Chicago united in fight for a better school system – CSMonitor

Tribune's Brian Casella photo of closed Stewart School sign

Tribune’s Brian Casella photo of closed Stewart School sign

The Christian Science Monitor offered an excellent report on the year ahead in Chicago schools, “Chicago opens new school year: Will it be less testy than the last?

Reporter Amanda Paulson interviewed me and some other Chicago activists and got a strong, unified message:

The district’s critics are focused not only on the school closures, but also on budget cuts, a profusion of standardized tests, large class sizes, and a governance system that includes a mayor-selected school board rather than an elected one.

“It is looking to be our worst year ever,” says Julie Woestehoff, executive director of the parent group PURE, assessing the state of the public schools. But she is hopeful that the problems will be a catalyst for change. “Sometimes you have to bottom out in order to make the changes that really need to be made,” she says. “That will begin to happen because our parents are very organized, our teachers are very strong, and the community groups are working with everybody.

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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.