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EDITORIAL: Black High School Teachers on Daley's Hit List... Daley, Huberman again target African American schools, teachers for elimination via the Hit List

Above, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley at a media event in September 2008 at the segregated Ella Flagg Young Elmentary School in Chicago. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt. For the eighth year in a row, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, through his appointed school board and his appointed schools "Chief Executive Officer," has targeted a number of Chicago's completely segregated all-black public schools for elimination. And by doing so through the so-called "turnaound" process, Daley is once again proposing to eliminate hundreds of union teachers, most of them African American, from the ranks of the middle class.

Almost all of the 14 public schools on the 2010 Hit List announced on January 19, 2010 by CEO Ron Huberman are all-black.

In every one of the all-black schools on the 2010 Hit List, the majority of school workers are black.

Nothing's changed in the eight years since former CEO (now U.S. Secretary of Education) Arne Duncan instituted the first Hit List in April 2002 with the announcement that he was going to close Dodge, Terrell and Williams elementary schools in order to "save" their children from "failure" (as measured by test scores). As Substance has updated the list of schools targeted for "turnaround" and other radical corporate policies, the clearest demographic fact is that the schools supposedly "failing" are in a narrow geographic portion of Chicago (the heart of the city's apartheid belt, the 300 all-black schools in Chicago's huge contiguous ghetto communities). And of the schools that have supposedly "failed" (as measured by various statistical configurations — which change every year — all of which are based on standardized test scores), virtually all of them have been serving populations of children 100 percent of whom live in the most terrible poverty foisted on black children under the current system or American capitalism.

By naming Chicago's Marshall and Phillips high schools as "failures," CEO Ron Huberman is following in the footsteps of his predecessor, Arne Duncan, in targeting general high schools serving the city's vast segregated inner city black ghetto for teacher elimination. Under the latest version of corporate "school reform" in Chicago, "turnaround," the students get to stay in the school, but all of the staff are fired (including everyone from the principal to the cashiers in the school lunchroom). Prior to this school year, Daley has eliminated the staff at the following all-black Chicago public high schools:

Austin High School (The destruction of the school began with the closing out of 9th grade in September 2004).

Calumet High School (The destruction of the school began with the closing out of 9th grade in September 2004).

Englewood High School (The destruction of the school began with the closing out of 9th grade in September 2005).

Collins High School (The destruction of the school began with the closing out of 9th grade in September 2006).

Harper High School (The destruction of the school began with the firing of almost all of the school's staff when "turnaround" began in June 2008).

Orr High School (The destruction of the school began with the firing of almost all of the school's staff when "turnaround" began in June 2008).

Fenger High School (The destruction of the school began with the firing of almost all of the school's staff when "turnaround" began in June 2009).

The majority of the veteran workers fired at all of the above schools were African Americans. In most cases, they have been replaced by white teachers, usually young.

Since "turnaround" was only invented as the latest marketing tool for mayoral control "school reform" in 2008, the other earlier high schools were scapegoated and attacked using other forms of privatization.

Austin High School was turned over to three groups of "edupreneurs". Two of those (VOISE and Enterpreneuership) are charter schools. The privatization of Austin followed more than $20 million in renovations to the building. Calumet High School was given to Perspectives Charter Schools following more than $20 million in renovations to the building.

Englewood High School was turned over to one media-favored group of "edupreneurs" — the "Urban Prep" all-boys charter high school. Urban Prep, like several other Chicago charter schools, was declared a success before it had opened its doors by the Chicago Tribune and has received more media coverage in its opening years (it has yet to graduate a class) than all of Chicago's top public high schools combined.

Collins High School was closed and its staff, most of whom were African American, were fired. The building, which also received more than $10 million in renovations, now houses two schools — North Lawndale College Prep Charter High School and a teacher training academy run by the Academy for Ubran School Leadership (AUSL).

Orr High School is now a "turnaround" school run by AUSL, which fired most of the Orr teachers when AUSL took over the school in June 2008.

Harper High School is now a "turnaround" school run by the Office of School Turnaround of the Chicago Board of Education. CPS fired most of the Harper teachers when OST took over the school in June 2008.

Fenger High School was subjected to "turnaround" under CPS's Barbara Eason Watkins and Donald Fraynd in 2009.

If anyone had compiled a list of Chicago's all-black public high schools at the turn of the century on January 1, 2000, and said that one quarter of them would have been eliminated as general public high schools — and their African American principals and their majority African American teacher staffs fired — nobody would have believed it.

