Friday, January 28, 2011

Progress for School Choice in Chicago

Bowing to pressure from parents, some new charter schools were approved, but there's need for much more:
Chicago began approving charters in 1997, and over the years the number of parents choosing charter schools has grown. Andrew Broy, president of the Illinois Network of Charter Schools, says 1 in 10 CPS students today attends a charter. Advocates say about 12,000 students are on charter waiting lists.

"We cannot turn back the clock," said Juan Rangel, CEO of United Neighborhood Organization, or UNO, a network of nine schools that was approved Wednesday to open three new elementary campuses and expand an existing middle school in Gage Park to high school.

At the meeting, charter parents testified at length about how the schools have helped their children improve grades, offered individual attention to special needs students and inspired students who were not always academically inclined.

Carrie Waller, of Lincoln Square, said she chose a charter after her son was unable to score high enough to be admitted into a top-tier selective-enrollment high school. Her son has done well at a Chicago International Charter School campus on the North Side.

"Charters are little jewels in the CPS school system," she said. "Let's continue to celebrate their success and continue to make them an option."
Many kids are still Waiting for Superman, with a slap from the Hollywood elites, despite the proven need:
A review of the statistics shows that despite spending on public education growing steadily over the past century, America's primary and secondary education achievements are mediocre. According to White House data, state-level spending on primary and secondary education totaled $235 billion in 2009/2010, while the latest PISA scores place the U.S. among average achievers. This international education survey, which assesses the knowledge and problem-solving abilities of 15-year-olds, shows that the U.S. is lagging far behind several Asian and European countries, all of which, besides Luxembourg, spend less on average per student on education.

The good news is that there are proven ways to reform education which can ease budget pressures while simultaneously raising student achievement.

Many private and charter schools outperform public schools in terms of both costs and performance.
It's national school choice week. We've got a long way to go, but there's some hope. Get involved.

More. Heritage Morning Bell: The Left Must End Their War on School Choice:
This Wednesday morning at 10 am, after serving nine days of a 10-day sentence, Kelley Williams-Bolar was released from the Summit County Jail in Akron, Ohio. Her crime? Trying to provide her two daughters with a better education. How on earth did trying to provide your children with a better education become a crime in the United States? Because the political party that currently occupies the White House is completely dependent on the power of education unions, and these unions see all efforts to shift power away from them, and to parents like Williams-Bolar, as a threat to their very existence. The case of Williams-Bolar is a perfect opportunity for the left to stop and reconsider their war on school choice.

Before January 15, Williams-Bolar had no criminal record.
Read this all. Are you listening Mr. President? Actually, we need a new one. Because this president took away school choice for DC children, even as his own attend private schools in DC. WTF.

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