Both Sides Keep Losing (IMHO)

Both Sides Keep Losing (IMHO)

There are basically two things going on in the aftermath of Wednesday's vote.  On one hand, people are starting to think about what happens next -- the lawsuits, the logistics, the winding down / gearing up.    This is really (probably) happening, pending the lawsuits.  On the other hand, there are the next steps that CTU and a few others have promised to take -- the voter registrations, the telling teachers not to go to the schools they're assigned to, etc.  Yet again, CTU is walking a way a short-term loser and demonstrating its over-reliance on protests and opposition.  Yet again, CPS and City Hall have stubbornly gotten most of what they wanted at the cost of alienating everyone involved and insisting on plans that don't entirely make sense.


Judge delays court fight over closing Chicago schools until July Chicago Sun-Times: Protesters' last, best chance of halting the closure of 50 Chicago public schools will be resolved at a four-day hearing in July, a federal judge ruled Thursday. One day after the Chicago Board of Education voted to close the schools, the high-stakes ...

As school closings loom, 27,000 CPS students now enrolling in new schools Sun Times: Enrollment runs through May 31, giving parents little more than a week to register their children in person for the fall. Both closing and welcoming schools will host registration as kids prepare to switch schools.

Parents Have Options If Their Child's School Is Closing CBS2 Chicago: Chicago Public Schools, however, is offering options. Parents do not have to choose the welcoming school. They can choose almost any school in the city that has space. Off-limits are selective enrollment schools that require testing. Dena Dye already ...

School closures only add to blight in some Chicago neighborhoods WBEZ: Now that Chicago Public Schools is officially closing 50 schools, that means 42 buildings will be shuttered in June. Many dot areas of the city that are already grappling with poverty and seeking economic development. Neighborhoods like Austin ...


Teachers union vows to change political landscape after schools vote Sun Times: The political heat on him from the City Council appears to be weak, confined mostly to aldermen whose wards were affected by the closings. Nine of 50 council members appeared at the Board of Education meeting to criticize some or all of the mayor’s plan before the vote. Only Ald. Robert Fioretti (2nd) criticized Emanuel directly.

Losers In Chicago School Closings Target Elected Officials NPR: The Chicago school board voted to close dozens of schools, despite community protests that the closings disproportionately affect minority students. Now the teachers union and community activists want to change the system and oust the elected officials who disagreed with them.

All Eyes On Chicago School Board After Closure Vote Chicagoist: Mayor Rahm Emanuel, as his PR press office often does, released a statement after the vote thanking Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett and the board for their courage. I want to thank CEO Byrd-Bennett, the Board, the Commission and the .

State won't use free lunch program as poverty indicator Lebanon Reporter: Earlier this year, a report by the Chicago Public Schools' Inspector General reported widespread abuse of the program, including by some well-paid school administrators who signed up their own children up for free lunches. Senate Minority Leader Tim .

CTU, Rahm Emanuel School Closings: Union Vows Political Shakeup -- And ... Huffington Post: A day after the mayor's hand-picked board of education OKed the closure of 50 Chicago Public Schools to supposedly stymie a $1 billion budget shortfall, the Chicago Teachers Union renewed its promise to challenge Emanuel for the mayor's seat in 2015.

CTU aims to have Mayor Emanuel ousted in 2015 over school closings ABC7: The mayor and CPS chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett moved from room to room at the Brennemann School, 4200 N. Clarendon, for a half-dozen joint interviews on as many different media outlets. "We have to continue, continue, continue to talk about the benefits ...

Nine aldermen criticize mayor's school closing plan Chicago Sun-Times: The historic vote on Wednesday to shutter 50 schools has served as a rallying point for theChicago Teachers Union as its president vows to field a challenger against Mayor Rahm Emanuel's 2015 re-election. But while nine aldermen showed up at the ...

Protests Fail to Deter Chicago From Shutting 49 Schools New York Times: “The greatest challenge facing our school system right now is that tens of thousands of children every year are trapped in underutilized schools and under-resourced schools,” said Barbara Byrd-Bennett, the chief executive of Chicago Public Schools.

