So this Friday, like many other CPS teachers, I had to take the wellness survey. I know why we got stuck with this program. It was off the table in negotiations and then CPS offered such a better deal on insurance if we accepted it, that a teacher who opted out of the program and payed the $50 a month fee, would still be money ahead.
However, I found it both amusing and sad that after completing the survey, it came to the conclusion that the number one thing that was hurting my health was working for CPS. I certainly am not surprised and I guess this is proof that the wellness survey provides some accurate information, but it’s still depressing that even your employer’s program tells you that it’s not a very good employer.
Then we have Barbara Byrd Bennett. While dozens of teachers every year lose their jobs because they don’t live in the city, Dave Vitale has a waiver and Barbara Byrd Bennett lives in Ohio. I’m reminded of the words of Nelly Furtado, who sang, “‘I’m like a bird, I’ll only fly away. I don’t know where my soul is, I don’t know where my home is”
Finally, we have the new round of school closing hearings after Rahm Emanuel and CPS already declared the matter closed. CPS goes through so much effort to give the appearance of openness and community input while totally ignoring the community. I was happy to see parents boycott at least one hearing.
“What the city wants is a civil dialogue and peace in the streets to show the country there is no problem.
In order to save these schools and public education in Chicago – something much more radical must happen.”
“Why should we go to a CPS community meeting in which the mayor said it doesn’t make any difference,” Dwayne Truss, part of the Raise Your Hand group.”
“In the 1960s, Chicago Public Schools were segregated and starved of resources. The problem got so bad that Dr. Martin Luther King pressed Mayor Daley to fix the problems. Daley would not budge.”
“A thread runs through Tony Smith’s career: to attempt to counterpose, in practice, what he asserts to be the interests of students and community to those of teachers and staff. This aligns him with the corporate agenda. And, in fact, he is one of their rising superstars: witness the “philanthropic” funding to OUSD, cited in Smith’s resignation letter and in the school board’s accompanying statement.”
““School closings will absolutely make things worse with the foreclosure crisis,” said Redmond. “All the plans they’re coming up with are strangling the community, and it needs to be called what it is — some call it ethnic cleansing — but part of the corporate strategy for the city is to weed out these neighborhoods.”
““We have the highest enrollment of the 54 schools on the closing list,” said Ericson math teacher Michale Colwell. “We have a significantly higher enrollment than our future school, Sumner. A significantly higher utilization rate than Sumner. Get Leif Ericson off the list.”