Mike Klonsky: Rahm Emanuel Going to D.C. to Boast of His “Success” as a “Reformer”

Mike Klonsky writes that it was another horrendous weekend of youth violence and murder in Chicago.

And Rahm Emanuel, the mayor who will go down in history for closing 50 public schools in one day, is going to speak at the National Pres Clob about his punitive plan to withhold high school diplomas from students who can’t produce evidence of college acceptance or a job or enlistment in the military. Those who can’t do so presumably will drop out. Some reformer.

“After a Chicago weekend with 50 more shootings of mostly young people, eight of them fatal, Rahm Emanuel responded symbolically by laying off 50 more Head Start aides on the eve of the last day of school. Then, pirouetting past the graveyard, the mayor boarded a plane to D.C. where he is set to take the stage at the National Press Club, touting his latest plan to make it more difficult for African-American and Latino students to graduate from ravaged Chicago high schools.

“His speech, being billed ironically as “Moving Forward in Chicago,” will detail his plan to require all public high school seniors to provide a college or trade school acceptance letter, proof of military enlistment or a job offer in order to graduate. It’s another one of those “reforms” that would be mocked to death if proposed in the rich white suburban schools Rahm attended or in the private school where he sends his own children.

“Mainly poor, black and Latino Chicago students students will have to comply with the new mandates without the benefit of the hundreds of counselors and school social workers recently fired by CPS.

“The students, having persevered to overcome the devastating instability caused by Rahm’s mass school closings, having been forced to shift from school to school, from teachers who know them to teachers who don’t, having risked increased street violence just to make it to school every morning, will soon have another major bureaucratic hoop to jump through or risk being denied their earned diploma.”

A question for the press conference: Mayor Emanuel, you have consistently underfunded the public schools while your own children attend the University of zchicago Lab School. You have made no effort to provide equality of educational opportunity. How do you sleep at night? Do you think your mass school closings have any bearing on the violence in the streets of your city?

from sarah http://ift.tt/2soIdYK

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