Parents, teachers and supporters launch sit-in to protest against 'turnaround' of Gresham Elementary School at the end of the school day on May 16, 2014

The people of Gresham begin their sit in, while others plan a visit to the neighbor -- and Urban League CEO -- who voted to libel, slander and destroy both their work and their reputations.According to a mid-afternoon press release from the Chicago Teachers Union, parents, teachers, students and supporters of Gresham Elementary School will begin a sit-in at the school at the end of the school day on May 16, 2014 to protest the Chicago Board of Education's decision to subject the school to so-called "turnaround."

Gresham principal Diedrus Brown testified during the Board meeting that the Board has sabotaged the school by taking away the money, and the the drop in test scores used to justify the "reconstitution" was the direct result of the Board's policy taking away funds from Gresham. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.The Board voted at its April 23, 2014 meeting to subject three elementary schools to reconstitution (the legal term) and to turn them over the the controversial Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL) for the so-called "turnaround."

The vote to reconstitute Gresham was unanimous, with Henry Bienen, Jesse Ruiz, Andrea Zopp, Carlos Azcoitia and David Vitale all voting in favor of the reconstitution. Azcoitia abstained on the subsequent vote to turn the school over to AUSL, but the other four voted in favor of the plan. Zopp has voted against the reconstitution of Dvorak and McNair elementary schools, but voted in favor of the Greaham reconstitution. The Board votes on a motion (Board Report) to "reconstitute" a school because under state law, there is no such process as the corporate-jargoned "turnaround." The Board then goes immediately to a vote to hire AUSL as a consultant to do the actual so-called "turnaround."

Three weeks before Chicago schools "Chief Executive Officer" Barbara Byrd Bennett claimed she didn't know any examples of why principals would feel they were being bullied, she ordered security to drag several speakers from the podium during the Board meeting of April 23, 2014. Above, one of the Gresham speakers is manhandled away from the podium by six security people who were order to move in against those who spoke the truth about the so-called "turnaround." Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.During the course of hearings and at the Board meeting, CPS officials admitted that AUSL gets hundreds of thousands of dollars more in "star-up" fees during the initial years of so-called "turnaround," as well as $420 per pupil for five years after the so-called "turnaround" has begun. Parents, teachers and some administrators at the schools slated for so-called "turnaround" this year protested against the plan and challenged the Board's claims.

For the first time in "turnaround" history, the Board did not get a Power Point or other information on the statistical bases for the plan. During the April 23 Board meeting, the Board heard a lengthy narrative, unaccompanied by any charters or factual presentation materials, from "Chief of Chiefs" Denise Little. In the past, the Board has always insisted on comparative data in the form of charts and spreadsheets before voting in favor of this radical destruction of schools.

The CTU press release states: PARENTS, STUDENTS AND COMMUNITY UNITED FOR CHANGE will hold a sit-in at Walter Q. Gresham Elementary School, 8524 S. Green Street, Chicago, IL 60620

The announcement quotes: "In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, as "right-to-work," it provides no "rights" and no "works". Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining... We demand this fraud be stopped"... ~Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ~

The members of the Chicago Board of Education could barely contain their hostility towards the principals, teachers, parents and students who denounced their latest iteration of "turnaround." The three Board members above lectured the protesters about good manners while hiding behind a massive screen of security and misrepresentation of facts. Only five members of the Board were present at the April 23 meeting. Above, left to right (background), Jesse Ruiz, David Vitale and Andrea Zopp. All voted in favor of the motion to reconstitute Gresham. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.For further information members of the press are advised to contact: Stephanie Gadlin, Communications Director, Chicago Teachers Union, 222 Merchandise Mart, 4th Floor

Chicago IL 60654. Desk: 312-329-6250. Cell: 312-890-0866

[TinyFB] [littletwit]


May 20, 2014 at 4:05 AM

By: Paula Meyer


We're behind you, parents sitting in!!

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