But that is precisely what Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and his two most recent schools Chief Executive Officers, Arne Duncan and now Ron Huberman, have done at the dawn of the 21st Century. One quarter of Chicago's all-black general high schools have been destroyed by the Daley administration and more than 2,000 veteran black teachers and principals have been slandered, then fired, since January 1, 2000.

Of course, many of the teachers and other workers who have been slandered and fired by the Daley administration since the turn of the century have been white, as well. But the majority have been black.

There has been no comparable purging and humiliating of African American educators in the United States of American since the first decade of the 20th Century. The ruthless destruction of black educational leadership between 1900 and 1910 came following Plessy v. Ferguson (the U.S. Supreme Court decision that said "separate but equal" was OK). The same reality in Chicago in the opening decade of the 21st Century comes behind the smokescreen of corporate "school reform." Like its Jim Crow predecessor, corporate "school reform" — from "turnaround" to charterization and other attacks on the communities where the schools are often the last bastion of popular access and democartic power — has the support of the corporate media. And, usually, the support of many of the well subsidized "leaders" in the African American community.



Comments:

January 23, 2010 at 6:45 AM

By: zeta

"Worse Than Selma"

As you see, the concern about the destruction of the African American community has me up early and keeps me up late at night. How in this day and age can people not understand the ramifications of this racist "turnaround policy"

When I first presented data to Jesse Jackson showing the firing of over 3,000 African American teachers and administrators, Jackson said, "This is the worse thing since Selma Alabama",

No Mr. Jackson, the spread of this policy rooted in racism and condoned by very African American leader in the country is a cancer. It is spreading like wildfire with Arne Duncan's "Race to Put the Negroes on the Bottom" initiative (HELLO SHARPTON) and condoned by the first African American president in history.

Let it be noted here that "turnaround schools" are the tool and weapon of mass destruction to annihilate, eliminate and destroy African American people and communities here in Chicago and across the country.

When Williams, Dodge and Terrell closed, children were told and promised by Arne Duncan that they would be given an opportunity to go to better schools with better teachers and that the teachers at these schools could not teach.

The end result was that the children were uprooted from their neighborhoods, scattered across the city and enrolled in schools that provided them an inferior education as reported in the Tribune last Sunday.

When students were enrolled in the new multi-million dollar facility they were impressed. However, for the next 4 years NTA recorded scores of barely 14%, half of what the achievement was at Williams. When the children could not adjust and perform at will (like trained little dogs), their homes were knocked down they were uprooted again and the school now is trying to recruit the "new population of students living in the recently gentrified area on Chicago.

To that end, 30,000 African American students have disappeared off the rolls of CPS schools and the number is rising.

This is not about school reform, but about a racist plot by MAYOR DALEY to weed out stomp put and destroys African Americans. A blind man could see that.

Why can't our leaders see this, well it goes back to the plantation and the plantation politics of African Americans thinking that they are inferior and that Master Daley knows best? The black on black hate, that allows black children to gun each other down over a dollar and the same hate that makes black successful men marry out of their race, taking all of the resources that they have earned leaving the black community stripped of it's valuables while black women and children remain in the ghetto to fight for the crumbs that are left over.

This is the "black on black hate that came in a bottle called slavery and was swallowed

down eagerly by black heads of businesses and principals at CPS. As they fire, harass and intimidate African American teachers and terrorize them until the master says, "CLOSE THAT NIGGA SCHOOL DOWN!

ONCE AGAIN GEORGE THANKS FOR THE EYES TO SEE THE TRUTH, THE EARS TO HEAR IT AND THE GUTS TO REPORT IT!

January 25, 2010 at 4:54 AM

By: zeta

CPS uses violent students to testiify against teachers!

Not only is CPS using the most violent children with special needs to pump money into programs so everyone in Pennsylvania can get paid, CPS is using violent children to verbally and physically assault teachers.

Nine teachers have met together to discuss this new initiative in the quest to see why violent students who are being or have been expelled from CPS for physically or verbally assaulting staff, parents and students are being used as witnesses in cases to terminate teachers.

Most of these students have special needs and emotional problems that have gone unaddressed by administration.

These students who are most likely to act out in inappropriate ways, are encouraged to give testimony against teachers have have worked for over 15 years. IN 90% of the cases

these violent students have recanted statements and are remorseful for their lack of emotional control.

