I remember when I was a little girl and was excited about the first day of school. I was starting kindergarten, and the night before my grandmother had straightened my hair and put it into two ponytails. My mother allowed me to pick out my own clothes, and I remember feeling like a big girl.... Read more »
This is a tale of two bills. SB1571 was introduced in the Illinois Senate on Feb. 13, intended to put a moratorium on Chicago Public Schools’ plan to close 54 schools. Then that bill was amended to remove the provision seeking to put a moratorium on school closings. Despite the original text of the bill... Read more »
Despite a warning coming on high from Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett that “the only place students should be during the school day is the classroom,” some Chicago high school students thought otherwise and walked out of school to take part in the third day of a march in the name of education justice.... Read more »
A bright welcoming banner with blue and yellow lettering offsets the bleakness of the long, gray concrete wall across the street from Mahalia Jackson Elementary School. The canvas banner has cracks in it that runs across Jackson’s portrait, yet the face of the woman known as the Queen of Gospel beams out at the world.... Read more »
Neighborhoods across the city are desperately fighting to keep their schools open, many of them by arguing that the 50-plus closures suggested by Chicago Public Schools officials will devastate their already ailing communities. A report from the Chicago Teachers Union released last month looks at the devastation that the neighborhood schools were facing in another... Read more »
Michael Tidmore and I recently met front of Daniel S. Wentworth Elementary School, a hulking brick building that sits on a residential block in Englewood. He wondered what’s going to happen to school buildings like this when they’re closed next year under Chicago Public Schools’ plan to shutter 61 facilities while consolidating students and staff.... Read more »
Lametrios West has made a point to separate himself from the trouble around him. Despite heavy rain and steady cracks of lightning, the 14-year-old Kershaw Elementary School student made his way on a recent afternoon to the nearby Teamwork Englewood, a community organization whose after-school programs draw boys and girls from the surrounding area. Here, he holes up to “get out of the neighborhood.”
Staying out of trouble means closing himself off from the outside world. “It’s hard but I can do it,” he says. “By staying in the house, going to school, coming here. The only areas where I go is where I know people.”...
(Click through the map to see just how much was spent on incarceration vs. education in communities impacted by school closures.)...
No other school district in the country has attempted to do what Chicago Public Schools is planning to do this fall: close more than one in 10 school buildings, the vast majority of them in African-American communities. “With CPS losing enrollment, officials insist that the closings are needed to ‘right-size’ the district, to save money... Read more »
Worry. Anger. Uncertainty. Those were some of the feelings that current and former Chicago Public Schools students and parents expressed about the district’s plans to close more than 50 schools. We caught up with three of them at this week’s rally against school closings to hear their thoughts. Photo by Jonathan Gibby Benjamin Chacon is... Read more »