Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: The Tribune's so-called 'Schoolchildren's Bill of Rights'

Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: The Tribune's so-called 'Schoolchildren's Bill of Rights':

The Tribune's so-called 'Schoolchildren's Bill of Rights'

Created with consent of the governed.
Chicago Tribune editors are calling for a "Schoolchild's Bill of Rights." As anyone familiar with the Trib might guess, Sunday's editorial has little to do with schoolchildren or their rights--except, that is, for their right to have their schools closed or privatized and their teachers debased. 

The Trib's Bill of Rights includes not a single right for students, but instead includes things like:
  • Merit Pay for teachers, a oft-tried initiative which, according to researchers, produced no gains in measurable learning outcomes. 
  • Using student test scores to evaluate teachers. Already the law in IL. 
  • Widespread school "choice," the Trib's code word for school vouchers and privately-run charters. Trib editors write: "The public education industry should view ethnic, parochial or other private schools not as threats but as alternatives that enrich and diversify a community's educational offerings."
  • An end to collective bargaining, including the right to strike.
  • Parent Trigger Laws which enable a small and temporary group of parents to take over a school and hand it over to a private, for-profit company to operate. As you might expect, there's nothing about parents' right to opt-out of the plague of standardized testing.
  • Mass closing of  black and Latino neighborhood schools and leaving boarded-up buildings to further blight communities or sell them off to condo developers. Again, too late. They're already doing it. 
In other words, there's not much on this list that hasn't been going on for years in Chicago, without any positive results. 

Trib editors' ideal schools chief.
The only thing surprising here is the Trib editors' use ofBill of Rights lingo to promote their extreme right-wing reform agenda. Remember it was the same board members who, in a previous editorial, called for CPS to be taken over by an autocrat with "Mussolini-like powers" to execute and implement that agenda. 

I'm afraid that would leave Chicago kids with little more Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: The Tribune's so-called 'Schoolchildren's Bill of Rights':

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