Chicago Schools Uprising?

Movement against Daley

Arne Duncan may have gotten out at just the right time. Community organizers opposed to the policies of Duncan and his former boss, Mayor Richard M. Daley, are re-energizing their efforts.

"For the 14 years of Mayor Daley’s reign over the school system, community organizations have picked their battles, mainly protesting something the School Board wanted to do to the schools in their own communities," Catalystreports.

"Now they’re trying to get together to present an ongoing united front on major issues.

"[A]lmost 700 parents, teachers, students and community activists turned out for events aimed at creating citywide movements to right what they believe is wrong with the Chicago Public Schools . . . The meeting’s organizers, generally the diplomats, hailed from several community organizations and the programmatic coalitions they have created with the backing of local and national foundations."

The effort comes as Daley mulls over who to pick to replace Duncan as Chicago Public Schools chief.

It is a daunting job. It's not just parents, teachers and community activists who are upset; last week the Sun-Times ran a story under the headline "Kids Beg For Better Schools."

"More than a dozen Chicago public school students testified Thursday that a 28-year-old desegregation consent decree has failed them," the paper reported.

"They begged for more diversity, more and better books, and better teachers in those schools CPS says it has been unable to desegregate - all of which the 1980 decree was supposed to address."

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