United Effort Campaign

April 3rd, 2013
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President Obama once said, “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time.  We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.  We are the change we seek.”

It is time for us to unite our efforts and “be the change we seek!”  The Black Star Community PTA invites you to join The United Effort Campaign to Educate our Children.  The focus of this campaign is to band together the efforts of the family, school and community to educate our children.  Visit The United Effort Campaign Website  for more information.

Rodney Alexander, President

Natasha Dunn, Vice President

Catina Burries, Secretary

Mike Burries, Treasurer


Black Men of Honor College Fair

April 3rd, 2013
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Come visit our table at the Black Men of Honor College Fair this Saturday.  The fair is open to young men and women of all ages and all racial and ethnic backgrounds. It will be held at the Lake Shore Ramada at 4900 S. Lake Shore Drive.  The fair is from 10am to 1pm.  We hope to see you there!


PTA Advisory Meeting Open To All Current PTA Units in Chicago

October 12th, 2010
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These meetings are informative and well worth the trip downtown…

Dear PTA Advisory Committee-   Our October meeting is tomorrow, Wednesday the 13th @10am in the Dewey Conference Room (5th floor).   The agenda will include updates from the new directors of the CPS LSC and NCLB Departments, as well as an introduction of the new CPS Attendance and Truancy Department.

In addition, for those not able to join us downtown, for October we will offer the opportunity for parents to join us via phone.   Simply call the number below, and enter the code and password to join us from 10am-11am.   Thank you.

Dial In # 866-603-2932

Participant Code:  8322426

Carl Hurdlik

CPS Family and Community Engagement



Parent Institute Workshop This Weekend

October 12th, 2010
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The Urban Family Initiative of the National PTA will sponsor its quarterly Parent Institute Workshop Mini Conference Day.

Workshop sessions: Parents Rights and Responsibilities / Building Relationships that Support Student Success / Structure and Function of the School Site and School District

Date:                              Saturday October 16, 2010                                                                                                                  Time:                              8:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

vent Facility:               UIC Behavioral Science Building1007 W Harrison St. Chicago, IL 60607

RSVP REQUIRED    1.800.307.4782 ext 3511

Lunch provided.


2010 Meeting Dates

October 7th, 2010
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Interested in joining a cadre of parents and concerned citizens engaged on the issues and policies related to public education in Chicago? Want to learn effective ways to engage parents at your school or in your community? Attend a future meeting.

OCTOBER 16 - Followed by Urban Family Engagement Parent Workshop

NOVEMBER 20 – Special Guests Speaker Barb Quinn Illinois PTA Legislative Chair


The Black Star Community PTA meets monthly at 3509 S. King Drive Suite 2B Chicago, IL 60653

Meeting time 9:30AM-11AM

Call 773.285.9600 for more details.

Our Meetings

Black Star Community PTA News October 2010

October 7th, 2010
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On behalf of the Black Star Community PTA we would like to wish you a happy and successful academic year! We congratulate all the families and especially the men who participated in the Million Father March by taking their children (grandchildren, nephews/nieces or neighbors) to school on the first day. Many families have already established a steady routine for success. Set study time, limited television, great nutritional snacks and meals, daily exercise and adequate rest are all ways to promote our students’ academic success.

In schools across our country that operate year-round or on a track system students may already be off for intersession breaks. This increasing trend provides longer breaks in the fall, winter and spring in most instances without any extracurricular support. This time off can be ideal if used properly to continue learning outside the classroom or to enhance curriculum that has been presented.

This is the perfect opportunity for parents to join forces to create support systems for their students. Cash strapped school districts may not be able to finance additional programming, but an organized local or community Parent Teacher Association (PTA) can fill in that time with worthwhile activities.

Here are a just a few suggestions for intersession break activities:

  • Students keep your daily schedule close to your school routine. Rise early and dress for your day. Use the morning hours to do any assigned work from school.
  • Keep moving! Exercise daily.
  • Read for pleasure. Check out books at the local library or spend the day browsing new books at the local book store. Challenge yourself to read at least 1 hour each day (break it up into intervals if necessary).
  • Parents organize a PTA at your school or in your community and register for group discounts to matinee performances at local theaters, the symphony or other culturally enriching venues.
  • Parents make a daily schedule and plan visits to the local museums and zoo. Check your local library for discounts or the museum for free days.
  • Plan a local United Nations tour by visiting communities where ethnic groups other than your own reside. Try the food, practice the language, visit the shops and stop by the cultural centers to do a little research. There are over 26 neighborhoods in Chicago that provide different cultural experiences.
  • Parents can register their middle or high school student for courses with virtual schools such as Aventa Learning.
  • Use this time to help your child work on improving their standardized test scores. Schedule set time to do supplemental work and practice tests on the computer at sites like CarneyEd.com.
  • Families with high school age children may want to use this time to visit colleges.
  • Older students may also seek volunteer opportunities in a research lab or participate in community service.
  • Parents can create intersession planning groups through your own community PTA or consider joining Black Star Community PTA.

PTA allows parents an organizing mechanism to share information, resources and encourage our children to be avid life-long learners! Here’s to an excellent school year.

Sincerest regards,

Cynthia Flowers

President – Black Star Community PTA

Monthly Newsletter

Elections Scheduled for Our June Meeting!

June 16th, 2010
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Come out and vote for the new leadership of the Black Star Community PTA.

The meeting will take place on Saturday, June 19, 2010 from 9:30-11:00am at 3509 S. King Drive, Suite 2B in Chicago, Illinois.

