School closing fraud, which began in Chicago, becomes national issue as Chicago mayor, corporate leadership push the lie that it is necessary and 'works'

Just as Chicago moves into the 11th year of targeted school closings, mostly in the city's African American community, a growing national outcry against the program, which began in Chicago and is backed by the U.S. Department of Education under former Chicago Schools Chief Executive Officer Arne Dunan (now U.S. Secretary of Education), is resulting in civil rights complaints with the federal government. A closer look at the reality of the closings that have beset Chicago since 2002, when they began on the largest scale (there had been closing prior to the first year that Arne Duncan was in office, but the program gained speed under Duncan and has continued since)) shows that most Chicago closings have been expensive subsidies to Chicago's charter schools, and that in most cases the closings, which are reported in the city's corporate media as a way of "saving money" actually cost the city's schools in measurable financial ways as well as in the less quantifiable ways as communities are disrupted, families divided, and in many cases children placed in danger.

A recent front page story in Education Week, which generally repeated the corporate party line on such things, reported that Chicago is not the only city where the closings are being challenged as costly, racist, dangerous, and destructive of communities.


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