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Busy week ahead for Chicago school activists

As the new Chicago Board of Education prepares another privatization attack on the city's public schools (the 2012 Hit List of schools facing closing is due out December 1 thanks to the new school facilities law), a schedule of meetings around the city is growing, as activists and political leaders from all parts of town schedule to provide input into the latest attack on public education by Chicago's corporate "school reform" crowd, the city's "mayor one percent," and the expensive administrative cabal headed by Chicago Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard.

Here is one bulletin from the Grand Boulevard Federation:

"Dear education friends,

"Let’s be honest. CPS’ actions have devastated Bronzeville schools and the community over the past 10 years. Process, fairness, transparency, accountability, and fiscal responsibility were the common themes around their mis-guided policies and procedures. With the new law that the Illinois legislature put in place, CPS is now held to a higher set of standards and expectations when it comes to school actions, capital investment in our schools, school and program utilization, and long-term educational planning aligned with facilities; how CPS decides to interpret the statute will depend on the community and what it expects out of CPS.

"It is imperative that the Bronzeville village rally around our children and schools by attending this forum and learning how we, together, can make a difference to improve Bronzeville schools for our existing families. 10 years of closings and openings has still left the majority of our children vulnerable; yet the new administration wants to continue down this path of closings and new schools when the majority are not serving our most vulnerable youth.

"Attend Senator Hunter’s education forum on Tuesday to find out how we can make a difference and help the new administration get on the right track to supporting and improving our neighborhood schools. Closings/Actions are coming down the pipeline by December 1st, and there are many new procedures that CPS must adhere to that involve funding and receiving schools, and much more! We already know the performance policy and the new school action guidelines are flawed, but we can and must help them understand what research and best practices suggest. It’s also not too late to help them make improvements on decisions, and continue to improve upon transparency in their decisions.

"Tuesday, November 15, 2011, 10 W. 35th Street, Illinois Institute of Technology, 1st Floor Auditorium, 6:00 – 7:45 PM (promptly)

"Come out and hear why Senator Hunter and her colleagues passed this law for the people, and what we need to do to make it work for our children because we expect them to learn and succeed and it should not be based on merit, lottery, or false choice. They all deserve a high quality education with high quality facilities to support their learning.

"We look forward to seeing you. (Andrea Lee, Grand Boulevard Federation). Andrea Lee, M.S.W.

Grand Boulevard Federation has moved! We are pleased to be sharing space with Stateway Community Partners inside of the Overton Building. Our new new address, phone, and fax: 3619 S. State Street, Suite 300, Chicago, IL 60609, p: 312 794 5047 ext 19 / f: 312 794 5348

Website: www.grandboulevardfederation.org

Email: andrealee@grandboulevardfederation.org

IMPORTANT DATES!

CPS' draft school actions guidelines: http://www.cps.edu/About_CPS/Policies_and_guidelines/Pages/qualityschools.aspx. Want to provide confidential recommendations for CPS' policy (no name, no email, no trail)? Email your thoughts and recommendations safely and privately to: ceftf.publicinput@gmail.com. We encourage principals, teachers, and parents to provide feedback. This is being managed privately by non-CPS staff for the CEFTF, but personal information will not be shared with CEFTF.

In connection with the mandated release of new school action guidelines along with a new and important facilities law that empowers communities and schools in the areas of school actions, capital improvements, and long-term facilities planning, we invite you to the following:

Senator Mattie Hunter's "Know Your Rights" Community Forum - Tuesday, November 15, 2011 from 6-8 PM at a location TBD RE: new school facilities law and school actions. This is joint-sponsored by State Senator Mattie Hunter and GBF/PPEN. We encourage parents, principals, and teachers to attend this important session so that we can prevent future closures and support existing school improvement efforts for all Bronzville schools.

In addition, CPS is hosting two public meetings on their proposed school actions guidelines:

CPS' Public Meeting on its School Actions Guidelines - Monday, November 14 at Westinghouse HS from 6-9 PM and Wednesday, November 16 at Simeon Career Academy from 6-9 PM.

CPS' Bronzeville CAC Meeting – Monday, November 14, 2011 from 6-8 PM at Chicago Urban League (4510 S. Michigan). Parents and schoosl are strongly encouraged to attend this open meeting.

GBF Monthy Meeting - Wednesday, November 16 at 10 AM at Chicago Urban League, 4510 S. Michigan Ave.

PPEN Monthly Meeting - Tuesday, November 22 from 5-7 PM at 3619 S. State, Suite 300. Please RSVP. PPEN welcomes all parents. This is our special Thanksgiving potluck so please bring something to pass.

Read stories, get the facts, and see what the research is finding about schools and policies from Catalyst Chicago Magazine www.catalyst-chicago.org, and be sure to respond to their articles providing your perspective and insight on the issues. I also like this website because it links you to CPS data: http://chicagoschoolsproject.wordpress.com/. You can also read regularly updated education news that you don't find anywhere else at www.substancenews.net or www.newstips.org.



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