Tracy Burton | Chicago Reader

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Re: “Nine schools in 12 years: One teacher's tale of life in Chicago's public schools

My "Wow" is not because I think only those involved in the system should be allowed to express an opinion about the educational system. In fact, I welcome outside sources speaking their ideas and hopes and working toward a better system. My "Wow" is because you (and too many others) base your opinions about the education system on sound bites that come from the underinformed media, then you express your ideas based on these half truths and fallacies.

The Tribune series you wrote about is one of the underinformed "truths". Example, you wrote, "Several months ago, there was a Tribune series that showed that administrators weren't even taking basic steps to alert police or social service workers about chronically truant elementary students because there weren't the funds available." The truth...The principals weren't taking the basic steps because they would lose funding. I have had administrators ask me to not mark students truant because individual school funding is based on student attendance rates. This is a fact that everyone who works in CPS knows, yet the Tribune article twisted the information. The funding for counselors, music and art programs is also an issue in which you do not have all the truth. It is difficult for me to an argument seriously when it is based on half truths and a lack of knowledge of the facts.

You may have questioned many CPS employees over the years, but not many will actually speak the truth for fear of retaliation from their employer. I do not fear speaking the truth anymore. I have no fear using my name, because what I speak is the truth of my experiences within CPS. I am exhausted by being pinballed. I love being a teacher and working with the kids in this city, and I hope to continue doing so. I also wish my employer would stop allowing corruption and politics to interfere with what is best for my students. I really like that you want to believe that the educational system in Chicago is all good and not part of the often unethical Chicago political environment. Unfortunately, that isn't the case.

I am sorry my point came off wrong in my message in a way that was misconstrued. Now I am going to disengage from this discussion.

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Posted by Tracy Burton on 05/03/2013 at 8:09 PM

Re: “Nine schools in 12 years: One teacher's tale of life in Chicago's public schools

Wow, what you have written here tells me that you do not now and never have worked in CPS or education. Your information on the problems with the educational system come from the uninformed or underinformed media that reports half the information in little sound bites, instead of seeking information from experts or even anyone who is experienced in CPS. You seriously have no clue and it isn't worth my time or energy to try to explain it to someone who has on blinders.

I wish people like you would take the time to build a deeper understanding of the real issues.

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Posted by Tracy Burton on 05/03/2013 at 12:34 AM

Re: “Nine schools in 12 years: One teacher's tale of life in Chicago's public schools

@The original IAC...the problem is that the consolidation is not actually about underutilization. There are schools staying open that are way more underutilized than many on the list to be closed. That was a lie that the board of education used to try to "sell" what they are doing. CPS is not strapped for money either, they are lying. There is a whole lot of lying going on in this situation and those who are suffering are the most impovershed and already undereducated in the city, as well as a lot of teachers who have already been screwed over and over by the city.

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Posted by Tracy Burton on 05/01/2013 at 8:33 PM

Re: “Nine schools in 12 years: One teacher's tale of life in Chicago's public schools

Ten Lessons The Arts Teach

1. The arts teach children to make good judgments about qualitative relationships.
Unlike much of the curriculum in which correct answers and rules prevail, in the arts, it is judgment rather than rules that prevail.

2. The arts teach children that problems can have more than one solution
and that questions can have more than one answer.

3. The arts celebrate multiple perspectives.
One of their large lessons is that there are many ways to see and interpret the world.

4. The arts teach children that in complex forms of problem solving
purposes are seldom fixed, but change with circumstance and opportunity. Learning in the arts requires the ability and a willingness to surrender to the unanticipated possibilities of the work as it unfolds.

5. The arts make vivid the fact that neither words in their literal form nor numbers exhaust what we can know. The limits of our language do not define the limits of our cognition.

6. The arts teach students that small differences can have large effects.
The arts traffic in subtleties.

7. The arts teach students to think through and within a material.
All art forms employ some means through which images become real.

8. The arts help children learn to say what cannot be said.
When children are invited to disclose what a work of art helps them feel, they must reach into their poetic capacities to find the words that will do the job.

9. The arts enable us to have experience we can have from no other source
and through such experience to discover the range and variety of what we are capable of feeling.

10. The arts' position in the school curriculum symbolizes to the young
what adults believe is important.


SOURCE: Eisner, E. (2002). The Arts and the Creation of Mind, In Chapter 4, What the Arts Teach and How It Shows. (pp. 70-92). Yale University Press. Available from NAEA Publications. NAEA grants reprint permission for this excerpt from Ten Lessons with proper acknowledgment of its source and NAEA.

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Posted by Tracy Burton on 05/01/2013 at 12:25 PM

Re: “Nine schools in 12 years: One teacher's tale of life in Chicago's public schools

Sample of TWO now. I am also an art teacher. I am again being displaced and will be seeking my 6th school in 8 years with CPS. Only one of the job changes was my decision. When one of my schools acquired musical instruments from a closed school, my principal decided to have music instead of art. One school principal cut the art program completely to make way for a computer lab. It happens over and over in this city. I am so tired of being pinballed, and my students are tired of not having any consistency in their lives.

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Posted by Tracy Burton on 05/01/2013 at 12:21 PM

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