Last week I received an e-mail inquiry about mayoral control of the schools in Chicago. The correspondent had been told by a fan of NY’s Mayor Bloomberg that it was working swell in Chicago.
I do not pretend to be an expert on Chicago school reform. But two articles in today’s Chicago Sun-Times speak volumes about what has been happening here the last dozen or so years.
First is the story of the the third “turn around” plan for Orr High School on Chicago’s West Side.
After three failed attempts in 11 years to improve academics by shaking things up at Orr High School Campus, the “guinea pigs” have had enough.On Thursday, parents, students and teachers complained at a public hearing that the latest plan to “turnaround” Mose Vines, A.A.S.T.A. and EXCEL Academy at the West Side campus leaves locals out of the loop and treats students like lab rats.
The second story concerns a law suit by long-time reform group, PURE.
The Chicago Board of Education is violating state law by refusing to let local school councils operate in new small schools — including one targeted for a summer shutdown and turnaround, a lawsuit filed Thursday charged.Some 30 to 40 small schools could be affected by the board’s penchant for changing LSCs from elected bodies that pick principals and oversee budgets to “toothless advisory groups,” the head of one parent advocacy group warned.
Endless failed turn around plans. Parent law suits. Headlines declaring students are lab rats. Mayoral control? Not working well.