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Politics: Emanuel Overstates Charter Accomplishments

ScreenHunter_11 Feb. 08 11.16The Chicago Tribune notes that three out of four citizen want an elected school board but they're probably not going to get one since none of the frontrunners supports the move (Schools will be major test for next mayor) and it's not a mayoral call anyway.  Meantime, a student-created video slamming frontrunner Rahm Emanuel for claiming that most of the best high schools in the city are charters made it to the Huffington Post (Rahm Emanuel Hit On School Policy).  And there's a hilarious and obscene fake Emanuel twitter feed that's got over 22,000 followers ( NSFW here).


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I am not for Chicago, but it would seem appropriate to elect a school board as apposed to being annointed for life. These are important positions that are carefully handed down to hand picked successors and instead of merit, accountability, and responsibility, you get nepotism at its worst and in the worst possible environment, where school districts and boards need solid leadership.

I am not a big fan of charter schools, but I would not decry them either, as some offer innovative ways to engage their students and involve the parents, which is a real positive. Is it so hard to believe that this instructional platform could be successful with some students?

I did not see the posting of Emanuel and it is unfortunate that he is the torch bearer for charter schools. He has done them a real disservice.

I empathize with the students regarding Charters. CPS has used the Renaissance 2010 Plan with their Charter Initiative to destroy performing schools in the Douglas Community and currently we have failing Charter Schools in the community. For example, CPS decided to close Daniel Hale Williams in relation to the Renaissance 2010 plans because the school was failing and also needed repairs, but instead of relocating all of their students to the empty National Teachers Academy, which was what community residents requested, CPS decided to flood Drake, Douglas and later Mayo Elementary with their students that had close to single digit performance anyway!! Then Drake, Mayo and Douglas Community Academy started a downward trend in academic performance. CPS later decided to make our highest performing school Drake, the new neighborhood school for the Daniel Hale Williams students and later removed the gifted center program. One school, Daniel Hale Williams, was used to academically destroy three schools that were performing. Now Daniel Hale Williams has 1300 empty seats because their low performing students travel by bus to Drake. However they also have a two failing schools still inside their building at Williams. Now Drake and Mayo in the Douglas Community are on academic probation due to Williams’s students and NCLB students who were transferred in. CPS is now targeting the only two performing schools that are left in the Douglas Community?? (Pershing East and West) They are receiving schools for “No Child Left Behind" again. This is another way that Charters end up in a community. First you destroy a performing neighborhood school and then usher in Charter Schools. CPS keeps destroying our schools so our families are forced to travel for better school options outside the community. If minority families are not selected for highly selective schools, then charters seem to be the next choice. Look at how the New Stem Magnet School came about. It is said that it is for everyone across the city and will follow the Magnet and Selective Enrollment guidelines. Why was it approved for the Little Italy and University Village neighborhoods when the Near West communities are saturated with selective enrollment schools? Well, people of color, what did you really think would happen when the Desegregation Consent Decree was eliminated. What this seems to mean for minority families is that the City of Chicago no longer has to provide a high quality education to all the children of Chicago. Minority children can now be corralled to substandard charter schools. The Caucasian population in Charters is around 2% and if they thought Charters were high quality, they would be flocking to them like the close to 70% black families and over 20% Hispanic that make up charters right now. Minorities are forced to flock to them because resources for neighborhood schools are being taken away and highly selective schools are for the most part, not approved. A separate an unequal school system is being set up in Charters. Privatization of schools saves CPS money and it doesn’t matter if minority families are shortchanged. The poorest speak the loudest for Charters because they are desperate. However, I believe all minority communities will ultimately be forced to have Charter High Schools and Elementary Schools. Shame on CPS and the City of Chicago with the Renaissance 2010 Plan. Every Community should have its fair share of highly selective schools but CPS destroys schools that begin to perform in minority communities like Douglas. Again, a separate an unequal school system is being set up in the form of charters. I applaud the students on the You Tube video against Rahm for neighborhood schools! Bravo!!

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