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Chicago Teachers Union to Hold Summit to Educate Community, Defend Against Attacks on Neighborhood Schools

CHICAGO—Hundreds of parents, students and education justice activists are expected to participate in the Chicago Teachers Union’s (CTU) Education Summit On School Closings from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at Marshall High School, 3250 W. Adams St. The meeting will provide training to school leaders on how they can engage the broader community against increasing charter school initiatives and pending school closings by Chicago Public Schools (CPS).  It is open to the public and members of the media.

The conclave comes one week after the CTU released a groundbreaking report, “The Black and White of Education in Chicago.”  The study examined the “underutilization crisis” in the CPS system and reported that the district’s new crisis has been manufactured largely to justify the replacement of neighborhood schools by privatized charters.

“There are people throughout city and the country who are supporting us in our efforts to give Chicago students the neighborhood schools and the education they deserve,” said CTU President Karen Lewis, NBCT. “Saturday’s summit is our opportunity to put hundreds of faces to that support and educate the public on the dire reality of CPS plans.”

The five-hour summit will feature the following workshops lead by educators and activists: 

  • Sustainable School Transformation
  • Charter Schools: Myth vs. Reality
  • Student Organizing
  • Appropriate Student Assessment vs. Test Factories
  • Whose Schools? Our Schools! Fighting for an Elected School Board
  • Decision-Making on the Ground—Strengthening & Empowering Local School Councils
  • Educating the Whole Child: The Need For Wrap-around Services In Our Schools

Following the recent passage of state legislation approving a CPS delay in announcing school closings, the CTU expects a decision on the shuttering of up to 150 schools by March 31, 2013. 

The CTU maintains that all students deserve fully resourced school buildings that welcome parents and all members of the community equally, and the education summit will provide a forum for organizing and rallying in the fight against the dismantling of Chicago’s public schools.         

The Education Summit On School Closings is presented in collaboration with the following organizations: Action NOW, Albany Park Neighborhood Council, Chicago Teachers Solidarity Campaign, Grassroots Collaborative, KOCO, Chicago PEACE, Parents 4 Teachers, People for Community Recovery, Pilsen Alliance, PACE, SOUL, Stand Up Chicago, STOP and Teachers for Social Justice.                                      

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The Chicago Teachers Union represents 30,000 teachers and educational support personnel working in the Chicago Public Schools, and by extension, the more than 400,000 students and families they serve.  The CTU is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Federation of Teachers and is the third largest teachers local in the United States and the largest local union in Illinois.  For more information please visit CTU’s website at www.ctunet.com.

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Chicago Teachers Union