WBEZ | CPS http://www.wbez.org/tags/cps Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Corruption arraignment Tuesday for ex-Chicago schools CEO http://www.wbez.org/news/corruption-arraignment-tuesday-ex-chicago-schools-ceo-113265 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP_323436447909.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The former CEO of&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;Public Schools will be arraigned Tuesday in federal court on corruption charges.</p><p>The&nbsp;<a href="http://trib.in/1NuXFIq" target="_blank">Chicago&nbsp;Tribune reports</a>&nbsp;that court records show Barbara Byrd-Bennett will make her first court appearance before U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang.</p><p>She was indicted Thursday and her lawyer says she plans to plead guilty. Charges allege Byrd-Bennett helped steer more than $23 million worth of no-bid contracts to education companies in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and kickbacks.</p><p>Byrd-Bennett resigned earlier this year as leader of the nation&#39;s third-largest school district. <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/ex-chicago-public-schools-leader-charged-corruption-113246" target="_blank">The 66-year-old is charged with several counts of mail and wire fraud</a>; each count carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence.</p></p> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 11:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/corruption-arraignment-tuesday-ex-chicago-schools-ceo-113265 The Latest: Chicago Public Schools mum on indictment http://www.wbez.org/news/latest-chicago-public-schools-mum-indictment-113251 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP_902919343426.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The latest on the indictment of former<br />Chicago&nbsp;Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett, following a federal investigation into a $20 million no-bid contract (all times local):</p><div><p><strong>3:55 p.m.</strong></p><p>Officials with&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;Public Schools have declined to discuss the indictment of the district&#39;s former CEO, Barbara Byrd-Bennett.</p><p>A statement Thursday from CPS spokeswoman Emily Bittner doesn&#39;t mention the charges against the former schools chief.</p><p>The statement says the district is focused, &quot;as always,&quot; on its roughly 400,000 students.</p><p>Byrd-Bennett, a longtime educator, was chosen by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to take over the nation&#39;s third-largest school district in 2012. She left earlier this year amid a federal investigation.</p><p>In July, Emanuel named the city&#39;s former transit chief, Forrest Claypool, as a replacement.</p><hr /><p><strong>3:40 p.m.</strong></p><p>Chicago&nbsp;Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he was &quot;saddened and disappointed&quot; to learn of the criminal activity alleged in a federal indictment charging his hand-picked former schools chief.</p><p>In a statement Thursday, Emanuel said students, parents, teachers and principals in the nation&#39;s third-largest school district &quot;deserve better.&quot;</p><p>Emanuel chose longtime educator Barbara Byrd-Bennett to lead&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;Public Schools in 2012. He spent much of his hard-fought re-election bid earlier this year defending his controversial schools decisions and Bennett&#39;s hiring.</p><p>Prosecutors announced the indictment earlier Thursday. It accuses Byrd-Bennett of steering $20 million in no-bid contracts to an education company where she used to be a consultant.</p><p>Byrd-Bennett&#39;s attorney says the former schools chief plans to plead guilty.</p><hr /><p><strong>3:10 p.m.</strong></p><p>An attorney for former&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett confirms that his client will plead guilty to charges in a federal indictment alleging public corruption.</p><p>Chicago-based lawyer Michael Scudder released a statement Thursday saying Byrd-Bennett accepts &quot;full responsibility for her conduct.&quot; The statement says she plans to plead guilty to charges in the indictment.</p><p>Scudder also says Byrd-Bennett will continue to cooperate with the government, including testifying if called upon to do so.</p><hr /><p><strong>3 p.m.</strong></p><p>Chicago&#39;s&nbsp;top federal prosecutor says the former CEO ofChicago&nbsp;Public Schools plans to plead guilty in a corruption case linked to a $20 million no-bid contract.</p><p>U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon said Thursday that he was authorized by an attorney for Barbara Byrd-Bennett to announce her plans to plead guilty. Fardon didn&#39;t specify what charges would be involved.</p><p>His office announced earlier Thursday that Byrd-Bennett had been indicted on several counts of mail fraud and wire fraud following an investigation into a no-bid contract with SUPES Academy, where she once worked as a consultant.</p><p>Byrd-Bennett stepped down as the city&#39;s top school official earlier this year.</p><hr /><p><strong>2:15 p.m.</strong></p><p>Chicago&nbsp;Teachers Union President Karen Lewis says the indictment on corruption charges involving&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;Public Schools&#39; former CEO marks a &quot;sad day&quot; for the district&#39;s leadership.</p><p>In a statement released Thursday, Lewis says the union wishes former CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett &quot;well in her legal battles.&quot; Lewis says the union is now focused on securing a new contract.