CPS Hearing in Austin Tonight

1 Feb


I just heard that tonight’s CPS meeting in Austin is so crowded that they’re overflowing the halls.   People are angry and this isn’t a CTU thing.  This is a “all the other schools in our neighborhood have closed and my child keeps getting shifted around” thing.

These hearings are interesting, especially with the recent revelation that they are being funded by the Walton Foundation.  It’s times like these that Twitter can be a real valuable resource.  I’m very grateful for teachers, parents, and reporters live tweeting these meetings.

For the Record: Walton Foundation Funds Community Engagement

“District officials have said they don’t want to link the volatile issue of school closings with the equally volatile issue of charter school openings. But a major pro-charter foundation is providing financial backing for the current crop of school closing meetings taking place around the city this month.”

Labor Beat: Fiasco – CPS School Closings 2013

“As parents and community members arrived at the school closings hearings, the word was that Chicago Public Schools was going to pull another fast one. Although these hearings (this one for the Ravenswood-Ridge Network) were mandated to allegedly provide the school community with an opportunity to make comments on proposed school actions, CPS had planned to prevent open discussion by giving a canned PowerPoint presentation and then, without inviting comments, break up and divide the assembly into small groups that were sent to separate rooms.”

PBS Online: Only A Teacher: Teaching Timeline

“Especially in big city schools, teachers at the turn of the 20th century felt like the most insignificant cogs in a huge machine. They felt dictated to and spied upon. Furthermore, they were badly paid and lacked pension benefits or job security. Many teaching positions were dispensed through political patronage. Married women were often barred from the classroom, and women with children were denied a place in schools. And daily conditions could be deplorable. The often-cited developments of immigration, urbanization and westward expansion had swelled, and changed the face of, the student population. Teachers had little flexibility in how they were to teach their myriad charges, who in urban schools particularly, might well come from impoverished families who spoke little English. They taught in classrooms that were overcrowded, dark and poorly ventilated. Schools felt like factories.” (The more things change)

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