Posts Tagged ‘school turnaround’

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!


Parents begin vigil in Mayor Emanuel’s neighborhood

Monday, February 20th, 2012

For Immediate Release

Media Advisory for Monday, February 20

Jitu Brown, 773-317-6343
Ana Mercado, 312-498-6479

Parents Take a Their Concerns to the Mayor’s Neighborhood
Candlelight Vigil and March Delivers a Message: “Support Our Schools, Don’t Close Them!”

CHICAGO—Parents and community supporters will hold a candlelight vigil this afternoon in Lake View to protest planned school closures. Sixteen public schools are currently slated for closure and “turnaround.”

Lake View was chosen as the location for the silent vigil because it is the Mayor’s neighborhood. The Mayor has made decisions that impact community schools without visiting the schools or talking with parents. Since the Mayor has failed to show up in their communities, the parents are going to his neighborhood to deliver their message: “Support Our Schools, Don’t Close Them!”

Parents of children attending these schools are concerned because the closings were planned without their input, and because schools that have been closed and put through the turnaround process have shown little if any improvement, despite receiving millions of dollars in funding.

A candlelight vigil featuring parents and students speaking out to keep their schools

Lake View High School, 4015 North Ashland Avenue

TODAY, Monday, February 20
4:00 p.m.

Parents, students and a broad coalition of community supporters, including Action Now, Albany Park Neighborhood Council, Blocks Together, Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, Logan Square Neighborhood Association, and others

To demand that the Mayor and the Board of Education listen to parents, and Support Our Schools Instead of Closing Them. To call on CPS to work in partnership with school communities, and to invest in real school improvement plans that respect the parents and educators in the schools.

# # #

Save the date? Il Sen Ed Committee hearing set for Friday

Monday, February 20th, 2012

While no plans are ever completely solid in Springfield, a State Senate Education Committee hearing has been called for Fri, 02/24, at 9:30 AM in Springfield, with Sen. Martinez’ school closing and turnaround moratorium bill (SB 3239) on the agenda.

Here’s the link to the hearing notice, which you can check for updates closer to the date.

Here’s the contact information for the Senate Education Committee members and the language of the moratorium bill.

Given the timing of this hearing, people may find it the perfect opportunity to share their reactions to Wednesday’s Chicago Board of Education vote on school closings and turnarounds.


Rally against school closings Thursday

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

From the CTU:

We urge you to attend a public meeting on Thursday, February 16, 2012.  This rally will unite representatives of the 16 school communities whose schools face being closed, phased-out and turned-around by the Chicago Board of Education on February 22, 2012.

Please stand with the affected school communities by ATTENDING this important rally at at Pleasant Gift Baptist Church in the Bronzeville community,

4526 S. Greenwood,

6-8 pm. on Thurs. 2/16.

Among the invited guests will be legislators and allies who support the neighborhood schools’ efforts to improve the schools in a community- and teacher-led process, in direct opposition to the proposed take-over by politically connected private school operators.  This meeting will call for passage in the Illinois Legislature of two bills which would institute a moratorium on closings, phase-outs and turnarounds.

The state legislative task force created to address community concerns over Chicago’s efforts to shut down or turnaround underperforming schools is calling for a moratorium on school closings, phase-outs and turnarounds. State Rep. Cynthia Soto, (D-Chicago), has introduced a bill in the General Assembly calling for a ban on these school actions in the Illinois General Assembly. Co-sponsors include:  Robert W. Pritchard, Derrick Smith, Maria Antonia Berrios, Mary E. Flowers, Dena M. Carli, Elizabeth Hernandez, Mike Fortner, Jerry L. Mitchell and Luis Arroyo.

HB4487 Amends the Chicago School District Article of the School Code. It provides that there shall be a moratorium on school closings, consolidations, and phase-outs in the school district in the 2012-2013 school year. It provides that any of these actions that are subsequently appropriate must be carried out no sooner than the end of the 2013-2014 school year, subject to any new set of requirements adopted by the General Assembly. During this moratorium period, it requires the district to establish policies that address and remedy the academic performance of schools in which Illinois Standards Achievement Test scores reflect students performing at or below 75%. It requires these policies to establish clear criteria or processes for establishing criteria for making school facility decisions and include clear criteria for setting priorities with respect to school openings, school closings, school consolidations, school turnarounds, school phase-outs, school construction, school repairs, school modernizations, school boundary changes, and other related school facility decisions, including the encouragement of multiple community uses for school space. When passed, it will be effective immediately.

