I have been following the debates over a school levy in a school district that borders my own. It is one of the largest districts in the state, encompassing urban and rural areas, inner city and suburbs, old neighborhoods and new developments. This district has an amazing diversity in it's student population. One thing all the students can agree on is the fight over money is a great excuse to ditch class. They stage walk outs with the blessings of both parents and teachers. It is so encouraging to see the unity of multiculturalism working. I hope the district doesn't mind having a lower report card rating for the 2008-2009 school year than my small, rural and small town, mostly middle to lower income district. My district hasn't asked for a levy in over 10 years, and every school building in the district is less than 5 years old. Our new high school will be ready for the kids next school year. Oh, we will also have 2 million dollars more per year, in the bank, over the next 5 years. We do only have one principal and vice principal per school, I don't know how we survive with so little support staff.
I have been quietly sitting back and giving our new administration a chance to "show it's stuff". What I have seen in these first months of what looks to be a very long four years, is Chicago as usual. I once read a description of the city, the politics, and the mob of the area. It seems to be as true today as when I first read it some 15 or so years ago. The summarization was Chicago was a barbaric place full of arrogant, uncivilized clods. They played at aristocracy, but didn't have the aplomb to convince anyone outside of their small domain. Once in a while, a strong personality would come forth trying to shine like the stars, aka celebrities of the day, but they would burn out quickly, showing their true colors. They usually tried to be the benevolent protector of the weak and poor, but it was always a farce to use these people to further their own personal agendas. It took some time for the people to see they were being used and actually oppressed worse than before. Some of them never figured it out and continue to applaud these charlatans, even today.