That’s Right Nate

Thoughts from a right thinker.

Arne Duncan’s Parting Gift to the Children of Chicago

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Now that he has been appointed as Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan will be tasked with the responsibility of doing for the nation’s schools what he has done for Chicago.  However, before leaving, a list of the newest schools to witness the miracle of turnaround was leaked to PURE Online. The turnaround program involves closing down schools for a year and then reopenning them a year later ideally as a charter school without the same students and children that brought the school to turnaround status in the first place.

The great news for Chicago is that once again the 60622  zip code has been targeted.  This time a couple of underutilized schools are getting shut down.  As neighborhoods improve and gentrify the upwardly mobile families moving into a neighborhood don’t want to send their children to a school that is overrun with poor often minority kids who aren’t from the same social milieu.  I mean part of the reason for moving into a gentrifying neighborhood is to get a taste for real Chicago, but sending your kids to an old dilapidated building teaming with potential future criminals is a bit too authentic.   This proven Chicago strategy of putting in a new and well-funded charter into improving neighborhoods is something that needs to be replicated in other cities.

When the landmark Board vs Brown of Education decision was handed down, educational leaders throughout the country were left with the challenge of finding a way to provide cost effective education for poor minority students, while still giving wealthier students who pay more taxes the high quality of education that they deserve.  Chicago has found a way to do both through its Rennaisance 2010 and turnaround programs.   I know that Arne Duncan is moving on to bring this educational miracle to the rest of the country, but he will definitely be missed in Chicago.


Written by thatsrightnate

January 11, 2009 at 9:42 pm

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