Friday, December 23, 2011

Chicago communities rally to save their schools

Board pushes longer school day on the high schools

Marquette Elementary School supporter Florence John
son, center, with Southwest Youth Collaborative, rallies Thursday with parents, teachers, community activists and students who oppose a “turnaround” project at the Southwest Side school. (Heather Charles, Chicago Tribune / December 22, 2011)
On a day when teachers, parents and students rallied to protest closings or turnaround projects at eight public schools, school district officials responded by announcing they would extend the high school day by 36 minutes beginning next fall. At Marquette, which has been on academic probation for seven of the last eight years and where less than 20 percent of students between the third and eighth grades are reading at grade level, teachers say the district has failed the school.
"We have been sabotaged over the last three years," said Jacqulyn Ward, an eighth-grade math teacher. "We've had three principals in that time; we've had new (area officers) who've come in and tried to change everything and who are now gone. It's been total instability."-- Chicago Tribune

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