Chicago - Oct. 15, 2021
Music TV Politics Sports Books People Places & Things
Must-See TV
Army Of Darkness
5 p.m.
A discount-store employee is time-warped to a medieval castle, where he is the foretold savior who can dispel the evil there. Unfortunately, he screws up and releases an army of skeletons. (
Weather Derby
Tribune: 51/37
Sun-Times: Ferro/McKinney
Weather Channel: 44/41
Ntl Weather Service: 54/43
BWM*: 82/12
Beachwood Bookmarks
K-Tel Classics
WKRP in Cincinnati
So You've Decided To Be Evil
St. Paul Saints
Nye's Polonaise Room
The Arcata Eye
Roadside USA
This Day In . . .
Onion History
Weird Al History
Baseball History
Beachwood History
History History
Spy Magazine History
#OnThisDate History
Under Suspicion
Find Your Towed Car
Cable TV Complaints
Freedom of Information
The Expired Meter
The Mob & Friends
Stolen Bike Registry
O'Hare Music Tracker
Report Corruption (city)
Report Corruption (state)
Scoundrels, State
Scoundrels, Federal
The Odds
Random Flight Tracker
Casting Calls
Cosmic Log
Buy Stamps
Beachwood Blogroll
A Handy List
Beachwood Ethics Statement
How We Roll
Today's Horoscope
Liberties will be taken.
Do We Sudoku?
No, but we do do moose stuff, and that can be anything you want it to be. Except Sudoku.
Losing Lottery Numbers
8, 25, 39
Daily Affirmation
I am open and receptive to new avenues of income. (
Knowing that a person may be unwittingly in danger of an assault imposes a moral duty to warn them.
Now Playing
Psychodrama/Marshall Law
Letters to the Editors
Tip Line
"The Papers" archive
Beachwood Link Buttons
Media Kit/Advertising

The [Wednesday] Papers

"Despite a $1 billion budget deficit projected by Chicago Public Schools for next year, district officials rolled out a list of investments they will be pouring into schools receiving students displaced by school closings," the Tribune reports.

"District officials said they are closing a large number of schools, hoping to address the looming budget shortfall. They have not released how much it will cost to shut down schools, provide extra security and safety programs for students, and equip receiving schools with upgrades like science labs, libraries and air conditioning.

"Each welcoming school will have the things that parents, teachers and CPS agree students need, such as a library, air conditioning, dramatic computer and science technology upgrades, and counseling and social work support," said school CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett in a press release issued shortly after midnight.

Shortly after midnight? Quick, check the roofs!

But seriously, that sounds good. By consolidating schools, the district can pour resources into those that survive and finally assure that each facility has science labs, libraries and air conditioning.

Except that closing a spate of schools is as likely to produce such investable savings as the torture panels from Persepolis is likely to shock our city's seventh-graders.

"[A] 2011 study by the Pew Charitable Trusts revealed that many districts that have closed schools have realized few savings in the initial years because of significant costs to mothball closed buildings, transition students, move equipment and add upgrades to receiving schools. The average annual savings in the short run, according to study, were well under $1 million per school."

And that was in cities without the Chicago corruption tax.

From the study:

The money saved as the result of closing schools, at least in the short run, has been relatively small in the context of big-city school-district budgets, with the largest savings achieved when closings were combined with large-scale layoffs. Longer-term savings are difficult to project. In Philadelphia, school officials have downplayed expectations about the immediate impact on the district's bottom line, saying that the amount will be largely dependent on sales of unused buildings.

Selling or leasing surplus school buildings, many of which are located in declining neighbor-hoods, tends to be extremely difficult. No district has reaped anything like a windfall from such transactions. As of the summer of 2011, at least 200 school properties stood vacant in the six cities studied - including 92 in Detroit alone - with most having been empty for several years. If left unused for long, the buildings can become eyesores that cast a pall over neighborhoods and attract vandalism and other illicit activity.

The long-term effect of school closings on student performance appears to be minimal. While there is limited research on the subject, academic studies suggest that student achievement often falls during the final months of a closing school's existence. But such damage generally turns out to be short-lived. And some students wind up going to higher-performing schools and doing better there.

Which leads a reasonable person to ask: What's the point?

"CPS says the schools receiving students will be getting extra tutoring, mentoring, social and emotional learning programs and library supports such as books and digital resources. The receiving schools will also be getting capital investments like lunchrooms, new technology, ADA accessibility and where needed upgraded floors, ceilings and masonry."

Again, that sounds good. But why not just do that with our existing schools? (I'm temporarily ignoring the fact that we've been told for decades that just such investments have been made.)

The whole thing just exposes the trick bag the district (led by the micromanagement of Rahm Emanuel) has put itself in by trying to justify its onrush of crisis management with a series of contradictory claims and rationales. Is this really about saving money? Because that's not going to happen. Improving student performance? Ditto. Personally, I vote for Rahm's ego fueled by a need to justify his existence and his typical Napoleonic overreach combined with a vision unarticulated to the public (directly, at least) of a much-smaller district supplemented with far more charter schools (aka, privatization). Which is something parents have never consented to.


Let's be honest: Every school is a science lab, and the kids are the guinea pigs.


Meanwhile . . .

"Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett and the ex-Marine she put in charge of the transition told the Chicago Sun-Times on Tuesday that the cost of moving children from closed schools to new ones and improving the buildings they end up in will be paid for within two years using savings from the closed schools."

And the school closers will be greeted as liberators.


Meanwhile . . .

Here's CPS chief administration officer Tim Cawley, who received a waiver from the city's residency requirement so his daughter could continue going to school in Winnetka, doing his best imitation of a Comcast customer service rep.


This just in: I've located the decision-makers.


I hope your school closings go well.


Meanwhile . . .

"Six Chicago aldermen opposed to Mayor Rahm Emanuel's efforts to shutter schools called on legislators to place a temporary moratorium on closings for at least a year, but the effort fizzled Tuesday," the Tribune reports.

"Sen. Iris Martinez, D-Chicago, chaired the hearing because [regular chair and Chicago state Sen. Willie] Delgado sponsored the bill."

Oh, I guess if you sponsor a bill you can't also chair a committee hearing about it because that would be a conflict-of-interest.

"Martinez was an appointee of Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett on a commission that held hearings and provided help in guiding the decisions on closings."



"After more than an hour of testimony, Martinez pressed Delgado to say whether he would remove the moratorium. 'Are we gutting the bill?' she asked pointedly."

And the district, he replied, in my imagination.


Local TV Notes
Lake County's Star Trek Landing Party, A Local Face Off Finalist & The Return of Chicago's King Counterfeiter.

Local Book Notes
The Boxcar Kid Of Oak Forest, Poetry As Comedy & Bridgeport Billy.

Fantasy Fix
The Top 30 Outfielders: Not Very Chicagoey.


The Beachwood Tip Line: As a liberator.


Posted on March 20, 2013

MUSIC - Millions Of New Guitar Players.
TV - "One America News" is AT&T.
POLITICS - When Wall Street Came To My Mobile Home Park.
SPORTS - Tonyball, Bears On The Run, Eyes On The Sky & More!

BOOKS - China Holding Swedish Publisher.


Search The Beachwood Reporter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Follow BeachwoodReport on Twitter

Beachwood Radio!