|Rahm, Clark, Claypool & Jackson|
, cynical bastard that he is, never intended to put a school back in Dyett. From the time he closed this, the last public open-enrollment high school in Bronzeville, his plan was always to sell the building to the real estate developers -- like he's done recently with Von Humboldt
in Humboldt Park and Trumbull
(to Svigos Real Estate Group) in Andersonville. The awarding of the Obama Library in Washington Park has only made the incentive greater.
Like his predecessor Daley, Rahm would sell of every foot of this city's public space that wasn't nailed down, if he could. And maybe he can. The erosion of public space and public decision-making has been a hallmark of the regime's strategy of gentrifying and whitenizing
the city. It's New Orleans without the flood. A quarter-million African-American citizens have left Chicago in the past decades.
Now it appears that the board's RFP for a new school at Dyett was a ruse. After 11 days of surviving on liquids and with several of the hunger strikers needing medical treatment (see the warning from local health professionals
) , they've been told by Board Pres. Frank Clark
(former ComEd C.E.O), that the game is up. Rahm, Claypool, Johnson and their gaggle of always-compliant board members, are dumping the new-school proposals from all three groups, the Coalition to Revitalize Dyett (Global Leadership and Green Technology), Little Black Pearl's contract school, and a late one solicited by the board from former Dyett Principal Charles Campbell
The seemingly endless proposal process, pitting black community groups against one another (see Mary Mitchell's column
yesterday) was used an an excuse for not accepting the original proposal months ago. But now, with public support for the hunger strikers growing, and with local, national, and even international media picking up on the story, Rahm's hand has been forced.
Yesterday, according to the Sun-Times
, the board's Chief Ed Officer, Janice Jackson
tried to blame the entire RFP ruse on former C.E.O Barbara Byrd-Bennett
who, facing possible indictment in the SUPES scandal, has seemingly gone underground.
Newly installed Chief Academic Officer Janice Jackson also said that the request for proposals process was initiated by former CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett before Jackson and CEO Forrest Claypool took charge.
Rahm has taught her the blame-your-predecessor game well.
“We don’t want to open a new school and then have those schools competing when they’re already in a position where they’re fighting over the same children."
Hilarious! This from a regime which has been trying to place privately-run charters, military schools, and selective enrollment schools down the block, around the corner and across the street from every neighborhood high school in the city.
|Burns didn't get the memo.|
The mayor's shutting down of the RFP process also made a liar out of his ever-faithful Ald.Will Burns
, who obviously didn't get the memo in time. On Tuesday, feeling the tide of support shifting towards the hunger strikers, Burns wrote a letter to the Hyde Park Herald
"Failure is not an option. Dyett will be a successful open enrollment community high school."
Note to readers...
Whenever you hear a pol or an ed reformer say, "failure is not an option" -- it's an option.
Adds Ald. Burns:
As the newly appointed City Council Chairman of the Committee on Education and Child Development, I will continue to work with the community, the Chicago Board of Education and the RFP process to secure a new plan for Dyett. I do not take the hunger strike lightly and I am sympathetic to the demonstrators.
By sympathetic, Burns meant that the hunger strikers are a bunch of "bullies".
As Fourth Ward Alderman, I will not be bullied into submitting to the special interests and scare tactics of one group. The whole community deserves the opportunity to have their opinions represented and communicate their plan in a fair and open process.
Well guess what, Alderman? The whole community has now been shat upon and their will be no "fair and open process." There never was one. Didn't you know? Of course you knew.
Hopefully this cynical act of betrayal will serve to unite a divided community behind the hunger strikers and for the salvation of the great tradition of public education in Bronzeville.