Tuesday, January 22, 2013

News Conference About the Old Jones Local High School?

Ben Joravsky, the insightful and opinionated writter from the Chicago Reader, recently had a good article about the drama surrounding the Jones College Prep debate.  As you may or may not remember, a brand new, state-of-the-art school is currently being built at the corner of Polk and State (just South of the older Jones College Prep building).  The project is moving a long and from what we can tell looks pretty good.

In the meantime, there has been a raging debate by local residents, Alderman Fioretti, CPS and other government officials on what to do with the old building.  At one point we heard it was going to be demolished.

Local residents and Alderman Fioretti would like it to be converted into a high school for local residents.  Joravsky discusses the history of the high school and where it currently stands in his article.  He also has a prediction of what may or may not happen:
Image from Chicago Reader (EILEEN MESLER)
Fioretti says he recently learned that CPS has created an internal panel to study the problem, but it doesn't include the alderman or community residents. 
Translation: CPS officials are stalling for time while the mayor figures out what to do. 
"The boundaries for a new school would go from about 35th on the south to Grand on the north, Ashland on the west, and the lake" on the east, says Fioretti. "We keep saying, 'If you build it, they will come.'" 
I predict that if Fioretti and residents apply enough pressure, the mayor will call a press conference to announce he wants to turn Jones into a neighborhood school because it's really important to keep the middle class in Chicago—like it was his idea all along. Sort of like the press conferences he's called to declare his newfound support for gay marriage, gun control, and immigrants' rights. Don't say he's not adaptable.
Which brings us to an anonymous email we got yesterday from a reader (and we're paraphrasing a little):
Alderman Bob Fioretti is hoping to hold a press conference at the Illinois Center for Broadcasting at 530 S. State Street around 6PM.  The goal is to have the old Jones High School in the background (with the assumption that the press conference is to talk about the old high school.
Hmmmm, maybe Joravsky's prediction is correct?  Or maybe this is Fioretti's attempt to bring a bigger spotlight on the issue?  We will see.


Mr Downtown said...

Instead, the mayor kneecapped Fioretti and thumbed his nose at the neighborhood by announcing at 2:30 pm that the current Jones building would be used to double the enrollment at Jones. The new school is paid for with $100 million in South Loop TIF money, but the only way our kids can attend is if they have superstar test scores and grades.

Anonymous said...

personally I wouldnt want dumb kids distrupting my childs education so I approve

Anonymous said...

And so it begins... The South Loop has no alderman. I'm a Fioretti fan, but it's starting to look like 2015 (and the new ward map) is here already.

Michael said...

Not true. There will be 300 spots for neighborhood kids who can't meet the selective enrollment criteria.

Maria T said...

Here is the story http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-01-22/news/chi-emanuel-lauds-jones-prep-expansion-alderman-asks-new-local-high-school-20130122_1_selective-enrollment-mayor-rahm-emanuel-today-high-school

My problem with Alderman Fioretti, (I have not ever met him), is that it appears by his actions that he does not really care about the South Loop needs in fighting for the space and boundary of the new school, even though we are the ones paying down the TIF loan. Just looking at the maps he proposed for the school, it appears he cares more about expanding the school boundaries out west to fulfill some future social political agenda box-check, instead of giving residents their due services required by payment of our taxes.

Anonymous said...

Uh no. There will be 75 spots each freshman incoming class in a CTE program open to citywide application, subject to a score cut off set by Jones with a neighborhood preference the boundaries of which extend to the region the alderman states above. CPS has in excess of 1000 applications already. These spots will be just as selective possibly more so because they are not bound by tier class entry as the normal Jones application process