Conflict and Compromise at Chicago Public Schools

Since becoming mayor in 2011, Rahm Emanuel has brought dramatic changes to the Chicago Public School system. In 2013, Chicago closed 50 schools, predominantly in minority neighborhoods. The closures were met with substantial opposition from the Chicago Teachers Union, parents, and students, after which CPS enacted a five-year moratorium in school closings.

As the moratorium comes to a close, CPS initially announced the closure of four schools in Englewood starting at the end of the current academic year. According to CPS, enrollment at Englewood high schools has declined 70 to 85 percent over the past 10 years, resulting in student enrollment being as low as between 90 and 135 students attending entire schools. Since 2000, the African-American population of Chicago as a whole has decreased by more than 200,000.

After a large public outcry from students and parents, CPS CEO Janice Jackson announced this month that three of the schools would remain open until the current students graduate. Not satisfied, community members have submitted a list of demands to CPS, including that all of the schools remain open and that $12 million be invested to develop the schools. An announcement by Jitu Brown, national director of Journey for Justice Alliance, stated, “The community must be at the table shaping what education looks like in our communities. True education reform happens with us, not to us. Mayor Rahm Emanuel is destroying our basic quality of life to force us out of the city we love. We will not be moved.” CPS will consider the proposal at their Feb 28 board meeting.

This video was guest edited by a University of Chicago student, Alanna DePinto. It pulls from throughout our collection to provide context for decades of conflicts between CPS and the community.

Media Burn educational events!

Last week was very busy. We presented to junior high school students working on History Fair projects at Northeastern Illinois University, skyped with Skidmore College Public History students (along with filmmakers Deb Ellis and Denis Mueller), were livestreamed at the Museum of Broadcasting Communications with our friends from Chicago Film Archives and Studs Terkel Radio Archive, and taught Loyola University students studying Programming Film and Media. Whew!


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For those of you who missed the Media Archiving Workshop, it was streamed live on Facebook and can be watched online:

Media Archiving Workshop

In this seminar, we will meet archivists, who will talk about their respective missions. This seminar is intended for anyone interested in tackling his or her media collection, either in-house or with a vendor.

Posted by Chicago/Midwest Chapter: National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences on Wednesday, February 21, 2018



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