Chicagoans have demanded an elected representative school board as a progressive alternative to the insider deals, chronic neglect andpolicies of Rahm, Duncan and Daley.
CHICAGO, March 1, 2019—Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey issued the following statement today to rebut former CPS CEO Arne Duncan’s effort to derail public demands for democracy, transparency and accountability from CPS.
“Arne Duncan never saw a bad education idea he didn’t like, probably because he never taught a day in his life. He kicked off Chicago’s devastating pattern of closing down Black schools starting with Williams, Dodge, and Terrell in 2002, and only two years later he turbocharged that plan by wholeheartedly endorsing Renaissance 2010, which expanded charter schools into neighborhoods depopulated by intensive disinvestment and forced the closure of dozens of public schools.”
“Then, when he failed upward to become US Secretary of Education, he backed Race to the Top, which established policies so despised that they’ve either been renamed more times than a CPS central office department – like Common Core (Illinois Learning Standards) or PARCC (Illinois Assessment of Readiness) – or outright rejected and replaced. That same Race to the Top proposal included elements that were completely debunked as junk science, like ‘value-added measures of teacher evaluation’. Duncan’s regressive and backwards approach to public education dovetailed with his chronic failure to fully fund public school needs, a policy of school starvation that kicked off a years-long wave of teacher strikes across an entire continent, including strikes at charter schools. Despite positioning himself as the great liberal hope for public education, Duncan’s education policies look strangely like those of avowed enemy of public education Betsy DeVos. That’s some record.
“Now Arne Duncan is trying to tell Chicagoans, who voted overwhelmingly for an elected school board, that we shouldn’t believe our own eyes about the disastrous consequences of his failed and profoundly undemocratic education agenda. He is also effectively saying the same thing to the Illinois House of Representatives, which twice passed Rep. Rob Martwick’s elected school board bill with more than 100 votes, only to be thwarted by the likes of fellow education disaster Bruce Rauner and his allies. Please.
“There’s a reason parents and community members across our city are demanding a real voice in how our public schools are run. And it starts with the reign of disaster of CPS CEOs like Arne Duncan.”