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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

IRONY Rules!


After reading Foucault's Fearless Speech, Charlie deserves a nap.

Mayor Daley is out praising charter schools and lauding the efforts of the private sector to finance them at the same time CPS is $325 million short. Aldermen in Chicago are talking about how excited families are when their kids get into the charter schools. Wait, as opposed to going to the crumbling monolith down the block? Is this an admission that Chicago Public Schools aren’t doing as well as has been touted? What about those schools? Are we moving toward the Vishnu Reform Plan? High school scores in math and science are down. Reading scores are up. What gives? What about turnaround specialists? We need Big Audacious Goals for the system. Like trimming the fat.

Anyway, turns out that the private funding for Ren 2010, about $40 million, isn’t all that much when compared to the $325 million gap in the CPS budget. Does anyone really think there are grounds for comparison here?

Did you know?

Acording to Pauline Lipman, CPS has the largest operating budget of any public works in Illinois. All of those contracts…

In response to CPS budge woes, union boss Stewart says that ‘teachers are sacred,” is she kidding? Over 1,000 teachers were cut last year. What did the union do then? Not a whole lot except sponsor resume writing sessions. Remember it was the union that bailed out CPS back in the day to the tune of $110 million dollars from the teacher pension fund in 1993.

This just in:

According to the Sun Times CPS is poised to go ahead with the Chicago Virtual Academy:

"Students will have 300 minutes a day of instruction. It's not an issue anymore. We have determined that there is a way to verify attendance," said CPS spokesman Maylon Edwards.
The Chicago Virtual Academy would serve students in kindergarten through eighth grade. They would receive a computer on loan, free Internet access and about 70 pounds of books and supplies to take online courses.
According to the proposal, students will range "from the academically challenged to the academically gifted, including difficult to reach populations such as expelled and homebound students. . . Parents or other responsible adults will guide students through their daily coursework in their own home or other small group setting."

Did you know?

Chicago Virtual Academy will be run by K12 Inc which was founded by William Bennett in 1999. This is the same Bennett who decried CPS as the worst school system in the country back in the 1980’s. How’s that for irony? (Bennett resigned from K12 Inc. following remarks he made about abortion, African Americans and crime rate on his radio show.)

That aside, having elementary kids stay at home with the expectation that they complete 300 minutes of instruction per day is a compelling, almost utopian idea. Exactly what parents are we talking about? Is this targeted to the traditional home school set or are we talking about virtual school for other groups as well? How do we prove that the parents or “responsible adults” are “highly qualified”? How about discipline issues? Substitute teachers? Surprise, the union is… against…the proposal.

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