CPS school closures: backlash could extend into coming months Chicago Business Journal: ... the Sun-Times said. Mayor Rahm Emanuel released a statement saying he supported the board's decisions and praised Chicago Public Schools chief executive Barbara Byrd-Bennett, according to the report. Opponents of the closure plan have charged ...

CPS closings vote shows it’s time for an elected school board Sun Times:  Mark Brown: I changed my mind while watching Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s six appointees to the Board of Education vote unanimously to close 50 schools next year despite thoughtful and impassioned pleas from community members begging them to reconsider.


Ex-judge: Charter-school operator UNO needs 'robust' policy against conflicts Chicago Sun-Times: 
Former Judge Wayne Andersen also recommended that UNO — which relies largely on funding from the Chicago Public Schools for its charter operation — require sealed, competitive bidding for contracts for its schools. UNO commissioned Andersen's ...


Dunbar H.S. employee suspended over video of girl shoved down stairs Sun Times: Chicago Public Schools officials have suspended an employee of Dunbar Vocational Career Academy on the South Side after a video surfaced that appears to show him pushing a 16-year-old female student down a flight of stairs.


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  • CTU are not the only folks who want Rahm out.

  • Really? You claim CTU's "over-reliance on protests and opposition?" When an appointed school board, which has only ONE person with any public school experience at all, ignores the expertise of actual educators and local and national research, none of which supports the effectiveness of shut downs and turnarounds, what do you propse the union and their many, many supporters do? And the movement is not just protests and opposition. Certainly those are strategies but you minimize the grassroots movement and organizing efforts of groups throughout the city by inferring that's all that is happening.

  • In reply to flaca:

    None of the 49 (except one, I believe) are shut downs or turnarounds. The kids and their teachers are moving to a different building. Get your facts straight.

  • In reply to CPS Parent:

    The students may or may not be moving to the receiving schools. For example some parents at closing schools may elect to have their children go to charter schools, and others may seek open seats at elementary schools that have space. Currently CPS is attempting to get students to register for the receiving schools, it will be on the basis of those students who do register that it will be determined how many teachers with satisfactory or better ratings will take positions at the receiving school.

    Let us also recall that most of the receiving schools themselves were formally considered to be at least somewhat underutilized. That means their current class sizes may be significantly smaller than the CTU contract allows for.

    Here is an example, Ryder which is taking the Morgan students in 2012 had an average class size at sixth grade of 26 students the CTU contract at Article 28 allows for a 6th grade size up to 31. However, the language of Article 28.1 requires that positions be created in a somewhat more complex manner which I will not bore readers with. But subsection B actually allows the 6th grade room to have up to 32 students. Article 28.3 may also become relevant as this process proceeds.

    I am going to be crude, but here is an example: Morgan in 2012 had only 20 third grade students because parents have taken other options once the school is closed ends up transferring only 7 students who will be going into grade 5 next year at Ryder it is highly likely no 5th grade teacher from Morgan would have a job at the receiving school even with a superior rating. So saying the teachers follow the children means nothing if the children do not enroll in the receiving school.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to CPS Parent:

    Teachers are NOT moving with the kids. They are subject to rehire per enrollment need and at the behest of the receiving Principal. Many will lose their jobs, as will staff, aides, Principals of closing schools.

  • In reply to eyeoncps:

    Wrong, read the CTU/CPS CBA

  • In reply to flaca:

    Two board members were principals. One of them was probably in the CTU. Few school boards have 1/3 of its members with K-12 experience.
    The board is about as smart and experienced six people as you will find. Note also that none of them owe their careers or success to Rahm. They were certainly picked because they broadly agree with Rahm on policy. But mayoral control of schools in Chicago and other big cities didn't happen by accident.

  • In reply to Donn:

    word is member hines son Common is reped by Rahm's bro--true?

  • In reply to Donn:

    While, you may be grateful that no board member owes his or her success to the mayor who appointed...I question a complete lack of dissent. Whether one agrees or not with the most recent actions or an appointed board, why a complete lack of dissent? Suggesting that every action put forth before the board is as smart as the "smart and experienced" individuals making these decisions seems a little incredulous to me.

