U. of Chicago Researchers Document Damage to Communities and Students from 2013 School Closures

Neighborhood community schools are called neighborhood community schools for a reason.


Ever since Chicago closed 50 schools in May of 2013, we have listened to teachers worrying about the effects on the children who were transferred to so-called welcoming schools. And we have continued to hear laments from the community after neighborhood institutions were shuttered.

Corporate school reformers always claimed that school disruption would save us from the old 20th century status quo. Disruptive school turnarounds—fire the principal, fire half the teachers, charterize or privatize the school, close the school—were the final prescription in the No Child Left Behind Act as the supposed cure for low performance. They were also at the heart of Arne Duncan’s Race to the Top and School Improvement Grants.

In Chicago, where a growing charter school sector has been actively competing with neighborhood schools, competition from privatized charters has exacerbated an already-declining school enrollment.  School closures in Chicago have been justified both as the way to…

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Grand Rapids Power Structure: Part III

Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy

This is our third article in our series on the Grand Rapids Power Structure. In the first piece, we provided an overview of the Grand Rapids Power Structure, along with a framework for how those with power function in this city. 

In our second piece, we looked at the most powerful family in Grand Rapids, the DeVos Family. In today’s post we are going to identify the other members of the Grand Rapids Power Structure and what role they play in influencing the economy, politics and social dynamics in this community.

There are numerous individuals and families that also wield tremendous power in Grand Rapids. In fact, there are too many to name, but we want to provide some insight into those who have a higher profile within the local power structure.

Meijer Family

Next to the DeVos Family, the Meijer Family has the largest economic and political impact…

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