Dear Chicago: Fix our neighborhood schools

A West Side family says the Chicago Public School system is broken.

January 17, 2011

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Lakeesha Harris and her domestic partner, Janean Watkins, combined their families more than a decade ago. Since then they’ve struggled to secure a good education for their six children, who range in age from 11 to 18.

They live in Garfield Park but their neighborhood public school, Beidler Elementary, had not met standards of adequate yearly progress. Harris says the kids were bullied and had to “fight their way to and from school every day.”
 
Harris and Watkins faced two bad options: They could keep their kids in failing neighborhood schools, or they could send the children to better schools that were scattered across the city.
 
We hear what path they chose and why they’re asking Chicago’s new mayor to fix each and every school in the city.
 
Dear Chicago is a project of WBEZ’s Partnership Program. Lakeesha Harris was nominated for the series by Northeastern Illinois University.