Updated 10:02 p.m.: With all 61 precincts reporting, the Evanston/Skokie School District 65 new school referendum has been defeated by a 55 to 45 percent margin.

The referendum trailed by approximately that margin throughout this evening’s vote counting. The final unofficial tally stands at 8,020 votes against to 6,619 votes for the referendum, which would have constructed a new school in Evanston’s 5th Ward and funded additions to several existing schools.

With all 53 precincts reporting, the electricity referendum has won easily by a 73 to 27 percent margin.

And the referendum on dissolving Evanston township has won by a 67 to 33 percent margin.

Because the school district includes a portion of Skokie there are more precincts to tally for that referendum than for the other issues.

At the Hop Haus in Rogers Park, Lionel Jean-Baptiste celebrated his victory in the judicial race, flanked by County Commisisoner Larry Suffedin and State Rep Robyn Gabel.(Genie Lemieux-Jordan photo.)

In races for the 9th judicial subcircuit, former Evanston alderman Lionel Jean-Baptiste has defeated Michael Ian Bender. Jean-Baptiste had 60 percent of the vote with 264 of 268 city and suburban precincts reporting.

And Larry G. Axelrood is leading three other candidates for another vacancy on the court. Axelrood had 36 percent of the vote to 33 percent for his closest challenger, Abbey Fishman Romanek. Romanek’s narrow lead in city precincts was outweighed by Axelrood’s advantage in the suburbs.

In the Democratic primary race for the 9th District U.S. House seat, incumbent Jan Schakowsky easily defeated challenger Simon Ribiero. Schakowsky had 92 percent of the vote with 548 of 560 city and suburban precincts counted.

Update 7:07 a.m. Wednesday:

Voter turnout appeared to be low in Evanston, compared with recent primary elections. The electricty referendum drew 12,513 votes and the township referendum just a few less. (A report on total ballots cast is expected to be available later today.)

By comparision, 14,692 votes were cast here in the 2010 gubernatorial primary and 23,638 in the 2008 presidential primary.

The absence of a presidential contest on the Democratic party ticket presumably depressed turnout this year in Evanston, where 90 percent of voters had chosen a Democratic ballot in 2008.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Underestimating the electorate

    Did the Board and administration of District 65 simply underestimate the voters of Evanston or did they not fully comprehend what has happened in the Us over the years? 

    Consider what may have been their undoing (I write this before the full tally is in, but the tea leaves appear to make the message clear):

    The people of Evanston fought long and hard to establish an integrated community that, while many might not perceive it as fully functional, does work. On that note, the efforts some 50 years ago to integrate the school system has become an established pattern and no longer the subject of public outcries that marked its inception. Furthermore, many in the community still believe this system to be viable and more appropriate to reverting to quasi-segregation and a return to a pattern of havig distinct schools and instituions for each segment of our community. The failure to recognize this fact alone was Mistake #1

    The public is no longer swayed by arguments that spending money on new buildings, reducing class sizes, and having the "latest and greatest" can be justified. Taxpayers, regardless of party affiliation, want to see their money spent wisely and prudently. Civic pride no longer swells immediately upon seeing a new school or another new structure when existing facilities can be repaired, refurbished or reused. Mistake #2 seesm to have been a failure to recognize that a new school requires new equipment, added teachers and support staff and other recurring expenditures that would need more dollars be spent.

    Furthermore, somewhow, as the discusson went on, it became clear that the arguments that the neighborhood school in the 5th ward would result in a better education for that school's population was not fully supported by studies. competing analyses seem to show different results and it may well be that the students now being bussed will do as well if not better than if they were all clustered together in one building. In fact, it might be argued that this "disintegration" as Stephen Colbert called it in the link posted at this site by another poster, might simply result in hiding the problem under a ( very expensive) rug. Thus, mistake #3, i.e., failure prove that the solution will not make the problem worse.

    I suspect, by the way, that others may point out more issues that resulted in this election result that may also demonstrate a lack of community support for all or part of the Board, the superitentand and other administrators, or even the inability to recognize that the fairly transparent ploy of lumping the additions and upgrades to existing schools with the new school as one single issue was an insult even to those who might have supported the separate issues of the other items. Thus, Mistake #4, led to a loss of what was winnable and, maybe, more necessary. Forcing the choice proved a bad decision that cannot be easily undone.

    Final queston: Will the board and administration learn from this experience or will we get a "spin" that may demonstrate how "out of touch" they really were and are?

    1. I’m sure some spinning is yet to come…

      …but I think we understand what this election said.  Many of the voters of D65 I believe considered this a referendum on the leadership being provided by the current Board and Dr. Murphy.  Did we believe the promises they made?  Did we trust their data and interpretations of the situation? The people have spoken. 

  2. Failure, I don’t think so

    Let's remember that the "preliminary" final vote does not indicate the people have spoken.  It simply means the majority ruled. Nearly half (45 percent)  wanted a fifth ward school and all the improvements that were to have been made to the middle schools.  True integration in the classroom will come only when ALL of Evanston's neighborhoods are integrated not from some artificial reassignment of students.  Until then, it seems fifth ward African American students will continue to have to bear the burden of being bused out of their neighborhoods for desegregation without much benefit.  It seems Evanston is fairly split in this issue, which means there is room for reconsideration.  Perhaps next time  the issue  comes up those white parents who are so concerned about a school becoming majority black should volunteer to have their children bused to the school so it can be integrated.

    1. I think so

      Only a couple of problems with your logic. One is that the only reason this referendum got even 45 percent of the vote was the middle school portion of the proposal. Otherwise, your results would have been more like 65-35. The other problem? 95 percent of the people in the fifth ward like their current schools, and the fact that they probably have more school choice than any other residents in town (it's easier to permissive transfer or get into magnet programs if you're in ward 5).

    2. Here’s your spin!

      Yes, a 10 point loss means Evanston is "fairly split."

      This isn't Bush v. Gore.

      I love how the poster highlights "preliminary" as if the vote isn't settled.  The votes are in–the election just hasn't been certified.  There are no hidden votes to be found.

      Here are the facts:  there are over 51,000 registered voters in Evanston,  6,619 people voted for the referendum.

      Everyone else either voted against it or abstained.  

      To say that the city is "split" is silly. Most people don't care about the issue, and of those that do a strong majority oppose it.  Only a small minority of 12% of registered voters supported the issue enough to go to the polls.

    3. Interpreting the vote

      You could claim that 45% of the voters supported the construction of the new school, but I think you would be wrong.  

      This was a sneaky referendum, where two potential outcomes could have occurred, but where voting "no" meant only one thing.  From what I've been hearing from some people prior to today, they thought that voting for the referendum was the only way to get improvements at Haven and Kingsley, which is a mistruth.

