Ames Middle School supporters is calling on the Chicago Board of Education to halt any further action on converting the Logan Square school into a Marine-affiliated academy until after the March 18 primary election.
Logan Square parents and community members are launching their final push against Ames Middle School being turned into a "Marine-affiliated" school. The Chicago Board of Education signed off on the conversion plan last month.
Ames Middle School parents plan to deliver new petitions and ballots to the Chicago Board of Education Wednesday that students and the local community overwhelmingly oppose affiliating the school with the Marine Corps next year.
Excessive testing is taking the life out of education, according to a
group of Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students who
dressed like zombies and marched from the district’s headquarters in
Chicago to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office at city hall Friday evening.
Calling themselves “the learning dead,” the students, organized by the Chicago Student Union (CSO), protested the “death of Chicago’s public education system.”
proponents of standardized testing say it helps to close the
achievement gap, roughly a dozen students claimed on Friday that
high-stakes testing takes up valuable instruction time and negatively
impacts student learning.
“I love to learn, but because
education officials put so much emphasis on standardized testing — they
use it to measure school success, measure teacher success, measure
student success — teachers are forced to teach to the test and that really
limits what we can do in the classroom,” said Charlie Murphy, 16, a
junior at Lane Technical College Prep High School and member of the CSO.
The 1963 boycott of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) wasn’t just about achieving the rights for black children to sit next to white children in classrooms.
The fight against educational segregation was also about gaining equal
access to resources so that every student was given the same opportunity to
learn. A group of panelists who analyzed the parallels
between educational access in 1963 and the present day on the 50th anniversary of the boycott say the fight for equality still rages on.
In Chicago, many African American students still attend “separate but unequal” schools, according to members of the Tuesday night panel.
we’re still fighting for educational equity, albeit in a different
political climate,” said Elizabeth Todd-Breland, a professor of history
at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “Our children today still do
not have equal access to state resources and this is not primarily a
question of diversity, but a problem of economic and racial justice.”
Following the decision to embark on the nation's largest round of school closures at one time this academic year, the Chicago Public Schools have opened the door to the possibility of breaking the district's promised five-year moratorium on school closings. As required by the Illinois School Code, CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett released a set of guidelines for school actions, which are required by law no later than October 1. The full set of proposed actions for the upcoming school year are due by December 1.
In the proposed set of guidelines released by the district, CPS is hoping to quicken the closure of schools that are already in the process of being phased out. The district also wants to the ability to shutter schools that pose a "safety hazard presented by the physical condition of the" building. The same criteria could be used to propose consolidations and phase-outs.
The district says the five-year moratorium on school closings that Byrd-Bennett promised last year in exchange for a four-month extension on announcing school actions for the current academic year only applied to closures related to academic performance and utilization.
Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students have made their way back to class today, marking the first day of school since the Chicago Board of Education voted to shutter 50 neighborhood schools in May. Forty-eight of those schools were closed in June.
Today is also the first day the expanded Safe Passage program has gone into effect, which is meant to help students safely travel to and from school as thousands of children trek to unfamiliar schools this year as a result of the closings. Many of the welcoming schools are located farther away from students' homes than their previous school, leading critics of the closings to say the move puts children at an increased risk of falling prey to gang violence or predators. Just one day before school began, a 28 year-old man was shot along a Safe Passage route and a 14 year-old boy was shot and killed less than a block away from Melody Stem School, a West Side welcoming school. Nonetheless, CPS insists the hundreds of workers in the Safe Passage program will provide students with the necessary security and supervision needed to keep them safe.