A treasured Chicago fighter for quality public education and fighter against a wide range of U.S. wars at home and abroad

Albany Park, North Park, Mayfair Neighbors for Peace and Justice has always known George Schmidt as a treasured Chicago fighter for quality public education and fighter against a wide range of U.S. wars at home and abroad.

We know, from reading George’s newspaper, Substance, how George served the cause of equal education as a whistleblower who exposed the bias of standardized tests used in the Chicago schools, and was fired from his high school teaching position and blacklisted by Chicago Public Schools (CPS) as a result.

We have been inspired by how this did not stop George. He founded the newspaper Substance and dedicated himself to presenting meticulously researched criticism of the Chicago Board of Education and Mayor Daley’s and Mayor Emanuel’s hostile actions against students, including closing 50 schools against the strong opposition of parents, students, and community members.

George Schmidt photo of the October 27, 2007, march against the war in Iraq.We were particularly inspired by George as we worked with him in the fight against opening a naval academy, which was given prime space in Senn High School. One of his many contributions to this struggle was encouraging the development of a newsletter for distribution to students, staff, and parents at Senn High School. It was called Anchors Away!

Aside from this struggle, George continually opposed the militarization of the schools, especially having military academies classified as legitimate public schools, drawing money from the public school system.

We were happy to work with George on other issues. George worked hard against privatization of public schools, against institution of the Common Core narrow curriculum, and against the ever increasing use of standardized tests.

His spirit lives on with us as we take up writing and distributing our own newsletter for our neighborhood, For Peace and Justice, including many of the issues George took up with vigor, militancy, and dedication.


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