This just in:

My name is Emma Tai (@emmachungming) and I’m the Coordinator for Voices of Youth in Chicago Education, an organizing collaborative for education justice led by students of color from across Chicago (

Yesterday, some of our students went public with stories of being demoted from junior to sophomore status in March, a month before the PSAE state exam which is administered next week and only given to juniors, and which Mayor Emanuel has made major efforts to link to school closings and principal and teacher evaluations. Two VOYCE student leaders were on a list of 67 juniors in total who were demoted in March at a southwest side high school, or a third of that school’s junior class.

We’ve seen similar patterns at a number of other schools with junior classes that, by mid-April, are significantly smaller than senior or sophomore classes and are calling on the Illinois State Board of Education to formally investigate CPS officials. If you would like any more background information about this or to speak with our youth leaders, I’m happy to provide it.

Here is some coverage we got from that action:

As you can see, we are also aligning our efforts with Chicago Students Organizing to Save Our Schools which is calling for a boycott of the PSAE next week in protest of the proposed school closings. You can follow the boycott preparations at @chistudentsorg or hashtags #cpsboycott and #cpsclosings.

We would really appreciate you sharing this information through your blog and twitter feed so we can raise the profile of student efforts to turn back the tide of closings, privatization and pushout in Chicago!

Thanks so much,

Emma Tai
Coordinator, Voices of Youth In Chicago Education (VOYCE)
773-583-1387 ext. 208

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