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  #41  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2014, 7:19 PM
Baronvonellis Baronvonellis is offline
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Chicagoland seems to be the Liz Dozier show lately. Most of the episodes revolve around her, and not Rahm as I thought at first. They seem to be showing that these kids in Roseland can only rise up out of poverty through her seemingly limitless connections to the elite of Chicago. I struggling with that message. I mean there was this one guy that must have been a very recent high school graduate that was getting out of prison. She tried all she could to give him lots of opportunities, and then he doesn't even make an effort to improve himself. Then when she ask him why, he can't even come up with a decent excuse. And a few weeks later winds up right back in jail. Some of these people have to figure out how to help themselves. You can't just keep piling money into these schools and expect things to change. The Chicago Public schools that they show have much better facilities and technologies than I ever had, and I went to the best school in our county. I was still using Apple II's in the late 90's.
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  #42  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2014, 7:36 PM
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^ teachers and principals can't do it all by themselves. the biggest indicator for the academic success of a student is the level to which that student's parents are involved in their education. unfortunately, in many of chicago's predominately african american neighborhoods, there is a culture present that doesn't place a high value on education. and parents who do not value education have children who do not value education and so forth and so on. it's a vicious cycle. the teachers and principals who dedicate themselves to educating the children who come from this culture where education is not valued have a herculean, some might even say impossible, task ahead of them.

changing that culture is not easy. in fact it's one of the toughest challenges our city, indeed even our entire nation, faces. but just because something is difficult, that doesn't mean we should just throw in the towel and give up. there are few people that i respect more than the courageous heroes, like liz dozier, who commit themselves to making every attempt available to get children from these struggling communities educated so that some of them might beat the odds and avoid becoming another statistic. not every single student can and will be saved from the culture of social dysfunction that surrounds them (poverty, violence, gangs, drugs, crime, etc.) but graduation rates in CPS are better than they were 2 decades ago, and they continue creeping upwards. that's at least a start. that's at least a reason to not give up. improvement is possible, even if the progress is slow.
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  #43  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2014, 3:06 PM
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Updated trailer on the new video game "Watch Dogs", scheduled to be released this May for PC/Xbox/PS. Shows a lot of the rendered city in this video, which granted is not 100% accurate, but there are plenty of landmarks and much of the skyline is shown correctly. This game has a TON of hype, with lots of positive press. Hopefully it proves popular when it goes on sale. It'll be like a massive free ad for the city.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTTlOrHON1s
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  #44  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2014, 8:05 PM
the urban politician the urban politician is online now
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^. Now that is what I call significant economic news. Sorry, but I hardly find it post-worthy in this thread that Chicago is being featured in some video game.
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  #45  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2014, 9:34 PM
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^. Now that is what I call significant economic news. Sorry, but I hardly find it post-worthy in this thread that Chicago is being featured in some video game.
You must not be a gamer. It is absolutely post-worthy, as this is going to be a huge game, and a much bigger deal than say a big movie being filmed in town. I will say it's more suited to the general discussion thread.
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  #46  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2014, 11:41 PM
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You must not be a gamer. It is absolutely post-worthy, as this is going to be a huge game, and a much bigger deal than say a big movie being filmed in town. I will say it's more suited to the general discussion thread.
For non-gamers, like TUP, its easy to miss the importance of this. Fact is, Watch Dogs is going to be one of the biggest titles dropping for the new generation of consoles coming out now. And the hype for this game (think Grand Theft Auto-esque) is unbelievable, not just from gamers and gaming sites like IGN, but in game development circles. The fact that Ubisoft sent an entire team to canvas the city for the game over its multi year production is also quite telling in terms of how much money is going into this.

And as if all that weren't enough, Sony and Columbia Pictures have already started pre-production on the Watch Dogs movie (before the game has even been released!), which will almost certainly be filmed in Chicago:

http://variety.com/2013/film/news/ub...cy-1200582494/




You don't have to be a gamer to find that "post worthy"
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  #47  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2014, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by left of center View Post
For non-gamers, like TUP, its easy to miss the importance of this. Fact is, Watch Dogs is going to be one of the biggest titles dropping for the new generation of consoles coming out now. And the hype for this game (think Grand Theft Auto-esque) is unbelievable, not just from gamers and gaming sites like IGN, but in game development circles. The fact that Ubisoft sent an entire team to canvas the city for the game over its multi year production is also quite telling in terms of how much money is going into this.

