All eyes have been on Chicago’s education woes for quite some time now. With the closing of 50+ schools, the City of Chicago, the Chicago Teachers Union, community members and the like have something to say about how to fix the broken system.

One student-led organization wants in on the fight, but according to Students for Education Reform Illinois (SFER-IL), the fight is the problem. SFER Illinois’ State Director Tanesha Peeples, along with a group of student activists, CPS alumni and community members, crashed yesterday’s rally organized by the Chicago Teachers Union. According to the union’s website, the “Take Back Chicago” rally was meant to “define a vision of the City that our people deserve.” The website further contends that the rally was for CTU members to stand united with communities to “Take back Chicago.”

“Quality education comes in all models as long as we’re considering the fact that our communities are so diverse. We need schools that accommodate the needs of all students.” said Peeples. “Taking Chicago back is perpetuating the state of failure we’ve been in for years. We cannot afford to harp on the past and continue to point fingers when we are all to blame for failing our students. Unity is key to fixing the education infrastructure, not division.”

Cedric Beard, 20, chapter leader for SFER Illinois’ Lewis University campus, said that his past experiences motivated him to spark change in the city’s education system .

“With each year passing by, the Chicago Public Schools system is failing more and more kids. When I was in second grade, my teacher would slap a worksheet with multiplication problems on our desks and then go take a cigarette break…I’m inspired by what I went through to fight everyday for another kid not to go through what generations upon generations have already endured.”

Kudos to these young students standing up for change in their communities!

Thoughts on the education epidemic?

Are stakeholders too focused on political agendas than solving the education crisis in the city?

Sound off below!