Fight against Gresham turnaround fails; staff will be replaced next year
By LAUREN FITZPATRICK AND MITCH DUDEK Staff Reporters June 12, 2014 8:46PM
Updated: July 14, 2014 6:33AM
After waging a battle to keep their school intact, Gresham Elementary School supporters received word Thursday that the entire staff would be replaced.
Last-ditch efforts to stop a “turnaround” at Gresham, which has been on academic probation, apparently failed.
In a letter delivered on the eve of the last day of school before summer break, Chicago Board of Education President David Vitale stated: “We continue to believe that turnaround ... is the best path forward for Gresham, its students and the school community.”
Vitale said the decision was made jointly with CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett.
The school at 8524 S. Green waged a very public fight against the turnaround.
Gresham Principal Diedrus Brown took the unusual step of publicly criticizing CPS while pleading for her school. A parent sit-in at the school resulted in changed locks. Gresham’s most recent effort, a private meeting with Byrd-Bennett and Vitale, apparently failed.
The staff will finish the school year on Friday, then will be dismissed.
The news has not doused the passion of Anthony Jackson, who heads up Gresham Parents, Students and Community United for Change.
“The fight is never over,” Jackson said. “We will continue to fight next year,’’ he said.