All articles by Kati Gilson

Lois Weiner keynotes United Opt Out in Denver with historical perspective on corporate attack on public schools... 'Merrill Lynch, April 2009, described schools as retail outlets with the school board being the customer service department...'

Lois Weiner, Professor of New Jersey City University and author of The Future of Our Schools: Teachers Unions and Social Justice, spoke on day one of the National Opt Out Conference in Denver. She opened . . .

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Sam Anderson at National Opt Out conference... Arne Duncan's claim that this is the

Sam Anderson spoke to the National Opt Out Conference in Denver on March 28, 2014. Dr. Anderson spoke about the difference between the struggle for education as a human right or as and opposed to . . .

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Powerful new video promotes Opt Out for the sake of our children as Opt Out movement spreads across the USA as testing season begins on April 1, 2014

A powerful new video now available on the website of the Coalition for Public Education makes clear many of the reasons why parents across the USA are opting their children out of this . . .

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Five minutes or you're out! Chicago Board of Education's attack on democracy sets new record, shutting down public sign in after less than ten minutes ten days before the Board even meets.

Considering the importance of the upcoming Board of Education meeting, scheduled for January 22, 2014, and the numerous problems in early childhood education (which I teach), I was prepared to speak at the Board meeting, . . .

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Union begins training delegates for organizing, contract enforcement with all-day session at Teamster City

Over 200 CTU delegates attended a day of union delegates training on November 13, 2013 at Teamster City, 300 S. Ashland Ave. Chicago. CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey opened the session with a speech outlining . . .

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Art exhibit marks first anniversary of the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012... CTU One-Year Strike Anniversary Exhibit at The URI-EICHEN Gallery in Pilsen continues through October 4

About 100 people wandered in and out of the art gallery located at 2101 S. Halstead Street on the evening of Friday September 13, 2013. They were there to view an exhibit commemorating the first . . .

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La Casita protests continue through the night of August 16 - August 17, 2013 after police arrest three people... Chicago Public Schools blocked trying to demolish iconic 'La Casita' community center

It all started when a 6:45 dance class at La Casita was about to start. At 6:30, a community meeting was being held within the building called "La Casita," the "Little House" adjacent to Whittier . . .

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'THEY TORE IT DOWN BEFORE OUR EYES!' CPS contractor begins to destroy La Casita despite library treasures and supposed 'asbestos danger'

LA CASITA IS NO MORE. By a little after ten o'clock in the morning, Board of Education contractors had leveled the library that had been created by the demands of a community that did not . . .

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Another 'Safe Passage' shooting draws TV news to a West Side Chicago school

It's still a week before the children will be arriving at their "welcoming schools" across Chicago following the vote on May 22, 2013, by the Chicago Board of Education to close 49 of the city's . . .

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Chicago Teachers Union debate shows gap between past and future of the militant union as the union's 30,000 members head towards election day on May 17, 2013

If the size of the turnout after the Chicago Teachers Union elections debate was any indication, Karen Lewis and CORE are going to be swept back into office for a second term in a week. . . .

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Sunday West Side marchers, many footsore, stay spirited as 'March for Justice' does its second day

The crowd of parents, students, community members, clergy and teachers gathered at Leif Ericson Scholastic Academy, a Chicago elementary school slated for closing, for the second day of the City-wide, three-day march to protest school . . .

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Protests began early on historic day in Chicago... CPS security began pushing people -- especially reporters -- around a little after the sun came up

Protestors were marching and chanting when I arrived at Chicago Public Schools headquarters at 125 S. Clark St on the morning of May 22, 2013. The crowd of protestors slowly grew as the time got . . .

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CPS security chief bans dangerous bubbles from headquarters of America's third largest school system... 'Play In' contrasts with standardized testing craziness on CPS 'Report Card Pickup' day

On April 17, 2013, a large group of parents and children arrived at the headquarters of Chicago's public schools to be told they were not welcome in the headquarters of Chicago's public schools. The children . . .

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Teacher testifies about complications of 'Ready To Learn' and suggests CPS is undermining ability of poor families to get children into preschool

Good afternoon. My name is Kati Gilson. I am a National Board Certified Teacher. I’ve been teaching for over 20 years. I am currently on workmen’s comp for a back injury. My assistant went six . . .

