PSAT for 1-31-12: Call for Mr. Brizard – no school closings!

  Another new parent group has formed in Chicago (it’s a hotbed! or is it that parents are  getting more and more fed up…).

Parents 4 Teachers is just what the name suggests – a group coming together to show the deep and strong support parents have for our children’s teachers. Please help make their first action a success, and also be sure to “Like” their Facebook page.

I’m sending this out as this week’s Public Schools Action Tuesday (PSAT) promotion a little early (to give you a full day to call!).

From Parents 4 Teachers:

Dear Parents and Community Members, 

As concerned parents we ask that you call Mr. Brizard, Chicago Board of Education CEO, on Tuesday, January 31, and urge him to immediately withdraw plans to close 6 schools and turn around 10 others. It will send a strong message if CPS receives many calls on the same day. 

Alsoplease call each Tuesday–February 7, 14, and 21—prior to the February 22 Board meeting when they will vote on the proposed actions. Please forward this email to others, share on facebook, and spread the word! 

School closings and turnarounds are harmful to children, their families, and their communities. These 15-year old policies have failed. When schools are closed students have to walk or be transported out of their neighborhoods. This results in an increase in violence and disruption of students’ education. Students lose up to six months of academic achievement for each school change. At turnaround schools administrators and teachers are fired. This disrupts the continuity of students’ relationships and academic instruction in a traumatic way. The affected schools are in low-income African-American and Latino communities. Would the mayor and Board members inflict these policies on their children?

Call Mr. Brizard at 773-553-1500. Parents, please identify your child’s school when you call.

Tell him… Mr. Brizard, I urge you to immediately withdraw plans to close 6 schools and turn around 10 others. Closing schools and turning them around did not work in the past and will not work now. These 15-year old policies increase violence, disrupt students’ education, and have not led to higher academic achievement. That students will attend better schools has proven to be a false promise. CPS should make every neighborhood school a great school.

Closing schools and turning them around blames teachers, administrators, students, and families. But the root causes of the problems are

  1. the effects of racism and poverty
  2. CPS’s refusal to invest sufficiently in high poverty schools
  3. policies like high stakes tests and large class size. 

Privatization continues. CPS proposes that six of the 10 turnaround schools be run by Academy for Urban School Leadership–a private corporation. AUSL’s record shows it has not improved schools, even as they have been paid millions–at taxpayer expense. Chicago Board of Ed Chair David Vitale and CPS Chief Administrative Officer Tim Cawley are former AUSL employees. In whose interests do these public servants serve? 

Please email us at to let us know CPS heard your voice. We’d like to keep track of how many calls they receive. Parents 4 Teachers is a new group of parents who have come together to stand up for teachers and defend public education. 

Thank you very much,       

Parents 4 Teachers Defending Public Education

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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.