Any member is welcome to run, please call us at 773.285.9600 if you are interested in running for any of the following positions:

  • President
  • Vice-President
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer

Our Meetings

Join us for our April meeting

March 22nd, 2010
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Saturday, April 17, 2010
9:30am -11:00am
3509 South King Drive, Suite 2B,
Chicago, Illinois
Your attendance is requested at the next Black Star Community PTA & League of Black Parents meeting

Don’t forget: Bring another parent (neighbor, co-worker, friend, etc.) with you!

Additional free parking located behind the building. For more information or to RSVP, call 773.285.9600 or email blackstarcommunitypta@yahoo.com.

Our Meetings

Join Us for Our Next Meeting

March 19th, 2010
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Saturday, March 20, 2010
9:30am -11:00am
3509 South King Drive, Suite 2B,
Chicago, Illinois
Your attendance is requested at the next Black Star Community PTA & League of Black Parents meeting

Don’t forget: Bring another parent (neighbor, co-worker, friend, etc.) with you!

Additional free parking located behind the building. For more information or to RSVP, call 773.285.9600 or email

Our Meetings

Press Release – Magnet and Selective School Enrollment Update

March 19th, 2010
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For more information contact:
Cynthia Flowers
Chair, Committee for Fairness in Magnet and Selective School Enrollment
Phone: 773.285.9600
Mobile: 312.287.4458


March 19, 2010

Parents and the Committee for Fairness in Magnet and Selective School Enrollment Challenge Failed Policies to Create Diversity and Excellence in Best Chicago Public Schools

Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) latest plan to extend admission opportunities to the top students attending its lowest-performing public schools is an obvious distraction from the sub-optimal early results of the new admission policy.

Analysis of early results by the Committee for Fairness in Magnet and Selective School Enrollment (CFMSSE) of CPS’s new trial selective enrollment process for high schools suggests that diversity among socio-economic groups was not achieved at several of these schools. CFMSSE predicts CPS’s practices will further negatively impact racial diversity in Chicago’s most elite public schools.

Although CPS has made an attempt to be more transparent with its data, one glaring detail was omitted from its press release. The total number of seats awarded in each tier was not included in the data released; however, published information indicates that Northside Prep awarded only 15% of its slots to students in Tier 1 while it awarded 55% of seats to students in Tier 4. Furthermore, because Chicago is so segregated, the reverse will likely occur at schools on the south side.

CFMSSE was formed by parents and community education advocacy groups last fall in response to CPS’s proposed changes to the selective enrollment school admissions process. CFMSSE advocates a fair and equitable process that ensures racial diversity is achieved at all selective enrollment schools. CMFSSE has made repeated attempts to meet with CPS officials, to provide input and oversight during key stages of the new selective enrollment process, yet no meeting has been scheduled to date.

CPS’s use of the No Child Left Behind federal mandate to populate the schools with students from under-performing schools constitutes an unnecessary measure to meet racial diversity. Since the post-segregation decree was vacated, CFMSSE’s position is that RACE matters. Had CPS officials incorporated race as ONE criterion to diversify schools, a more equitable balance could have been achieved from the pool of students originally qualified to apply to these schools.

“Selective enrollment high schools are not in the business of remediation. The most academically capable students seek the fast-paced, rigorous curriculum that many of these schools offer. Successfully navigating the culture and environment of these schools requires students equipped with well-developed interpersonal skills. It is imperative that students chosen not be set up to fail,” said Cynthia Flowers, President of the Black Star Community PTA and CFMSSE Chair.

Based on historical practices it is apparent that although there is one application process for selective enrollment schools, each school seems to have its own separate, and many times very unequal, admissions policy. For example, at Northside Prep, and Walter Payton College Prep, CPS has historically skimmed the top-achieving students for admittance based on their composite score. This practice has essentially created a class system among the elite schools. According to 2010 early data, Northside Prep only accepted students who scored a minimum of approximately 94-95% or 850 of the possible 900 composite points while Lindblom’s class was formed with students who scored a minimum of 73% or 660 up to 99% of the possible composite points, which provided a wider range of students and abilities.

CPS must address these system inequities and ensure that the same standards are used across the board at all of the selective enrollment schools. CFMSSE proposes that CPS do the following to ensure a wider range of students at each school:

1. Collaborate with an independent oversight taskforce comprised of parents and community members. Seek input from the community for other proposals that provide a fair and equitable admission process at selective enrollment schools during this “trial” year.
2. Raise the standards for selection across the board to require a stanine* of 7 or greater in math and reading for all students who wish to take the admissions exam.
3. Stabilize and unify criteria (race, socio-economics and test score) at each school to create a consistent, acceptable range for admission that is the same for EACH school (75% or better to enter a lottery for their choice school).

Additionally, CFMSSE calls for CPS to commit to increase standards and improve instructional levels at ALL neighborhood-based public high schools and to provide more viable alternatives for every student in the district to achieve academic success.

CPS’s announcement to allocate 100 additional seats in four of its selective enrollment high schools does not help the selective schools that are receiving these students, may hurt the proposed students attending these schools and does not correct the failed policies that necessitated this action.

The Committee will convene its regular scheduled meeting at The Black Star Project on Monday, March 22, 2010, at 6:30pm, and it will present its findings at the Chicago Board of Education meeting on Wednesday, March 24, 2010.

*Stanine is a method of scaling test scores on a nine-point standard scale with a mean of five (5) and a standard deviation of two (2). The Stanine score is usually derived from the national percentile and compares with performance using nine equal units. Scores of 1-3 are considered below average, 4-6 are considered average and 7-9 are above average.