Is Our Children Learning?

The Chicago Board of Education voted today to close nearly 50 elementary schools.

After hearing from aldermen, angry parents and community members in a meeting interrupted several times by protesters, the Chicago Board of Education today approved a plan to close 49 elementary schools and one high school program.

After more than two hours of public comments, Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett and board members defended the plan to close the highest number of schools the city has ever shut down in a single year.

“We can no longer embrace the status quo because the status quo is not working for all Chicago school children,” Byrd-Bennett said before the vote was taken. “It is imperative that you take the difficult decision but essential steps.”

Closing some schools and focusing funds on others may lead to better outcomes all around but, on the other hand, our nations education system shouldn’t be as underfunded as it currently is.

Even if you aren’t someone who has a child or relative in school, in the future we’ll all pay for neglecting the system.

From my understanding, the Chicago Board of Education’s actions will set a new national record for school closures and will effect tens of thousands of students.

  • mrbrink

    This is so fucked. It’s a muscling corporate takeover of taxpayer subsidies and turf, and when you hand pick the school board and assume legitimacy over matters involving the transference of hundreds of millions of dollars into a for-profit Walmart school system and saying you’ll take the heat for fucking with the lives of tens of thousands of people, mostly the working poor, you are a fucking fuck. These are all sensitive people being forced to reroute their lives and told to like it.

    Everyone knows that if you want to cut costs, and still deliver that universally accepted Glenn Beck University degree in God Science, you hire corporate administrators and vice presidents to the presidents of the vice chairmans to the CEOs of the Zorg Empire to do the job of whole communities of people.

    Addition by subtraction time, kids.

    Take away 50 public schools= Education problem solved!

    Send 40,000 kids through gang infested neighborhoods= 187s.

    Couple days ago I was watching the local news, and the tanned, middle aged white guy anchor reported with a real bit of concern-face that the DOW had slipped something like 7 points closing to something like, 15, 666. But no worries, the next day corporate profits were soaring again, into unimaginable wealth, and another teacher lost their job and a student goes to bed without a school lunch in America. All was right in Bizarro World.

    • gescove

      Leadership Rahm Emanuel style.

      • mrbrink

        I think he likes what he sees in Urban Prep Academies, it’s hard not to, but cutting public schools and the union to do it is just a dick move, but Rahm Emanuel appears to be comfortable with dick moves.

        • gescove

          Indeed, he seems to relish it. Didn’t President Obama say that when Rahm had his middle finger amputated as a young man it rendered him mute? I didn’t realize it until today, but the Chicago Public School board is appointed by the Mayor. The buck starts and starts with Rahm.

  • swift_4

    The catch with education is that when you do something so severe like this, you won’t feel the repercussions for years. When gang related activity rises 5 years from now, or unemployment in the region jumps ten years from now, few people will point back to this moment.

    And when you do properly fund schools, and you get the benefits, those are similarly delayed, so education doesn’t get the credit.

  • mdblanche

    How many elementary schools does Chicago even have?

    • gescove

      I understand it’s a big district with over 400,000 students. I saw an article that said there were about 600 public elementary and high schools.