Handouts from our Special Education Forum, October 25, 2016

Thank you to our volunteer parents who planned our wonderful forum and who prepared these excellent handouts and advocacy tools! Thanks, too, to all of the parents, teachers, and principals who joined us tonight. We will post a link to this page in our Special Education Toolkit for Parents which you can find here. We were live tweeting as were a few others. See the Storify of the event here. ***In preparing for our November 16, 2017 Special Education in CPS Public Forum (more info on that here) we noticed that 2 links below are broken. You can find File D here and File E here. These documents as well as the ones below will be updated and distributed at our upcoming forum. We will post them on our website when they are ready. Continue reading

Comments on CPS Draft Guidelines for School Actions 2016-17 and CPS Draft 10 Year Master Facilities Plan Update

Remarks as prepared for the October 21, 2016 Chicago Educational Facilities Task Force (CEFTF) general meeting and school actions committee meeting, presented by Jennie Biggs on behalf of Raise Your Hand. Comments on CPS Draft Guidelines for School Actions 2016-17 Continue reading

Steep enrollment drops at receiving schools since 2013 mass school closings

In 2013, the Chicago Board of Education voted to close 49 elementary schools and reassign their students to receiving schools. Despite reported capital investment in receiving schools, enrollment dropped at a much steeper rate at these schools than other elementary schools. Continue reading

RYH Comments on Draft Illinois ESSA Plan

Chris Ball, CPS Parent and Raise Your Hand board member, and Cassie Creswell, Raise Your Hand Action Co-Director and board member, collaborated and submitted these comments on the Draft Illinois ESSA Plan. We are very grateful for their work. The comments are below. To view the statement with references, please go here. Continue reading

Nearly 13,000 Empty Seats in Chicago Charter Schools – Increase of more than 1,000 Since 2014

Raise Your Hand Calls on CPS to Stop Irresponsible School Expansions During Fiscal Crisis and Lowest Enrollment in Decades Continue reading

Map of charters opened last year and impact on budgets at nearby schools

View an interactive map of where charter schools opened last year in Chicago, and the negative impact it had on neighborhood high schools. Continue reading

Special Education Cuts

In analyzing the special education "All Means All" pilot program, RYH found that all means less for many students at these schools. 84% of  All Means All schools ended up cutting special ed positions. Continue reading

Raise Your Hand for CPS Budget Solutions

Parents are learning of potential disastrous budget cuts coming for the 2016-17 school year. Below are links to resources that we've developed over the past year to help you understand how we got into this situation and to give you advocacy tools and ideas. Continue reading

January 2016 Statements to the Unelected BOE

There were many great speakers at the January unelected BOE meeting. We are posting three statements below. Raise Your Hand Board Member and CPS Parent Jennie Biggs handed in the attached document which includes comments made by people who signed our Cancel $60M "Obama Prep" Selective Enrollment High School petition. Since the Aramark food service contract was up for renewal, she also handed in a packet which included CPS high school students questioning the quality of the food they are served. Read the Comments here. Continue reading

Elected School Board Press Conference- Oct. 13, 2015

On Wednesday, October 13, 2015, right before former CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett's arraignment, community organizations and elected officials came together for a press conference demanding an elected representative school board in Chicago. Cassie Creswell, Raise Your Hand Board Member, spoke about the many questionable contracts that our current unelected BOE has approved. Her press conference statement is below. Attached above is a list of some of these contracts. Continue reading