In the ongoing battle with the Chicago Board of Education to give students, parents and teachers the resources needed to strengthen public education and stop school closings, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) today unveiled a new online advocacy campaign which provides education justice and labor allies the tools designed to influence the ongoing debate about what’s best for Chicago’s students.
The MoveChicagoSchoolsForward.com website offers a wealth of information and resources for tackling the complex issues around school reform tactics being used in Chicago. The campaign was born out of CTU’s advocacy efforts with parents groups, community-based organizations, faith-based institutions, education justice activists and labor leaders which culminated in the first teachers’ strike in 25 years. The site is intended to be a comprehensive resource for neighborhood leaders who seek to engage the public and policy-makers and important issues such as school closings, the campaign for an elected school board and how to strengthen neighborhood schools.
- Content organized based upon the ground-breaking “Schools Chicago Students Deserve,” research report which outlined a 10-point plan for school improvement
- Research-based content including studies, news articles, essays and white papers for education justice leaders.
- “Hot Seat” profiles on out-of-town education reformers and other politically-connected individuals and groups who seek to privatize and profit off the backs of public school students and their families.
- A Frequently Asked Question portal which allows the public to ask questions and exchange ideas with seasoned educators and education justice activists around a variety of issues impacting public education in Chicago.
- Links to community-based organizations currently engaged in the fight for better schools.
- Access to videos, interviews and broadcast-quality content featuring opinion leaders and activists who are engaged in the education justice fight.
- Free downloads of community organizing materials in the PDF format.
In addition, MoveChicagoSchoolsForward.com will eventually include a dynamic, new database feature which allows the user to compare neighborhood schools to charter operations and determine whether or not the campuses lack critical resources needed to improve student learning. The database, which is currently under development, will also allow users to determine if their neighborhood school has enough resources and teaching personnel such as counselors, social workers, psychologists and nurses who offer vital wrap-around services.
According to CTU President Karen GJ Lewis, “Today’s students have suffered from years of experimentation as CPS closed, turned around and consolidated their schools. These unproven “fixes” have nothing to do with our children and more to do with real estate transactions and rewarding politically-connected for-profit charter operations with school buildings. MoveChicagoSchoolsForward.com is an initiative focused on informing the public about how to get involved in the ongoing fight for more resources and support for our students and educators.
The website is located at www.movechicagoschoolsforward.com and is now live.