Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Inside Chicago’s school reform "Renaissance"

Chicago's education 'miracle'

Chicago's Renaissance 2010 education "miracle" paved Arne Duncan's road to the DOE. It included mythic tales of new teacher recruitment under Renaissance 2010. But the numbers tell a different story. It's called the continued whitening of the state's teaching force.

Within that paltry 9% of the total teaching population that is male, only 7% of it is black, that comes out to 1% of all American teachers. Hispanic males are severely under-represented as well; they come in at 6%. Both Hispanic and African American boys combine to form the core of Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) most perplexing academic and disciplinary challenges... In real terms, only 37% of the 102,185 black males in Chicago that should have graduated, did so. That left 64,377 large, unemployable, semi-literate black teen-agers without much to do for the rest of their lives. (Edward Hayes)
Going downstate

Playing hoops and winning championships is supposed to help kids learn teamwork, discipline, and sportsmanship. Arne Duncan tells New Orleans students that b-ball is the main thing that kept him focused and on a path to Harvard. Barack Obama tells similar stories. But for these Chicago west-side kids, the joys of winning downstate were mixed with police raids on student hotel rooms, losing games in part, because the stripe on their jerseys was an inch too wide, and having a college-bound student/athlete in a charter school being accused of cheating on a standardized algebra test.

School closings

Chicago Public Radio's City Room shows the effect of Ren10 school closings:
All this moving around can have a negative impact on pupils, according to University of Chicago research. Other studies say smaller classrooms foster better leaning, so that 14-1 ratio in Michael’s class should be a good thing. Still, the district is closing Abbott for low enrollment. So Michael will now be sent to Hendricks Elementary, an underperforming school several blocks away.

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