PSAT for 1-24-12: Call for a moratorium on school closings

We’ve done it before, but the momentum for demanding a citywide moratorium on school closings grows stronger than ever.

Why do I say that?

1) The front-page headline story in the Sun-Times exposing the rent-a-protesters at school closing hearings has turned up the heat on CPS and its refusal to listen to the real people in the school communities who are affected by district actions.

2) The Chicago Educational Facilities Task Force (CEFTF), a state legislative advisory body established to assure that CPS facilities decisions are fair and transparent, has done its due diligence in collecting information and analyzing the CPS process and policy. The CEFTF has determined on a near-unanimous vote to report to the Illinois General Assembly that the CPS school closing and turnaround process is out of compliance with Public Act 97-0474 (only the CPS representative voted no).  Rep. Cynthia Soto, CEFTF co-chair, is preparing to introduce a bill calling for a moratorium.

3) Community-generated plans for school improvement, such as the “Bronzeville Global Achievers Village School Improvement Plan,” are beginning to resonate with the public (see this story, for example, about changes to a legislative proposal in Florida to include consideration of parent-generated school improvement plans when schools are considered for intervention).

For today’s Public Schools Action Tuesday, please send a quick message like the following to CPS here and to Mayor Emanuel here, and if you have an extra minute, to your alderman:

CPS under mayoral control has had 17 years to fix our schools. By working against the desires, proposals, and concerns of local stake holders, CPS has nearly decimated the school system without significantly raising achievement. It’s time for a moratorium on school closings and turnarounds. CPS must re-engage with parents and the entire school community through LSCs, PACs, and other meaningful opportunities for open dialogue, collaborative planning, and all-way accountability.

There’s a Board meeting tomorrow where many threatened schools will be represented, and there are hearings this week and ongoing about the changes CPS proposaes for these schools:

Tuesday, January 24

5:30 to 8:30 pm – Crane Closing hearing, Talent Development Co-location hearing at 125 S Clark Street, 5th floor Board Chambers

Wednesday, January 25

5:30 pm to 7:30 pm – Best Practice HS Closing hearing at 125 S Clark Street, Rm 1550

8:00 pm to 10:00 pm – ACT Charter and Nash Co-location hearing at 125 S Clark Street, 5th floor Board Chambers

Thursday, January 26

5:30 pm to 7:30 pm – Chi Arts and Doolittle Co-location hearing at 125 S Clark Street, 5th floor Board Chambers

8:00 pm to 10:00 pm – Guggenheim Closing hearing at 125 S Clark Street, 5th floor Board Chambers

Friday, January 27

5:30 pm to 7:30 pm – Dyett HS Phase-out hearing at 125 S Clark Street, 5th floor Board Chambers

8:00 pm to 10:00 pm – Lathrop Closing hearing at 125 S Clark Street, 5th floor Board Chambers

Monday, January 30

5:30-7:30 p.m. – Casals AUSL Turnaround hearing, at 125 S. Clark St, 5th Floor Board Chambers

8:00 pm to 10:00 pm – Piccolo AUSL Turnaround hearing, at 125 S. Clark St, 5th Floor Board Chambers

Tuesday, January 31

5:30-7:30 p.m. – Herzl AUSL Turnaround hearing at 125 S. Clark St, 5th Floor Board Chambers

8:00 pm to 10:00 pm – Stagg AUSL Turnaround hearing, at 125 S. Clark St, 5th Floor Board Chambers

Wednesday, February 1

5:30-7:30 p.m. – Fuller AUSL Turnaround hearing, at 125 S. Clark St, 5th Floor Board Chambers

8:00 pm to 10:00 pm – Woodson South OSI Turnaround hearing, at 125 S. Clark St, 5th Floor Board Chambers

Thursday, February 2

5:30-7:30 p.m. – Marquette AUSL Turnaround hearing, at 125 S. Clark St, 5th Floor Board Chambers

8:00 pm to 10:00 pm – Smith OSI Turnaround hearing, at 125 S. Clark St, 5th Floor Board Chambers

Friday, February 3

5:30-7:30 p.m. — Chicago Vocational OSI HS Turnaround hearing at 125 S. Clark St, 5th Floor Board Chambers

8:00 pm to 10:00 pm – Tilden OSI Turnaround hearing, at 125 S. Clark St, 5th Floor Board Chambers

 

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About the PURE Thoughts blogger
Julie Woestehoff is PURE's executive director. Julie's work has earned her a Ford Foundation award and recognition as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Chicago.