</p><p>The union and school district are locked in a tense contract negotiation. During the last round of negotiations, teachers inChicago&nbsp;went on strike for the first time in 25 years.</p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 08 Oct 2015 16:10:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/latest-chicago-public-schools-mum-indictment-113251 Ex-Chicago Public Schools leader charged with corruption http://www.wbez.org/news/ex-chicago-public-schools-leader-charged-corruption-113246 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Barbara%20Byrd-Bennett%20003%20By%20Bill%20Healy.jpg" style="height: 406px; width: 610px;" title="Barbara Byrd-Bennet. (WBEZ/Bill Healy)" /></div><p><em>Updated Oct. 9, 8:12 a.m.</em></p><p>The former head of Chicago Public Schools is facing federal corruption charges for her alleged role in a kickback scheme involving millions of taxpayer dollars.</p><p>The Department of Justice <a href="http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndil/file/782216/download">alleges</a> Barbara Byrd-Bennett, 66, steered $23 million worth of no-bid contracts to her former employer, the SUPES Academy, and a subsidiary company, called Synesi Associates.</p><p>The indictment outlines a secret scheme in which the co-owners of SUPES and Synesi &mdash; Gary Solomon and Thomas Vranas &mdash; promised to funnel money into accounts set up under the names of two of Byrd-Bennett&rsquo;s relatives.</p><p>&ldquo;They entered a scheme to secretly profit from the schools,&rdquo; said U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon.</p><blockquote><p><a href="#document"><strong>DOCUMENT: Read the full indictment&nbsp;</strong></a></p></blockquote><p>The alleged scheme also included an agreement that Byrd-Bennett would get part of the money from the CPS contracts in the form of a &lsquo;signing bonus&rsquo; when she left the district&rsquo;s top job and returned to SUPES.</p><p>&ldquo;If you only join for the day, you will be the highest paid person on the planet for that day,&rdquo; Solomon wrote to Byrd-Bennett. &ldquo;Regardless, it will be paid out on day one.&rdquo;</p><p>Solomon, 47, and Vranas, 34 are also charged with multiple counts of mail and wire fraud, as well as bribery and conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Byrd-Bennett is charged with multiple counts of mail and wire fraud.</p><p>The alleged scheme dates back to before Byrd-Bennett took over the helm of the nation&rsquo;s third largest school district in late 2012. Records obtained by the U.S. Department of Justice detail how Solomon and Byrd-Bennett conspired to get SUPES business with the district.</p><p>&ldquo;When this stint at CPS is done and you are ready to &hellip; retire, we have your spot waiting for you,&rdquo; Solomon wrote to Byrd-Bennett in 2012. &ldquo;In the meantime, if we can figure a way to do deep principals (professional development) at CPS, I can find a good home for [friends of Byrd-Bennett&rsquo;s] and others, and make sure principals in CPS get kick ass training with kick ass teachers and kick ass coaching.&rdquo;</p><p>The first two contracts between SUPES and CPS were awarded in 2011 and 2012 under a leadership training initiative, called the Chicago Executive Leadership Academy.</p><p>That initiative was initially funded by the Chicago Public Education Fund, a politically connected venture fund started by top civic and corporate leaders. The Fund&rsquo;s board has included many top political leaders, including Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, who also served on the Chicago Board of Education before her appointment to the president&rsquo;s cabinet. The Fund decided not to renew funding for that initiative in 2012.</p><p>In June 2013, amid millions in school budget cuts and one month after the district decided to <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/cps-board-votes-close-50-schools-107294">close 50 public schools</a>, the Chicago Board of Education voted to approve a $20.5 million no-bid contract to SUPES for principal training. There were no questions and no discussion before the unanimous vote. One board member, Carlos Azcoitia, was absent.</p><p>Shortly after, <em>Catalyst Chicago</em> raised <a href="http://catalyst-chicago.org/2013/07/20-million-no-bid-contract-raises-questions-about-supes-academy/">questions</a> about the no-bid nature of the contract and reported on the principal training provided by SUPES. Principals interviewed by <em>Catalyst</em> said the sessions were too basic and led by people who knew little about Chicago. Six months later, the CPS Inspector General <a href="http://catalyst-chicago.org/2013/12/supes-academy-contract-under-scrutiny-inspector-general/">opened an investigation</a>.</p><p>Multiple CPS Board members repeatedly defended their votes on the contract until this year, when the U.S. Department of Justice subpoenaed the district, seeking interviews with people who worked with the ex-CEO and records related to SUPES and Synesi Associates.</p><p>After taking a two-month leave of absence amid the scrutiny, Byrd-Bennett <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-schools-chief-resigns-amid-federal-probe-112114">resigned from the top job</a> at CPS in June.</p><p>The corruption scandal comes as the district continues to face a $500 million budget hole that could force more layoffs by Thanksgiving. Current CPS CEO Forrest Claypool <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-board-education-passes-budget-banks-imaginary-money-112740">wants state lawmakers to come through with a bailout</a>.