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Education Thu Jun 18 2009

What a School Closing Looks Like

Substance News has been the go-to unofficial news source for the Chicago Public Schools and Chicago Teachers Union for decades.

They will be publishing a series of letters from students, teachers, and other Chicagoans who have been affected by school closings. The first in the series highlights the plight of De La Cruz, an elementary school in the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood of Pilsen that closed its doors this month.

From teacher Kristine Mayle, recounting the plundering of "goods" by neighboring principals:

The Final Days of De La Cruz...A free-for-all of greed

By Kristine Mayle

They let the Area 10 principals into the building to take and claim whatever they could get their hands on... while teachers were trying to close up for the year and with students present!

I even had a principal reach over my head while I was typing to put a sticker on my classroom computer to claim it as her own. WHILE I WAS TYPING.

She didn't say a word, just reached over me. Shocking behavior all around. One student compared it to when her grandma died and all the relatives rushed her house to claim and fight over her property. I do not understand why they couldn't have had this free-for-all next week, when teachers and students were out of the building....

The rest of the letters can be found here.

These scenes are occurring throughout Chicago right now. This school year, 16 schools will be turned around, phased-out, consolidated, or closed entirely through the "Renaissance 2010" initiative.

Tomorrow morning, the Caucus of Rank-and-File Educators(CORE) will demonstrate outside an event honoring Arne Duncan, held by Advance Illinois. CORE plans to show the nation that Chicago does not support policies issued under Duncan's reign as CPS CEO and they should not be unleashed upon the nation.

When: Friday, June 19, 2009
7:30 a.m.-9:15 a.m.

Where: Outside the Hyatt Regency Chicago
151 E. Wacker Dr.
CORE Press Conference to Commence at 9:15 AM

Updates can be found at :

Disclosure- I am a member of CORE

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Parents Still Steaming, but About More Than Just Boilers

By Phil Huckelberry / 2 Comments

It's now been 11 days since the carbon monoxide leak which sent over 80 Prussing Elementary School students and staff to the hospital. While officials from Chicago Public Schools have partially answered some questions, and CPS CEO Forrest Claypool has informed that he will be visiting the school to field more questions on Nov. 16, many parents remain irate at the CPS response to date. More...


Substance, Not Style, the Source of Rahm's Woes

By Ramsin Canon / 2 Comments

It's not surprising that some of Mayor Emanuel's sympathizers and supporters are confusing people's substantive disputes with the mayor as the effect of poor marketing on his part. It's exactly this insular worldview that has gotten the mayor in hot... More...

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