Friday, March 22, 2013
54 Schools Closing in Chicago. That was what hit me when I woke up this morning and picked up the local paper. It had been talked about extensively for months but there it was, in black and white. What followed as I read the list of all the schools being closed was a sick feeling in my stomach. Now, some would wonder why this affects me at all. My highschool aged son is in one of the best schools in the State and my two younger sons are homeschooled. Well, I am product of that school system, and it pains me to watch how it has declined year after year. The fact that the schools being closed are in some of the poorest and most gang infested neighborhoods in the city saddens me. These students already have to walk through dangerous areas to get to school. I understand that the school system here is strapped for cash. A Billion dollars in the hole (due to mismanagement of funds for decades if you ask me).I also understand that there are a lot of schools that need to be closed to save money because they are under-utilized and in need of expensive repairs. I am just not sure closing 54 of them at the same time is the best plan. This will directly affect 30,000 students and leave 1,000 teachers without work. I can just imagine the panic in the parents that have to now figure out if their children will be safe in a new environment,with new teachers and possibly new friends. I wondered to myself if this wasn't just a way to get more students away from CPS and into the non-unionized Charter Schools that our mayor loves so dearly. But, they aren't fairing any better that the Public schools and some of them need to be closed themselves. It was stated that every student affected will be transferred to a school that is close in proximity to their former school and that is also a higher performing school. I will have to do some research on that. Because, looking at the test scores there only a handful of public schools here really doing well and they are definitely not the ones accepting these students. Let me say this. Every child deserves a good education, and for far too long Chicago's schools have basically been a system of "Haves and Have Nots". The best schools get the resources and the others don't. If you live in better neighborhoods and can test well you get a better education. If you don't test well enough to get into a "good" school, then you are subjected to exactly what they are facing now. Massive school closings, political infighting, under-informed parents, nervous students, teachers and a bad taste left in the mouths of many. To say I can't wait for my high-schooler to be done with CPS is an understatement. I hope that the "powers at be" know what their doing. Because from where I am sitting, it just seems like more empty promises being made and more students possibly falling through the cracks. I sincerely hope that is not the case this time.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
In the past week, we have had a snowstorm that dumped seven inches of heavy snow, a day that brought temps of 55 degrees, a rainstorm and today I awoke to frosted over cars, snow and temps in the low 30's. In all fairness, the snow was all melted by noon, but I just feel so trapped by this cold weather. Last year, we were basking in temps in the 60's and 70's. I could really use those temps right about now. Actually, I would love a month long vacation in a very tropical place. Who am I kidding? A month wouldn't be long enough to satisfy me. What I really need is to win the lottery so I can move to a tropical place for good. I crave a life where I can see the ocean whenever I need to. And I would need to everyday. So, as I sit here looking out at the bare trees, cloudy skies and pull my sweater closer around my chilled body, I am thankful that Spring is coming. Maybe not as soon as I would would want it, but day by day we get closer. In a few weeks, the flowers will bloom, the hard ground will be softened, the birds will build their nests in preparation to lay their eggs, the warm sunshine will replace the gray chill and the cycle will begin again.
Not giving up my dream of moving someplace warm though.
Posted by J.A. Dorsey at 10:59 PM
Monday, March 4, 2013
I had the great pleasure of taking 3 of my sons to a Saturday morning screening of , The Croods. At first it wasn't one of the movies on my list of seeing, but I wasn't about to pass up the chance to get 4 free movie passes. So, we got to the movie at 10:30 a.m. figuring we would get there early enough to snag good seats for the 11 a.m. showing. Obviously, the other 120 people that got there at 10 a.m. knew much better than I did. So, as we settled into 3rd row seats and put on our 3D glasses, (i really hate 3D glasses)I wondered if i would be able to catch a nap while the boys watched the movie. Boy, was I ever wrong! I can't give anything away but I will tell you this. If you are a fan of great family movies, beautiful animation and kid-friendly/but also adult funny humor, you will LOVE this movie. The Croods is a refreshing, movie in a time where the term "kid's movie" has been greatly diluted. So, take your kids, grandkids, or go by yourself. Try it, you'll like it! But, if you are like me and don't want to carry around a bottle of pain reliever due to the headache and strain on your eyes from wearing those annoying glasses, skip the 3D version. Although, if you are taking young ones, they may insist on it. I have to admit, the effects were pretty awesome!
Have fun, Enjoy the movie. The Croods comes out nationwide, Friday March 22, 2013