</p><p>Claypool tried to distance himself from the scandal at a conference of suburban and downstate school districts this afternoon.</p><p>&ldquo;This is in the past,&rdquo; Claypool said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s not reflective of our administration. It&rsquo;s not reflective of the current leadership.&rdquo;</p><p>Claypool, who has been on the job since mid-July, said the district has fully cooperated with federal investigators, and has instituted &ldquo;controls.&rdquo;</p><p>Mayor Rahm Emanuel also distanced himself &mdash; both physically and figuratively &mdash; from the controversy by having his office issue an emailed statement while he talked about public-private partnerships at a conference in Washington D.C.</p><p>&ldquo;I am saddened and disappointed to learn about the criminal activity that led to today&#39;s indictment of Barbara Byrd-Bennett,&rdquo; the statement read. &ldquo;Our students, parents, teachers and principals deserve better.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Becky Vevea is an education reporter for WBEZ. You can follow her </em><a href="http://twitter.com/WBEZeducation"><em>@WBEZeducation</em></a><em>.</em></p><h3><strong><a name="document"></a>Read the indictment</strong></h3><p><iframe class="scribd_iframe_embed" data-aspect-ratio="0.7729220222793488" data-auto-height="false" frameborder="0" height="800" id="doc_39642" scrolling="no" src="https://www.scribd.com/embeds/284088055/content?start_page=1&amp;view_mode=scroll&amp;access_key=key-C9KRlEQTJ9HQWAEtPcxU&amp;show_recommendations=false" width="600"></iframe></p></p> Thu, 08 Oct 2015 12:38:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/ex-chicago-public-schools-leader-charged-corruption-113246 Mayor to CPS on graduation rates: ‘Go back and be accurate.’ http://www.wbez.org/news/mayor-cps-graduation-rates-%E2%80%98go-back-and-be-accurate%E2%80%99-113166 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/4626481280_3e71045657_z.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he told Chicago school officials to go back and fix the errors in the graduation rate that were first reported in June by WBEZ and the Better Government Association.</p><p>&ldquo;Soon as there were questions raised, I said, &lsquo;Go back, and analyze what&rsquo;s going on and be accurate,&rsquo;&rdquo; Emanuel said. &ldquo;And that&rsquo;s exactly what they did.&rdquo;</p><p>Chicago Public Schools officials announced late Thursday it would <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/cps-lowers-graduation-rate-after-errors-found-113148">revise the past four years of graduation rates</a> and make sure to include students who dropped out but <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/emanuel-touts-bogus-graduation-rate-112163">were misclassified as having transferred</a>.</p><p>&ldquo;There was an error pointed out,&rdquo; said CPS CEO Forrest Claypool. &ldquo;We studied that information. We had to wait until the end of the summer schools to have all the data. And then we corrected it.&rdquo;</p><p>Claypool said the errors &ldquo;shouldn&rsquo;t deflect from the fact that the trendline is up.&rdquo;</p><p>The trendline is up -- officials also announced late Thursday that the new 2015 graduation rate is 69.9 percent.</p><p>But the errors raise questions about how well the district is accounting for students who are still dropping out. Under Emanuel, CPS nearly doubled the number of <a href="http://www.wbez.org/sections/special-series/meet-companies-profit-when-cps-students-drop-out-111665">alternative schools in the city</a> and opened r<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/how-do-you-find-high-school-dropouts-110816">e-engagement centers</a> to do the work of tracking down kids who are listed as dropouts. But the students who were misclassified wouldn&rsquo;t have been officially listed as dropouts and no one would have known to track them down.</p><p>Emanuel agreed that&rsquo;s cause for concern.</p><p>&ldquo;If we missed a dropout, they&rsquo;re not only dropping out of high school, they&rsquo;re dropping out of life, and their ability to earn a (living),&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;So of course I&rsquo;m concerned. I&rsquo;m concerned (about) what it means for the rest of life, not just the system and its data gathering.&rdquo;</p><p>When the errors were <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/emanuel-touts-bogus-graduation-rate-112163">first reported in June</a>, officials admitted there was a problem, but said they didn&rsquo;t plan to go back to fix the publicly-reported statistics.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><em>Becky Vevea is an education reporter for WBEZ. You can follow her </em><a href="http://twitter.com/WBEZeducation"><em>@WBEZeducation</em></a><em>.</em></p></p> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 16:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/mayor-cps-graduation-rates-%E2%80%98go-back-and-be-accurate%E2%80%99-113166 CPS lowers graduation rate after errors found http://www.wbez.org/news/cps-lowers-graduation-rate-after-errors-found-113148 <p><p dir="ltr">The official graduation numbers that Mayor Rahm Emanuel touted throughout his first term and his re-election campaign were wrong.</p><p dir="ltr">Chicago Public Schools is revising its official graduation rate after WBEZ and the Better Government Association&nbsp;found thousands of <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/emanuel-touts-bogus-graduation-rate-112163">dropouts were being misclassified</a> as transfers.