Mayor's Home Protest, Pro & Con

The day before the monthly Board meeting was full of protests and pronouncements -- including protests in front of the Mayor's residence that seemed controversial to some -- plus a new analysis of turnarounds from Designs For Change and a reprieve of sorts for the Crane HS community. Check out the news coverage below, or tell us what I missed:

Emanuel says school protest outside his house a response to change Tribune: "I understand people are anxious. I respect that. Because change is hard," Emanuel said at a news conference to announce a new building will be constructed for Malcolm X College. "But watching, year in and year out, kids captured in a system that's failing, is harder."

People have a right to protest Tribune (Mary Smich):  By going out of bounds, the protesters are telling the power brokers in a palpable way: Your decisions about our schools affect us in our neighborhoods, in the privacy of our homes.

Study disputes turnaround stats for failing Chicago schools Sun Times: About 33 neighborhood schools with at least 95 percent low-income students outscored equally poor schools “turned around’’ by the Academy for Urban School Leadership.

Last-ditch efforts aim to stop school closings, turnarounds Catalyst:  In the past, the district has in some cases backed off following community and parent opposition. The only concession made by CEO Jean-Claude Brizard was the announcement on Tuesday that Crane will house a health sciences high school.

Flurry of new debate before school closings vote WBEZ: Chicago aldermen interrogated school officials for hours Tuesday about their plans to close or turn around the schools, just a day before the board votes on the proposals.  Ninth Ward Ald. Anthony Beale told school officials they’d been summoned by the aldermen because of “lack of communication,”..

School protesters pray, sing at Emanuel’s home WBEZ: Hundreds of teachers, community activists, and parents held a demonstration outside Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s home late Monday to protest proposals to close or completely restaff 17 schools.

School closing foes, board members set for showdown Tribune:  Hundreds of community activists, parents, students and union leaders are expected to converge Wednesday morning at Chicago Public Schools'headquarters to pressure the school board to reject a reform package that includes closing or overhauling 17...

CPS planning new neighborhood school to replace Crane Tech Tribune:  On the eve of Wednesday's board vote on school closings and turnarounds, Chicago Public Schools  has reached a deal with community leaders on the West Side to bring in a new neighborhood high school to replace Crane Tech.

In praise of a longer school day Tribune:  I'm puzzled by all the controversy over the longer school day in Chicago. We did it at Howe Elementary School, and it has been an amazing success.


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  • Occupy Rahm's front lawn!

  • Low life, sad, definitely out of bounds and potentially dangerous.

    Karen Lewis and her band of rebels have ratcheted up the rhetoric on race. They've got Jesse Jackson taling about aparthied now. (WTF - the system is 87% minority.) Simultaneously, they are egging on crowds to be confrontational -- banging on front doors of one CPS official -- and having the arrogance to believe they control the result.

    Race-baiting is incendiary and Lewis is neither clever enough nor personable enough to control the ill-will that her false racial dichotomy may create. Lewis' hateful plan makes clear that she is looking to take resources from white students and give them to students "of color" because she has determined they need them more.

    Hopefully nothing worse happends than banging on a front door (what's the point, btw, of doing it at a time of day when no one but a child or a stay-at-home spouse might be home?) But bringing riled-up protestors into neighborhoods to confront the familiesof officials probably makes something worse much more likely.

    If something worse does happen, a meet and greet at Lewis' , Sharkey's and the Potters' homes is probably appropriate.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    70-80% of South African population under apartheid was black. Another 10 percent or so was categorized as "coloured" or "Asian", so demographically this is correct when you have a majority of white CPS decision makers. The big difference though is reflected by class. The vast majority of CPS families are low to middle income. The mayor and his cronies are members of the mega-wealthy elite, y'know the 1%. If Penny Pritzer, "Winnetka Tim" Cawley, and the Wilmette Ballerina want to gather their dozen or so supporters and bang on Karen Lewis' door well, I'd love to see that. The fact is the "reformers" are actually a very small group.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    The march proceeded down the Mayor's street, stopped about 50ft from his house and started praying and lighting candles. After about 10 minutes they started walking and singing past Rahm's house ending the march at Courtney school. No one knocked on doors, there were no threats and the crowd was well behaved to a fault. It was a nonviolent expression of the will of the people there.

    There were probably 20 police officers,most on bicycles, name and badge numbers exposed. All were businesslike and aware of everything. How do I know all of this? I was there.

  • In reply to Traveler:

    I was there too. While your description is mostly accurate there were WAY more than 20 cops present. I drove around before, during, and after the march. I counted 18 bicycle cops alone in front of Popeye's before the march, numerous unmarked cars throughout the neighborhood, a paddy wagon and van on Ravenswood, 3 marked cars during the march, and a number of plainclothes white dudes who sure looked like coppers in and around the marchers. At a minimum there were 50 officers, probably more. Totally absurd. Emanuel must be paranoid to order such a large detail.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    You are probably correct on the police count, I two saw 3 unmarked cars,one containing a Captain. When we got to Ram's house a sedan pulled up and a tall athletic type got out in a black cashmere coat and was was immediately greeted by the four foot cops in front of the house.

