Market Conditions: Crain’s: Parents Are Trapped in the City Unable to Sell

As we were discussing in another thread yesterday, Crain’s is out with an article describing a select group of homeowners who bought a condo or other property in the city in their younger years, got married, had kids and now, because of housing declines, can not sell and move to the suburbs.

These are NOT people who have decided to buy a house in the GreenZone with the intent of staying in the city and sending their kids to the local schools.

These are people who otherwise would have moved to the suburbs (most likely those in the $250k to $400k price range – who are priced out of buying a single family home or even a townhouse in the GreenZone neighborhoods with “acceptable” schools.)

When Jill and Paul Syftestad’s oldest daughter was ready to start school four years ago, they put their South Loop townhouse on the market and planned to move to the suburbs.

One offer fell through at the last minute and a second was well below their asking price. “We had our hearts set on moving,” says Ms. Syftestad, an IT project manager at a nursing association. “We were devastated. We pulled it off the market and decided to stay.”

The recession dramatically slowed the number of people making the trek to the suburbs for bigger houses, safer neighborhoods and better schools. Unable or unwilling to leave the city, a small but growing group of middle-class families are turning to Chicago’s public and private schools, a development that holds both potential and peril for Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his efforts to improve the school system.

“I’ve had lots of clients who thought they would be able to sell their condo and can’t. So they are now trying to make it work” in city schools, says Christine Whitley, an education consultant who helps families through the Chicago Public Schools selection process. “They bought their condo way before they had kids and didn’t really factor schools into the equation. They figured they could sell and move to a better neighborhood or move to the suburbs. Now they can’t sell it, so they’re trying to figure out options” in the city.

“People are trapped,” says Tina Feldstein, a broker at Southport Sotheby’s International Realty in Chicago and president of the Prairie District Neighborhood Alliance, a South Loop association. “If they sell, they’ll take a major loss. They’re not in a position to do it. Everyone’s saying, ‘Next year, it will improve. Prices will get better.’ In the meantime, they’re forced to become involved in CPS schools.”

There’s no doubt that parental involvement is huge and has really boosted the prospects of some north side schools in recent years.

Rebecca Labowitz, a parent who blogs about the school system at CPSObsessed.com, points to the district’s newly formed Portfolio Office, which has community liaisons work with parent groups at individual schools.

Parental involvement is particularly effective at the elementary level. Activist parents raise money, expectations and standards. Some of the best-known examples are Alexander Graham Bell, Blaine, John C. Coonley and Nettelhorst elementary schools on the North Side. Nonprofit groups such as Friends of Coonley routinely raise more than $100,000 annually for extra teachers, equipment and programs such as ecology.

“Coonley was going be a school that was going to close,” says Mr. Pawar, whose ward is home to Coonley, Bell, Waters and Audubon schools. “Now it’s one of the best schools in the city.”

“I have always said we’d stay in the city so long as the schools were working,” says Julie Kraft, a banker who works downtown and lives on the North Side and whose children go to Louis J. Agassiz School in Lakeview. “At this point, I could see myself staying in the city throughout their education. We never said outright that as soon as they go to school we’d have to be in the suburbs.”

Parochial schools are benefiting, too. Enrollment at Catholic elementary schools in Chicago is up in each of the past two school years, the first time that’s happened since 1965. Suburban enrollment fell by 5.3 percent over two years, according to the Archdiocese of Chicago, mirroring a national decline in Catholic school enrollment.

One of the fastest-growing schools is Old St. Mary’s in the South Loop, where the Syftestads’ daughter Olivia is a third-grader. She started kindergarten in a CPS school but transferred because of large class sizes, Ms. Syftestad says, highlighting one of the challenges facing the mayor.

“We’re OK through elementary school. We’ll stay in the city as long as we can, provided we can navigate through CPS” for high school, she says. “If not, we’ll have to make the move. It’s a question we talk about all the time. We have about three years to figure it out.”

This article raises a whole host of questions such as:

1. What happens as  more condo dwellers realize that housing is not going to rebound “next year”?

2. What happens with all those kids at Bell, Blaine and others when high school is looming? Do they all try and sell and move to the suburbs at the same time? Because they’re not all getting into the top city high schools or the top city private schools.

3. As the article indicates, could this really be a boom for the city as, at least in some neighborhoods, trapped parents are forced to improve the schools? (I realize this only really applies to the GreenZone.)

The Parent Trap [Crain's Chicago Business, John Pletz, March 26, 2012]

276 Responses to “Market Conditions: Crain’s: Parents Are Trapped in the City Unable to Sell”

  1. “What happens with all those kids at Bell, Blaine and others when high school is looming? Do they all try and sell and move to the suburbs at the same time? Because they’re not all getting into the top city high schools or the top city private schools.”

    Well, it seems as though the parents of the top 4 or 5 northside elems *have* been able to (i) go private (to L/P/L/B or religious), (ii) go selective public HS, or (iii) sell or rent out their condo in a manner that allows them to buy or rent a place in a burb (and I suppose there’s a fourth group, in at least in LP: those who are o.k. with LP High, which might be a growing number; I’ve also met a few GC’ers with elem age kids who are elated about Ogden so far and sincerely believe the HS will have fully turned the corner by the time their kids are there).

    I guess what I’m wondering is, given the (alleged) mounting crisis highlighted in the Crain’s article, shouldn’t (i) Lake View HS quickly rise to LP HS quality or better and shouldn’t (ii) LP HS (the general population) and Ogden rise to selective enrollment/IB quality? If they don’t, won’t that indicate that the crisis never really happened?

  2. “Well, it seems as though the parents of the top 4 or 5 northside elems *have* been able to (i) go private (to L/P/L/B or religious), (ii) go selective public HS”

    You pretty much have them backward–it’s overwhelmingly “go selective” with about as many going private as go AA HS, at least at the “top” NS elem I’m most familiar with.

    Re: Ogden HS–how does a two year old HS “turn the corner”? It has no track record that it needs to overcome.

    Re: LPHS gen pop–you expect the general population to be as good as the most selective element (of 4) of the same school? If that’s the standard, you’ve set it up to fail. Ditto Ogden, except the 4 components.

    Re: LVHS–it would be at LPHS level if it were simply 80% kids from the a-a instead of 20%, imo. STEM program (starting this fall) has a chance to make that happen.

  3. For what it is worth, I just want to put in here that I know the the people profiled in this article–the Styfestaads. The school that they go to–Old Saint Mary’s–is the same one that my kids go to (thanks, Bob, for pointing out the pollution wall; I hadn’t noticed it before!) ; South loop is our local elementary school, about a block a way.

    In many ways, OSM is a perfect school to feature since it didn’t exist 7 years ago and really sprung up in response to the number of people staying in the city—whether voluntarily or otherwise. Its enrollment has skyrocketed to around 270 and the students now have a brand new building (2012). I think that Catholic schools like OSM (and high schools) are really going to be the wave of the future. The cost is 8,500 per kid–not cheap, but a bargain when one considers that one doesn’t have to deal with CPS beaurocracy. In 2011, the third grade had a mean score on the Terra Nova (like the ISAT) of 96% in all subjects.

  4. “1. What happens as more condo dwellers realize that housing is not going to rebound “next year”?”

    The owners in my HOA honestly believe that some day the market will recover to the point where they get back every penny they paid & put into their units and no one wants to sell until that day comes.

  5. ” I think that Catholic schools like OSM (and high schools) are really going to be the wave of the future. ”

    Given their dogmatic policies on women, birth control, etc I think the only way they will survive is to build enough schools to be “needed”

  6. This is all BS. Nobody is “stuck” – there are ALWAYS options (it’s just that these spoiled brats want their cake and they want to eat it also).

    The rental market for 2/2 in the green zone is INSANE (esp streeterville/downtown). In 2008-2010, you could list a place for rent and expect about 5 calls in the first week. In 2011, maybe 5-8 calls the first week. In 2012, (and I am not kidding), every place we list for rent gets 10-20 calls the first DAY. Every single place we put up for rent was taken within 48hours.

    If you have a 2/2 and want/need to move, rent it and then rent a place in the suburbs.

    Sure, being an accidental landlord sucks – but so does life sometimes. Suck it up and do what’s best for your kid.

  7. I wondered why Mayor Emanuel did such a flat-footed interview w/SunTimes Friday regarding CPS schools and related middle-class white flight from Chicago, until I saw Crains Alert regarding their related article. His position is hypocritical: “have faith in CPS” – while his three kids attend Lab School, transported by City of Chicago bodyguards at Chicago taxpayers’ expense; they’ve never attended public schools. That article was half-baked disingenuous spin in advance of a critical Crains article.

    Certain CPS elementary schools in GZ areas have sufficiently improved score-wise to attract upper-middle-income families in their draw areas. Certain private elementary schools also successfully attract those GZ families. But CPS’ HS situation is a yet unaddressed crisis. There simply aren’t enough freshman places at CPS’ elite HS programs, or at private college prep HSs, to absorb number of qualified GZ residents’ children. GZ kids w/near perfect GZ scores were shut-out of all four CPS elite schools. Ignatius accepted only 1/3 of its applicants. Several new “instant” IB programs at neighborhood CPS HSs won’t functionally resolve enrollment demand problem for several more years.

    Now let’s remember that incomes in Chicago’s GZ areas often exceed household income definition of “middle-class”, and that CPS schools in Chicago’s true “middle-income” blue-collar bungalow neighborhoods aren’t improving in quality or performance. Those blue-collar northwest and southwest-side neighborhoods are equally vital to Chicago’s economic future. Between gang problems, rising crime, foreclosures and home abandonment, and benign municipal neglect, these neighborhoods are suffering.

    Also, curriculum upgrades alone don’t solve HS issues. Even existing selective enrollment CPS HSs are functionally affected as they face continual political pressure to allow entry of academically weaker students from poorer neighborhoods (as well as unqualified but clouted students). These elite CPS HSs contain a number of struggling students who can’t keep up with curriculum demands, and may bring their already-established disciplinary/social problems too. That story gets little media coverage, but their GZ parents do talk about this problem. Yes, “diversity” brings “cultural and societal awareness” to GZ students attending CPS HSs, perhaps a worthy high priority, but it also distracts from educational experience, creates additional disciplinary problems that take away from instructional time in classroom, and can cause teachers to “dumb down” class curriculum to reach a median level of student ability.

  8. Thank goodness I rent. I’m moving to the suburbs before the end of the year. I love the city but I’m not motivated enough, or rich enough, to make life in the gz work for my family.

  9. Though it may be easy to rent your 2/2 condo in this rental market, I suspect that many of these families need their hypothetical “equity” in condo to furnish a down-payment for house purchase. That equity may now be non-existent, given depressed resale prices. And furthermore, these 2/2 owners may need equally unavailable cash to closing to fund shortfall if/when they sell their 2/2 condo at a diminished price. Walking away from your 2/2, after you’ve exhausted your squatter-tenancy during the foreclosure process, leaves you in a precarious position in the rental market with a significant credit report blemish of foreclosure proceedings.

    In many suburbs, the available rental house market is limited, often rundown or otherwise undesirable (location, condition, size, deferred maintenance problems, etc), and can be overpriced. House owners resorting to rental arrangements due to inability to sell their vacant home also find that future selling opportunities are even more limited by presence of a tenant, further limiting decision to rent-out house despite sluggish resale market.

  10. “If you have a 2/2 and want/need to move, rent it and then rent a place in the suburbs.”

    Isn’t renting in the suburbs the real problem? As many have said here- the reason they are buying homes in the burbs is because the rental stock of SFH is non-existent in the burbs. There are some older apartment in some towns- but decent rentals? Not so much.

    So- since they already own property- they can’t buy something in the burbs (don’t have the downpayment, can’t get a loan etc.) So many are, for all intents and purposes, stuck.

  11. “The owners in my HOA honestly believe that some day the market will recover to the point where they get back every penny they paid & put into their units and no one wants to sell until that day comes.”

    This is what I’m seeing out there too. The majority really DO believe that suddenly, like next year, prices will rise again to whatever they paid. They don’t get it that when prices begin to rise (which we’re not even at yet)- it will take a decade or more to get back to where they can “break even.”

    I also think they are in serious denial about what housing prices have really done in their neighborhood. A 20% to 30% drop (even in the GZ neighborhoods) is shocking to most people. They just don’t “get it” or they believe their property is somehow immune.

  12. “I think that Catholic schools like OSM (and high schools) are really going to be the wave of the future. The cost is 8,500 per kid–not cheap, but a bargain when one considers that one doesn’t have to deal with CPS beaurocracy. In 2011, the third grade had a mean score on the Terra Nova (like the ISAT) of 96% in all subjects.”

    Endora- what’s the high school option?

  13. “So- since they already own property- they can’t buy something in the burbs (don’t have the downpayment, can’t get a loan etc.) So many are, for all intents and purposes, stuck”

    NO NO NO – rentals are definitely available in the suburbs and are actually not that expensive (comparatively). The problem is that these whiners (and yes, they ARE whiners) expect granite/stainless absolute perfect paint, etc. – they are not financially stuck – they are psychologically stuck. They seriously need to come down a few notches and live according to what they can afford – NOT what they EXPECT or WANT to afford.

    Honestly, in my experience, the only people they interview and only people that complain loudly are ALWAYS going to complain. They are just very negative idiots who couldn’t find their way out of a closet.

  14. Also, a Sacred Heart parent told me that no Sacred Heart 8th grader was admitted to Northside Prep this year. Sacred Heart is one of the best of the best elementary schools in Chicago, with self-selected mostly high-achiever students whose parents readily provide additional academic supports and enrichment opportunities to their kids.

