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The [Monday] Papers

"Students from Chicago's 47 shuttered elementary schools will head to new schools today," Linda Lutton expertly reports for WBEZ this morning.

"And while most will go to so-called 'welcoming' schools the district has packed with resources, upgrades, and special safety provisions, new data show that many will not. The students from shuttered schools are enrolled in a whopping 287 schools across Chicago, forming a diaspora throughout the school system."

Which lays to waste all claims made by CPS about the "new" educational experience kids from closed schools will experience this year. The purported pipeline from closed schools to "welcoming" schools is actually a dizzying maze from closed schools to all points hither and yon.

"Chicago Public Schools insists that the majority of the nearly 12,000 students from the closed schools are signed up at the designated welcoming schools, where it did big fix-ups, from paint to iPads. The district made $155 million in building improvements at those schools, adding computer labs, science labs, and installing air conditioning in every classroom . . .

"But numbers obtained through an open records request show some 2,200 students from closed schools have not enrolled in welcoming schools, suggesting that the ripple effects of the largest school closure in recent American history could go well beyond the communities where the closures took place."

The consequences are significant. City leaders ought to be ashamed. Go read the whole thing.

*

"Chicago Public Schools officials say 91 percent of students from closing schools are enrolled for school this year, and most of those who are enrolled, 78 percent, will be going to the schools designated for them by the district," Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah reports for the Tribune. The Tribune reported in June, however, that some school administrators were enrolling students without parental approval, resulting in inflated enrollment figures."

Will CPS - and the mayor - ever be held accountable for their lies, evasions and obfuscations? Will they ever suffer consequences?

"The spending on what the district calls "welcoming schools" belies the district's ongoing financial problems. The school board on Wednesday will vote on a proposed $5.58 billion budget that managed to close a massive $1 billion deficit blamed on the state's pension mess.

"The majority of neighborhood schools will be dealing with severely reduced budgets. A new school funding system that ties individual school budgets to enrollment has meant most schools have had their operating budgets cut by $100,000 or more.

"Officials at many elementary schools said they were forced to cut art, music and world language programs. High schools such as Fenger, Kelly and Harper, located in some of Chicago's most troubled neighborhoods, each saw hits to their budgets of $3 million or more. Some lost extracurricular programs; others will have fewer history and science teachers."

Where is the city's civic class? Is there no sense of moral wrongdoing?

*

No child in any city should ever get less of an education than that provided to the mayor's children - or the wealthiest children. Access to education should be the ultimate equal opportunity.

*

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I should've said two.

*

ICYMI:

*

And on the higher education beat:

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The (Mighty Fine) Weekend In Chicago Rock
Performances worth checking out, top to bottom. Including: Boombox, Chicago, Redlight King, Truck Fighters, Soft Speaker, The Octopus Project, and Grace Potter & The Nocturnals.

*

Plus:

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Why NSA Snooping Is A Bigger Deal In Germany
Now the hottest issue in what was expected to be a sleepy presidential campaign.

And:

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The White Sox Report: Back To The Future
This was the kind of weekend we expected before the season began.

Even if Hawk embarrassed everybody with his interview of Sharon Robinson, Jackie's daughter.

See also:

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SportsMonday: Bears Offense Still In Hiding
By design.

Plus:

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The Cub Factor
Will appear on Tuesday.

But for now:

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Random Food Report: Rock Lobster, Side Of CHIPS
Plus: Odorous Downstate Offal & Elvis Has Left The Restaurant.

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Neither odorous nor offal.



Permalink

Posted on August 26, 2013


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - Slow TV Chicago.
POLITICS - Dangerous, Low-Wage Industries Depend On Immigrants, Refugees.
SPORTS - Wrong Foot Louie vs. The Fireball Kid!

BOOKS - Meet Chicago's American Writers Museum.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Meet Limo Bob.


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