Plans For Charterizing CPS

While rumors swirl about further changes at CPS, the most concrete tidbits out there seem to be a City Hall plan to close and sell off Chicago school buildings and create a slew of new charter schools so that Chicago has the 25-35 percent charter percentage that some other cities (DC, New Orleans) have already reached.  It's another rumor -- no details -- and could like the JCB rumor not pan out (or at least not immediately).  There's always the chance that these things are being planted by folks who want to create pressure or distract from other things.

Rahm Emanuel Considers Closing 100 Chicago Public Schools CDO:  Along with the closures will come a vast expansion of charter schools. Emanuel has 150 half empty public schools that are a drain on tax dollars. With Chicago, having lost 200,000 people in the last Census: change is in the air.

Rahm Emanuel proves to be a quick study on education Crain's:  Scan the headlines, watch the news, and you'll have no doubt that education is Mayor Rahm Emanuel's No. 1 priority. In rapid-fire news conferences, he has launched more than a dozen major initiatives.

Lunchroom workers union reaches pact with CPS Sun Times: The union has been objecting that more than one-third of CPS elementary schools serve re-heated frozen food from “warming kitchens,’’ or what the union calls “kitchens without cooks.’’ Nine of 11 elementary schools completed under former Mayor Daley’s Modern …

Emanuel sloughs off Daley’s criticism of longer school day Sun Times:  Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday sloughed off his first public break with his predecessor and political mentor, former Mayor Richard M. Daley, over Daley’s surprise opposition to a longer school day.

Service Learning, Collaboration Produces “The Blues Truth” ChicagoTalks:  On three visits, the students investigated how a black woman could survive and thrive as a South Side blues club owner for more than two decades, given the historical silencing of women by white and black men and oppression against “wild blues women.”


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  • Thanks to Alexander for posting the link to the Sun Times story on the lunchroom workers deal with CPS. The fact that UNITE HERE Local 1 may have come to agreement with CPS is of significance.

    Let us recall that this Local was one of 5 unions, that formally signed on to this statement to CPS not long ago: "We represent the employees of Chicago Public Schools who are not teachers. We are the Aides, Security Guards, Custodians, Engineers, Lunchroom Workers and all the other workers who are responsible for Chicago's children from the moment they step on to the school grounds in the morning until they leave at the end of the day. We are professionals who make sure that the school buildings work, are clean, that our children our safe and that they are fed. When it comes to Chicago's kids, we are where the rubber meets road. We're proud of the work we do and think that the children of Chicago are serious business and should be treated in that fashion. We ask that the Board of Education take a more constructive and serious approach with us on addressing our mutual issues. The Administration thus far has chosen to engage in a media campaign against the teachers, rather than thoughtful negotiations, to the detriment of the entire community. We are all in this together, and are all in this for the children that we are here to support. There has yet to be a proposal from the administration across the bargaining table for a longer school day - we first read about it in the newspaper rather than hearing about it from the administrations' negotiators. We didn't create the length of the school day, the Board of Education did. We're willing to negotiate extending the school day, but this takes good faith negotiations, not more Board of Education press statements and confrontational rhetoric and tactics. Our children deserve a more respectful and thoughtful approach."

    Clearly the vision was a form of what is called in the labor movement pattern bargaining. In Europe this is sometimes called coordination of collective bargaining aims. Whatever you call it, it's a good idea for trade unionists. But apparently UNITE Local 1 may rhetorically support the concept of "we are all in this together," but the reality of being offered a deal for its unionized lunchroom workers in CPS that they believe they can live with trumps theoretical cross union solidarity. This is completely understandable because unions have to operate in the interests of their own members who pay dues to their union, but strategically in the long run it may not be wise. Reaching a relatively early agreement with UNITE Local 1 may be a significant victory for the Board of Education bargaining team and shows it is not completely intransigent.

    Rod Estvan

  • Rod, are most of these employees hourly wage earners and therefore even if their hourly rates do not increase much, at least some of them, will be earning significantly more due to the longer day?

  • Dear everyone, please remember the name Bruce Rauner and Rahm Emanuel.

  • Headache 299
    PURE knows something of Mr. Bruce Rauner, and reported on him a while back at

    Too bad hack Linda Lenz never mentioned him in her ‘suck on Rahm’s ballerina Demi-pointe shoe’, report.

    Mr. Greg Hinz noticed him back in 2010 at

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Dear district299reader, Bruce Rauner wants to buy 100 empty Chicago Public School buildings and lease them to charter schools. It's legat and Bruce has the money and the blessing of Rahm Emanual to do it. Bruce helped Rahm make his millions and Rahm owes him. Bruce might run for Illinois Governor one day as a Republican, and Rahm will run for President of the United States as a ?

  • On the longer school day: Our prinicpal had a meeting with us on the longer day. That extra money that CPS is giving to principals is a hoax. They estimated our enrollment for next year to be significantly lower, so the funds come out the same.
    As for the extra time, it was stated that we need to figure out a plan. There is no extra money, so the teachers need to come up with a plan on how that extra time will be spent!
    We will also have to stay an extra hour once a week as PD time, though as was brought up, it will be part of our "negotiated salary".
    There was no mention of art, music, gym, or computers. We already lost our computer lab teacher, so we teach it. We have no art, we teach it. Our kids only go to gym and music once a week and now on top of it we need to come up with our own plan to fill that extra time.

  • CPS has suggested that teachers should volunteer to cover the 20 minute recess each day under LSD.

  • May Day Protesters

  • CEO Brizard—you allow impoverished elementary schools that have more students than a number of CPS high schools to only have 1 counselor. You could have assured that these large poverty, minority elementary schools get a minimum of 2 counselors. Schools that have 400 students got 1 full time counselor, but schools with over 1000 get 1! Do not say you want schools to be college and career ready. How can this be true?

  • CEO Brizard-why do magnet and selective elementary schools, that get 5-6-7 extra positions automatically paid for by CPS, also get $175,000 extra to spend as they wish? Off what schools’ back does each magnet, selective and low poverty (mostly white) schools get this extra money from?
    DEATH to impoverished and minority students' neighborhood schools!

  • "While rumors swirl about further changes at CPS, the most concrete tidbits out there seem to be a City Hall plan to close and sell off Chicago school buildings and create a slew of new charter schools so that Chicago has the 25-35 percent charter percentage that some other cities (DC, New Orleans) have already reached."

    That's what I hear too. The constraint is that charters simply can't rapidly open more schools. The few charters that are highly competent are careful and methodical in planning and building a new site.

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