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Labor Beat: The Fight for Dyett High School, 4th Quarter

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Published on Aug 14, 2015

The clock is ticking on the final fate for Dyett High School. On Monday, August 10, 2015 Chicago Public Schools was supposed to hold a 'public hearing' on the Bronzeville community's proposals to reopen Dyett High School as a sustainable, community, open-enrollment school. But CPS at the last minute postponed the hearing until Sept. 15! This was just one more CPS affront to the Coalition to Revitalize Dyett.

The struggle against CPS's plans to reject any open-enrollment high school in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood is important for everyone. Professor Pauline Lipman, Educational Policy Studies at University of Illinois at Chicago, emphasized that the Dyett fight "is really strategic" on a city-wide basis.

University of Illinois at Chicago Professor Rico Gutstein continued in this vein. "The struggle in Chicago has gone from Little Village and the hunger strike in 2001...were an expression of the people's will for quality education in their community. And that struggle and the hunger strike has come straight across town to here in Bronzeville. And the people there in Little Village from the hunger strike have been working very closely with the people in Bronzeville here...It has significance nationally because across the country the same story is reproducing itself over and over again."

Jay Travis, community organizer and former candidate for Illinois 26th Congressional District, cut to the marrow. "They don't think that low income and working African American people are going to be in this neighborhood in five years. And that's what this is about. This is about who has the right to public services in this neck of the woods."

Scenes include the June 24 CPS meeting where attempts to discuss a plan to revitalize Dyett are squashed; a school community rally in the park next to Dyett High School; commentary by Jitu Brown (KOCO); Jay Travis (Community organizer and former candidate for Illinois 26th Cong. Dist.); Professor Rico Gutstein, Univ. of Ill. at Chicago; Professor Pauline Lipman, Univ. of Ill. at Chicago; CTU and community spokespeople.

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