Photo credit: Sarah Jane Rhee/loveandstrugglephotos.com.
Be sure to join us for cocktails and conversation with Karen Lewis at Weegee’s Lounge in Logan Square on April 11th. Anne and I are part of the host committee. All proceeds go to the Caucus of Rank and File Educators in the CTU. I’ll be the one in the orange sweater. And be sure to be at the Daley Center at 4PM on Wednesday.
Chicago teachers: “We will put our bodies on the line to fight school closings”
The Chicago Tribune and the Joyce Foundation team up to trash talk public education.
Chinua Achebe. Rest in peace.
Why won’t UFT President Mulgrew talk about his record of leadership asks the MORE caucus in NY.
Gary Tyler has been in a Louisiana prison since 1975, sentenced to death, and then life without parole at 17 for a crime he didn’t commit.
Chicago is headed to court. The schools targeted for closing are mostly in the Black community in a city where the schools are more segregated than in Alabama.
Outside Dumas Elementary School in the 5th Ward’s Woodlawn neighborhood, about 25 parents and supporters — some of whom said they spoke at community meetings with school officials in an effort to keep Dumas open — waved posters that read “Don’t separate our children from their teachers” and “Why would you take our teachers out?”
Alfonso Cozart said he felt “bamboozled” that his three children who attend Dumas would lose their current teachers under the proposed plan.
“We’re already going through stuff. Come down here and live like us,” Cozart said. “Come down here and see our kids go to school every day. To think and wonder are our kids going to make it off the bus to make it home — and safely.”
Ald. Pat Dowell took another tack. Realizing that her Near South Side ward — where the population shrank by more than 13,000 people from 2000 to 2010 — was likely to lose some schools, Dowell teamed with the Bronzeville Community Action Council to try to influence how school officials handled it.
In all, six 3rd Ward schools were on the final list. Dowell said she is focusing her message on how the changes will improve education after what she said were years of “seemingly arbitrary, willy-nilly” school closings and turnarounds in the ward’s neighborhoods. She cited the example of a plan supported by residents to merge an elementary school and a middle school into one building.
Regardless of whether clout played a role in choosing which schools to close, some aldermen are concerned that voters will believe it did and judge them on that basis, said Ald. Robert Fioretti, 2nd, who faces four school closings in his ward.
“I think that’s why you saw some of the aldermen beat their chest right away and say, ‘Yes, I saved the school,'” Fioretti said. “I’m utterly surprised to see some of my colleagues use these closings for political gain.” Chicago Tribune.