      So, no more than 45%, but more likely that some amount less than 45%, supported a new school. This movement is not insignificant, but it's also not substantial, one that speaks of a sea change.


    4. It’s official — no to re-segregation so focus on students now

      No, there is no room for reconsideration. The referendum lost and rightly so. Its failings have been enumerated very well by others who have posted previously. 

      Let's please focus our attention on the real problems at hand, namely the academic achievement of the District's most at-risk students in every school.

      My white children already attend schools in District 65 where minority students are the majority population. Care to make any other flippant comments to paint those of us who are truly concerned about spending all of that money to create a majority poverty school as racists? 

      Many of us in Evanston are tired of the horrible stewardship of our children's education by the District 65 administration (namely the Superintendent, Dr. Murphy) and the nodding bobbleheads that claim to be District 65 Board members. And we are also fed up with the name calling that follows when anyone dares point out their always less-than-rigorous decision-making process and pathetic decisions that are based on flimsy and/or contrived "data" presented by the administration. 

      Please focus on the children and their achievement, not the slogans presented by sops for Dr. Murphy.  Supt. Murphy needs to go as soon as his contract is up as he wastes all of our time by playing up every divisive issue that he can find. This referendum is just the latest example. What has the District 65 School Board accomplished for our students in the past 12 months while they focused on this referendum? 

      Perhaps we should start calling him Dr. Divisive as that's what his reign has brought us — plenty of division with no effort to find common ground. Mostly, I'd like to call him the former superintendent.

      1. Honorable thing to do: Resign

        In most compaines when the company fails, makes a serious blunder or looses the confidence of the Board, employees or public, the CEO, President and/or Chairman resigns.The head of BofA almost had to resign in the late 90s because he talked to another bank about merging but without tell his Board.

        Murphy should do the honorable thing and resign NOW and not fall back on his contract.  What CEO has such a contract ?  They serve at the will of the Board—but come to think of it the Board should resign too after the way they have handled the schools, contracts and now the 5th ward proposal.


        1. Hooray for corporate America

          Yes, Corporate America is the model of accountability and integrity that our educational system should emulate.

      2. I agree that certain people must go

        I agree. I think certain people gotta go. I remember D65 before Mr. Hardy Murphy and his crew. Things weren't perfect, but they were better in so many ways I can't even begin to state them!

        My children are grown and are starting families of their own and when we have our family dinner they often ask how so much has changed in the last decade. Even if they could afford to live in Evanston, they would not necessarily make it an automatic choice.  Young families research the schools and neighborhoods before buying a home. What is going to attract them to this political mess? Simply breaks my heart

        Do what is best for the children. Put critical thinkers in positions where the right decisions can be made for the future leaders of tomorrow. Put people in positions of power and change who understand what their 21st century needs are to move them forward to excellence. New leadership is what is needed, period.

  3. Why would the city even

    Why would the city even consider spending money on something so completely redundant and unnecessary when they're outsourcing and reducing so many other services? This boondoggle of a school would be idiotic. More handouts for the developers that have been bleeding the city for the last decade.

  4. Sad for our city and its children

    As someone who raised her children in Evanston, this is a sad night indeed.  And as a white person, I am particularly saddened that many of my white friends and neighbors believed that they knew what was best for the 5th Ward children. I believe they failed not only them but all of Evanston's children with this vote.

    1. Irony

      If you read the survey results, the parents in the 5th Ward overwhelmingly said that they wanted their children to stay in the schools that they currently attend. The real tragedy is that so much time, money and credibility was wasted on an effort to build a school for people who didn't want it.

    2. Sad for the ‘Sad Person’

      I find it sad that a white person who raised her kids in Evanston thinks she knows what is better for the 5th Ward children than everyone else.

      She knows better than Lorraine Morton, former long-time Evanston mayor and longtime prinicpal at Haven, and an African American who voted against the referendum.

      She knows better than Hecky Powell, former Evanston school board member and prominent civic leader, and an African American who voted against the referendum.

      And as many have stated, she knows better than the current majority of 5th ward parents who would prefer to send their kids to their current schools.

  5. No confidence in Dr Murphy

    There should be a no confidence referendum on the Superintendent.  

    People had many reasons for voting no, but one of the biggest is no confidence that a school  with this many challenges could be effectively run by Dr. Murphy and the people he chooses to surround himself with.  

    If he were gone, there would be much more support for innovative solutions to our problems. 

    1. No confidence vote for Supt. and Board — and PEG still rules

      Let's see how the superintendent and the board respond to this loss. If they state that they are ready to move on and focus on student achievement, good. 

      But if they moan and whine about how the referendum should have won, how the voters in Evanston have deserted the children, how it's really a win because people actually did vote for the referendum, how they are going to try again, I will lead a recall effort of any board member who insists on further wasting our time.

      Check out the latest stunt.  You will find it in the District 65 Policy Committee agenda for the meeting that's coming up.  They want to do away with Accelerated Math for students who are achieving at higher levels in middle school.  And we have a new feel-good slogan — Acceleration for All!  What garbage. 

      Please speak out against this further dumbing down of our students' curriculum.  Why does the Board hate it so much when some our of students achieve, yet they fail to take meaningful steps to help those students who are struggling?  Can't they get anything right? 

      Oh, I remember.  The Superintendent has convinced the Board to drink to Pacific Education Group ("PEG") Kool-Aid.  Here's the Pacific Education Group credo:  If minority students do not achieve, it is caused only by racism.  If white children do achieve, it is caused only by racism.  So we must dumb down our schools for everyone so that everyone can achieve.  The racist nonsense that they peddle about minority students  and white students is demeaning.

      2013 is less than one year away.  Then we can vote out the bobbleheads Pigozzi, Weaver and Summers if we don't recall them first.  And Katie Bailey, you can be recalled unless you start taking your job seriously and focus on student achievement rather than stunts and gimmicks.

      1. You’re absolutely right

        You're absolutely right. If you look at the new Math proposal, there is no research data  (coming from Math educational research, best practices, effective pedagogy) to support the change. A few lukewarm  comments from some teachers and some personal experience from some students (all of which are presented out of context…so who knows what they meant!). But D65 Adm. is bent on tweaking with (do away with, really) the ONE! aspect of D65 middle schools that was recognized as an asset  by one of the many consultants we have paid over the years (Of course, we then ignore recommendations and do whatever "feels" right). 

