On the first day of spring break, a group of approximately 20 high
school students marched to City Hall to deliver a letter to Mayor Rahm
Emanuel today, announcing their opposition to last week’s announcement
from Chicago Public Schools (CPS) that 54 schools will be closed and
another six are slated for turnaround.
“All CPS students are
victims of this bad policy, because CPS is not listening to student
voices,” said Israel Munoz, a senior at Thomas Kelly High School
in Chicago’s West Side neighborhood of Brighton Park. “Shutting down
public education anywhere in the city makes victims of students
everywhere in the city.”
“Big banks sold school districts and government ‘interest-rate swap’ agreements on the premise that they would reduce the costs of borrowing. But the opposite has happened,” the letter to Tim Maloney, Illinois president of Bank of America, said. “In Chicago, even though the city just announced 54 school closings, the most ever shut down at once in the nation’s history, banks like Bank of America are gouging the Chicago Public Schools for $35 million a year."
Mayor Rahm Emanuel came back from his family skiing trip this weekend
and made his first public comments Saturday about the 54 public school
closings, saying the plan will prevent students from being trapped in
"schools that are not succeeding."
Derived from a long history of discrimination, a staggering
opportunity gap has widened financial disparities between black and
white Americans, condemning African Americans to less home equity,
according to a new report by the Institute on Assets and Social Policy (IASP) at Brandeis University.
studying 1,700 American families for 25 years, the
report examines the major causes of America’s racial wealth gap.
Researchers found that the total wealth gap between white and
African American families had almost tripled during the study, increasing
from $85,000 in 1984 to $236,500 in 2009.
As a part of the “Pencils Down” campaign against high-stakes testing in schools, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU)
released a position report yesterday afternoon discussing the history and
advancement of the standardized testing movement, aiming to
provide evidence against its effectiveness.
The report, titled “Debunking the Myths of Standardized Testing,”
attempts to expose shortcomings in the high-stakes testing model. The
CTU claims standardized testing contributes to a growing achievement
gap, takes up valuable instruction time and negatively impacts student
“Overreliance on standardized tests has led to
reduced graduation rates among students of color, narrowed the
curriculum in all subjects and grade levels and ill prepared our
students for fulfilling the careers and civic engagement,” the report
reads. “The reforms of the accountability era are harmful policies that
lead to neither short-term successes nor long-term prosperity for
The gender wage gap continues to be an ongoing problem in the U.S. as seen in a new report. A study (PDF) of the wage gap in 20 states drilled down racially to look at the figure for black women, and illuminated some major, and disheartening, disparities.
Nationally, the wage gap for women compared to men is 77 cents on the dollar. For black women, that figure is 70 cents on the dollar when compared to men and an even worse 64 cents on the dollar when compared to white, non-Hispanic men. An analysis of Census Bureau stats by the National Partnership for Women and Families looked at the wage gap for black women 20 states with the highest number of such women working full-time, year-round and found "a pervasive gender-based wage gap in the very states where the majority of them work."