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Military Coup at Ames (Labor Beat Video)

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     The raids against public neighborhood schools in Chicago continue...beyond the 50 closings announced last spring. On December 18, 2013 Chicago Public Schools voted to convert Ames Middle School into a Marine military high school, a decision already made months before through a process hidden from the Ames parents and community, who were frozen out of important meetings and consultations. Although the charade of last year's "hearings" on school closings was entirely cynical, CPS has now darkened this travesty with new forms of contempt for democracy. 
     Despite this, the Ames school community (and the Logan Square Neighborhood Association which played an important role in mobilizing the fightback) carried out a protracted campaign to try to derail CPS's, Mayor Emanuel's, and one Alderman Maldonado's 'military coup' plot. The pro-neighborhood school coalition even conducted a scientific survey in the school community which showed that 87% did not want the school to go military. 
     LSNA Education Organizer Leticia Barrera said, "We really don't know what is behind their plans, but we are thinking more and more since they are not paying attention to the results of the surveys and those meetings that they didn't attend--we think that it is more like a favor that Alderman Maldonado owns something on the Mayor or vice versa. This not about children's education, this is more about a political game."
     Critical lessons have been learned about how CPS cannot be trusted as it continues its aggression against public education (here in the form of school militarization). Many of those active in the campaign have also been involved in efforts to bring about an elected school board for Chicago (now appointed by the Mayor).
     Speeches and interviews also from Anna Espinosa, parent mentor at Ames School; Christina Torres, President of Logan Square Schools Facilities Council; Jesse Sharkey, Vice President of Chicago Teachers Union; Emma Segura, Ames School parent; Jennifer Velazquez, recent Kelvyn Park HS graduate. 
Length - 11:51

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Keywords: Ames School, Anna Espinosa, Chicago Teachers Union, Christina Torres, community, Coup, emma segura, Jennifer Velazquez, Jesse Sharkey, Logan Square Schools Facilities Council, Marine, Marine Military Academy, parent mentor, school closings, school discipline, School Reform, School volunteer

Posted in Parent Engagement, Videos, Education, LSNA in the Media