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The [Tuesday] Papers

By Steve Rhodes / Posted on May 22, 2018

"Despite Mayor Rahm Emanuel's promise that mass school closings in 2013 would lead to a 'brighter future,"' Chicago students didn't benefit academically and on average their performance suffered, particularly in math, according to a University of Chicago Consortium on School Research study released on Tuesday," Sarah Karp reports for WBEZ.

"The groundbreaking study goes on to report that for students and teachers, the transition was traumatic and chaotic."

And yet, the People Who Told You So and seem to always tell us so will remain marginalized by the Establishment That's Always Wrong (Or Lying) and it's Media Arm.

Remember this the next time - probably today! - the mayor and his commentariat moralize about accountability.


"Previous studies also have found that school closings hurt children."

As some of us pointed out repeatedly.

"But this time, city and school district officials said they could mitigate the damage by investing $180 million in schools that took in children from underenrolled closed schools and with a logistics company to make the transition smooth."

As if.

But the transition was smooth for someone. From the link:

Chicago's board of education will consider yet another significant increase in what it is paying to empty out Chicago's closed school buildings.

Back in April - even before the vote to close 50 schools - the district signed a contract with logistics firm Global Workplace Solutions to move all the things out of schools. Price tag: $8.9 million.

GWS worked throughout the summer to inventory and move computers, books, furniture and other supplies from closed schools into so-called Welcoming Schools.

In September, the district quietly doubled the amount of the contract, to $18.9 million. Chicago Public Schools' closing czar said the reason for the overrun had to do with the volume of stuff movers found in the 43 shuttered buildings they are emptying out.

Now, the agenda for Wednesday's school board meeting shows the board will vote on another increase, this time to $30.9 million, more than tripling the amount of the original contract with GWS.

Greed Whacks Schools.


"The study is the first in-depth examination of the impact of the 50 school closings - the largest number closed at once in the United States. Some 11,000 students attended the closed schools, and another 13,000 students attended the schools that received them. All told, 95 schools buildings were packed up and moved."

A superlative for Rahm: Biggest Mass School Closing Ever.

For everyone else:

"Closing schools - even poorly performing ones - does not improve the outcome of displaced children, on average," the study concludes. "Closing under-enrolled schools may seem like a viable solution to policymakers who seek to address fiscal deficits and declining enrollment, but our findings shows that closing schools caused large disruptions without clear benefits for students."

This was Rahm's big move. The city's schoolchildren lost.


"Emanuel did not comment on the findings."

Maybe he's exhausted from providing media toadies with his summer reading list and reflections of an empty-nester.


"CPS had said that closing the 50 schools would save $43 million annually and $437 million over time by not having to fix or maintain the shuttered buildings. But the school district has never provided any detailed information on whether those savings were or will be realized."

So the closings didn't even save money (as the history of school closings, some of us noted, predicted). It was all for nothing - except a show of political power. Kids got hurt. The person Rahm brought in to coordinate the closings is in prison. Neighborhoods lost their anchors. Not a dime was saved. Can we finally learn some lessons?


Given Rahm's micromanagement, I always said one of his problems as mayor was that he had three jobs - the other two being police chief and schools superintendent. He's failed at all three. His police department is about to enter a consent decree and the state is taking over the school district's bungled special education program. He's on his fourth schools chief - of the first three, one is in prison and the other two were forced out. He's on just his second police chief, not counting the interim, but a second police chief he chose personally, ignoring the slate his police board developed, after he fired his first police chief for something Rahm himself did: fighting like the dickens - in court and out - to keep secret the Laquan McDonald video. Let's face it, he's not very good at his job.


"CPS' current Schools Chief Janice Jackson called what happened 'unacceptable.' But said the outcome will not deter her from closing schools in the future."

We will not let the facts of what happened, which perfectly match the history of such events over the years throughout history, stand in the way of repeating such a momentous mistake if it suits our perverted political goals, nor will we ever acknowledge a mistake! We are CPS!


New on the Beachwood . . .

The Shooting Statistics Are Clear: It's Not Schools That Are Dangerous
"Students and adults in America's schools are only slightly more likely to be gun homicide victims than the general population in Denmark.

"For all gun killings (including homicides, suicides, and accident), American schools are safer than most of Western Europe."


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MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - New Television's New Families.
POLITICS - It's Not Schools That Are Dangerous.
SPORTS - Beachwood Sports Radio: Much Ado About Machado.

BOOKS - Chicago Zine Fest Recap.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Charles White Retrospective.

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