On December 14, 2011 Parents, community members, and educators took over the monthly Chicago Board of Education meeting. After years of not being heard, they stood up and took it back.

Script:

Parents, teachers, students and communities
reject CPS failed reforms.
In 2004,
then-CPS CEO Arne Duncan
introduced the first Renaissance Schools,
soldiering Daley's initiative
to close 60 failing schools
in order to open 100 new schools.
In 2006,
Duncan introduced turnarounds,
as an answer
to communities' outrage
over the displacement of students.
In turnarounds,
students stay in the building
(some of them)
while all adults
have to reapply for their jobs.
Since then,
communities have been thrown into a turmoil
every year
as school closings and turnarounds are announced.
Now Jean-Claude Brizard
continues this tradition,
proposing to turnaround 10 schools,
close 2,
phase out two
and shutter a few more.
But has this approach worked?
The answer is
[together] NO!
We now know
that only 18 percent
of the replacement schools
(those schools
that are located in buildings
where schools have been turned around or closed)
were considered high performing.
Of those schools,
more than half are selective enrollment
or magnet schools
run by CPS.
Nearly 40% are performance level 3,
the lowest rating CPS gives.
The Chicago Tribune reported
that since Renaissance 2010 was initiated,
1/3 of the schools perform better,
1/3 are the same
and 1/3 of the schools are worse
than traditional neighborhood schools.
Mr. Mayor, Mr. Vitale, Mr. Brizard
and the rest of the board;
you should be ashamed of yourselves.
The definition of insanity
is to repeatedly do the same thing
and expect a different result.
You have ignored community voice,
community proposals
and have operated schools
as a foreign institution in our neighborhoods.
You know how
to make good neighborhood schools;
they exist in CPS.
You don't care to.
These are our children, not yours.
Your job is not
to broker the responsibility
of running public schools.
It is a violation of the civil rights
of African American and Latino children
to deny them the same resources,
expectations and opportunity
as children from more affluent communities
within this city.
These are our children, not yours.
We are taking our fight to the mayor!
We are taking our fight to the courts!
We are taking our fight to the schools!
We are taking our fight to the streets!
These are our children,
not corporate product.
These are our children,
not corporate product.
These are our children,
not corporate product!

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