Friday, December 16, 2016

If teacher unions are the problem, why are wealthy suburban parents trying to clout their kids into CPS?

Rauner wasn't the first or last to game the system.
QUESTION... If Chicago Public Schools are so awful -- the fault of the teachers union of course --why are so many wealthy suburbanites trying to get their kids into CPS/CTU schools through the back door?

Yes, we all know how our billionaire Gov. Rauner did it back in '08 when he made his now-famous phone call to then-CEO Arne Duncan. 

From Greg Hinz at Crain's:
Mr. Rauner changed his voting residence from Winnetka, where his wife continued to live, to a condominium on East Randolph Street. I kept asking why, not content with the answer I got back that the Rauners just were getting more active in the city.
As it turns out, in establishing residence in the city, Mr. Rauner also established the right of his daughter to attend a Chicago public school. But not just any school. She could have gone to New Trier, since mom still lived in Winnetka and New Trier is pretty highly rated itself. But Payton is rated better.
There only was one problem, the sources say: Her test scores, academic record and other factors weren't good enough to get her into Payton...Her application was denied. So dad called Mr. Duncan, a Duncan aide called the Payton principal and she was admitted. 
IG Tom Sullivan claimed he investigated but never released his report. Something about "privacy rights". Then Rauner made the whole thing go away when he dropped a $250,000 donation on Payton.

Now IG Nicholas Schuler says that rich parents are still trying to game the system.
Eighteen students were caught trying to get into selective schools using sham addresses within Chicago to give them an advantage by disguising their wealthier addresses in neighborhoods like Edgebrook, Forest Glen and Beverly. One family even changed their address to one in a poorer neighborhood after their son received results from his admissions test.
 The public school system affords more leeway in its admissions to poor children to give them a fair shot when competing against wealthier families for a spot in one of the district’s elite test-in high schools. But Schuler called CPS’ requirement to prove residency once, when the child applies, instead of looking at the family’s historic socio-economic situation is a “critical weakness of the tier-selection system.”
No, they're not trying to buy or clout their way into the host of non-union, privately-run charter schools, not even the one that bears the governor's name. It's the limited spots in the selective-enrollment schools they're after. A better class of students, they think. And after all, isn't that what a two-tier, market-driven education system is all about?

S-T's Lauren Fitzpatrick's addendum to the story:
Noticeably absent [from Schuler's report] were updates about two pending cases: The contract fraud case of former CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett, who awaits sentencing on a federal fraud charge in April, and a separate probe into possible ethics violations by the board’s general counsel, Ronald Marmer, who, the Sun-Times has reported, has overseen work awarded to his former law firm that continues to pay him severance.
In an unusual public airing of grievances, Schuler told Board of Ed members last week that the Marmer case had stalled after CPS officials withheld documents and witnesses, citing attorney-client privilege.

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