Wendy Lecker: How Chicago Targeted Black and Latino Schools and Communities for Destruction

This article is an excellent analysis by civil rights lawyer Wendy Lecker of the deliberate destruction of public education in black and Latino neighborhoods in Chicago.

Chicago has purposely sacrificed the needs of black and Latino students while protecting and enhancing the needs of white students. We have to bear in mind what Rahm Emanuel told CTU leader Karen Lewis when he was first elected: about a quarter of these kids are uneducable. Everything else flows from that assumption.

Open the article to read the links. The most astonishing point noted here is that Chicago’s public schools OUTPERFORM its charter schools!

Lecker writes:

“Chicago is this nation’s third largest city, and among its most segregated. Recently, several unrelated reports were released about education policy in Chicago that, together, provide a vivid picture of the divergent views policymakers of have of public education; depending on who is served.
As reported by researchers at Roosevelt University, between 2009-2015, Chicago permanently closed 125 neighborhood schools, ostensibly because of low enrollment or poor performance.

“The standard Chicago used for low enrollment was 30 students to one elementary classroom — an excessively large class size, especially for disadvantaged children.

“The school closures occurred disproportionately in neighborhoods serving African-American, Latino and economically disadvantaged students. Professors Jin Lee and Christopher Lubienski found that Chicago’s school closures had a markedly negative effect on accessibility to educational opportunities for these vulnerable populations. Students had to travel longer distances to new schools; often through more dangerous areas.

“School closures harm entire communities. As Georgia State Law Professor Courtney Anderson found, where neighborhood schools were a hub for community activities, vacant schools become magnets for illegal activity. Moreover, buildings in disuse pose health and environmental dangers to the community. Vacant buildings depress the value of homes and businesses around them, increase insurance premiums and insurance policy cancellations. In addition, the school district must pay for maintenance of vacant buildings.

“Although Chicago claimed to close schools to save money, the savings were minimal — at great cost to the communities affected.

“At the same time Chicago leaders closed 125 neighborhood schools, they opened 41 selective public schools and 108 charter schools; more than they closed. Chicago charter schools underserve English Language Learners and students with disabilities, and have suspension and expulsion rates ten times greater than Chicago’s public schools. Even more astounding, despite the self-selecting and exclusive nature of charters, researcher Myron Orfield found that Chicago’s public schools outperform charters on standardized test passing and growth rates in both reading and math, and high school graduation rates.

“The Roosevelt University researchers found that the expansion of Chicago charter schools devastated the public school budget, contributing to massive cuts of basic educational resources in Chicago’s public schools. Moreover, many of these new charters have remained open despite falling below the “ideal enrollment” standard used to close neighborhood public schools.

“The education policies of Chicago’s leaders force its poor children and children of color to attend under-resourced schools, often at a great distance from their neighborhoods, on a pretext of under-enrollment and poor performance. Officials fail to consider the devastating effects school closures have on educational opportunities or on the health of entire communities.

“Chicago promised to use the proceeds of the sales of vacant schools to improve those neighborhoods. Yet, city leaders instead used those funds for school capital projects. A WBEZ investigation found that Chicago’s new school construction and additions disproportionately benefit schools that serve white, middle class students, even though white students are far less likely to suffer overcrowded schools than Latino students, whose schools do not see the benefit of capital spending.”

from sarah http://ift.tt/2tpD6q3

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