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HIT LIST 2013: Three aldermen unanimous in defense of the schools in their communities... Garfield Humboldt Park and two other 'networks' get hearing before the same bureaucrats, without Byrd Bennett or any member of the Board of Education

Chants of “Save our schools!” and “Whose schools? Our Schools?” rang though the auditorium in a crowd of almost 1,000 parents, students, teachers and community members. The panel was introduced and included Network Chiefs from . . .

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BOARDWATCH: Kati Gilson's speech to the Board February 27, 2013

Good afternoon. My name is Kati Gilson. I am a National Board Certified Teacher. I teach Preschool for All at Sumner Math & Science Academy. I attended the first Garfield Humboldt Park community hearing. The . . .

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HIT LIST 2013: Aldermen Fioretti, Munoz and Solis join in opposition to the closings... Pilsen Little Village hearing shows continued anger at proposed closings in March 4 hearing at Malcolm X College in Chicago

About 400 people attended the Pilsen School Closing Hearing at Malcom X College on March 4, 2013. Interestingly enough, the court reporter made sure to announce that “Any written stuff you have please get to . . .

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'Right sizing' and 'underutilization crisis' lies exposed, but still being pushed... 'Network Officers' ordering principals to stop parent protests... CPS tries to manipulate closing hearings with money from Wal-Mart

As the hearings across Chicago continue based on the claims that Chicago Public Schools face an "underutilization crisis", more and more evidence is coming in to confirm that nowhere in Chicago does Barbara Byrd Bennett . . .

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Charter teachers share experiences at CTU organizing party

More than 50 Chicago Public School and Charter school teachers gathered at Union Park Lounge on the evening of February 2, 2013 for the first Charter / CTU mixer. The purpose of this event was . . .

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All four area aldermen oppose any school closings... Massive turnout opposes 2013 Hit List at 'Garfield Humboldt Park' hearing February 13

Over 1,000 people turned out for the Garfield Humboldt Park school closing community meeting at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church on the night of February 13, 2013. Busloads of parents, students, teachers and administrators came from . . .

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BOARDWATCH: Community press conference precedes Chicago Board meeting

About 40 people chanting, “Whose schools? Our Schools!” and “Save our schools!”, began the press conference held prior to the February 27, 2013 Chicago Board of Education meeting held at 125 S. Clark St. with . . .

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Substitute teacher shortage hurting the kids... Who is teaching the kids?

Since school resumed following the teachers strike, a growing number of schools have been noting a shortage of substitute teachers. The question is: Who’s Teaching the Kids? Principals are complaining that they can’t get subs . . .

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Teachers begin fight against CPS attempt to privatize and outsource early childhood education

[Editors note: The following is the prepared statement of Chicago pre-school teacher and Substance staff reporter Kati Gilson for the Board of Education's meeting of August 22, 2012. The precise words Ms. Gilson said to . . .

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Labor Day in Chicago draws more than 18,000 to rally and march... Huge support for upcoming Chicago teachers' strike.... 'The only way to handle a bully is to stand up to him,' Karen Lewis told the crowd

More than 18,000 people packed Daley Center on picture perfect Labor Day. The only thing missing were the two key players in the CPS/CTU saga — Chicago's mayor and his hand-picked schools "Chief Executive". The . . .

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Press conference shows community support for CTU strike as contract talks stall because of CPS

Cars were parked two deep at the CTU Strike Headquarters as delegates and strike captains picked up the signs and information for their schools. It was September 8, 2012, less than 48 hours from the . . .

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Hey Rahm we’re no fools we won’t let you ruin our schools'... Marshall High School rally

Thousands of teachers — the final estimate was as many as 10,000 — were still pouring into the grass behind Marshall High School as Tara Stamps, from the Jenner Academy of the Arts, led the . . .

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AFT REPORTS: Early childhood resolutions passed at convention

The AFT Educational Issues Committee introduced two resolutions regarding early childhood education. Resolution 3 Digital Learning in K-12 Instruction was changed to Digital Learning in PreK-12 instruction. Line 145 specifically states: States should regulate PreK-1 . . .

