they weren’t prepared to even be a parent. Unfortunately, it appears that THEIR parents weren’t ready, either. I see many parents in their 40s who think they’re supposed to be their children’s friends; no, that’s not the way. You can’t, period. So, when the child, now grown or almost grown, feels that they can smoke weed in the parent’s face because it’s a friend, they don’t consider that to be  blatant disrespect of the highest degree. In fact, they claim not to have a clue and the parents uphold them in their transgressions. Someone better get a clue, because there won’t be a next generation if they continue along the path that’s being traveled now.

Shannon Lewis escorted from podium in CPS mtg. to close schools. 05/22/13
Security intervenes as Shannon Bennett, an activist with Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, attempts to speak after commandeering the podium microphone at a packed meeting of the Chicago Board of Education, Wednesday, May 22, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

Finally, there’s [c] – our illustrious CPS. For some reason during Bush’s tenure as president, this ‘no child left behind’ fiasco which focused on test scores rather than teaching students to THINK FOR THEMSELVES BY COMPREHENSION, was left in place. When it was determined that it didn’t work, no one changed it. The results are schools on probation who never caught up to the majority. Those who did found a way outside of the box of NCLB. But, when the solutions were obvious, where they adopted on a broader scale? Of course not, we don’t want them to catch up. That left the braver principals to take matters into their own hands. Their schools advanced, but not fast enough for some. In the meantime, the parents are just sending the children and not following up when they get home. Video games and wasted time, not a book in the house, leads to low reading scores and non-thinkers, reactionary young people who think shooting is a solution for all problems.

There might be a [d] – the general culture itself. Not just the culture of African-Americans, but the culture of this country. When you allow so much cussing on  prime time, a directed interest in things that are dead, i.e., vampires and such, mayhem in video games regardless of the age of the players – you’re intentionally directing society into chaos, so someone can come along and claim to be a savior. Did I hear anti-christ? It doesn’t deserve capital letters, excuse me.

Such is the state of our school system. Now, let’s use common sense and fix it. Please leave your suggestions in the comments section. We already know what’s wrong, but let’s not talk about it ad-infinitum with no action. James said that faith without works is dead. Are there any living among us?

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