Op-Ed & Letter to Editor Media Links

Chicago educators, I see your great social media posts. You should submit your writings for publication.  It will expand your outreach and help others understand our love for our students and schools. Teachers telling our stories is what will win gains for our students.

Use these links and submit your writings to all of these places. (Op-eds are generally around 650sh words and Letter to the Editors are about 250sh words)

Chicago Tribune- 

Sun Times- 

Chicago Reader- 

SouthSide Weekly- 

Crain’s Chicago- 

NY Times- 

Ed Week- 

Jacobin- 

Rethinking Schools- 

In These Times- 

Politico – 

The Guardian – 

USA Today- 

 

All Chicago Public Schools’ educators want is everything that our students deserve

Educators in Chicago are currently working towards getting a new contract that will truly improve our schools for our students. But this past week the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board wrote a piece telling us to “” — basically take the money and shut up.

This is the same Editorial Board that had one of its board members write a piece in 2015  here in Chicago. The article praised the disaster for giving “a great American city a rebirth.” The author, Kristen McQueary, stated “That’s why I find myself praying for a real storm. It’s why I can relate, metaphorically, to the residents of New Orleans climbing onto their rooftops and begging for help and waving their arms and lurching toward rescue helicopters.”

After the Tribune urged us to just take the deal, Chicago Public Schools shared that article on its social media. The message CPS sent its 40,000 educators is you are all a bunch of greedy educators who should just take the money we are offering you.

I’m beyond exhausted of the “greedy teacher” narrative. I’ve been teaching in CPS for 13 years. I’ve been through multiple contract negotiations, the strike of 2012, the  one day strike in the spring of 2016 and the last minute midnight contract signing in the fall of 2016.

I’ve heard the empty promises of Rahm Emanuel, which ended in . I’m hearing the empty promises of Lightfoot. I’ve been lied to by 12 CPS CEOs. All of these people tell us that they know what’s best for Chicago’s kids and that we should just trust them.

What mayors and CEOs of CPS have done in my 13 years is slash school budgets, close schools, , displace thousands of primarily b, make parents  to open a school, unnecessarily extend school days and years and lay-off librarians, counselors, social workers.

Chicago makes students pay to take the bus . I’ve watched Chicago  designed to go to neighborhoods and schools and put that money to things like private stadiums, the Riverwalk and hotels. I’ve seen CPS vote to give the Chicago Police Department millions of dollars to  while increasing class sizes and cutting school budgets.

There is and always has been money in Chicago. Money that Chicago should have been using to fully fund and improve its schools for generations.

Now CPS wants us to take the money and trust them to actually, finally help the schools. It doesn’t matter who is in charge of Chicago or CPS, the answer is no, we will never trust you until you put it in writing.

I would rather teach and be in the classroom but I’m ready to strike. I’m ready to strike until all of the following are put in writing in our contract:

  • Place full-time librarians, counselors, clinicians psychologists social workers, and nurses in every school.
  • Make sure all students get special education services they are entitled to by law.
  • Hire special education teachers, case managers and paraprofessionals.
  • Maintain real class size limits.
  • Give us the freedom to plan, grade & be professionals on our teacher preps (the limited time during the day when we don’t have students in front of us).
  • Establish true restorative justice programs in schools.
  • Take police officers out of schools.
  • Provide mental Health services for all students and staff.

In my 13 years as an educator, I’ve taught almost 2,000 students. I’ll strike for every single one of my students. I’ll strike for all my future students. I’ll strike for my two sons in CPS. It should come as no surprise that I will be voting yes to authorize my union to strike in next week’s strike vote.

So Chicago, know that the mayor and CPS have a choice to put all of our demands in writing to truly make our schools better or we will shut this city down until they do.

 

Click to view this piece on The Chicago Reporter

Invest in Education? Nope, the Chicago Public School Board Invests in Policing

Recently the CPS Board of Education had a chance to actually be different than the appointed school boards of the past and do right by kids. They were asked to vote on a plan to give the Chicago Police Department . Out of the school board members 5 decided that investing in CPD was a good idea.

$33 Million more will given to policing. $33 Million more given to one of the most corrupt police departments in the country体彩官方app. The Chicago Police Department cost the city $118 Million in police misconduct cases just last year. CPD police misconduct has cost the city over half of a Billion dollars in just the last 8 years. CPD is responsible for codes of silence, black sites, sexual assaults, trauma, torture, and far too many murders.

It’s been researched and proven that having police in schools does NOT make kids safe. It allows the trauma that the police caused on the streets and in the neighborhoods to continue in our school buildings.

Many educators talk and teach their students about ending the school to prison pipeline. But the CPS Board has decided to ignore all of that. Work to end the school to prison pipeline? Nope, the School Board invested $33 Million more in it, ignoring research and student testimony from student organizations such as  and .

It was reported just this summer that . So CPD, after being called out, “promised” to fix it. Our city already gives $4 million every day to CPD. The Justice Department called out Chicago’s Police Department and  within the Chicago Police Department.

Yet a group of people who claim they care about kids, ignored all of that and decided to once again invest in policing over education.

CPS teachers are in the midst of a contract negotiation. We want, in writing, things that will actually benefit our schools and students. We want, in writing, more nurses and social workers. We want counselors NOT cops in our schools. We want a librarian in every building. We want real limits on class size. We want true protections for students with special needs. Our students deserve so much more.
But at the bare minimum every student should feel safe in their school. A Chicago Police Officer does not do that.
We can make kids feel safe in schools by actually having time to work with, counsel, and educate them.

The CPS Board had a chance to change the status quo this week, but instead it decided to ignore students, community, and research. The Board backed the blue and invested in policing over education.

This is just another reason why I will be voting yes to authorize the Chicago Teachers Union to strike.

To read the the piece on Chicago Now click