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School daze

No one’s really explained what’s behind the sudden attack on CPS’s claims of progress by the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club, which is one of the major backers of Renaissance 2010.  (In fact the Commercial Club sponsors  the Renaissance Schools Fund, which funnels millions of private dollars into charter and contract schools.)

The Sun-Times does point out that the new report’s claims that charter schools outperform neighborhood schools are based on “flawed CPS research.”  Independent studies have found charter schools in fact perform no better.

What is clear is that the original argument on behalf of charters — that they would force all schools to improve by offering competition — is no longer operative.  (That rhetoric was rooted in the same gung-ho ideology that crashed with the financial system last fall.)

Now it’s all about “choice.”  The old warnings of privatization and a two-tier school system still pertain, however.

This week’s study comes on top of last week’s report on teacher turnover, which found that half of all teachers in high-poverty, predominantly black areas leave within three years. “I just see no way they can improve if they can’t maintain a stable work force,” the report’s author told the Sun Times.

No one’s explained what this might mean for “turnarounds,” the educational flavor-of-the-moment as dictated by Bill Gates.  How does it help to come in and fire the entire staff — and replace them with new teachers who are more likely to move on?

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Category: CPS, school closings, school reform, schools


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