"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Friday, January 27, 2006

Privatization Heats Up in Chicago

As a result of the impossible demands of NCLB, the steady closure of public schools in Chicago will only escalate there and elsewhere unless the Law is scrapped or seriously altered next year when it up for re-authorization. So far the privatization scheme is entirely on schedule with not a peep from Democratic politicians, who should be taking the lead to inform their constituents as the first next step in preserving public education. The first one of the presidential wannabes to make this her issue will be the winner. Bet me.

Here is a clip from the Chicago Tribune article:

No more schools will close this year, but some 178 other schools face restructuring by next school year because they have not met academic standards set by the federal No Child Left Behind law, district officials said. That could result in new leadership or a curriculum overhaul, among other things.Plans for two of those schools were announced Thursday, with restructuring plans for the remainder to be unveiled by June.

The operation of Sherman Elementary in New City will be transferred to a private school operator, the Academy for Urban School Leadership. Students will stay, but the administration and teachers will be replaced. Carver Military Academy High School will get a new curriculum. Staff and current students will stay, but admissions standards will change.At Frazier Elementary, staff and parents were stunned and saddened by news of their school's closing. They said the school is a crucial anchor for the community, providing after-school activities and free health care for low-income residents.

Rosa Wess, whose three grandchildren attend the school, said she understands that test scores at Frazier are below standards. But she said her grandchildren are thriving."I have no complaints. I have an `A' student here," Wess said. "The teachers have been wonderful. I just think you can't force a child to learn if they don't want to. Some of the kids are bad, but they really work with them. They keep things in order. They don't give up on students here
at Frazier."

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