Sen. Iris Y. Martinez has introduced a similar bill in the Illinois State Senate (SB323) with co-sponsor Sen. Jacqueline Y. Collins.

For more info, please see an editorial response by Rep. Soto here:

Please help generate support for neighborhood schools and support the moratorium legislation by ATTENDING an important rally at at Pleasant Gift Church, Bronzeville, 4526 S. Greenwood, 6-8 pm. on Thurs. February 16




For more information, please contact: or call 312-329-6227.

Update on SFC phone blitz

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

We were using the phone last night sometime after 7 pm when our SFC call came in. The voice mail message that “Jackie” left for us said she was sorry she missed us but that she was with Stand for Children and that if we, like them, want better education for children, we should look at their web site.

While local SFC leaders are claiming that they “just want to have an open conversation” about ways to improve schools, they seem pretty fixated on the turnaround model. It’s certainly front and center on their web site, and they make it sound so reasonable:

“We need to create quality neighborhood schools where we can continue to keep our students in the same classroom while improving the conditions around them, from better facilities to specially trained principals and teachers to updated curriculum.  This is where public turnaround schools come into play.

“The idea of a ‘turnaround’ school has a lot of misconceptions, but has seen success in many Chicago public schools and has firm roots on what is in the best interest of children. A public turnaround school keeps children in their neighborhood school but changes the culture in the school to create high expectations and proven best practices for learning.

“Staying in his or her neighborhood school and investing in the neighborhood school is good for the child and good for the neighborhood. Do you agree? Join us as we fight for quality public school options. We need parents and community members coming together to say, “YES! My child deserves a great school!”

Here’s what they don’t mention about turnarounds in this pitch:

Oh, and they don’t mention that ALL THE SCHOOL STAFF gets fired when a turnaround comes in.

That kind of takes the fuzz off of their warm and fuzzy vision, doesn’t it?

We trust parents to see wade through the hype, but with all the money that’s being thrown at this project, we’re going to have to pull on our hip boots.

PSAT for 1-3-12: New challenges for a new year

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Ready for battle?

There are important opportunities coming up right away to voice your concerns about one of the greatest scourges of public education today: disruptive school closings/interventions.

Beginning this Friday, January 6, and repeating again, same time, same places, on Friday January 20, hearings will be held all over Chicago on the school district’s plans to shut down, turnaround or otherwise intervene in schools.

Then, between Monday, January 23 and Friday, February 3, additional hearings will take place downtown at Chicago Public Schools headquarters.

The full schedule is below. You can read about CPS’s plans and justifications for their actions at each school here.


Schedule of community hearings, two for each of the following schools at the following locations:

Friday January 6 and Friday, January 20, from 6 pm to 8 pm*

ACT Charter and Nash Co-location hearing at Austin HS, 231 N Pine

Best Practice HS Closing hearing at Cregier/Noble St.-Bulls H.S, 2040 W. Adams St.

Chi Arts and Doolittle Co-location hearing at Dunbar, 3000 S. King Dr

Dyett HS Phase-out hearing at Charles A. Hayes Center, 4859 S. Wabash Ave.

Guggenheim Closing hearing at Shiloh Baptist Church, 7050 S. Racine Ave.

Lathrop Closing hearing at Collins High School, 1313 S. Sacramento Dr.

Price Closing hearing at King High School, 4445 S. Drexel Blvd.

Reed Closing hearing at Antioch Baptist Church, 6248 S. Stewart Ave.

