Wednesday, February 22, 2012
We Did It!! Chicago School Board Approves Turnarounds
Ms. Caldwell could be forgiven her excitement as everybody at Last Stand for Children First was ecstatic over the Chicago School Board's decision to turn around every single school on the list. Only a few hours earlier Caldwell had joined dozens of other speakers at the open meeting. Caldwell's impassioned speech urged the Board to not be dissuaded by the poor academic performance of earlier turnarounds, the overwhelming parental sentiment against the turnarounds, or the deaths of students like Derrion Albert who were victims of previous turnaround policy, but instead to "make a bold move against the status quo, by continuing the 15 year old policy of turning around schools."
"Mayor Emanuel showed real leadership," said Last Stand for Children Director Myron Miner, "It isn't easy to stand up to crying children and angry parents. A lot of people might have felt guilty and backed down. That's why Emanuel is such a great mayor. He doesn't back down. I never believed it would be possible that the Board would approve every single one of these actions, but I guess having an appointed board makes it much easier. I think the tears of children are like anything. After awhile, you kind of build up a resistance."
The Board has shown that facts and opposition won't stop them from doing what is best for the students of Chicago and that's something we can all celebrate.