More great local education forums coming up

It’s spring and the education forums are in bloom!

Here are two more opportunities to join with other public school advocates, share the truth about our schools, and plan some action to support and protect public education.

Teachers for Social Justice

School closings. Attacks on teachers & the CTU. Unfunded longer school day. Too much testing. WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE??

TSJ forum with parents, students, teachers, and community folk from Beverly, to Bronzeville, to Pilsen, to Ravenswood in a dialogue about where we go from here. The time for city-wide unity is now!

Saturday, May 5, 5PM – 7 PM
Intuit Art Gallery
756 N. Milwaukee Ave (Chicago)
(Donations at the door appreciated)

Voices of Youth in Chicago Education

VOYCE is convening 400 students and parents on Monday, May 7, from 6-8 pm at the IBEW Union Hall (600 W Washington) on the issue of racial disparities in the administration of extreme school disciplinary practices.

We’ve invited our elected officials to join us, and John Simmons and Antwan WIlson, senior staff at Denver Public Schools, will also be there to speak about the results that they’ve seen in Denver as a result of their revisions to the discipline code and increased emphasis on transparency and reporting.

PURE has endorsed the Call to Action for this event:

May 7, 2012

This month marks the 58th anniversary of Brown v. Board, the historic Supreme Court decision that declared that racially segregated schools in the United States were “inherently unequal,” and abolished decades-old segregationist laws. Yet almost sixty years after this monumental decision, our schools continue to produce tragically unequal outcomes.

Nowhere are these disparities more stark—or hold more grave consequences—than in the administration of school discipline. Federal civil rights data released by the U.S. Department of Education this year has shown that Black and Latino students are suspended or expelled three times more often than white students, and arrested for non-violent offenses over three times more frequently than white students. The Black-white suspension ratio in Chicago is the third-highest in the entire country. And every day, an average of thirty-one students are arrested in Chicago schools—over six times more students than are arrested every day in New York City.

Brown v. Board was a landmark decision made possible by the courage and moral leadership of grassroots activists, parents and students on the ground as well as the Supreme Court justices who wrote the unanimous decision. Today we are calling on our judicial and legislative leaders to take another courageous stand in the face of the grave racial inequalities that have persisted through to our educational system today.

The undersigned organizations stand together today to call for an end to the extreme and ineffective school disciplinary practices that are putting more and more students of color on a path to prison. It’s time for our public leaders to invest in the policies and practices needed to put Black and Latino youth on a path to college, not a path to prison.

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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.