  15. “Well, it seems as though the parents of the top 4 or 5 northside elems *have* been able to (i) go private (to L/P/L/B or religious), (ii) go selective public HS, or (iii) sell or rent out their condo in a manner that allows them to buy or rent a place in a burb (and I suppose there’s a fourth group, in at least in LP: those who are o.k. with LP High, which might be a growing number.”

    No they haven’t. Most of those who moved into Blaine or Bell have done so since the bubble. Their child is like 7. All of those mcmansions built in the last 5 years in North Center and West Lakeview have yet to experience the high school “dilemma.” They figure they have “time” to sort it all out.

  16. Anyone notice the school featured isn’t in the GZ BUT it is still a very good CPS school? If you live in the SL attendance area but HAVE to send your kid to OSM it is by your own choice and similarly I highly doubt how stuck you really are.

    Let’s face it. Your kids would be fine at SL elementary, and if they wouldnt be, they probably need more help than just a catholic school.

    Also, if SL elementary could change so much so fast why couldn’t some attendance area HS do the same?

  17. By the way- it’s Case Shiller day.

    Chicago hit a new low in January. 8 cities hit a new low. Wow- Atlanta is just collapsing! It’s awful down there.

  18. Sad_at_Plaza440 on March 27th, 2012 at 8:33 am

    “Re: LVHS–it would be at LPHS level if it were simply 80% kids from the a-a instead of 20%, imo.”

    Sorry if this is a question with an obvious answer, but what does “from the a-a” mean in this sentence; i.e., what is “a-a” an abbreviation for?

  19. “Anyone notice the school featured isn’t in the GZ BUT it is still a very good CPS school? If you live in the SL attendance area but HAVE to send your kid to OSM it is by your own choice and similarly I highly doubt how stuck you really are.”

    What are you talking about?

    South Loop IS the GZ.

    GZ is:

    South Loop, Loop, Near North Side, Lincoln Park/Old Town, Lakeview, North Center, Andersonville, Ravenswood, West Town (Ukranian Village), Wicker Park, Bucktown

    Did I forget any?

  20. “Also, a Sacred Heart parent told me that no Sacred Heart 8th grader was admitted to Northside Prep this year.”

    Wow. So what happens to all the Sacred Heart 8th graders then?

  21. I think the real issue is going to be that it’s much harder to “turn around” a high school than an elementary school. My guess is parents are less likely to want to be engaged and in-class volunteers for their surly rebellious teens than they are for their cute youngsters. And since high school is only 4 years (cough – at least it should be only 4 years!) there’s less time for parents to get involved.

    I also don’t recall LPHS general being much to brag about, the IB program is obviously a different story. My guess is LVHS can actually improve faster, LPHS has had to deal with the legacy problems of kids from public housing that I don’t think applies to LVHS.

  22. Chicago down 36.1% now (through January 2012).

  23. I thought SL could not possibly be GZ since it is so disliked on here and GASP it is south of Roosevelt.

  24. Let’s make sure we see the forest for the trees. According to the article, the “stuck” in condos phenomenon apparently affects a mere 10,000 people (according to the article), or let’s say 3,000 families. I bet you the great majority of these kids are under the age of 6. According to the article, there are 400,000 CPS students. So we’re talking about a really small number of upper middle class/wealthy families and kids. I’m sure there’s plenty of room for these folks in parochial schools.

  25. Wow. So what happens to all the Sacred Heart 8th graders then?

    Catholic HS

  26. Right, 4 years of Catholic HS after 8 yrs of CPS grade school shouldn’t break the bank.

  27. “Chicago down 36.1% now (through January 2012).”

    Sabrina, come on, now…. stop the nonsense already. First off, January data does not reflect what is going on now – we need more real time data in real estate for the next couple of years (to really gauge where things are). Second of all, the drop is secondary to foreclosures and short sales in less-then-desirable areas. We have all been scouring the MLS looking for these HUGE drops in prices that are being touted by you and others on this site – and guess what – NOTHING. Even HD can’t find anything – and he IS chicken little (“prices are falling, prices are falling”) – what you need to understand is that you CANNOT apply Case Shiller to a general market. Look at the market in which you want to buy and analyze that data – THAT is the only way you are going to make sense of all of this.

  28. Sad, “a-a” = attendance area

    Skeptic, does turn around have to involve mainly engagement and volunteering or could it involve mostly $$? The article makes it sound like SL changed due to a change in attendance area, some involvement and more $$. While changing a HS attendance area could be harder, dont many parents make more by the time the kids are in HS and if not, don’t HSs have more parents to fundraise from to get smaller classes, more programs, etc?

    I think a lot of CPS schools may turn more due to parents efforts and $$ than downtowns efforts and $$.

  29. So, Clio if that is January data, do you think Chicago has gone back up all that way since then? You must live in Icarus’ building….

  30. “All of those mcmansions built in the last 5 years in North Center and West Lakeview have yet to experience the high school “dilemma.” They figure they have “time” to sort it all out.”

    Are we using McMansion as a general perjorative not just for large suburban homes, but also for $1MM+ homes in the city? Regardless, these folks won’t experience the high school “dilemma.” THEY LIVE IN A MILLION DOLLAR HOME!

  31. These people should just suck it up and go private. I still don’t believe that any good public schools exist that teach creativity, individuality, and free thinking. They pander to the test and the kids score highly, not because they are super gifted, but because they come from homes of middle class and above homes. Start bringing in large numbers of “poors” and the overall scores will go down immediately. The middle class kids will still score highly, while the poors will still score poorly.

    The school itself doesn’t really matter unless a parent picks a unique school that values more than just teaching the basics kids would learn at home anyway. Most middle class kids I know learned to read well before kindergarten. The one family I know whose kids don’t yet know how to read purposely didn’t teach their kids to reach because they believe kids should learn through investigation at that age.

  32. a-a attendance area

  33. “We have all been scouring the MLS looking for these HUGE drops in prices that are being touted by you and others on this site – and guess what – NOTHING. Even HD can’t find anything”

    HD has found plenty of places that are 36.1% off the peak. clio never gets a thing right.

  34. At least when I saw the screen:

    Sabrina (March 27, 2012, 8:35 am)
    Chicago down 36.1% now (through January 2012).
    Rating: -1 (from 3 votes)

    seriously? someone (which the system owner would know) gives a negative rating to a comment like that? how small and petty…

  35. Jenny, that is a massive over generalization. Have you been in many schools lately? I have been in public schools that taught “creativity, individuality, and free thinking” and private schools that didn’t. Also, the public school I can specifically think of that teaches those qualities has several of your forsaken “poors” who by going to the school are ending up in college, many are the first generation to go as well.

  36. A few years back, I interned at a highly regarded Catholic school and as an undergrad worked in another highly regarded school assisting with computer/technology systems. Sadly, the kids who were there are scholarship, were unable to compete for a wide variety of reasons.

    The education at these Catholic schools was definitely “by the book” and nothing special. It was a waste for parents to spend money on those schools. I see religious schools as being 10x worse than public schools.

    Maybe public schools do exist that are fantastic. Out of curious, which ones? I can only think of a couple of private schools in the Chicago area that meet my criteria.

  37. What happened to Sacred Heart’s 8th graders? Well, Ignatius only accepted about 1/2 its SH and Francis Xavier applicants, with one parent reporting that remaining FX kids are now scrambling to get into southsiders Brother Rice and DeLaSalle HSs, a very different crowd, and maybe Gordon Tech and Nile’s Notre Dame. Catholic college prep HSs Fenwick (Oak Park), Loyola (Wilmette), and Ignatius (UICC) require applicants to take their specific test on same test-date, readily fill their freshman class from those applicants, and have no spots for students denied admission at other two schools. Students/parents pick ONE school for application. Enrollment at these three schools is very competitive; Ignatiuis only accepts about 1/3 of its already self-selected “good student” applicants, legacy status no longer a guarantee of admission. Admissions is only likely to get more competitive yet with each successive year, tuitions high, and parental cash contributions expected at these three Catholic HSs.

  38. Gary Lucido (December 29, 2010, 10:50 am)
    “G, So let’s just be absolutely precise then on what you are saying so that we can check back in 2 years and 3 months to see who was correct. The CS index for some month in 2012 will be lower than every single reported month during 2011. Everyone please take note.”

    January 2012 CS index hit new NSA and SA bottoms in the ongoing correction. Salesmen aren’t very good at market analysis.

  39. Clio, while technically no one is stuck, everyone with young children in my building is finding it cheaper to stay and pay for private than to move to the suburbs. I am a parent of a 3 year old and live in the GZ. We loved our nursery school (2s program which goes up to JK) but applied to a 3s program in a K-8 schoola because there is an upsurge in applications to private schools and I feared if we waited to apply in JK we would be shut out. Many parents of children in my child’s school are staying even though some would rather move to the suburbs. Most were told by real estate agents that they would lose 100-200K on their 400-600K condos. They live in GZ with marginal schools (not Lincoln, Blaine, Burley) and find it cheaper to send their child to private school (OSM, Catherine Cook, British, Latin, FP, Mt. Carmel, etc…) than to sell their condos. Even if they paid the highest tuition (i.e., 25K for British, Latin, FP) they could stay several years and pay for private school for the amount of money they stand to lose on their investment. They explored renting out their condos but b/c of the lending environment can’t get a large enough loan to buy the large house in the burbs. Banks are afraid to lend to these families even if they can rent their condo for more than the monthly carrying costs b/c the banks know that private equity firms are building apartments and eventually rents will stabilize and/or fall. They are afraid these folks will walk away from the condo after they are are in their forever house. Consequently, many who would have moved to the burbs are staying…they aren’t stuck, but they are just making what they believe to be the most financially sensible decision. Because of this phenomena, I anticipate that private school and magnet/giftted/SES admission will become increasingly competitive.

    Time will tell if these families would be better off to have just cut their losses and moved.

  40. re Catholic Schools….sorry not the answer. Outside of St. Ignatius there aren’t HS options.

    Sacred Heart kids…know a few going to Ignatius and others at LAB.

    LVHS-This is the plan for my kids (of course I have 8 years to help make it better). There’s a pretty significant movement of parents that are behind various efforts to ramp this school up. I believe you will start seeing neighborhood parents send their kids there in the fall and 2013 and only see it dramatically increase after that. The neighborhood feeder schools are nearly all turned around.

  41. “January 2012 CS index hit new NSA and SA bottoms in the ongoing correction. Salesmen aren’t very good at market analysis.”

    Hey, I was just trying to pin you down but I did think we hit a bottom last year and I was wrong. I think you have yet to tell us when you think the bottom will come. Very conveniently puts you out of reach of any criticism whatsoever.

    But what really bothers me is you calling me a salesman. That’s the ultimate insult. If you checked my background you’d see that I’m anything but a salesman. In fact, I was once what I suspect you are now: an analyst resenting the salespeople who kept me employed and made more money than me.

  42. “They explored renting out their condos but b/c of the lending environment can’t get a large enough loan to buy the large house in the burbs. ”

    THEY CAN RENT IN THE BURBS!!!! Good God – stop trying to create sob stories for these spoiled entitled gen x people!!! They live in 400-600k condos and are sending their kids to private schools – these people are NOT stuck – they are making a choice. The single mom w/ 3 kids in a 25k/yr job IS stuck – these people are spoiled. The fact that you can’t see that is unbelievable and NO school is going to help YOUR or these people’s kids if you guys have this type of attitude. I feel sorry for them (the kids)

  43. Looks like 100-200k is a lot of scratch to these folks afterall when it has to come from their “sweat labor”/w2 wages. Whoda thunk??

    Also G congrats. I’ve always maintained the Realtor ‘analysis’ is as deep as they need it to be to goose transaction volume. Pintos dont exactly move off the lots themselves, y’know.

  44. with the flood of private equity money that is lining up to purchase distressed SFH’s in the burbs and turn them into rentals, there will be a number of good rental options for families to move out of the city. I won’t be surprised to see that in a year, these same people are simply walking away from their condos because they realize they aren’t going to get their money back and the kids keep on growing. It’s very easy for a lot of people to rationalize walking away from a condo when you tag it with “it’s what’s best for our children”.

  45. “Wow- Atlanta is just collapsing”

    True, but there is a lot of 10 – 15 year old suburban (and beyond) sprawl captured in those Atlanta figures. The desirable areas in and immediately around Atlanta, while down (like every place else in the country), have not collapsed.

  46. This is one reason why I’m not buying a condo in the city yet. It seems like there is such a shadow inventory out there that buying a condo is a lifetime commitment.

    At some point that will mean that there are some incredible bargains out there but at this point I don’t believe that is the case.

  47. Gary don’t take it as an insult. Only introverts interpret it that way. And lets remember noone remembers or cares to invite them to the parties. Because they are no fun.

  48. Russ can speak better to this…if you decide to rent your place out, in order to buy another home you either have to show rental income for two years to maximize your loan amount or settle for what your salary can afford as if you were paying two mortgages. Thus it might not be worth buying a second home in a more desirable location if you cannot get more of a “forever” home instead of simply another 2/1 condo or crapshack.

  49. Parents are also realizing that CPS has some of the top schools in the state. They also have some of the only public gifted schools, and only public Montessori schools, as well as the only public IB schools in Illinois. cpsobsessed.com actually has a lot of parents who are trying to get their suburban kids in to CPS, as well as the other way round.

    People might knock CPS but suburban districts are falling apart in this economy too.

  50. ” it will take a decade or more to get back to where they can “break even.”

    To be clear, my neighbors aren’t willing to sell unless they can make a true profit in their minds. I’m not talking they paid $200k for their 2/1, paid down $30K and can someday sell for $180 and call it even, or even sell for $190 and have $10K in their pockets….they really believe that in 2 or 3 years tops their property will shoot back above $200K.

