Confronting CPS' Harmful Turnarounds



On Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 Action Now parents and community leaders held a prayer vigil at the home of Board of Education President David Vitale in an effort to save Dvorak, McNair, and Gresham Elementary schools from becoming AUSL turnarounds.

Parents have seen with the 2013 fight against 50 school closings that the Board of Education refuses to listen to community input when it comes to making drastic decisions about public schools. Action Now members are brave defenders of public education and didn't hesitate to bring the fight to Save Our Schools to the doorstep of one of the richest and most powerful men in Chicago!

Check out our video of student Jontavia from McNair speaking truth to power outside David Vitale's home:

Hundreds have signed our petition to tell CPS to cease and desist these attacks, but we need more help to fight special interests that are threatening the well-being of our children and communities. Please consider becoming a member of Action Now for less than 34 cents a day.

IMG_7568_-_Copy.JPGBefore becoming Board President, David Vitale was the Chair of the Academy of Urban School Leadership (AUSL), which is the only organization that receives contracts to turnaround public schools. Vitale’s presence on the Board of Education presents a conflict of interest that contributes to Action Now’s decision to hold a vigil at his home. The questionable nature of his relationship with AUSL should be examined further before AUSL receives any taxpayer funds through lucrative CPS contracts.

The AUSL turnaround method is problematic because it requires that every staff member in the school be fired. If Dvorak, McNair, and Gresham become turnarounds, hundreds of living wage jobs, the majority of which are held by people of color, will be eliminated. In AUSL's turnaround of Staff, the percentage of teachers who were African American dropped from 80 to 35 percent when AUSL took over. [1]

When private contractors take over schools, they destroy bonds between teachers and students and take millions of taxpayer dollars that would have been better spent at the school prior to privatization. it is a money-money scheme that is not only destroying our public education system, but dismantling democracy in our schools. We need your help to fight back. Become a member of Action Now to help us continue our work for education justice.
Here is some of the news coverage we garnered from the prayer vigil: Sun-TimesCBS, and ABC.

Videos of coverage:



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