With guest, Louder Than a Bomb poet Nate Marshall

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Look who's taken by surprise

Chicago Public Schools chief Jean-Claude Brizard, second from left, takes part in a panel discussion Monday with moderator Tim Knowles, left, director of the University of Chicago’s Urban Education Institute, Michael Milkie, CEO of the Noble Network of Charter Schools, and Sister Mary Paul McCaughey, superintendent of the Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools. (Antonio Perez / March 5, 2012)
Taken aback yesterday was corporate reformer Tim Knowles, who directs the Unversity of Chicago’s Urban Education Institute. Knowles was moderating a panel before an audience of business execs at the Economic Club of Chicago, with Chicago schools CEO J.C. Brizard as one of the panelists. The common theme that united the panelists and delighted the execs, was hatred of teacher unions.
“How do we ensure charter schools don’t become a version of what we have today, with incredibly thick teacher contracts governing every move we make as a profession?” Knowles asked.
The surprise came when Brizard announced, seemingly out of the blue, that he favored  use of  federal education funds to send kids to private schools -- in other words, vouchers.

According to the Tribune, Knowles "expressed surprise that an urban educator would be willing to forgo public dollars." But Brizard affirmed his support of the idea.
“It doesn’t make sense (that) our parents pay taxes and then pay tuition (for their children) to go to (private) school as well,” Brizard said.
Of course it makes sense, J.C. That's because they CHOOSE to send their children to private or religious schools instead of the public schools for which you are responsible. It's like -- we all pay taxes to support libraries but if we choose to buy books at the book store, it's on us -- get it? Well, maybe libraries aren't a good example, since Rahm seems hell-bent on closing as many public libraries as he can.

We all know that Brizard doesn't say boo without Rahm's permission. The question, then, is, why wasn't the ever-loyal Knowles informed in advance of the change of line, before Brizard blurted it out?

I can only imagine how Knowles must have felt. Probably left out of the loop, like Rahm himself felt yesterday when he heard that the White House had pulled the G8 Summit out of Chicago. Whatever happened to the spirit of collaboration?

1 comment:

  1. You see why we were glad Brizard left Rochester.


Agree? Disagree? Let me hear from you.