Labor Beat show highlights campaign for an elected school board in Chicago

A newly released fifteen-minute video from Chicago's Labor Beat, which came out on June 21, 2012, shows the beginnings of the campaign for an elected school board in Chicago. Featuring parents, teachers, community leaders and others who have launched the campaign, the video becomes part of the organizing work that is now taking place across Chicago. The URL for the You Tube video is:

The Labor Beat introduction via email reads as follows:

"Here is the launch of a city-wide campaign for a democratically elected representative school board. The current 17-year policy in Chicago is having a school board appointed by the Mayor. This policy has resulted in a dismal failure of a school system that has only made improvements for property developers and wealthy contributors to the Mayor's election campaign.

"During last winter's sham hearings on whether targeted public schools were to be closed or turned-around, it had become blindingly clear to all that the current, appointed board of millionaires (and a billionaire) had nothing but contempt for the opinions of working class school communities. They had their minds made up long before they went through the charade of listening to parents, teachers and students and academic studies. This campaign therefore marks a new stage in the fight for decent universal public education, which is rooted squarely in the history of the civil rights movement. Communities Organized for Democracy in Education (CODE), a citywide coalition, is heading up the campaign.

"Beginning with a press conference on March 28, 2012 in front of Chicago Public Schools HQ in the Loop, the video then goes to the neighborhood launch of the campaign on June 9, 2012 in Chicago's North Side neighborhood of Lincoln Square. Speakers and interviews include: Erica Clark, Parents for Teachers; Prof. Rico Gutstein, U of Ill - Chicago; Jitu Brown, Kenwood-Oakland Community Organization, CODE; Michael Brunson, Rec. Sec., Chicago Teachers Union; Michelle Beaver, 19th Ward Parents Organization; Darius Anderson, Sophomore, Dunbar Academy; Prof. Pauline Lipman, Education and Policy Studies, U. of Ill - Chicago; Tonya Payne, 19th Ward Parents Organization. Length - 15:24"

Labor Beat remains in operation thanks to donations. Please make a Donation to Labor Beat (Committee for Labor Access) and help rank-and-file tv:

This video is produced by Labor Beat. Labor Beat is a CAN TV Community Partner. Labor Beat is a non-profit 501(c)(3) member of IBEW 1220. Views are those of the producer Labor Beat. For info:, 312-226-3330. For other Labor Beat videos, visit YouTube and search "Labor Beat". On Chicago CAN TV Channel 19, Thursdays 9:30 pm; Fridays 4:30 pm. Labor Beat has regular cable slots in Chicago, Evanston, Rockford, Urbana, IL; Philadelphia, PA; Princeton, NJ; and Rochester, NY. For more detailed information, send us a request at"


June 22, 2012 at 3:19 PM

By: Kati Gilson

Elected school board

Awesome video, tells it exactly like it is. It's about time our chidren received fair representation at the BOE. Our school board should consist of people who have a stake in public education and truly care about all of our chidren. Add to that educational administrators instead corporate one and listen to parents, students, communities and teachers and the kids might stand a chance.

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