2. Northeast Side Regional School Discipline Summit:
April 29 - 5:30 p.m.
With the release of new data from the Chicago Public Schools in February, we learned that during the last school year, 307 students were kicked out of charter schools, which have a total enrollment of about 50,000. In district-run schools, there were 182 kids expelled out of a student body of more than 353,000.
We also learned that African-American students face a higher rate of disciplinary action in the district. Last school year, approximately 75 percent of all suspensions were handed to African-Americans, a group that makes up about 41 percent of CPS' student body. (Suspended students are allowed to return to school, as opposed to students who are expelled.)
Chicago Public Schools has decided to focus on reducing the use of harsh disciplinary policies and to that end has developed a "suspension and expulsion reduction plan." CPS is seeking community input on how to best address school discipline issues.
We at Project NIA are partnering with CPS to organize a regional forum about school discipline on Tuesday April 29 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Our allies at Alternatives Inc. are hosting us for the evening at 4730 N. Sheridan Road.
Please join us for the forum. Food will be provided. Please register here!!(especially if you need child care at the event):
4. Progressive, Democratic Education in an Era of Standardization
The DePaul College of Education, in cooperation with Francis Parker School and the Teachers' Inquiry Project, is hosting public events to offer educators, parents, and community members opportunities to explore alternatives to high stakes testing, standardization, de-professionalization of teaching and other current "reform" approaches.
These events are planned around the visit of faculty from Boston's Mission Hill School and the release of the film Good Morning Mission Hill.
* Thursday, April 24th from 6-9 pm at DePaul University (Lincoln Park Student Center): A forum and interactive small group discussions with Ms. Gavins and Ms. Ruggiero, with the framing question: So much discussion of education practice and policy today is centered on critique -- of high stakes testing, value-added measures for teacher evaluation, growth of charters, de-professionalization of teaching through short alternative programs, etc. We find that our students are hungry for models, exemplars, alternatives to today's current "reform" prescriptions. Mission Hill offers one such example. What can the larger world of American education take away from one school's experience? For more information, contact Diane Horwitz here.
Check out the special section on Resisting Teach for America, including an article by Chicago's (and TSJ's) Katie Osgood!
And also check out RS's new book and fundraising campaign for:Rethinking Sexism, Gender, and Sexuality-Join our campaign to publish the book we wish our own teachers-and our children's teachers-had well-thumbed copies of in their classrooms.
6. Milwaukee Conference in Anti-Racist, Anti-Bias Teaching-Car pool w/ TSJ to attend our sister org's annual conference!
On Friday, March 21, The Chicago Board of Education announced that it would fire every single adult in three of Chicago’s schools and hand over management of the schools to the Academy for Urban School Leadership—a politically connected private management organization with close ties to Board President David Vitale. Calling this practice “Turnaround,” the Board claims it will help students. But studies show otherwise. This is an attack on Black schools that continues the assault carried out by CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett last year, when she closed fifty schools (claiming they were the last closings for at least five years).
Calling the turnarounds, “a slap in the face to those of us who are attempting to negotiate for more resources, collaboration and support throughout our district,” CTU President Karen Lewis called for us to step up and defend our schools. “This is nothing more than school closings by another name,” said President Lewis. “After closing 50 schools, now we find three campuses more on the chopping block while the mayor continues his televised propaganda campaign of promoting these disastrous policies.”
Stand with these schools by signing up to bear witness at one of the hearings mandated by law for each affected school. Our schools need every voice to ring out for them.