“I wish we had more demand. I wish we had a lot more parents … demanding a world-class education—not just on the policy side, but on the advocacy side.” – Arne Duncan, Education Week
I have to wonder sometimes if I’m on the same planet as my elected officials. How many parents did I see out on the picket lines with Chicago Public Schools teachers last September demanding quality conditions for quality schools? Who was at those rallies at city hall when Rahm shoved through the longer school day with no supports or programs for the additional time? And the candlelight vigils around closed schools?
Meanwhile, WBEZ reported that while CPS plans to close upwards of 100 schools they have applications to open 14 new contract and charter schools. Further, in a grant to the Gates Foundation, they say they plan on opening 60 charter schools in the next five years.
The article gives us a nice bit of math:
Right now, 14 percent of CPS’s 681 schools are privately run charter and contract schools.If the district closes 100 schools, and then opens 60 new charters in the next five years, the percentage of privately run schools could jump up to 27 percent. In a grant application to the Gates Foundation, CPS leaders said they planned to open 100 new schools in the next five years, 60 of them charters.
At the same time I am in conversations with a parent who moved into a district where the rumors are flying that the school will close. She’s concerned that the school next to her is a Level 2 school and if her child begins in the district she’s in and it closes she’ll be shuttled to a new school next year.
And Arne Duncan has the nerve to suggest parents don’t care?