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School Daze September 30, 2013

School Daze September 30, 2013

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Published by valeriefleonard
Newsletter providing updates on school issues from a North Lawndale perspective.
Newsletter providing updates on school issues from a North Lawndale perspective.

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Published by: valeriefleonard on Sep 30, 2013
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11/26/2013

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Gates Foundation Funding PropelsMassive School Closings in Chicago
You mean to tell meCPS has destroyedneighborhood schoolsin return for $100,000?
 In this Issue:
Gates Foundation FundingPropels Massive SchoolClosings in Chicago
Neighborhood Schools Fair 
 
Public Officials, theElected School Board andSchool Closings
 
Other News
September 30, 2013
Volume 1, Issue 1
School Daze
valeriefleonard@msn.com
 
 
School Daze
Chicago Public Schools signed ontothe Gates Foundation District Charter Compact in December 2011. TheCompact requires that districts givecharters equal funding to publicschools; close 25% of the publicschools and prioritize turning the buildings over to charters. This inexchange for the opportunity
 — 
not aguarantee of funding
 — 
to competewith other 
Photo of Bill and Melinda Gates from Wikipedia
school districts around the country for up to $27 million for professionaldevelopment and capital dollars for charter schools only. To date Chicago PublicSchools has only received $100,000 from Gates, while Microsoft walks off with anexclusive contract for cloud computing and who knows what other contracts for software.Chicago Public Schools has recently closed 50 schools in overwhelmingly AfricanAmerican neighborhoods. They have also adjusted state-mandated fundingformulas at the local level to equalize funding between the charters and publicschools. As a result, local public school budgets have been decreased by over aquarter billion dollars ($260.6 million) while charter school budgets have increased by $80 million. Since the school closures, we have seen increased class sizes;inadequate local school budgets; increased violence; loss of jobs in impactedcommunities and severe hits to the school curricula. You mean to tell me CPS hasdestroyed neighborhood schools in return for $100,000?Every school district around the country that has engaged in massive schoolclosures while opening charters at warp speed have participated in the GatesDistrict Charter Compact. The charters are expanding at a faster rate than their internal capacities can support. The data show that charters perform at about thesame level as public schools. The distribution of the good,the mediocre and the badare about equal between charters and public schools--in spite of the additional political and financial support the charters get.The irony is a large part of the Gates fortune was gained through the public schoolshe's destroying.
Updates on issues impacting our schoolsfrom a North Lawndale perspective.Published by Valerie F. Leonard
Page 1
School Daze is published byValerie F. Leonard. Valerie is aconsultant to nonprofitorganizations and is very active inthe North Lawndale community.
 
 
Neighborhood Schools Fair 
There will be a neighborhood school fair at Clemente High School on Saturday, November 16, 2013, from 11:00 am to3:00 pm. The Neighborhood School Fair will let prospective parents know that neighborhood schools are a good choicefor their children and help parents already at neighborhood schools strengthen their schools. We want to highlight themany wonderful programs and involved families at neighborhood schools across the city and bring together parents andstudents for a meet and greet that reaches across neighborhood boundaries.Get Tickets here  Please register for participation as an individual here:
http://bit.ly/14qUnxY Please register your school or organization here: http://bit.ly/14qTTbb  For more information, email allcityschools@gmail.com or call 872-444-6880.
Caption describing picture or graphic.Page 2
September 30, 2013
Volume 1, Issue 1
School Daze
valeriefleonard@msn.com
 
 
 
Public Officials, the Elected School Board and School Closings
Over the past year, a number of organizations and ad hoc groups on education, including an elected school board, massiveschool closings and funding for pre-kindergarten. Our experiences are outlined below.
President Obama
President Obama's education policies and education budget have created an environment where massive school closuresand rapid expansion of charter schools can flourish across the country. His signature Race to the Top program acompetitive grant program is designed to encourage and reward States that are creating the conditions for educationinnovation and reform; achieving significant improvement in student outcomes, including making substantial gains instudent achievement, closing achievement gaps, improving high school graduation rates, and ensuring student preparationfor success in college and careers; and implementing ambitious plans in four core education reform areas:1.
 
Adopting standards and assessments that prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace and to competein the global economy;2.
 
Building data systems that measure student growth and success, and inform teachers and principals about howthey can improve instruction;3.
 
Recruiting, developing, rewarding, and retaining effective teachers and principals, especially where they areneeded most; and4.
 
Turning around our lowest-achieving schoolsStates must support local school districts in turning around these schools by implementing one of the four schoolintervention models turnaround model, restart model, school closure, or transformation modelStates applying for Race to the Top funds were rewarded for prioritizing charter school expansion in their applications.The program was funded for $4.35 billion in 2010, and an additional $1.35 billion in 2011. The Academy for UrbanSchool Learning (AUSL) essentially has a monopoly on turnarounds in the City of Chicago. They have reportedlyreceived over $10 million from the federal government.
 
AUSL gets an extra $420 per student, above the normal per-pupilallotment and CPS typically provides significant capital funding to renovate their buildings. Reportedly, 2 of 24 of their turnaround schools are not on probation. David Vitale, the President of the Chicago Board of Education, is the former  board chairman for AUSL. Tim Cawley, who is the Chief Administrative Officer for Chicago Public Schools is a former managing director of AUSL.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel
Mayor Emanuel closed 50 schools in mostly African American communities around the country, utilizing the same tacticsrecommended by the Broad Foundation. He manufactured a $1 billion budget deficit going on for the second year in arow. He used inaccurate financial data, enrollment data and utilization data to justify the closures. He spent 9 out of the10 months in the school year on school closings, which created a negative environment for learning. He lobbied theLegislature on things like SB-7 (a bill which, among other things, reduced collective bargaining rights for teachers andincreased the length of the school day); equalizing funding for charter schools and getting an extension on releasing thelist of closing schools. He spent virtually none of his time in Springfield lobbying for increased school funding for theschool district as a whole.
Congressman Danny K. Davis
Congressman Danny K. Davis held a joint public meeting with Congressman Bobby Rush last spring to hear Chicagoans'experiences and concerns with school closings. They invited representatives from CPS, CTU, SEIU and variouscommunity stakeholders to testify. Congressman Davis is also a co-host of the Garfield Majors Show. Over the years, hehas invited a number of community stakeholders to participate as guests and to call in regarding the elected school boardand school closures. These groups include, but are not limited to, CTU, the Lawndale Alliance and Raise Your Hand. Hisstaff has participated in meetings with the Committee to Save North Lawndale Schools to develop an Alternative Plan toSchool Closures. He has also sent representatives from time to time to attend community-based press conferences onschool closures, as well as public meetings sponsored by CPS.
September 30, 2013
Volume 1, Issue 1
School Daze
valeriefleonard@msn.com
 Page 3

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