Friday, March 22, 2013

A calamity of seismic proportion

Students arrive for school at Garrett A. Morgan Elementary, only to find out their school is being closed.
"You know, schools are community anchors. They're social centers. They're part of a community's identity. The closings are going to take place almost entirely within the African-American community, and given the problems we already have with violence, I think it's very problematic." -- County Board President Toni Preckwinkle
Make no mistake. This is a crime against the community. 54 schools and 61 buildings closed, left to blight already neglected black and Latino neighborhoods. More than 30,000 children of color, many with special needs, uprooted and put in harm's way. Pink slips for more that 1,000 of Chicago's finest teachers.

Posed as a saving to tax payers. Nothing could be further from the truth. Chicago high school teacher, Jay Rehak, makes the case in this excellent blog post, "The Importance of Half-Filled Schools."
...every school that is closed adds to the blight and destabilization of a neighborhood... Each time we abandon or shutter a school, we are marring our communal landscape and inviting further social decline. It is imperative that CPS and the Civic Leaders of Chicago recognize that what the money they believe they are “saving”  is actually promoting further economic decline that is far more costly to residents of Chicago.  Those who do not believe me need only ask business owners whose storefronts abut vacant businesses.
All this carried out by a mayor, currently hiding out in the mountains of Utah, his conspiracy against his own city hatched in the paneled offices of the billionaires boys club called the Civic Committee. There, I've snitched.

The only question now is, whether the citizens of Chicago will stand up, band together, and take back their schools and their communities. And by citizens, I mean the citizens in each and every ward, whether their schools were closed or spared this time around. We are the ones who are all going to pay the social and economic cost for this calamity.

10 comments:

  1. You know, Mike, first it was closing schools due to low test scores (& we all know how valid & reliable those Pear$on ISAts are!!). Being called on that, CPS looked for another excuse to close schools--AHA!
    Underutilization! (My grammar check is indicating that that's not even a word.) Right, class sizes less than 40 or 50 are too small.
    ANYTHING to close schools. ANYTHING to minimalize people who are not part of the 1%, & perpetrate the plan to make them all minimum wage Wal-Mart workers so the Kochs & their ilk may continue to amass more money than even a million people would ever need in ten lifetimes.
    That having been said, the words of Karen Lewis,

    "We are the city of big shoulders and so we intend to fight."

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    1. It's not just Chicago that suddenly has a "utilization crisis". This same rancid lie is being rolled out as we speak in cities across the nation. The strategy was outlined in a Broad Foundation document long before any of this garbage hit the media. The document was taken off the Broad Foundation site but not before others grabbed it to spread around. Phase 2, already planned out but not publicized is the roll out of more charters in a city of underutilized schools. Can't wait to see the lies and spin used to justify that.

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  2. Is it hot in here, or what?March 23, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    Rahm needs a new PR strategy. Who's idea was it for him to leave town when this thing dropped, along with the book-banning fiasco?

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    Replies
    1. Didn't Rahm diss and can Brizzard for going on his annual family vacation during the teachers' strike? Always a double standard for those at the top.

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  3. He need more than a PR strategy, IIHIHOW. He needs a permanent ski vacation in Utah. Maybe he can go play golf with Pope Benedict.

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  4. School reform is the CANCER of America's public schools. - Mountain Man Insight

    Read more: www.mountainmaninsights.org Education Termination

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  5. I just read Mr. Emanuel quoted as saying, "that the pain of the closings doesn't compare to the anguish of "trapping" kids in failing schools." But it's being trapped in poverty that has the greatest impact on learning, or not learning. Where's his plan for that?

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  6. Fallout from closing projects and displacing kids and families to the townships of Dolton and Harvey.

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  7. pb--Brilliant observation, &, unfortunately, how right you are. Even more unfortunate for those suburbs where people already have more than they need to deal with. And, just like ambulance chasers, the charterizers will follow on their heels!

    YES--let's enroll all those kids in K12 Virtual Charter "Schools" (in quotes, because NO way are these really schools)! If we can't get into those 18 suburbs* that have no use for us anyway, surely we can follow the CPS refugees!

    *Even though it would appear that none of those 18 school districts will approve the K12 charter
    applications, the IL State Charter School Commission (not sure of the exact name) could overrule their decisions. Can you say dystopian society?

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  8. None of this is surprising...The "corporate-state education reformers" know well that the citizenry is largely uninformed. Until we get past that hurdle, it's downhill for public education from here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/106337306/THE-CHICAGO-PUBLIC-SCHOOLS-ALLERGIC-TO-ACTIVISM

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Agree? Disagree? Let me hear from you.