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Proviso Probe

Friday, June 09, 2006

GOV, Forest Park "divorce" from D209? [FP, D209]

I've already gotten a couple comments on my column in this week's Forest Park Review.

In part of the column I call for state law to be changed so that Forest Park is encouraged to get involved in District 209, but if that involvement doesn't bare fruit then Forest Park can get a divorce from District 209.
Currently Illinois law requires that for Forest Park to secede from District 209, we need to show there will be no adverse financial effect on the district. Well, of course there will be an adverse effect on the district. We’re paying four times our share!

Forest Park should work within District 209 to improve all three high schools, but at some point, if District 209 hasn’t improved substantially, Forest Park should be granted a divorce. If District 209 continues to sabotage the education of students, why should Forest Park be forced to participate?

On Forest Park dot com justaparker wrote:
Nyberg, do you think you are on to something new here? The high school has been an issue for the last 20 years! Where have you been? If you think you can just get in someones face and get us out then do it. I think you even know it is not that easy, if it was I think the residents of Forest Park would have done it.

Has Mayor Calderone made the case that Forest Park is being victimized by unscrupulous politicians at District 209? Has he made the case that State's Attorney Dick Devine is failing to enforce the law at D209?

In the past Forest Park's position on District 209 looked like, "We don't want our kids going to school with the Blacks." People outside Forest Park weren't particularly sympathetic with this position.

Forest Park needs to make the case that District 209 is broken. We'll work with other members of the district in trying to fix the schools, but if we're playing by the rules and the corrupt and incompetent stay in power then eventually we get to strike out on our own.

Unfortunately, Calderone can't make the case that Ron Serpico, Eugene Moore and Chris Welch are undermining the education of D209 students through their political ways. He can't make this case because the political predators are Calderone allies.

Personally, I like Tony Calderone. And if it weren't for the issues in the police department and District 209, I could see the case for re-electing him.

But how much better would Forest Park be with a quality high school system?


  • ms. coffee says: It seems to me that Westchester tried to break with Dist. 209, but the state told them no. The problem with 209 is that many of the smart students go to other schools. This makes 209's test scores look low. It would be cheaper for Forest Park and Westchester to try to take over the Board and up the educational environment at Dist. 209;

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:13 PM, June 09, 2006  

  • I agree with your support for Educational Choice if nothing can be done.. Something needs to be done to keep private schools in low income areas open as well..

    However, don't diminish other types of schools, even if the Catholic School system is the largest non-governmental provider of education. There used to be a strong Lutheran (especially Missouori Synod) school system. Today there are still in Chicago and the suburbs a number of good K-8 Schools (St. Andrews Lutheran in Park Ridge is excellent and there is still a Grace Lutheran School in the predominantly Mexican and Catholic Little Village community) The Dutch Reformed have a number of good schools including Timothy Christian which is routinely scored high.

    Despite public perception to the contrary, the top 4 or 5 schools (Based on average ACT and SAT scores) are NOT public (government actually because they are not for the Public)nor are they New Trier BUT are Private Schools (not all Catholic either including: 1) University of Chicago Lab School (almost always number 1, private-not Catholic) 2) Benet Academy in Lisle (which is the most impressive as it is not as hard as others to get in and most impressively is a relatively low cost school 3) 3 and 4 and 5 tied for average ACT scores were Northridge Prep, Willows (both lay schools not officially Catholic but inspired by Opus Dei) and St. Ignatius (where Pat Hickeys Bev rat friends have a lot of sway)
    New Trier is 5th or 6th. Loyola Academy is 12th. Now with North Side Prep (Aurora Math and Science was not included only Chicago area)is ranked higher and harder to get into that Loyola Academy or New Trier.

    Muslims have some very good schools producing many medical doctors and engineers including the schools in Villa Park (DuPage?) and Morton Grove (associated with the MCC on Elston)

    Rev. Meeks has grade and High Schools associated with his so called Temple and best Church in the World. African Americans are routinely better served by private education whether it be the Stroger family by Catholic schools and St. Katherine Drexel (the founder of St. Xavier, private non-sectarian but Classics fan Marva Collins, the Muslim school(s) or the Baptist and Christian private schools like Meeks runs. The Chicago Public School system, even with some good exeptions of schools and teachers, is doing a great diservice to the African American community. Most of the elected officials and their kids go to private many times Catholic schools, they do not use the Public Schools. The politicians in Chicago use the Catholic Schools, or pull strings to get their kids into the best public schools (Magnet etc). I do not blame them for wanting the best for their kids, just that they don't want to afford others the same opportunity. Emil Jones complains that the Catholic Church isn't keeping the good Black Catholic Schools open but than doesn't give them any funding.

