We are happy to transition back to school and finally settle into a routine. As you know the House of Delegates of the CTU voted to suspend the strike but they didn’t yet vote to approve the contract. Most everyone we heard from expressed great relief that their kids are back in school. There remain different opinions regarding the purpose of the strike and what it signified or didn’t. The press keeps asking who “won” and who “lost?” People have asked what the kids got out of it. These are complicated questions. If nothing else, the events of the past ten days have worked to elevate the discussion around public education in this city and nation, which is a good thing. We think this will prove to be an intangible positive but we don’t think it can be distilled to a “win” or “loss”.
Regarding some of the details, CPS added two extra weeks to the school year this year, so our kids will not have less school than they had last year. Many are happy with that change. We do not know when or if the missed days will be added to the calendar but will let you know as soon as we find out.
Despite some of the wins touted by both sides, RYH still has the same concerns we had two weeks and two years ago.
- There is still no sustainable plan to fund education; We would like to help get a state-wide referendum on the ballot in 2014 to ask the public if they want a graduated income tax; We want to look more at TIF reform to see how changes can be made to improve funding to the school
- There is still no mechanism to employ democratic decision making in how policies are formed at the district level with our mayoral-appointed school board. We need policy experts, teachers, parents, community leaders, etc. to help shape public education here. For too long in Chicago, decisions have been made in a vacuum. That’s why we’re continuing to work on an elected school board campaign.
We hope you will sign up to help on one of these campaigns this year. We need your help. Consider making a donation to help power our efforts this year. We have a multitude of costs and need support to take trips to Springfield, create materials and signage, run our website and much more. Think about making a $10 or $25 donation to help us fund these campaigns this year and please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org help join the effort to transform public education.
9/22 – (10am-11:30am) Coffee and Conversation w// Senator John Cullterton and Rep. Ann Williams, Safari Cup Coffee 3404 N. Southport
9/22 – (10am-2pm) Neighborhood Networks\ Southside Pre-school and Elementary Fair. Hyde Park Neighborhood Club – 5480 S. Kenwood.
9/22 (5-10pm) Fundraiser for Lill Street's CPS ArtReach program, proceeds help provide art to under served communities. , Live auction, Silent auction, Art scavenger hunt, Hands-on art for all ages, Tasty local refreshments, and Live music. 4401 N Ravenswood Ave., 60640. Adult tickets $40 adults, kids free.
9/27 (1pm) Last chance for public input on new CPS Arts plan; Art Institute, Ryan Ed. Ctr., 159 E. Monroe 1pm. Free but preregister here.
9/27 - (6pm-8pm) RYH co-sponsoring a discussion with Jonathan Kozol at NW Law School on his new book: “Fire in the Ashes: Twenty Five Years Among the Poorest Children in America. He is the author of "Savage Inequalities" and a nationally known voiceo on the perils of corporate education reform.
Northwestern Law School - 375 E. Chicago
9/27 (7pm) Author
Kevin Kumashiro (contributor to CREaTE piece about teacher evaluation) is having a talk on his new book:
Bad Teacher! How Blaming Teachers Distorts the Bigger Picture.
Revolution Books, 1103 N. Ashland.