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Ten 'Turnaround' Hearings between January 30 and February 3 as CPS continues Show Trials on 2012 'Hit List'

By the time the final hearing of the last full week of January 2012 was over at CPS headquarters at 125 S. Clark St. in Chicago, it was clear to most observers that the hearings, once again, had been convened to rubber stamp the decision already made by Mayor Rahm Emanuel's seven-member Board of Education to close or turnaround an additional 20 schools. Although the infamous "Renaissance 2010" program ended with the retirement of Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, within six months after his inauguration as Chicago mayor, Emanuel had resurrected the attacks on the city's real public schools. By November 30, 2011, when schools Chief Executive Officer Jean-Claude Brizard announced the 2012 Hit List, it was also clear that CPS officials had been told by the mayor to evade as much as possible the Illinois Facilities Law and to thumb their noses at the Facilities Task Force trying to monitor compliance with the law.

The biggest indication that CPS and the Mayor's Office were evading the law came when observers learned that CPS didn't officially consider proposals to "turnaround" schools as "facilities" plans. As a result, the ten schools facing "turnaround" were deprived of the right to hearings in the community. And the two hearings held in each community on the remaining schools on the Hit List were disrupted by Rahm Emanuel's "Rent A Preacher" and "Rent A Protest" groups, which were finally exposed in the city's corporate media (five months after we first reported them in Substance and at www.substancenews.net). But the result of the Rent A Protest disruptions was that the "community" hearings were undermined by the shouting and sign-carrying protesters, many of whom didn't even know what school they were condemning. By late January 2012, members of the Facilities Task Force were angry at the mayor and the Chicago Board of Education, especially after the Board approved a capital spending plan of more than a half billion dollars without any real community input at its January 25 meeting.

As January ended and February loomed, there were still ten major hearings scheduled for schools facing the CPS 2012 Hit List — the hearings on the schools facing "Turnaround." The schedule follows below:

TURNAROUND: January 30, 2012 (Monday). Piccolo Elementary School turnaround hearing at 125 S. Clark St., 8:00 – 10:00 p.m.

TURNAROUND: January 30, 2012 (Monday). Casals Elementary School turnaround hearing at 125 S. Clark St., 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

TURNAROUND: January 31, 2012 (Tuesday). Herzl Elementary School turnaround hearing at 125 S. Clark St., 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

TURNAROUND: January 31, 2012 (Tuesday). Stagg Elementary School turnaround hearing at 125 S. Clark St., 8:00 – 10:00 p.m.

HOUSE OF DELEGATES, CTU. February 1, 2012 (Wednesday). Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates meeting. 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. Operating Engineers Union Hall. This will take some people away from the hearing on Fuller Elementary School...

TURNAROUND: February 1, 2012 (Wednesday). Fuller Elementary School turnaround hearing at 125 S. Clark St., 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

TURNAROUND: February 1, 2012 (Wednesday). Woodson South Elementary School turnaround hearing at 125 S. Clark St., 8:00 – 10:00 p.m.

TURNAROUND: February 2, 2012 (Thursday). Marquette Elementary School turnaround hearing at 125 S. Clark St., 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

TURNAROUND: February 2, 2012 (Thursday). Wendell Smith Elementary School turnaround hearing at 125 S. Clark St., 8:00 – 10:00 p.m.

TURNAROUND: February 3, 2012 (Friday). Tilden High School turnaround hearing at 125 S. Clark St., 8:00 – 10:00 p.m.

TURNAROUND: February 3, 2012 (Friday). Chicago Vocational High School turnaround hearing at 125 S. Clark St., 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

MAJOR EVENT: FEBRUARY 22 BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING. THE DONE DIRTY DEAL GETS DONE. February 22, 2012. Board of Education meeting which will vote on all closing and turnaround proposals. 125 S. Clark St. The actual agenda will be published on line at www.cps.edu by 10 a.m. on February 20 and will indicate which of the Hit List proposals the Board will go through with.



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