CFL News
February 23, 2012

CTU calls for an elected school board

Following the school board's decision to close an number of public schools, the Chicago Teachers Union responded calling for a publicly-elected board

Source: Catalyst Chicago

By Cassandra West

Speaking at a news conference around 8 p.m. at the union’s headquarters in downtown Chicago, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis called for an elected school board to replace the current one, which is made up of appointees chosen by Mayor Rahm Emanuel or his predecessor, Richard Daley, the Tribune late Wednesday evening.

WBEZ goes "inside" Herzl Elementary in North Lawndale to check out accusations that Chicago's school district lets some school buildings go to pot before turning them over to private management groups.

Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis told school board members Chicago is at the "epicenter of the education justice fight in America" after the board voted late Wednesday to close seven schools and completely re-staff 10 others. She said the nation is watching." The Rev. Jesse Jackson told the board, "This is Little Rock, 1957. This is apartheid." (WBEZ)

Dozens of people packed a conference room at Chicago Public Schools headquarters Wednesday and another 100 or so filled an overflow room upstairs to plead for board members to put off a vote on closing or overhauling 17 struggling schools. (Tribune)

About 33 neighborhood schools with at least 95 percent low-income students not only outscored equally poor schools cleared out of all staff and “turned around’’ by the Academy for Urban School Leadership, but even beat the city test score average, a study by Designs for Change indicated. (Sun-Times)

Joining a crowd of hundreds that packed two rooms at Board of Education headquarters, the Rev. Jesse Jackson made his first appearance ever at a school closing vote. He declared that closings disproportionately impacted African-American communities and teachers and reflected an “apartheid” Chicago educational system. (Sun-Times)

Trib Nation points out something that's become obvious of late: "the pace and emotional intensity of stories about the Chicago Public Schools has increased."

Here's how the Wall Street Journal's Stephanie Banchero summarized the Chicago School Board's actions on Wednesday: "This city's school board voted Wednesday to shake up the teaching staffs at 17 low-performing public schools, handing Mayor Rahm Emanuel a victory in his battle with the teachers union and highlighting an increasingly aggressive stance on education overhauls by a number of Democratic mayors nationwide." (*A subscription is required for full access to WSJ article.)