Charter Budget Debate

Here's WTTW's segment on charter schools in Chicago, which were once thought to be among the most carefully-approved and -implemented (and likely to be successful) charters in the nation but have since turned out to be more of a grab bag.

Here, Eddie Aruzza and his guests (from INCS and CTU) are talking about how much charters get, and cost, and whether they do any good with the money.

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  • Nice job, Ms. Hainds! This is the first time I have ever seen this CTU researcher in any media event and she handled herself much better than many of the CTU "regulars". Keep that young woman in front of the cameras.

  • The supervision over charter schools in Chicago is awful. Aspira has regularly violated special education regulations and has failed to meet performance requirements, yet they are waived right along. In fact, they were given $12-20 million dollars (differing accounts) to build a brand new high school in the Logan Square, despite shrinking enrollment, systemwide.

    As for what can be done to improve graduation and proficiency rates, look to the middle schools! The Frontline report below claims that any middle school student who has 1. an attendance rate of less than 80%, 2. failed a math or writing course, or 3. received a failing behavior grade has a 75% chance of dropping out if there is no intervention for that student. By providing adequate supports of all kinds to our middle school students who are identified by these factors, we could have a dramatic effect on the educational outcomes of our students.
    http://video.pbs.org/video/2257751072

  • From Media Watch at
    http://www.substancenews.net/articles.php?page=3433&section=Article

    “CPS has never honestly explained the complete costs of the 100 charter schools and so-called "campuses" in Chicago, nor has CPS forced the charter schools to be fully transparent in their finances. As a result, many of the highest-paid public school officials in Chicago (and, indeed, Illinois) are charter school executives whose pay and benefits are kept from the public, while many of the lowest paid teachers in Chicago (and Illinois) are the novice teachers who are hired and churned through the city's charter schools every year.”

  • i've asked INCS for the waiting list info, which apparently comes from ISBE -- will let you know when i get it.

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    If ISBE has wait list data it has not been verified, by this I mean how many of the same students appear on different lists? I know of one family I worked with that was on three charter school wait lists.

    ISBE does not have the staff to verify this kind of stuff, in fact when they took over East St. Louis and North Chicago they had to use outside contractors because they don't have the staff. The IL General Assembly has repeatedly cut their funding and they are largely a shell operation now.

    Rod Estvan

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