Stunning New Book Contextualizes Tragedy of 2013 School Closures in Chicago’s Hyper-Segregated History

New Orleans. Detroit. Chicago. Just to name three.
Sometimes the excuse is a hurricane. Other times it’s a series of storms coming in fits and starts. And then it takes time, like a slow and steady
erosion as in, drip, drip, drip.

janresseger

Eve Ewing’s new book, Ghosts in the Schoolyard: Racism and School Closings on Chicago’s South Side, explores the blindness, deafness, and heartlessness of technocratic, “portfolio school reform”* as it played out in 50 school closings in Chicago at the end of the school year in 2013. After months of hearings, the Chicago Public Schools didn’t even send formal letters to the teachers, parents and students in the schools finally chosen for closure.  People learned which schools had finally been shut down when the list was announced on television.

Eve Ewing, a professor in the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration and a former teacher in one of the closed schools, brings her training as a sociologist to explore this question: “But why do people care about these failing schools?” (p. 13)  In four separate chapters, Ewing examines the question from different perspectives: (1) the meaning for the…

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