With guest, Louder Than a Bomb poet Nate Marshall

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Rahm's mea culpas don't extend to school closings and wild charter expansion

Given all Rahm's recent mea culpas, the one he hasn't made is about his wholesale school closings, mostly in the black community and his replacement of them with privately-run charter schools. CPS's publication of a new list of supposedly "underutilized" schools, indicates another round of closings and charter openings is coming.

His appointment of Jaime Guzman, a shill for the charter operators, to the CPS board, shows that Rahm's game plan remains intact. Guzman takes Jesse Ruiz' spot as the lone Latino on the seven-member board.

The amazing thing about that appointment is that Guzman previously sat on the State Charter School Commission, the group that has the authority to create charters even when they've been rejected by local school boards, including Chicago's.

That's the same group, acting under pressure from House Speaker Mike Madigan, that actually reversed CPS's rejection of Concept (Gulen) charter schools' application at a time when the FBI was investigating Concept's operations.

Last year, the senate voted to abolish the commission on grounds that it had become "too politicized" and a purveyor, rather than an objective evaluator and authorizer of charters. Yet it still survives. Guzman says, he will resign his post on the commission, which is set to hear appeals from three more charter schools that the district has slated for closure at the end of the academic year.

The Guzman appointment and Rahm's commitment to wild charter school expansion may seem puzzling to anyone looking at the underutilization list. The list contains dozens of supposedly underutilized high schools appearing side-by-side with underutilized charter schools.

Among those on the list are several from the Noble Charter Network. That's the group that was pushed back in its attempt to invade the north side recently. They just opened a new charter high school directly across the street from Prosser, even while many of their existing schools are stilling partially empty. Now Prosser is completely surrounded by competing charter schools.

Among the many other charters on the list, are highly-touted Urban Prep, three Perspectives charters. and three KIPP charter schools.

Isn't it clear by now that CPS has to be taken out from under the control of City Hall?

1 comment:

  1. I'm going to cut and paste a piece from the Ravitch blog by "Pauline P.," who notes from Guzman's LinkedIn page:


    that he comes out of Teach for America's "Leadership for Educational Equity", who helped place him in both charter-authorizing positions. (The LinkedIn page also lists Guzman's field / occupation as "Philanthrophy.")


    PAULINE P.: "Just went to Jaime Guzman’s Linkedin.

    "I’m starting to figure out how TFA’s Leadership for Educational Equity works.

    "After only two years of mediocre (or better… who knows?) TFA teaching, Guzman has now been put in charge as a trustworthy expert in how and why the government turns over most or all of Chicago’s 150 year-old public schools to de-regulated private management by charter corporations that will then have little if any oversight — all of this orchestrated by TFA’s Leadership for Educational Equity.

    "By that same logic, a rank ‘n file soldier with only two years in the Army should be viewed as possessing commensurate expertise, then be put in charge of turning over all or most of the 240-year-old U.S. Army to be run by 'Acme Armed Forces,' privately chartered to defend our country, with minimal oversight or regulations from any government entity.

    "Repeat the analogy:

    "2-year Air Force airman in the Air Force / privately-chartered 'Acme Air Force';

    "2-year Navy sailor / privately-chartered 'Acme Navy';

    "2-year Chicago patrol cop / privately-chartered 'Acme Police Services.'

    "They’re doing all this with absolutely no assent from the American voters and taxpayers. Indeed, the overwhelming majority of Americans oppose such privatization, as no country in history has ever improved its educational system by doing this. As someone else here has said, the two countries that tried school privatization wrecked their educational systems, ending up with privatized disasters on their hands, and will take decades to "reverse.

    "Way to go, Wendy Kopp!!! That’s quite a legacy you’ll be leaving behind!!!"


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