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Sunday, August 19, 2012
Friday, August 20, 2010
In the Monday, August 16, 2010, issue of the Wall Street Journal, Mayor Jim Ardis was quoted in an article about mayoral control of schools.
After reading the article, I found myself wondering; if Mayor Ardis controlled schools, what exactly would that mean? Would he conduct business for the schools along the lines of how he conducts business for the City?
The pjstar reposted this article from the WSJ. Since it sounds like Ardis is saying that they are in fact developing a "Peoria model", perhaps the pjstar should take it a step further and ask Ardis to clarify exactly what his intentions are.
Taking Schools Into Their Own Hands
More Mayors Seek Control as Washington Presses for Action on Failing Institutions; Setting an Example in Rochester
ROCHESTER, N.Y.—During the last weeks of the term, third graders at School 58-World of Inquiry School created an oil spill in a bowl. Under the guidance of teacher Alyson Ricci, they tried to clean it up. Cotton swabs worked.
The school last year won the national Excellence in Urban Education Award, with all students meeting state proficiency rates in science and social studies. It's an exception, though, in a Rochester system where fewer than half of the 32,000 public-school students graduate on time.
Rochester Mayor Robert Duffy wants to set up more schools that produce results like World of Inquiry's. But he says the superintendent's efforts to close failing schools and open new ones have been hobbled by a school board mired in minutia. He is pushing to dissolve the elected board in favor of one appointed by the mayor and city council for a five-year test period. New York's state legislature is considering the bid.
As cities come under increasing pressure to fix failing schools, more are, like Rochester, trying to take matters into their own hands—or at least those of their mayors.
"People are desperately seeking a model that can be duplicated and used in different communities," said Jim Ardis, the mayor of Peoria, Ill., who is considering such a move. He argues that a Peoria model—yet to be developed—is more likely to fit smaller cities across the Midwest than existing systems in larger urban areas.
Detroit and Milwaukee recently launched bids to assert mayoral control, although those have stalled amid opposition from lawmakers, unions and school boards. And in California, where a court has deemed mayoral control unconstitutional, Sacramento's mayor is figuring out unofficial ways to be involved.
Read the entire article here.
Governor Quinn wants to explore having more influence in the City of Peoria
A new charter school - Peoria City Academy?
Oh, how wonderful
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
From ColorLines comes this excellent video and accompanying story of what it feels like to be stopped and frisked by police in Brownsville, Brooklyn. That neighborhood, along with the nearby neighborhoods of Crown Heights and East New York, are some of the "Impact Zones" flooded with police officers to address the sorts of low-level, quality-of-life crimes police departments believe lead to more violence. The goal is to stop and frisk individuals under legal authority to do so, no matter how tenuous the premise, and frisk them to determine if they have drugs or weapons.
Stop-and-frisk policies probably contribute to the basket of tactics that help save lives. But I'm not sure the cost we pay, that the citizens of Brownsville [or Peoria, Illinois] live in a police state, especially since the people who usually have to put up with those kinds of intrusions of state power are poor and brown. At what level it's worth it, and at what level it's too much of an intrusion, are the first conversations we should be having about policing, but we're not. In the meantime, such policies serve only to exacerbate the already worn tensions between police departments and communities of color.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Listening to the scanner and heard about a hostage situation over on New York Street (East Bluff). My daughter walks in and says "Oh my gosh, shootings every night, hostage situation, where are we living Compton? What's next helicopters hovering overhead?"
Hmm... when you think about it a helicopter is not a bad idea. With a reduced police force a helicopter can help police get from point A to point B much more efficiently.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Considering a criminal is supposed to have a jury of his peers, and they say most crimes are committed by black folks, how is it that such a large group of citizens (black folks) can attest to never being called for jury duty?
My question to people who read this blog (black or white). Have you ever served on jury duty in Peoria? How many times? What type of case? How many black people did you see? I'm curious.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
PEORIA - Peoria police are investigating a shooting and several armed robberies that happened Monday night.
They say a man was shot in the arm around 10:30 p.m. in the 700 block of East Thrush. His injuries weren't serious.
Police are also investigating two armed robberies. Mark's Market in West Peoria was robbed at gun point. Police say two men held up the grocery store off Farmington Road around 9:30 p.m.
