“Unless my staff has a hidden drawer somewhere where they’ve got numbers in there, we don’t have a number,” schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said in November.
Apparently somebody took them out of Rahm’s drawers and leaked them to the Chicago Tribune.
Rahm is such a liar.
The internal document, prepared at a time when school leaders faced a December deadline to make their decisions public, lays out multiple scenarios for closing neighborhood schools and adding privately run charters — a key component of Emanuel’s plans for improving public education. Chicago Teachers Union members, aldermen and other charter school critics have accused the administration of favoring the charters while depriving schools in poor neighborhoods of needed improvements.
The document discusses how to deal with public reaction to school closing decisions, with ideas ranging from establishing “a meaningful engagement process with community members” to building a “monitoring mechanism to ensure nimble response to opposition to proposed school actions.”
Becky Carroll, CPS press flack, responded with a not-so-nimble response.
“In terms of whatever document you have, I don’t care when it’s dated, as of today there’s no list and there’s no plan,” Carroll said. “Maybe there were multiple, different scenarios passed around at some point, I don’t know, but there’s no list of schools.
“No plan.” “Maybe.” “I don’t know.”
The document outlines strategy on the thorny issue of adding up to 20 charter schools a year at the same time it is closing neighborhood schools.
While the report says charters are “a core prong of CPS’s academic improvement strategy,” it also acknowledges the district will face criticism if it adds charter schools in the first year while also eliminating district-run schools.
To avoid that “perceived inconsistency,” the report states that the district cannot add so many charters when it is selling school closings as a way to address CPS’ fiscal crisis.
As the Trib points out, the board will meet today to approve only four charters. Nobody can no doubt that there will be more down the line.
Just look in Rahm’s drawers.