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CPS now has an 'Ex-Marine' as 'Chief Pacification Officer' as mayor turns Chicago into a mini-Kabul... Chicago Public Schools releases 2013 Hit List of 54 schools, largest attack on public schools in American history!

Late in the afternoon of March 21, 2013, Chicago Public Schools "Chief Executive Officer" Barbara Byrd Bennett released a list of 54 of Chicago's real public schools which, if she gets away with it, will be closed at the end of this school year. The list, which includes schools from all over Chicago but which again is concentrated in the city's African American and Lationo communities, ends five months of attacks on the city's real public schools by the administration of Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Through Byrd Bennett, who was appointed by him one year ago, first to be "Chief Education Officer" of that nation's third largest school system, Emanuel has once again turned public education into a simplistic talking point based on an austerity model of capitalism. Emanuel's austerity is always the excuse for attacking public services and public servants.

Rahm Emanuel and Barbara Byrd Bennett have teamed up in an attack on Chicago's real public schools based on their shared neoliberal economic philosophy and wealth since Emanuel brought her to Chicago in April 2012 after she had decimated the Detroit public schools. Above, on October 29, 2012, Emanuel and Byrd-Bennett gave "merit pay" checks to principals (many of whom were embarrassed) at a carefully staged media event at Lowell Elementary School in Chicago. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.While the announcement from CPS headquarters at 125 S. Clark St. was shaking the city, the city's millionaire mayor was skiing, according to press reports. Byrd Bennett issued a press statement via email, as usual, but refused to host a regular press conference where she would be forced to answer questions from reporters who know the city and could refute some of the nonsense she has now completed. Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis held a press conference at 4:30 p.m. to respond to the Hit List.

The first complete story was reported at 5:00 p.m. at Crain's Chicago Business on the Web by reporter Greg Hinz.

Other reports came out within an hour, including a report in the Chicago Tribune (on line) that listed the schools to be closed by First Name (as in "Alexander von Humboldt" under "A"). As usual, the CPS list was incomplete and inaccurate, reflecting a school system leadership that does not have anyone in power who knows Chicago and what is left of the city's public schools.

Although CPS has not hired (or retained) anyone who knows the city and its schools, the school system now has what is being called a "Chief Pacification Officer," an ex-Marine who was brought in by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to provide the tough guy cachet that always goes with such events when Chicago's diminuitive chief executive is in the spotlight.

FIRST REPORT (CRAIN'S CHICAGO BUSINESS ON LINE) MARH 21, 2013:

CPS to close 54 schools; here's the list

Mayor Rahm Emanuel's education team today announced plans to close 54 public schools, the biggest move of its kind in the city's history and one that drew intense opposition even before the final decision came out late this afternoon.

Chicago Public Schools also will be "co-locating" 11 schools and designating six others as turnarounds for what officials termed "71 actions." The move will affect far more than 71 schools because students will be moved to other facilities from institutions that will be closed.

Most of the schools are located in poor, heavily minority neighborhoods on the South and West Sides, areas in which school officials said declining population and enrollment make it financially foolish not to retrench.

But a host of foes, including the Chicago Teachers Union and a fair number of aldermen, blamed the closing on the expansion of charter schools that have pulled away students, and suggested in so many words that the action will be unfair to African-American and Latino neighborhoods.

CPS Chief Executive Officer Barbara Byrd-Bennett emphasized in a statement that the school district opted not to close 276 schools that it had been eyeing, and that the new schools to which students will be moved are better-performing and will receive extra help, from 70 additional libraries to new computer, engineering and science labs, as well as air conditioning.

"Every child in every neighborhood deserves access to a high-quality education that prepares them to succeed in life," Ms. Byrd-Bennett said. "But for too long children in certain portions of Chicago have been cheated out of the resources they need to succeed because they are in underutilized, under resourced schools."

Though Ms. Byrd-Bennett did not immediately note it, CPS also will face a $1 billion budget hole for the year beginning in September if does not get worker pension relief from the Illinois General Assembly.

But the City Council's Progressive Reform Coalition of eight aldermen had a far different — and scathing — reaction.

The plan will be the largest such closure in the nation, violates state law and "disproportionately targets schools serving African-American and Latino children," it said in a statement released before the final details were available.

As a result, the coalition said, some neighborhoods will be "virtual school deserts," some kids will have to travel long distances, and many will face overcrowding and new problems with street gangs.

The group wants an immediate moratorium on any closings, which are expected to come up for a final vote at the Board of Education's May 22 meeting.

Ms. Byrd-Bennett, however, said consolidation will allow CPS to provide more, if at fewer locations. All of the “welcoming schools” to which students are being moved will have full air conditioning and a library, stepped up security, ipads for all students in grads three to eight and improved security, she said. Beyond that, students with disabilities will receive transition help, she said, and principals will be able to get tutors and instructional coaches if need be.

Here's the complete list of what's happening

• Altgeld Elementary will be closed and students moved to Wentworth Elementary.

• Armstrong Elementary on W. Harrison near will be closed and merged with Leland Elementary, which will be relocated a half mile to the east.

• Attuckus Elementary will be merged with Beethoven Elementary, over three years.

