LITTLE VILLAGE — A lauded special education teacher at Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy in Little Village soon could be fired, and parents across the city are fighting her ouster.
Sarah Chambers, an eight-year teacher at the school and a leader who has advocated for students with special needs across the city, has been suspended from her job, she confirmed last week. On Monday, Chicago Public Schools officials said they have moved to fire Chambers.
In a statement, CPS officials said Chambers is accused of violating Illinois State Board of Education and Chicago Board of Education policies.
“Ms. Chambers engaged in misconduct that created cause to move to dismiss her,” said Emily Bittner, a CPS spokeswoman.
Bittner declined to say what CPS policies Chambers allegedly violated. Chambers said she is accused of encouraging a student to opt out of the PARCC test, an annual standardized test given to students in third through eighth grades and high school, a charge she denies.
Chambers said Saucedo parents come from a “strong activist culture” and make their own decision to opt out of PARCC testing.
Chambers now can present her case against dismissal to an independent Illinois State Board of Education hearing officer. A hearing has not been scheduled, a Chicago Teachers Union official said.
The union said CPS is moving to fire Chambers for criticizing CPS, and it will fight the firing, union spokesman Ronnie Reese said.
When news of Chambers’ suspension spread, parents and teachers launched a petition online in support of her, urging CPS not to fire the “distinguished,…