Education | Politics

Charter School Chokehold

Roosevelt University study points to CPS charter school policy as contributing factor for CPS budget shortfall

Courtesy of the Project for Middle Class Renewal

Chicago Public Schools’ perennial funding woes have occupied headlines since time immemorial, but recently, the bad news seems to be increasing in both quantity and severity. Recently, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Forrest Claypool, his CPS CEO, were forced to walk back statements that CPS schools would close weeks early if the state did not provide more money after a judge threw out their last-ditch lawsuit claiming the state’s public school formula is racially discriminatory. CPS was forced to take out a $389 million high-interest loan to keep schools open, which some aldermen compared to a “payday loan” and does not even entirely fill the budget gap. On top of that, the district is attempting to wring another $467 million it says the state owes it to make its pension payment next month, facing yet another bond rating downgrade if it does not make the payment.

Activism | Politics

Priority in Planning

South Side United seeks greater community involvement in Obama library development process

Courtesy of the Obama Library

Of the 150 individuals who attended the first Washington Park Summit on April 1, only fourteen actually lived in the neighborhood, according to the Hyde Park Herald. Cecilia Butler, longtime Washington Park resident and president of the Washington Park Resident’s Advisory Council, called the meeting “insulting” due to the lack of notice given to neighborhood residents. An event posted on the neighborhood bulletin website EveryBlock did not appear until less than a week before the event.

Bronzeville | Education | Features

The New Dyett

As CPS reopens and reimagines a neighborhood school, Bronzeville residents push for greater community involvement

Olivia Adams

“If Dyett does not work, we view it as further disinvestment in the quality of life and the basic quality of life institutions of a particular population of people.”

—Jitu Brown

Education | Features

How Do You Score a School?

Students and administrators at Amandla Charter School argue that it deserves to stay open

Olivia Adams

“When they said it was gonna be closed, I said I’d chain myself to the doors, so all them kids can stay there.” –Christian Davis, Amandla parent

Education

A Different Kind of Education

Teachers for Social Justice fair provides resources, networking for educators, parents, and students

Bob Simpson

Last Saturday, over 700 people flocked to Kenwood Academy for a curriculum fair featuring presentations, workshops, and a panel regarding community organizing and social justice in Chicago area schools. This was the fourteenth annual fair from Teachers for Social Justice (TSJ), an organization of educators from both private and public schools, pre-K to university, who are interested in teaching social justice concepts in their classrooms. According to TSJ co-founder Rico Gutstein, the fair is one of Chicago’s largest educator gatherings of the year.

Neighbors

City Witches

Laura Gonzalez, witch for hire

Carolina Sanchez

“No, we don’t eat babies and we don’t kill cats. What you see in the movies—no. We don’t fly on brooms.”

Education

Dyett: What’s Next?

A new school and a new focus thirty-four days after the Dyett hunger strike

Sylvia Wei

This rally came about a week after the end of the hunger strike, a month-long endeavor where fifteen protestors drank only liquids and some suffered hospitalizations.