Get sick, get well
Hang around a ink well
Ring bell, hard to tell
If anything is goin' to sell
-- Bob Dylan

Friday, December 21, 2012

Byrd-Bennet's "independent" panel on school closings

The news keeps getting worse for Byrd-Bennett's "independent" commission of school closings. First, the Tribune gets hold of a secret CPS document revealing a list of targeted schools in black and Latino communities slated for closing and/or charter-izing. But if the list is already in play, than what's the point of Frank Clark's panel and all the phony public hearings?

Then comes the revelation of Commission head, Clark's contract with the Civic Consulting Alliance.
The Civic Consulting Alliance and New Schools for Chicago share a suite on the 43rd floor of the Chase Building. They also share some board members. Phyllis Lockett, the founding president and CEO of New Schools for Chicago, sits on the Civic Consulting Alliance’s board and used to be CCA’s executive director. The New Schools for Chicago website says Locket has helped triple the number of charter schools in Chicago. -- WBEZ
Clark, the former ComEd CEO, who pulls down over $2 million/year in compensation, has a Chicago charter school, Rowe-Clark Math & Science Academy, named after him. And despite having just 44.1 percent of its students meeting or exceeding state standards on the Prairie State Achievement Exam, Clark's namesake school sports the Level 1 badge, having earned the district's highest rating.

He says the school district invited the consulting firm in. But says it should raise no questions of independence. “Their work is impartial, it has a high degree of accuracy, it doesn’t hurt that it’s pro-bono, and I’ve never detected a bias.”


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