Monday, February 25, 2008

Stop the School Closings ......... Again

Stop the school closings, info below -- this Wednesday (Feb.27th)
morning -- 125 S. Clark -- get there at 8am to sign up as a speaker, 10:30am for
the public comment section (it will fill up, if you come at that time you
will likely have to go to an overflow room).

The following is a call to action from Teachers for Social Justice.
has been moving quickly to close, consolidate, and "turn-around"
schools in predominately African American and Latino neighborhoods that
are experiencing gentrification or rapidly changing demographics.
see new report posted at
these school closings.

Please go the CPS Board of Ed meeting on Wednesday to demand justice
the affected communities and to help fight for a just and equitable
education for all children...details are below.


Flood the CPS Board of Education Meeting Wed. Feb. 27
*TSJ is calling on all teachers and everyone else who can to take off
work and attend the next CPS Board meeting at 125 N. Clark Street. Be
there by 9AM. Be there at 6:30 AM if you want to speak.

CPS is phasing out or "turning around" 19 schools. Parents, teachers,
and students have been picketing, petitioning, and organizing to
challenge CPS plans even though the media have not covered their
actions. Some phase outs are supposedly for "low enrollment" but there
are actually special programs or other schools in the building. In
cases, the closing is linked to the CHA plan for transformation, and
closing the neighborhood school will drive public housing residents out
of the area (e.g., Abbott School). Some schools in African American and
Latino areas are being handed over to become selective enrolment
(e.g., Andersen, Miles Davis). Some closings will force children to
cross dangerous streets and will result in under-enrollment of other
neighborhood schools, opening the way for more closings. The bottom
is that all this is being done without consultation or participation of
African American and Latino schools and communities and against their
demands and proposals.

CPS "hearings" are even more of a sham than previous years, with no CPS
officials present to be held accountable. One parent group was told
all the evidence they presented for keeping their school open was not
even going to be considered. The decision was already made before the
hearing. These decisions are being made by Mayor Daley's appointees as
part of a larger political and economic agenda for the city that does
not include the welfare of working class people of color.

This round of closings undermines any pretense of democratic
participation in school decision making, particularly by African
American and Latino communities. TSJ stands with the teachers,
students, and communities to demand equitable, quality education in all
neighborhoods, for all children and for the necessity for families and
communities to participate in decisions about their schools.



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Teachers for Social Justice (Chicago)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Union Divided, An Opportunity to Strike?

Hey all check out the latest on CTU's mishaps of dissolution in the face of record numbers of school closings. Now may be the time to form a alternative caucus. What do folks think?

A non-union member has been given power over our elected officials.

The members have lost total control.

John O. has never been a teacher and he is not a card carrying member, but has just taken control of our union!

Again, READ THE EMAIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From: Ostenburg, John A.
Sent: Monday, February 11, 2008 10:08 AM
To: 006 Entire Office

President Stewart has asked that I circulate the following.

During my absence, no one is authorized to act in my behalf regarding any administrative matters of the Chicago Teachers Union. In addition, no one is authorized to act contrary, in any regard, to the directives that I issued on December 17, 2007, in my memorandum to staff relating to restructuring of the CTU office. I have consulted with legal counsel and have been assured that my absence from the office does not in any way constitute a transfer of administrative power to any other officer or individual associated with the Union.

During the time I am away from the office, I am available by telephone for consultation and to provide direction, as it might be necessary. If you have any questions or needs during my absence that require my attention, please contact John Ostenburg, chief of staff, and he will communicate your needs to me.

Thank you for your continuing cooperation.

Should you have any questions regarding the above message, please direct them to me.


John O.

John A. Ostenburg

Chief of Staff, Chicago Teachers Union
Executive Editor, Chicago Union Teacher
222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, Suite 400
Chicago, IL 60654

(Office) 312-329-6251 l (Fax) 312-329-2551
(Cell) 312-909-2311 l (Home) 708-748-1265

Monday, February 4, 2008

On the Miles Davis School Closing Hearing

While the Union showed up tonight, February 5th at Board Chambers, no officers bothered to speak on behalf of the teachers who will lose their jobs. All the teachers from Miles Davis will be forced to reapply for their jobs at the newly formed magnet school combined with Johns elementary down the street. Many parents and LSC members told me that the school has improved in the testing column and that students are thriving at Davis. While no one from the union bothered to indict the board for its harmful shenanigans the CTU reps did come to promote a protest planned for this Saturday at Operation Push, a maneuver that is disappointingly familiar. Marilyn tried the same approach years ago in response to school closings -- and it should be clear from the realignment of Harper High that the reconstitutions are occurring with the tacit approval of Jesse Jackson and Reverend Meeks.... PUSH will be of little help but will provide a wasteful diversion. Delegates should hold the officers accountable for their inability to use basic organizing skills to unite folks around the issue of the school closings.