PSAT for 2-7-12: Get in on the Tuesday action!

More groups are picking up on the idea of doing something every Tuesday to fight for our public schools – Public Schools Action Tuesday, PSAT!

Chicago’s Parents 4 Teachers group is continuing its Tuesday call-in campaign to CPS to stop school closings (see #1 below).

And next Tuesday, Feb. 14, at 9 pm EST, the Save Our Schools March is kicking off an every-Tuesday social media #SOSchat. The Valentine’s Day-appropriate topic? “What Do I LOVE About Public Schools?” More on that next week.

PURE’s PSAT actions for 2-7-12:

1) CALL IN – Parents 4 Teachers is asking everyone to call Chicago Public Schools CEO JC Brizard again this Tuesday and for the next two Tuesdays leading up to the February 22, 2012, Board of Education meeting, asking for a stop to school closings and turnarounds. Lots of calls were made last week – let’s keep the pressure on!


Parents 4 Teachers asks: If you’ve already called, thank you. Go ahead and call again and please commit to getting TWO more people to call. These school actions will have a devastating impact on students, families and their communities. CPS should be working to improve schools, not close them. Please forward this to everyone you know who’s committed to working for quality schools for ALL Chicago children.

2) SIGN – Dump Duncan! Chicago’s Arne Duncan has done what many thought was impossible – made the No Child Left Behind law even worse than it was under George W Bush. Here’s your chance to ask President Obama to give a sign that he gets it, and that he wants people who care about education to care again about voting for him. Sign the Dump Duncan petition!

3) QUESTION: Chicago Educational Facilities Task Force advisor Jackie Leavy notes that more hearing officer reports have been posted on the CPS web site. Apparently most of the reports “find” in favor of CPS’s proposals. How do the hearing officers’ reports line up with what was actually said in the hearings?

Jackie also mentions that a City Council Education Committee hearing on CPS school closings and other actions that was supposed to be held yesterday was cancelled. If your alderman is a member of this committee (and even if he/she is not) you may want to ask why, and let them know your opinion on these actions.

City Council Ed Committee chair is Latasha Thomas, and the vice-chair is Rey Colon. Committee members are:

Moreno, Dowell, Sawyer, Beale, Cardenas, O’Shea, Munoz, Solis, Maldonado, Burnett, Ervin, Waguespack,Laurino, P. O’Connor, M. O’Connor, Osterman

The Committee will be meeting this Thursday, Feb 9, at 10 am in Room 201A, on another topic, so that might be a good time to ask them what’s going on.

Here are some more great questions for policy makers from Diane Ravitch (“Do politicians know anything about schools and education? Anything?”).

4) READ/SHARE: Wonder why CPS can “listen” so much at so many hearings and yet “hear” nothing that parents, students, teachers, the community, other educators, research experts, and scientists are saying? You may be interested in reading through their playbook, “What’s Trust Got to do with it?,” a report by Public Agenda which was recently reviewed by the corporate reform myth-busters at the National Education Policy Center.

NEPC’s review is usefully titled, “Giving Parents the Run-around on School Turnarounds.” 

The press release for this review describes Public Agenda’s advice for officials dealing with community resistance to the drastic actions they are determined to impose on schools:

In the face of such reaction, the authors of What’s Trust Got to Do With It? focus on how to better sell the concept. They assume that resistant parents simply don’t understand “how bad” their local schools are….(T)he report never treats seriously the substantive concerns of resistant parents; it never questions the fundamental strategy that it proposes communicating about….The result is a document that’s “paternalistic and arrogant” in its “criticism of parents for not knowing what’s good for them.”




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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.