Million dollar board member Deborah Quazzo sits on the mayoral appointed school board.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel gave his campaign education talk to a private group yesterday. The attendance by invite only included invites to Jonah Edelman’s Stand for Children.
Rahm held it at the Cultural Center. The choice of location is ironic because his plans for CPS schools, if re-elected, have very little to do with culture.
I’ll get to that topic in a moment.
If elected to a second term, Mayor Rahm Emanuel promises that within three years the graduation rate will go up by 15 points to 85 percent, the number of preschool classrooms will triple to 300 and the senior year of high school will be redesigned to include internships and 6,000 students taking City College classes to earn college credit.
Emanuel also plans to bring back Freshman Connection, a program that was designed to help incoming ninth-graders acclimate to high school; and give principals at good schools freedom from some district mandates. Both these ideas were in place under former Mayor Richard M. Daley.
Make that Daley AND Arne Duncan.
Dusting off Daley and Duncan’s school ideas coming from The Man that attacked the Chicago Teachers Union as standing for the status quo?
That’s not status quo. That is raising the dead.
Emanuel told the crowd, which included advocates from organizations such as Stand for Illinois, that closing schools was something he did not want to do, but that he needed to get students out of failing schools. Further, he said the debate should not be between charters and neighborhood schools, but rather between quality and lack of quality in any school. He did not say whether or how many charter schools he will open in the next term, nor did he say whether he will close more schools.
Rahm should tell the students this morning as they walk through sub-zero temperatures past their former – but now shuttered or sold – neighborhood schools that he didn’t really want to close their 50 schools.
Raise Your Hand’s Wendy Katten points out that among other things Rahm has done to Chicago schools is failing to fund the arts. Only 47% of CPS students have more than 2 hours of Art a week.
Even for the 47%, the bar for “having art” is set pretty low.
That is the irony of holding his selective admission announcement at the Cultural Center.
It should be no surprise to readers that I get comments from lots of trolls. Most I trash.
Yesterday I received a couple from two different trolls who attacked me for having been an art teacher prior to retirment.
“Gee Freedie, you get a 100,000 pension for K1-3 Art????? No wonder you took the job as union pres,” wrote one.
$100,000 pension? What year?
Another troll accused me of “most likely in your case grading rudimentary stick figure drawings of which you obviously and unbelievably made a career of teaching!”
That those who hate public schools and hate public school teachers also hate and hold the Arts in contempt should not surprise anyone.
If the Arts were nothing more than drawing stick figures – if the Arts had no more value or meaning than that – why would they and Rahm keep it away from schools that serve poor students and away from schools that serve students of color?
You can bet that something has value when only the rich are guaranteed to get it.