All articles by Jean Schwab

Malcolm X budget hearing on July 16, 2014 shows the arrogance of CPS executives in the face of real problems articulated despite the two-minute time limit by taxpayers and the community

It was obvious that people were angry at the same old same old reports given by the Board of Education and Tim Cwaley, who anchored the administrators' table in the front of the room during . . .

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Gresham continues to fight back against 'turnaround'

Gresham continues to fight back against tyranny of turnaround. On Tuesday, June 10, 2014 I decided to attend the Chat meeting for parents at Gresham School to discuss matters about the school ‘turnaround. My friend, . . .

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Bayou children have 'boating' instead of busing to get to school... Louisiana activists show fight is the same all over

Rosina Phillippe, an activist in Grand Bayou, Louisiana, may at first glance seem to have little in common with Chicago parents and teachers in their fight against closing schools. Phillippe is a Native American living . . .

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'...test takers needed to consider not the best answer, but the best answer that someone dumb wrote'... A Forum sponsored by More Than a Score continues public protest against mindless testing

"Change the Stakes on Testing!", an April 29, 2014, forum at Union Park in Chicago, drew a lively group of parents, teachers, students, and community members. Teachers comprised most of the audience for the 6 . . .

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Tribune forum on charter schools and 'Choice' -- 'Chicago Forward: the School Choice Debate'

Chicago Forward: the School Choice Debate witnessed four panelists who spoke at the Chicago Tribune event, all with diverse opinions on charter schools. The forum, which had been publicized widely, took place on May 21, . . .

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Gresham challenges 'turnaround' verdict

More than 100 (three bus loads and others) determined, angry, community members, staff and students of Gresham Elementary School attended the hearing on the turnaround of Gresham Elementary School. The Gresham school community is telling . . .

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Huge outpouring of opposition to 'turnaround' at Dvorak Elementary School

Angry parents, staff, community members and students greeted Chicago Public Schools officials at the hearing on the proposed reconstitution of Dvorak School of Technology, on Wednesday, April 9, 2014. at 125 North Clark. The hearing . . .

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Rape prompts major meeting on Northwest Side

Neighborhood violence and how to alleviate it was the topic as residents of the Belmont-Cragin community met on Jan. 25, at 10:00 at Northwest Community Church in the 5300 block of West Diversey. Organized by . . .

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Teachers, firefighters, police and other public workers make their voice heard in Springfield chanting a loud

More than a dozen buses and hundreds of cars carried the rank-and-file and leaders of Chicago's public worker unions to Springfield on February 19, 2014 to fill the rotunda of the Illinois state government and . . .

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More than 300 people show up and denounce idea that charters will 'relieve overcrowding'... Charter schools opposed in Southwest Side forum

On January 14, 2014, a forum on charter school expansion at and its Impact on the city's real public schools drew more than 300 participants at a standing-room-only forum held at Shields Middle School, 2611 . . .

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“[The corporations] take necessities away from the many to give luxuries to the few...” Dr. King's memory is honored at 'Hope In An Age of Crisis'

Thousands of people assembled January 19, 2014, at St. Michael the Archangel Church, 8235 S. South Shore Dr., to celebrate “Hope in an Age of Crisis— Reclaiming Dr. King’s Radical Vision for Economic Equality." The . . .

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Chicago teachers joined lobbying against 'pension reform' during heated day in Springfield

On December 3, 2013, dozens of CTU members were in Springfield lobbying against the vote for so-called "pension reform." In addition to days of telephone lobbying by members of the CTU, the union sent one . . .

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Rape of high school student along 'Safe Passage' route enflames anger on Northwest Side

Chicago Public Schools officials haven't found the dollars to relieve overcrowding on the city's vast and growing Northwest Side, and they continue to promote the expansion of charter schools in communities that have decisively rejected . . .

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First 'Neighborhood Schools Fair' draws sixty real public schools for a day of exhibits and a celebration of the city's real public schools

Rousemary Vega described to the packed gym at the Neighborhood School Festival how she and her family had tried to keep their neighborhood school, Lafayette, open. They had unsuccessfully occupied it. They had spoken and . . .

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Met in Uptown church the night before the official CPS Board...Peoples Board continues its boycott of the regular meetings of the Chicago Board of Education

There was a "People’s School Board Meeting" on Tuesday, November 19, 2013, the night before the regular monthly meeting of the Chicago Board of Education. The "peoples" event took place from six to eight p.m. . . .

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LEAD in Chicago features Chicago Teachers Union political agenda amid largest turnout ever

The smell of corned beef and cabbage wafted through Plumbers Hall along with potatoes and carrots as the dinner began. A packed hall tends to generate more excitement, and the 2013 Legislators, Educators Appreciation Dinner . . .

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Malcolm X budget hearing showed lack of trust for CPS officials, budget claims

Trust is a precious commodity in public affairs. If the Chicago Public Schools budget hearing held on Friday evening, August 2, 2013 at Malcolm X College, is any indication, the Chicago Public Schools administration has . . .

