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The [Wednesday] Papers

"Two years ago, when Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel unveiled an arts plan for schools, it was unclear how much arts instruction was already being offered to students - either by certified teachers or through partnerships with community organizations," Melissa Sanchez reports for Catalyst.

"Now, schools and arts leaders know the answer: There are more teachers than many would have guessed, but they are inequitably distributed across the city and the total is far below the goals."

The nature of that inequitable distribution is depressingly predictable.

"A sobering map on page 17 of the 44-page report highlights which CPS schools are getting the most arts education and which are getting the least," Becky Vevea reports for WBEZ.

"Most of the majority African-American neighborhoods in the city are essentially arts education deserts."

Ingenuity_StateoftheArts_BaselineReport-18.jpg(ENLARGE)

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Among the findings noted by Catalyst:

"On average, elementary students received 99 minutes of arts instruction per week. As part of the district's arts guidelines, elementary schools should provide at least 120 minutes per week of arts instruction. But, according to the self-reported data, only 40 percent of CPS elementary schools offered that much arts education during the 2012-13 school year."

And:

"The number of arts programs provided by partner organizations varied wildly from neighborhood to neighborhood. A striking map in the report shows how wealthier neighborhoods such as Lincoln Park and Lake View have more than 50 arts partnerships in schools, while some of the city's poorest neighborhoods in the South and West side have 10 or fewer."

Those North Side arts partnerships exemplify how wealthier neighborhoods have essentially privatized school funding by using their resources to forge outside partnerships, as well as raise money to supplement CPS budgets by, in some cases, several hundred thousands of dollars.

"The lion's share of quality arts education is on the city's North and Northwest sides," Lauren FitzPatrick reports for the Sun-Times.

"It was striking that a lot of the provision of arts services in our city are drawn across socioeconomic lines," the executive director of Ingenuity Inc., which did the study, told FitzPatrick.

Striking, but entirely unsurprising. When will this city's inequities be addressed? Can we stop "developing" downtown and direct the lion's share of our attention to those areas most in need? When Rahm Emanuel shows up at an anti-violence march and asks, "Where is the community?" can we not answer back, "We are here, Mr. Mayor. Where are you?"

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"Ingenuity didn't include charter schools because not enough charters responded to its requests for information."

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See also: Survey Shows Arts Education Promises Don't Match Reality.

Eminently Devious
"Northeastern Illinois University is taking a big gamble: that if it finally builds on-campus housing, it can reverse declining student enrollment," Odette Yousef reports for WBEZ.

"But the way the university's going about this has upset some neighbors. The university plans to acquire the properties through eminent domain, leaving owners on one block of West Bryn Mawr Avenue with little say in the matter."

That, um, doesn't seem right.

Depending on who's speaking, the 3400 block of West Bryn Mawr Avenue could be described as "sleepy," "stagnant," or "depressed." But nearly every storefront is occupied. On the south side sit a Chinese restaurant, dental clinic, hair salon, and hookah cafe. On the north side, a travel agency, real estate agency, bank, and 7-11.

Geez, NEIU, can't you just try for a Jumbotron instead?

Eminent domain is the right of a government to take private property for its own use. It has to offer those property owners compensation. But Boudouvas, Tong, and other property owners say NEIU's offer was pitiful. And they all want to know the same thing: Why won't the university build on property it already owns?

"I think it is a really good question," said Dr. Sharon Hahs, President of NEIU. Hahs said a 2008 student housing feasibility study identified a second site for student housing, in addition to the block on Bryn Mawr Ave. It sits on Foster Ave., on the south end of the campus, by the athletic fields.

"The answer lies somewhat in what is the most help to the community sooner," said Hahs.

The university is planning two large multi-use buildings - one on each side of Bryn Mawr. The ground floor would feature new retail and restaurants. Above those, enough dorm rooms would be built to fit 500 beds. Hahs hopes the project will set off a domino effect of revitalization, extending east down Bryn Mawr.

"We need to change the character of the neighborhood," Hahs said.

In other words, the university wants to gentrify the area to attract more upscale students for the sake of its president's ego instead of figuring out another way to make the institution more helpful to the community.

Pat Quinn's Secret Prisons
"Between 80 and 100 people die behind bars in Illinois every year," Rob Wildeboer reports for WBEZ.

"The average age of the people who die is 54. The Department of Corrections says it carefully reviews every death, but information on deaths provided to WBEZ was scattershot and incomplete.

"WBEZ has been reviewing IDOC records regarding deaths in custody in 2011 and 2012 and we've found some cases that seem especially egregious."

Click through if only to read Wildeboer's exchange with IDOC spokesman Tom Shaer.

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"Dr. Louis Shicker, the medical director of Illinois' Department of Corrections, refused to talk with us about the $100 million in medical care he oversees."

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"Two years ago, after hearing complaints about health care, WBEZ submitted a Freedom of Information Act request for incident reports for all inmate deaths in the Department of Corrections. The department denied the FOIA, and fought it through an appeal to the attorney general of Illinois, saying it would be too burdensome. They said it would take months to collect the information because it's kept at all the different prisons around the state.

"When WBEZ threatened to sue, the department did finally hand over documents, but the records were incomplete to say the least, and did not even reflect all the deaths that occurred. For example, the department says 97 inmates died in 2011 but the records handed over to WBEZ as part of a legal proceeding stretching out over the course of a year reflect only 79 deaths, omitting 18.

"'Eighteen out of 97, we don't feel, is indicative of a major problem with getting you the information you're entitled to. But I would say anything less than a hundred percent is not satisfactory. There are different levels of being unsatisfactory. This is a moderate level of dissatisfaction that we have and we're looking into it but I can't tell you why you asked for 97 and got 79,' said Shaer."

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Photo Album: Hyde Park
Overeducated underpasses.

Here Comes Wally!
A Chicago polk-rock opera.

Chicago Author Gored Ironically
Plus: The Dissent of Kanye West & The Conformity of Non-Conformity. In Local Book Notes.

Fantasy Fix: Fire Sale Freakout
Don't forget to evaluate the new circumstances of those left behind.

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BeachBook
* Meet The Muslim-American Leaders The FBI And NSA Have Been Spying On.

"The National Security Agency and FBI have covertly monitored the e-mails of prominent Muslim-Americans - including a political candidate and several civil rights activists, academics, and lawyers - under secretive procedures intended to target terrorists and foreign spies."

* U.S. Military Studied How To Influence Twitter Users.

"Defense Department spent millions to research social networks; studies focused on Occupy and Middle East protests; projects also analysed memes, celebrities and disinformation.

* 38 Journalism Groups Call On Obama To Stop Being Such A Dick.

* A $1.39 Bag Of Chips Cost Walgreen $180,000.

Because they were dicks.

* White Sox Turn Rainy Game Into Klan Rally.

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The Beachwood Tip Line: What's the frequency, Kenneth?



Permalink

Posted on July 9, 2014


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - Media Sexism And Weinstein.
POLITICS - Illinois' Dirty 34.
SPORTS - SportsMonday: Action Jackson.

BOOKS - Chicago History Museum Card Catalog Going Digital.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: War Of The Rainbows.


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