Teachers and Clergy Oppose Turnaround Plan

February 25, 2008

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The Chicago Teachers Union and community groups are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to reconsider the school turnaround plan. The Board is scheduled to vote Wednesday on whether to overhaul eight failing schools by replacing their teachers.

Members of the teachers union are asking the Board to postpone its vote for 90 days. Union president Marilyn Stewart says the extra time would allow district officials to visit the schools and meet with educators.

Meanwhile, local clergy delivered letters to district officials saying the reconstruction plan is unfair. Reverend Steve Jones thinks Fulton Elementary School should be taken off the turnaround list.

JONES: The teachers have relationships with the students, the students have relationships with the teachers. And they're moving forward. This is not the time to stop. This is the time to move forward and give them the support that they need.

Jones says more than 80 percent of the faculty are new hires. And scores are noticeably better.

Chicago Public Schools did not immediately respond to multiple requests for comment.