Thursday, February 26, 2009

Closing 16 more schools in Chicago

Daley has his way

Of course it was a done deal. Mayor Daley had told his hand-picked school board and his hand-picked schools boss, Ron Huberman to close 22 more schools, and that's what they did--minus 6 where community protest was the loudest.

Philly students confront Ackerman

Public school students in Philly aren't buying Supt. Ackerman's plan to close neighborhood schools and hand them over to private charter operators. The students, members of the Philadelphia Student Union activist group, yesterday afternoon protested Ackerman's five-year, $50 million "Imagine 2014" plan, modeled on Chicago's "Renaissance 2010".

Charelle Reed, a 12th grader from Overbrook High, praised plans to boost the number of counselors and put Student Success Centers, which help students apply to college, in each high school, but she said that turning to charter schools is not the answer."There are some real equity issues when it comes to charter schools," she said. "Charters have been known to push out English-language-learning students, special-needs students, along with poor students." (Daily News)
Now KIPP is bellying up to the bar. They want Ackerman to approve 10 of their replicant schools. She's nervous.

Rockford folds

Facing a full-court press from outside charter school operators, consultant Paul Vallas, and local real estate developers, the Rockford, Illinois school board yesterday approved a charter for Chicago International, the largest chain operator in Chicago.


  1. You're way off base regarding the Rockford situation. We have a failing public school system with the state's highest truancy rate, way-below-average test scores and a deplorable minority achievement gap. A diverse grassroots initiative decided it couldn't wait for a plodding and vision-less District 205 administration to implement only slightly marginal improvements while the quality of our kids' education hung in the balance. In full transparency with the school board, administration, teacher's union, and broad involvement by community leaders, they carefully recruited the best Chicago charters who have demonstrated real performance in difficult urban environments to offer additional public education options to desperate parents. To their credit, the school board has thoughtfully and responsibly considered their applications and, so far, has approved two charters with one more under review. These innovative learning models will not only enrich the lives of their students, especially those in underserved minority neighborhoods, but will be innovative examples of new approaches that can be extended into traditional schools. This initiative will monitor their performance to ensure delivery. You should learn more about what's happening at the street level in a community before disparaging its rational efforts to improve public education for its children.
    Signed, a Rockford parent

  2. Rockford Folds? You've got to be kidding me! Have you read anything about our community or its schools? Or, are you just opposed to any option other than failing, traditional public schools? How thoughtless to charaterize our School Board's actions as 'folding' Tisk, tisk! For months a diverse and evolving group of individuals and organizations have visited charters and discussed the charter school effort in Rockford. It's finally provided the expectation for improvement. Would you take that away? We're looking for a new Superintendent here...we hope our School Board maintains their agressive and open-minded approach. Then, we hope they will hold the traditional schools, the charter schools, families and students to a new, high standard for performance! Yes! We can!


Agree? Disagree? Let me hear from you.