Today's must-watch video is a touching short film that elevates the voices of those at the center of America's education crisis – namely, the parents, teachers and students who must bear the brunt of today's standards-based reform agenda (which includes standardize testing, school closures, merit pay, competitive grants, inequitable funding, etc.) without the supports they need meet those standards or provide every student with a fair and substantive opportunity to learn.
Scroll down to watch the video!
Peppered throughout the interviews are stark statistics illustrating the dire inequities in acces to resources and opportunities throughout the Chicago public school system. As Karen Lewis, President of the Chicago Teacher's Union, points out, "the schools that Chicago students deserve is not what we have right now." But you don't have to take her word for it, as the video also interviews the parents, teachers and student advocates (including OTL youth allies from Voices of Youth in Chicago Education!) who are on the ground fighting for their schools and their communities.
Watch the video below! And check out some of these powerful quotes from the video:
“I believe that when a school is closed down, it can make somebody feel like you are giving up on them. Like you don’t feel like they are worth the time and effort. Nobody wants to feel that way because if nobody has faith in you, sometimes you don’t know how to have faith in yourself.” (9:18)
- Arron Jackson, CPS student at Westinghouse College Prep
“They only focus on students who they think will succeed in this world. I don’t think that’s right – just because I come from a poor family doesn’t mean I don’t have what it takes to become successful.” (10:07)
- Domonique Davies, CPS Graduate now at Valparaiso University
“If [Mayor Emanuel] could just put himself in the place of my sons and what they’re doing today versus his upbringing. My mom, my dad took it like a tool box. Whether or not we’d need all the tools that’s in the box really don’t matter. They’re selling as a set. So to me, whether they need the tools, I think they should give them all the tools of life so that they can go out there, if they should need them, they’ll have them. Better to have them and don’t need them, than to need them and don’t have them. And to me, I don’t think our children have the right tools and I think they should.” (15:35)
- Lisa Russell, CPS Parent