  51. Sad_at_Plaza440 on March 27th, 2012 at 10:02 am

    “Re: LVHS–it would be at LPHS level if it were simply 80% kids from the a-a instead of 20%, imo. STEM program (starting this fall) has a chance to make that happen.”

    Thanks to those who let me know a-a meant attendance area. To circle back to anon(tfo)’s original statement, what is the reason that so few students in LVHS are from the attendance area? If it’s simply because those with high school children who live in the attendance area send their children to private or selective schools, ILVHS could become more attractive simply because stuck parents send their children there. In the same way that the elementary schools improved when more high income parents moved into the relevant attendance areas and sent their children there, LVHS would seem likely to improve as well to be on roughly the same level as LPHS or Taft. There would still be a question of exactly how quickly that turnaround could happen.

  52. Sabrina (and Trudi)

    We are looking seriously at DeLaSalle for High School. I’m not going to lie: Ignatius would be my first choice. But I know the president of DeLaSalle; he is very smart, very involved, etc. I also know many kids who attend De LaSalle; they are good kids, who get into good colleges, including U of C and some east coast schools. So what I would imagine is that schools like DeLaSalle are just going to get better and better.

    Here is the thing: I’m a college prof. I see kids from a variety of high schools everyday. In many ways, the worst kids I see are from the best schools–i.e. New Trier, Hinsdale South, Latin. Not because they aren’t well educated and smart; they are. But because they are all stressed out; they have been pushed so hard all of their lives that they have forgotten how to enjoy themselves and enjoy the college experience. Many have drug problems. Of course, this is a generalization based upon the students I encounter, but I’ve seen it play out over the last ten years.

  53. I definitely don’t think there’s a one-size-fits-all solution or explanation, but what I’ve seen/friends have told me is one tends to lead to the other; parents get involved on some personal level (either volunteering, or going to an event, etc) understand the needs and then ratchet up their involvement to involve fundraising. It doesn’t seem that hard to get buy-in from parents and local businesses for auction items and that kind of thing.

    And while it’s not just about money, to a large degree it is, in that CPS still has horrific teacher-to-student ratios and any honest teacher will tell you the quality of education they can provide is determined by how far they have to spread their attention in the classroom. I love my kid’s school, the only issue with it IMO is 26 kids in a kindergarten class. The teacher is a miracle worker, frankly. And they juggle some part-time teacher assistants, parent volunteers, etc. to help, but legitimate complaints about CPS fiscal mismanagement notwithstanding, a little funding can go a long way in the staffing department. This is where partnerships with businesses and community groups can really help – that Retro on Roscoe fest makes a huge impact at Audubon, for example.

    What also seems to be key is for principals to get some autonomy from the system. I think the rot is at the top frankly, both at CTU and CPS management.

    “Skeptic, does turn around have to involve mainly engagement and volunteering or could it involve mostly $$? The article makes it sound like SL changed due to a change in attendance area, some involvement and more $$. While changing a HS attendance area could be harder, dont many parents make more by the time the kids are in HS and if not, don’t HSs have more parents to fundraise from to get smaller classes, more programs, etc?

    I think a lot of CPS schools may turn more due to parents efforts and $$ than downtowns efforts and $$.”

  54. “People might knock CPS but suburban districts are falling apart in this economy too.”

    Many suburbs are falling apart.

  55. Ogden Elementary is having an open house tonight. We’re planning to send our daughter there. I’ve read mostly positive info about the school.

  56. I agree. Go to their website and look at the credentials/backgrounds of the principals and staff, it is definitely moving in the right direction.

    Funny someone mentioned Agassiz earlier, but this was my neighborhood school and it sucked when I was a kid. Now I have a friend who is driving her kids from Logan Square there. That’s almost incomprehensible to me personally, but she didn’t seem bothered by that at all, it’s a bit of extra time/commitment, but it apparently is well worth the peace of mind.

    “LVHS-This is the plan for my kids (of course I have 8 years to help make it better). There’s a pretty significant movement of parents that are behind various efforts to ramp this school up. I believe you will start seeing neighborhood parents send their kids there in the fall and 2013 and only see it dramatically increase after that. The neighborhood feeder schools are nearly all turned around.”

  57. I don’t know enough about K12 in this country but find it funny that people nag about lack of creativity in public schools and so on. I know this lady who went to a liberal art school (not a good one); can never hold onto a job, and constantly nags how public schools suck and are a waste of time for creative types like herself and don’t offer a solid art education, etc…
    Then there is this other lady who was born to professor parents, was a high school drop out and is all for home schooling. I know it is a small sample but I somehow wonder if these people just want to blame themselves being failures on the school system.
    My husband told me he is tempted to tell the lady mentioned above that anyone can finish a BS art degree, unless actually someone is paying for an art form you produces, you are not an artist.
    It is the quintessential bratty idea to always blame the world rather than accept that maybe you are not that smart or you are too lazy or just don’t have the mental discipline to work.

  58. Ogden was considered a good school even back in my day (I’m 40), I had lots of friends who went there. Have to imagine it’s only improved.

    “Ogden Elementary is having an open house tonight. We’re planning to send our daughter there. I’ve read mostly positive info about the school.”

  59. How I-R-O-N-I-C that some of us are talking about the “limited” Catholic HS options for Sacred Heart kids, just as the Benedictine Nuns are announcing the closing of St. Scholastica’s High School in West Rogers Park!

    Not that I can shed too many tears over this. According to what I’ve read it takes about 500 students at St. Schola’s in order to break even, and right now there are only about 150.

    All girls.

    Hey, “Soul” Sisters – didja ever think of doing what other Catholic HS’s do when they face declining enrollments in their single-sex schools? That’s right, Sters – they GO CO-ED!!!

    Maybe an influx of boys (and some renovations to make room for restrooms, etc.) would save St. Schola’s?

    But what do I know, I’m just a dumb public-school grad whose Catholic parents avoided parochial schoos (but not the Church itself) like the plague…Thanx, Mom & Dad!

  60. “Hey, I was just trying to pin you down but I did think we hit a bottom last year and I was wrong.”

    No kidding you were wrong. Just like when you called spring 2009 the bottom (for months) and I said a new low by March 2010. Or, when you and JMM called a 120 CS SA bottom in October 2010 (when Aug index came out) and I took the under by Nov index (119.95 in Oct 2010 index.)

    “I think you have yet to tell us when you think the bottom will come. Very conveniently puts you out of reach of any criticism whatsoever.”

    How is that? I was within reach of criticism if a new bottom didn’t hit this year. Sure, I knew it wasn’t a risk–but you certainly told others to “take note” in order to “pin me down.” I find your logic about as strong as your analysis in concluding that I have put myself “out of reach of any criticism whatsoever.”

    “But what really bothers me is you calling me a salesman. That’s the ultimate insult. If you checked my background you’d see that I’m anything but a salesman.”

    A commissioned salesman is not a salesman?

    “In fact, I was once what I suspect you are now: an analyst resenting the salespeople who kept me employed and made more money than me.”

    That’s funny, especially since I have a pretty good idea of your commission totals. It’s you who harbors resentment at the tactics of more successful salespeople by declaring that it keeps you up at night. I’m sure it will surprise nobody, but your suspicions about me are even less accurate than your annual bottom calls.

  61. “Banks are afraid to lend to these families even if they can rent their condo for more than the monthly carrying costs b/c the banks know that private equity firms are building apartments and eventually rents will stabilize and/or fall. They are afraid these folks will walk away from the condo after they are are in their forever house.”

    This is false, banks aren’t engaging in some sort of macroscopic analysis about what PE is doing and the effect on rents or the likelihood that people will walk away in order to approve or deny individual applications. Any such analysis happens well above the decision-making process for individual applicants and informs underwriting criteria, if it has an effect at all, which are probably more likely to be enforced these days. I’ll defer to Russ and other familiar with the process, but if you can’t get approved it’s likely because you’re not making enough money to service the debt that you have and the debt that you would be acquiring. If you have to rely on the rent from the existing property to qualify, you’re too close to the line anyway. When I’ve gone through this, they’ve always asked me to certify that I’m going to live in the new property and rent out the old property. A few times they’ve asked me what I expect the existing property to rent for, and I’ve told them, but told them not to consider it as part of my income (not even the 75% of rent which they are often willing to do). After my rentals have been seasoned for a while (it’s always been at least a couple of years when I’ve been buying a new personal property and turning the existing property into a rental), I’ve reported that rent as part of non-wage income. Since it’s been on my tax returns, they’ve always been fine with it.

    Talk to an experienced mortgage broker, they should know exactly what you can do.

  62. Uhhh, that’s “schools.” Yes, the public-school teachers DID teach me how to spell!

  63. One of my co-workers bought a house after renting out his condo. The condo is basically worthless right now and the scrutiny he received when trying to buy the house was amazing. They asked all kinds of questions about why he needed to buy a house when he had a condo and asking for proof he wouldn’t just talk away from the condo after he bought the house. I guess he showed them the proof they needed, but it was a long fight for him to be able to buy the house.

  64. We recently signed a contract to buy a new condo and we were told by several banks that unless we sold our current condo or had it rented for 2+ years then those costs would count against us for loan purposes. We searched several years for a suitable place and ended up buying from a developer for 35% off bubble pricing. Seems in line with the data posted here.

  65. G,

    Once and for all just tell us when you think the bottom is going to hit.

  66. Exactly why i wouldn’t count on the Catholic Church to do anything in a timely manner. They still haven’t fully apologized for the priest scandals. Oh…wait they did, then took the apology back later. The vast indecision combined with monies going to pay out lawsuits will keep them busy for a while.

    “Hey, “Soul” Sisters – didja ever think of doing what other Catholic HS’s do when they face declining enrollments in their single-sex schools? That’s right, Sters – they GO CO-ED!!!”

  67. “But because they are all stressed out; they have been pushed so hard all of their lives that they have forgotten how to enjoy themselves and enjoy the college experience”

    exactly why I am working on LVHS eventhough my kids are 8 years away from it. I see the stress the 7th graders have on my block and just feel sorry for them. plenty of years to stress out in life, but HS admission should not be one of them IMHO.

  68. as a graduate of St. Scholastica, I was sorry to see the school close. There must be a good reason it’s not making it, but I don’t have access to that kind of information. My guess is limited funds for excellent teachers, marketing, and school improvements.

    The neighborhood was in decline back when I attended, and I was never a fan of RP to begin with.
    I would like to add that my classmate Patty Mell was one of the smarter, nicer politicians’ daughters in attendance. It was disheartening to see her change so much over the years of her RB marriage. But live in Chicago long enough, and you will see it all, right?

  69. Fannie/Freddie no longer allow rental leases to show rental income if you are keeping the current property. You have to qualify to carry both the new mortgage and the old mortgage unless you can show 30% equity (usually by a lender ordered appraisal) in the old place and/or putting 25% down on the new place.

    In the past, we could use rental leases to offset the old mortgage (you get 75% of the rental income) but too many people were (mainly our CA brethren) were doing “buy and bail” schemes. They would basically use a lease to offset the old mortgage debt to qualify for a new home and then immediately after closing on the new home just walk away from the rental home.

    The only way you can use rental income now on investment properties is to have it showing up on at least 1 year of tax returns.

    Bottom line, you have to qualify with both mortgages if you aren’t selling the old place in most cases.

  70. “Once and for all just tell us when you think the bottom is going to hit.”

    Your first call was months after the “fact” in 2009. Why don’t I get that same courtesy?

    Obviously, it can’t be predicted yet. That has been the only right answer available since the correction began. But, please, make another bottom call so I can drive the point home for everyone.

  71. Bottom callers and Cubs fans have more and more in common

  72. “This is one reason why I’m not buying a condo in the city yet. It seems like there is such a shadow inventory out there that buying a condo is a lifetime commitment. At some point that will mean that there are some incredible bargains out there but at this point I don’t believe that is the case.”

    As discussed in the comments yesterday, the *exact* same thing can be said about the burbs – even the nicest burbs – because of the huge number of empty nest retiring boomers, who have neither the need for their big (and often in need of updating) houses nor the willingness/ability to continue paying such high property taxes now that their kids are gone.

    As for condos, in the nicest areas of the city, there will still be a demand from young/new professionals…and from some boomers who don’t (fully) flee to warmer climates.

  73. “As for condos, in the nicest areas of the city, there will still be a demand from young/new professionals…and from some boomers who don’t (fully) flee to warmer climates.”

    agree…two friends who recently sold…both were to boomers coming back from teh burbs.

  74. Exactly, skeptic I fully agree. A little funding can go a long way, unfortunately I doubt it is going to come from within CPS. I think schools that are ahead of the curve are reaching out to parents/communities for fundraising.

    I agree as well that principals are important and need some autonomy. A good prinicpal that is able to do what he/she envisions and get others to join him/her is a HUGE asset!

    “And while it’s not just about money, to a large degree it is, in that CPS still has horrific teacher-to-student ratios and any honest teacher will tell you the quality of education they can provide is determined by how far they have to spread their attention in the classroom. I love my kid’s school, the only issue with it IMO is 26 kids in a kindergarten class. The teacher is a miracle worker, frankly. And they juggle some part-time teacher assistants, parent volunteers, etc. to help, but legitimate complaints about CPS fiscal mismanagement notwithstanding, a little funding can go a long way in the staffing department. This is where partnerships with businesses and community groups can really help – that Retro on Roscoe fest makes a huge impact at Audubon, for example.

    What also seems to be key is for principals to get some autonomy from the system. I think the rot is at the top frankly, both at CTU and CPS management.”

  75. ” I guess he showed them the proof they needed, but it was a long fight for him to be able to buy the house.”

    what proof could that be, i wonder?

  76. @ G, what do you mean by “Obviously, it can’t be predicted yet”?

