Posts Tagged ‘Chicago Board of Education’

Changes on Board?

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Two items of interest from yesterday’s unusual Tuesday board meeting as reported in Substance:

  • * Public Participation Sign-Up will be revamped for the October meeting. On-line sign-up will be allowed.
  • * The Board members are maintaining “Office Hours.” Interested members of the public may request a meeting with Board Members by calling 773-553-1600.

Hm. Do they perhaps feel an elected school board breathing down their necks? Parents 4 Teachers reports that “a non-binding elected school board referendum will be on the ballot in the November election. Voters in some 200 precincts, in roughly half the city’s wards, will be able to cast their vote for democracy in education.”

Let’s keep the momentum for real democracy going!


Parents describe Chicago Board of Education disrespect

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

Today’s Chicago Sun-Times editorial by 19th Ward Parents leader Becky Malone describes in infuriating detail the disrespect that parents and others experience every time they go to a Chicago Board of Education meeting to speak up for their children’s education:

“On many occasions we have gotten into line by 6 a.m. to wait for two hours hoping to get the golden ticket that would allow us an audience with the board only to return to the same line for an additional two hours before being herded into the party. By this point each month, we have spent nearly five hours traveling and waiting before the meeting has even begun.”

Becky reports that things have gotten even worse lately, with Board members trailing in late to the scheduled 10:30 am start of the public participation portion of the meeting and the usual dog-and-pony show extending well past noon. The show includes lengthy speeches honoring retiring administrators and student groups, usually well-deserved but quite obviously designed to try the patience of the waiting public.

Becky writes:

We are often asked if we feel the board and the mayor are listening to parents and we always reply no. If the board cared what we had to say, meetings would start with public participation to ensure that everyone who made the effort to attend could be heard. If the mayor cared, he would meet with parent groups and speak with us directly, not address us at staged press conferences or through carefully drafted media releases.

To that clear message let me add some suggestions. Return the Board meetings to the schools in the afternoons/evenings several times a year, and reconstitute Board committees which, back in the real reform era, used to meet in between Board meetings to actually discuss policy and problems, and to take the time to listen to parents and others in order to make better decisions.

Of course, that was back when Board decisions were made by the Board, not by City Hall. After all, who cares what parents think when your sole function is to vote yes on everything the Mayor tells you to do?

Just one more reason why we need an elected school board in Chicago. Here’s how you can join the campaign!


Rally for an elected school board; meet with the CTU

Friday, June 8th, 2012

From Parents 4 Teachers:

Help push for an elected school board

Join us for a rally and press conference to kick off a campaign for an elected school board on Saturday, June 9, 10 a.m., at Luther Memorial Church, 2500 W. Wilson. A city-wide coalition of parents, teachers and community residents has come together to demand accountability in our schools! Join the campaign.


A Conversation with the Chicago Teachers Union

With a strike looming, find out how you can help support teachers and their union as they fight for what really matters to our kids. We’re hosting A Conversation with the Chicago Teachers Union, Tuesday, June 12, 6 p.m., Eckhart Park, 1330 W. Chicago. The program will be presented in English and Spanish. You won’t want to miss this important event.

English/Spanish flyers here.

Please share this email with your friends!

For more info visit

PSAT for 2-21-12: Do something!

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Anger and action are cranked up to 11 on the volume control in preparation for tomorrow’s Chicago Board of Education vote on school closures and turnarounds.

Overnight camp outs.

School occupation.

Marches. Press conferences. Releasing new reports. Noble critiques. Call-ins.

You name it, folks in Chicago have done it – and mostly in the last week!

Enough already?


Let’s crank it up a little more. So, for Public Schools Action Tuesday today, please DO SOMETHING!

-> Set your alarm for tomorrow’s Board meeting.

Come to CPS, 125 South Clark at 4 am–we need 40 people there—URGENT

6 am–Picket line begins.  Teachers, plan to come before school.  Other folks, come before work. Spread the word. Urge your colleagues and coworkers
Parents 4 Teachers wants you to call CEO Brizard one more time.
Keep the pressure on today! Call CPS at 1-773-553-1500 and ask the board to halt the closings and turnarounds.

And please get TWO more friends, co-workers, family members to call today. Say which school your children attend when you call so we can show there is city-wide opposition to these school “actions.”

Please forward this to everyone you know who’s committed to working for quality schools for ALL Chicago children.


Call or e-mail the members of the Illinois House Education Committee regarding HB 3239, the moratorium on CPS closures and turnarounds bill that will come before the committee on Friday. Details here.


Spread the news on your networks about today’s Designs for Change report showing that LSC-led schools elementary outperform turnarounds: 33 LSC-led elementary schools serving 95% or more low-income students scored above the city wide average on state tests, while NO turnaround schools achieved that level. More here.


From the SOS March:
Thank you to all who joined us for a very successful #SOSchat on Twitter last Tuesday! We’re committed to weekly #SOSchat’s and hope that you will join us today at 6 pm PDST  – 9 pm EST to discuss the upcoming National Save Our Schools Convention and the national dialogue!

Please share on Facebook and Twitter!  Invite your friends in all other listserves, etc.  Follow me @GetUpStandUp2 and @SOSFlashMob on Twitter! Also follow @SOSMarch on Twitter!  Find each other and tweet using #SOSchat hashtag ALL WEEK long to be able to easily connect on edreform topics and RT easily!


Finally, because the fish rots from the top, please sign the “Dump Duncan” petition if you have not already done so!


PSAT for 6-21-11, Part 2: Protest at the Board tomorrow

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

This may seem like a PSAT you see every month, but the new Chicago Board of Education is pretty much the same as the old Board, so we need to keep the pressure on.

One upside is that the Board’s June meeting is often not as busy as meetings during the school year, so you might not have to get up at 5 am to get there and get in line to speak – maybe just 6 am.

Here’s the plan:

Last week, thousands of us refused to pay for corporate greed. Keep the movement going Wednesday, June 22 at 9:00 am at CPS Headquarters, 125 S. Clark.

Now, more than ever we must come together to fight this injustice. Please join the protest at the Board of Education from 9:00 – 10:00 am. We plan to FIGHT the refusal to honor commitments to teachers and school professionals who help educate our children.

You can RSVP for this event here.

Breaking News: New CPS Board votes not to honor contractual raise

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

The Board of Education today voted no on a resolution to include the teachers 4% raise in the FY12 CPS budget, even though that raise is required under the contract CPS signed with the CTU.

Considering that any of the business people in that Board would chase any of us down to the ends of the earth to get the last dime out of any contract we had signed with them, it’s rather ironic.

What if one of us told that cell phone company or the cable company that, gee, sorry, we just don’t have the money to pay the monthly fee on the 2-year contract we signed six months ago? Try walking away from THAT without penalties and termination fees….

It looks as though the fight is on. I’ll be standing over here with the CTU. Hope you’ll join me.

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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.