Crane Closing hearing, Talent Development Co-location hearing, Malcolm X College, 1900 W Van Buren (*these hearings will extend to 9 pm)


Schedule of public hearings at CPS (one for each affected school)

Monday, January 23

5:30 pm to 7:30 pm – Price Closing hearing at 125 S Clark Street, 5th floor Board Chambers

8:00 pm to 10:00 pm – Reed Closing hearing at 125 S Clark Street, 5th floor Board Chambers

Tuesday, January 24

5:30 to 8:30 pm – Crane Closing hearing, Talent Development Co-location hearing at 125 S Clark Street, 5th floor Board Chambers

Wednesday, January 25

5:30 pm to 7:30 pm – Best Practice HS Closing hearing at 125 S Clark Street, Rm 1550

8:00 pm to 10:00 pm – ACT Charter and Nash Co-location hearing at 125 S Clark Street, 5th floor Board Chambers

Thursday, January 26

5:30 pm to 7:30 pm – Chi Arts and Doolittle Co-location hearing at 125 S Clark Street, 5th floor Board Chambers

8:00 pm to 10:00 pm – Guggenheim Closing hearing at 125 S Clark Street, 5th floor Board Chambers

Friday, January 27

5:30 pm to 7:30 pm – Dyett HS Phase-out hearing at 125 S Clark Street, 5th floor Board Chambers

8:00 pm to 10:00 pm – Lathrop Closing hearing at 125 S Clark Street, 5th floor Board Chambers

Monday, January 30

5:30-7:30 p.m. – Casals AUSL Turnaround hearing, at 125 S. Clark St, 5th Floor Board Chambers

8:00 pm to 10:00 pm – Piccolo AUSL Turnaround hearing, at 125 S. Clark St, 5th Floor Board Chambers

Tuesday, January 31

5:30-7:30 p.m. – Herzl AUSL Turnaround hearing at 125 S. Clark St, 5th Floor Board Chambers

8:00 pm to 10:00 pm – Stagg AUSL Turnaround hearing, at 125 S. Clark St, 5th Floor Board Chambers

Wednesday, February 1

5:30-7:30 p.m. – Fuller AUSL Turnaround hearing, at 125 S. Clark St, 5th Floor Board Chambers

8:00 pm to 10:00 pm – Woodson South OSI Turnaround hearing, at 125 S. Clark St, 5th Floor Board Chambers

Thursday, February 2

5:30-7:30 p.m. – Marquette AUSL Turnaround hearing, at 125 S. Clark St, 5th Floor Board Chambers

8:00 pm to 10:00 pm – Smith OSI Turnaround hearing, at 125 S. Clark St, 5th Floor Board Chambers

Friday, February 3

5:30-7:30 p.m. — Chicago Vocational OSI HS Turnaround hearing at 125 S. Clark St, 5th Floor Board Chambers

8:00 pm to 10:00 pm – Tilden OSI Turnaround hearing, at 125 S. Clark St, 5th Floor Board Chambers

Four signs of the Apocalypse

Friday, May 20th, 2011

1) Chicago, home of Arne “Blueprint for Education Reform” Duncan, is opting out of the top “reform” strategy the Education Secretary promotes. According to Catalyst magazine, the Chicago Public Schools plans no new school turnarounds this year. Instead, the district is planning to use the “school transformation” model, the least disruptive of the four improvement models in Duncan’s plan.

2) One of the schools listed for transformation by CPS is North Lawndale College Prep Charter High School. I thought under-performing charter schools were supposed to be shut down – that’s how they are held accountable, I thought. Hm.

3) Governor Jerry Brown (himself a sign of the apocalypse, right?) has “taken a big step towards reducing the testing mania in the nation’s most populous state” by suspending funding for the student longitudinal data collection system and the associated teacher data base, according to California teacher Anthony Cody, writing in his Education Week blog.

4) The school district’s budget is passed in Albany, NY, despite a massive “vote no” campaign funded by “Brighter Choice Foundation,” which runs all of the area’s charter schools. This article by Parents Across America co-founder Mark Mishler describes the expensive and misleading campaign against the public school budget, which included no new taxes because teachers agreed not to ask for a raise. What a nasty — though happily unsuccessful — attack on public education by a charter company. Aren’t charters always demanding to be acknowledged as public schools? Time to stop pretending, folks.

What does it all mean?

Well, according to my handy dictionary, rapture is “an elevated sense of bliss.” Yep, that sounds about right.

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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.