However, these students seem to be favored as witnesses against CPS teachers even though their credebility is an issue.

In several cases parents have requested that their children not be involved in giving false testimony that could later cause them to have undue feelings of grief and remorse.

However, the CPS Law department still insist on using these children and in several cases have expelled them after they have given what teachers say is false testimony.

If teachers have had experiences like this one please post a contact so that were can seek legal advice.

In addition, I expect that this strategy of getting information to use against teachers in this manner is happening predominately in African American schools.

January 25, 2010 at 11:49 AM

By: Retired Principal

1,000 teachers and staff members will lose their jobs!

CPS is laying off teachers and staff members and cutting programs! More than 1,000 school employees will be out of work by the end of the year; and millions of dollars in programs have been trimmed because of a shortage of money! Over 80% of school employees who have been layed off in the last few years have been African-Americans and latinos!

January 25, 2010 at 12:47 PM

By: Zeta

Latino Principals Protect their Latino Staffs!

I know about the problem with the economy and lay offs. However, I have worked in African American schools and schools with a 95% Latino population.

The difference is that Latino principals with protect you if you are Latino. They may fire or attack everyone else but they stick together. If you are working in a Latino school and are African American, I promise you when the cuts come you will be the first to be fired.

Unfortunately, if you are working in an African American school, you will still be the first to be fired.

If you are working in a white school or any other school, when cuts come, the African American teacher will be the first to be let go.

The issue with African Americans is twofold. The economy coupled with self hatred issues

that won't allow us to see other African Americans in a positive light.

CPS is using this phenomenon as a weapon against African American teachers. They are using the dynamic to fire, demonize and attack the credibility of these teachers.

Eventually, all tenured teachers will loose their jobs. It's just that we are any easy target for CPS and Ron Huberman because he gets so much help from AA principals in his quest to destroy tenured teachers.

January 25, 2010 at 3:28 PM

By: George N. Schmidt

"Zeta" start blogging in your own name

As you know, on a number of occasions I've asked you to verify some of the stuff you've said. I think it's time you began blogging in your own name. It adds credibility to what you are saying, so please do.

January 25, 2010 at 4:10 PM

By: Zeta

To George

George, as you very well know retaliation is the reason why many of us blog in names that we use on a daily basis. However, when litigation is ongoing it is not wise to do so. After legal issues are dealt with then that's a different story.

I think it is difficult for others who are outside of the AA coomunity to really understand the lack of support networks that many AA parents have.

In other cases as well as your own, you have the support of another working person in your home and this newspaper to carry you through financially. I believe you know the situation I am in and I could not risk disclosure at this point.

In the case of the last entry, I do not have the permission to use other people's information and am looking for people with similar issues for the purposes of retaining an attorney.

Once we file our case in court, names will be available as part of the public record.

If you would like to meet with the group of teachers to do a story on this, I will convene a group to talk with you or your reporters.

The issue at hand has become common practice with CPS. CPS has and does use violent children in cases against teachers. This jeopardizes teachers safety and creates emotionally unhealthy situations for students with special needs.

Since several teachers who have experienced this problem are no longer CPS employees, I am pretty sure they will talk.

By the way, everyone calls me zeta and everyone knows who I am!

January 25, 2010 at 6:51 PM

By: Al Korach

retired

You say, "Everyone knows who I am." SORRY I do not.Zeta stand up and be counted as you take up a lot of space week after week. I agree with George. If you want to be taken seriously with CREDIBILITY IT'S TIME TO SIGN ON.

January 25, 2010 at 8:09 PM

By: Margaret Wilson

retired teacher/case manager/parent

Zeta, I don't know who you are either although I like what you have to say. You said you wanted to contact me off-line but I still haven't heard from you. I hope you will convene the group of teachers to meet with a reporter so Substance can do a story.

January 25, 2010 at 8:10 PM

By: Margaret Wilson

retired teacher/case manager/parent

Zeta, I don't know who you are either although I like what you have to say. You said you wanted to contact me off-line but I still haven't heard from you. I hope you will convene the group of teachers to meet with a reporter so Substance can do a story.

January 25, 2010 at 8:12 PM

By: Margaret Wilson

retired teacher/case manager/parent

Zeta, I don't know who you are either although I like what you have to say. You said you wanted to contact me off-line but I still haven't heard from you. I hope you will convene the group of teachers to meet with a reporter so Substance can do a story.

January 25, 2010 at 9:24 PM

By: zeta

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