        This Adm, supported by several Board members/presidents, has managed to keep the conversation focused on HOW the kids get to school (walk versus no walk, bused, the right to walk to school) and the buildings  that we "could have" when we should be discussing WHAT HAPPENS once the kids are inside. I have been through all of them and it's always the same: TWI, ACC, and the Math curriculum ( 3 different ones, for the middle schools, and the breakdown of the collaboration with ETHS) Every single time, very little preoccupation with content and pedagogy…. but we sure discussed who would/could (or not) walk to school. My kids have attended magnets, special programs away from our neighb. school, and neighborhood elem and middle schools. We have never been able to walk to any—we live in the 5th ward!!– but we were delighted to participate in exciting programs and work with inspiring teachers.

        In the last 12 years,  a whole generation of students went through D65… the capable teachers and principals, caught in the middle, working against the grain day in and day out. It will take years to rebuild.

      2. Great Post

        I really could not agree with you more, great post.

        Particularly your comments about PEG, an organization that consults based on Critical Race Theory; a neo marxist theory, fronted by Dr. Bell (we all know that name as of late).

        I do not have to go into detail about what CRT is.  But it does analyze race, law and power and principally claims that "white privelege" is the supressing force for blacks in America.  Under this, it seeks to  fundamentally transform America under this credo.  Sound familiar?

        Moreover, the actions of PEG as of late are disgraceful – take note of the recent School Board meeting where the PEG consultants accused certain Board Members of being racists.   

        I guess if you do not agree with their consulting strategies (particularyly CRT), then you are automatically branded as a racist.  Does that sound familiar?

        There is no room for this toxic element in country.

        There is no room for this agenda driven "consulting firm" driving our debates about our schools in Evanston.

        Aside from this,I guess the real sadness here is also the amount of money our School Board and Districts have spent to engage PEG – I think it was over $150,000.00?

        So what you have here is a double whammy – the failed D 65 Referendum (and the length's the Board went to to pitch this) and the engagement of PEG, a divissive agenda driven organization rooted in racism.

        Pick one, or both.  Either way in light of each of these occurences, we need to re evaluate our School Board, it's leadership and frankly, their ability to continue to serve in there positions. 


        1. PEG and students of color

          As a person who attended a PEG training class, I find it almost appalling for you to say that parents of students of color do not need to understand what is happening in Evanston.  I believe the people who attended the training found it useful to understand what white priviledge is.  Try living as an African American student in Evanston today in the classroom. On a daily basis, students are confronted about their race and placement in classes.

          I find it totally offensive that today we live in Evanston where students are ridiculed on a daily basis from classmates and teachers about the ability to achieve in classrooms.

          Just because you find no benefit in PEG does not mean it is not needed in our community. Yesterday's vote proved that to me. 

          1. Teachers ‘ridiculing’ students

            Did you really learn at your PEG training session that students of color are "ridiculed on a daily basis" by their teachers in the Evanston schools?  This is strong language that needs to be explained.

          2. PEG article

            This article on what is happening at ETHS was very eye opening to me-


            Replacing classics with The Alchemist?  Using rappers as character studies?  This is now called honors level work? Is this what PEG wants? Lowering the bar because we think children of color can't reach it?  

            I will never send my children to ETHS if this is the new honors program.   There is no honor in spending class time learning about 50 Cent, nor any other rapper for that matter, of any color.

            Set the bar high and make all kids reach to grab it.

          3. What is white privilege?

            I keep reading and hearing about "white priviledge" but no one ever seems to define it.

            What is white privilege and how do you explain it to the majority of Americans living in poverty who happen to be white?

            Is there Asian privilege?

            What in the world is ETHS teaching under PEG's advice?

            I am personally insulted everytime I read someone blurting out white privilege. No one ever talks about it in conversations in my little world, and if they did it would fire me up and they'd have lot of splainin to do.

            The ridicule students of color get is the soft bigotry of low expectations that is reinforced each year as our school districts measure student perfomance based on race, totally ignoring the family environment. Studies have consistently shown that students REGARDLESS of race who live in two-parent households do better academically. I bet if our school districts measure performance based on single vs two parent families they would see a clear pattern. In general, poverty, crime, drug abuse, poor school performance are linked to single parent households, not race. 

            I happen to know a black elementary student who is a whiz in math – she's tops in her class. Her parents are involved in school activities. It kills me to think this smart whiz kid will hear or read every year that blacks score lower than whites, Asians and hispanics and that we all must "fill the gap." I hope she doesn't get discouraged and fall for the negative stereotyping. 

            White privilege. Now there's a divisive word. How much taxpayer money does PEG get again? 

            Next year can't come soon enough.

          4. white privilge

            white privilege is being able to wear a hoodie and walk down the street with a bag of skittles and not seem "suspicious." (Trayvon Martin)

            white privilege is being paid (even in the lowest rungs of the income ladder) about 40% more than your black counterparts.  and in the highest rungs, significantly more. (US dept of labor)  FORTY PERCENT according to the 2010 census — median black.white household.

            white privilege is having a 63% chance of graduating from 4 year college when you black counterparts have a 43% chance (US dept of education).

            white privilege is having a 1 in 111 chance of having your father be in prison compared to 1 in 15 African-American children and 1 in 42 Latino children.  (us dept of corrections)

            white privilege is having a greater chance of getting a call back interview if you are white with a drug felony conviction than if you are a similarly situated African American with no drug conviction (Devah Pager, Marked: Rae, Crime, and Finding Work in an Era of Mass Incarceration; University of Chciago Press, 2007).

            I'm white.  it is an unearned privilege.  Failing to recognize it is like being born on third base and thnking you hit a home run.  It does not make me evil.  But failing to recognize the privilege it brings — yes, even to whites in poverty — is just wrong.

          5. just the facts

            I did not assign blame or claim to feel guilty — I reported true social facts with citations.  they aren't my fault or your fault (though I do have a job dedicated to trying to reverse some of these trends).

            It also does not mean that white immigrants can also have serious hurdles to overcome.  Or lots of other groups.  Gays, etc.  The question was to define white privilege so I did.

            This is just the facts ma'am.  Do with them what you will (as you have).

          6. Editorializing

            To: "Me Again"

            You may have cited true social facts, but when you add "white privilege" before those facts it then becomes opinion. Instead of merely citing facts you are now editorializing. It's unfortunate that you don't seem to be aware of this.

          7. opinion

            Are you actually trying to say that white privilege is an opinion? Do you really, honestly think that minorities, particularly blacks and latinos, have all of the same advantages and opportunities from conception as someone who is white?

            Stating facts and then noting that those facts add up to providing an advantage to a specific group is not editorializing. I get that you don't like it (or don't believe it's true, whatever). But just because you don't like it doesn't mean it isn't fact.

          8. Yes. It’s an opinion.

            You act as if you find it impossible to believe that someone would disagree with this. White privilege comes from Critical Race THEORY. It's a theory. Not an indisputable fact.

