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The Sunday Mail.

December 30, 2012

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Close the School of the Americas.

Remembering Don Cornelius. In 1973 we would roll up the carpet at Dennis and Roberta’s Garfield Boulevard apartment on the South Side and dance to Love Train.

New Jersey’s Governor Christie started his rule attacking teachers. It’s a gateway drug.

Poor kids don’t need Art and Music education. What?

An online petition for an elected school board in Chicago, the only Illinois school system that doesn’t have one. Sign it. Pass it on.

The pension rallies are on. See you in Springfield on Thursday.

The Chicago Teachers Union’s Jackson Potter tells the Sun-Times that we don’t won’t billionaires running our still-public schools.

I work in a psychiatric hospital in Chicago. Unlike many teachers out there who see only their small window of the reform world, I get to see the cross-section.  Students cycle through my program so quickly (too quickly, thanks to massive cuts in mental health services) that I hear dozens of stories a week from all over the city and surrounding suburbs.  And what’s happening out there is beyond heart-breaking, it is wrong.  Kids have come in to the hospital with massive anxiety, depression, and aggression related, in part, to school policies.  I have students who report fear of “getting jumped” on the way to schools across town after their neighborhood school was shut down.  I’ve had kids with school refusal due to the very real fear of a dangerous bus route through rival neighborhoods. Young people are afraid of the increases in violence and gang activity as kids from all parts of the city are thrust together in schools whose only response to the rage is zero tolerance lockdown.  There is no healing, just ignoring and punishing the problem, pushing the fights off of school grounds.  Almost every child I work with from the neighborhoods targeted for the brunt of school reform has symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.  They have difficulty sitting still, are quick to react to any perceived threat with violence or aggression, cannot concentrate on school work, and have come to hate the experience of school.  And yet all they get from school leadership is school closures, fired teachers, and false choices. Ms Katie

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