We are not impressed with Burns

To the Editor:

The Coalition to Revitalize Dyett High School is interested to see that Ald. Will Burns (4th) is taking a public stand on keeping Dyett open as a public, open-enrollment, neighborhood high school. In response to his June 12 e-blast “Where I stand on Dyett High School, the Facts”, we would like to clarify the following points:

Ald. Burns saying that he opposed Dyett being phased out is not the issue. The question for an elected official is not how you felt but always, “what did you do?” Did he convene a public hearing about Dyett? Did he bring Chicago Public Schools to the table with the people directly impacted? Did he secure a meeting between the mayor and the people who were fighting so hard to save the school? No to all of the above.

His claim that the Coalition to Revitalize Dyett has not engaged the entire community is absolutely false. The Coalition has met with the people directly impacted for over two years to get their input. There have been two town hall meetings this year, sponsored by the Coalition, engaging and getting feedback from nearly 420 community residents on the proposal for the Walter H. Dyett Global Leadership and Green Technology Community High School. The Coalition gave a full presentation to the Bronzeville Community Action Council (CAC) on Monday, June 9. The Coalition also met with the Hyde Park-Kenwood CAC. The Coalition has knocked on doors and talked with parents at the feeder schools and has nearly 800 petition signatures and 500 postcards in support of the proposal. Our proposal to re-open Dyett for the Fall of 2015 as the Walter H. Dyett Global Leadership and Green Technology Community High School, a neighborhood, open-enrollment, public high school, is a result of this process of engagement with the community.

We call on the alderman to hold a public hearing on Dyett within 30 days. We expect the alderman to work vigorously to get the current Dyett students the resources they deserve for their senior year. We look forward to working with the alderman to get the school board to do the right thing for Dyett and the Bronzeville community.

Jitu Brown
Joy Clendenning
Naomi Davis, Founder & CEO of BIG: Blacks in Green
Dr. Rico Gutstein, UIC College of Education
Harold L. Lucas, president/CEO, Black Metropolis Convention & Tourism Council
Dr. Pauline Lipman, UIC College of Education
Jeanette Taylor
Duane Turner
for the Coalition to Revitalize Dyett High School