WBEZ | International Baccalaureate http://www.wbez.org/tags/international-baccalaureate Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Lincoln Park High School students walk out in support of teachers http://www.wbez.org/news/lincoln-park-high-school-students-walk-out-support-teachers-107019 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/protest2.jpg" title="Junior Oswaldi Gomez led Lincoln Park High School in chants of support for their teachers. Eight teachers recently learned they will not returning when the school is converted to a wall-to-wall International Baccalaureat. (WBEZ/Katie O’Brien)" /></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F90656830" width="100%"></iframe></p><p dir="ltr">On Friday morning, hundreds of teenagers poured out of Lincoln Park High School and onto Armitage Avenue.</p><p>To be fair, they warned their teachers beforehand.</p><p>The participating students wrote a letter explaining that they were going to walk out for a number of reasons--but mostly, they walked out for their teachers.<br />Before doing so, they presented a letter explaining why they planned to walk out.</p><p>&ldquo;We want to show that we do care about our education and we wish to have a say in it,&rdquo; it read. &ldquo;We have been informed that many teachers are being fired so that newer teachers can be hired and we don&rsquo;t want to sit back and let CPS make a business of our education.&rdquo;</p><p>Senior Abina Redmond was among those gathered.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re protesting the firing of our teachers...eight so far,&rdquo; she explained.</p><p>In December, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that Lincoln Park would be converted into a wall-to-wall International Baccalaureate school the following school year.</p><p>IB programs were originally crafted for children of diplomats--the rigorous curriculum was designed to get students college-ready.</p><p>Currently, 20 percent of Lincoln Park&rsquo;s students participate in the school&rsquo;s IB program.</p><p>When the school goes wall-to-wall next year, all of its 2100-plus students will have some level of IB coursework.</p><p>But it seems not all of their teachers will be joining them.</p><p>Any time a Chicago Public School&rsquo;s academic focus is changed, teachers re-apply for positions. Traditionally, principals have had complete authority over who stays and who goes.</p><p>But the Chicago Teachers Union asked CPS to make a deal: CPS agreed to let teachers with exceptional rating stay--those with a satisfactory ranking or lower had to reapply.</p><p>Earlier this spring, 128 teachers received offers--eight were recently rescinded.<br />The letters went out prematurely, before anyone ran the deal by the Board of Education. According to a CPS spokesperson, the board ultimately did not support requiring principals to accept candidates that they found unsuitable.</p><p>The same spokesperson added that the district is working to place the eight teachers whose offers were rescinded.</p><p>Junior Oswaldl Gomez spoke into a megaphone as he led his fellow students in chants. He then explained that the protest was about much more than their school, their teachers. Because, he said, it&rsquo;s not just their school that&rsquo;s changing.</p><p>&ldquo;Our brothers, our sisters, they&rsquo;re losing their teachers--whether they are five or they are 18,&rdquo; Gomez said.</p><p>Principal Michael Boraz sent an email in response to the walkout. He wrote, &ldquo;It is imperative for me to make decisions that are in the best interests of all our students and their academic success.&rdquo;</p><p>In another part of the city on Friday morning, students at Williams Middle School staged a sit-in at the school Friday morning to protest the closure of their school. Next year, Williams will close and students will go to Drake, which will relocate in the Williams building.</p><p><em>Katie O&rsquo;Brien is a WBEZ reporter and producer. Follow her <a href="http://www.twitter.com/katieobez">@katieobez&nbsp;</a></em></p></p> Fri, 03 May 2013 19:46:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/lincoln-park-high-school-students-walk-out-support-teachers-107019