Sections:

Article

Chicago Teachers Union denounces Board of Education plans to destroy Ames school on eve of Board meeting

Less than 24 hours before the seven members of the Chicago Board of Education are scheduled to vote on two proposals from Chief Executive Officer Barbara Byrd Bennett to destroy Ames school in Logan Square, the Chicago Teachers Union issued a press release denouncing the Board's plan and reminding the public that it represents another betrayal of the public trust -- and a lie -- by Board President David Vitale.

Chicago Teachers Union Vice President Jesse Sharkey (above during the Board of Education's October 23, 2013 meeting) has denounced the Board's feckless and reckless mendacity in the latest example: the proposed closing of Ames school. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.CTU officials plan to attend the meeting in support of the majority of parents, teachers and children in the community, who have organized for more than a year in opposition to the plan.

The union's vice president was quoted as saying: We join with the Ames school community in challenging Mayor Emanuel and his appointed school board members to do whats right, said CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey. Truly accountable and responsive public officials would act in accord with the will of the Ames parents and voters in the Logan Square community.

Union members in the community have also noted to Substance that they look forward to unseating Alderman Roberto Maldonado (26th Ward), who has been pushing this plan against the wishes of the majority of his constituents. Maldonado has repeated ignored Substance requests for comments and an interview, prompting several people to note that for all his bluster, Maldonado has sown, again, his cowardice.

The CTU Press Release follows:

Chicago Teachers Union Urges Parents and Taxpayers To Demand Accountability From

The Chicago School Board On Upcoming Ames School Vote

The Chicago Teachers Union urges parents and taxpayers to demand that the Chicago Board of Education vote at its meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 18 to keep a great Northwest Side neighborhood school open to the community rather than convert it into a selective enrollment military school.

Roberto Maldonado, alderman of the 26th Ward, organized a group of unenthusiastic people wearing blue tee shirts in favor of his plan to turn Ames school into the "Marine Military Academy". Above, Maldonado is seen talking to the Board of Education's July 24, 2013 meeting while the supporters of his plan surround him. Since the summer, Maldonado has failed to turn out anyone in support of the plan, which has massive community opposition. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.The CTU strongly supports Ames Middle School students, parents and Logan Square community residents who have worked to keep the school at 1920 N. Hamlin Ave., open to all children from the community. A plan pushed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the local alderman and Chicago Public Schools will convert Ames to a military-focused high school and increase overcrowding at area feeder elementary schools.

The crucial vote on the proposal from CPS follows more than a year of public testimony, letters and demonstrations by Ames parents and community residents and organizations to preserve Ames Middle School as a truly neighborhood-based school.

In the latest development, on Monday, Dec. 16, Ames supporters filed a petition with the Chicago Board of Elections to create a ballot referendum on the future of Ames. The referendum asks, "Should Ames Middle School be maintained as a neighborhood school, rather than being converted into a military high school?" The ballot question will appear in eight precincts in and near the schools attendance boundaries during the Primary Election in March 2014.

The history of on-again, off-again decision making by CPS has been like a roller coaster, including a public promise now apparently broken one year ago by school board president David Vitale to keep Ames as a neighborhood school.

We join with the Ames school community in challenging Mayor Emanuel and his appointed school board members to do whats right, said CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey. Truly accountable and responsive public officials would act in accord with the will of the Ames parents and voters in the Logan Square community.



Comments:

Add your own comment (all fields are necessary)

Substance readers:

You must give your first name and last name under "Name" when you post a comment at substancenews.net. We are not operating a blog and do not allow anonymous or pseudonymous comments. Our readers deserve to know who is commenting, just as they deserve to know the source of our news reports and analysis.

Please respect this, and also provide us with an accurate e-mail address.

Thank you,

The Editors of Substance

Your Name

Your Email

What's your comment about?

Your Comment

Please answer this to prove you're not a robot:

2 + 1 =