As much as I love discussing politics, I can't wait for the mayoral elections to be over. I am tired of learning of brainwash-after-brainwash commercials from Rahm Emanuel that insult anyone who thinks.
Yes, this city is an employment agency. It constantly taxes us to pay for employees, so in my mind, people should look to the city to not only hire but find jobs for those that don't have one. Yes, the city is an employment agency in that it controls the education of all the children in the Chicago Public Schools. Educate them well and they will have employers looking to hire them. Mis-educate them and you will continue the cycle of illiteracy that permeates too many individuals. And with a budget of over $12 billion annually for just the city and the schools, I don't want a mayor who is telling me what the city "ain't." I want a mayor who will tell me what the city "is."
I am not a big television watcher. So I have been spared the Rahm "assault of brainwash" commercials that have been playing on all the local stations morning, noon and night. But as I do love to be on Facebook, people have sent me links to people who have rebutted things that have been shown in Rahm's commercials. My favorite thus far is a short YouTube video done by a group of Sullivan High School students.
Those young people were following politics and saw the WGN debate that featured four of the six candidates for mayor. The fact that many in the media overlook the fact that there are six candidates is an additional reflection on the dumbing down of this city. But I digress. At the WGN forum, Rahm said: "When you take out Northside, and when you take out Walter Payton, the seven best performing high schools are all charters."
Well, those young people went and did their homework. The top seven schools beside Northside Prep and Walter Payton are; Lane Tech, Whitney Young, Jones College Prep, Gwendolyn Brooks and Lincoln Park High School. How could Rahm have made such an error regarding the Chicago Public Schools? Very simple. The man hasn't been living here. He has had no real interest in what has been going on here and if Daley hadn't decided to retire, Rahm wouldn't be anywhere near here.
What that short video clip did is highlight children who go to their neighborhood schools. They are just as bright, concerned and inventive as any child who is enrolled in a selective or charter school. Every time I see that video, I think of a young man named DeAndre Robinson from Douglas Academy here in the Austin community who has been basically saying the exact same thing. We can have all the "selective" enrollment and charter schools that the world will allow. But invest in neighborhood schools.
Maybe if Rahm came to the neighborhoods and attended forums where people talk about local issues, he would have known about those other schools. But when one has to be "schooled" on what has been going on in this city while he lived in Wash., D.C., then it comes as no shock that he's not familiar with those schools.
I remember a while back, Robinson came to the radio show and was talking about education. When the subject of a new high school for Austin came up, he made a very salient point. We as adults can run around planning on a new high school. But there are children like him who are trying to get the best education they can based on what they are working with. So, until that new school comes along, don't denigrate what he is dealing with as we make plans for a future high school.
There are barely two weeks left until Election Day. If the black community comes out and votes their best interest, we should have a run-off. And it is important to make sure that we have a run-off so that Rahm doesn't ease into office without answering all the fundamental questions he is so fond of spewing without giving us details as to what they are.
There are still a number of debates scheduled. If you miss them and have access to the internet, you can catch them online. On Feb. 16, there will be a forum at Westinghouse High School, 3223 W. Franklin from 6:30 - 8 p.m. As West Siders, we need to pack that auditorium to hear the plans those candidates have for our side of town.
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