  • In reply to urbanteach:

    They form a consensus privately. They also don't question every decision made by staff. Their job is broad policy and hiring senior leadership. If they think BBB is the right person, they let her do her job.
    They undoubtedly participated in shaping the list from 120 schools to the 50 closing. But their not going to sit in the public board metting and discuss their individual concerns. In the first year, Rahm publicly expressed his thinking behind his educational policies. But the CTU, without a real plan of their own, plays a continuos game of "gotcha!". We can't have public adult discussion about important policy.
    The next phase of the CTU game seems to be "no savings from closing". That will last a couple weeks, until you guys move onto something else.

  • In reply to Donn:

    You are correct, they have done a lot of hiring in recent years and have had a revolving door of senior leadership. I guess I am grateful that each person they hire to lead has policy that they agree with unanimously.

    Anyone out there with the research done by the Depual fellow on board dissent, I would really appreciate finding it. BTW, he is not a CTU member.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Donn:

    Whether it is how you represent it, or not, private consensus is not a legal option for the Board. They are a public governing body that is NOT composed of people who represent those they govern. They are not entitled morally or legally to do private consent even if it makes it easier for themselves.

  • In reply to Xian Barrett:

    I am attempting to understand how one percieves the board as a governing body that sets policy by casting an approving or disproving vote. Mainly becuase they never do (the proverbial no vote). If consensus is built on each issue prior to public participation and prior to a public audience, why do they vote? If the argument is that they are not rubber stamping an agenda where is the evidence? And, let's not lose the argument in the diatribe about CTU.

  • In reply to urbanteach:

    The CPS Board generally operates in a manner that is inconsistent with normal practice of school boards in Illinois. For example it does not have functioning sub-committee meetings. When the Board has had a sub-committee meetings it has always been a committee of the whole.

    The CPS Board should have had a subcommittee on closings and it should have discussed publicly all of those things Donn claims were privately decided. Anyone that knows my own history is aware that I have publicly argued this issue of the lack of functioning sub-committees before the CPS Board itself numerous times and I even discussed this issue with Pat Rocks the former CPS General Counsel. The CPS Board members went into a panic following late President Scott's credit card misuse (see CPS inspector general's report) and the apparent self inflicted gun shot to the head that left him in the Chicago river. They quickly created a budget audit committee and met two times.

    Effectively I think Donn has accused the CPS Board of violating the open meetings Act or at least circumventing it in a legally questionable way. Because I am a real public person who writes under my own name who could be sued for defamation and have no direct evidence of such actions by the members I will not go that far. How this Board functions is inappropriate especially with its adoption of the annual budget and now with this closing process. I have said this before and it is not new for me.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    If it's true, is it defamation?

  • "In his report to UNO, the retired judge did not address the propriety of the group’s actions in hiring the contractors owned by d’Escoto’s brothers"

    So this guy was paid $800/hour to do nothing useful.

  • In reply to Donn:

    As designed Donn-surprised you don't get that.

  • At RYH:

    FOIA shows CPS Board Members had no financial data on savings to shutter 50 public schools

    Major Findings from Freedom of Information Request (Chris Ball) Regarding School Closure Data

    Background: CPS never assembled data explaining how the 129 schools it originally considered for closure were determined.

    Also, there was no information on actual classroom use entered into the hearing records.


  • In reply to district299reader:

    ...this makes me completely ill, and even more angry.
    I am from one of the schools and also attended every hearing, every march and the final board meeting. To hear this makes me feel the entire process was a sham and complete waste of effort and energy.

  • yes, unknown teacher it was a sham from the start-take your left energy and effort and organize against Rham- 21 months until the election.

  • Under common law, to constitute defamation, a claim must generally be false and have been made to someone other than the person defamed.Some common law jurisdictions also distinguish between spoken defamation, called slander, and defamation in other media such as printed words or images, called libel. If you write that CPS Board members are meeting privately to decide issues like school closings and you can't prove it then it could rise to the level of defamation because it would be accusing them of violation of law.

    There are limits to free speech even on blogs. If such a case could be won is another issue and I prefer not to be a test case so I show some restraint in my posts .

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    I think that one must question a lot during this time when it appears we, the people working, studying in public schools, are being attacked left and right by the those at the top. Closing public schools, opening charters connected to corporate interests and less public accountability, more and more standardized tests to control people, less public services, etc. We need better media outlets to truly understand the predicament we the 99% are in. I encourage readers here to check out my site -
    Jim Vail

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