Do you ever think about the fact that the US has created and legitimized a system of institutionalized inequality by funding schools through property taxes? That basically a child’s education is only as good as the value of the property in their neighborhood. Funny how education is so often viewed as an equalizing factor when there is nothing equal about it.
After weeks of uncertainty, principals at 54 public schools here officially learned from city officials on Thursday that their schools would close, with 11 more to share space with other schools. The closings represent the largest group of campuses to be shut down at one time by a city in recent memory.
Throughout the day, principals, teachers and parents were notified that their schools were on the closing list, their frustration and anger growing. But until late afternoon, neither the mayor’s office nor Chicago Public Schools officials would confirm the numbers.
Just before 5 p.m., the district released details. “For too long children in certain parts of Chicago have been cheated out of the resources they need to succeed because they are in underutilized, under-resourced schools,” said Barbara Byrd-Bennett, chief executive of the Chicago Public Schools, in a statement.
The district said that it would save $560 million over 10 years by reducing investment in the closed buildings and cut annual operating costs by $43 million.
The closings represent about 8 percent of the 681 public schools in Chicago, the third-largest school district in the country. More than 400,000 students are enrolled in public schools, a large majority black or Hispanic and from low-income families.
After an extensive review, the district said that it had taken 276 schools out of consideration for closing. The final decision came just two weeks after a state commission in Pennsylvania announced a decision to close 23 schools in Philadelphia. Districts in Detroit, Newark and Washington have also closed schools in recent years.” —The New York Times, “Chicago Says It Will Close 54 Public Schools” (via inothernews)
Until I see an educational reform movement specifically address poverty - not just “how to teach students from poverty”, but “here’s how we can address the roots of poverty” - i will be skeptical because poverty is the most statistically significant factor linked to school performance