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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
6:25pm
Mon Jun 9, 2014

Chicago Education Activists Target Ald. Burns Over Future Of Dyett High School (VIDEO)

Chicago education activists are ramping up their fight to save Walter H. Dyett High School from closing at the end of the 2014-2015 school year. 

At a news conference at City Hall on Monday, a coalition of parents, students and South Side community leaders blasted Chicago Ald. Will Burns (4th), whose ward includes Dyett, for not supporting their proposal to keep Dyett open beyond 2015 and transition it into a "global leadership and green technology" open-enrollment, neighborhood high school. Toting signs reading "Stop disinvesting in black children," members of the Coalition to Revitalize Dyett High School called the alderman's lack of support for their community-driven, academic plan "disrespectful" to the families who live near Dyett and accused Burns of "ignoring" the needs of neighborhood children.  

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:50pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Report: School Closures, Charter Expansion Causing 'Catastrophic' Harm To U.S. Minority Communities

On the heels of the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision, which declared state-mandated public school segregation unconstitutional, dozens of grassroots organizations across the country say the push by education "reformers" to close and privatize schools is having a devastating and disproportionate impact on communities of color. Progress Illinois takes a look at a new report on the matter released by Journey for Justice Alliance, a national network of grassroots community groups.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
6:05pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Education Groups Demand Investigation Into Chicago Board Of Ed's Ties To AUSL (VIDEO)

Chicago education activists and grassroots organizations have taken their fight against recently-approved public school turnarounds to the inspectors general of the school district and the U.S. Department of Education.

On April 30, the Chicago Citizens United to Preserve Public Education coalition filed complaints with the two inspector general offices, requesting an investigation into possible conflicts of interest surrounding the Chicago Board of Education's decision last month to hand three academically struggling schools over to the Academy for Urban School Leadership, a controversial school turnaround contractor. 

In its complaints, the coalition specifically cites Board of Education President David Vitale and board member Carlos Azcoitia as having potential conflicts due to their ties to AUSL. The education coalition, which believes the three recent school turnarounds are invalid due to the alleged conflicts, also notes that Tim Cawley, CPS' Chief Administrative Officer, is the former managing director of AUSL and "is in a position to approve CPS contracts, including the AUSL contracts."

"There seems to be a swinging door relationship between CPS and AUSL," said Valerie Leonard with Chicago Citizens United to Preserve Public Education, which includes groups such as Blocks Together, the Lawndale Alliance, Teachers for Social Justice and other members.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:27pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Coalition To Revitalize Bronzeville's Dyett High School Demands Meeting With Mayor, CPS CEO (UPDATED)

A broad coalition of Chicago educators, parents and South Side activists demanded Wednesday that Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett and Mayor Rahm Emanuel meet with them on a community-driven proposal to keep Walter H. Dyett High School open and transition it into a "Global Leadership and Green Technology" neighborhood high school.

The Coalition to Revitalize Dyett High School — which formally presented its academic plan for the South Side public school at April's Chicago Board of Education meeting — wants a meeting with the officials within the next two weeks. 

Back in 2012, the Chicago Board of Education voted to phaseout Dyett, located in the city's historic Bronzeville community, due to poor academic performance. Dyett is expected to close completely in 2015.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
7:44pm
Wed Apr 23, 2014

Chicago Board Of Education Votes To Turnaround Three CPS Schools

Despite opposition from a swath of parents and community members, the Chicago Board of Education voted on Wednesday to "turnaround" three underperforming elementary schools at the request of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) district. Progress Illinois provides a recap of what happened at Wednesday's board of education meeting.

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