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Subscript: Charter schools and Wall Street bankers can't 'fail'

...What do Chicago charter schools and Wall Street 'investment banks' have in common? They are not allowed to fail.

As everyone familiar with the gruesome collapse of the once-vaunted 'Global Economy' knows, except for Lehman Brothers, the United States government has ruled that Wall Street's biggest banks will not be allowed to fail. No matter how huge their mistakes and how mendacious their claims were, they stay in business, and it even looks like their executives are all keeping their jobs. Meanwhile, in Chicago, Mayor Daley and his appointed minions at the Chicago Board of Education are doing the same thing for the city's charter schools. How? When the Board of Education makes up its annual list of 'failing' public schools in Chicago, charter schools can't be on the list. As everyone who witnessed the show trials of the schools being proposed this year for so-called 'turnaround' heard, there are 'criteria' for selecting schools to be put on the annual hit list. The official explanation goes like this (quoting from the testimony of CPS research and evaluation chief Ginger Reynolds at each of the hearings on the six schools being hit this year): "These probation supports and restructuring efforts have not resulted in the desired outcome of improved and sustained student achievement and therefore _______ [name of school] is eligible for turnaround at this time. Accordingly, in an effort to improve the academic achievement of _________ [name of school] students, the CEO proposes to implement further NCLB restructuring measures by reconstituting the school, replacing school staff, and contracting with the Academy for Urban School Leadership to manage the turnaround of the school... To determine the lowest performing schools for turnaround eligibility, CPS reviewed short and long-term school-level achievement. Special Education Schools, Charter Schools, and schools without sufficient current data were excluded from the analysis..." Got that? A charter school can hire a sexual predator who runs around for a year with a variety of the schools students (Perspectives Calumet), and that's OK. A charter school can ignore regulations governing chaperones for extended field trips and other events (North Lawndale College Prep charter) so that three kids wind up dead -- and that's OK with CPS and Chicago. A charter school can even have its students, at age 14, pull down their panties so that a school security officer can check their orifices in an illegal strip search (Aspira 'Early College' charter) -- and that's OK with Chicago. And, of course, charter schools can use all kinds of ways to cheat on their test reporting, since CPS refuses to audit the test procedures or take a second look at all those miracle marketing claims. And that's OK. Only the city's remaining public schools and general public high schools can be on the annual hit list...



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