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

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The city that works

Back in the early '70s, Chicago earned the nickname, the city that works. Then, like now, the phrase always required the addendum, works for whom? The same question might also be asked about the city's public schools. Under mayoral control, Chicago has been reconstructing a two-tier system of public schools: selective enrollment schools for top scoring students and those with well-connected parents, and under-resourced neighborhood schools for the majority.

Today that notion was reinforced by the news that billionaire union hater, corporate school reformer and Rahm Emanuel's patron, Bruce Rauner, used his political clout to wrangle a seat for his own kid at Walter Payton College Prep High School. Payton is ostensibly at public school, even though a third of its entering freshman students come from private schools. 98 % of its graduates go on to college and only 200 of 7,000 applicants gain admission by testing highest on standardized tests. But if you're Bruce Rauner's kid, forget about test scores. She couldn't pass them and her grades weren't good enough to get in to Payton.


Rauner, who actually lives in the wealthy suburb of Winnetka, used a phony Chicago address and a phone call to then schools CEO Arne Duncan to get his daughter accepted through the back door, taking a spot away from a likely needier kid who earned it. As you might expect, Duncan was only to glad to comply to this version of rich, white affirmative action.

According to Greg Hinz at Crain's, Rauner saw no irony in sending his daughter to a high school with union teachers. Writes Hinz:
 "The likely GOP gubernatorial candidate, whose biggest public claim to fame has been a crusade to reform education by sharply limiting the power of teachers' unions, which in his view are just a nasty special interest."
Rauner also bought himself one of the Noble St. Charter Schools and had it named after him. But he never consider sending a child of his own there.

No comments:

Post a Comment