Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Inside Chicago's school "Renaissance"

Duncan/Daley's 2-tiered school system

"We didn't want to advertise what we were doing because we didn't want a bunch of people calling." David Pickens, former top aide to Chicago Public Schools chief Arne Duncan

Arne Duncan's favorite slogan this year is, "education is the civil rights issue of our generation." But the current investigation by Chicago's Inspector General, who interviewed Duncan, shows that what the former schools CEO and current secretary of education means by "civil rights" is special back-door admissions for the children of the clout-heavy, into the city's selective enrollment high schools. If you're not connected, it's crumbling, overcrowded, and under-resourced schools for your kids. It seems that Duncan kept a list of clout heavy parents, politicians and possible campaign donors, which he had delivered to magnet school principals.

John Kass in the Tribune:
Does anyone actually believe that political insiders weren't favored at the expense of deserving kids? No. But today, I'm not going to rip on Daley. Instead, let's focus on his brilliance, in creating Chicago's two-tiered public school system. It bound the professional class to him and maintained him in power. The mayor knows how it works. He etched it into Chicago's civic infrastructure years ago, when he took over the public schools.
 More from the Sun-Times:
Daley Tuesday defended the log, which reflected calls about placing kids in a variety of schools, including some offering greater safety. "People are calling," Daley said. "What do you do, just say, 'No?' Arne Duncan said you have to say something." 
 Reason #330 why mayoral control of the schools is a bad idea.


  1. While speaking to students yesterday at an event covered by CSPAN, Duncan claimed there was "zero" special treatment and he was just trying to be "responsive to everybody".

    You can see the video here. Skip to the 45:15 mark to see Duncan address the issue.

  2. Yes, it's tough, trying to be "responsive to everybody." Hmmm, where should I start?

  3. Just to be clear, I'm certainly NOT defending Duncan...just relaying the words that spilled out of his mouth.

  4. Thanks for the video, Ken. It's a Duncan classic.


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