Tell Mr. Brizard 'Business as usual is unacceptable...' Facilities Task Force to Meet December 1, 2011, at 10 a.m. to review Hit List and other things

This just in from Andrea Lee of the Grand Boulevard Federation. "The Chicago Educational Facilities Task Force (SB 630), co-chaired by State Representative Cynthia Soto, will hold a meeting on Thursday, December 1st at 10:00 am in room C-600 of the Michael A. Bilandic Building, located at 160 N. LaSalle in Chicago, to discuss the CPS school action announcements. Attached is a draft agenda. Please note, this meeting will be in the large committee room on the 6th floor.

"School Turnarounds were announced today (excluded from the law) and additional School Actions are expected to be announced by December 1st per the law. In Bronzeville, Fuller is proposed to be turned around by AUSL, and Woodson South is proposed to be turned around by CPS. We anticipate more Bronzeville schools will be impacted by the additional School Action announcements. Until we know what will help our children, should we be giving more money to Turnarounds and do we even know they are “turning around” the actual children from the targeted schools?

"I strongly encourage you to attend the CEFTF meeting and offer your concerns around CPS’ school action and turnaround decisions (although turnarounds were stricken from the original law, perhaps we need to suggest an amendment). It also seems logical for CPS to provide the public with evidence and data to support their actions so the public has confidence that this is in the best interest of the children, and not a means to perpetuate more choice when African American children’s performance is still not where they should be based on a decade of choice and turnarounds.

"In spite of CPS soliciting feedback from the public regarding their school action guidelines released on October 31, 2011, they are likely not going to revise its draft school action guidelines for this year. I strongly encourage you to let Mr. Brizard know that business as usual is unacceptable and the public is simply asking for school action guidelines that are fair, evidence-based, and transparent. The public wants to believe the new Mayor and his CPS administrative team are different than the past, and this is an opportunity to show the public they are willing to do better and right for our children. CPS should slow down, develop a comprehensive and transparent set of school action criteria, and develop a facilities master plan before making hasty decisions on the backs of our most at-risk youth and with tax payer money. Please review GBF’s recommendations and the attached flyer for an event taking place on December 3rd at King College Prep; we would also be happy to present to your staff and parents about your rights under this new facilities law. Thanks,


AUSL will receive:








Chicago Vocational


Wendell Smith Elementary

Woodson South Elementary


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




CPS' draft school actions guidelines: Want to provide confidential recommendations for CPS' policy (no name, no email, no trail)? Email your thoughts and recommendations safely and privately to: 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, 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: You can also read regularly updated education news that you don't find anywhere else at or See what's new at the Chicago Children's Museum. They have many free and/or discouted nights, and ever-changing programs:


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