The students get it
Students at one of Chicago's elite selective-enrollment high schools, Walter Payton College Prep, are asking tough questions about the new expensive school's isolation from its Cabrini-Green public housing neighbors. They are also shining a light on the disparity between Payton and neighborhood schools like Schiller Elementary.
“The people and the culture of Cabrini-Green are slowly being phased out,” write Julian Antos and Danielle Bennon, “leaving the few thousand remaining residents struggling to make do with what’s left of their homes. . . . The poster child of the transition from a ghetto to a Gold Coast neighborhood is inarguably Walter Payton College Prep, a school filled with good intentions . . . but a school that Edna Morris, a security guard at Schiller [Elementary], thinks of as an outfit that sits in the community but doesn’t make an effort to be a part of it.” (Mike Miner, Chicago Reader)
Charters are 'free public schools'
But you couldn't prove it by by most Chicagoans, including parents. A survey done by the Joyce and Gates Foundations found that only about 40% of city and suburban residents knew that Chicago charter schools are free and open to the public. This is 12 years after charter schools began in the city. It's no wonder then, that charter schools are often accused of de facto selective enrollment.
Tough debate, Chicago vs. New Orleans
It's hard to say which state or city is more corrupt, Louisiana or Illinois--New Orleans or Chicago. Howard Witt at the Tribune says that Louisiana and N.O. have us beat. But how should we judge? By the number of politicians in jail or by mayors and others who should be, but aren't? Check out John Kass on gangstered-up Daleys, for example.