And the Subway restaurant in Campustown just off Main Street was robbed by three men wielding guns around 10:30 p.m.
Shouldn't Peoria be better than this? What the hell is going on - where are the priorities?Meanwhile, the Armadillo had a lovely write up in the Wall Street Journal.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Don't they have a bull horn or something they could use to tell people to stay in the house and lock your doors? Or here is a thought, can't that spiffy CrimeView technology call each home in a specific area and tell people what to do to be safe? If it can, I hope they start to use it soon, because otherwise with all of this cops and robbers going on, it’s just a matter of time before an innocent bystander gets hurt.
Keep listening Granny, we love you.
Monday, April 13, 2009
In 1966 when initial planning for desegregation began, minority students were concentrated in 9 of Peoria's 39 schools. Twenty of the city's schools had white enrollments of more than 98 percent, indicating the most minimal percentage of minority students in more than half the city's schools. Four schools were totally white.
The Board fully realized that the Peoria Public Schools must be integrated promptly to insure quality education and equality of educational opportunities for all children.
The plan was quickly put into effect to coincide with the fall 1968 opening of Peoria’s schools. A few incidents of limited physical violence occurred but the Peoria Journal Star, in its account of the desegregation process noted, "There were no major incidents. Busing, at least on a limited basis and as long as it did not involve advantaged whites, seemed to work well in Peoria.
In some respects, the Peoria schools during the 1970s began to look more segregated than even prior to the initiation of desegregation. In 1966 Peoria's minority students were concentrated in nine schools; eight of these schools failed to meet State guidelines because they had an over population of minority students. By the 1975-76 school year, the district had a total of nine schools which had an overpopulation of minority students by State standards.
Superintendent Harry Whitaker agreed that Peoria's schools should be within the State guidelines, but has also argued that the district should not be made to bus white students to predominantly black schools to achieve this end:
"We believe in integration. There's no question about that," Mr. Whitaker stated, "but we don't believe in integration to the point that we have to move youngsters back and forth. We think that that is going to be detrimental....My goal is not to re-segregate District 150, but, hopefully, to maintain the community as it is now."
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
The NAACP and other black leaders are right, this is an injustice… (here comes the but), But didn’t reasonable people know that if children in Peoria were allowed to continue to run rampant and terrorize the community, that eventually people would begin to look at all youngsters who fit a certain criterion as thugs and trouble makers? Stereotyping? Of course, but any reasonable adult who has seen Crime View Community knows that if you live and/or do business in a certain part of Peoria, you have to make judgment calls about your safety. These days, even a simple, white t-shirt could be a sign of a gangbanger.
Don Jackson, NAACP President believes that “Black children were singled out in ...” I agree with Mr. Jackson, I don’t doubt that they were singled out. Although it‘s unfortunate that it happened and it is hurtful to the children, is this really the fight the NAACP needs to have at this time?
I think we can all agree, that the behavior displayed by the young people who are terrorizing this community is a symptom of a greater problem. The NAACP and black leaders need to address the root cause of why so many young black folks in this town feel like nobody gives a damn about them, therefore, they don’t give a damn about nobody. It's a vicious cycle and we have to break it.
In the meantime, our children, law abiding citizens, are being turned away at the door of the Civic Center and make no bones about it – it’s WRONG. However, (... and I'm totally playing the devil's advocate on this) is it really discrimination when reasonable folks would consider taking similar precautions because of the crime in Peoria and the subsequent information on Crime View Community? I mean, come on, businesses are locking the door and making people ring the doorbell before getting in.
The black population of Peoria, Illinois is upwards of 25,000. The vast majority of the crime is in the black community. The majority of the crimes are being committed by black youth. The majority of us live in the neighborhoods where people are getting shot everyday. Black children live in a town where when they are shot dead, the police just can’t seem to solve the crime, but they will put up a map to warn citizens of the areas to avoid.
People can’t go to a street carnival without possibly getting beat-up, cussed out or shot at. Women and elderly are getting mugged regularly. There are complaints of discrimination in city services. The schools are failing our children and there are reports of lunch rooms being terorrized by thugs. What I and other law abiding citizens of Peoria want to know is can the NAACP and black leaders please, please, please talk to somebody about these issues?