This near west-side Chicago school--Jacob A. Riis Elementary, named after the photojournalist of tenements--was recently shut down.
Discussion about this and other school closings wasn't encouraged by Chicago Public School officials, but citizens speak, anyway.
Riis was a casualty of the city's "Renaissance 2010" plan to close 100 public community schools (CT union) and open 100 performance (CT union), charter (non-CT union), and contract schools (non-CT union). While remaking neighborhoods (Ren 2010 boosts real estate profits--it's a gentrification project), the city is also re-making the labor of education; the good middle-class teaching job, once something to hold onto, is morphing into a temp-job model. Today teachers hop from school to school; charters have high turnover rates and often burnt-out staffs (without a union, the work-day is as long as the principal--or CEO--says it is). It's a sad condition for what was once a strong union town, where workers fought and died to gain the eight hour day.