Raise Your Hand community forum pushes parent and teacher activism

Austin neighborhood activist Dwayne Truss and Raise Your Hand co-founder Wendy Katten lead a discussion Thursday, March 22 in Hyde Park. Katten and others noted that the longer day is an unfunded mandate. Since Mayor Rahm Emanual and Chicago public schools chief Jean Claude Brizzard announced the longer day for next year, many parents and educators have been in reactive mode, said Wendy Katten, co-founder of the parent group Raise Your Hand, at a community forum in Hyde Park on March 22.

“But we need to be pro-active, not reactive,” she said.

After many parents and teachers expressed their frustration in an open discussion — without any CPS contribution, although Family and Community Engagement managers were present — Katten and Dwayne Truss, an Austin neighborhood education activist, stressed the many actions parents can take to oppose the longer day plan:

Chicago Teachers Union organizer Matt Luskin answered some questions on behalf of the union.• Get informed.

• Share your opinion at board of education meetings and with the media.

• Organize your individual school communities.

• Contact your aldermen and state representatives.

• Sign petitions.

• Lobby in Springfield.

• Rally with others on Sunday, April 22 at 2 p.m. (downtown location to be announced) for quality education.

• Join Raise Your Hand ( for the group's upcoming “Tuesday talk and tell” initiative. 


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