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Trumbull's day in court doesn't bring justice as U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman rules that CPS can do just about anything it wants when claiming 'billion dollar deficits' and closing 'underutilized' schools

On Wednesday, August 7, 2013, Plaintiffs presented a strong case against the claims by Chicago Public Schools officials that Trumbull Elementary School (Ashland and Foster) had to be closed because it was "underutilized." The problem . . .

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Voices echo outside City Hall and CPS... Elected school board and an end to charters are among demands of rally

Hundreds of parents, students and community members voiced their opposition to the new school budget, school resource cuts and the closing of 52 schools, Wednesday, August 28, at the CPS headquarters located at 125 S. . . .

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BOARDWATCH: Held up in the 'Holding Room' -- parents, teachers, and activists speak out about the Board's June 26 meeting and police state tactics

It was interesting being in the long line of people that were not “preregistered” and ending up on the 15th floor in what is called the "Holding Room" during the June 26, 2013 meeting of . . .

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How can 'See it? Say it...' work if the kids have to face retaliation for 'snitching'? Tilden administration side-stepping complaints about protection for student whistle-blowts

Everyone who has ever worked in a real Chicago public school or done community organizing in a real Chicago community knows there is "Reality" (the version you might get to see on the news) and . . .

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Ana Roque deDuprey, Von Humboldt closings draw bitter criticisms from parents, community leaders

There were plenty of hugs and tears on June 24, 2013, the last day of school at Ana Roque deDuprey School and Von Humboldt Schools in East Humboldt Park. The two schools, which have shared . . .

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A new version of 'Division Street America'... Manierre hearing repeats how CPS move is racist, and will result in violence if children are forced to cross Division St.

The hearing on the proposed closing of George Manierre Elementary School and Ferguson Child Parent Center was held on April 30, 2013, and the supporters of Manierre made it clear they weren't giving up and . . .

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Protests against closings result in 23 arrests on Monday, May 20, 2013

The final day of protests against the proposed massive school closings in Chicago ended with 23 activists being arrested at Chicago's City Hall. The arrests came as the public became aware of the fact that . . .

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Trumbull closing hearing draws huge crowd, hears passionate defense of the school and lawsuit threat

It was an emotional hearing with 76 Trumbull supporters, 37 of them speaking, at CPS headquarters on April 26, 2013. They weren't deterred by the Friday night venue and the inconvenience of getting to a . . .

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HIT LIST 2013: 'Fullerton Network' hearing February 28 continues protest against 'underutilization' claims for closing schools in the face of complex race, class and gentrification dynamics

The "Fullerton Network" community hearing held Thursday, February 28, 2013, at Armitage Progressive Baptist Church was anything but dull. About 500 participants filled the seats with others standing around the back of the sanctuary. Three . . .

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Civil Disobedience training begins as Chicago teachers and others expect CPS to order closing of schools despite the facts and the growing political calls for a moratorium on the closings

Saturday, March 16, 2013, more than 80 "fighters for our kids" met at Pleasant Gift Missionary Baptist Church to learn how to fight back in a peaceful protest. The event was the first civil disobedience . . .

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Thousands promise protests against school closings will escalate... With more than 100 people arrested during civil disobedience, Mayor's office fails to spin the school closings story according to the City Hall script

Thousands (not hundreds) rallied, marched, and took part in civil disobedience during the massive protests against school closings on March 27, 2013 in downtown Chicago. The reporting on the actual events gave the public a . . .

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Austin North Lawndale hearing

More than 900 people gathered from the Austin-North Lawndale network hearing on the school closing, where 16 elementary schools were given an opportunity to discuss reasons their schools should not be closed. The hearing was . . .

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How CPS sabotages the city's real public schools... Kelvyn Park HS being starved of resources

As Chicago debates another round of school closings based on another presentation of questionable "data" by those currently leading the school system, underlying much of the debate is the fact that for more than a . . .

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Jitu Brown... Journey for Justice

My interview with Jitu Brown, education organizer, Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO) was packed with revelations. Brown was talking about Grassroots Impact Tours, which are community groups that visit different cities throughout the United States . . .

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West Side canvassing with Blocks Together challenges Barbara Byrd Bennett's claim that Ryerson Elementary is 'underutilized'

For 19 parents, teachers and community members, Saturday, January 19, 2013 was just the beginning. They were meeting with Cecile Carroll of Blocks Together and CTU Organizer Norine Gutekanst at Blocks Together, 3455 West North . . .

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Tilden parent continues his fight outlining CPS sabotage of his high school... 'The Miracle of Dissatisfaction'

Ronald Jackson is a very ordinary man on what many consider an extraordinary mission. Anyone paying attention to CPS has seen him at the monthly Board of Education meetings. He may be asking about a . . .

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'A new way of testing'?... National testing expert Monty Neill of Fair Test helps Chicago

A new way of testing? It was an astounding meeting entitled "Assessments that Make Sense" sponsored by FairTest, Parents United for Responsible Education (PURE), CReATE, Parents 4 Teachers, CTU, The Illinois Association for Multilingual . . .

