Beginning in the November 2007 Substance and continuing for several months,
we will be presenting a series of articles and analyses which I'm generally
calling: "Twelve Years of Mayor Control: Report from Chicago."
The first installment of this piece will be an analysis of school closings
and transformations and their impact especially on the black community here.
On balance, despite claims to the contrary, Chicago, like New Orleans, has
created a net loss of public schools for black people since the onset of the
"school closings" phase of mayoral control six years ago (with the appointment of
Arne Duncan as CEO of Chicago's public schools in July 2001).
This is masked by the fact that all of the reports on "New Schools" coming
out of Chicago (most as part of the "Renaissance 2010" propaganda) only itemize
the number of schools opened and "seats" available. These analyses never
include the data on the schools that were closed to make "green space" for the "new
schools." The most dramatic recent example of that is the 22-page
"Renaissance 2010" report presented by Arne Duncan to the meeting of the Chicago Board of
Education on October 24, 2007.
Since school closings and charterization are part of the next four years of
"No Child Left Behind" for thousands of public schools across the USA (unless
NCLB is repealed), Chicago is indeed a vision of the future for urban public
In our October issue we also continued our reporting on how Chicago was the
model for the destruction of the New Orleans public schools and how the Chicago
boys (lower case) not only are now running the New Orleans public schools,
but how many of Chicago's charter school leaders went south to New Orleans
during the past 18 months to help the ruling class in New Orleans replace its
public schools with charter schools and "leftover" public schools for the kids who
were forced out in the process. Again, the conditions in Chicago were a
In future issues, we will also be examining how Chicago has reduced special
education services despite the strictures of "No Child Left Behind" and the
Corey H consent decress, and how Chicago is further reducing the range of public
information available on all of these topics by vetting every Freedom of
Information request through the massive Law Department at CPS Headquarters at 125
S. Clark St.
Here is one other sad example of how thoroughly these things are being
manipulated by the ruling class against public education, especially in urban areas
and against minority students and teachers.
A few months ago, Chicago appointed its fourth "executive officer" of "New
Schools" in the past five years. The previous ones were: Greg Richmond; Hosannah
Mahaley; and Beatriz Rendon. He is Josh Edelman, the former charter school
"education entrepreneur" and son of Marion Wright Edelman of the Children's
Defense Fund. Edelman has no Chicago experience and precious little teaching
experience, but he may well give a gloss to these attacks on the black community in
Chicago and on democracy in public schooling.
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Filed under: Media Watch