Thursday, December 16, 2010

Crawlspaces and Boxes? School Choice is the Only Way to Reform Chicago Schools.

The elegant and brilliant Joe Morris is trying to keep a lid on the Rahm Emanuel residency hearings - Frankly, I think Mr. Emanuel belongs on the ballot for Mayor. The issue du jour is "What's in the crawlspace?" Que Lastima!

All the while Senator James Meeks has tossed down the gauntlet to Chicago's Public School Lobby - the folks who demand the same-old/same old disaster that is Chicago Public Education. Senator Meeks tried to get a genuine Chicago School Choice bill through Springfield but was betrayed by the very same Illinois Republican legislators who huff and puff about wasted tax-dollars.

The Chicago Tribune reported on the Meeks Reform Plan:

One of the major aspects is a voucher program Meeks said would allow up to 50,000 low-income students in Chicago to receive at least $4,500 per year to attend schools of their choosing.

Meeks passed a similar plan through the Senate earlier this year but it failed in the House. The candidate was asked what would be different if he were mayor.

"I like (my chances), because our school system is failing now, and I believe a plan that's being pushed by the mayor of the city of Chicago -- I passed that bill out of the Illinois Senate as a senator," Meeks said. "I'm sure that as mayor, we will be able to pass that plan through the entire General Assembly."
Meeks also said he would give the Chicago Teachers Union one year to develop a program "with teeth" to identify and fire teachers who aren't performing. If the union does not do so, Meeks said he would call on the General Assembly to pass legislation to deal with it. Such legislation has not passed during Meeks' tenure in Springfield, however.

"I don't think most of our teachers are bad. I think that most of our teachers are good, but we don't have a way to weed out the bad ones," Meeks said at a City Hall news conference outside the mayor's office.

Now, as a very viable candidate for Mayor of Chicago Senator/Rev. Meeks has iisued a challenge to the Chicago Teachers Union to come up with a plan to discharge bad teachers . . .long silence . . .wait for the howls.

Here it is! In the Huffington Post (chicago):

Meeks, also the minister at the massive Salem Baptist Church, was able to push a school voucher bill through the State Senate earlier this year. It passed by a 33-20 vote, before failing in the State House.

Under the plan, students at the lowest-performing schools in the city would be able to transfer to private or parochial schools, with money in their pockets to help pay for the tuition.

Such a program faces stiff opposition from teachers' unions, which argue that vouchers would deplete resources from already ill-funded public schools. They also object that public resources should be devoted to programs that will improve the lot of all students, not just a few, and that a voucher law could be unconstitutional if it gives public funds to sectarian purposes.

Here are some of the daffier HuffPo aficiandos and their thoughts.

That is the reason chump you will never be mayor of the windy city, so crawl back where u came from.

Mr. Meeks sees nothing wrong with ramming Jebus down your throat while vilifying all the gays that live in the city.

Every candidate for Mayor needs to get School Reform - Real school Choice -Vouchers - out of the crawlspaces, unpacked and put into place ASAP.

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