"I asked her (Janis Joplin) for some happy news but she just smiled and turned away.” American Pie
Jeff Berkowitz, host of "Public Affairs," asked Robin Steans, Executive Director of Advance Illinois, for some news but she just smiled pretty and gave it to him straight.
Across the State of Illinois, only about one third of white kids are reading at grade level by third grade and only 25% of African-American kids are reading at grade level by that time. In the Chicago Public Schools, both numbers are worse and the Achievement Gap is worse. .
Berkowitz views this as the equivalent of being told that African-Americans in Illinois, by the time they are eight, are facing a lifetime tax of 25% on breathing. Moreover, in the Chicago Public Schools, that tax is larger and it will grow until the kids either drop out or graduate.
Also, under the CTU new contract, it will be harder for principals to hire good teachers, at least in the short run, when they close bad schools and open new schools.
Yet, Robin Steans’ organization is neutral on School vouchers-school choice. Why shouldn’t low income minority students be able to opt out of failing, traditional public schools in Chicago, even as President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama do for their kids and even as Mayor Rahm and First Lady Amy Emanuel do for their kids. And, as Rev. Jackson did for Jesse, Jr.. And, as Speaker Mike Madigan did for Lisa Madigan. And, as Tommy Hynes did for Dan Hynes. Just to name a few. Hypocrisy, any one? But, not for Robin Steans. Her kids all go to public schools.
To find out more about the successes and failures of Chicago Public School reform over the last 17 years, and much, much more, tune in to the "Public Affairs" TV show with guest Robin Steans, airing throughout the City of Chicago at 8:30 pm.on Cable Ch. 21 (CANTV) tonight.
You can also watch the program tonight with Robin Steans on Comcast Cable Ch. 19 at 8:30 pm in ten North Shore suburbs: Bannockburn, Deerfield, Ft. Sheridan, Glencoe, Highland Park, Highwood, Kenilworth, Lincolnshire, Riverwoods and Winnetka.