And as if all that weren't enough, Sony and Columbia Pictures have already started pre-production on the Watch Dogs movie (before the game has even been released!), which will almost certainly be filmed in Chicago:

http://variety.com/2013/film/news/ub...cy-1200582494/




You don't have to be a gamer to find that "post worthy"
What's more, think of it this way. A huge movie like Batman may rep the city, but you only spend 2 hours watching it, then you forget it. A game like Watchdogs will take a minimum of 20 hours to complete the primary storyline. But given that they designed it with sandbox features, many gamers will spend 50-100 hours on the game... in a virtual Chicago. There is just no comparison to that kind of attachment.
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  #48  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2014, 12:58 AM
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^. I did watch the trailer and it does look awesome. I guess any exposure like this is good exposure. But it's anyone's guess how much impact it will have
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  #49  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2014, 7:19 AM
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This may just pie in the sky but at least some are thinking about all of Illinois grads not getting accepted in state and having to go to other Big Ten schools. Could NIU do it too. The article never mentioned them.
Yeah this will fizzle out but I think seeking Big Ten membership for NIU or ISU is putting the cart before the horse... build academic programs that students want to get into, and prestige will come.

Right now those universities are not operating at the level of UIUC or Indiana or OSU, and conference membership won't do dick about that.

I also think it's foolish to try and stop brain drain... smart, talented Americans have always left their hometowns and home states and moved on to bigger/better things. Doesn't matter how nice the hometown is or what jobs are available. If you don't want to be shrinking, you need to be growing... attracting outsiders to come in, through domestic migration or immigration, is the answer. Retaining your best and brightest native sons just isn't possible, period.
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  #50  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2014, 1:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
^ teachers and principals can't do it all by themselves. the biggest indicator for the academic success of a student is the level to which that student's parents are involved in their education. unfortunately, in many of chicago's predominately african american neighborhoods, there is a culture present that doesn't place a high value on education. and parents who do not value education have children who do not value education and so forth and so on. it's a vicious cycle. the teachers and principals who dedicate themselves to educating the children who come from this culture where education is not valued have a herculean, some might even say impossible, task ahead of them.

changing that culture is not easy. in fact it's one of the toughest challenges our city, indeed even our entire nation, faces. but just because something is difficult, that doesn't mean we should just throw in the towel and give up. there are few people that i respect more than the courageous heroes, like liz dozier, who commit themselves to making every attempt available to get children from these struggling communities educated so that some of them might beat the odds and avoid becoming another statistic. not every single student can and will be saved from the culture of social dysfunction that surrounds them (poverty, violence, gangs, drugs, crime, etc.) but graduation rates in CPS are better than they were 2 decades ago, and they continue creeping upwards. that's at least a start. that's at least a reason to not give up. improvement is possible, even if the progress is slow.
The biggest cop out in American urban education history is to attribute high dropout rates to "bad schools". Keep on pointing the finger at everybody else, that sure is a formula for success. If we kept the buildings, curricula, and teachers the same but replaced the entire student population with Asian kids, CPS would be the best school system in the country overnight. I'm sure the PC police will be hounding me any moment now for saying that in 5..4..3..
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  #51  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2014, 1:29 PM
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"Chicagoland" is interesting but did anyone else not predict that the show would be exactly like this? North side white people eating fine cuisine and partying, and black kids on the south side in the midst of gang warfare? I was hoping more facets of the Chicago story would be told by this series, but so far am quite disappointed.
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  #52  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2014, 7:55 PM
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Originally Posted by the urban politician View Post
The biggest cop out in American urban education history is to attribute high dropout rates to "bad schools". Keep on pointing the finger at everybody else, that sure is a formula for success. If we kept the buildings, curricula, and teachers the same but replaced the entire student population with Asian kids, CPS would be the best school system in the country overnight. I'm sure the PC police will be hounding me any moment now for saying that in 5..4..3..
So you quote one post that actually has a reasonable point, and follow up to supplement it with a post that makes a pretty stupid one. Yeah, you know you are being inflammatory as possible with an ignorant remark, so of course you preemptively strike with the typical non-creative "the PC police shows up in 5..." comment. And to top it off, you started it all with the usual straw man argument that no ones really used much in the last 15 years or so. Really awesome perspective you have added here .
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  #53  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2014, 9:28 PM
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^. I make that point because too often Chicago and other major urban centers are accused of having "bad schools" or "failing schools" when in reality the schools are just fine. The communities they serve are what is failing. But when you use terms like "failing schools" it betrays the unfortunate viewpoint that predominates both within and without these communities, which is to point our fingers at teachers and principles to remedy the issue, something they in no way can possibly do.
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  #54  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2014, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr Roboto View Post
So you quote one post that actually has a reasonable point, and follow up to supplement it with a post that makes a pretty stupid one. Yeah, you know you are being inflammatory as possible with an ignorant remark, so of course you preemptively strike with the typical non-creative "the PC police shows up in 5..." comment. And to top it off, you started it all with the usual straw man argument that no ones really used much in the last 15 years or so. Really awesome perspective you have added here.
For real.

