Rahm and Byrd-Bennett have turned into junk salesmen. Their New Schools Expo was little more than a flea market of mostly inferior goods being sold to desperate shoppers driven to the fair by the debasement and threats of closure of their neighborhood schools.
A high-profile Chicago schools fair today is supposed to show off quality new schools, many of them charters...Schools set up tables with photos and marketing materials to try to entice students to enroll. Principals and teachers offer freebies like candy or balloons to kids...
But a WBEZ analysis of the more than 100 new schools featured at the expo this year shows 34 percent of them are rated Level 3 by the district, the lowest grade given. Schools receiving the designation include campuses run by some of the largest charter networks in the city, including UNO and the Chicago International Charter School. This is the first year the district has graded charters on the same scale as traditional schools. In recent years, the district has closed neighborhood schools rated Level 3, citing poor performance.ABC News reports:
BTW, the cost for this great charter marketing scam is no less than $30 million funneled through New Schools for Chicago, formerly the Renaissance Schools Fund (the word Renaissance was banned from use down on Clark St. after the collapse of the Daley/Duncan fiasco formerly known as Renaissance 2010).
Some braved the cold and handed out flyers to parents coming into the expo to try and urge them to know the facts [See Ellen Gradman's comments below]. The moms argue that while CPS' school budget was slashed by hundreds of millions of dollars, and under-used schools were closed down, charter school funding is on the rise and more schools are opening. They don't think the scale is very balanced.
Flyer handed out to parents by protesters
Think what that money could mean to resource-starved community public schools, how many highly-skilled teachers or librarian could have been rehired or arts programs restored.