    If you mean to say you’ll call bottom after it hit then it is not a prediction, is it? Unless “yet” is supposed to mean something which I am failing to grasp. I remember you were pissed with me for ages just because I said you provide data but you don’t offer analysis and prediction. So I was right after all?

    Finally, given that you speak French: la critique est aisee, mais l’art est difficile. Sure you can mock everyone who called a bottom but at least they made a call. You know you won’t be able to run a hedge fund by just mocking others, right?

  77. There are rising number of multi-generational families due to the economic downturn, so the empty nests aren’t necessarily staying that way. The kids can help with the property taxes, even if their jobs don’t pay enough for them to be independent. The stigma will die as the numbers grow, imo.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/19/boomerang-generation-millennials_n_1354316.html?ref=money

    “As discussed in the comments yesterday, the *exact* same thing can be said about the burbs – even the nicest burbs – because of the huge number of empty nest retiring boomers, who have neither the need for their big (and often in need of updating) houses nor the willingness/ability to continue paying such high property taxes now that their kids are gone.”

  78. yowza miu. how did G jump from analyst working for higher paid salesman to hedge fund runner?

  79. “As discussed in the comments yesterday, the *exact* same thing can be said about the burbs – even the nicest burbs – because of the huge number of empty nest retiring boomers, who have neither the need for their big (and often in need of updating) houses nor the willingness/ability to continue paying such high property taxes now that their kids are gone.

    As for condos, in the nicest areas of the city, there will still be a demand from young/new professionals…and from some boomers who don’t (fully) flee to warmer climates.”

    The nicest areas of the city had many more excess condo units constructed in the bubble than the nicest burbs had new houses. The nicest city areas also continue to add high numbers of rental housing units. Are they making any more “nicest burbs?” Demand has to increase considerably for those condos/apartments to get filled, whereas demand has to only be maintained in the nicest burbs.

  80. “how did G jump from analyst working for higher paid salesman to hedge fund runner?”

    It’s a very long list of occupations claimed by others for me around here.

  81. “All of those mcmansions built in the last 5 years in North Center and West Lakeview have yet to experience the high school “dilemma.” ”

    Yep, no HS kids in the neighborhood at all. Nothing to see here. Everyone who doesn’t live in the hood knows more about it than those who do, bc someone told them something.

    Sheesh.

  82. “It’s a very long list of occupations claimed by others for me around here.”

    I thought you were a janitor and part-time valet.

  83. “The nicest areas of the city had many more excess condo units constructed in the bubble than the nicest burbs had new houses. The nicest city areas also continue to add high numbers of rental housing units. Are they making any more “nicest burbs?” Demand has to increase considerably for those condos/apartments to get filled, whereas demand has to only be maintained in the nicest burbs.”

    I think we might be using “nicest areas” differently. As for the burbs vs. city: do a search for a 4+ bed on the north shore vs. LP in the $700-900k range. I did so yesterday, and was amazed.

  84. Interesting. My wife and I bought a corner storefront fixer-upper in 2008 in McKinley Park (single building/property used as a SFH). We also have a condo in Dearborn Park 1 that we’ve been renting (quite painlessly) for the past 3-4 years.

    The newest addition to the mix is our six-month-old, and we’ve been starting to talk about our school options — McKinley Park has several, including standard public, parochial, and charter. We’re still researching, but the Namaste charter school a couple blocks away seems to be the best bet. If we can’t line up an acceptable choice here, one fallback option is to rent the house and move back to the condo (since the Dearborn Park school seems to be decently high-quality).

    Although the wife has spoken of fleeing to the ‘burbs, it would be great to be able to remain in the city. Also, the suburbs are no place for a “forever home” when looking at the implications of hitting peak oil production (which is coming sooner than many realize).

  85. “But, please, make another bottom call so I can drive the point home for everyone.”

    Nahh. I’m going to play by G rules from now on and wait until it’s over. Seriously, though…I think I’ll wait until I see YOY price increases. I think that’s where I went wrong before. However, I have to admit that with the low inventory levels and high demand it’s tempting to call another bottom now.

  86. I’m having this argument with my mother right now. Just bought a gorgeous 3/3 in the West Loop with the aim that it will work for two children for the next 10-15 years. The children will go to Skinner West, one of the best public elementary schools in the city and state. Suburban schools aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. She, the mother, is convinced that my children will end up in a gang dealing crack on the corner.

  87. “If you mean to say you’ll call bottom after it hit then it is not a prediction, is it? Unless “yet” is supposed to mean something which I am failing to grasp. I remember you were pissed with me for ages just because I said you provide data but you don’t offer analysis and prediction. So I was right after all?”

    moomoo, I never said that I’d call the bottom after it hit, I only pointed out that was one of Gary’s failures. My analysis and predictions were spot on. Gary first called the 3/09 bottom in summer ’09 and continued the call into the winter. I clearly predicted he would be wrong by 3/10, and he was. Gary and JMM made a 120 CS bottom call in 8/10, and I predicted they would be wrong by the 11/10 index. They were wrong by the 10/10 index. Finally, Gary L predicted in 12/10 that CS would bottom in 2011. I predicted that we would not have to wait until the end of 2012 to see he was wrong again, and it happened in January, ferchrissakes. Yet, you don’t believe I offered predictions?

    I have enjoyed repeatedly pointing out your hypocritical statements and apparent need to butt into arguments while obviously failing to grasp the issues. Kind of like how you prove my point now with your erroneous conclusion that I have made no analysis or predictions.

  88. When Gary calls a bottom he is predicting prices will stay the same or rise. When G says he is wrong he is predicting prices will continue to drop. How is that refusing to make a call?

  89. Miumiu – or: “Art isn’t easy – any way you look at it.”

    Stephen Sondheim, “Sunday in the Park with George.”

  90. “I’m going to play by G rules from now on and wait until it’s over.”

    You have played by those rules already. You still got it wrong.

    “I think that’s where I went wrong before.”

    I think you went wrong by allowing your source of income to cloud your judgement. Or, you simply aren’t very good at analyzing the data. It’s one or the other.

    “However, I have to admit that with the low inventory levels and high demand it’s tempting to call another bottom now.”

    I have no doubt you will eventually be wrong in not calling the bottom, too. This ain’t the time, though.

  91. @ G, lol…I see so you have MLS data and you manage to say within a month or two of someone’s prediction that they are not right with their bottom call. Wow I am impressed. Until the market picks up I can do the same thing too. How is that relevant to actually predicting the bottom? I again quote you “Obviously, it can’t be predicted yet”, “it” was referring to calling the bottom not saying others are wrong with their predictions. It seems you are the one who does not understand the point or you are trying to twist it?
    Also just because you resort to name calling and bullying whoever asks you a question or disagrees with you, won’t stop me from “butting in” : ) It is a public forum. You might have missed it, but we all make comments in response to each others.

  92. @ Gary Lucido

    I respect you as a contributor to this blog along with G, anon(tfo), russ, and the list goes on and on…
    but I would tend to agree with G here. If you continue to call out the bottom and it continues to not happen, then it calls into question your analysis and eventually your credibility. No ones saying you have to draw a line in the sand. So why make the call at all?

    ps I like your blog too

  93. So you are saying G is predicting the prices will fall forever? Because we are asking when he thinks the bottom will hit.
    “When G says he is wrong he is predicting prices will continue to drop. “

  94. Prices will continue to decline, until they go up.

  95. Joshua: A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?

  96. miu, if gary and G were both weathermen and gary kept saying todays rain will be the last, and G said the rain will continue tomorrow.. and it did. who would you listen to? would you ignore G because he couldnt tell you when the rain would end…

  97. “who would you listen to?”

    I’d build an ark.

  98. Does anybody know of the best resources for researching CPS schools? Is there any sort of map w/ the good schools and their boundaries shown? My wife and I will be looking for a 3BR condo/townhouse probably in the fall, and we’d like to stay in the city as long as possible (forever?). We’ve already realized that a 2/2 is probably not a feasible next step given prices and the expectations over the next 5-7 years. So we think we need to assume we’ll eventually have school age kids in whatever we buy and want to target our search accordingly. I have heard some names of the “good” schools, but have no idea what feeds into which ones…

  99. “No ones saying you have to draw a line in the sand. So why make the call at all? ”

    Well, that’s the truth but I like playing the game. Up until a week or so ago (I closed on a house after renting for 12 years) I had no stake in the outcome so it’s not like I had anything to gain from calling the bottom. Realtors make money on transactions not on price movements.

  100. Second War Games reference I’ve read in two days.

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/03/the-only-winning-move-is-not-to-play-the-insanity-of-the-regulatory-race-to-the-bottom.html

    “Joshua: A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?”

  101. “Is there any sort of map w/ the good schools and their boundaries shown?”

    On this page http://www.cps.edu/schools/find_a_school/pages/findaschool.aspx there are links to the maps on the right side but they are not easy to read.

  102. “Does anybody know of the best resources for researching CPS schools? Is there any sort of map w/ the good schools and their boundaries shown?”

    This: http://schoollocator.cps.k12.il.us/viewer.htm

    will show you the (current) a-a boundaries for every school. A few things to remember: the lines do move, the liens run down the center of the street, proximity lottery for “magnet” schools is currently 1.5 miles, what is “good” is a matter of opinion, etc,etc.

  103. “No ones saying you have to draw a line in the sand. So why make the call at all? ”

    If you successfully call bottom, what does the winner get again?

  104. “If you successfully call bottom, what does the winner get again?”

    I think you should get to be the centerfold that month on Gary’s blog

  105. gringozecarioca on March 27th, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    “If you successfully call bottom, what does the winner get again?”

    usually – volume times price change. :-)

  106. gringozecarioca on March 27th, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    “would you ignore G because he couldnt tell you when the rain would end…”

    On some islands in Papau New Guinea he would be castrated for lacking that ability.

  107. G knows to the exact day when the bottom will be, but he’s not saying…

  108. CME housing futures are pegging the bottom for this May. Hardly any volume in there, but it’s interesting that they turn up after May12. They have been predicting consistent declines since ’06. I think another 3-6% on the downside would put housing at trough levels on a price/rent, price/income last seen in the ’90′s and ’80′s. Calculated Risk has some good graphs on that today.

  109. “Well, that’s the truth but I like playing the game. Up until a week or so ago (I closed on a house after renting for 12 years) I had no stake in the outcome so it’s not like I had anything to gain from calling the bottom. Realtors make money on transactions not on price movements.”

    You might want to take a look at a chart of YOY changes in transactions and CS price movements. There appears to be a correlation.

  110. @ CH, you seem to mix “optimality” with “competitive optimality”. Basically doing better than a poor predictor (one who puts 0 rain prob. for all future days) doe not imply that one is doing a good job in predicting the weather. If you are interested in the topic, you might want to look into “Prediction, Learning, and Games” by Cesa-Bianchi and Lugosi. It is available online and you’d only need to read the intro.

    “miu, if gary and G were both weathermen and gary kept saying todays rain will be the last, and G said the rain will continue tomorrow.. and it did. who would you listen to? would you ignore G because he couldnt tell you when the rain would end…”

  111. I couldn’t find the intro to the book you referenced easily. But I think what you are saying is it could be that G and Gary are both broken records and it’s just by luck that G is stuck on no bottom every time gary spins his vinyle 360degrees and repeats himself calling one. This could be the case. On the other hand if G doesnt see any indication in the data that a bottom is near, how can he call one? Maybe instead of asking for a bottom prediction you should ask what sort of data he’d want to see before making such a call.

  112. RUSH: If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice

  113. funny! I thought you were quoting limbaugh and I was getting ready to come back with the song lyric as soon as i could figure out the exact wording and who sang it.

  114. “@ CH, you seem to mix “optimality” with “competitive optimality”. Basically doing better than a poor predictor (one who puts 0 rain prob. for all future days) doe not imply that one is doing a good job in predicting the weather.”

    It doesn’t imply that one is doing a bad job, either. But, it does confirm one is doing a better job.

  115. “It doesn’t imply that one is doing a bad job, either. But, it does confirm one is doing a better job”

    In the land of the perpetually wrong, the broken clock is king!

  116. I stand by my prediction of 94-95 in case-shiller NSA SFH chicagoland around March-April of 2015. I have been considering pushing the date further out or going slightly lower but am holding off for now.

  117. Ohhhhhh interview with Robert Shiller on current state of market and on yahoo finance. Couldn’t get any more gloomier on suburban valuations. Clio its alright to cry.

  118. I guess the one guy trading housing futures is calling a bottom, huh? Re CR, I’m waiting for McBride to make another housing bottom call like he did in February. He’s a bit of a cheerleader, nice charts notwithstanding. Consumers don’t look at housing the same way they do other investments. The housing bust will keep buyer confidence low for a much longer time than an equity crash. That, on top of the overleveraged student loan debtors, undercapitalized banks, and under/unemployment makes me think bottom callers will be wrong again. And when it finally comes, the bottom will hold for an extended period, which will mean more depreciation in real terms. imo.

    Here’s a guy who doubts McBride’s bottom call based partially on the fact that it relies on NAR data:

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/02/michael-olenick-debunking-the-housing-has-bottomed-meme.html

    “CME housing futures are pegging the bottom for this May. Hardly any volume in there, but it’s interesting that they turn up after May12. They have been predicting consistent declines since ’06. I think another 3-6% on the downside would put housing at trough levels on a price/rent, price/income last seen in the ’90?s and ’80?s. Calculated Risk has some good graphs on that today.”

  119. I’ve mentioned before the home schooling option. It’s not that crazy of an idea where one of the parents is already a stay-at-home.