Schools have to find ways to adapt to the populations they serve. The formula that works for privileged people will not work for the underprivileged. And make no mistake: Privilege is exactly what we're talking about here (for example—and this is just one of many—the privilege to be free of a legal and law enforcement that isn't stacked against you).

Anyway, I think in the past decade schools have finally realized this and started getting more creative. I'm somewhat wary of charter schools, but I appreciate the innovation they foment and imagine that, among them, certain models will emerge as the most successful and worthy of replication.
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  #55  
Old Posted Apr 1, 2014, 1:33 AM
Baronvonellis Baronvonellis is offline
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I agree with TUP. The whole concept that a "school" is failing is wrong. It's the kids and their families that are failing. They have to take accountability for themselves. And how is a public school a system that is just for the privileged? Anyone can go to a public school.
I went to one of the top ranked PUBLIC high schools in the country but it was because of the quality of the kids and their parents that went there rather than it somehow being an amazing school. The school and the facilities itself were pretty basic. It just happened that the smartest students in the county went there, so it looked really good on all the test scores. If you have a school with students that don't care at all about learning, the scores will be really low.
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  #56  
Old Posted Apr 1, 2014, 7:01 AM
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The problem of blacks in America is one that defies easy explanations or solutions, even for the most intelligent people.

Addressing the problems of black communities becomes difficult for governments that must appear largely race-blind, even though the unique history of American blacks demands unique solutions to today's problems.
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  #57  
Old Posted Apr 1, 2014, 2:17 PM
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^ Yes, indeed, the situation is a little more complex than magically swapping out entire demographics of people in CPS while completely ignoring the forces that caused the situation in the first place.

And again, the point TUP made is silly because he didnt specify what type of asian students; Korean, Indian, Chinese or Hmong, Cambodian and Laotian? Asian is not monolithic. Depending on the region, city, and community, they can have vastly different performances in school. Nigerian immigrants typically vastly outperform american blacks in poor public school districts as well. Appalachian whites from poor mining communities fare poorly compared to Chicago suburban whites.

Why do these groups perform differently? I will give that most likely the main reason is the expectations the parents and students have for themselves, along with the rest of their community, and society at large. But why do these expectations differ, and what historically has happened that led up to these expectations.

So yes, the circumstances are a little more complex than the misleading post TUP gave. Of course there are cultural differences, but what were the conditions that created that culture?

And the resources for public schools, urban vs suburban etc, have only in the recent decade or so began to even up. Previously there were also substantial disadvantages when schools were in a lower property tax district. While resources, principals and teachers clearly do not tell the whole story, they did and still can have a negative impact. Why is Liz Dozier (who is very attractive btw) so worried about losing the federal grant money she has previously used to help turn Fenger around? When you are dealing with children with so many negative surrounding forces, you need all the resources you can get to counter with more positive influences, more positions, more face to face interaction. Which is actually why I am all for public schools in struggling communities to have a higher share of resources from tax money than those that are in more affluent communities - they need those more to help turn things around. We also need more Liz Doziers, but thats asking a lot. Im sure if parents and students themselves do their part things would improve, but in the meantime, its the efforts of people like her that will help make the turn around and help the students and teachers make the changes for themselves.

Obviously the culture overall will need to change, and the expectation level will need to rise. I simply do not like blunt simplistic declarative statements that have absolutely no realistic bearing on the actual issues that are play here. They are not constructive, in fact the tone was so defeatist and negative one could infer that he was essentially stating any efforts to improve the situation would be a waste of time so why not swap out all the students and replace them.

Last edited by Mr Roboto; Apr 1, 2014 at 2:30 PM.
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  #58  
Old Posted Apr 1, 2014, 2:53 PM
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^^^ Jesus dude, he was obviously intentionally making a generalizing statement when he mentioned "asians" for the sake of illustrating his point. You whine about the PC police coming to shut down this conversation and then decide to devolve the conversation into an analysis of how specific of an ethnic group TUP should have used to illustrate the fact that if you emptied out an entire "failing" urban school and filled it with another socio-economic group that the school would instantly transform into an over-performing school. He could have listed a million different groups, but just threw out a massive generalization because the specific group does not matter in the context of what he was saying.

His point is still valid. Let's use a more PC example so as not to offend your fragile ears:

If you took the entire student population of Harper High School in Englewood (one of the failingest of failing schools in the nation) and swapped it out with the entire student population of Deerfield High School I guarantee you that Harper would become one of the best high schools in the state overnight and Deerfield High would be relegated to the various Forbes and US News lists of "top 50 worst things in existence". It has very little to do with the "school" and EVERYTHING to do with the ongoing poverty trap of American inner cities.

