You have all likely seen the horrific reports out of the Chicago Tribune by now, documenting hundreds of cases of sexual assault and abuse that have been reported to CPS over a decade but have never been made public before. The Trib said they had to threaten to sue CPS to get them to reveal the data they possessed, and it turns out CPS lawyers have investigated over 430 cases of sexual assault or abuse by CPS employees since 2011. These are just incidents that have occurred in CPS school buildings that have been reported. CPS acknowledged in the Tribune that they had no formal policies or procedures in place to deal with this, or to give schools firm direction on what they needed to do in the event that a student made a report.
We put out this statement last Friday and we continue to ask who the lawyers at CPS were reporting to all these years—and why that person or persons did not determine that strong and clear guidelines to schools were essential. How could the district not have determined that they had a problem that needed immediate attention after complaint 200 or 300 occurred? Lawyers advise in organizations, but they don’t make final decisions, and we want to know who CPS lawyers reported to and why they failed to act.
We do not pin this on one person, but we do think it’s further evidence that systems within CPS central office are broken beyond repair, and that by definition, mayoral control of schools is a flawed model that, no matter who the mayor is, do not have the checks and balances needed to ensure that the well-being of the students is always placed before the image or campaign needs of the mayor in charge.
In addition, the CPS Inspector General is now calling for his office to be in charge of investigating the sexual abuse claims rather than the CPS law department.
Springfield is getting ready to act.
What is CPS planning for facilities in your neighborhood?
It may be hard to believe, but by law CPS is supposed to have a ten-year educational facilities master plan (EFMP) that they need to update every five years. While they haven’t really followed anything in their plan that’s on paper, and they add things ad hoc constantly, they are going to be sharing updates to their “10 year plan” at a bunch of community “outreach” meetings starting Monday, June 11.
You should consider checking one out in your neighborhood, just to learn about what CPS is saying about the schools there. Please see our 2018 EFMP webpage that explains what we know about this process and contains links to learn more. We recently found out that the 2018 EFMP presentation at these “outreach” meetings will only be a brief (15 minute) overview toward the end of the meeting. Here is a chart listing all of the community “outreach” meetings:
Do you know about the Chan-Zuckerberg partnership with CPS?
CPS recently announced they’ll partner with Chan-Zuckerberg LLC who will give a “grant” of $14M to CPS and LEAP for “personalized learning” at 100 CPS schools. Do you want your kid’s data being shared with the founder of Facebook? How will CPS determine which 100 schools get this “grant”? CPS is using Summit learning in a few schools, and Summit does not disclose what data they collect about your kids or what they do with it.
Is this really a good time for CPS to hand over the personally-identifiable data of our kids to a Zuckerberg LLC? If you have concerns about this, ask your principal if he/she knows anything about it, and express your concerns about being part of this potentially costly grant.
Here’s an article to read about Facebook and data:
The New York Times: Facebook Gave Device Makers Deep Access to Data on Users and Friends
A great big THANK YOU: Our Grow With Us fundraising campaign raised over $10,000!
You are all an important part of RYH. Thank you so much for your participation and a special shout out to all the donors who helped us raise more than $10,000 in our Grow With Us campaign! You helped us plant the seeds of success. RYH does so much with so little and every little bit helps us to keep up this vital work. Thank you.
RYH Action update
Congrats to RYH Action for passing some important bills this session!
Cassie Creswell, co-director of RYH Action, also spoke at a press conference with Senator Dick Durbin Monday in support of a bill Senator Durbin is sponsoring, the Clean Slate for Kid’s act.
More charters want to open at CPS...say it isn’t so!
The new charter proposals for the 2019-20 school year can be found at this CPS webpage. The proposed schools would add a total of 6620 seats when at capacity. CPS’ enrollment dropped this past fall by almost 11,000 students.
Scroll down on the CPS webpage & hit the "Applicant Overview" button to see the below chart so you can get to work now on pushing back against these proposals.
In other news
Lab school ditches Aramark after the school fails a health inspection!
Meanwhile at CPS...
Quazzo and Barbara Byrd-Bennett back in the news!
Education Week: When School Rules are Different for Students of Color, Written by CPS teacher Gina Caneva
South Side Weekly: Tax Credit Scholarships Don’t Add Up, Panelists Say
Coverage of our public forum! You can watch the whole forum here thanks to CAN TV!