    In our neighborhood (Logan Square) there are some families that are attempting to turn around the neighborhood schools–Darwin and Bretano are the two main examples. Apparently Goethe is “OK”. I’ve probably upset a fair number of people when I tell them that their efforts are noble but are unlikely to achieve anything close to a Coonley or Nettelhorst…located in neighborhoods quite different from Logan. I find it ironic when many of these people attended schools such as U of C or NU but think it’s acceptable to send their kids to the poor performing local neighborhood school.

    Those people aside, a lot of people are talking about home schooling. It seems to be a growing trend–still small–but picking up. This Newsweek article touches upon it: http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/01/29/why-urban-educated-parents-are-turning-to-diy-education.html

  120. “In the land of the perpetually wrong, the broken clock is king!”

    I like the quip, but I have been more than a broken clock. I challenged each of Gary’s bottom calls with more than a simple “it’s not the bottom.” I was correct each time in predicting the date at which Gary’s bottom calls would be proven rubbish.

  121. Additionally, I think Rahm is making some good decisions but I disagree with his push to lengthen the school day–it’s not really going to improve the educational quality and will likely cause more burn-out among teachers. It may lead to lower crime levels, since a large portion of CPS is just day care for older kids and these kids will be stuck in school for another hour or two. Plus, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a teacher strike later this year as they try to negotiate a new contract…situation is prime for a big mess. The schools best positioned for the future are those with a ton of parent money and suport behind them–and will continue to be a very split system with some of the best and most of the worst schools in the state.

  122. I would consider the CPS Online Charter school. I like the idea of home schooling, although most of the other parents one would have to network with are religious wackos.

    I also like the “Children’s Schools” model where kids learn when they feel like it. There’s even one in the Chicago area: http://www.thechildrensschool.info/index.php?option=com_content&view=frontpage&Itemid=1

  123. “I like the quip, but I have been more than a broken clock.”

    As you know, wasn’t a comment on you, but a comment on “competitive optimality”.

  124. “I’ve mentioned before the home schooling option. It’s not that crazy of an idea where one of the parents is already a stay-at-home.”

    If one (i) lives far (more than an hour’s drive) from any sort of major town with a school, (ii) cannot move away from a particular place and the only school option is dangerous, (iii) has a child with special needs that the school is ill equiped to handle (and, again, they can’t move), or (iv) is a religious fundamentalist (and there’s no local madrassa, Catholic school, etc.), then sure, I can see the value of homeschooling. Otherwise, I think (i) it’s hard on the parents (teaching is actually hard), (ii) few parents are qualified (teaching actually requires an (ongoing) education and teachers improve with experience), (iii) teaching expertise is age specific (if a good 4th grade teacher is different than a good high school teacher, why would parents think they could come close to embodying the skills of both of those teachers?), and (iv) it deprives kids of valuable social and developmental experiences, of both the splendid and horrible variety.

    As I mentioned in a recent thread, I was a real estate broker, condo association manager and I’m an attorney. We didn’t use a broker to buy our current place, which made for a certain amount of hassle (and perhaps a slightly higher purchase price than was absolutely necessary). We might go it alone again, but we’ll likely utilize a broker next time. If it almost certainly helps to engage the services of someone who can obtain a license in a matter of days (o.k., now it’s weeks) for a single transaction, I’d be highly disinclined to gamble on something as paramountly important as education (which importance is obviously highlighed by the article discussed in this very thread).

  125. “Why would parents think they could come close to embodying the skills of both of those teachers?”

    Because people are arrogant and they think that teaching is easy and that anybody can do it.

  126. I know what you mean, I know some myself. They are making a difference at Goethe, but will be folks coming into the neighborhood 10 years from now who really benefit from their efforts. These are the folks who are unwittingly laying groundwork for Logan Square’s wholesale gentrification (and they hate hearing that even more than their efforts aren’t going to flip the school in the near-term). Goethe is probably about where Agassiz was in the late 90s. There’s two separate yet intertwined issues – one, how do you get middle-class stable families to keep their kids in the public schools and two, what do you do in the meantime when the bulk of the existing neighborhood is neither middle-class nor stable?

    “In our neighborhood (Logan Square) there are some families that are attempting to turn around the neighborhood schools–Darwin and Bretano are the two main examples. Apparently Goethe is “OK”. I’ve probably upset a fair number of people when I tell them that their efforts are noble but are unlikely to achieve anything close to a Coonley or Nettelhorst…located in neighborhoods quite different from Logan.”

  127. gringozecarioca on March 27th, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    “Because people are arrogant and they think that teaching is easy and that anybody can do it.”

    I just figure the kid is probably going to be a failure no matter what so why not just cut costs and stick the thing in a room with some glue paste.

  128. “Given their dogmatic policies on women, birth control, etc I think the only way they will survive is to build enough schools to be “needed”

    Icarus: There is demand today for schools that aren’t dogmatic in Liberalism, that’s why OSM is thriving. CPS is dogmatic about homosexuality, drugs, gangs, underage sex, illegitimate kids, welfare meals, etc. and none of that is going to change with an anti-American Jewish mayor who doesn’t even send his kids to CPS!

  129. “Because people are arrogant and they think that teaching is easy and that anybody can do it.”

    JJJ and anonny commenting on arrogance while arrogantly dismissing home schooling. What a surprise.

  130. What I find interesting about the school discussion is that it shows how just having involved parents can turn a school around. So at the end of the day, is there really anything that can be done to fix schools without fixing the parents of the failing schools?

  131. Our specific situation lends well to the option of home schooling. My stay-at-home wife is a former teacher with experience in both middle school and high school. In a fews years we can send out kid (maybe kids) into school and she can go back into teaching to educate other kids or she can just educate our own kid(s). There are plenty of opportunities for socialization through co-ops and the myriad resources in the city–we’re not talking about sitting around the table, studying the Bible. IMO, the city is an ideal place to home school–acceptable public school options are difficult to secure, secular private school options are pricey, and there are so many things to tap into. Museum of Science & Industry, for example, offers free memberships and very cheap classes to home schooling families. There’s a lot of opportunity to tailor an amazing educational experience for your kid(s) if you’re willing to put in the effort. And I think that most learning occurs outside of the classroom, especially with the constant emphasis of standardized testing in schools. I think any reasonably educated parent that’s committed to their child’s education could provide an equivalent or better education for their children themself, especially when the goal of “differentiation” in a classroom of 30+ students is impossible in practice.

  132. “So at the end of the day, is there really anything that can be done to fix schools without fixing the parents of the failing schools?”

    Nope, that’s the jist of it.

  133. Anyway, my goal isn’t to convince anyone here to home school their children–I’m just pointing out a small yet growing trend among educated urban families looking to provide a superior education to their children. The idea was proposed in joking while discussing possible options down the road but seems increasingly viable the more we discuss it. So some CPS schools may see an influx of students that otherwise would be enrolling in a suburban school but I think more families will consider this “radical” alternative. Who knows–it might even become fashionable in a few years.

  134. “Because people are arrogant and they think that teaching is easy and that anybody can do it.”

    Also they are control freaks that want their kids to be their mirror image and are afraid of the society contaminating their amazing offsprings.

  135. “There’s a lot of opportunity to tailor an amazing educational experience for your kid(s) if you’re willing to put in the effort.”

    Absolutely true, Chris M. All of it, but especially this part.

  136. Chris, you mentioned your wife is a French teacher. I am sure she is great at what she does but how is she qualified to teach mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, etc to your kids. I am not being dismissive, I am genuinely perplexed how parents think they can do better than the teachers?

  137. Most kids are going to turn out like their parents turned out, no matter what the school. I would specifically choose a school that allows children to direct their own education because I think it makes them happier and they can live free and happy while they are kids at least…before the burdens of the world become overwhelming.

    One summer trip to a foreign country will teach a kid more than an entire history class. For me, school is about helping kids become/remain happy for as long as possible.

  138. “Also they are control freaks that want their kids to be their mirror image and are afraid of the society contaminating their amazing offsprings.”

    What an incredibly uninformed opinion.

  139. ChrisM-
    I hear you on homeschooling. I actually know two families currently doing this in Chicago and no they are not religious freaks. They are highly educated, down to earth, fun families.

    We’ve considered it before as well, but while both our jobs are flexible it would take some major getting up to speed for either of us to ‘commit’ to homeschooling.

    My major reason for homeschooling quite honestly would be travel. We travel the world frequently with our kids and that is a huge benefit that we are able to provide for them. I am already dreading being on the CPS calendar in the fall when my first goes to Kindergarten.

  140. all this talk of home schooling reminds me of the made-for-tv movie The Marva Collins Story. Colllins founded Chicago’s Westside Preparatory School in 1975.

  141. “I am genuinely perplexed how parents think they can do better than the teachers?”
    Parents who homeschool are at the distinct advantage of having an audience of one or two…unless you are the Duggars. And, again teaching to test versus learning are often two very different things.

    I think my first would thrive being homeschooled, but each child is different. For some homeschoolers the kids are way ahead of the teachers and a traditional curriculum.

    Like I said if someone mentioned homeschoolign to me when my first was born i would have laughed. But now that he’s about to enter K, I did indeed seriously consider it. And, depending on his K experience I may revisit it.

  142. I think it’s amazing that people never bring up the indoctrination and brain-washing that takes place in public schools these days. Don’t any of you parents care about that? It’s far worse than any homeschooling or Catholic education, which is much more mainstream than the stuff the public schools teach now. You all know the litany of public education: Dogmatic views on promoting homosexuality, available drugs, gangs, underage sex, illegitimate kids in general population, welfare meals, etc. I was driving up Milwaukee Ave. in Logan Square recently and saw this brand new looking school: LORCA, named after a Spanish homosexual!! Not only a homosexual, the guy isn’t even American, if he wasn’t a LGBT indoctrination persona, the school wouldn’t have his name. Public schools are to be watched, most parents are lazy about it. Same cannot be said for the parents of homeschoolers and people who pay $$ for Catholic. They aren’t lazy, stupid, and willing to let someone brainwash their kids.

  143. I agree with trudi. Traveling is more educational than sitting in a classroom.

    My one friend who was home schooled until high school ended up at Harvard Law. He loved the freedom of home schooling, to be able to learn whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted. I would want that for my kids, but I don’t think I would be that dedicated a parent.

  144. Trudi, thank you for your answer but I still don’t get it. I am not sure what material the US high school math courses covers, but I think most people cannot teach probability, algebra, or even calculus to their kids. I have a PhD and while I feel comfortable covering any math and most physics classed (even at undergraduate level), I cannot for the life of me teach chemistry or biology to my kid. Even though I used to have a 4.0 GPA. It was ages ago and I never got follow on courses on those materials.

  145. helmethofer, you know there aren’t 72 aryan virgins waiting for you when you die, right?

  146. Thank you helmethofer for giving evidence to my comment about parent’s fear of contamination of their offsprings.
    Now Jenny, you want your kids to learn to think for themselves. How does spending all your time with your parents and like minded people exactly help you with that. Of course if as you mentioned your primary goal is to keep the kids as shielded as possible for long to delay the suffering of real life, then HS is a good option perhaps to you. I however, tend to think if you don’t train the immune system early on, it will just react much worst in faith of irritants eventually unless you are the bubble boy.

  147. Ancient Spartan soldiers had homosexual sex.

  148. I would much rather a homosexual live next to me than a creepy white guy who rants about the gays and the mexicans.

  149. “Chris, you mentioned your wife is a French teacher. I am sure she is great at what she does but how is she qualified to teach mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, etc to your kids. I am not being dismissive, I am genuinely perplexed how parents think they can do better than the teachers?”

    We’re going to take it one year at a time. High school was and is my biggest concern with this option because you’re right–she’s not an expert in all of those subjects. I have no concerns about her ability to teach at the elementary level. Over time, I’m sure my wife and child(ren) (and I) will learn together. And, again, there are co-ops that allow parents of different skill sets to share their knowledge and an astounding array of free and low cost educational opportunities. Funny thing is that pretty much all of the home schooling families we’ve met in the city have a background in education–last one was an affluent family living in the South Loop and the mom had a Ph.D. in education (and educating her 5 children herself)–they’re all aware of what is going on in the classroom and are striving to offer something superior because, as anonny mentioned, it’s important.

    One thing my wife mentioned is that a lot of home schooling kids end up taking classes at community colleges in place of high school classes and that they often are ready to enter a university earlier than 18–so that may be an option. In any event–home schooling or CPS–high school is kind of an open ended discussion.

  150. @ Dan/helmethofer, you realize than none of those Saint this and thats Catholic schools are named after are American either, right?

    “the guy isn’t even American”

  151. miumiu….same here, I would have trouble once you got to the HS years.
    I see it as being much easier obviously to homeschool in the elementary space.

    Those adults that I do know now that were homeschooled their whole ‘career’ are the sort of geniuses that are of a whole other variety…..extremely brilliant and were in fact pretty much ‘unschooled’.

  152. A PhD in education makes her qualified to evaluate effectiveness of say teaching methods, not actually teaching math and sciences. Most people with Education PhD’s cannot even compute an integral if their life depended on it. Taking on their kids education in their hands would seriously limit the kid’s career options unless the kids are so smart they can learn on their own in which case going to a low quality school would not have mattered either.

    “mom had a Ph.D. in education (and educating her 5 children herself)”

  153. Helmethofer:

    Information for you: Your comment ended up here by mistake. I think you meant to post it to one of the Nazi blogs you usually read.

  154. “helmethofer, you know there aren’t 72 aryan virgins waiting for you when you die, right?”

    Your imbecilic comment doesn’t change the fact that our mayor sent his kids to ultra-religious school and the new CPS is named after a deity in the LGBT pantheon, and that parents who pay $$ for Catholic actually step up to avoid seeing their kids brainwashed, that’s why they pay.

    “none of those Saint this and thats Catholic schools are named after are American either, right?”

