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Board Closes All 17 Schools!

February 22, 2012 1 comments

Tonight, Feb 22, 2012, at about 6:15 PM, the appointed Board of Education of the city of Chicago closed, phased out, and turned around all 17 schools on their chopping block without a dissenting vote and hardly a blink of an eye. Despite protests ranging from the sleepover on the sidewalk and mic-check takeover of the Board meeting in December, the 4-day sit-in at the mayor's office, the occupation of Piccolo school, the 500-plus person candlelight vigil to the mayor's house Monday night and the dozens of hearings, speakouts, and organizing meetings around the city where parents, students, teachers and community member poured out their hearts, developed plans, and were deeply involved in our children's education--this Board callously ignored the wisdom and love of Chicago's people. Even though we knew it was coming, we were deeply hurt and angered. They gave six schools to the very politically connected AUSL, rapidly on its way to building its empire in Chicago (now 25 schools) and soon to go national.

As Jitu Brown of KOCO told the press immediately after the so-called vote, "only in Black and Brown communities would this happen, not in Winnetka or Oak Park." This is a deeply racist city, where the 1% ignores the knowledge and experience of its residents about the education of their children, overwhelmingly of color in Chicago public schools (92%).

We need an elected and representative school board, elections with spending limits, and bottom-up, community-driven plans for real school transformation and community control of schools. And we need real popular political education, as to the nature of what we're up against. This is a business plan, hatched by the 1%, for the 1%--not an education plan. We have much work to do, in educating and organizing ourselves. This fight is far from over, and we will continue to fight it in the streets, courts, legislature, board rooms, classrooms, schools, media, and everywhere else.

To quote our brother in the struggle, Adourthus McDowell (look at the mic-check video!), "THESE ARE OUR CHILDREN! NOT CORPORATE PRODUCT!"

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Support Our Schools: Actions Calendar

February 16, 2012 0 comments

Next Wednesday, February 22nd, the Board of Education will vote whether to close, phase-out or "turnaround" 16 Chicago Public Schools. This is a really important time...

*from the December 3rd King HS Teach-In (400 teachers, parents, students, community members, union members)

*to the December 13 candlelight vigil (several hundred) and sleepover on the cold wet sidewalk before the December Board meeting,

*to the now-famous Mic Check takeover of the Dec 14 Board Meeting,

*to KOCO's 4-day sit-in at the Mayor's City Hall Office, where, on Day #2, the Mayor ordered "no chairs," forcing seniors to sit on the floor!

*to the exposé of the "rent-a-protestors,"

*to the rally against Noble St. Charter's draconian discipline policies and outrageously punitive fee schedule,

*to all the resistance at the school closing "hearings" and parent meetings around the city--

This year is not like others. People are pushed to the brink and are willing to do more to fight for the neighborhood schools--and their neighborhoods. Enough!

These are our children! NOT corporate product!


Thurs, Feb 16 6PM - 8PM
IL House Bill 4487: Moratorium on School Closings, Turnarounds and Phase-Outs
Pleasant Gift Baptist Church
4526 S. Greenwood
(3 blocks east of Cottage Grove Ave.)

Mon, Feb 20, 4PM
Rally to Support Schools
Lakeview High School
4015 N. Ashland

Wed, Feb 22, 6AM - 8AM
Rally before Board of Ed Mtg
CPS Headquarters
125 S. Clark St.

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They say shut it down. We say spread it around!

February 1, 2012 0 comments

Statement of Solidarity with Tucson's Mexican American Studies (MAS) Program by TAG:

As a network of Teacher Activist Groups (TAG) we believe that education is essential to the preservation of civil and human rights and is a tool of human liberation. In alignment with these beliefs we are are proud to coordinate a month of solidarity work in support of Tucson’s Mexican American Studies (MAS) Program. In January, 2011 state attorney general Tom Horne declared that the TUSD MAS program is illegal. Over the past year, teachers, students, and administrators have come together to challenge Horne’s ruling, but on January 10, 2012, the Tuscon Unified School District school board voted 4-1 to cease all MAS classes immediately for fear of losing state aid.

In the month of February we invite you to strike back against this attack on our history by teaching lessons from and about the banned MAS program. On this website you will find a guide that includes sample lesson plans from the MAS curriculum as well as creative ideas and resources for exploring this issue with students. Whatever happens in Arizona, we can keep the ideas and values of MAS alive by teaching about them in our classrooms, our community centers, our houses of worship, our homes.

February 1 is the first day on which TUSD must be in compliance this law. It is also the first day of African American History Month. And as Dr. King warned us, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” What is happening in Arizona is not only a threat to Mexican American Studies, it is a threat to our right to teach the experiences of all people of color, LGBT people, poor and working people, the undocumented, people with disabilities and all those who are least powerful in this country.

Our history is not illegal. Please join us by pledging your support at http://www.teacheractivistgroups.org/tucson/pledge

Tell your story: http://www.teacheractivistgroups.org/tucson/tell-your-story

Download the curriculum: http://www.teacheractivistgroups.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/NoHistoryIsIllegal.pdf

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