Posts Tagged ‘public education’

Join CTU Veterans Day Rally at 11 am to protect public education

Monday, November 12th, 2012

It’s a day to honor our veterans, who fought for all of our rights, including our right to a free, appropriate education.

That right is increasingly under attack. Ultra-conservative Grover Nordquist just said that he’s not worried about the national election because his party added new governors: “Our strength is state by state,” Norquist said, adding that it is there that Republicans would enact the policies — ending teacher tenure, reining in public employee pensions, promoting school choice — that would invigorate the national party from the bottom up.”

That’s it, folks – now that the “traditional white male” nation is officially a thing of the past, the new Republican game plan is to destroy this more colorful US at the roots by killing off public education.

Join the Chicago Teachers Union at a rally to protect our schools from private takeover and destructive closure.

11 am to noon  today (Monday 11-12-12)

Cityfront Plaza

Illinois & St. Clair

Details here.


PSAT for 9-18-12: Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

It has been a wild few days in Chicago. I was away for most of the time and got my news from a combination of WGN and the local Phoenix stations and newspaper.

It was clear that the local story was incredibly rich and the national story was incredibly thin.

National news fixated on how much Chicago teachers make, and how many students drop out. I had to tweet sharply to ABC News for claiming that Chicago charter schools are better than traditional schools.

When I got back and read all the local papers, I was astonished at the depth and breadth of the coverage. You’d think education had something to do with sports! Every columnist seemed chimed in, and some of them were actually saying some reasonable things.

So, while we wait with fingers crossed for a good outcome (whatever that means to you beyond having our children back in school), take some time to look back at the remarkable week when Chicago’s media, Chicago as a city actually meaningfully talked together about education.

PSAT for 6-5-12: More great events in Chicago! Go to at least one!

Monday, June 4th, 2012

First of all, I’m delighted to introduce the new PSAT logo, which was a Mother’s Day gift from my wonderful, talented daughter-in-law, Kristin Hanson Turpin. Love it!

Secondly, the high energy continues among public school advocates in Chicago. Look at this list of upcoming events – please pledge to attend at least one.

Tuesday, June 5: 19th Ward Parents are sponsoring a screening of the movie “The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman” with a panel discussion following the movie, featuring the Reader’s Ben Joravsky.
When: 7 p.m. screening followed by a panel discussion

Where: Beverly Arts Center, 111th and Western, Chicago

What: This documentary is about educational justice and the privatization of public schools in America. For more information please click here. Voluntary donation of $5.

Thursday, June 7: Teachers for Social Justice Meeting/Kickoff for Elected School Bd Referedum
When: 6:00 PM- 8:00 PM
Where: UIC College of Education, 1040 W. Harrison St, Room 3233 (“Commons” room)
What: Elected Representative School Board referendum campaign and June 9 kickoff event (see below–we will have training and preparation at this meeting), CTU Strike Authorization update, Fundraiser to support Tucson USD Mexican American Studies program (June 30, place TBA)

Saturday, June 9: Elected Representative School Board Referendum Campaign
As the Chicago Teachers Union moves forward this week with its strike authorization vote, community and parent organizations working with and supporting the Union are simultaneously moving forward to have an Elected Representative School Board in Chicago. The Communities Organized for Democracy in Education coalition (CODE, the latest in the various anti-R2010/anti-education-privatization groups), including TSJ, KOCO, Enlace, Albany Park Neighborhood Council, the 19th Ward Parents, Action Now, the CTU, and many others, is coordinating the effort. A key step in the larger plan is to work this summer to place a non-binding referendum on the November ballot in specific, target precincts around the city. This will involve going door-to-door in various neighborhoods, collecting signatures from official lists of registered voters.
This kick-off event will provide orientation and background and will help prepare people to be involved in the campaign.

If you are interested in participating, PLZ email TSJ as soon as possible!

From TSJ: As we have repeatedly said-we are under no illusion that having an elected, representative school board in Chicago guarantees educational and social justice. It is, however, a critical part of the larger fight for democracy and our place in the city. And we know that as long as the Mayor and his allies can hand pick Board of Education members who are wealthy and/or closely connected to the ruling elite of the city (e.g., the Commercial Club of Chicago), the unappointed Boards will never be fully responsible and accountable to Chicago public students and their families and communities.

This is an opportunity to support the fight for justice in Chicago! Come to the June 9th “kickoff” for the ballot initiative and help be part of the effort for an Elected Representative School Board!  Click here for “Why Chicago Needs an Elected Representative School Board”

Monday, June 11: Raise Your Hand forum: “Changes and Challenges at CPS” with Access Living’s Rod Estvan, rep from Logan Square Neighborhood Assn. and others.

  • When: 6:30 – 8:30 pm
  • Where: Haas Park, 2409 N. Washtenaw (runs one way north from Fullerton)
  • What: “Come join us for an important discussion with a focus on the parent-teacher connection during tough times, what’s at stake during contract negotiations, how state law SB7 impacts the process, hear from parents and classroom teachers about their perspective on what’s important for next school year and beyond. Email us at if you plan to attend. We are asking for a $5 optional donation for this event.

FINALLY: HUG A TEACHER this week. It is very difficult for any teacher to vote to strike. Teachers don’t want to strike, and it doesn’t help when astroturf groups like Stand for Children, as well as the Mayor and the CPS CEO publicly state that taking this vote is “bad for children.” The CTU must take this vote to assure them of having all the tools of a union available to them. It;s only fair, and only makes sense to vote this week while enough teachers are still around. So, hug a teacher. It’s a good thing.

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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.