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.


George N. Schmidt said...

My first closing hearing will be Thursday when Orr goes on Mayor Daley's chopping block. Deadlines for this month's Substance have been too heavy. Good to see people spoke up for Miles Davis last night. It's really sad that Marilyn Stewart spent the last five months on office politics, and missed the fact that more than 200 teachers and at least 80 other union people are slated to lose their jobs in this latest round of Arne megalomania.

Friday is Edison, but it's all the way north at Edison. Who's going?

Anonymous said...

It's tricky to expose our Union for the unethical slackers that they are and still hope they can enforce our best interests with the Bd.
What to do, what to do; or how to do it?
And - the vast majority of the membership gleefully voted for the Stewart team. The Lemming should be included in the CTU logo.

George N. Schmidt said...

On Saturday, they held the hearings on the closing of Roque de Duprey and incorporating it into part of Von Humboldt. The noon hearing, rescheduled to Von Humboldt from Roque de Duprey, a block away, was a kind of love-in. Roque is moving into Von. Both schools will be just fine. No teachers will ever lose their jobs. The transition will go smoothly. And the last thing Roque de Duprey principal Gloria Roman wants is Substance following the whole sea of promises as her little school and the big school down the street move in together over this coming summer (assuming that CPS approves the plan February 27). She said she wants to "avoid controversy."

The teachers and some parents had the most realistic questions, but nobody asked the big one. There are several charter schools within three miles of North Ave and Washtenaw, where Roque presently co-occupies its former Catholic School with a chapel (yup. right at the entrance). So why isn't Arne closing Galapagos or one of the nearby CICS charters for being "underutilized" and to save CPS those lease costs to the Catholic Church?

The teachers from Roque suggested that they be paid for the four weeks it will take them to actually move their school over the summer and set up so the transition is seamless. CTU Financial Secretary Mark Ochoa agreed with them: teachers should be compensated for the time they'll have to spend packing and moving all their stuff.

And, of course, Arne Duncan (or his successor) won't close down Roque two years from now when he discovers it costs the taxpayers too much to have two principals co-habiting in one building, even a building as venerable as Von Humboldt.

Given that Arne's treated most of the schools he eventually closed like some prom stud treats his naive dates, wanna bet? There are more than a dozen schools -- and hundreds of displaced teachers and even principals -- whose road to hell was first paved with promises from Arne Duncan. Some of them (like Edison's) are even in writing.

The guy lies a lot. Whether it's habitual, a tic, or cynical I won't speculate. That's for his shrink. But if Roque de Duprey thinks it's going to last more than a year despite the Duncanian promises, I'll take bets on that.

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