            Yes, I believe it's an opinion.  For instance, "white privilege is having a 63% chance of graduating from 4 year college when you black counterparts have a 43% chance (US dept of education)." How is this privilege and not based on values and/or priorities? I would say this is white achievement and not privilege. What are the stats for Asian Americans in regard to college graduation? Asian Americans value education. So, I imagine that it's high. Is that Asian privilege?

          9. Idea of skin color privilege needs to stop

            My father-in-law came from Slovenia. The communists came to his family farm after WWII, demanded ownership of the farm, and killed anyone who remained. Only his young mother and father were able to escape being killed, and they emigrated to Austria where they had nothing. Nothing. No money, no home, no family as everyone who refused to hand over the farm was killed

            My father-in-law worked diligently, at times studying by candlelight wearing blankets because his mother didn't have enough money for heat or light. He earned three PhDs and rose to run the largest steel mill in Austria. In his obituary, he was hailed as an economic legend of his time.  

            Knowing that opportunity lay in America, he sent his children here for college. This is where I met my husband, at college.

            Every race and ethnicity has faced hardships.  It is through hard work and perserverance that one overcomes challenges, not by blaming those who have achieved.   

            I grew up in America, by contrast, to 22-year-old parents. There were several times that my dad lost his job and we struggled to pay the bills. My mother took on additional jobs at her school so that we wouldn't lose our home. My parents stayed together and sacrified. Even now that I'm in my mid 30s, they continue to pay off the mortgage on their home which they continually refinanced so that I could go to the best schools.

            I worked hard and graduated top of my high school class, going on to Northwestern with a partial scholarship. I earned everything I have now and I don't feel bad about it one bit. I resent that in Evanston that I'm made to feel like it's just the color of my skin that got me where I am- that somehow being white made me acheive.  

            That's crap. I achieve because I work hard. I have worked hard since I was 6 year old. While our friends went out to bars and parties in their 20s, my husband I and I went to bed — me earning three masters degrees and publishing books, my husband starting his own business. We now have a comfortable life, and we've earned every penny.    

            It's time for Evanston to move beyond looking at color and start seeing content of character. If you see something you don't like, go out and change it. Don't blame others for the roadblocks standing in your way.

            If you don't like all these things that "Me Again"  lists, who stands in the way of changing them? 

          10. On the money and it’s my story, too

            ME AGAIN's list is a list of problems.  They exist.  As Sean Connory said in a movie once, what are you prepared to do?

            I'm glad to help and I already do.  But please stop saying that I have white privilege and that I need to feel guilty for what I have accomplished and earned. 

            I, too, grew up poor with my father working a menial job and my mother working long hours in a boring office job.  Neither had a college degree but it was darn important to them that my siblings and I had every opportunity to go to college.  School was valued and I was expected to behave, do my homework and get good grades.  Any other result was not acceptable as they told me so very clearly.  School was not viewed as a burden or a game or a joke.  It was a serious endeavor for me to get an education and they told me so. 

            As I got older, while others chose to party and have children while still children themselves, I was a nerd who respected my teachers and made the honor roll.  I knew that I would have to get scholarships because my family could not afford to give me more than a meager amount for college — at best.  And I did get to college because I not only earned good grades, I researched scholarships (in the days before the internet), spent dozens of hours writing and proofreading (using a typewriter as there were no computers) so that each application was as perfect as I could make it and sending them in on time.  No one else was responsible for this work.  It was all on me and I knew it.  Without it, I was not going to college.

            Now, we are far from rich but we are not poor.  We gladly share (through taxes, as well as donations) with those who are not doing as well financially.  We volunteer at our local school, in addition to providing guidance to our children on their homework.  We donate to every project that the school asks to fund and there are plenty.

            Please stop making me feel as if I don't belong in Evanston unless my children and I accept my relative success is responsible for others not achieving and unless we hang our heads in shame for having white skin.  The color of one's skin is not the only thing that defines a person.  Haven't you learned that?


          11. I don’t feel guilty at all

            I totally agree with you!  I think you mis-read my point!

             I'm sick of being told that I only acheive because of my skin color.   I don't feel guilty of my success at all!    My point was that my own family has overcome extreme hardships. We've acheived in spite of hardships.

            I don't expect anyone to feel sorry for my hardships.    I don't feel sorry for anyone because of their skin color either. 

            People need to step up to the plate and stop making excuses for why they can't acheive because of the color of their skin and stop blaming others who are successful.

            I find it disheartening that in 2012 that D202 needs to bring in a consultant group for $150,000 a year to teach people what it' s like to "be white" or "not white" in this country.  And this is helping people acheive life success how?


          12. Sorry for the misunderstanding as my response was for ME AGAIN

            I appreciate your viewpoint very much and I share it.  I did not succeed because I am white.  I could have as easily failed, no matter what my color.

            I was directing my comments to ME AGAIN.  Yes, there are problems, ME AGAIN.  But those who have the problems need to be part of the solution, too.  None of us can solve these problems alone and heaping guilt on others does not advance the cause one bit.

          13. As a black parent of three

            As a black parent of three children who have attended ETHS, I feel at some point I need to be informed about why my children were mainly in classes with African Americans. All of my children were in mainstream classes at ETHS. 

            Every day blacks students have to assimilate into the white culture in Evanston.  Whether you agree with that or not that is your issue. 

            We can learn from each other. I think that any money spent to PEG is well needed.  Why don't you try and help others. It does not help the cause of racial equality for all if people like you can't see how the white privilege you have affects others.

          14. What’s your assumption, Kimberly?


            Why do you think your kids were in classes with mainly African American students at ETHS? Were they not gettng the grades they deserved in middle school? Were their test scores high enough? If not, why not? Do you believe the teachers, administrators or test preparers were showing bias against your kids?

            I am also wondering about what it means to "assimilate into white culture"? What aspects of your culture do your kids have to give up to assimilate? What aspects of white culture are problematic for you and your kids?

            I'm not being facetious – I am genuinely curioius about what you perceive as the problems and how PEG can help. I have heard a lot about institutional racism, but I'm not exactly how it plays out in practice and how it keeps kids of color from getting into honors classes.

            I would be happy to have a dialogue about this outside of this forum. I wonder when/where this can happen without acrimony.

          15. Some things to think about

             My children were placed in classes based on their level recommendations from D65 and ETHS teachers.

             My children deserved the grades they recieved in middle school.

            Were my children's test scores high enough to get into honors course their freshman year? NO

             I believe the formative years of my children's educational  process fell short, that is, kindergarten through third grade.

            This question is irrevelant.

            Everything we do we assume, talk, dress, shop, work ect. The one thing we can do is worship and that is even criticized.

            In some cases, black students give up their culture and self esteem.