Also, it's not about "parent expectations". Children don't do well just because their parents expect them to, children do well because their parents give them the resources to. I've said this before, but the average class size is usually 25-30 students. The average school day length is 7 hours of which probably only 6 hours (at best) is spent in class. That means your average student is getting the direct attention of a teacher for only 1/25 of 6 hours a day AT BEST. That means less than FIFTEEN MINUTES a day of one on one attention per student assuming that attention is evenly distributed to each student which it most assuredly is not.

It is physically impossible for schools to replace the attention and involvement of parent in a child's education. There literally is no way to change this short of reducing average class sizes to say 5-7 students which I don't think anyone would disagree is an utterly absurd notion. Let's say an average involved parent spends just one hour a day helping their child with homework, reading to them (time and again shown to be the best way to increase reading proficiency for children), etc. That's already at least four times as much attention as that child received all day in school.

Most poor parents don't even have an hour a day to relax and eat dinner, let alone to spend reading to each of their children. Many poor parents couldn't even provide the necessary assistance even if they had the time because they may not even understand the material themselves because they too were deprived of the necessary education. There is no amount of government money or teacher training that is going to change this. There just isn't and they myth that there is a way to fund the problem away is wholly counterproductive.

Ultimately I think the only way to truly rectify this problem is to encourage socio-economic mixing on a generational scale. This is obviously a difficult task since different social and economic groups tend to naturally distance themselves from one another like oil in water, but there are fundamental policy changes that can encourage this. The best one in effect today are the magnet schools which often do offer a child who is particularly bright a better environment (i.e. better peers) in which to grow out of the poverty trap. I also think that gentrification can play a huge role in gradually mixing the impoverished back into society as a whole. Gentrifying neighborhoods offer a way out for any of the students fortunate to resist the economic change long enough to reap the rewards of improving peers moving into the area. What other ideas do you all have to address the problem from this angle?
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  #59  
Old Posted Apr 1, 2014, 3:16 PM
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^ Please, I think you need to chill and quit with your outrage to my calling him out. He knew what he was provoking when he wrote what he wrote. I already said what he was inferring. Theres no defense for it, you cant defend it, so dont bother with your bullshit comparisons of Deerfield and Harper High. Fragile ears, please.

I made a legitimate comparison of asian groups because it is far more realistic and applicable and presents a clearer perspective on why certain students of certain backgrounds perform better than others, and why it has to do with culture and parental, student and societal expectations.

And wtf, parental expectations have nothing to do with it? What do you know? Are you a parent? I am, I have a child in CPS. Our expectations have everything to do with it. If you expect a child to do well, you will go out of your way to provide the time and resources for them to do well to the extent possible. Obviously poor parents have a disadvantage in that and thats why they can use all the help they can get from the schools, but unfortunately the schools dont have that type of time or resources either.


The rest of your post I dont disagree with, and no where did I write anything contrary to the idea that parents play the biggest role.
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  #60  
Old Posted Apr 1, 2014, 3:59 PM
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Before you respond, let me explain a little more clearly why TUPs idea of swapping asian students with black CPS students and your idea of swapping Deerfield High student with Harper high students is so freaking stupid.

1. Its obviously impossible and completely based on fiction. It never will be, and never could be, something any of us could actually witness to determine if true. Therefore, its ridiculous and why even bother bringing it up.

2. Even if it were possible, what factors are you holding constant? Do the students have the same parents? Do they bring their current parents to the new neighborhood. Do the Deerfield high school kids actually now have to grow up in Englewood for example? With all the same issues of crime/gangs, poverty, drug use, and police brutality, lack of access to quality food etc etc? Because if so, Id call bullshit on your stupid theory and Deerfield High school students would now perform pretty badly in school as well.

3. By making these statements, you are completely ignoring all the outside forces that made the school problematic in the first place. Which means you are only telling a small portion of the story. In other words, its completely inadequate to make the comparison. But it sounds nice in some neat little package though right? Requires very little mental thought right?

4. They actually probably wouldnt perform quite as well given less resources anyway. Why? Because research has shown less resources actually can affect performance. Is it as significant an impact as parenting, home influences etc? Clearly not.



So please dont bother trying to defend it, since there are much much better ways of making the point that building school condition, computers, teachers, and principals, sports, activities, music program and other resources provided at school do not affect student performance as much as the involvement of parents etc. But even this is a limited statement since it doesnt consider other forces such as criminal activity in proximity of the school, peer influences, and obviously many others. So again, if I havent made it clear yet - quit trying to simplify the god damn issue by making stupid declarative statements that are clearly lacking in support.
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