    Thinking more carefully and checking the photos I think 10 foot cops, three unmarked and 6 six on bikes that stayed with the front of the march and maybe 4+ more roving. 2 cars and 2 SUVs . I didn't see the van or the police wagon don't mean they were not there I just didn't lay eyes on them.

    The helicopter was WGN.

    Considering how politico rich Ravenswood is I would not be surprised to see another north side event soon.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Re: Low life

    Please read the Mary Schmich column Alexander has linked above. She, too, started at the position that the march on Ravenswood crossed a line, but after contemplation came to a much more nuanced view.

    Further, not everyone who feels these school actions are ill-conceived and destructive of communities does so because they are puppets of the Chicago Teachers Union. From Jesse Jackson to a "soccer mom" who thinks 7-1/2 hours school is just too long, individual persons make up (and speak-up) their own minds. On some issues, like this one, their interests may align with those of the CTU. On others, they may not. Karen Lewis may foster dialog with various community groups, but that doesn't mean she "pulls their strings."

  • To the low life..This is what democracy looks like! When politicians don't listen, the people take action.

  • No, the use of paid protesters is low life and sad.

    Not having an elected school board is sad.

    Using misleading data to push the extended school day is low life and sad.

    Admitting that you will underfund schools that need that most support is low life and sad.

    Continuing to use failed school reform policies is sad.

    Using student safety as an excuse to generate revenue with speed cameras is low life and sad.

    Ignoring the large group of parents that don’t agree with your decisions is sad.

    Lying about charter school performance is low life and sad.

    Jeopardizing the future of our children by privatizing education is low life and sad.

    If you ask me the response of the protestors to these and many other issues was very tempered and peaceful considering the future of children is at stake.

  • "(WTF - the system is 87% minority.)" / I'm going to guess that South Africa during apartheid was also about 87 percent non-white. Just guessing, though.

  • Rosalind Rossi from the sun-times: “study disputes turnaround stats for failing Chicago schools

    The Don Moore study pdf can be found here$6wU9GSUcqtd9hs3TFeZCn0vq69IZViKeqDZhqNLziaXiKG0K_ms4C2keQo54&CONTENTTYPE=application/pdf&CONTENTDISPOSITION=skul022212-new.pdf

  • CPS let [Herzl] building go to pot before ‘turnaround’? | WBEZ

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Fairly good piece by Chip Mitchell – listen to the audio – Vitale actually admits that they starve a school for ten years prior to turnaround.

  • More than half of the city government is of color. Using words and concepts like apartheid is heinous and grossly irresponsible -- especially when the user is not asking for equal funding but for unequal funding.. Shame on all of you who defend her.. She should be hounded from hour midst.

  • "Heinous and grossly irresponsible" is an excellent description for the vote taken today by the Board of Education to unanimously approve all of the proposed school actions despite public outcry and no research or track record to show that any of their plans stand a reasonable chance of improving things for CPS students and Chicago communities.

  • Let’s not forget the names the best voters that money can buy:
    David Vitale, Jesse Ruiz, Henry Bienen, Mahalia Hines, Penny Pritzker, Rod Sierra, and Andrea Zopp.

  • Saw Karen Lewis on The Ed Show tonight drop her secret bombshell quote about Rahm and the 25% who will never succeed...

  • Yea. Saw her too. Lobbing more bombs to incite her race and class war.

    Go away Lewis. You are not fit to lead in this community. You have become divisive and in the lowest of and most dishonest of ways. You demand unequal resources and different standards based on race. You are sickening.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Wait, Rahm is trying to destroy the middle class in Chicago. These school actions largely affect students of color, yet Lewis is starting a race and class war?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    "Lobbing more bombs"? "race and class war"? Who would have thunk Glenn Beck would post comments on the District 299 blog?!?!.

    Please, keep it up. If this is the best that supporters of the Emanuel/Brizard/Duncan status quo can come up with then CTU and others that are truly concerned about Chicago's children will have a much easier fight than anticipated.

  • So you're okay with Rahm's statement?

  • Died in the wool liberals are offended by the crap coming out of CTU these days.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    ^^Sarah Palin?^^

    Man, you are dead on with the talking points and verbiage. If you're not Palin you must be Frank Luntz or Emanuel?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I agree. They are on the wrong side of liberalism. Those crazy liberals - supporting collective bargaining, worker rights, democratic processes, meaningful parental and community involvement, insisting that all children (not just some) receive the best education possible, wishing that all schools were fully funded.

    A real liberal Democrat (like Rahm) wants to privatize education, turn it over to profiteers and one percenters, shift teaching from a career to short-term unskilled labor, only provide education to those who "deserve" it, operate with dictatorial power, eliminate or restrict community involvement, disallow opposition especially if it involves rallies and protests, and allow bankers and lawyers to govern education policy.

  • Our CPS neighborhood school is in great need of paint, plaster, plumbing, heat and a phone system. ALL of our positive programs have been systematically taken from us and and given to magnet or charter schools. If only we were funded the same as a magnet or charter schools--we take all children-all minority and poor- we are not asking to discriminate against our students, just to have shoes when we play football against the schools that Rahm and the Board favor.

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