    They’re not US taxpayer supported schools, they’re private. Your tax dollars used by sick-brainwashers to name a school after Lorca. Public school parents too stupid to notice, lazy people like Icarus and Vlajos are the type.

  155. What specific comment is that Dan? Let’s see what you have to say…..nothing I said is wrong, you may not like it, but it doesn’t make it false.

  156. miumiu — I’m not expecting to convince you or anybody else to look into homeschooling. I know already from discussing the idea with others that there is a lot of hostility toward the idea–people react as if you’re too good for public school (what they and/or their children attended) or they immediately dismiss it as being an inferior option to public/private schools because most parents are incapable of educating their own children. Many others just fathom it impossible because they are neither able nor willing to live on one parent’s income. And that’s fine–doesn’t bother me. I’ve yet to see information to convince me that we’re endangering our daughter with this option.

  157. Hey Helmut – how about all those public and private schools named after Einstein – a Jewish foreigner who allegedly had an affair with Marilyn Monroe…

  158. Helmethofler,

    Pray tell, what is “holocaust propagandizing”?

    You’ve been on a roll for saying idiotic things lately. I think you’re now in the cribchatter lead among some stiff competition! Congrats!

    Any update on those asian gangs terrorizing Glenbrook South?

  159. Our troll’s postings/ rantings reminds me of a Frank Leahy line “Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity.”

  160. “Pray tell, what is “holocaust propagandizing”?”

    You don’t actually think the holocaust happened, do you? You’re obviously a brainwashed public-school drone!

  161. Isn’t Dunbar the public high school for the South Loop? Any chance of it turning around in the next eight years?

  162. “Isn’t Dunbar the public high school for the South Loop?”

    Yes. That’s why south loop parents have been pushing for an a-a component at Jones.

    “Any chance of it turning around in the next eight years?”

    No. That’s why south loop parents have been pushing for an a-a component at Jones.

  163. Chris M: I believe parents must do whatever they decide is in their children’s best interest. But imo parents must maintain laser focus on the fact there is little room for error – their kids have only one shot to become all they can be (whatever that is). My wife is a former teacher who achieved phenomenal results implementing her plans raising ours. (I had plans too, being strongly in favor of raising ours where we then lived and had grown up, where other kids were very similar, with mostly similar parents but fortunately my plan was vetoed). But imo our kids benefited hugely by rubbing shoulders, learning & competing with a very diverse group of students, as diverse as the real world they now inhabit. We didn’t push, coddle or criticize results. They kept their core values despite peer pressure and temptation. If our kids had been overly stressed by rubbing shoulders & competing in that diverse environment we could always have switched to a plan B. Best of luck with your outcome(s) whatever you two elect to do!

  164. And fwiw our kids started in a Lutheran school, switched to Catholic grammar school, switched to 2nd Catholic grammar school, switched to gifted CPS school, and finally switched to suburban public schools. I was very worried about the impact of all that changing having attended 2 schools with the same kids in my childhood. But it did work out really well for ours.

  165. My experience attending a Catholic school for grades 7 – 12 was that religion and controversial issues were not stressed. That was years ago but I doubt it’s changed. Also, the kids that took the religious rules seriously were few and far between. Generally the kids just wanted to party and have a good time.

  166. Thanks Chris M. I am not hostile to the idea. I just find it strange. Of course if the choice is between a school that kids get shut and HSing. I would home school too. But if the issue is that some of the teachers are not that effective or some of the kids are not that great, I’d work with my kids and try to help them with the material if I can and let them learn that world is not make of people who think and behave like their parents. I would be worried of taking matters just to my own hands, but then again I did not go to school here so I really wanted to learn from you guys.

  167. “JJJ and anonny commenting on arrogance while arrogantly dismissing home schooling. What a surprise”

    I didn’t dismiss it, and it sounds like Mrs. Chris M is well-positioned to do it well. I don’t dismiss those who have thought it through and are qualified, although I still don’t think that the benefits outweigh the detriments in most situations. My point was that most of the people doing it are not qualified and most are doing it because they are afraid of their kids learning science and reason or because of the other shortcomings noted here.

  168. “My point was that most of the people doing it are not qualified and most are doing it because they are afraid of their kids learning science and reason or because of the other shortcomings noted here.”

    I think homeschooling has a PR problem because the people I know are not like this at all. Very educated, not wacky in any kind of sense. I was pretty floored when some of the respected people I know said they homeschool, I could not fathom it, but I defintely think it has a place for some kids. And it definitely works for some kids. FWIW…..a have a friend who is one of the leading professors in his field (at an Ivy league no less) who was unschooled.

    my ds is super social and outgoing and into sports, but also very smart. He’s not competitive at all in academics, much prefers to discover on his own and often surpises his teachers and this gifted testers as well. He actually tested in a well known RGC (Edison), but we won’t take the slot. I don’t think the school will be a good fit for him. he’ll go to our neighborhood school and we’ll provide supplemental instruction.

    If that proves to be a bad option, I’ll look at homeschooling.

  169. “I think homeschooling has a PR problem because the people I know are not like this at all.”

    Sadly, your acquaintances are the exception to the rule. Homeschooling is still overwhelmingly performed by evangelical Christians citing the need for moral and religious instruction they feel their kids won’t get in traditional schools.

  170. I thought about sending my kids to a Catholic elementary school but I seriously could not, in good conscience, send my children to any school associated with an institution with such a consistent and global record of covering up, brushing off and enabling child sexual abuse. I’m kind of shocked that more don’t feel this way. Maybe it’s different for a high school where they are better able to protect themselves.

  171. “Homeschooling is still overwhelmingly performed by evangelical Christians citing the need for moral and religious instruction they feel their kids won’t get in traditional schools.”

    The Puritans left the Europe, to an entirely new continent 3 months travel away by ship, to distance them from the corrupting influences of the time. Talk about the ultimate home schooling.

  172. It’s quite shocking to discover just how many parents are being forced to homeschool their gifted kids now. The education system just isn’t able to provide the environment they need, so the parents have no choice but to take matters into their own hands.

    Personally, I’ve considered it for my gifted child and I don’t think it’s the best option for her. I don’t have the confidence in my own abilities, if I thought I’d make a good teacher I’d have become one. And frankly she needs the daily social interaction she gets with the other kids and the various teachers she works with each day. I think she’d go insane being stuck at home with just me and her brother. But that doesn’t mean I don’t think it’s a viable option for some.

  173. “Maybe it’s different for a high school where they are better able to protect themselves.”

    Why do you think it starts at a younger age? Many of the boys (and girls) were teenagers. They are their football or track coach or whatnot.

  174. Also I find it hilarious that Helmethofer is calling CPS brainwashers and praising parents who send their children to schools set up purely to promote legalized brainwashing.

  175. By the way- regarding the comment about how the sex abuse cases will financially impair the Catholic church (and its schools): that is actually not correct. There is a mistaken view by most people (Catholic and otherwise, actually) that the “Catholic Church” is a single entity with the Vatican (and the Pope) at its center. I believe this comes from popular culture like the Godfather movies and whatnot describing “the church.”

    Every single diocese is a separate entity completely unrelated to Rome. Same goes for entities that are run by the sister organizations (i.e. the nursing homes run by the nuns or the schools.) In fact, many dioceses, you’ll find, don’t even run the schools in their districts. These are, many times, separate entities.

    There is NO central control out of Rome. None whatsoever. Financially- each diocese is on its own. That is why, when the dioceses were sued in the sex abuse cases some of them could claim bankruptcy and it wouldn’t matter to the rest of the dioceses or to Rome. There was no way the attorneys could “reach” the Vatican- and its money- because they are NOT in charge. They haven’t been (financially or otherwise) for hundreds of years.

    Same with the schools. I haven’t looked at Chicago’s structure- but I’m sure there are some Catholic schools that are just single entities with no affiliation with other Catholic institutions. That’s why the decision is made to shut down underperforming institutions. There is no outside money to prop it up.

    It’s really a very scattered organization (in my opinion.)

  176. “Homeschooling is still overwhelmingly performed by evangelical Christians citing the need for moral and religious instruction they feel their kids won’t get in traditional schools.”

    No, it’s rational avoidance of 21st-century traditional schooling: “Dogmatic views on promoting homosexuality, available drugs, gangs, underage sex, illegitimate kids in general population, welfare meals, MLK worship, etc.”

    This whole discussion is retarded. Homeschooling is analogous to the British who lived in third world locales like the Raj etc. Did they let the native, savages, and “antis” teach their kids what to think? Hell no. Same thing today, Only an idiot would let (CPS) or aliens or LGBT activists, etc. teach their kids. Why is this even an issue???

  177. Sabrina can you at least delete his offensive language if you can’t remove his posts altogether?

    I was talking about Catholic (and other religious) schools. The sole purpose of religious schools is to educate children within the teachings of that religion. And yes I consider religion to be legalized brainwashing.

    I think parents have the right to choose whatever kind of education they feel is best for that child. Rahm feels its better to have his kids in a school that will accommodate their special security needs without burdening the taxpayer, and I think he is right to do that. For all the criticism he gets for putting his kids in a private school, there would be 10 times as much if his kids went to a public school that had to bend over backwards to make sure his kids were safe on the public dime. When his kids were at their previous school, yes he was doing it to have them learn within the religion he has chosen for them. Nothing wrong with that if that’s what he feels is best, but it doesn’t change the facts.

  178. “Why do you think it starts at a younger age? Many of the boys (and girls) were teenagers. They are their football or track coach or whatnot.”

    I’m not sure if you are asking about the motivations of sexual predators or not, if so I’m not going to speculate. I will say that, they weren’t the football or track coach or whatnot in general, they were all priests. That’s the common link. Per the John Jay report, fully 4% of all priests active during the period the John Jay report considered were the subject of sexual abuse allegations.

    Again referencing the John Jay report, around 75% of the victims were under high school age when victimized. My theory on how it might be different for high school is that I expect I would be able to evaluate my children’s ability to report untoward activity and trust their instincts to tell an adult at that point, enough that I would be able to decide whether they would be safe in a Catholic school setting. Since my kids aren’t Catholic and wouldn’t be going to Mass, etc., the likelihood of predator access is low.

    Since we’ve talked this through, though, I’ve talked myself out of it. Even if the risk of exposure to a Catholic sexual predator is minimal and would be appropriate in another context (e.g. I wouldn’t not let my kids play sports because that might increase their likelihood of being victimized), the whole concept of choosing to put my kids in such an abusive and cowardly institution that so pathetically protected reputation instead of children, thus allowing the victimization to continue, is really an absolute non-starter for me.

    “By the way- regarding the comment about how the sex abuse cases will financially impair the Catholic church (and its schools): that is actually not correct.”

    As best I can tell, you must be responding to trudi? Anyway, you are very, very wrong. Of course the sexual abuse scandal financially impairs the Catholic church and its schools. Collection receipts are down significantly, Catholic school attendance is down significantly, and many surveys reveal that the Church’s response to sexual abuse is a major part of that. Plus there is something like one billion in damages they’ve paid. Simply because much of the litigation is proceeding against individual dioceses has more to do with jurisdictional issues and litigation strategy, and the fact that the macro management is limited to doctrinal matters and not financial or organizational matters.

    Anyway, the direct financial issues and the litigation against individual dioceses are red herrings. If you truly are saying that Church doctrine, management and the general tone as promulgated by the Vatican is not where the attitude of ignoring and enabling sexual abuse, you are again very, very wrong. I expect that you are just doing your normal thing of responding to what you perceive to be conventional wisdom on a subject and providing anecdotes to refute an argument no one is really making, but your approach is offensive in this context. The whole point of the Catholic church is that the government and management of church doctrine and policy are centralized. Ratzinger himself quashed investigations and procedures in which local officials were trying to address problematic priests. To suggest otherwise is for the apologists. I shudder to think that you’re a part of such a morally reprehensible group.

  179. Catholic schools teach you cursive. This receives my highest endorsement.

    (Catholic schooled K-8, have fabulous handwriting, and proud!)

  180. gringozecarioca on March 28th, 2012 at 7:03 am

    O think my favorite south park ever was the one with the priests sexually abusing kids.
    “How do we solve this problem?”
    “Yes, how do we stop the kids from telling their parents?”

  181. “I think it’s amazing that people never bring up the indoctrination and brain-washing that takes place in public schools these days. Don’t any of you parents care about that? It’s far worse than any homeschooling or Catholic education, which is much more mainstream than the stuff the public schools teach now.”

    Helmethumper, you slay me. If you send your kid to Catholic school, he will be peddled actual, honest-to-God dogma. For example, he will have to take classes on Christian morality and marriage, in which he will learn that contraception is an intrinsic evil, on the same plane of moral depravity as abortion. Now, your kid is likely to be too dim to grasp the theology behind this teaching, or too clever to believe it, or too horny to take it to heart. It fails to take hold in 98 percent of cases.
    But the dogma is there in Catholic schools all the same. And it’s hardly “mainstream.” Unless the Rick Santorum wing of the conservative movement is now mainstream. (Did somebody mention submitting to an alien power?)

  182. “Per the John Jay report, fully 4% of all priests active during the period the John Jay report considered were the subject of sexual abuse allegations.”

    Is the 4% higher than non-catholic settings? I’m not saying it’s an acceptable risk or that covering it up shouldn’t merit severe consequences. I’m saying that a headline like 96% of catholic priests don’t mess with children doesn’t sell newspapers.

