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Chicago Teachers Union opposes new high school in Englewood, releases new study of segregation in Chicago...

Logo of Chicago's TEAM Englewood High School.The Chicago Teachers Union has finally issued a challenge to some of the expensive proposed new high school construction in Chicago, issuing on June 15 a study of segregation and a critique of the new Englewood high school proposed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his appointed school board and school system executives.

One of the two reports released by the CTU directly challenges the claim by Mayor Emanuel, CEO Forrest Claypool, and Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson that the expensive construction of the "new" Englewood High School (while closing four schools in the community) will lead to community improvements. Instead, the study points to the racist disinvestments in the neighborhood high schools in the area:

"CPS has gone out of its way to destabilize Englewood’s neighborhood high schools, but now wants parents to believe that they are creating a new high school out of concern for Englewood students," one of the studies states. "Teacher, staff, student, parent, and community input have been sorely missing from this CPS decision, and CPS has done nothing in the past to indicate commitment to the high school youth of Englewood. Although the number of teenagers in the neighborhood has declined in the last decade, CPS opened 11 new charter high schools! They also destroyed neighborhood high schools through closures, re-districting, insufficient funding, and disregard for community needs.

Chicago's Paul Robeson High School was one of four neighborhood high schools in the Englewood area that has been sabotaged by Chicago charter schools expansion and attacks on the schools and teachers based on the abuse of standardized test scores and other types of so-called "data driven management.""In contrast to CPS, Englewood’s high school teachers and staff provide not only stability in their student’s lives, but also classroom spaces where students can connect with one another, process their experiences, and help make decisions about their communities. Many Englewood teachers are Black women who have already experienced school consolidations and closures in other buildings. CPS actions force Black teachers and Black students to bear the brunt of negative policies, while continually shutting them out from new opportunities."

The two studies are now available in PDF format on the Chicago Teachers Union website (www.ctunet.com).

The press release follows here:

New CTU reports address racial segregation, impact of school closings throughout Chicago's public schools

NEWS RELEASE...FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Ronnie Reese

June 15, 2017 312-329-6235

ronniereese@ctulocal1.com

www.ctunet.com

Examination of proposed upheaval among Englewood high schools and decades of policies enacted under mayoral control show devastating and discriminatory consequences for students of color.

CHICAGO-The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) Education Policy Department this month released two studies on the history and damaging consequences of racial segregation in Chicago's public schools, and the district's relationship with the Englewood community in the wake of proposed school closings.

In "Segregation and Inequality in Chicago Public Schools, Transformed and Intensified under Corporate Education Reform," originally published in the Education Policy Analysis Archives, the CTU Education Policy Department examined the historic and contemporary dual segregation of Black teachers and Black students in CPS. The study shows how massive school closures, privatization and corporate school reform have both transformed and deepened segregation and resource-inequity across Chicago's schools, and exposes the hypocrisy of CPS CEO Forrest Claypool's lawsuit against the State of Illinois for racial discrimination in school funding.

"Forrest said recently that he was 'deeply troubled' that so little moral outrage had been directed at racially discriminatory school funding, but what about the moral outrage toward the racially discriminatory school district he leads?" CTU President Karen Lewis said. "He invokes the racist policies of the South to draw attention to inequitable school funding, but refuses to acknowledge the ways Jim Crow policies have shaped public education in our city-both in the past and under his administration."

The second study, "Abandonment or Revival? What to Expect from a New High School in Englewood," discusses CPS' plans to close Harper, Hope, TEAM Englewood and Robeson high schools despite little action in past years indicating a commitment to students living in the Englewood community. The report finds that through poor planning and segregationist policy decisions, CPS has deliberately undermined Englewood's neighborhood high schools.

"CPS has gone out of its way to sabotage those schools, yet wants parents to believe it is creating a new high school out of concern for their children," President Lewis said. "But input from the most important stakeholders-teachers, families, the community-has been sorely missing from this decision, and neither CPS nor the city as a whole have done anything in the past to indicate a real commitment to Englewood."

One example the report cites is that although the number of teenagers in the neighborhood has declined in the last decade, the district has opened 11 new charter high schools. CPS also has weakened existing high schools through closures, re-districting, insufficient funding and overall neglect of the community.

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The Chicago Teachers Union represents nearly 25,000 teachers and educational support personnel working in Chicago Public Schools, and by extension, the nearly 400,000 students and families they serve The CTU is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Federation of Teachers and is the third-largest teachers local in the United States. For more information please visit the CTU website at www.ctunet.com.

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