Not much to report today. One interesting thing I heard is that the boycotts over the school closings may be spreading. I’m really impressed at the way parents and students have been stepping up to make their voices heard.
“Jessica Schneider, of the Chicago Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, which handles many expulsion cases pro bono, said she had recently taken the case of a Noble Network of Charter Schools student who had been expelled for posting a “Let’s go smoke” message on Facebook. She confirmed that charters tend to display “overly harsh discipline and what appears to be the targeting of students to push out.””
“But the LSC at Trumbull is also sitting on almost $120,000 raised for students. Last week, they voted to provide students transitioning to welcoming schools with “success packs” consisting of a bookbag, school supplies and an iPad or e-Reader.”
“Freedom Lover Films now embarks on a new project to document the largest public school closing in American history. This observational documentary seeks to capture the experiences of teachers and families as the educational landscape of Chicago changes. On May, 22nd the Chicago School Board officially voted to close 49 elementary schools. In less than 20 days many communities will be changed forever. How will they change is the question?”
“Although there would be many advantages to enacting a student bill of rights in Chicago, three in particular stand out: a student bill of rights would prevent chilling of protected activity; would provide useful guidance to school officials, many of whom might legitimately not be aware of the law; and would help reframe the Code of Conduct in a more positive light.”
“Alas, over the course of months of scrutiny by activists, parents, teachers, and reporters—most notably Linda Lutton and Becky Vevea of WBEZ—many of the mayor’s chief assertions have proven to be either questionable or false. At best, any savings will be a long way off, since initially it will cost more money to prepare schools for consolidation.”
“But what’s worse is this. Even if we say that students are products and that teaching can be broken down into an assembly line of measurable tasks, old-fashioned Fordism isn’t even how good business operations are done anymore. That ugly, dehumanizing, and elitist way of thinking about factory work went out of fashion with the poodle skirt. In contrast, the Toyota Production System, which business school students are taught is the best in the world, relies on a philosophy rooted in respect for people, teamwork and employee empowerment.”
“[B]oard member Mahalia Hines said just having a plan down on paper gets everyone on the same page.
“I think that my favorite part is that we actually have a plan that I can get my hands around,” Hines said.
Hines has been on the board for two years.”