Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Chicago's newest church-affiliated charter school

School planner, Donnita Travis
Sometimes even cynical me can be found gasping at the audacity of Chicago's charter school hustlers. My latest gasp came after reading about the newest church-affiliated charter approved by the mayor's hand-picked school board last week, targeted for the Austin neighborhood on Chicago's west side.

It's called By The Hand Charter School, situated within the By The Hand Club for Kids and created by a group associated with the Moody Bible Institute. The school plan grew out of the church's faith-based after-school program in 2012 started by the club's politically-connected Exec. Director Donnita Travis.

Travis is leading the planning team for the new charter. She's no educator but is the partner in a Chicago advertising agency who claims that, "God revealed the vision for By The Hand Club For Kids" to her." I suppose the Lord also told her to start a publicly-funded, privately-run charter school and instructed the Board to approve it. Hallelujah!

Community groups  protests BTH Charter
Remember when CEO Byrd-Bennett told us that no new charters would be created to replace closed neighborhood schools for the next five years? The Moody Church-associated charter will be situated within a mile of four closed Austin neighborhood schools — Francis Scott Key, Louis Armstrong, Horatio May and Robert Emmet elementary schools.

I suppose board members felt that since they had given more charters to Concept Charter Schools, which are part of a large network of schools established by exiled Turkish former imam Fethullah Gulen, it would be only fair to turn one over to the Moody Church.

This seems to be a growing trend nationally. Trend-setting Texas, for example, now has the group Responsive Education Solutions teaching creationism on more than 65 of its charter campuses in Texas, Arkansas, and Indiana, with 20 more Texas campuses opening in 2014.


1 comment:

  1. Where's the ACLU? What ever happened to separation of church and state? These kids are going to be placed in a "school" that is housed in a club where Christian prayer is a central part of the program. The club also houses the church's after-school program which began when God allegedly told Travis personally, to start it and which practices similar rituals. And it's a charter which can operate on millions in public dollars, with no constraints of what or how it teachers, now that the board has approved its charter.


Agree? Disagree? Let me hear from you.