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Turned Over: CPS continues assault on older, experienced African American educators and the school communities in which they serve

by ctu communications  |  04/23/2014

CHICAGO—The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) released the following statement upon news that the Chicago Board of Education voted to “turn around” three elementary schools on the city's South and West sides. The move will transfer the schools’ authority to a politically connected business organization with ties to city hall:

“Today’s hostile takeover of three of our neighborhood school communities by the mayor’s handpicked Board of Education makes it quite clear that there is a war on older, African-American teachers and administrators, as well as the school communities in which they serve,” said Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union.

“After being starved of resources for many consecutive years, Dvorak, Gresham and McNair, three promising elementary schools, were set up for failure by our school district. While we are proud of the members we have working in 'turnaround schools' operated by the Academy of Urban School Leadership (AUSL), our issue is that this dubious, corporate reform model has proven to do little but take over schools discredited by CPS and then, after receiving millions of dollars in support, take credit for the sudden but short-lived academic success among students.

“Nearly a year ago we witnessed thousands of parents, community leaders, clergy, educators and students begging to be heard as the Board destroyed nearly 50 schools. Today parents, administrators and teachers were forced to beg the Board of Ed for the right to a future, only to be slapped down and have their cries fall on deaf ears. Where are the leaders in our school district who are protecting the interests of these students and their constituents? This is why we stand strong in our call for a democratically elected, representative school board.”

Chicago Teachers Union