What's Missing On This Blog



Where are all the charter people and change-minded folks in the reader comments on this blog, I sometimes wonder?  Like them or not, they get up every day and try and do right by kids and parents.  Just in a different way than you do.  Because, like it or not, they're out there.  They're not so few in number as they may seem here.  Parents -- not all of them fools, now -- still seem to keep sending their kids to them despite all the awful things that you may tell them.  But they're almost never on the site as commenters at least.

Rare is it that someone gets up and says, "I teach at a charter and we take everyone and my kids are getting as good or better as they used to get at their old school."  Which they should. Some of them seem to be doing a good job, just like some regular schools are.  Not all of them are working for awful bosses or referring troublesome kids out to other schools.  So, kudos to everyone who's doing a good job, no matter what type of school or organization they're in, and feel free to weigh in here if you want.  People may disagree with you but there won't be any personal attacks (and you can write anonymously, too).  It would be contentious and uncomfortable sometimes to have district and charter teachers commenting together, but it'd be real.  Until then, I'll remind readers every now and then that the reader comments here are great but don't represent the full spectrum of educators and do-gooders who are out there.


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  • I just made the switch from CPS neighborhood school to charter (not by choice) so I will be sure to make keen observations on similarities and differences. The charter school I am at is only a few blocks from my CPS school.

  • In reply to kdnolan:

    "not by choice"?

    Did someone hold a gun to you?

  • In reply to Danaidh:

    No...no guns involved. I was cut by CPS and need a paycheck to support my family ... I will gladly return if there is a position for me. (I was not tenured)
    Desperate times call for desperate measures.

  • In reply to kdnolan:

    So you DID have a choice, and you preferred teaching in a charter school to any other alternative.

  • In reply to Danaidh:

    JEESH...you all are sticklers! I preferred a job to unemployment and I preferred a TEACHING job to whatever alternatives you are suggesting.

  • In reply to Danaidh:

    I'm a memberof two groups rarely heard from on this blog: (1) parents and (2) private schools. I live a block from a small neighborhood CPS school where I would love to send my children, except that it is a low-performing school, even by CPS's low standards.

    Instead, my wife and I, at enormous personal sacrifice, pay about $15,000 per child to send our kids to a really wonderful, small private elementary school. The school is racially diverse,not so economically diverse--mostly middle class with some very affluent parents, and a very few disadvantaged families getting financial aid.) Wonderful learning environment that fosters kids individuality and desire to learn, and also socializes them to be good citizens. The teachers, although not paid quite as well as CPS teachers, make decent livings, have good job security (many have been there for decades) and seem to enjoy their jobs.

    My kids routinely play with the CPS school kids at our nearby playground. There is nothing wrong with these children and no excuse for the fact that the neighborhood school, which has the kids at least six hours a day during the schoolyear, can't even teach them enough to get up to CPS level.

    What bothers me on the comments on this board is the frequent tendency to blame the children for a school's problems; or to imply that charter schools will take all the "good" kids.

    Universal public education is a wonderful idea, but public schools are not an end in themselves. If, for whatever institutional reasons, and whoever is at fault, or even if there is no "fault", public schools aren't teaching our children, then we need a change. And if, as some here seem to fear, charter schools are leading the way to a demise of the public school system, why should any of us outside of the system care, when the CPS for the most part seems to serve the interest of adults?

  • sorry we disagree but the whole point of this post is to create a space for people who aren't necessarily so vehemently opposed to charters or TFA or whatever. i'm trying to keep everyone on topic a little more, so as to make the blog more easily readable for others. thanks.

  • George Schmidt!

  • Oh, please. Even *before* mayoral control, Chicago Public Schools were a failure. Remember Secretary Bennett's calling Chicago's the worst school system in the nation?

  • Yep, read the recent Ravitch book. It's absolutely shocking, unless, I imagine, you've been in the ed field for 20 years, as I have not. I'm telling you, the more I do this, the more I respect and listen to those who have been at it for longer than me.

    I know how to read school report cards and am buying a house in the city in which I must (read between the lines). My choice neighborhoods are ones where the neighborhood school performs well given the "inputs" so that I have real choice. In most places here, you have none, except for the "high achieving" charters. If I see a school with 15%+ free or reduced and 20+ ell that still pulls a 94, I'm in. If I buy in Bucktown or Lakeview, or whatever, I don't have real choice. I have charter.

    It still sucks, however, because by kids aren't going to learn to be competent in a sport or an art unless (oh, and I will) pay for outside talent. Go to the burbs and your kid can be a diver, a cellist, and a bully while placing in the top 10% statewide.

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