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Chicago Student Union
Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:43pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Chicagoans Protest Against Youth Incarceration, Push For More Educational Investments (VIDEO)

Young people in Chicago spoke out against the "school-to-prison pipeline" Monday evening and demanded more investments in education as part of a national week of action against youth incarceration.

Toting signs reading "Educate, Don't Hate," a few hundred Chicago youths and their allies rallied outside the now-shuttered Paderewski Elementary Learning Academy in South Lawndale before marching more than two miles to the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (JTDC) at 1100 S. Hamilton Ave.

Monday's action, co-sponsored by more than 30 local organizations such as Chicago Students Organizing to Save Our Schools, the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance and the Immigrant Youth Justice League, was meant to highlight the need for more public investment in schools, job training and youth programs, various health services and community-based alternatives to incarceration.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:25pm
Mon Nov 11, 2013

High Schoolers Critical Of New CPS Student Advisory Council, Say It's 'Just For Show'

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett announced the creation of a new Student Advisory Council last Friday. The initiative is meant to provide students the opportunity to discuss important issues with district officials.

Some Chicago student leaders called the new advisory council an important first step in opening the dialogue between students and CPS. But they also said the new advisory council is "just for show," because students wouldn't have a direct vote when it comes to deciding CPS policy.

"We do view this advisory committee as a good base step," said Ross Floyd, a junior at Jones College Prep and a Chicago Student Union (CSU) leader. "We think there's a lot of work to do, but it’s better than before. Before, there was no student voice. The more student voice in educational policy, the better that policy is going to be."

Floyd, however, went on to say that the new council seems like a "puppet show." CPS says a goal of the council is to empower students' voices in district policy decisions, but "in reality they're giving the students no power at all," he stressed.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
3:32pm
Mon Nov 4, 2013

CPS Students Dress Like Zombies, Protest The 'Death Of Public Education' (VIDEO)

Excessive testing is taking the life out of education, according to a group of Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students who dressed like zombies and marched from the district’s headquarters in Chicago to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office at city hall Friday evening.

Calling themselves “the learning dead,” the students, organized by the Chicago Student Union (CSO), protested the “death of Chicago’s public education system.”

While proponents of standardized testing say it helps to close the achievement gap, roughly a dozen students claimed on Friday that high-stakes testing takes up valuable instruction time and negatively impacts student learning.

“I love to learn, but because education officials put so much emphasis on standardized testing — they use it to measure school success, measure teacher success, measure student success — teachers are forced to teach to the test and that really limits what we can do in the classroom,” said Charlie Murphy, 16, a junior at Lane Technical College Prep High School and member of the CSO.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
10:57am
Thu Aug 8, 2013

CPS Students Launch 'Union', Demand Voice In District's Decision-Making Process (VIDEO)

A group of students enrolled in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) district are demanding a seat at the table when school officials make decisions that impact their educational environment.

At a kick-off meeting Wednesday night, a small group of students announced the formation of the Chicago Student Union (CSU). The group aims to unite students from various grassroots organizations across the city, such as Chicago Students Organizing to Save Our Schools (CSOSOS) and Voices Of Youth in Chicago Education (VOYCE), to ensure students’ voices are heard during the school action decision-making process.

“We’ve all seen in our fights that we’ve been out-powered and out-spent by CPS. No matter how many marches we did, they still voted to close 50 schools and fired thousands of teachers,” said Ross Floyd, 16, a member of CSOSOS and co-founder of the CSU. “We have to come up with a new plan, and as any civil rights movement has shown us, when people come together they find strength in numbers.”