    Even the so called liberal and champion of Public education, Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr went to the best Episcopalian Prep school St. Albans, and anti-Choice President William Jefferson Clinton (educated at Catholic schools as a low income non Catholic) sent his daughter to exclusive Sidley Friends (Quaker) private school and not the predominantly African American Public schools in Washington DC.

    There are some decent Chicago Public School system High Schools, but most grades schools are still low quality (there are some exceptions like Edison gifted)
    Lane Tech, Kenwood, Walter Payton. Some are improving like Taft. But the MAJORITY still are poor. The statistic is that ONLY 6% of CPS students entering Freshman year matriculate to graduate college. That is pathetic.

    In the so called Hispanic community, drop out rates are 50 to 70% and high schools like Juarez or Farragut are jokes. What would you rather the kids do, let their parents choose Cristo Rey, San Miguel, Lourdes, Maria, or for the more affluent or better students DeLaSalle, Brother Rice--many who cannot get into North Side Prep so called PUBLIC or do not live in Wilmette or Winnetka to go to New Trier. Private non governmental school choice is MORE DEMOCRATIC AND EGALITARIAN. Most polls show almost 80% support in Hispanic areas for School Choice.

    The Jewish community has some great schools like the Conservative (as in religious denomination) Anshe Emet Jewish Day School. The Chabad and other Orthodox community(ies) like Agudath Israel have small, effective network of Jewish schools educating children without governmental support. Parents pay property taxes and school tuition that is unfair and a double tax.

    Also on the left, some very good educational options like MONTESSORI (although originally a Catholic concept and Maria Montessori was very devout Catholic) or Waldorf or some very good but rare Quaker schools.

    The more choices, options, parental involvement the better.
    School Choice works in EUROPE, Vermont, and to lesse extent on micro levels (even with opposition and sabotage) in Ohio and Wisconsin. Choice works with rich parents who have the money to make choices. A voucher (or scholarship) is the great equalizer).

    Don't discount schools that could come up if a voucher system was put in place. The Catholic (official Archdiocese) does an incredible job and is huge, but it is not about a system but about kids, their parents choices AND selection and choice regardless of religion.

    School Choice is the best idea to help solve the issues in education. We need to get away from thinking about systems, and more money and to focus on the kids and the choice of the parents.

    Pat Hickey should not discount other schools besides Catholics because he thinks it is PC (or not PC) or only focusing on size. Hopefully the above (with Dutch Reformed, Muslim, Lutheran, Jewish, Waldorf, Montessori) demonstrate the greatness of different educational options. Choice is good. Religion, spirituality, values, and cultural traditions are good.

    By Anonymous telling the truth, at 7:44 PM, June 09, 2006  

  • Ms. Coffee,
    "The problem with 209 is that many of the smart students go to other schools."

    This is the fallacy, not the problem.
    It is not that smart students go elsewhere, it's that the AVERAGE students go elsewhere too.

    District 209 does not account for where its students got their elementary education. If they did, you would see that the schools are NOT attended by MOST of the district's feeder graduates.

    Everywhere in District 209 there is an exodus of families when children reach high school age. This continuing victimization of the feeder communities should be a district wide concern. Instead it is ignored, or worse, blamed on the "racists" of Forest Park and Westchester.

    By Anonymous rehctaw, at 6:48 AM, June 10, 2006  

  • I have read about everyones opinion regarding Dist 209 and why they think it is failing "... its the politicians, the teachers the community, the smart kids going elsewhere, etc." What I have not heard is the most logical reason for the problem with 209.


    I will say it again...


    Quit blaming the politicians or the teachers or the towns who do not pay as much as Forest Park and Westchester, startputting blame where blame is due.

    The last time I checked, 99.9% of enrolled students in Dist 209 are minors. All of the other schools that have been discussed here have one thing in common. The parents are taking an active roll in their childrens education. They are choosing to send them to schools with less distractions, which, in my opinion, having been in both public and private schools, would define distractions as children who are not in school to learn, but children who are there because they are forced to be there.

    The reason children typically do better in private schools is due to a couple of reasons. The first reason that comes to my mind is the fact that their parents are spending up to 10k a year on their education and those kids know what will happen if they waste their parents hard earned money. Another reason is that the teachers in a private institution can sometimes step on a few civil liberties while trying to educate a potential unruly student. Teachers in the public sector do not have that right anymore and I feel that it is one of the leading downfalls of our educational system.

    We send our children to school to learn the basics; what they need to get by in society. It is up to the parents to be role models for their kids, to encourage continuing education and on the other hand teach their children the meaning of the word respect and use dicipline when needed. This does not happen with a lot of parents today.

    So, in summary, quit blaming everyone else for your kids problem. Take the time to be part of their life and maybe, just maybe, they wont end up a burden on society.

    By Blogger Denny Krane, at 2:28 PM, June 14, 2006  

  • Is Denny Krane really Ken Leggin? Do you know what your kids did in school this year?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:14 PM, June 22, 2006  

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