Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Time to get rid of the IL State Charter Commission

On March 20th, HB 3754 that would dissolve the ALEC-created Illinois State Charter School Commission passed the House by a vote of (78-33).  Today the bill is being heard in the Illinois Senate Education Committee. You can tell members of the Senate Education Committee that you support the senate version of this bill, SB2627, by filling out a witness slip.

Reminiscent of Central Falls
TURNAROUNDS...Byrd-Bennett's loot, pillage and burn approach to Chicago school reform is just "school closings under another name", says the CTU. "Turnaround" has become reform-speak for fire everyone -- teachers, staff, janitors, lunchroom ladies. The mass firings at McNair Elementary and Dvorak Technology Academy on the West Side and  Gresham Elementary on the South Side represents the scorched-earth approach reminiscent of Arne Duncan's assault on Central Falls High School in 2010 and has little to do with school improvement. Rather, it's more payback against the teachers union with Rahm/Byrd-Bennett flexing their muscles because they can. Important to note that turnarounds are exclusively in Chicago black and Latino communities and those mostly people of color. 

They've dropped all pretense of using so-called data-driven reform or even their own distorted version of teacher evaluation based on student test scores. Now it's simply naked aggression on a public school system they never have supported -- fire 'em all, let God sort 'em out --- and handing public schools over to private school operators. 

Racial lines of Chicago
CHICAGO 4TH MOST SEGREGATED CITY...If the mayor's school "reform" and  two-tier education strategy is aimed at supporting and promoting gentrification and isolation of the city's black neighborhoods, it's working. Atlanta Black Star reports that Chicago remains in 4th place among the nation's most segregated cities. 
In Chicago, north side neighborhoods like Edgewater and the Gold Coast are nearly exclusively white, Black people lodge on the South and West Sides. Hispanics dwell in southwest and northwest areas of the city.
WHITENIZING CHICAGO...What the report doesn't mention is that the blue areas of the map, signifying the city's segregated black communities, are dramatically shrinking in size. Chicago has lost somewhere around 200,000 African-Americans in the past decade. 

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