  183. Most (if not all) Catholic HSs in Chicago area are operated and administratively controlled by their specific religious order, not by the Archdiocese. Jesuit HSs Ignatius and Loyola enrollments include a number of non-Catholic students who aren’t stigmatized in any way. Religion classes are focussed upon teaching of ethics, philosophy, comparative religions, and “moral compassion”. There’s no “Catholic rule-book” indoctrination. Noting exception of independently-run separately-administered Opus Dei programs, indoctrination doesn’t occur at Archidiocese’s own elementary schools. Jesuit education’s mission statement emphasizes intellectual excellence, integrity, and life-long learning and growth, as well as importance of social justice, public service, and community leadership. Here in Chicago, Ignatius is a great school with significant economic, racial, and ethnic diversity, a school that works. Unlike Parker and Latin, there’s also no snobbery.

  184. I’m the product of 12 years of Catholic education. What ‘dogma’ or ‘indoctrination’ are you talking about? Be nice to people; forgive others; honor thy mother and father; admit when you are wrong; stand up for what is right. Morality matters. That’s pretty dangerous stuff to teach little kids.

    Or perhaps you object that when they get older, they are taught the history of the Church: they might read Dante’s Inferno or Augustine’s Confession; study paintings by Carravagio or DaVinci; or study Aquinas’s theology. I’ve done all of these things; I am a better person because of it; and I owe it all directly to my Catholic school education.

  185. I certainly think highly of the Jesuits and am not aware of much Jesuit involvement in the broader Catholic problems.

    “Is the 4% higher than non-catholic settings?”

    I believe that it is, especially with respect to trusted personnel, but I don’t think that the rate that’s the most terrible part. What’s truly monstrous is the length and effort to cover up abuse and enable it to continue with more victims. I go back and forth on whether it was primarily a failure to understand the high recidivism of sexual predators or truly an intent (as opposed to an unintended effect) to put the Catholic church’s reputation ahead of children’s safety.

  186. I was forced to do time in a Catholic school as a child and it was torture. I don’t think I knew what Jesus was before I went and I had never been to church. Then, all of a sudden, a teacher was telling me my dog wouldn’t go to “heaven.” It was then I decided they were full of shit. My parents aren’t religious, but they thought a Catholic school would be better than the neighborhood CPS. Luckily, I got out of that Catholic school hell hole. Catholic school taught me to hate Catholics and that’s about it. I would never put my kids through the misery that is Catholic school.

  187. “I will say that, they weren’t the football or track coach or whatnot in general, they were all priests.”

    Who do you think coaches the sports programs at a lot of the schools? (especially in the 1940s, 50s, 60s when most of the abuse was taking place?) It was the priests! Oh- and people forget that nuns were up to no good too (also accused in abuse cases). And it wasn’t just little boys. Plenty of little girls too.

    Trust me JJJ, when a diocese or an order found a priest to be up to no good- they weren’t sending a letter to the Vatican saying, “Father John is misbehaving. What do we do?” Occasionally they talked about it amongst themselves but usually they simply transferred the priest/nun to another job without saying anything to the new diocese/order. That’s how they stayed in their jobs- by moving them around (unless they were a bigwigs in a certain church and then they just covered it up at the local level as we’ve seen in some dioceses.)

    Rome was aware of the cases only on a very periphery level (which is why no attorney on ANY of the cases in the US has been able to “reach” the Vatican.) Yes, Ratzinger was in the office that oversaw investigations. So they had “knowledge” that things were going on- but rarely about specific cases. (Although personally I thought it was very dangerous for them to elevate Ratzinger to the Papacy given his background and job- because he DID know things were going on.)

    Church historians have documented abuse going back 1000 years (most of this history has come out in the various lawsuits.) But, as I said, Rome rarely knew about specific cases. Everything in the Church is decentralized. It’s really NOT this big entity as it’s portrayed in the popular culture. You know as “the Church”. That has served the institution well in the abuse cases- mainly because you couldn’t pin it on Rome. So it’s money is secure. Everyone thinks The Church could go under because of the abuse lawsuits- but that’s not possible (at least not at the Vatican level.)

  188. “Most (if not all) Catholic HSs in Chicago area are operated and administratively controlled by their specific religious order, not by the Archdiocese.”

    Thanks for the clarification Architect. That’s what I thought. “The Church” really doesn’t oversee everything.

  189. Ok, helmethoflers speech has gone past the point of amusement and I actually find it unsettling. Isn’t there some way to ban him or remove all of his posts?

  190. Helmethoofers posts on this thread are tame compared so some of his prevoius, and probably drunken, posts.

  191. the former president of loyola academy did get in trouble last year for kissing a couple students, I think in the 80′s.

    though I have several friends that went there and none of them were kissed (too ugly), or have anything bad to say about their education. the religious aspect was pretty small, a lot of it was focused on other religions. Huge asian population at Loyola back then, lots of latinos and decent amount of indians. very few blacks though. zero chicks.

  192. “Sabrina can you at least delete his offensive language if you can’t remove his posts altogether?”
    I’m a member of one of the groups Dan rants about, but I’m all for free speech and and open forum.
    That way the “crazy” is all out in the open.
    I think most people dismiss him with mild amusement anyway.

  193. And I find his love of Hitler and spicy ethnic food a bottomless source of entertainment!

  194. Twelve years of Catholic schooling gave me a dogmatic cast of mind, for which I’m grateful. I learned that there is no room for deviation on Catholic teaching on faith and morals, unless you’re prepared to vote with your feet. My point, to HH’s post, is that that is one of the things Catholic education does that public school education doesn’t. Dogma, the actual thing, is taught in Catholic schools. That doesn’t mean it can’t be an excellent and unbigoted education (Architect) or a happy-clappy cultural enrichment trip (Endora). It means what it means: They teach fecking dogma, some of which happens to be outside of mainstream American beliefs and moral attitudes. As we repeatedly are reminded when the bishops (two of whom are former teachers of mine) impose themselves in American public policy debates. You know what? They were expounding the same political line 25 years ago in the classroom. It’s not evil — it’s not even necessarily bad — but it is a fact any parent should consider.

    JJJ: A major reason the hierarchy covered up abuse is that they feared publicity would undermine clerical and hierarchical authority, supernatural and otherwise. That authority is of utmost importance to the insitution’s management (less so to its customers).

  195. “I certainly think highly of the Jesuits and am not aware of much Jesuit involvement in the broader Catholic problems.”
    They are/were involved. Google John Morse Jesuit. There are many other other examples. For one google Kurtz Chicago Society of Jesus.

  196. Also, in his comment about rooting out teh geyz from seminaries, is Helmethofer calling a bottom on clerical pedophilia?

  197. I don’t know why women would want to be part of a church (or any religion) that would rather have male pedophiles as its leaders than women. It sends a clear message to me, as a woman, that I am worse than a pedophile in the church’s eyes just by virtue of being female.

  198. “And yes I consider religion to be legalized brainwashing.”

    Ha! You finally admit that Rahm Emanuel brainwashes his kids with religious education. Good job. Must hurt for you to admit that, but at least you stop being a hypocrite and Catholic school hater. Lots of these haters can’t deal with the fact that Rahm is a fundamentalist with his religion. Ha ha….

    Milkster: I’ve never brought up Hitler ever. Stop your lying, thanks. People need to wake up, the fact that a CPS school is named after Lorca should alert everyone as to what kind of brainwashers are in charge. Avoid. It should be considered child abuse to let your kid graduate from a school named after Lorca or Harvey Milk or whatever, totally inappropriate brainwashing. Private schools, Catholic schools, and homeschoolers will spend more time learning 3 R’s — and not indoctrination.

  199. Lorca was a very good poet and dramatist. Who cares if he was gay.

  200. “the former president of loyola academy did get in trouble last year for kissing a couple students, I think in the 80?s.”

    I guess my post about gays in seminaries was deleted, but it’s true I believe Catholics have now a formal process to root out and disassociate homosexuals from the priesthood, anyone can look it up. That reverses their policies from the liberal Sixties era. That priest from Loyola was a flamer from what I’ve heard from people who went there, meaning you could tell he was gay, as in born that way, like the song.

  201. H’hofer,

    I wouldn’t mind if they named a school after Ezra Pound, even though was on your side in WWII.

  202. “Lorca was a very good poet and dramatist. Who cares if he was gay.”

    The people that named the school care. Not only that, he has a Hispanic name, so that helped too considering the location of the school. Wake up. Nice try though.

  203. There are still thousands of gay priests in the US. Don’t be fooled.

  204. Why is there a movement to rename Balbo Drive? and also a school named after Lorca? Think about it, brainwashers are in charge. Come on. You’d have to be nuts to let them inculcate their brainwashing in your child.

  205. Lorca was a great poet from Spain.

    Balbo was a fascist from Italy, though I have not heard about the street being renamed.

  206. “There are still thousands of gay priests in the US. Don’t be fooled.”

    Then they will continue to be abuse of young boys. I would hope Catholics would have learned their lesson by now, and I do believe that gays are no longer accepted in the seminaries. If they are going to be full-blown liars, that’s dispicable and they are helping to ruin a major Western religion with their horrible actions.

  207. Lorca was Spanish, never lived in Central or South America to my knowledge. Was assasinated by your buddy Franco. Luckily Spain is finally addressing it’s fascist past.

  208. There have been gays in religion since the dawn of history. Nothing new.

  209. “Milkster: I’ve never brought up Hitler ever. Stop your lying, thanks.”
    So you’re not denying your love of foreign food.
    Does it all ever give you a brain freeze?

  210. “I was forced to do time in a Catholic school as a child and it was torture. I don’t think I knew what Jesus was before I went and I had never been to church. Then, all of a sudden, a teacher was telling me my dog wouldn’t go to “heaven.” It was then I decided they were full of shit. My parents aren’t religious, but they thought a Catholic school would be better than the neighborhood CPS. Luckily, I got out of that Catholic school hell hole. Catholic school taught me to hate Catholics and that’s about it. I would never put my kids through the misery that is Catholic school.”

    That’s about as mean-spirited a rant as CC has ever seen. jenny, why did you eave out the fact that you’re Jewish when you made anti-Catholic rants? Don’t try and BS people.

  211. Christ, open your eyes, Helmet! The whole traditionalist Catholic movement, which thrives on your End of the West outlook, is shot through with liturgy queens. The Vatican is well known as prime cruising ground. Hell, the current pope has palpably mauve proclivities (and a hunky German Jesuit for his Boy Robin). There is nothing wrong with that! The whole point is not kicking out homosexuals — all the talented clerics would be gone — it’s enforcing abstinence. I don’t subscribe to your homosexuality equals pedophile conceit, and the idea that the source of all the pedophilia is the 60s/70s is comically stupid. (E.g., explain Ireland, where the 60s/70s never happened.)

  212. “The people that named the school care”

    How do you know? Did you interview them?

  213. Mmm Ustase Dan in full effect. Or is he a Chetnik?

  214. “Lorca was Spanish, never lived in Central or South America to my knowledge. Was assasinated by your buddy Franco.”

    Exactly. Now we’re getting somewhere. That’s precisely why the school was named after him, plus he’s a LGBT deity too. I actually don’t know the full story about Lorca, other than reading left-leaning Wikipedia like everyone else for info. I do know that there shouldn’t be a CPS school named after him, except that LGBT, liberal, cultish, brainwashers wanted it, so as to push their twisted values in education. We all know it’s happening, parents are always getting ticked off by these people, pushing pro-sex books in 2nd grade, etc. It’s all over the news, how can you miss it?

  215. “The whole point is not kicking out homosexuals — all the talented clerics would be gone — it’s enforcing abstinence. I don’t subscribe to your homosexuality equals pedophile conceit, and the idea that the source of all the pedophilia is the 60s/70s is comically stupid.”

    The abuse was with boys, not girls. I love how religion haters cannot deal with homosexual crime. What’s that term? cognitive dissonance or something like that? The abusers have more in common with NAMBLA gay men than they do Jesus Christ.

  216. HH, are gay men more disposed than hets to be pedophiles? Does any incidence of het pedophilia also require that hets be banned from seminaries? Data please, and logical consistency. But if you can only supply one, make it data.

  217. You know nothing about Lorca other than he was gay and assassinated. You are a fool, but we already knew that.

  218. “That’s about as mean-spirited a rant as CC has ever seen. jenny, why did you eave out the fact that you’re Jewish when you made anti-Catholic rants? Don’t try and BS people.”

    What can I say except that Christianity (as it is practiced in general), is mean spirited as are most religions. The most cruel people I have encountered were religious.

    Some of the cruelest religious school incidents:

    Case point 1: My friend’s father was dying of cancer. The nuns wanted to kick her out because she missed so much school to be with him. One day, the nuns called to ask why she wasn’t in school that day. Her brother, who has a British accent, told them that her father was literally about to die (as he was)… the nun misheard and called the police, telling them that my friend was trying to kill her own father.

    Case point 2: Friend went to a Buddhist school. You would think the monks would be kind and peaceful. They decided that one girl’s hair was too long and they proceeded to shave her hair off in front of the class.

    Case point 3: Friend worked very hard on an essay to win a contest. Friend was very proud of the essay. This was long before computers. The nun didn’t like my friend, so told him it was a “great” essay and then said, “but I don’t like you, so I’m going to rip it up” and ripped it up in front of him and the entire class.

    Case point 4: Friend went to Jewish school. The principal decided her skirt was too long, so he locked her in a closet until her mom picked her up.

    Case point 5: When I was in Catholic school, the teachers condoned the students’ incessant teasing of a girl who had cancer and had lost her hair.

    I could go on and on…

  219. One of my favorite poems of Lorca’s, Canción de jinete:

    Córdoba.
    Lejana y sola.

    Jaca negra, luna grande,
    y aceitunas en mi alforja.
    Aunque sepa los caminos
    yo nunca llegaré a Córdoba.

    Por el llano, por el viento,
    jaca negra, luna roja.
    La muerte me está mirando
    desde las torres de Córdoba.

    ¡Ay que camino tan largo!
    ¡Ay mi jaca valerosa!
    ¡Ay que la muerte me espera,
    antes de llegar a Córdoba!

