WBEZ: Merger of Gold Coast school with Cabrini Green school would mean first integrated neighborhood school in a former public housing area →

School and city politics are never as simple as they seem (I’m still trying to figure out what the hell happened with Dyett), but this just seems like a good idea: an overcrowded affluent public school and a struggling, poorer school, in the same neighborhood, should combine and create a more integrated, equitable learning environment for everyone.

But of course, the actual recorded comments from the public hearing about the proposal is uncannily similar to that chilling scene of scared white privilege bigotry from Nikole Hannah-Jones’s much talked about TAL episode.

I’m not necessarily convinced that simply integrating schools—i.e., take these black kids over here and put them in this white school over here—will necessarily lead to the kind of rich learning experiences that I would wish for all of our kids. But in this case, my understanding is that the schools are in the same neighborhood. So, wouldn’t this simply be a truer representation of the people who live there? It’s like the Platonic ideal of an integrated school.


There are a lot of…school districts plagued by structural hurdles out of their control and doing a miserable job responding to the adversity.
San Antonio-area teacher Matthew Lynde Chesnut, writing for the Rivard Report

Matthew teaches in what he describes, baldly, as an “apartheid district”—“deprived by design.” One can’t help but be inspired by his response to this inequity, though. He goes back to work, to help these kids in the best way he knows how.

The rest of us need to get to work fixing the broken structures that are failing teachers like Matthew and the kids he teaches.

This teacher tells it like it is.

Random Musings

“Mayor Emanuel believes that early childhood education plays a vital role in the lives of some of our youngest and most vulnerable residents, and he refused to cut Head Start openings due to sequestration,” city spokesman Matt Smith said in an email.

“As such, he ordered the Department of Family and Support Services to absorb these cuts by reducing administrative overhead.”
Catalyst Chicago

I think the Emanuel administration is making a huge mistake by taking such a combative and accusatory tone against DFSS. It suggests that the mayor is the only one who cares about the kids, and he’s disciplining the self-serving bureaucrats for the sake of the children. Meanwhile, many of the people who are going to lose jobs from this are professionals who have dedicated their lives to helping the children and families most in need.

Same tone he took with the city’s teachers and school administration. And that went well.

Mayor Emanuel’s Tone Wrong Again