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First People's Board Meeting Held In Chicago!

September 30, 2013 0 comments

First People's Board Meeting Held Wednesday, Sept 25, 2013 at Mount Carmel Missionary Church on Chicago's South Side

Notes from a participant:
Wednesday night was a terrific People's Board Meeting. It was excellent. I counted, and we had about 100 people, but it wasn't about the numbers. People lined up and spoke, and though some folks probably could have been shorter, everyone who went up there spoke, and they said all kinds of insightful, powerful, moving, and hopeful things. The Board listened and responded, and Adourthus McDowell from KOCO chaired it (as the Board chair) and ran it like the hundreds of LSC meetings he's run over 20 years—fairly, decently, with dignity and seriousness, noting important things for us to do and be.

It was a great example of us trying to live what we want to be. We don't often get to practice that kind of people's democracy, and although we do not have democracy (people's or otherwise!), it is important to envision it and practice it when we can. We have to become the people we want to be, in the process of changing the world. As one speaker said, we are authentic and transparent, and are engaging in a bottom-up process to change our children's education. You could feel it Wednesday night. Everyone there seem to take it very seriously. People spoke from the heart and others listened, and it felt powerful.

And Jessica Suárez spoke on behalf of TSJ, and spoke from the heart (as always) as a mother and to-be-teacher about how you have to know the students' community and have passion for their struggles.
(Photos by Rousemary Vega)
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People's Board Meeting:Wed, 9/25, 5:30 PM

September 19, 2013 0 comments

Tired of not being listened to? Want your voice and views respected? Come to the People's Board Meeting!
Wednesday, Sept 25, 5:30 PM
Mount Carmel Missionary Church
2976 S. Wabash
Chicago, IL

Organized by the
GEM (Grassroots Education Movement), CODE (Communities Organized for Democracy in Education), and LSC reps from across the city.

LSC members who attend get credit for lessons #7, 8, and 9.

  • Join the movement for the Elected Representative School Bd
  • Build Accountability Committees at your school
Sign up here if you want to attend with Teachers for Social Justice!!

Questions?? Email us!!

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Milwaukee Schools Under Attack-Need Our Help!

September 16, 2013 0 comments

Come to Milwaukee w/ TSJ for a March and Rally Saturday Sept 21-Public Education is a Civil Right! 
Milwaukee public school educators, parents, and students need your help. The assault on public schools is increasing in Milwaukee.  We have called for Public Education is a Civil Rights March and Rally for Saturday, September 21 in response. 

We hope that you can join us to demonstrate to the entire state that we are united in our demand that public education be supported, not abandoned.

IF YOU WANT TO COME WITH US, EMAIL Jessica of TSJ, we will leave Saturday AM and return that afternoon-we will either be on a bus w/ CTU and/or car pooling. WEAR YOUR TSJ T-SHIRT!!!

The most recent attack on public schools in Milwaukee has come in the form of a proposal from the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce that would create a New Orleans's style "recovery zone" in Milwaukee. Dozens of "low performing" schools would be removed from the democratic control of the school board, and placed in a new school district or zone that has an appointed superintendent. That superintendent would then turn those public schools over to privately-run charter schools. This is essentially what happened in New Orleans -- all the teachers were fired in that district as part of the conversion. This is also happening in parts of Tennessee and Michigan. 

We are asking for you to stand in solidarity with public schools in Milwaukee. For over 20 years Milwaukee has been ground zero for this assault on public education and we are drawing the line. We are saying "no more." Over 50 organizations have endorsed the march. John Stocks, NEA Executive Director is going to be joining the march and will be a speaker. We need a large turnout. We need you.

Follow these links to a flyer and list of co-sponsors

The MTEA is willing to contribute $100 to any uniserv or local or community organization from outside of Milwaukee to defray cost of a rented bus to come to Milwaukee. We will support the first ten bus requests that we receive.

If you have questions please contact me directly.

In Solidarity,

Bob Peterson
President, Milwaukee Teachers Education Association (and close friend of TSJ!)
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Brought in for reform, UNO Chairman Martin Cabrera Jr resigns after 3 months! "UNO: Corruption, profit and public accountability"

September 14, 2013 0 comments

After joining UNO as Board's Chairman, Martin Cabrera Jr. resigns. During his short time, Gov. Pat Quinn restored the $98 million school-construction for UNO to complete construction of a new high school in the Southwest Side.

Read more at: http://www.suntimes.com/22550221-761/brought-in-for-reform-uno-chairman-resigns-after-3-months.html

Letter to Tribune's editorial team
"UNO: Corruption, profit, and public responsibility"

We are very disappointed by the Tribune’s June 6 editorial, “UNO scrambles to save itself” supporting Juan Rangel as UNO’s CEO, even though, as the Sun Times reported, many Latino community organizations and leaders are demanding that Rangel step down in order to have a transparent investigation of UNO and its real transformation.

 UNO is a publicly-funded institution and should be accountable to the public and taxpayers who support it. The crisis in UNO reinforces the need for ALL schools that receive public funding—including charter schools—to have elected Local School Councils. This is particularly so for UNO which has received more public funding than any other charter school operator. Only an elected LSC of parents and community members can restructure and hold accountable an organization that has misused public funds with the consent of the current UNO Board.

 What is the real reason Juan Rangel wants to remain the UNO CEO and Cabrera the new Board chair? Rangel admits that he failed as CEO, as he knowingly signed inappropriate millionaire contracts with "people he trusted." He put family members on the payroll, and made significant donations (through UNO staff) to political campaigns for candidates who are likely to protect UNO practices. This corruption and politicking secured UNO roughly $70 million in public bonds (that UNO Board President, Martin Cabrera and his financial firm helped sell to wealthy investors). If the Tribune were to investigate the economic interests at stake, it would find that investors can double their investments in charter schools in only seven years by using New Markets tax credits. But this depends on UNO continuing to grow and get money from CPS. Is UNO helping investors to profit from our children's educational funds?

 The Tribune’s claim that UNO runs “excellent schools” needs fact checking. The consequences of UNO’s financial schemes and its flawed education model are already felt at some UNO Schools, at least two of which- UNO Tamayo and UNO Las Casas—perform at the lowest level. We predict that it is just a matter of time before more taxpayer funds will go towards paying UNO’s investors, rather than addressing the educational needs of Latina(o) students. This is a disservice to our community and our children.

 Byron Sigcho,
Hispanic Literacy Council and Teachers for Social Justice

Pauline Lipman,
Professor Educational Policy Studies,
UIC and Teachers for Social Justice Read the Full Story

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Popular Education Pieces are Available for Download - Spread the word!

September 1, 2013 0 comments

TSJ has created Popular Education Pieces that set forth a vision of what public schools should look like while connecting the dots of between many of the corporate style "reforms" that are in opposition to that vision. These 10 page booklets can be downloaded and printed for use at meetings, in classrooms and other gatherings where people are fighting for social justice in education. They can be used as full booklets, or as individual issue fact-sheets. Please distribute widely.

Download the English version here. (revised 9.11.13)

Download the Spanish version here.

(Note: The Spanish version is missing some of the cartoon images while we try to locate Spanish language versions.) Read the Full Story