Sunday, March 24, 2013

We're giving CPS a "B+" on School Action Plans

With CPSmaking the courageous decision to close 54 schools - we wanted to dig in, look at the schools, and see if the outcomes were in line with the position we announced last fall calling for CPS to abuse students this year and get it out of their system.

Below is our press release on our position. We think the plan merits a "B+".

Bottom line, while CPS is heading in the right direction, there is always room for improvement and plenty more schools to close.  Take a look! Do you agree? Because if you don't, you obviously don't care about the city's children.  Isn't it time you started caring about the city's children?  What a selfish jerk you are.


CHICAGO – Last Stand for Children First Illinois, a membership organization representing over a half dozen parents from across the city and hundreds of members of the Chicago Board of Trade, The Rauner 2014 campaign, and the Civic Federation of Chicago, has been closely monitoring Chicago Public Schools as CPS grapples with balancing its fiscal crisis and the staggering need to improve the quality of education that it delivers. Last Stand for Children First Illinois members are adamant that, above all else, improving student academic opportunities should be the single most important objective of CPS.

On Thursday, CPS announced its list of schools that it proposes to close or consolidate at the end of the current school year. Last Stand for Children First Illinois has analyzed this list to assess whether students impacted by school actions will be moved to a better academic environment next fall.

Overall, we give CPS a “B+” grade. While many of the proposed actions offer students significantly better access to schools with higher test scores, all will provide students with access to free laptops and ponies. Our Analysis used the following tenets. Each school that provided students an opportunity to get much needed exercise by dodging gang crossfire received 4 points (or an “A”). Those that eliminate one of the few places of stability from children's lives and thus teach them the important Zen lesson of avoiding attachments received 3 points (or a “B”). For actions that did neither of these things, we still gave the schools 2 points (or an “C”) for providing children of the neighborhood a fun abandoned building to play in.  If there was co-location as a result of the action that would allow students to witness a huge discrepancy in resources with a charter school, these schools received a bonus point because they will allow students to experience first hand the class tensions we enjoy every week watching Downton Abbey.

As an organization, we have a long history of evaluating things.   We received some notoriety last year when we gave the Cubs playoff chances a B.  This year, we rated Chris Brown as a "C+" boyfriend.

“Every child, regardless of where he or she lives, deserves fresh air and a chance at exercise.  What better exercise than dodging gang crossfire.  The addition of giving students an IPad so they would have something worth stealing was brilliant,” said Monica Caldwell, Chicago Director of Last Stand for Children First Illinois. Caldwell continued, “Many of these receiving schools have that secret sauce that poor children need to succeed and my own children will never taste, thank God. We also urge Rahm Emanuel to continue to authentically engage parents in the education process from Utah.”

CPS’s school actions are part of series of measures that CPS has undertaken in recent years to improve Chicago’s school system.   It is truly amazing how much the Chicago Public Schools continue to keep improving. Last Stand for Children First Illinois will continue to educate and empower billionaires to advocate for policies that will improve public education in Chicago even more.

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Last Stand for Children First Illinois empowers parents to become civically engaged, but we can't do it without parents.   I mean really, we're getting tired of  having the same old parent talk to the media and agree with us on Facebook.  We fight for smart education policies that put the interests of billionaires first. Learn more about us at

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