Archives for category: Closing schools

It is clear by now that there is a very small number of very wealthy people who just don’t like public education. They don’t like teachers who work in public schools and want to strip them of any and every right, privilege, and status. They want to treat them like fast-food workers or salesmen who work on commission.

Given the chance, they would take the public’s money and give it to voucher schools, religious schools, entrepreneurs, to anyone who wants to start a school or an online business, regardless of their experience or qualifications. No one can take seriously their claim that they want to improve education or that they are “doing it for the kids” or they “put kids first” or they want to make kids “globally competitive.”

None of this is true.

Here Mike Deshotels explains who the haters are. They need do do some rethinking about the damage they are doing to our students, our teachers, and our nation.

The Chicago Public School board has made its decision, but the struggle is not over.

Parents are suing the school district.

The media sees the injustice of the massive shutdown of public schools and the shifting rationales for the draconian decision.

Articles in the Chicago press lambaste the Mayor’s indifference to the well-being of children.

Here is a video that summarizes the showdown. Parents and teachers will have their day in court, and eventually, at the ballot box.

From a reader:

“I live in Chicago, and one of the 50 neighborhood schools slated to close is an excellent school named Miriam Canter Middle School. I like to think I came into the process with an open mind– I’m not averse to school closing, if necessary–but I was so disgusted with the town hall meeting that I made a very short video concerning the process. I would appreciate it if you reposted the video on your blog.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Irami Osei-Frimpong”

This journalist found himself in the men’s room with Mayor Emanuel, then listened to him give a speech about how his policies are improving the lives of Chicago’s poorest children.

This is what he thinks he is doing by closing dozens of neighborhood schools. Against the will of their parents, he is tearing apart their lives and communities.

Just doing what Duncan did, and it catapulted him to national office.

Will Rahm’s reforms work for him too?

Norm Scott, retired NYC teacher posted this on his website, Ed Notes Online:

We have Al Qaeda on the run but right now the biggest threat to our agenda is Karen Lewis and the Chicago Teachers Union,” said an Obama spokesperson.

“Our pal Rahm Emanuel has been forced to close 50 schools in retaliation for the strike led by Lewis and now suffers poll numbers so low they are getting close to the interest rate. He is actually being criticized for using money he saves by closing schools to put $100 million into building a new basketball arena where our president and Arne Duncan will be able to shoot hoops once their term in office is over. For that Rahm is being called the most loathsome politician in America? How dare they?”

“And some in the media have started ganging up on some of our allies like Michelle Rhee. And Arne Duncan’s poor record in running the Chicago schools for so many years has been re-examined due to the work of Karen Lewis’ union.

“And then to top it all our hand-picked crew to beat her in the election got only 20% of the vote despite being supported by our press pals at the Chicago Tribune, thus showing Chicago teachers will not go to the woodshed like the lambs being led by Randi Weingarten, our most important asset, who by the way we have supplied a military escort to protect, but let me point out that we are not using public money for Randi’s escort since Bill Gates is paying.”

“Getting Bin Laden was so much easier.”

Chicago Public Schools voted to close down dozens of public schools. As many as 40,000 children are losing their schools, many of who are children with disabilities. The vast majority of the children are African American.

Will the President and Secretary of Education speak out against this willful destruction of public schools and communities?

This is a dire situation. It is time for our leaders to defend children, communities, and schools.

There are questions of equity here that should be investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights.

There is no bright side to this ugly decision.

Norm Scott, retired NYC teacher posted this on his website, Ed Notes Online:

We have Al Qaeda on the run but right now the biggest threat to our agenda is Karen Lewis and the Chicago Teachers Union,” said an Obama spokesperson.

“Our pal Rahm Emanuel has been forced to close 50 schools in retaliation for the strike led by Lewis and now suffers poll numbers so low they are getting close to the interest rate. He is actually being criticized for using money he saves by closing schools to put $100 million into building a new basketball arena where our president and Arne Duncan will be able to shoot hoops once their term in office is over. For that Rahm is being called the most loathsome politician in America? How dare they?”

“And some in the media have started ganging up on some of our allies like Michelle Rhee. And Arne Duncan’s poor record in running the Chicago schools for so many years has been re-examined due to the work of Karen Lewis’ union.

“And then to top it all our hand-picked crew to beat her in the election got only 20% of the vote despite being supported by our press pals at the Chicago Tribune, thus showing Chicago teachers will not go to the woodshed like the lambs being led by Randi Weingarten, our most important asset, who by the way we have supplied a military escort to protect, but let me point out that we are not using public money for Randi’s escort since Bill Gates is paying.”

“Getting Bin Laden was so much easier.”

The best reporting on the historic closure of dozens of Chicago public schools was in the Sun-Times. It provided a human face to a public tragedy.

Most moving were the scenes at schools listed for closure.

The board voted enmasse. It didn’t even take time to name the schools it killed.

The decision was rendered unless time than it takes to boil an egg.

And there was this:

“One of the speakers lugged out of board chambers by CPS security was Erica Clark, a CPS parent and member Parents 4 Teachers. She used her two minutes time to recite, alphabetically, a litany of the schools on the chopping block: “Altgeld is my school, Armstrong is my school, Attucks is my school.”

“Her microphone was cut off as she reached “Pope”. She sat on the floor and continued: “Songhai is my school”. As security guards picked her up and carried her out, protesters called out with her: “Every school is my school.”

Even as Rahm Emanuel says he has no money for schools, none at all, the cupboard is bare….. He somehow managed to find $55 million to build a private basketball stadium. Now, this is a mayor with priorities!

One guess.
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