Saturday, May 23, 2015

An entire Chicago community resists charter expansion

“Because CPS funds on a per pupil basis, every kids who’s not sitting at Lakeview or Senn or Amundsen is $5,200 that school doesn’t get.” -- Northside parent, Wendy Vasquez
  "As governor, I'm all in for you. I want to expand your charter network and get high-quality charters in every community throughout the state of Illinois." -- Bruce Rauner
Okay, it should be pretty clear by now that parents and educators don't want Noble Charters invading their North Side neighborhoods of Rogers Park and Lake View. Amundsen is one of two area high schools backed by growing, community support. Lakeview is the other. And when north-side parents, principals and community activists speak out, local pols listen. That's how the north side ducked Rahm's mass school closings.

Karen Zaccor, a teacher at Uplift Community High School and a resident of the Uptown Community, offers some strong testimony on Tim Furman's blog, about Noble's so-called "no excuses" approach to school discipline.
CPS, you need to use our public tax dollars to support our neighborhood schools, who educate every child, not just the best and the brightest. You need to invest your limited resources in full development of restorative justice programs that keep students in school and teach them better ways to resolve actual conflict. You need to invest in wrap around services to help students who are dealing with the traumas so often inflicted on poor children of color in our city. Say NO to Noble. 
Also, check out the letter to CPS from Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky and most North Side reps opposing the proposed Noble Academy invasion. 12 elected officials and 15 LSCs wrote letters opposing Noble's expansion.

Ironically, the other thing the Noble opponents have going for them is Bruce Rauner. He's is a huge backer of Noble charters. Billionaire Rauner has given over $6.5 million to Noble and other charter organizations. And these days, anything that Rauner touches fires up the opposition. And that's a good thing that was missing during the Quinn days.

Like all charter schools, Noble’s are privately operated but publicly financed by tax dollars and with huge private donations from powerful foundations and corporate donors. It is one of the largest and oldest charter operations in Chicago.

I'm still feeling sorry for all those Rauner Charter students who were forced to walk around town during the governor's race wearing uniforms with the name Rauner emblazoned on them. Somebody please tell me how that's even legal.

But as it was for school closings, for the charter resistance movement to be successful it has to link up with communities south of Belmont Ave. A good way to start is by building opposition to HB814 House Amendment #2 which lifts the cap on charter expansion statewide.

Another is to oppose the attempt by the board to insert privately-run charters into those shuttered schools on the south and west sides that were supposed closed to save money. This, despite their own "promise" to the community that they wouldn't.


  1. I think the letter is great but, again, I am wondering why/how big-time charter promoter (& creator of the IL Charter School Commission) Sen Heather Steans signed it? Can any reader (or, perhaps you, Mike) explain (or interview her)?* In case y'all don't know, she is sister of Robin Steans, Exec. Director of Advance ILL-Annoy, the org. behind SB 1 (you know, the "redistribution" of school funds, so those low-income districts will get $$ taken away from SDs such as Evanston-Skokie 65 & 202--to the tune of $10 million, not to mention the dissemination of funds set aside for special ed & other programs that are the life-blood of public education). And, did any of you read the Point/Counterpoint (about standardized testing/CCRAP) in the Sun-Times the other day? Finally, S-T ed. board had some ??? about the tests, but the Counterpoint presented was same-old-same-old, & was written by the groups...Advance ILL-Annoy, Stand on Children & a few other of our favorites.
    Oh, & I've also gotten info. that Advance is, indeed, living up to the first part of its name--advancing their agenda in Springfield. So, Small Talk readers, you are warned.

    *My take is--don't be fooled.

    1. Anon, Not sure I get your point. "Don't be fooled" about what?

  2. The rhetoric over Noble is a bit over the top, it CPS was doing well there would be no market for Noble.
    Rahm did take out some North Side Schools. The schools on the South and West Sides closed as student population had fallen. The populations fell 'cause black and brown families fled those areas because many their jobs fled Chicago.
    Don't buy the political rhetoric, its pure pandering.


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