Monday, February 13, 2012

Chicago Tribune Editorial Hypocrisy Avoids School Choice, Vouchers, to Plump More U. of Chicago Influence - School Choice is The Metric that Matters

Nepotism, political hiring, crony capitalism, and toe-nail fungal infections get full bleat from Chicago's lily-livered editorial boards.

That tradition continues with today's milk and water editorial on Chicago's permanently hobbled public schools.

School closings, due to complete failure, gets the Hurrumph of the day. The editorial board panda bears of the Medill Empire tout yet another fabulous University of Chicago ( home of John Dewey, the Prospero of our Caliban public schools) study as the silver-bullet cure.

Under the heading of saving poor kids trapped in failing schools, the editorial praises the factory that produced this mess from the get-go:

One in three Chicago students is stuck in an academically feeble school. Scores of public schools languish — some for more than a decade — on academic probation.

We strongly support the CPS effort to close the worst-performing schools and send those students to better-performing schools nearby. We back the CPS plan to send 10 schools next year into what's known as turnaround — an aggressive move in which teachers and administrators are fired, and specially trained replacements are brought in.

Critics say these moves don't work. The critics are wrong. These dramatic reforms pay off in significant student gains, according to a just-released report by the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research.

The consortium found that 22 lagging elementary schools made dramatic academic progress in four years under several reform strategies, compared with similar schools that didn't undergo reforms.

The highlights:

• Faltering elementary schools dramatically improved in reading and math. The schools cut the gap between their test scores and the CPS average by half in reading, and by two-thirds in math. That's astounding growth in four years.

And what of similar schools that didn't undergo reform? No change. Those schools continued to fail their students.

• Revamping struggling schools generally didn't mean pushing out lower-performing students. By and large, the students who enrolled after the CPS intervention had previously attended the school.

Yes, the schools still fell short of the average CPS school. But the metric that matters here is student growth. The trajectory is up.

Boy, Howdy! The metric that matters is student growth! Please, parse that one.

Here's the deal, Sweethearts - To wax automotively metaphorical, the engine is shot; call a tow; get a new one.

School Choice, Vouchers for all Illinois taxpayers with children would fix the problem, but you already know that.

Nowhere in the hand-wringing of this editorial word are the words -school choice, school reform, or vouchers.

Instead we get another, trumpet blow for Chicago's policy factory -University of Chicago - the same geniuses that gave us the CTA Reforms ( Frank " Too Smart" Krusei and Forrest Claypool, The Garbage Grid, Cook County Reform & etc.) and place for former Mayor Daley to train future policy peddlers.

We need a Shakman Decree or sorts to protect citizens from the tweedy geniuses.

Catholic schools outperform public schools. Catholic Schools, were they collectively placed in an iron lung, would outperform CPS on a snow day following a plague of locusts.

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