Saturday, May 29, 2010

McDade Classical School staff in danger!

I will post separately some reflections of the CPS Board meeting, including suggestions for parents and community members who want to speak at such meetings..

My one-line summary is that they McDade community was the most well represented at the CPS Board meeting, with 18 individuals standing up to support their efforts to keep 2.5 staff positions. They were well-organized, and have a passion for their school and education in general.

Here's a list of actions they have done/are doing:

So far, this is what McDade has done to combat the proposed budget cuts, which will include the elimination of the assistant principal and 1.5 teaching positions.

1) The parents have filled out petitions and collected names (parents and community members) to present at the board meeting tomorrow.

2) Students have written letters to Ron Huberman stating their positions on the proposed budget cuts.

3) Parents have written letters and emails to Ron Huberman and various members of the Board (see attached letter).

4) Parents have logged on to and sent emails to state legislators.

5) Tomorrow (Wed. May 26), a bus load of parents will leave at McDade at 6:30 a.m. to attend the board meeting at 10:30 a.m. to participate in the public participation segment of the board meeting.
Also, a letter sent to CPS CEO Ron Huberman
Ron Huberman, Chief Executive Officer
Chicago Public Schools
125 South
Clark Street
Chicago, IL. 60603

Dear Mr. Huberman,

The members of the McDade Classical School Family are urging you to reconsider the proposed reduction in staff at our school. We understand that the Chicago Public School system is currently facing a $600 million budget deficit, and all schools in the system must join in the effort to reduce spending. The cuts that you are proposing at McDade, however, will have far-reaching consequences beyond what can be measured in dollars and cents.

McDade Classical School has been a beacon of achievement in education on the Southside of Chicago for over four decades, evidenced by the annual ratio of applicants to available spaces at the school. Our students have consistently maintained high academic standards, while receiving limited resources, due to the dedication of our family of teachers, administrators, parents and support staff whose doors are always open to feedback from all.

With the rising level of violence on the South side of Chicago and in the Public Schools, McDade Classical School is a shining example of excellence that should be recognized and maintained.

We are not blind to the fiscal realities that the public school system is currently facing; in fact, McDade serves as a prime example of how a school is able to perform at a high level with limited funding. Once we became aware that your proposal included eliminating such positions as our assistant principal, we could not in good conscience sit by and allow this to happen without making you aware of how devastating this would be to our school. This reduction in force will negatively affect the academic standards at McDade.

If budget cuts are absolutely necessary at McDade, we would like to make the following recommendations to the Board:

= Reduce the total number of positions at McDade by 1/2 of a position
= Require the Assistant Principal to split duties between administrative and
James E. McDade
Classical School
8801 South Indiana Avenue
Chicago, IL. 60619
Local School Council,
Parent Teacher Association
Attorney, Roderick Sawyer
Mr. Jerod Lockhart
Ms. C. Lynn White
Attorney, Montel Gayles
Detective, Gregory Auguste
Detective, Donna McElroy


We understand what is at stake in terms of the education of our children and certainly would like to participate in constructive conversation to look at options. We look forward to working withthe Chicago Board of Education in determining an acceptable outcome.

Member of McDade Classical School Family
While many may argue about eliminating positions at failing schools, McDade is one of the top schools in the entire state. According to the SunTimes ranking, McDade is on par with Kenilworth school. Note that Kenilworth is one of the richest suburbs in the nation. So if we can compete with them, does that not show success?

Let's support this jewel of education and great reflection of what Chatham is about!

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