            Often students of color parents are not comfortable talking about these situations.  



          16. Kids giving up self-esteem and culture

            A few years ago, I attended the National Association for the Education of the Black Child  What you are talking about here was the hot topic of the conference-  Why do black males at around 5th grade suddenly think it's not cool to acheive?  WHy is it considered "selling out?"

            THe keynote speaker, Carol Adams,  said a change needed to come from within the African American community.   She stated that boys need to be exposed to more role models of successful African American men acheiving in the work force, not just in music or sports.   To hear that there is no shame in working hard in school. . She also talked about how schools need to change to include more literature from the perspective of the experience of an African AMerican child.   Why isn't someone like this with ideas for all groups coming to talk to our schools?    Here is her bio-

            IF PEG was fostering conversations about raising pride in academic success, being proud of all heritages and also working hard in school, bringing in speakers of all colors who can talk about the benefits of working hard at school,  I would support it.  I support bringing in award winning books of authors of various colors to give all children more of a voice in the educational process.   There are other ways to expand and grow the curriculum, and many have ideas on how to do this(see woman above) in ways that enrich the educational experience while keeping rigerous standards.. 

             However,  I can not support any group or theory that states that people are marginalized because of white supremacy. I can not support a movement that gets rid of honors classes, and lowers the caliber of books so that all children are brought down to an equal level.

              I voted for Barack Obama, as did most of you in Evanston.  I think that proves that people of color are not being marginalized by our society.

            This is a fabulous conversation to be had, but also extremely divisive as noted from the comments above.  I think the key is to realize that all of us live in Evanston because we welcome diversity.  We want to grow from this community, and realize that we have things to learn from each other.  I do not believe the answer is in blaming one group or another for the problems. 

              There has to be a more positive way to approach differences than bringing in an expensive consulting group that pits one color of skin against another.  If we adults can't discuss these topics in a respectful manner on community sites like this, then how do we expect our children to do it! 







          17. Formative years failure?

            What aspect of your children's education "fell short" in their formative years? How? Was it because of white teachers failing to have high expectations for your children?

            I'm asking because I want to know how PEG training will ensure that kids like yours won't have failures in the future. If the failure was a result of insufficiently racially sensitive teaching, then yes, I see how it will work. If it was something else, I wonder how PEG will be effective.

            It seems to be that our school districts work very hard to ensure that children of color have materials that are sensitive to their culture. (Indeed, ETHS has specific requirements for textbook adoption that they must meet the district's equity goals.) 

            I hope we can continue to have "courageous conversations" where you and other parents of color help white parents understand why you feel your children have to give up their culture and self-esteem when they go to school.

          18. Maybe I’m misreading your post..

            It seems that in your post you are advocating PEG and, by extension, the building of the new school in the 5th ward, which would have been a majority minority school.  Yet, in the same post, you seem to be complaining that your kids were in classes at ETHS that were majority minority.

          19. i’m happy for you

            Just a quick point: no one is saying that you shouldn't be proud of your achievements. However, black people can't hide being black. You can lose an accent, learn a new language, stay in the closet, not tell people how poor you are or what country you come from. But the color of your skin is something you can't hide, and when you're in a country with a history of intolerance and hatred of specific groups of people, not being able to hide that you are in one of those hated groups is a significant detriment. I don't have to list all the things I've seen just this week that are so incredibly racist they take my breath away (the winner is the "don't re-nig" bumper sticker, fwiw) because I'm sure you've seen them too. But if those incredibly awful things you saw were a reflection of how vast portions of our nation saw you as an immigrant… you would still be able to "pass." Being black? Pretty impossible to hide. And that makes all the difference.

          20. Racism, language, acheivement gap

            I saw facebook posts with that bumper sticker too- totally shameful that anyone would put that blatant hatred right out there in the open.

            No one should have to hide or be ashamed because of their skin color.   I would be completely shocked if anyone put something so blately hateful and racist in our Evanston.  

            But hiring a consulting firm to talk about "what it's like to be white or not white?" .   I find this incredibly racist  too.   Just because the color of my skin might be the same as my neighbor, I'm being lumped into one category?  I need to be educated on what it's like to be me?  

            I believe all people can acheive, regardless of their skin color.      Believing  in anything less is racist by definition, in my opinion.

            If you want to look at the cause of the acheivement gap- look no further than the study by Hart and Risley in 1985, the longest running educational study on the acheivement gap.   These researchers went out into homes and recorded every word spoken to children for over  8 years.  What they found was that children from ages birth-three  from poverty(parents were on welfare) heard 30 MILLION LESS words than children growing up in homes where the parents were college educated!!!    The amount of language heard at home was directly correlated to academic success at age 8!      Reading levels in third grade are correlated to reading levels in high school and beyond. 

                  If we want to talk about closing the acheivement gap, we need to start here, from ages birth to age 3…. get parents and caregivers  talking to their little kids all day long.    

             Be colorblind, and start looking at language interactions with all our babies.

          21. The issue at hand

            The issue at hand, of course, is the education of our youth.  The points you raise are valid at a societal level but do nothing to explain how "white privilege" or "institutional racisim" is responsible for the achievement gap.

            In this regard, people too easily ignore the fact that black students in Evanston outperform their counterparts elsewhere. We should be proud of this fact.

            But given the particular demographics of our city, white students in Evanston substantially outperform their black counterparts because their parents tend to be highly educated and upper middle class.

            There is thus a wide divide in student abilities. What is upsetting to me is when educators and administrators ignore these facts — and the fact that the achievement gap is recorded at pre-K ages — and suggest to our residents that "institutional racisim" in the schools is the cause of this divide.

            That is simply false and they know it.     

          22. White guilt

            I think what you are talking about is called white guilt and it lets African Americans off the hook. It positions them as the victim. It's condescending. What responsibilty do African Americans bear in your eyes for their own problems? Any at all? Or is it all the fault of white people?

          23. let’s add some nuance…

            What ME AGAIN is referring to is an acknowledgment that the playing field isn't even. It's not about positioning blacks as victims, or about placing the blame on white people, and it's not condescending. Yes, minorities have problems; those problems are well acknowledged and owned. But in addition to those systemic problems there are significant societal hurdles to overcome as well, and we shouldn't ignore those.

          24. White privilege is an unproven and divisive theory

            First, an hispanic man killed Martin. You don't think a white teenager wearing a hoodie and baggy pants might have been followed from this overzealous community cop wannabe?

            Income is based on education and skill. Whites on average have acquired more education than blacks so naturally the income disparity will be higher. Racism has nothing to do with it. In fact, almost every single college institution and large company in this nation have diversity committees and affirmative action programs specifically targeting minorities (whites excluded). Chicago Public School charters and countless universities all have formulas that involve race-based admissions that benefit non-whites. Affirmative action set asides are common place throughout our society that benefit non-whites. Remember, the majority of Americans living in poverty are white. 

