November 16 'Neighborhood schools fair' hopes to unite Chicago's community-based public schools and show parents and children that the nearest school is not 'bad' just because it isn't a 'magnet', 'STEM' thingy, or charter

Parents, teachers and community leaders asked that Chicagoans please set the date of November 16 in advance on your calendars for the city's first "Neighborhood Schools Fair" to be held at Clemente High School. The "Neighborhood Schools Fair" aims to begin to do for the city's real public schools what the so-called "New Schools Expo" has been doing at public expense for the city's charter schools for the past five years. Unlike the well-funded "New Schools Expo," however, the organizers of the "Neighborhood Schools Fair" are not likely to have the support of the major anti-union foundations or the CPS "Office of Innovation and Incubation" (which is the latest name for the CPS "New Schools" office).

Three of the organizers of the upcoming Neighborhood Schools Fair stopped for a Substance photo at the September 27 - 28 CORE convention. Calling themselves BAM -- Photo of BAM (Bad Ass Moms) members the are left to right: Shoenice Reynolds, Rousemary Vega, and Julie Fain, all of whom proudly proclaim that they have children in Chicago public schools. Substance photo by Susan Zupan.WHO? According to those interviewed by Substance this is being put together by Chicago neighborhood school parents. All members of Chicago�s neighborhood school communities across the city are invited and welcome to attend.

WHAT? It is a Neighborhood Schools Fair with representatives from local schools and local nonprofit organizations, a �Meet and Greet� with workshops, food, games, art, and prizes.

WHERE? Roberto Clemente High School located at 1147 N. Western.

WHEN? The fair will be held on Saturday, November 16, 2013 from 11AM � 3PM.

WHY? One of the goals of this event is to facilitate many more parents and concerned members of neighborhood school communities throughout the city to connect, network, and focus together on the positives about CPS neighborhood public schools.

One of the organizers, Rousemary Vega described some of the workshops that will be available: multiple workshops for LSCs (local school councils); a �More Than a Score� workshop for parents on how to OPT OUT their children from the present excess and harm of testing in Chicago Public Schools (CPS); TIF (tax increment financing) money and the effects of this money being diverted from Chicago�s public neighborhood schools; parent organizing; and more.

More information on this event and further related information is supposed to be available at:, a website for the Common Sense Coalition of LSCs for Fair Funding.

This is a group of parents who �found each other this past year while facing school closings, budget cuts and teacher layoffs," it says. "What connected us was our strong belief in our communities and our children.�

Ms. Vega described the group within the larger organizing group as belonging to BAM, standing for �Bad Ass Moms,� and she added, �taking over the city.� Note: Teachers have a comparable group entitled BAT, aka Bad Ass Teachers. So, look out, SAPs (sorry ass politicians and privatizers)�


November 14, 2013 at 2:01 PM

By: David Gregg

The Neighborhood HS Fair

For the record: The Senn High School faculty supports the Neighborhood HS Fair initiative. Unfortunately, we had previously scheduled our Community Open House for the morning of November 16 and are therefore unable to attend. On a personal note, I would have loved to represent Senn at the fair, especially as a show of solidarity with our sister neighborhood schools around the city. I hope the event is well attended and that visitors get to see the value of supporting our community schools!

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