Recess Blog

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.

Read the full op-ed at the Sun-Times.

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