You have to give it to UNO. From political, marketing, or financial points of view, they are very impressive. When it comes to education—not so much. Greg Hinz’s article on just how much tax payer money you can collect with political clout, soccer, and some woefully underperforming schools is really worth a read. Ben Jovarsky also does a great job showing the history of failure that turnarounds have had in Chicago.
“But, in checking around, I hear that the guy who really pushed the proposed $35 million grant was House Speaker Michael Madigan, whose district has turned overwhelmingly Latino in recent years and who probably could use one of those new UNO schools in his district. Mr. Madigan — his spokesman failed to return calls — was so hot for the grant that he actually tried to add it to some other bills, multiple reliable Springfield sources say.”
“Over the last few years, Chicago Public Schools officials have announced a dizzying series of openings and closings there. At this point, after a close look at what’s happened, the only conclusion I can draw is that if the district has a long-term plan, it’s not something they want to admit or even talk about.”
“I am also a mandated reporter and today I want to report the child abuse that is occurring in our schools. It is called excessive, high-stakes standardized testing.”
“But the charter schools that were approved might face an uncertain future. Both Foundations College Prep, which will open in Roseland, and Orange Charter, which has not picked a neighborhood yet, were pulled from the December meeting agenda, had their openings delayed by a year, and were given additional conditions they must meet before they are given final approval to open.”