The ongoing push for charter schools
across the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) district may infringe upon the
fundamental human right to equal opportunity for education, according to
a group of panelists who discussed privatization and education at the University of Chicago Wednesday night.
people out of education is unacceptable ... Not having access to good
public schools is a human rights issue,” said Jesse Sharkey, vice
president of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), who sat on the panel with David Moberg, senior editor of In These Times and Susan Gzesh, executive director of the University of Chicago’s Human Rights Program.
Protesters are ramping up advocacy against the potential sale of all
or some of the Tribune Company to the conservative billionaire Koch
brothers with a nationwide day of action. Meanwhile, the number of
signatures on various online petitions has risen to more than 500,000.
will not sell our freedom of speech. We will not sell our right to have
independent news. We will not sell the City of Chicago,” said Shani
Smith, 38, a project organizer with Stand Up! Chicago.
“We are here for senior citizens, for children, for working families,
and that’s what we stand for. If the Koch brothers don’t stand for it, they most certainly cannot buy the Chicago Tribune.”
Progress Illinois takes a closer look at how some parents are seeing homeschooling as an alternative to Chicago public schools in the wake of the district's controversial plan to close, consolidate and turnaround more than 50 schools.
The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) and parents of neighborhood school
students filed a lawsuit against the Chicago Board of Education
Wednesday to stop 10 schools from shutting down that independent hearing
officers previously recommended the district not to close.
The plaintiffs are asking the court to issue an injunction, which would bar CPS from closing the 10 schools for the upcoming school
year, said CTU lead attorney Robert Bloch.
“The board of education
is now taking an approach that many believe it has been following all
along, the public hearings on school closings were just for show," Bloch
said. "The board does not view itself as obligated to respect the
rulings of its own handpicked hearing officers."
West Side parents and activists have pledged to vote out Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his “rubber stamp” aldermen who have not stood with the community against school closings.
“Aldermen, you have committed political murder upon yourselves,” said West Side activist Windy Pearson outside Edward C. Delano Elementary School Friday morning. “We have decided that it is time for all of you that have not stood strongly and firmly with us to go.”
The Chicago Board of Education unanimously approved the Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) plan to close 49 elementary schools and one high school at its monthly meeting Wednesday.
“The city of Chicago, CPS, Rahm Emanuel, non-elected school board, Mr. Vitale, this message is for you,” Pearson said. “We are the community. We are the stakeholders. We are the parents, the activists, the teachers, the voters, and we are registering individuals to become deputy registrars.”