• Banneker Elementary wil be closed and students shifted to Mays Elementary, which will be relocated to the building in which Banneker Elementary now is housed.

• Bethume Elementary will be closed and students shifted to Gregory Elementary.

• Bontemps Elementary will be closed with students moved to Nicholson Technology Academy.

• Calhoun Elementary will be closed and students moved to Cather Elementary.

• Canter Middle will close, with students moved to Harte Elementary and Ray Elementary.

• Duprey Elementary and Von Humboldt Elementary will be closed. Students will be moved to Diego Elementary, which will operate in its current building and the Duprey/Von Humboldt building.

• Delano Elementary will be merged with Melody Elementary, but Melody will operate out of the Delano building.

• Dumas Technology Academy will merge with Wadsworth Elementary, but Wadsworth will relocate to the Dumas building

• Emett Elementary will close, with students moved to DePriest and Ellington Elementary Schools

• Ericson Elementary will close, with students sent to Sumner Elementary.

• Fermi Elementary will merge into South Shore Fine Arts

• Garfield Park Elementary will close, with students sent to Faraday Elementary

• Garvey Elementary will close and students sent to Mount Vernon Elementary

• Goldblatt Elementary will close and students be sent to Heffernan Elementary

• Goodlow Elementary will merge with Earle Elementary, but the enlartged Earle will operate out of Goodlow's building.

• Henson Elementary will close and students moved to Hughes, C Elementary

• Herbert Elementary will merge with Dett Elementary, but the newly enlarged school will operate out of the old Herbert building.

• Jackson Elementary will close and be merged into Fort Dearborn Elementary

• Key Elementary will close and students sent to Ellington Elementary

• King Elementary will be closed and students sent to Jensen Elementary

• Kohn Elementary will be closed, and students sent to Cullen, L. Hughes and Lavizzo Elementary Schools

• Lafayette Elementary will close and students be moved to Chopin Elementary

• Lawrence Elementary will be merged into Burnham Elementary, but the enlarged school will operate out of the current Burnham building

• Manierre Elementary will close and students sent to Jenner Elementary

• Marconi Elementary will close and students sent to Tilton Elementary

• Mayo Elementary will merge with Wells Elementary, but the enlarged school will operate out of the current Mayo building

• Morgan Elementary will be closed and students sent to Ryder Elementary

• Overton Elementary will close and students be sent to Mollison Elementary

• Owens Elementary will close and students sent to Gompers Elementary

• Paderewski Elementary will close and students sent to two elementary schools, Castellanos and Cardenas

• Parkman Elementary will close and students sent to Sherwood Elementary

• Peabody Elementary will close and students sent to Otis Elementary

• Pershing Middle School will close and students sent to Pershing Elementary. The two schools also are known as Pershing West and Pershing East

• Pope Elementary will close and students be moved to Johnson Elementary

• Ross Elementary will close and students be sent to Dulles Elementary

• Ryerson Elementary will merge with Ward Elementary, but the enlarged school will operate out of the current Ryerson building.

• Sexton Elementary will merge with Fiske Elementary, but the enlarged school will operate out of the Sexton building.

• Songhai Elementary will close and students move to Curtin Elementary

• Stewart Elementary will close and students move to Brennermann Elementary

#Stockton Elementary will merge with Courtenay Elementary, but the enlarged school will operate out of the current Stockton building.

• Trumbull Elementary will close, with students moved to three elementary schools: Chappell, McPherson and McCutcheon

• West Pullman will close and students moved to Haley Elementary

• Williams Elementary and Williams Middle Schools will be closed and students go to Drake Elementary, with the enlarged school operating out of the current Drake building.

• Woods Elementary will close and students be moved to Bass Elementary

• Yale Elementary will close and students be moved to Harvard Elementary

Read more: http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20130321/BLOGS02/130329926/cps-to-close-54-schools-heres-the-list#ixzz2ODRfVbci Stay on top of Chicago business with our free daily e-newsletters



Comments:

March 22, 2013 at 1:38 AM

By: Timothy Meegan

Stop reading the hate

When I saw the headline and that picture I almost spit out my drink! He's laughing his way straight to hell, there is no doubt in my mind. And the funny thing is, they don't think they're doing anything wrong.

If you are like me, you can get lost in the hate filled comments all over the Internet news. It's hard not to take it personally because of the demands and circumstances unique to our profession. And because of who we are as people.

All of us know the difference between what is legal and what is right. Every day we see those in power exploiting that space between the two. Why are you a teacher in CPS? Was it the salary and benefits? Was it the time off? Is it easy to do what you do every day?

Or did you become a teacher because you believed in something? That education is powerful, that all young people matter, and that those who have the least should not be forsaken?

So despite what you read in the mainstream media over spring break, I would just like to say:

YOU ARE A GREAT TEACHER

Take a look at that picture one more time and remember how good it felt to beat that guy in September. He thinks he's already won and has hit the slopes on vacation. But no matter how much money and power he has, the parents, teachers, and students have more.

I refuse to cooperate or remain silent. We are RIGHT to fight for our schools. We beat him once and we will beat him again.

WHO'S READY TO FIGHT?

See you on the 27th

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