    Córdoba.
    Lejana y sola.

    nothing gay in it btw

  220. Helmethofler, soon you and all your bigoted brethren will be dead and the rest of us will finally be free to run around, commit debauchery, love jews and have gay sex orgies. Good times will be had by all, and nobody will miss you or give a shit about the nonsense your deluded mind churned out in your short, irrelevant time on earth.

  221. “Good times will be had by all, and nobody will miss you or give a shit about the nonsense your deluded mind churned out in your short, irrelevant time on earth.”

    Tell that to santorum’s electorate. There is a very large, rich and powerful conservative faction of the country who pretty much agree with Helmethoofer and spend an enormous amount of time trying to force this stuff upon everybody; just as equally as the far left is naming hispanic schools lorca.

    The one thing we can all agree upon is that if CPS spent more time teaching the three R’s and less time on politically correct non-sense, the schools wouldn’t be rated sooo damn poorly.

  222. “You know nothing about Lorca other than he was gay and assassinated.”

    That’s the reason the CPS school is named after him. At least I’m smart enough to know that. And also know who Lorca was when I drove by the school. 99% of the suckers sending their kids to get brainwashed wouldn’t have known. Have you read full biographies on every person a CPS school is named after? didn’t think so.

    “soon you and all your bigoted brethren will be dead”

    You have it backwards. I expose the bigots, like on this Lorca thing. Duh! Go ahead get your STD, have fun!

  223. There are some school in CPS where they teach the children to speak spanish as their first language. The rationale behind this is that it’s better (and easier) to eventually have the students proficient in one language rather than awful in two.

  224. Lorca is considered one of the most important Spanish poets of the 20th Century. His homosexuality has nothing to do with it. He was a star when he was alive when gays were very closeted.

  225. And Dan, logistically speaking, what do you do when someone who is different from you is kind to you or tries to befriend you?
    You’ve lived in Chicago forever, so it’s bound to have happened at some point.
    Do you just get all huffy until they go “WTF?” and go away?

  226. “and spend an enormous amount of time trying to force this stuff upon everybody”

    NICE TRY! You also have it 100% backwards as to who is doing the forcing.

    Who is trying to force things? Supreme Court will knock down Obama’s forced health care mandate today hopefully. Americans support liberty, not marxist totalitarianism shoved upon them and brainwashing like so many clowns here want to force down people’s throats. I hope Catholic schools stay open forever so the haters can sit and be angry and bigoted about it.

  227. Helmethoofer – they’re not called STD’s anymore; they’re called STIs . Get with the program – duh!

  228. Dan lives in McHenry county where all his neighborhoods think just like him.

  229. “His homosexuality has nothing to do with it.”

    I’ll never believe that. I got to hand it to the brainwashers though, they picked a good one: Hispanic, LGBT, leftist martyr, and foreign. What’s that called, a superfecta?

  230. I’ve got a hot lead for the CPD

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-vandalism-reported-at-edgewater-synagogue-20120328,0,5441349.story

  231. HH: where do you live? of all your posts on this website, you’ve never once said what neighborhood you live in.

  232. “That’s the reason the CPS school is named after him.”

    How do you know? Were you at the meeting where they named the building because Lorca was gay?

  233. HH, you’re better off with the Decline of the West thing — it has a distinguished literary tradition behind it, and it fits with your own pretensions.

    That librul elitist/Barack Hussein/socialism/collectivism line is strictly middlebrow, and only the stupid believe it.

    Of course, the Decline of the West thing, if done right, does sort of lead one to philosemitism, so I guess that’s out for you.

    On second thought, give up.

  234. “less time on politically correct non-sense”

    You base that conclusion on what, HD? Dan’s assertions?

  235. Jesus may have been gay. If you read the gospels, one would certainly think so.

  236. “You base that conclusion on what, HD? Dan’s assertions?”

    Jesus H. Christ anon(tfo), I base my opinion on years and years of second-hand scuttlebutt, conjecture, hearsay and, most importantly, what I hear on the Radio from everyone’s favorite conservative jew, Michael Medved.

  237. “Vlajos (March 28, 2012, 11:45 am)

    Jesus may have been gay. If you read the gospels, one would certainly think so.”

    I doubt you read the gospels, because, if you did, you would understand that Jesus was banging mary magdalene. He most assuredly was not gay.

  238. HH, you are so ignorant. There were many girls who were abused too. It is just that you have an agenda and try to twist the truth as usual. See this:

    “Data analyzed by John Jay researchers, including Smith, shows that even though there were many more boy victims than girls overall, the number and proportion of sexual misconduct directed at girls under 8 years old was higher than that experienced by boys the same age. Specifically, between 1950 and 2002, there were 246 girls younger than 8 who were sexually abused by priests (representing 14 percent of all girl victims), compared with 236 boys (3 percent of all boy victims). However, the most likely age of victims—for girls and boys—was between 11 and 14.”

  239. “Supreme Court will knock down Obama’s forced health care mandate today hopefully.”

    Today? That would be a record time in which to issue an opinion of such import. Those clerks had better start writing.

  240. BTW, HH you have made hateful remarks about all groups but not Muslims. I was curious, are you middle eastern by any chance?

  241. “I doubt you read the gospels, because, if you did, you would understand that Jesus was banging mary magdalene. He most assuredly was not gay.”

    One of the lost gospels has Jesus kissing one of the male apostles on the lips.

  242. “One of the lost gospels has Jesus kissing one of the male apostles on the lips.”

    So, he was bi.

  243. What’s that saying – if you try to dance with a pig, you’ll just get fleas, the pig likes it and he can’t dance anyway?

  244. HD – “Dan lives in McHenry county where all his neighborhoods think just like him.”

    I’m thinking Woodtucky to be specific.

  245. “What’s that saying – if you try to dance with a pig, you’ll just get fleas, the pig likes it and he can’t dance anyway?”

    In keeping with the theme of this thread: Proverbs 26:4.

  246. Maybe Jesus was on the DL?

    So what if they did name the school after the guy because he was gay and assassinated? It’s a good lesson to teach to children that hate solves nothing. Perhaps you should try it sometime.

  247. Stanfordmom is hilarious. First she talks about her “gifted child”, notwithstanding her funny moniker, then she demands Dan br censored, despite being new to this blog and having no standing to do so. Then she goes on to insult a large religion’s Messiah.

    Honey I have a feeling your “gifted child’ won’t be going to Stanford afterall, ad half of your DNA is in the mix. Best.change it to Stamford mom before the joke sticks.

  248. “then she demands Dan br censored, despite being new to this blog ”

    She’s not; she just changed her name.

    “Best.change it to Stamford mom before the joke sticks”

    As some on the intertubez say: WHIFF!

  249. “Jesus H. Christ anon(tfo)”

    So, you’re on the Jesus Homosexual Christ bang wagon, too, HD?

  250. band, not bang, but: Heh!

  251. What’s funny HD is I’d bet if you looked at the voting party split between Cook & Mchenry counties Cook would be more heavily tilted than Mchenry. Just a hunch.

  252. Not even gonna bite at the pinhead’s marxist reference to the crony capitalistic health care bill. Getting bored waiting for the MF Global hearing to start. Too bad Corzine won’t be there, was looking forward to seeing him squirm.

  253. Wow, didn’t check the comments after yesterday morning and came back to see where people had netted out… guess we got off-topic.

    Throwing my 2 cents into the Catholic school discussion, I went to St. Andrew’s from K-8, then Gordon Tech for HS, and I didn’t have any issues like other posters are describing. Maybe these two schools were just very progressive, but the religious education was centered around ethics and moral compassion, not dogma. A LOT more emphasis was placed on academic progress. We had to go to mass once a month, but you had the option of going to the Library if you weren’t Catholic (and there were several in my class). At GT, you didn’t even have to take a religion class if you didn’t want to – there was a class called “Survey of World Religions” that just studied how different religions around the world have shaped societies. Overall, I probably had a more well-rounded and complete education than if I’d gone to a public school. And being in the city, the student population was diverse and racism was never an issue because we’d all grown up around other races. Guess my point is that not all Catholic schools are created equal, and you can indeed get a good education at a Catholic school.

  254. JJJ: “I seriously could not, in good conscience, send my children to any school associated with an institution with such a consistent and global record of covering up, brushing off and enabling child sexual abuse.”

    I agree, and that’s why there’s no way I’m sending my kids to public schools:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charol_Shakeshaft

    “According to a 2006 National Review Online opinion column republished by CBS News, Shakeshaft said that “… the physical sexual abuse of students in [public] schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by [Catholic] priests.”[4] She estimated that about 290,000 students were victimized between 1991 and 2000.”

  255. ““According to a 2006 National Review Online opinion column republished by CBS News, Shakeshaft said that “… the physical sexual abuse of students in [public] schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by [Catholic] priests.”[4] She estimated that about 290,000 students were victimized between 1991 and 2000.”

    Coherent use of statistics in right wing hit piece fail.

  256. Apparently, “physical sexual abuse” in public schools includes telling dirty jokes:

    “In the report, Shakeshaft defines “sexual abuse” in an extremely broad manner to include “physical, verbal, or visual” behavior by an educator ranging from sexual intercourse to telling inappropriate jokes. One study cited in the report included sexual comments, gestures or looks in its definition of sexual abuse and asked students if other students had committed such acts toward themselves or each other.”

    http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=1331

  257. typo, meant: RedG, good post, but it’s not going to matter.

  258. JJJ: Obviously Shakeshaft spun the data, but the raw data is alarming enough. There’s nothing right or left wing about pointing out that large bureaucracies are good places for abusers to hide (for reasons of CYA, unclear accountability and authority hierarchies, liability concerns, etc) or that child abusers actively seek to work with children. The Catholic Church and the public schools are both big bureaucracies that seek to avoid scandal and to protect their employees and we should expect them to share certain traits.

  259. The raw data is garbage. Rigged science to get to a preconceived conclusion. See my link above. Another quote from it:
    “Among the questions asked of students by the one AAUW study was, “during your whole school life, how often, if at all, has anyone (this includes students, teachers, other school employees, or anyone else) done the following things to you when you did not want them to? Made sexual comments, jokes, gestures or looks.” A list of 13 other behaviors follows.
    The question seems to be the nexus at which sexual abuse in school is established. Thus, the 10 percent figure properly includes “sexual abuse” by fellow students and other non-school employees. That fact alone invalidates the AAUW study for Shakeshaft’s purposes. It also invalidates her conclusions.”

    “Obviously Shakeshaft spun the data, but the raw data is alarming enough.”

  260. And now we hear from Zyklon Bob. The guy who’s gonna gas us real good when the shit comes down.

    It’s been fun, Helmethofer, but I know you have a helmet to polish (possibly to the strains of the Horst-Wessel-Lied?). I’ll let Bob vent the lizard brain of latter-day Bircher conservatism and see ya in the funny papers.

  261. “Horst-Wessel-Lied”

    More like Ustaška kora?nica, is my guess.

  262. Likud!

  263. Whoah glad I missed this turd of a thread, and glad to see Godwin’s law is still valid…

    douchebags!

  264. “glad to see Godwin’s law is still valid…
    douchebags!”

    Exactly. I’m pretty sure Milkster was the guilty party.

  265. “Best.change it to Stamford mom before the joke sticks”
    “As some on the intertubez say: WHIFF!”

    That almost made up for reading through this thread.

  266. Please don’t feed the trolls.

  267. She’s more like Samford U. mom.

  268. gringozecarioca on March 28th, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    “with no mention at all of the 54mm other casualties.”

    Of course, we own the press. Come to think about it we pretty much own everything else as well.

  269. Sabrina: I realize that CC isn’t your only daily commitment, and I realize that high numbers of “clicks” are everything to a website. And, I appreciate that you try to take a fairly liberal approach to the comments, and you’ve made an effort in the past to deal with expressions of certain especially toxic viewpoints on here. But I can’t imagine that any sponsors (or many readers) feel very good about what exactly causes threads such as this one to blast above the 200 comment level, well on its way to 300.

  270. @ anonny, what are you suggesting? She should ban Dan? If one truly believes in freedom of speech that should include being able to hear the things one finds most absurd and wrong. Otherwise we are not that much better than Dan. He says the meanest most baseless things and has the face to jump at Jenny for her comment or outright lie that I make anti Dixie and Chad comments…lol
    I wish people like him were allowed to speak more often. It just shows how paranoid, illogical, and utterly sad they are.

  271. I’ve banned Dan several times.

    I’ve deleted numerous comments in this thread already. Also- Russ is correct- that you shouldn’t feed the troll. Several of you egg him on (and you know who you are.) If you don’t feed him- he goes away.

  272. Dan OS obnoxious. Let him spew his non real estate related chatter on some other forum.

  273. gringozecarioca on March 28th, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    “I’ve banned Dan several times.”

    Someone could just find him and kill him. That would be cool.

  274. Oy Vey! Ze Hate!

  275. Dan,
    I know I tease you sometimes.
    You can be cruel.
    And you’ve insulted me many times without even knowing it because you don’t know my background.
    But I do enjoy hearing from you on certain things.
    Like your love of dive bars and hate of pretension.
    Your descriptions of L passengers.
    Or your excellent food recommendations.
    I eat at the lunch counter at Joong Boo Market every trip out to Chicago and thank you for telling us about it. I wish you would give us more like that.
    And when Sabrina profiles homes off the beaten path in places like far western Humboldt Park, you have the curiosity to get in your car and check them out.
    You obviously love Chicago and I wish you didn’t feel all the other stuff cause it ruins it.

  276. I enjoy bantering back and forth with people on this site. I don’t see a need to ban anyone except for spammers and Sabrina seems to do a very good job at keeping spammers from this site.

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