HITTING LEFT #21 with Pidgeon Pagonis

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Saucedo test boycott -- 'A step towards reclaiming humanity, joy of learning and education.'

A SmallTalk Salute...This one goes out to the 40 teachers at Maria Saucedo Elementary Scholastic Academy who voted unanimously Tuesday to boycott the Illinois Standards Achievement Test. Byrd-Bennett warns that they could face disciplinary action.

But CTU V.P. Jesse Sharkey says: “I think it would be outrageous and wrong. . . . The teachers aren’t doing this for any gain. They’re doing this because they want to teach." He promises the union will “mount a strong defense” if the teachers are disciplined.
“We are not afraid. We’re standing strong for our kids and what is right,” says boycotting teacher Sarah Chambers. “This is one step towards reclaiming humanity and the joy of learning and education.”

Rendering of new arts building at Lab.
I'm so happy for Rahm's kids... whose private school is getting a new $43.7 million arts building, courtesy of a $25M gift from billionaire George Lucas & wife Mellody. The new addition to Arne Duncan's alma mater, the Lab School includes a lobby/art gallery, 700-seat auditorium, 250-seat theater, 150-seat drama studio and four art studios and will even be named after an African-American photographer and movie director Gordon Parks because Mellody "is a deep believer in diversity".

As for our kids in CPS schools, not to worry Mr. Mayor. They don't need all that fluffy art stuff. It's not on the ISAT. A new survey of 170 Chicago public elementary schools by Raise Your Hand Illinois found that 65 percent do not offer the expected minimum of two hours of arts education per week, as Rahm and BBB claim.

The survey found that:
14%  of CPS students have no arts instruction
51% have less than two hours of arts instruction per week
26% have two hours of art instruction
9% have more than two hours of arts instruction
31% saw a decline in arts instruction this year   
 Raise Your Hand also found 68 art positions, 47 music positions, 19 performing arts positions and more cut from the budget for 2013.

Ah yes, diversity.

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