Tuesday, December 5, 2017

How I felt about the Tribune article on Bowen

Well when I first looked, I saw it was front page. Second I looked at that horrible picture I took. Black hoodie with my hood up looking slightly thuggish. I thought why the hell didn't i take off the hood from the beginning but the photographer had been talking to me and I was kinda comfortable so when he was ready to take pictures, it was cold that day and I just didn't take my hood down right away. So the pictures at the beginning he took weren't that way. They just decided to use that one....the one I hate now that I see it on the front page of the Tribune.

Second the quote they used. Yeah I said that in the midst of the conversation, but really? Use that one. I said plenty of other things that were much more significant than that. Reading on further in the article I got why they selected this quote for the article.

So now I'm reading the article. Yes, while it's factually correct. It missed the real point why Bowen has fallen into the situation it is in. First they blanked all the school into the situation of "they" (CPS) has put all this money and made these changes and nothing has worked. I beg to differ, look at the stats a little closer. As said in the article by Ms Kirmes, former principal. The school got a grant for two years and she instituted some programs that really helped the school. It would have continued to help the school if after those two years that money was still there. But of course with the money gone the programs were cut. The budget of Bowen has been cut every year and the principal no matter who it was had to cut programs, teachers and ultimately the school newspaper the voice of the students. So the problem isn't they gave money and nothing happens it's more like they cut the money and forced the principal to cut to be able to manage. Does that happen at the top CPS schools?

Another thing the article missed what the fact that the building isn't properly maintained. A dead tree, dirt in the gutters so long that plants started to grow out of it. Shingles coming off a roof that was supposedly done 5 years ago. Painting and rehab needed on the interior of the school and the biggest one for me no pool. Yes the pool has been serving as a storage area since before the school was restored from the four school campus. You can't tell me that students can succesful in an environment like this. Again this doesn't happen in the top CPS schools does it?

There was a mention of the charter school that is now in the annex building but the real disruption it caused wasn't fully addressed. When I was "shocked", it was because there was no warning from CPS. They just did it over the summer, took the school marquee and decided that Bowen wasn't significant. Since I am a board member of the alumni association and was helping the football coaches by mentoring the athletes. I had alums and friends ask me was Bowen closed. I was answering question for a while. The whole thing put people into the thought that CPS wants Bowen closed and they have made a choice to allow Baker to take its place. I couldn't get any support from alums who thought everything is doomed and "they are gonna do what they wanna".

Every quote that's in the article frame the author's attitude of oh poor Bowen. I got that sense when I talked to her. We don't need sympathy, we need a voice to speak up and say something about the conditions the principal, staff, supporters, parents and students are put through to support Bowen. But this article speaks from the outside and doesn't give voice to anyone inside. This right here makes me more determined to get the Bowen Arrow back going. These students need their voice back. because if this is what we get, if this is the story that is told then it appears to people we ARE doomed.


  1. I have formed a Bowen Foundation group on Facebook. Purpose is to form a 501c3 foundation to purchase the property. Then lovers of Bowen and the Southeast Side can do what we want with our property.

  2. When I graduated Bowen in 1968, Bowen was a gem of the CPS system, a feeder to the University of Chicago and the Ivy League. By the time my sister graduated in 1972, Bowen had already degenerated to something unrecognizable. The Southeast Side was also degenerating. The politicians who made these decisions are now all dead, but their racist, corrupt political organization, the Democratic Party of Cook County still rules. Time for a lawful, nonviolent revolution against these tyrants!!!