This Week in Ed 11.20.17: Sped Forum Update; Orgs Deliver Letter to ISBE re: Investigate CPS Sped

Stay up to date on the latest education news. Visit our homepage and sign up to receive The Weekly Ed Update delivered to your email inbox every week!

Other ways to stay in touch with us: 

Twitter... @CPSuccessCHI@ILRaiseYourHand@RYHAction

Facebook... IL Raise Your HandRaise Your Hand Action

Special Education Forum Recap

Thanks to everyone who came out to our forum last week and to our wonderful panel of experts for sharing their knowledge with the many parents who came out to the event. If you missed it, you can watch the video of the forum here.

RYH Special Education resources here: Special Education Toolkit

Please share the video and toolkit with other parents and educators!


ISBE Meeting - RYH signs a joint letter with other organizations regarding an investigation into CPS special education practices and policies

RYH joined many organizations at Friday’s Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) board meeting to ask ISBE to investigate CPS around their special education practices. Groups like Equip for Equality, Access Living, LAF and more testified at the ISBE meeting to weigh in on the recent WBEZ report around special education and to share that these groups agree with the findings and have seen an uptick of delays and denials of sped services in their work.

RYH signed a joint letter to ISBE with these organizations. You can read the letter here. This letter was delivered on Friday as part of the multiple testimonies delivered to ISBE on Friday.

You can watch the multiple testimonies here and read Equip for Equality’s excellent testimony here.

***UPDATE: On November 27, CPS shared this letter with the press. It is a response to the joint letter delivered to ISBE on November 17.


School closing list comes out on December 1st

The CPS school moratorium closing is up next fall, and CPS will release their next round of closings on December 1st. Or at least they’re supposed to by law. They haven’t been following the law on other items such as releasing their space utilization records, so we’ll see if they comply with this deadline.

We believe an elected school board is needed to keep the CPS BOE accountable to the public.

RYH submitted comments on CPS’s Draft Guidelines for School Actions 2017-18. You can read our comments here.

#GivingTuesday, November 28, 2017

Please consider a donation to RYH on #GivingTuesday or as part of your year end charitable giving. If you follow all of the links above, you will see the tremendous amount of work we have done in just the past six weeks. Please help support us in our work to strengthen and protect public education for all children.

You can make a donation or become a recurring donor here. Thanks for your support!


Backpack Full of Cash, Hyde Park

We are excited to screen the film Backpack Full of Cash in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood! You can find more details and buy your tickets here. We do expect to sell out so please buy your ticket soon. See you there!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

The Harper Theater

5238 South Harper Ave

Chicago, IL 60615

Doors open at 9:15am; screening at 9:30. Discussion afterwards at 11.

Tickets are $5


In other news

Sun-TimesCommon, South Side megachurch backing plans for a new charter school

NOTE: Two new charter schools (including this one) will be voted on at the December 6 unelected CPS BOE meeting. Common’s mother, Mahalia Hines, serves on the unelected BOE.


Sun-TimesCPS CEO Forrest Claypool admits ‘mistake’ he made in IG interview

WBEZ: Parents Demand An Elected School Board

Chicago TribunePart 1 ‘No worse fate than failure’: How pressure to keep up is overwhelming students in elite districts 
NOTE: Read the rest of the series here: Part 2 and Part 3.

The Washington PostThe ‘DeVos effect’ on the November elections

The Washington PostMeet the Texas pastor who opposes public funding of religious education - and fights the Koch agenda

EduResearcher Blog: School Privatization Explained - Toolkit from Network for Public Education


Sullivan High School’s Thankful video: “Our refugee students share their lives, childhoods, and what they are thankful for. This video was created by advanced digital media students for Sullivan's first annual Thanksgiving celebration. The event brought the Rogers Park Community together with refugees and their families to share food.”

Lane Tech High School’s Particle Photon Powered Rube Goldberg Machines: “Lane Tech HS students, in our Honors Physical Computing Lab, created 13 small Rube Goldberg machines that talked to each other over the Internet.”

Congratulations to Prosser High School who won the competitionSun-Times: CPS students compete to create healthy school lunch- on $1.40 budget

Upcoming Events

⟹ Bronzeville Classical School Plan Community Forum

Please see the link above for more details and for sponsoring organizations.

Mon Nov 20, 6:30-8:00pm

Robert Temple Church, 4021 S. State


Tues Nov 28, 7-8:30pm

The Oakwood Center, 3825 S. Vincennes


Education Funding Townhall sponsored by KOCO

Guest speaker: Ralph Martire of Center for Tax and Budget Accountablility

Th, Nov 30, 6:00pm

Kennicott Park, 4434 S Lake Park Ave


⟹ Backpack Full of Cash screening in Hyde Park

Sat Dec 2, 9:30am

Harper Theater, 5238 S Harper Ave

Tickets are $5 for this screening. Buy them in advance online. We expect this showing to sell out.


⟹ Nov/Dec consolidated meeting: Chicago Unelected Board of Ed

Online registration to speak or observe Mon Dec 4, 10:30am

Meeting Wed Dec 6, 10:30am

CPS, 42 W. Madison

Please contact us at if you need more information or advice.


⟹ The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

Presentation by Richard Rothstein and response by Natalie Moore

Wed Dec 6, 5:00 - 8:00pm

CTU Center, 1901 W Carroll