            Chances of graduating college and fathers going to prison are personal decisions. So-called white privilege doesn't force fathers to do crime or force college students to drop out (the black dropout rate has declined and is at 9 percent, one percent above whites) (National Center for Education Statistics)

            Here's something to chew on, and these are stats only for African-Americans:

            72 percent of black babies are born to unwed mothers. Two generations ago it was 10 percent!!!!!

            Blacks represent 13 percent of the nation's population but committ 55 percent of all crime. Blacks are seven times more likely than people of other races to commit murder, and eight times more likely to commit robbery. In interracial crimes, 85 percent of violent crime involve white victims and black offenders. . (source:Arrest data: FBI, Crime in the United States, 2001 (USGPO, 2002), p. 252. FBI, Crime in the United States, 2002)

            Still feeling that white privilege? OK. Consider.

            Is there a Jewish privilege? The median income of Jewish Americans is twice that of non-Jews. Jews occupy power at a great excess of their U.S. population of 2 percent and 85 percent of Jewish high school grads attend college compared to only 40 percent of non-Jews. Are Jews considered white?

            Is there Asian privilege? The median income for Asian Americans was higher than whites until 2006 when it fell to second.

            Unearned privilege? Well, that would be people like Jesse Jackson Jr. who was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple. 

            White privilege is an unproven theory that is incendiary and divisive. What is the logical objective to solve the alleged inequities from so-called white privilege – slavery reparations, more exclusive affirmative action programs, race-based admissions and race-based education policies that detrack freshmen honor courses and advanced math classes simply because there are too many whites in them?

            We are free. We live under the same laws, go to the same schools, speak the same language, shop at the same stores, eat at the same restaurants, fill up our cars at the same gas stations and get our water from the same city water main. 

            You have the privilege, ME AGAIN, to espouse your belief in white privilege. But you don't have the privilege of the facts to support it.

            Take off the race goggles and join the human race.


          25. Misunderstood

            I never said that parents of students of color do not need to understand what is happening in Evanston. 

            My point is that PEG is an organization that is very ideologically driven.  It teaches CRT which is a very controversial and divissive theory.  

            What is the goal here for Evanston Public Schools? 

            Morevover, ask yourself this, what is the goal of PEG?

            Is it to actually consult from an OBJECTIVE standpoint as most reputable consulting firms do?

            Or is it to consult from a SUBJECTIVE standpoint to influence and transform schools according to a theory and belief system (i.e. CRT)? 

            Look, ff you subscirbe to CRT, great for you.  If not, great for you.  I have no qualms with that part of it.

            I have a problem however with an organization like PEG that is masking as a consulting firm to cultivate an ideology like CRT to School Boards, Faculty…. and most disturbing of all, eventually to children at a young age in teachings based on PEG consultation. 

            Let's be honest, the "consulting strategy" based on data for PEG is/was already pre-written.  Push CRT, create transformation.  What a better way to influence transformation than under the monicker "consultant"?  It is shady.

            These are my points, and my concerns. 

            If I were a parent with a child in an Evanston school and was made aware of the consultation and practices being adopted by PEG consultation, I would be very concerned to the point of moving to another community / school system. 

          26. Cosby not PEG

            If the schools wanted some advice, I wish they had brought in Bill Cosby instead of PEG.

            While K-12 is different than college, something he said at NU graduation several years ago could apply.

            To paraphrase—

            You think not that you are graduating you will start 'advertizing yourself.'  You have been advertizing yourself for four years !  Everything you do tells people about you.


            Instead of making excuses and saying minorities are not equally capable, parents, teachers and the Board should recognize they are already and start treating them—and expecting from them—to be excellent.

        2. LOVE CRT still voted no on ref

          This may be way too much detailed info for the 5 people that know what we are talking about, but I am actually a big believer in Critical race theory — an adherent of Dr. Bell, Dr. matsuda, Dr. West, Dr. Crenshaw and all the other scholars that lead this movement.  My career follows in their footsteps.

          Knowing many of these people personally, I know that THEORY gives way to EMPIRICAL DATA (when it exists) and the data are clear about schools in this much poverty.  

          So — I am with you on the rejection of the Referendum, but not at all on the rejection of CRT.  

          I consider myself a radical civil libertarian, an adherent of CRT, and that did not mean I voted yes on this referendum.  

          Just to say — there is diversity in all groups.

      3. Acceleration for all

        Acceleration for all…meaning algebra 1 at grade 8 has been a District 65/202 goal since about 1995.  This is not a slogan but recognizes that ALL children need the opportunity to study algebra, ideally by grade 8.

        From what I read, there was a point that ACHIEVE states that acceleration before grade 7 may be unwise. So that is a point to examine.  You suggest it should be ignored.

        Right now, there are about 50 students (of about 1500) accelerated before grade 7.    Those would be the only children affected if the ACHIEVE guidelines were followed.  And their progress to algebra 1 would be largely unchanged.

        1. Typical D65

          So District 65 has had a goal to make major changes in the math curriculum for SEVEN YEARS.  But they are just now floundering around to make some progress toward that goal? 

          Thank you.  You have just illustrated perfectly why I have NO confidence in the District 65 administration.  A goal for seven years and they finally trot out the pathetic "Achievement for All" suggestion now.  Lame, weak, woefully late effort as usual.

          Those of us who work in the real world would have lost our jobs years ago if our employer set a goal seven years ago and we just started working on it now then made this weak an effort after all that time.  And Hardy Murphy makes about $200,000 a year.   

          Another point is the use of terms unknown by the general public ("a point that ACHIEVE states…") and unexplained for those who aren't the wonks.  This is also typical of the District 65 administration and its backers.  Perhaps you are one of the architects of this new scheme and feel the need to defend it.  

          Many of us are disgusted by the District 65 approach to educating our children.  I would not trust the District 65 administrators or the Board to get my dog out of the pound, much less prepare our children for this 21st century world.  It is time to end business as usual for District 65.  Getting rid of the bobblehead Board members is step 1.  Firing Hardy Murphy is step 2.   

        2. But why limit the options

          But why limit the options for those 50 students if their testing and teacher recommendations support acceleration?  That makes no sense.  Some kids grasp mathematical concepts extremely quickly and become very bored by the lack of any challenge in class.  If their progress is best served by acceleration then let them move forward since that does not impact anyone else's progress.

    2. Schools poorly run

      I could not agree more.  This district is run so poorly it is a shame for the teachers and the students.