</p><p dir="ltr">The official graduation rate for 2014 was actually 66.3 percent, not 69.4 percent, officials said late Thursday. Every year dating back to 2011, the year Emanuel took office, was revised down two to three percentage points.</p><p dir="ltr">Earlier this year, records obtained by WBEZ and the Better Government Association under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act revealed that since 2011, at least 2,200 students across 25 district high schools were counted as having transferred out of the district, when in reality, they were dropouts.</p><p dir="ltr">At just those 25 CPS high schools, more than 1,000 of the dropouts were mislabeled as moving out of town or going to private schools, but were actually attending CPS alternative schools. More than 600 of the mislabeled dropouts were listed as getting a GED, when state law is clear that students who leave school to enroll in GED programs or attend alternative schools are dropouts.</p><p dir="ltr">One school, Curie Metropolitan High School, labeled more than 100 dropouts every year as leaving to be homeschooled. Another 1,300 of the so-called transfers had no explanation of what school they were supposedly transferring to or were vaguely listed as going to different states or countries.</p><p dir="ltr">When asked in June, district officials acknowledged problems with the system&rsquo;s accounting, but said they had no plan to go back and adjust the numbers.</p><p dir="ltr">John Barker, the district&rsquo;s chief of accountability, said all of those students, plus similar misclassifications at all of the district&rsquo;s 100-plus high schools were put back into <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/front-center/behind-cps-graduation-rates-system-musical-chairs-111786">the calculation</a>.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;So what you&rsquo;re seeing is an adjusted rate that&rsquo;s a little bit lower because you have more students in the denominator,&rdquo; Barker said. To understand how CPS calculates its graduation rate, watch this animated video.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="465" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/i0EibDr47gc" width="620"></iframe></p><p dir="ltr">Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson said the errors were concerning, but she&rsquo;s still encouraged that the number of students graduating is increasing.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;The fact that more students have graduated did not change,&rdquo; said Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson. &ldquo;Even with the adjusted rate, we have more students as far as the number.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Jackson said some of recent gains are due to the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/new-alternative-schools-some-run-profit-companies-come-hefty-price-tag-110239">aggressive expansion</a> <a href="http://www.wbez.org/sections/special-series/meet-companies-profit-when-cps-students-drop-out-111665">of for-profit alternative schools</a> in the city, many which provide half day, mostly online programs that allow students to <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/same-diploma-different-school-111581">earn their high school diploma in a fraction of the time</a>. She said the district won&rsquo;t be opening any more of those schools because CPS is in a financial crunch, not because some existing operators have questionable business practices.</p><p dir="ltr">But the raw number of graduates from 2014 to 2015 increased by just 84 students, from 20,232 to 20,316, for a 2015 rate of 69.9 percent, according to district data provided late Thursday. Barker could not immediately say how many dropouts had to be reclassified in the new rate.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Capture_1.JPG" title="Source: Chicago Public Schools" /></div><p>Jackson acknowledged that principals and other staff could feel pressure to improve their school&rsquo;s public reputation. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t doubt that there are some principals who feel a great degree of pressure,&rdquo; Jackson said, adding that she wants to provide more support instead of just layer on more accountability.</p><p dir="ltr">Barker said the district is <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/cps-acknowledges-errors-takes-steps-count-dropouts-correctly-112180">still planning to train school clerks</a> and has developed an internal system to flag misclassifications sooner.</p><p><em>Becky Vevea is an education reporter for WBEZ. You can follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/WBEZeducation">@WBEZeducation</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 01 Oct 2015 22:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/cps-lowers-graduation-rate-after-errors-found-113148 Charter schools looking to expand http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-09-29/charter-schools-looking-expand-113104 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/charter schools Flickr Lucy Gray.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Charter schools in Chicago have been around for nearly two decades and while they continue to expand, some people are still strongly opposed to the education model.</p><p>Chicago Public Schools is holding public hearings Wednesday night about charter schools. Seven charters want to open a dozen new campuses across the city, including the Noble Network, which wants to build its 17th high school on the Southwest Side. Of all the proposals, it&rsquo;s this one from the Noble Network of Charters that has stirred up the most controversy.</p><p>Why is that and what does this mean moving forward? <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZeducation?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor">WBEZ Education</a> Reporter Linda Lutton helps us sift through those questions.&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 29 Sep 2015 12:16:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-09-29/charter-schools-looking-expand-113104 CPS chief lays out school year agenda http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-09-08/cps-chief-lays-out-school-year-agenda-112858 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/forrest claypool.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>It&rsquo;s the first day of school for Chicago Public School students. The district is facing serious fiscal challenges, but there&rsquo;s also the challenge of getting classrooms set up in more than 650 schools, making sure buses arrive on time, getting kids and parents used to new start times at dozens of schools...making it all work.</p><p>After all the anticipation, when students leave their classrooms at the end of the day, you can be sure a lot of people will be letting out a sigh of relief. But what happens next for students, for teachers, for the district as a whole?</p><p>We&#39;re joined by CEO of Chicago Public Schools Forrest Claypool, who wrapped up an event at Enrico Tonti elementary school on the Southwest Side this morning.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/142898259&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p></p> Tue, 08 Sep 2015 12:11:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-09-08/cps-chief-lays-out-school-year-agenda-112858 Teachers head into school year without a contract http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-09-08/teachers-head-school-year-without-contract-112857 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/linda lutton.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Tuesday morning, many Chicago teachers were assigning cubby holes and passing out textbooks, going over syllabi and leading kids in the pledge of allegiance. WBEZ education reporter Linda Lutton visited to three Chicago schools Friday and talked to teachers to get a sense of their ambitions, concerns, and hopes. Then, for more on what teachers are facing this school year, we turned to Jesse Sharkey, vice president of the Chicago Teachers Union.</p></p> Tue, 08 Sep 2015 12:05:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-09-08/teachers-head-school-year-without-contract-112857 Morning Shift: September 4, 2015 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-09-04/morning-shift-september-4-2015-112839 <p><p>We&rsquo;re heading into the last weekend before school starts for 330,000 Chicago Public School students. For kids in Washington Park on the South Side, the doors to one of their schools will be opening again in fall of 2016. CPS has decided to re-open the shuttered Walter H. Dyett High School but not everyone is happy about the news. We find out why some people are <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-09-04/hunger-strikers-continue-their-fight-despite-new-dyett-plan-112837">refusing to give up their hunger strike</a> over the issue. Students all over Illinois will have a new option this school year: <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-09-04/prayer-back-classroom-just-time-first-day-school-112836">to pray</a>...but not during class time. That&rsquo;s the gist of a bill recently signed by Governor Bruce Rauner. The main sponsor of the legislation is in later to give us more details. Plus, WBEZ&rsquo;s Monica Eng talks about <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-09-04/what-are-your-favorite-foods-created-chicago-112835">foods invented in Chicago</a>. And we&rsquo;ve got <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-09-04/villapalooza-celebrates-latin-music-and-culture-little-village">live music</a> from one of the bands performing at tomorrow&rsquo;s Villapalooza Music Fest in Chicago&rsquo;s Little Village neighborhood. First up, a recap of Mayor Rahm Emanuel&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-09-04/mayor-wraps-public-budget-hearings-112838">public budget hearings</a>, which wrapped up last night.</p></p> Fri, 04 Sep 2015 12:23:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-09-04/morning-shift-september-4-2015-112839 Hunger strikers continue their fight despite new Dyett plan http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-09-04/hunger-strikers-continue-their-fight-despite-new-dyett-plan-112837 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Dyett2.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Save Dyett hunger strikers say they&rsquo;ll continue their fight to re-open the school as a green technology hub, even after Chicago Public Schools announced yesterday it will open its doors again in 2016. CPS had phased out the school due to dwindling enrollment, but many people weren&rsquo;t happy about it. Community groups came up with three competing proposals for a re-imagined Dyett, including that one focused on green technology.</p><p>For two and a half weeks now, the people behind that idea have been on a hunger strike to push CPS into action. CPS says it&rsquo;s heeded their call, and the district has a new plan to re-open Dyett as an open-enrollment neighborhood high school but with an arts-based curriculum. But the hunger strikers aren&rsquo;t backing down. Here to talk about why is Jitu Brown of the Coalition to Save Dyett High School.</p></p> Fri, 04 Sep 2015 12:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-09-04/hunger-strikers-continue-their-fight-despite-new-dyett-plan-112837