Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

CPS Protest Moves From Mayor's Block to City Hall




    Protesters will move from the mayor's block to City Hall Tuesday morning to deliver thousands of signatures against the closure of underperforming Chicago Public Schools.

    A day earlier, hundreds of community activists, teachers and parents marched toward Mayor Rahm Emanuel's Ravenswood home to protest the elimination or turnaround of the schools. They carried signs during the march and wore symbolic stickers over their mouths to demonstrate how they felt shut out of the decision-making process.

    Mayor Responds to Protest Outside His Home

    [CHI] Mayor Responds to Protest Outside His Home
    Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he understands the anxiety many feel about the proposed turnaround of several Chicago Public Schools but says the changes are necessary to offer more opportunities to students. (Published Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012)

    Ten schools are slated for turnaround and seven for elimination. The schools are among the lowest performing in the district for the past 10 years, but protesters said the closures would tear apart their communities.

    They argue the city should put more resources into fixing the schools instead of shutting them down or eliminating and replacing the schools' staff.

    School Protest Heads to Mayor's House

    [CHI] School Protest Heads to Mayor's House
    Days after waging a sit-in Brian Piccolo Elementary Specialty School on the city's west side, a group of community activists, teachers and parents opposed to the closure and shake up of more than a dozen Chicago schools marched toward Mayor Rahm Emanuel's home. (Published Monday, Feb. 20, 2012)

    The group expects to deliver 15,000 signatures asking Emanuel to save the schools and address the rest of the district's underperformance. The signatures were collected over the last two weeks.

    In a statement, CPS said the district is breaking away from the methods that have failed students in the past.

    “What has been tried in the past has not worked and going back to the same failed policies is not in the best interest of our students. For the first time in many years, we are putting the academic needs of our students first."

    The CPS Board on Wednesday is expected to approve some if not all of the turnarounds and shutdowns.