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'DONE DEAL' ALREADY DONE... Brizard to move entire Hit List at February 22 Board of Education meeting... All the hearings were a Show Trial, as suspected, as the CPS 'Done Deal' lurches forward after Brizard tells February 7 meeting that he will push for the full list

Chicago schools Chief Executive Officer Jane Claude Brizard confirmed at a meeting with the Bronzville CAC on February 7, 2012, that CPS administration intends to push forward the closing, phase out, or "turnaround" of every school on what critics have called the "2012 Hit List" despite the largest protests against the annual attacks on the city's public schools in history and the almost unanimous opposition to Brizard's proposals from elected public officials from the areas affected by the proposals.

Two weeks before the agenda for the February 22 monthly meeting of the Chicago Board of Education is due to be made public, Brizard defiantly told more than a dozen members of the "Bronzeville Community Action Council (CAC) that he intended to move every one of the proposals he had first revealed on November 30. Those at the meeting, which took place in Brizard's fifth floor conference room at CPS headquarters at 125 S. Clark St., included members of the Bronzeville CAC, Brizard himself, and three CPS administrators, Demographer James Dispensa, "Chief Family Engagementt Officer" Jamiko Rose, and one other. The meeting, which was scheduled to begin at 5:00 p.m., was interrupted when Brizard left early, telling those present that he had to pick up his child.

Details of the meeting were provided to Substance by a member of the Bronzeville CAC who was present, but who asked to remain anonymous.

"Most of us were stunned," the source told Substance. "CPS hasn't even completed the reports of the hearing officers, and members of the Board of Education haven't been provided with the hearing officers' reports or with the complete reports of all of the materials presented during the hearings." Officially, the seven members of the Board of Education, all appointed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, have to vote on the proposals, which will become public in the form of "Board Reports" on February 20 when the Board's February 22 agenda goes on line as required under the Illinois Open Meetings Act.

The majority of the hearings held in the communities and at CPS headquarters were ignored by the majority of members of the Board of Education, despite earlier claims and announcements that Board members would pay close attention to the community's input. Brizard and his top administrative staff also avoided the hearings, which often heard passionate protests against the attacks on the schools from parents, teachers, students and community leaders. Among those protesting the actions of the board were more than a dozen elected officials who spoke out publicly during the hearings (which took place on January 6 and January 20 in the communities, then from the end of January through February 3 at CPS headquarters).

One elected official, Alderman Pat Dowell, was present at the February 7 meeting at Brizard's office, and three others sent staff representatives, according to the CAC source who described the meeting to Substance.



Comments:

February 8, 2012 at 2:36 PM

By: Crane

Hearing Officers Report

It is worth noting that the hearing officer for Crane High School recommended that the Crane Coalition Improvement Plan be analyzed before proceeding. Brizard's office has not contacted us nor given us feedback on our plan. This shows he has turned Chicago Public Schools into a dictatorship and is directly refusing to weigh in community input directly violating public law. This is unacceptable!

February 8, 2012 at 10:12 PM

By: John Kugler

CPS Lawbreakers

seems to me that the community in this years action was actually excluded in the planning. the community was told what and how school actions would take place with the public allowed to comment on the plans. but what do i know. I am not a hack lawyer on the 7th floor of 125 clark street or a paid puppet brizard mimicing like a parrot the words of mayor 1%.

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(105 ILCS 5/34-18.43) Sec. 34-18.43. Establishing an equitable and effective school facility development process.

(5) School openings, school closings, school consolidations, school turnarounds, school phase-outs, school construction, school repairs, school modernizations, school boundary changes, and other related school facility decisions often have a profound impact on education in a community. In order to minimize the negative impact of school facility decisions on the community, these decisions should be implemented according to a clear system-wide criteria and with the significant involvement of local school councils, parents, educators, and the community in decision-making.

February 9, 2012 at 10:08 AM

By: Rod Estvan

Crane hearing was not a show trial

Having testified at the Crane hearing before Judge Coar I have to respectfully disagree with George Schmidt's broad conclusion that all the hearings were show trials. The decision and recommendations to CPS in the Judge's report were balanced and appropriate. As the poster above stated he recommended that CPS examine closely the Crane community's proposal for reforming this school and he rejected the CPS plan outright.

His summary of my own testimony at the hearing fully represented the essence of what I stated. Even if the CPS Board votes to go forward with the closing I still believe that this particular hearing had integrity. If the CPS Board votes to proceed with the Crane plan it does so in total defiance of the thoughtful and meaningful analysis of an extremely experienced retired federal judge who from years of experience knows a fraud when he sees one.

Rod Estvan

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