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AFT REPORTS, MEDIA WATCH: Press herding for the VP... Obama campaign staff and Secret Service try to steer and spin news coverage during Biden speech

Thanks to Alice Muglia (who was apparently from the Chicago campaign office of Obama-Biden) and the Secret Service, like a number of reporters on July 30, 2012, I was unable to photograph the biggest CTU . . .

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Informational pickets continue with spirited line on Madison St. from Emmet school

It was a warm and sunny Chicago afternoon, and once school let out, the teachers were happy and showed it. Over 40 teachers, parents, community members and students rallied at Emmet Elementary School — located . . .

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Teacher challenges Board's covert attempt to privatize early childhood education

[Editors note: The following is the prepared statement of Chicago pre-school teacher and Substance staff reporter Kati Gilson for the Board of Education's meeting of August 22, 2012. The precise words Ms. Gilson said to . . .

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Rockin' on the West Side as Spencer and Melody picket

It was rocking on the Westside as over 40 teachers, para professionals, parents and students joined in solidarity on August 23, 2012, at Melody Elementary School on S. Keeler, to get the word out that . . .

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Teachers, students, parents and friends of public education confront teacher-bashing 'Stand for Children' event

At least four buses arrived to drop off parents and students at the Stands for Children meeting on April 14, 2012 at Roosevelt University in Chicago. They were greeted by a dozen protesters, most of . . .

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Iraq vets and families came to confront the makers of the NATO war... Confrontations part of May 20 protests against NATO

Protesters had already begun gathering when I arrive at 9:30 a.m. on May 20, 2012 to cover the big march against NATO in downtown Chicago. The first group I came upon where the war veterans, . . .

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'The buses just kept coming!'... Notes from the 'overflow' rally outside the Auditorium Theater and the largest teacher march in Chicago history through Chicago's Loop

The buses just kept coming, over 100 of them bringing teachers from all over Chicago to a solidarity rally at the Auditorium Theater on May 23, 2012. Every teacher, teacher assistant, and other school worker . . .

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Chicago Teachers Union leadership conference draws more than 600 people

The Chicago Teachers Union hosted a conference on March 10, 2012 at Crane High School for school leaders, including union delegates, LSC members, and union members active in the schools' contract committees. According to organizers, . . .

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First video of the Mic Check of March 15... Rahm Emanuel challenged at New Trier dinner

The first news reports on the challenges to Mayor Rahm Emanuel that took place on the evening of March 15, 2012, at the New Trier Alumni Association Awards Dinner (at the Orrington Hotel in . . .

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PURE Blows the Whistle on Stand for Children's Attempts to Manipulate Latino Parents

A recent bulletin from PURE has blown the whistle on the latest attempt by the new administration of the Chicago office of Stand for Children to manipulate Chicago parents along racial lines. For more information . . .

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Former Piccolo students reflect on AUSL's failure at Orr High School... The Piccolo (and Casals) story complete... Occupy Piccolo last nearly 24 hours before Board member agrees to meeting with leaders opposing turnaround

Parents, community members and supporters of Piccolo and Casals elementary schools have had enough of CPS “Turnarounds” which fire all staff and turn the school over to private, politically-connected AUSL (Academy for Urban School Leadership). . . .

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Large rally against closings, turnarounds at Pleasant Gift MB church on February 16, 2012

About 150 people attended a City-Wide Rally Against School Closings at Pleasant Gift Missionary Baptist Church at 45th and Greenwood in Chicago on Thursday, February 16, 2012.






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Rally at Rainbow PUSH

A sea of red filled the audience at Rainbow PUSH’s Saturday Morning Forum on Chicago's South Side on February 25, 2012. Community members, church leaders, parents, students and teachers came out to support Chicago Teacher’s . . .

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Lakeview Rally, then march to Rahm's home, highlight protests against 2012 Hit List

On Monday, February 20, 2012, hundreds of students, parents, teachers, community members and activists gathered at Lakeview High School to protest Chicago Public Schools proposed school closings and turnarounds. As candles were passed to the . . .

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Preschool teacher spent all of May administering the 'Kindergarten readiness test'

[Editor's note: At the time of each Board of Education meeting, because the speakers are limited to only two minutes while CPS executives are allowed to talk as long as they want and then are . . .

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