Hundreds of parents, including Lillie Gonzalez, gathered Saturday at Malcolm X College to protest the latest wave of neighborhood school closings by outgoing Chicago schools CEO Arne Duncan under the Mayor’s Renaissance 2010 plan.
From the Tribune:
Gonzalez joined more than 500 parents, teachers and community leaders at a public hearing Saturday in Malcolm X College to blast the plan. She and others accused the district of shutting schools only to reopen them as Renaissance 2010 schools under private control and without the same accountability as regular district schools.
From the Sun-Times:
In his last major act before heading to Washington as President-elect Barack Obama's pick for education secretary, outgoing Chicago schools chief Arne Duncan wants to close or consolidate 25 "underperforming" or under-enrolled schools, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned. The proposal -- which Duncan plans to unveil Wednesday -- would be the largest wave of school closings in Chicago in one year since Mayor Daley gave the schools chief the authority through the "Renaissance 2010" initiative to replace 70 underperforming schools with 100 new schools by 2010.
Teachers and principals losing their jobs, parents and students looking for another school, still would be in the dark about this new wave of school closings if it wasn’t for PURE. CPS officials tried to suppress the news but PURE got their hands on the plan and released it to the public despite pressure from Duncan and Co.
Another nail in small-schools coffin
Among the schools targeted for closing are some of the last of the early wave of small schools, started by teachers here in the 90s. They include Nia and Foundations Elementary and Best Practices High School, housed at the old Cregier High School, as well as Global Vision, a small school within Bowen High School. Of course these small schools were actually killed several years ago, the result of lack of support from Duncan and predecessor Paul Vallas, revolving door principals and standardized-testing mania--the usual.
From the what’s-he-been-smoking? Dept.
President Bush (is he still here???) sang in praise of Arne Duncan and the Chicago miracle:
They’re soaring—soaring I tell you.
"I have seen the resolve for reform and the belief in high standards in Chicago, where reading and math scores are soaring, and where every child still has time to study a foreign language and the fine arts. The school in Chicago we went to, like other schools across the city, have benefitted from the vision and leadership of a person named Arne Duncan.