  6. I voted no, but I was sad

    I voted no, but I was sad to hear some teacher bashing from my fellow no-voters. In no way does my vote express my feelings towards the teachers of District 65. It was all about the administration and a plan that did not seem logical.

  7. Time to town down the rhetoric

    This referendum failed despite a fairly well organized and funded campaign with significant institutional support (see elected official endorsements).

    It is time to stop throwing around the words racism and oppression so loosely in Evanston. Is Lorraine Morton a racist?  Is Hecky Powell anti-black?  Do they not care about the 5th Ward students.

    The reality is the voters who voted against this referendum do care about the educational success of 5th Ward students and did not vote no out of racism (yes and most of us would put our kids on buses to go to a good school in a non-white community…in fact, I was bused as a kid in this way).

    The key here is that despite a well organized and funded campaign backed by some big names, educated Evanston voters did their homework.

    The premise of this school simply ignored the vast research on school achievement and income segregation. Kudos to Evanston voters.

    Now let's move on with real proposals based upon educational research and let's put the racism charges on this referendum to bed. I will vote to increase my taxes when I see sound proposals that truly will boost student achievement for all kids in Evanston.

  8. D65’s shameful school buildings

    As someone who voted early, who lives in the 5th Ward, and whose child goes to Orrington, I voted against the referendum despite concerns that this "cherished 100 year old building" would be further delayed in getting long overdue repairs made while my children still attend.

    I think last year the voters of Evanston spoke by electing three new board members to the D65 School Board. They replaced many old cronies who rubber stamped Supt. Murphy's ideas, and these new members were against this new proposition not because of racist issues, but because the numbers were simply not there…if we can't fully support our current schools, how can we jam another one under the umbrella of limited resources?

    But, before we knock others who support building new schools, we should keep in mind the ideals of public education being of equal access for all of our children. It is shameful to me that my child attends a school where none of his peers are in wheelchairs, so when he sees people in wheelchairs he feels awkward and strange as they are unusual to him. Evanston has long ignored the needs of the ADA community in the schools. 

    Recently another student, with a broken leg, on crutches, has had to be carried in and out of the building by teachers because of the number of stairs. My own father, due to age and health, will never be able to climb the two flights of stairs necessary to get to the auditorium entrance, which means he never gets to see his grandchildren in any of the plays or holiday concerts.

    I'm all for historic architectural preservation, Orrington is a lovely building from the outside, but our schools should be brought up to current ADA standards immediately.  If there had been a referendum to do this portion without adding another new school, I'm certain it would have passed 100 percent. 

  9. D65 Board lost the voters’ trust: a shellacking is on the way

    I thought the vote would be a lot closer considering that politicians like Jan Schakowsky, Jeff Schoenberg and Robyn Gabel came out publicly to support the referendum (my guess is they provided money and services, too). 

    C4BE had enough money to make robocalls, a glitzy website, brochures, yard signs, buttons and held rallies with three D65 school board members – Jerome Summers, D65 Board President Katie Bailey and Kim Weaver – in attendance.

    It would be interesting to know who else contributed to C4BE.

    Clearly, the trust and integrity of our superintendent and school board is gone.The entire process was a sham and an insult to our intelligence.

    There was no need to include the additions into the referendum to build a new school – it was a ploy to trick voters who oppose a new school but want the additions.  Then we have a Hardy Murphy appointed New School Committee member starting C4BE, which received donations from a Mount Prospect developer who has won bids on D65 school projects.

    On the eve of the vote, the D65 staff magically found another $3 million to balance the budget when in reality it was an accounting trick.This was done to try and assuage voters that D65 is financially healthy

    The New School Committee NEVER considered the fact that D65 hasn't even reached peak enrollment levels 11 years ago. It ignored the recent growth of local private schools such as Roycemore that just opened a new campus on Ridge, and the national declining birth rates, declining new housing starts, the declining Fifth Ward population and so on.

    Of course, they told us the new school needed to be built on the grounds of social justice. Meanwhile, D65 has significant budget problems. It has made teacher cuts and appears to be downsizing its special education services, beginning the inclusion of special needs students into regular classrooms ( a disaster last year at Lincolnwood that affected the learning of mainstream students).

    The primary reason why voters rejected the new school referendum wasn't because they didn't want to pay higher taxes, it's because they have lost faith and trust in D65 officials. 

    This isn't over. Voters next year will kick out the D65 Board incumbents that supported the new school referendum. The challenging candidates who promise not to renew Murphy's contract and support his departure will have the winning message.

    This community is now unnecessarily divided. It will take new leadership to bridge the gap.

    1. Please don’t forget…

      That before the referendum was officially put forward; D65's board had an attorney presentation about how to fund the new school without referendum approval.  Despite the public rejection, one must expect that to be next.  It will become miraculously affordable due to more of Hardy's unexplainable finances.  I'm afraid the idea of a new school is far from done, however paying for it will only mean more layoffs, more disastrous "mainstreaming" and more denial from the school board who does as they're told by Mr. Murphy.

      Once again, the last people considered in this whole debacle are children.  How unfortunate.

  10. Lighten up, please

    The D65 board put this on the referendum because they wanted the voters to decide. The voters have decided, and the voters have indicated a direction to the board and the administration.  Maybe that's exactly what needed to happen, and let's give the board and administration a chance to reflect on what the community has told them, and perhaps to revise course. In short, let's lighten up, and not call for heads on platters … just yet.

    I voted against the referendum. My one regret is that since the middle school and fifth ward issues were bundled, we will never know for sure what the community consensus is on each of the issues individually.

    1. A look inside the numbers

      So I went and took a look at the voting results by precinct on the Cook County Clerks website. . .

      Obviously, this was a very low turnout election — 31% of eligible voters in Evanston turned out.

      What I found was more interesting is that only 25% of the eligible voters in the 5th Ward turned out — substantially lowered than the overall Evanston percentages.

      Yes, they voted in strong favor of the referendum 67% (540 votes) vs 33% (262 votes) against.  But 2,656 eligible voters in the 5th Ward did not vote.

      I know there was a lot of rhetoric around the survey question that indicated that the vast majority of Evanston residents were happy with their school, including those from the 5th Ward.  And the fact that there wasn't a question for those in the 5th Ward about whether they wanted a 5th Ward school.

      Well, one way to look at the voting results was that maybe the vast majority of the 5th Ward is happy with their current school and thus didn't vote.

      Finally, I would like to see folks lighten up as well — especially with the Board.  As the previous person said, the Board brought this to the people so that they could decide. 

      These people put a lot of time and effort into these positions.  It is so easy to sit back and be an arm chair quarterback.  Our district has a tremendous amount of complexity and all in all, I believe the Board is doing a great job of navagiating through it. 

