Educators Protest McDonald's, Walgreens Over Renaissance 2010
By Prescott Carlson in News on Feb 20, 2009 5:00PM
The Caucus of Rank and File Educators (C.O.R.E.) -- the reform caucus of the Chicago Teachers Union -- and teachers from Holmes Elementary School on the south side are planning to picket the McDonald's at 1554 E. 55th Street as well as the Walgreens across the street this afternoon at 1:00 p.m. to, as they say in a press release, "inform the public of their anger toward big-business for meddling with public education."
And how exactly did McDonald's and Walgreens "meddle?" By donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Renaissance School Fund. The fund feeds Mayor Daley's controversial pet project Renaissance 2010 which is overhauling the Chicago public school system by closing and consolidating schools, opening new ones, and doing "turnarounds" where the entire staff of a school is replaced. Holmes is one of the schools slated for such a turnaround, which many say is unfair because Holmes' test scores are similar to other schools that already went through such action. A letter from the Chicago Teachers Union also stated concern because the school was rocked after a Holmes student was shot and killed a little over a year ago, and a "turnaround may upset the delicate balance of healing."
But is any of this really McDonald's or Walgreens fault? After all, Renaissance 2010's stated purpose is to "increase the number of high quality educational options in communities across Chicago by 2010." And we don't see how the two companies really get anything in return for their donations besides a bit of good PR for their altruism, so maybe C.O.R.E. should move the protest to the steps of city hall instead.
Photo by kookybites