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Delegate training continues work won during the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012...

“The work of the Union cannot be done completely from the Merchandize mart.” Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis told the delegates assembled to learn more about how to do their jobs. There were 100 . . .

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Byrd Bennett keeps a promise... Kelvyn Park gets additional special ed teachers after complaining to the Board of Education

The following was the presentation made to the Chicago Board of Education by Shawn Meade about Kelvyn Park High School on November 14, 2012. Although it took an additional three weeks, CPS officials did keep . . .

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Education Summit drew more than 500 teachers, students and community activists

More than 500 people attended the fourth annual "education summit" co-sponsored by the Chicago Teachers Union and a large number of community groups. The Grassroots Education Movement Summit was held at Marshall High School on . . .

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Humboldt Park community forum outlines problems at area schools, sabotage by Board of real public schools programs

More than 50 parents, community members, community activists, teachers and Public school staff members met at Humboldt Park, Wednesday, August 8th, to discuss school matters with Chicago Teachers Union leaders and members. Brandon Johnson, of . . .

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Woodson South defends itself against lies and sabotage

Imagine that you are a school that has been given a very important assignment. Your school has been placed on "Probation" and your job is to raise the test scores so your school will not . . .

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Last day of City Hall Sit-In

This is Just the Beginning! was the word. On January 9, 2012, a small group of parents, LSC Leaders, KOCO members, grandmothers, Occupy Chicago activists, and community members held the last day of the sit . . .

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More than 150 march on Martin Luther King Day against Herzl school 'turnaround'

At least 150 supporters of Herzl school spent their Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday on January 16, 2012, protesting the proposed turnaround of Herzl Elementary School on Chicago's West Side. They assembled at Dvorak Elementary . . .

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Despite January 20 snow storm, parents, community leaders and students speak out against closing of Best Practices High School

On a snowy Friday, January 20, 2012, at 6:00 p.m. a meeting to discuss closing Best Practice High School (located at 2040 W. Adams) was held. There were 45 parents and community members at the . . .

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Most Rent-A-Protesters avoid January 23 Crane closing hearing at CPS headquarters

On January 23, the Chicago Board of Education chamber was almost filled to capacity with students, parents, staff and community members from Crane High School for the hearing on whether Crane should be "phased out". . . .

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Parent complaint adds to charges against Kenwood HS principal Elizabeth Kirby

A complaint has been filed at CPS concerning the November 8, 2011, Parent Advisory Council (PAC) election at Kenwood Academy High School. Clarinda Deveaux, a parent, former Vice Chairman and Acting Chair of the PAC, . . .

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'Enough is Enough!'... Organizing against the cuts... Teach-In draws hundreds to King High School as protests against Emanuel's 2012 Hit List grow

It was obvious that for more than 400 teachers, parents, CTU staff and community members attending the school closing Teach-In and workshop at Chicago's King High School on December 3, 2011 that enough is enough . . .

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Calling it like it is... School board meeting forced to postpone business as usual, then Board President discriminates in favor of charter schools

People were “calling it like it is” at the December 14, 2011, meeting of the Board of Education. After years of being dismissed and not listened to, members of the communities of Chicago finally had . . .

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Hit with 'turnaround' attack, school was sabotaged by CAO Janie Ortega... Marquette Elementary School is fighting Board move to destroy it through 'turnaround' after years of sabotage by CPS administration

On Thursday, December 22, 2011, a school that at one time was a "Rising Star School" had news conference to discuss the “turnaround “scheduled for their school. The school, one that has been overcrowded for . . .

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Stagg school community standing up to lies, slander, and 'turnaround'

Many powerful people must have believed that Chicago's millionaire mayor, Chicago's carpetbagger public schools administration, and their affluent backers could easily run over one or a couple of public schools that for generations have been . . .

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Music makes the Difference at Moos

Moos Elementary School had its Holiday Music Program on December 15, 2011. It was wonderful! It reminded me of why music is so important, besides lifting spirits and making people happy. Music teaches us to . . .

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CTU President joins with Jesse Jackson at Operation PUSH

Rev. Jesse Jackson hosted a packed audience at Operation PUSH on Saturday, September 3, 2011. Included in the program were a large Gospel choir and a wonderful singer. Two bands, from Alabama A & M . . .

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Activists gather in downtown Chicago at Labor Day rally

It was clearly a union event as 350 -500 people assembled on Labor Day, September 5, 2011, in Grant Park and CTU was there, although you couldn’t really tell because they dressed, you know, like . . .

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Raise Your Hand coalition refutes most Rahm Emanuel claims about 'Longer School Day'

Tuesday, September 27, 2011, the Raise Your Hand coalition had an open meeting regarding extending the school day. Everyone knew that day was coming, they just didn’t know when. Some thought, perhaps it would come . . .

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DO NOT HIRE hearing cancelled by CPS

Suppose you were invited to a hearing and were told not to come? In effect, that is precisely what the Chicago Public Schools did to no fewer than 17 teachers who had been placed on . . .

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