      I would like to thank them for the efforts, but I believe the community was spoken.  Now, let's move on to the other pressing issues (teacher contracts, pension responsibilities, Plan B for a failed referendum ie. still expand the middle school, district finances, potential replacement for Hardy after this contract, etc).

    2. I don’t want heads to roll

      I don't want heads to roll and land on platters, no need to become verbally violent or abusive…..but " let's give the board and administration a chance to reflect on what the community has told them" Really?  We have been doing this since Dr. Murphy was hired. We have given the Adm and Board members plenty of "messages". They don't get them. The kids can't wait any longer. They are in elementary school only once.

      I am all for a clear and strong message: "Enough is enough". Look at  Involved family, teachers, hard work: overcoming post under this article. It sums it up. Let's start looking for  new leadership.

      1. Yes, really

        Yes, we really do need to keep sending the same messages to Murphy and the school board. He's got a contract; he's not going anywhere for several years. You may rue that; however, it's a two-edged sword. We may be stuck with him, but he's also stuck with us.

        Murphy does, in fact, need to respond to what the community tells him, and he will, however reluctantly. As do the board members. Sure, it's a messy process, but in the long run it works. Additions and renovations got done quietly and with very little citywide fanfare at Dewey, Lincoln, Oakton, and Willard. No referendum needed. Deep breath, everyone.

        The last D202 board election gave us a good demonstration of what happens to at least one long-tenured board member who failed to heed the electorate.


  11. Involved family, teachers, hard work: overcoming

    In Mount Vernon, NY, there is an excellent principal who has worked HARD to close the "achievement gap".

    "This K-6 inner-city school has 800 students: 60% black and Hispanic, 38% white, and 2% Asian. Half the kids are on free or reduced-price lunch, and 6% are in special education. You might expect Lincoln to be the poster school for the achievement gap.

    Except there is no achievement gap at Lincoln. This year, 99% of the school’s fourth-graders made it over the achievement bar that New York State sets for English, math, and science. By the numbers, that means that a total of three kids did not make it, and the teachers at Lincoln are now giving those children extra attention so that they can get over the bar next time."


    "Does it take a Superman (or Superwoman) to make an excellent school? If it does, we are in big trouble, because they’re in short supply …. our worst schools need outstanding leaders who will be on the job 24/7, until they climb out of the hole.

    … a cautionary note, however. “Even when schools are performing, they require strong leadership. Anyone who wants to excel shouldn’t expect to go home at three o’clock. I tell anyone who gets into teaching, ‘If you’re coming in here because you think it’s a five- or six-hour job with summers off, do me a favor. Find something else to do with your life.’”

    So that’s the recipe: strong leadership, parent involvement, teachers who do whatever it takes, respect, the arts and physical education, a curriculum that matches the tests, and a genuine belief that all children can learn.

  12. Ward 5 turnout way below city average

    It seems that the survey that was done of Ward 5 residents saying that most folks there were happy with their kids' current school was right on the money.

    Although the "Yes" vote did carry the Ward, the more interesting number is the anemic turnout rate which has been published on the County Clerk's website.

    City-wide turnout was about 30% while in Ward 5 the turnout was only 23%. 

    This suggests that for a vast majority of the potential voters most immediately impacted by the referendum, the issue simply  didn't resonate.

    This is not surprising since the most vocal proponents for the school don't even live in the ward and that the scheme itself was hatched by District administrations without a REAL community engagement strategy.

    It was also interesting to see that one precinct in Ward 5 actually rejected the measure with a 53% "No" vote.

    The takeaway is that there was minimal support city-wide for the scheme and that the advocates have very little traction in both the wider community and the neighborhood they purport to "help." 

  13. Taxes

    For many of us it simply comes down to spending less….and doing more with what you have.  Those who pay real estate taxes and have seen property values slip 30 and 40 % have not seen a similar reduction in tax rates or revenue.   This may not be fair to children but it is a reality of life and it MIGHT be that homeowners were more energized to vote "No".   Perhaps a careful accounting of how money is currently spent would justify more tax moneyand  might persuade homeowners (especially those of us without children).  Until then, the vote might remain "No".

  14. Gentrification

    Anyone remember how culturally diverse Old Town was in the 70s?  How culturally diverse Wicker Park was in the 80s?

    Then gentrification came in and the old residents got pushed out by the newer residents.  Not so diverse anymore.

    Evanston property taxes are high.  The recession and the housing crisis disproportionately affected Blacks and Latinos.  (

    The City of Evanston is in the red – and will be raising taxes.  District 65 wants to raise taxes.

    Gentrification happens when the value of the housing stock goes down and makes it affordable to buy and invest.  As the home values go up, long term residents sell.  As the home values go up, property assessments and then property taxes  go up.  More long term residents can no longer afford to live in the neighborhood and must sell.

    Sons and daughters cannot afford to live in the neighborhood they grew up in. 

    The Live Evanston! million dollar neighborhood renewal grant will bring new residents to the neighborhood.  As foreclosed and abandoned homes are renovated and sold, home values will go up.  Property taxes will go up.  Seniors, Blacks, and Latinos will be faced with higher property taxes.

    If a new school were built, six blocks from the Metra Station and nine blocks from the L train, in a renovating neighborhood – what would happen?  What would happen in ten years?  Would gentrification and a beautiful new school change the neighborhood for the better?  Would the neighborhood be more diverse?

    Would the new school end up serving the students it was built for?



    As the price of gasoline goes up, property values close to train routes will go up.  Gas $7 gallon – not if but when.



  15. Pacific Education Group – the common theme here

    PEG needs to go.  This contract with this group needs to be dissolved immediately.

    Stop immediatley the applicaiton of Critical Race Theory at all levels in our Administration and schools.

    PEG is not a consulting firm.  It is an activist organization.

    Critical Race Theory is a divissive & controversial theory, not a strategy and not a solution to our issues.

    The angst created here in Evanston is being replicated nationwide in other communities. 

    The common theme – no matter the topic (referendum fails, math standards, etc.); our discussions have morphed into race, black/white, "white privelege", blame, guilt, achievemnt gap, etc.   

    Where did all that eminate from?  PEG.  How are we missing the big picture here?  PEG.

    We have regressed, not progressed. 

    PEG is not addressing our issues.  They are dividing our residents and kids along racial lines and laying blame to one race over another.

    I would hope that Evanston residents who are stakeholders in our schools (have children in attendance) will stand up and demand that the relationship with PEG is dissolved immediately and any practice relating to CRT be discontinued immediately.

    And then, let's call for the recall of Hardy Murphy and any Board Member that hired PEG in the first place.

    That is your first step to addressing, yes, realistically addressing our school's issues. 

    Cut the cancer out that is PEG, and move forward.

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