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Parents and activists continue to protest Mayor Daley’s CPS CEO appointment

Jan. 29, 2009 – Newly-appointed Chicago Public Schools’ CEO Ron Huberman faced a litany of protests and complaints from educators, community and educational activists in attendance at Chicago Board of Education meeting on Wednesday.

The protesters called for a moratorium on 21 proposed school closings and reorganizations under the Board of Education’s Renaissance 2010 plan.

Renaissance 2010 is a school reform plan introduced by Mayor Daley in 2004 to create 100 new schools in Chicago by 2010. The plan has been under attack from education and community activists who call the plan disruptive to CPS students.

Marilyn Stewart, president of Chicago Teacher’s Union, said the closings felt “like déjà vu” and said the Board’s actions made no sense.

“Who’s making these decisions? The CPS used to be accountable to the public,” said Steward at a press conference before the meeting.

As Chicago Board of Education President Rufus Williams welcomed Huberman, the crowd booed and jeered. Williams threatened to clear the meeting if those in attendance did not show respect.

Huberman said he was excited to work with the board and the opportunity was “incredibly humbling.”

Huberman, was also appointed as president of the Chicago Transit Authority by Mayor Daley in 2007, does not have an background in education, which many parents and teachers at the meeting questioned.

“Are any of you CTA riders? How’s that working for you,” said Karen Lewis, a 20 year-CPS veteran and current teacher at King College Preparatory school.  “The most qualified are closest to the children, and the least qualified are furthest away, make the most money.”

After the meeting, Stewart said Huberman has reached out to her since being appointed yet didn’t understand and questioned how his appointment came about.

“[You] can’t manage what you don’t understand,” said Stewart.

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chicago public schools chicago teachers union mayor daley renaissance 2010 ron huberman

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