What if Gov. Rauner promoted school choice? Berkowitz w/UChicago Charter School principal Howell:Cable/Web

Tonight's City of Chicago edition of Public Affairs features Tonya Howell, Principal (aka Director) at the North Kenwood Oakland (NKO) campus of the UChicago Charter School.  

The program, focusing on the characteristics that enables UChicago Charter School and  other CPS charter schools, to outperform , on average, other open enrollment CPS schools, airs at 8:30 pm and midnight on Cable Ch. 21 [CAN TV].  

You can also watch the show featuring UChicago Charter School's Howell 24/7 by clicking here.

The program with principal Tonya Howell also airs tonight and Wednesday night at 8:30 pm  on Cable Ch. 19 in Winnetka, Kenilworth, Glencoe, Highland Park, Highwood, Bannockburn, Ft. Sheridan and Deerfield; and in Evanston on Cable Ch. 6 at 8:30 pm tonight and Wednesday night.   

The show was taped in Sep. 2015 but it is just as relevant tonight as it was then. At that time, Gov. Rauner had been Governor for nine months but he said he didn't make charter schools or school choice a part of his Turnaound Agenda because he decided to focus on economic issues for the first year and he said he would come back to education reform during his second year.

Now, Gov. Rauner is in his third year and he still has done nothing for charter schools, school choice or education reform.  In that sense, he is a traditional IL GOP Repubican. Such Repubicans never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity:).

And when Mayor Emanuel goes six years, doing very little to give kids in failing traditional neighborhood schools a way out-- Gov. Rauner says nothing about that. Why?

Maybe Mayor Emanuel and Gov. Rauner should watch tonight's show and then do something to promote charter schools. But, can they, in light of the bad teachers' union contract that CPS and it's CEO, Forrest Claypool signed last year.

CTU President Lewis should love CPS CEO Claypool in light of what he did to protect CTU from having any competition.  Of course, the CPS kids in failing traditional neighborhood schools? that would be another story.

When kids are in schools where only 4% of the African-American male students who graduate from high school go on  to complete college within six years (as is true with CPS traditional neighborhood schools), shouldn't we give those African- American and Hispanic families the opportunity  to escape their failing traditional neighborhood CPS schools and attend charters-- which have much better stats for these minorities?Or did CPS boost that number to 8 %, causing Mayor Emanuel to go bonkers with joy, even  thought it is still a terrible statistic.

Giving those kids in failing schools some hope, via charter schools, seems "Fair and just," to many if not most people, including tonight's guest, principal Tonya Howell, who used to teach at a traditional neighborhood CPS school, before she herself left first to teach, coach and mentor at the NKO charter school campus, and then became in September, 2015  the principal at  that campus of the UChicago Charter School.  

Howell debates and discusses tonight important educational issues with show host Jeff Berkowitz.

The primary topic tonight: Are CPS charter schools a great deal for students, parents and taxpayers?  Guest Tonya Howell argues persuasively that the answer is an overwhelming yes.

You can also watch the show featuring UChicago Charter School's Howell 24/7 by clicking here.

Additional topics discussed tonight include those relating to the following questions: 

Is there a way to significantly improve the ability of the great majority of kids in CPS to read at grade level without spending more money? Do charter schools do that? Does NKO do that?

Is NKO doing 7 times better than CPS in getting their African-American graduates to graduate from a four year college or university?

Does NKO guarantee each child who attends their school a spot in a four year college if they stay with the UChicago Charter School?

Do charter schools, on average, outperform traditional neighborhood schools?

Do charter schools spend less per kid per year than traditional neighborhood schools?

Do charter schools have to use privately donated funds to construct their schools while traditional neighborhood schools have access to taxpayer funds to construct their schools?

Are traditional neighborhood CPS schools given an unfair financial advantage over charter schools and their students?

Do CPS selective enrollment schools have stronger barriers to access than CPS charter schools?

If charter schools outperform traditional neighborhood schools, to what do we attribute that?  More flexibility on how to design their education? stronger commitment from teachers? stronger commitment from parents?  more innovation from CPS charter schools? More "grit" by the charter school students.

Do only 25% of the minority kids in 4th grade in CPS traditional neighborhood schools read at grade level ?

Do much more than 25% of the minority kids in 4th grade CPS charter schools read at grade level?

Are the CPS board members failing to meet their responsibilities to openly discuss budget, academic and other important matters at CPS board meetings? Was this one of the reasons the CPS Board didn't catch CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett in her theft of $20 million from the CPS kids and Chicago/Illinois taxpayers. She will be sentenced on April 28, 2017, most likely, to about 7 years in Prison. 

Should you and others attend this months Chicago Public Schools Board meeting? Wednesday, April 26, 10:30 am; 42 West Madison St. in the Chicago Loop; Watch CEO Forrest Claypool spend a few minutes talking to the Board. Ask yourself-- is Forrest earning his more than 250K per year CPS salary by what he does at the Board Meeting? by what he does elsewhere?


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  • Educated children is our future. They develop the society and the country in general. So, reforms in education is a must be measures. I work in fast writing service for students, and I see that students need homework help because of not highly qualified professors. Something should be done in order to raise the teacher's level of education.

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