Thursday, March 7, 2013

It's hitting the fan in Philly

Protesters gather before start of meeting of the School Reform Commission March 7, 2013 before vote to order the largest mass school closing in history. ( TOM GRALISH / Inquirer ) 
Well the shit has hit the fan in Philly (that's him in the Phillies hat) as the gaggle of corporate school reforms who call themselves the School Reform Committee are moving to close 27 neighborhood schools. 19 protesters including some students, and AFT Prez Randi Weingarten, have been arrested so far today with hundreds more protesting outside and inside the SRC meeting.

Randi arrested
Take note Mayor Rahm. I haven't seen such anger among Chicago parents and community folk since the days leading up to Harold Washington's election.  If you think you and Chicago pols can close 80 schools this year and walk away unscathed, you're mistaken. Last week's poll ratings have you at 2% strongly favoring your policies. Don't even look at the polls after that next school is closed.

Local aldermen are already feeling the pressure and are turning up at these community hearings lining up behind the Progressive Caucus for the first time, assuring their base that they oppose the closings -- at ;least in their own wards. They don't want to go down with the ship.

Philly is a walk in the compared to park compared with what's ahead in ChiTown.

Did you get your slice of Joravsky today? ("Waiting for the day of judgment from Mayor Emanuel") It's all about the struggle to save Brentano, Jenner, and Manierre from Rahm's chopping block -- not to mention the UNO scandal. Ummm, good.
As the CHA gets out of the business of housing the poor, it's only a matter of time before CPS gets out of the business of educating their children. It's almost as if that were the plan all along.
Also, if you don't follow the Philadelphia Schools Notebook, do it. There a good piece today by school/community activist Helen Gym. She asks,  "Where is the vision for public education?"
So if we understand the central role that neighborhood schools play within their communities, we should be considering school policies that are linked with community planning and development. Why not look at school policies that reverse conditions of blight and disinvestment rather than feed them?

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