Upcoming dates for school closing and testing resistance

From Parents 4 Teachers:

An important month ahead

Many of you probably read the interim report from the “independent” school utilization commission last week. The report made news by recommending that no high schools be closed this year—at least for low enrollment—and by suggesting high-performing schools and schools with more than 600 students also be spared.

A few things jump out at us about this report. First, CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett told P4T and other community groups in November that high schools were off the table. So, it seems the commission is just following its marching orders. No news there—but more evidence that the “independent” commission is a sham.

At the time, she also acknowledged that the formula CPS uses to determine if a school is under enrolled had some problems. But she—and her commission—are sticking by it, despite mounting evidence that it’s designed to exaggerate the number of under enrolled schools and understate overcrowding in our classrooms.

These policies are devastating to students, their families and their communities, which is why P4T continues to push for a moratorium on all school closings. There is chaos on Clark St. and a total lack of trust for CPS among parents across the city.  But this will be a big fight. We need everyone to get involved. Contact info@parents4teachers.net to join our school closing committee.

Celebrate Martin Luther King Day in service to our schools 1/19/13

What better way to honor the legacy of Dr. King than to spend a day fighting to save our neighborhood public schools? Join parents, teachers and community groups for a day of canvassing, reaching out to communities in the fight to keep our schools open. Join one of these canvasses and help fight back:

North Side

With Northside Action for Justice 11:00 a.m—1:00 p.m.
Meet at Stockton Elementary, 4420 N. Beacon St.

Northwest Side

With Albany Park Neighborhood Council, 11:00 a.m.—2:00 p.m.
Meet at APNC office,
4749 N. Kedzie Ave., 2nd Fl.

West Side

With Blocks Together 10:00 a.m.—1:00 p.m.
Meet at Blocks Together office, 3455 W. North Ave.

With Action Now 11:00 a.m.—1:00 p.m.
Meet at Lewis Elementary, 1431 N. Leamington Ave.

South Side

With Kenwood Oakland Community Organization 11:00 a.m.—1:00 p.m.
Meet at KOCO office, 4242 S. Cottage Grove

The Truth About School Closings
Forum sponsored by Mid-South Education Association and the Education Committee of the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO).

Monday, Jan. 21, 5:30 p.m.
Location TBA
Call 773-548-7500 for more info or to RSVP

Assessments that Make Sense

Fed up with the high-stakes testing that plagues our schools. Join Fair Test’s Monty Neill for a discussion of alternatives to standardized testing.

Thursday, Jan. 24, 7 p.m.
Hartzell Memorial United Methodist Church
3300 S. Martin Luther King Dr.

Sponsored by Parents United for Responsible Education (PURE), Parents 4 Teachers, Fair Test, Chicagoland Researchers and Advocates for Transformative Education (CReATE), Chicago Teachers Union, the Illinois Association for Multilingual Multicultural Education and others.

Film Showing: The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman

Join Rogers Park Neighbors for Public Schools and P4T for a showing of this documentary that refutes the pro-charter, pro-privatization mania gripping our schools. The film offers a passionate defense of public schools and presents a platform to save them.

Thursday, January 31
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Sullivan High School Auditorium
6631 North Bosworth Ave.

A panel discussion and Q&A on the current threat to neighborhood public schools in Chicago will follow the film. Film presented in English and Spanish. Childcare will be provided.

Free minds, free people conference—proposals being accepted

Free Minds, Free People (www.fmfp.org) is a national conference on education justice, hosted by the Education for Liberation Network, that will take place in Chicago, July 11-14, 2013. The conference invites K-12 teachers, administrators, community-based educators, students, activists/organizers, artists, parents and academic researchers to submit proposals for presentations at the conference that address a range of education justice issues. Proposals are due Friday, January 25. For more information visit http://proposals.fmfp.org.

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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.
@pureparents