Massive protest against Noble charters expected at Kelly High School August 18...

Southwest Side community, union and school leaders are expecting a huge turnout to protest the attempt by the Noble Network of Charter Schools to expand into the McKinley Park community. A meeting is scheduled for August 18, 2015, at Kelly High School to register the protests against the charter school and expose the lies about Noble Network of Charter Schools, which has been hailed from the White House to Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office as an example of "choice," despite the many lies told by Noble Network and on its behalf.

The August 18 meeting has resulted from the refusal of CPS officials to allow community people access to an earlier hearing, which was "packed" by people bused in by Noble (at whose expense?). Despite claims that CPS is not expanding charter schools this year and the claim that a massive "deficit" is facing the city's public schools, the Emanuel administration and its appointees (the newest, Board President Frank Clark and CPS CEO Forrest Claypool) are doing just that. But across Chicago in virtually every community, charter expansion is opposed, usually unanimously.

The call to action against the Noble Network threat to the Southwest Side includes a major debunking of the lies spread about the charter "network" by some of America's wealthiest and most powerful people:

August 16th, 2015

Stop Noble! Fund Our Schools Not SW Side Charter Expansion

Do Noble's tactics remind you of Concept?. Do they remind you of UNO? What is at stake? The future of public neighborhood schools is up to us. Democracy itself demands equal access to learning.

Nobel staff and students packed the Neighborhood Advisory Hearing on August 10th at Daley College

Residents led by the Brighton Park Neighborhood Association were unable to attend the hearing because Noble had taken over the auditorium.

Two years ago we forced the alderman to convene a community meeting to hear Concept's proposal for McKinley Park. Concept packed our community meeting with bus loads of students from their campus in Rogers Park. It was a replay of UNO tactics which resulted in a $98 million grant from the state of Illinois to build campuses on the Southwest Side.

Today both Concept and UNO are under investigation for nepotism, anti-union maneuvers, corruption, contrived success benchmarks, and funnelling tax dollars to crony contractors and hedge fund investors.

Now Noble is the making an aggressive push to construct a new high school mere blocks from two symbols of southwest side pride, Thomas Kelly High and Back of the Yards Prep.

Southwest side residents deserve to hear the Noble proposal and to evaluate if Noble network should be allowed to construct a new school at 47th and California. The Chicago Public Schools has agreed to re-play the Advisory Council hearing in a more appropriately sized and located venue -- the auditorium at Kelly High.

Join us to listen to the presentation and let the voice of the community be heard.

One thousand rallied at Kelly High against Noble on July 23rd. Several administrators, politicians, community leaders, teachers, and students resoundingly oppose Noble.

What is the Neighborhood Advisory Council?

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) formed Neighborhood Advisory Councils (NACs) in communities where CPS receives proposals to open new charter schools. NACs review proposals using the standards established by CPS.

A NAC will formally submit an evaluation to the CPS Chief Executive Officer Forrest Claypool for consideration.

NACs throughout the city are tasked with having a community meeting. Join the Brighton Park Neighborhood Council Tuesday to stop charter expansion in Chicago. If there are limited resources, our existing neighborhood schools must come first.

What is the problem with Large Charter Networks?

-- Not accountable to parents, students, and community. Public schools have Local School Councils with strong oversight.

-- Supported by top politicians and financiers as a wedge against the unions and to provide sources for crony payoffs.

-- Embrace discredited educational philosophies like "data driven" evaluation and minimization of arts and social sciences.

-- Promote higher results by expelling problem students, selective admissions, and inattention to special needs children.

-- Reject bilingual and dual language instruction.

-- Tightly aligned with venture capitalists like Bruce Rauner whose agenda is austerity for the majority

-- Democracy is imperiled by the deepening of the divide between a privileged minority and the dispossessed majority.

-- Key plank in Rahm Emanuel's neo-liberal agenda to deregulate all operations that can be shifted to the for profit sector.

Fact Checking Noble's Proposal

Noble: They contend that high schools on the Southwest Side are at capacity.

Fact: Only Curie -- the selective enrollment school, is at capacity. Kelly has lost over 1000 students in the past ten years. Others, especially Gage Park, are in danger of closing.

Noble: Graduating elementary schools will overwhelm existing high school capacity.

Fact: New building in the Back of the Yards not to mention Solorio and expanding charter high schools already in business at Concept and UNO. Immigration from other countries is in decline.

Noble: Students who choose to leave the neighborhood to attend charters on the north side are evidence of local overcrowding.

Fact: Plenty of seats exist in local schools. Noble: Charter graduation rates prove superiority of their model.

Fact: Noble attracts motivated students. Noble forces out the less motivated. Motivated public school students achieve at rates as high or higher than their counterparts in charters. The range of enrichment activities in the public schools is more varied and locally relevant.

Noble: 100 percent college acceptance rate.

Fact: This does not include students who have been forced out, expelled, or quit to take part in programs available in public schools. Only 33 percent of Noble student graduate from college within 6 years.

Noble: A culture of high expectations and discipline enhances their results.

Fact: Fines for petty offenses served to drive out students from less well off families. Expulsions and force outs improve overall scores but do not nurture those students who need the most encouragement.

Noble: Director of Operations said at the August 10th meeting, "Madigan is not opposed to charter expansion on the Southwest Side, only to the location in his ward."

Fact: The Madigan/Quinn letter said, "We wish to register our opposition to a proposal that would place a charter school on the Southwest Side."

Noble: Claim high level of support on the Southwest Side.

Fact: Opposed by popular and influential elected officials like Jesus Garcia and Michael Madigan. Opposed by the largest and most active community organization, the Brighton Park Neighborhood Council. Opposed by virtually every school activist and administrator. Of 19 community leaders who were approached only 3 submitted letters of support. Noble boasts of verbal support from a nearby gas station and snack shop.

Noble: Claims to include instruction for special education students.

Fact: Do not have board certified special ed teachers. State regulations allow charters to operate without a full complement of certified teachers. The serve only a fraction of the students with special needs. Meanwhile budget cuts in public schools are hitting hardest against these programs.

Noble: Has the highest of motives for Southwest Side students.

Fact: Noble is locked into an expand or die logic. Like UNO they are committed to paying off bond holders. They made a desperate move to get their 18th campus opened in Rogers Park. Rebuffed by communities and politicians up north, they set their sights on our Southwest community.

Noble: Construction and operations will be paid for by deep pocketed donors.

Fact: New school construction costs far more than the 25 million they tout. Long term costs will exacerbate our property tax problem.


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