Alumna Argues for Elected Board
By Rob Schroeder
April 4, 2018
Gina Caneva, MEd Language, Literacies & Learning alumna, notes Chicago Public Schools' mission is to "provide a high-quality public education for every child, in every neighborhood, that prepares each for success in college, career, and civic life." However, in a recent Chicago Sun-Times op-ed, she argues recent decisions by the Board of Education run counter to this ethos.
In Englewood, CPS soon will phase out three neighborhood high schools with low enrollment — Harper, Hope, and TEAM Englewood — and close and demolish Robeson High to make way for a new $85 million campus that will open in August 2019.
Unfortunately, the teens at the schools that are closing won’t get a chance to attend the brand-new school. In this case, CPS’ vision to offer “a high-quality education,” apparently applies only to future students, not students who will be stuck in the dying high schools.
There’s another issue at play here: The corruption behind the West Englewood Coalition, which showed up at several hearings to voice support for the closures and often drowned out opponents. But as the Sun-Times discovered, the West Englewood Coalition was in fact based in Homewood, a suburb of Chicago miles from Englewood. And CPS was paying one of its leaders as a vendor.
Last spring, I stood on the steps of the Capitol in Springfield and listened to then-CEO Forrest Claypool speak at a rally for equitable funding, with current CEO Janice Jackson by his side. As I reflect on that moment, it is clear to me that while my district will fight for equitable funding, it won’t use equitable practices that are common elsewhere.