Bank of America (BOA) serves as a destabilizing force in Chicago’s blighted
communities, according to approximately 50 protesters who took their
message to a downtown branch on Tuesday.
Organized by the Grassroots Collaborative on the eve of Bank of America’s shareholder meeting in North Carolina, demonstrators rallied against policies that, according to protesters, has led to Chicago school closures and community devastation.
have schools that are closing, homes that are abandoned, and
neighborhoods falling apart; this is a time when we need our
neighborhoods to be built up and not destroyed,” said Amisha Patel,
executive director of the Grassroots Collaborative. “It’s time for Bank
of America to do everything they can to strengthen our communities.”
teachers at Lewis say they have been used as "guinea pigs" for various
programs that begin to show improvement after a few years, such as the Teacher Advancement Program, but are then abruptly ended by the district.
"We all know that when you introduce a new program it takes time for the staff and students to adjust," said Corliss Wade, a first-grade teacher at Lewis.
According to the Occupy CPS Facebook page, students and parents at Williams Elementary and Middle Schools, located at 2710 S. Dearborn, held a sit-in this morning in protest of a proposal to close the school.
A plethora of teachers, parents and students attempted to counter Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) claim that Thomas Chalmers Specialty Elementary is “chronically underperforming” Thursday night at the school’s final public hearing.
to “low performance” and “insufficient progress”, a proposal by CPS has
suggested replacing Chalmers’ entire staff with the Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL), a school turnaround contractor, by next year.
since school Principal Kent Nolen was hired in 2010, Chalmers has
seen significant growth, according to Thursday’s speakers. If the West Side school were permitted to continue on its current course, presenters said
it would surely close achievement gaps.
“We pray that this
hearing officer holds the current faculty, staff and administration
accountable for the work they’ve accomplished, not penalizing them for
work under the former administration,” said W. T. Harris, a parent of
one Chalmers student, member of the local school council (LSC) and one of approximately 75 attendees.
Certain student loan interest rates are set to double, from 3.4 percent
to 6.8 percent, come July 1. The rate hike could potentially cost millions of people who
rely on college financial assistance an additional $1,000 each school year.
The added cost is too much for some students to bear, said U.S. Rep. Tammy
Duckworth (D, IL-8) at a college affordability roundtable discussion Thursday.
“I remember what that was like as a student, when I was
counting down to the last five bucks that I had until my next check
came,” she said at the discussion, held at the College of DuPage (COD).