Friday, July 3, 2015

Ed Reform in Chiraq?

The Illinois Network of Charter Schools glibly states, "We know all children can achieve academic success and have bright futures!"  As actual Chicago public school teachers, we at WCT would, of course, like to believe the same.  CPS has certainly supported INCS's ed reform tran$formation efforts, with $442 million of tax-payer money given to charter schools in 2015.

But will busting unions ed reform really provide bright futures to all children? What are some other factors that get in the way of children's bright futures besides unions lack of charter schools?

Yesterday's Trib published two interesting op-eds on Chicago's violence problem:

  • In the first, Robert Milan, Cook County State's Attorney, asks that the National Guard be called in to protect Chicago.  Milan notes that "CPS's regular school year is over and thousands of teenagers are now on the streets."
  • In the second, Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin calls for 1. strict curfew enforcement 2. prosecution of gangbangers as domestic terrorists 3. increased presence of Cook County Sheriff's police 4. an increase in parenting/drug rehab/work training programs.

These op-eds, plus the ongoing debate over Spike Lee's new film, provisionally titled "Chiraq", warrant a review of Chicago crime data:
  • A person is shot every: 3.22 hours
  • A person is shot and killed every: 19.21 hours
In other words, a Chicago student, parent, cousin, aunt, uncle, grandma, grandpa, brother or sister commits, witnesses, or is the victim of an act of gun violence every 4 hours.  And that's just guns.

So, Illinois Network of Charter Schools and ed reformers everywhere, we ask you:  How are you so sure that all children can have bright futures if only unions are busted and education is privatized?

Perhaps Ken Griffin and his ilk can get moving on some lucrative corporate police reform.

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