Those of you who were at yesterday’s rally downtown saw a star in the making. Asean Johnson is a 9 year old from Marcus Garvey Elementary School. He also highhandedly destroys Mayor Emanuel’s argument that these schools need to be closed for the good of the children. Any school that produces a student like this is doing something right. If only more adults could show his courage and his fire, Rahm would be a one term mayor for sure. We can’t hid behind a 9 year old forever. The adults who know that what Rahm is doing is wrong, need to step forward and be counted.
I was driving home from work today listening to WBEZ when I heard Rahm Emanuel speak about the closings. I resisted the urge to accelerate into a nearby wall. He talked about people saying he’d take a political hit, but that didn’t stop him from standing up to the teachers when they struck and he got a longer day. That’s a nice bit of revisionist history. He imposed the longer day before the strike and there was nothing the teachers could do about it. The longer day has also been a disaster. Our LSC was just talking about how much they hated it, and how much small children can’t take the long day, and how absenteeism is up at all schools in our network. Just like he’s doing with the closings, Rahm made his edict and then left the teachers to pick up the pieces. Sadly, the stakes are much higher this time. As Jitu Brown said, “This didn’t start with a Board vote and it’s not going to end with a Board vote.”
“Sources close to the Chicago Public Schools confirmed Tuesday that Manierre in Old Town has been removed from the list of 54 schools set to close as part of the largest school consolidation in U.S. history.”
This has seriously been the most indescribable past 48 hours of my life. Chicago students, teachers, parents, & community organizers, it was empowering watching you all over the internet since September, but having the privilege to march alongside you, cause disruption, exchange “WTFs” when we heard an elementary school was put on lockdown & surrounded by cops so they couldn’t walkout to join the march, hugging our civil disobey-ers after they were released from arrests for occupying City Hall, and being in the heart of the education revolution with the most fearless people in the world…that was something else.
“I came [to the rally] because CPS specifically asked us not to,” Montre Caref, a 15-year-old Westinghouse College Prep student told HuffPost Chicago. Caref’s former school, Mayo Elementary in Bronzeville, is on the list of proposed closings.”
“So far, no luck. The mayor says he has to close the schools because the city’s too broke to keep them open. Tough times requiring tough measures, and all that.
Of course, as broke as we are, there’s still $55 million lying around to buy up some land and hand it over to private entities that don’t need it.”
“According to Erika Schmidt, director of the Center for Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy, “School communities are built on a network of important relationships. While the primary relationship is between the child and teacher, other relationships within the school – the principal, assistant principal, classmates, older and younger students, the security guard – all these people provide an integral role in supporting children and helping them thrive. The continuity of these relationships is critical for children whose lives may be frequently disrupted by trauma or loss. Without this kind of stability and continuity, children have a difficult time engaging in learning or even feeling like learning matters to them.”
It’s nice to see that CPS’s war on literacy is still going strong.
“The full agenda for the May 22, 2013 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education shows that even though several federal and local court judges, thousands of teachers, students and parents, and the editors of one of the city’s two major newspapers now oppose the massive school closings ordered by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the mayor’s appointed school board and “Chief Executive Officer,” Barbara Byrd Bennett, will go through with all of the controversial and unprecedented actions at the Board’s May 22 meeting. The full Board agenda, published by law on May 20, 2013, shows the facts.”