Monday, February 8, 2010

Gillespie Elementary School defends itself against 'turnaround'

Substance News on the closing hearings regarding Gillespie Elementary:
Joined by Alderman Fredrinna Lyle (6th Ward), Gillespie Elementary School principal Michelle Willis — joined by more than 100 Gillespie teachers, parents, students, and community supporters — told the Chicago Board of Education's hearing on the proposal to "turnaround" Gillespie and turn it over to AUSL (the Academy for Urban School Leadership) that Gillespie is already well on the way to being changed for the better and that CPS should leave the school alone to do the work it is already doing well.

The Gillespie hearing was just the latest example of a school pointing out that what CPS officials think they know from their version of "data driven management" has nothing to do with the reality of the real children and real adults in the real school they are trying to describe in their computer spreadsheets, graphs and charts.

A highlight of the hearing was the testimony of Alderman Fredrenna Lyle (6th Ward) who warned the Board not to continue privatizing public education."We should not outsource education," Alderman Lyle told hearing officer Fred Bates, who had smiled and reminded her that she was his alderman.

Because the hearing officer once again allowed the Board of Education to present its "case" for nearly an hour at the beginning of the two-hour hearing, many of those who signed up to speak were cut off when the hearing was adjourned precisely at 7:30 p.m. Chicago Teachers Union President Marilyn Stewart (above) spoke, but the union's Recording Secretary Mary McGuire was not allowed to speak. Nor was former CTU President Deborah Lynch, who had also signed up, nor Substance editor George Schmidt, who had prepared testimony entitled "Garbage In Garbage Out -- Ron Huberman's Rube Goldberg Performance Management Machine". Marilyn Stewart pointed out that the hearings this year, like those in past years, tried to reduce complex human educational problems to irrelevant data sets. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt. A the beginning of the hearing, there were 126 people in the Board chambers prepared to defend Gillespie. As usual, by Substance count, the majority of those people, including the children, were African American. A significant feature of the school closings done by the Daley administration, as Substance editor George Schmidt pointed out during the hearing on Tilton and Marconi schools on February 3, is that the victims of these policies have been black.
Also provided in the link are YouTube vids. I present some below!

Ald. Lyle speaking up for Gillespie

A parent from Gillespie talks about the school

Local School Council @ Gillespie challenges the Board of Education

BTW, read the whole article as we will see the testimony of a teacher at Gillespie as well!

1 comment:

  1. I agree with Alderman Lyle when she states, "We should not outsource education." However, we must do a better job at educating our children or else we will have to change our strategies. Because if we continue to do the same thing and expect to get a different result then we our fooling ourselves and our children will not be able to compete with others their age who are preparing for life.

    This is not an absurd hope that our children's school will be assisting in the development of our kids while they are in their most critical learning years. And by assisting, this implies that we as parents our doing our part of the equation. This is actually where Alderman Lyle can help reeducate constituents who don't do their part in the development of their God given children.

    We decry our fallen educational system too often while we in our homes aren't educating. This will mean putting down the remote, logging off the computer, & putting down the paper while we help our kids with homework and other issues that all children face. Or else we shouldn't be shocked when they gravitate or look outside the home for their education which is far too often on the street.

    I apologize for getting up on my soap box, but this is a problem not only in the 6th ward. As my father would instruct me when I baulked at doing the hard things in life, we need to put on our big boy pants and take responsibility where it squarely lies, on our shoulders.


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