SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Today’s must read

Wednesday, Jan 15, 2014

* Back in December, the Sun-Times ran a long piece online by Timothy Meegan entitled “Selecting charters in Chicago a rigged game.” Meegan wrote about how Neighborhood Advisory Councils (NACs) were set up to allow communities to review proposals for new charter schools

[Neighborhood Advisory Councils] are being facilitated by members of Stand for Children, a pro charter school organization. The NW Side NAC is being facilitated by Juan Jose Gonzalez, Stand for Children’s Chicago Director, a fact he refused to reveal in public when asked at a NAC meeting. His wife facilitates the SW Side NAC. This is a glaring conflict of interest.

Mr. Gonzalez even offered one of our NAC members a job at Stand for Children, which is wholly inappropriate.

Everything done on the NAC was paid for by New Schools for Chicago, a venture philanthropy organization dedicated to charter proliferation. Their board includes CEO Barbara Byrd Bennett, Board of Education members Deborah Quazzo and President David Vitale, and Noble investor and gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner.

Why? Because charter schools become investment opportunities and tax shelters for the super wealthy. Intrinsic is funded by the Walton foundation, the Broad Foundation, New Schools for Chicago [which has received six-figure funding from the Rauner Family Foundation], and NextGen. Noble investors include Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and Bruce Rauner.

New Schools for Chicago spared no expense. They catered all meals, paid for materials and meeting space. They also brought in pro charter “experts” from all over the country to guide us in the process. New Schools hired an organizer named Chris Butler to canvass for the community meetings. On December 7 I asked Mr. Butler how many people were canvassing and for how long, and what specifically they were doing, i.e. passing out flyers, door knocking, etc.

* More on how the process was “fixed”

The process was rigged from the start. The NW side [Neighborhood Advisory Council] examined two high school proposals for the Belmont-Cragin area, Intrinsic and Noble. Intrinsic currently does not have location in mind for its proposed charter; Noble wants to locate its charter across the street from Prosser Career Academy.

Immediately upon joining the NW Side NAC, we had to sign a confidentiality agreement. Conversations have been limited by a very narrow criteria, allowing for almost no qualitative analysis of the proposals. Many members were uncomfortable and voiced their concerns about being limited to the CPS rubric. For example, our decisions were limited to whether non- negotiables, such as Noble’s infamous disciplinary fines, were present in the proposal, not whether they were desirable for a school in our community.

Rules seem to be made up as they go along. Our NAC was overseen by CPS officials from the Office of New Schools and Intergovernmental Affairs. After the NAC decided by majority vote to hold a community meeting at Prosser and had made arrangements with Prosser’s principal, CPS’ John Scott and Emily Metz overruled our decision, claiming the need for a more “neutral” space.

Emphasis added. Go read the whole thing.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


13 Comments
  1. - hisgirlfriday - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 11:20 am:

    Just like with the prison privatization movement, for-profit charter schools have been shown to facilitate political pay-for-play while not improving outcomes for public services or taxpayer savings any more than the old model.

    The best public education model is still the neighborhood/community-based model, but lazy and corrupt politicians have given up trying to improve/fix broken neighborhoods/communities with investments in neighborhood/community schools and education and instead sold off their schools to the highest bidder making the neighborhoods/communities left behind even more broken than before.


  2. - OneMan - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 11:30 am:

    Not sure where he gets the investor thing (assuming that means there is a financial upside for the investors). There are Nobel charters that are also named after the guy who started Lands End as well as a Nobel Charter named after the Bulls


  3. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 11:44 am:

    There are lucrative federal tax credits for financing new charter schools. That’s one reason why the hedgies and private equity guys are hot for them.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/education/albany-charter-cash-big-banks-making-bundle-new-construction-schools-bear-cost-article-1.448008


  4. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 11:46 am:

    Stop the presses. Clout rules in Chicago.

    So what else is new?


  5. - Louis G Atsaves - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 12:00 pm:

    I usually stay away from public school board issues and other related matters that go bump in the night, but this one raises as few questions. I agree with the author’s complaint of a lack of transparency. But the author is a CPS teacher. The CPS makes up all the rules and seems to promote the lack of transparency. That shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone.

    Tax rules that promote donations to improve the lives of kids in an educational setting are now evil and cynically used by cynical billionaires as a tax shelter?

    With skyrocketing unaffordable property taxes to support schools in this state, and the various disparities in funding school districts statewide, we should be enticing more cynical billionaires to donate to them, as public policy form of property taxpayer relief.

    Public schools good, charter schools evil vs. public schools evil, charter schools good arguments just give me a massive headache. The only solution is a couple of aspirins.


  6. - xian - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 1:25 pm:

    The New Markets Tax Credit is hardy an “tax rule that promotes donations to improve the lives of kids in an educational setting”. It’s more similar to the tax waiver for new baseball team owners.

    It gives incentives to do things that were already profitable and desirable. It’s basically a free handout.

    Some charters are better and some are worse than neighborhood schools, but it’s a bad gamble–overall, when accounting for their own selectivity (who can fill out an application), they perform worse.

    Furthermore, it’s profitable to invest in charter building bonds without the extra NMTC.

    It’s so sweet, it creates the opposite dynamic-strong incentive to lobby for and promote charters in areas where they are inferior or unnecessary to reap huge incentives out of the public coffers.

    I would remove charter construction from the NMTC, but if we keep it, there should be a provision that the credits are based on actual improvement, and they should be lessened greatly.


  7. - Ghost - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 1:52 pm:

    I don’t see this as a big deal; in the end we get additional well funded schools. Are we really wanting to roll back education funding? If the concern is access the. Encourage more of this in blighted areas with larger tax benefits. Better funded schools is never going to be bad to me


  8. - Rod - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 1:53 pm:

    I think there are real problems in the CPS charter approval process, which is why CPS today tabled voting on a big pile of charter proposals. But that being said, and it also being said as blog readers know I don’t think highly of Mr. Rauner, his many gifts to charter schools are probably based on his belief in market mechanisms as the very best way to improve education for low income students in Chicago.

    Regardless whether the gift from Mr Rauner was to Payton, a traditional selective non-charter school, or to Noble Street charter school the tax issues are fundamentally the same. Mr. Rauner believes that charters offer choice to low income students and he has repeatedly stated that choice can set these poor students on the path to success. He currently has one charter school named after himself see http://raunercollegeprep.noblenetwork.org/

    I have seen no evidence that Mr. Rauner has any investments in the private for profit education sector, if he does and someone out there knows of it please post the information.

    I don’t agree with Mr. Rauner’s position on charter schools and competition being a major issue for improving the education of poor children in Chicago. But I don’t see his primary motivation being making a buck on charters either.


  9. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 3:02 pm:

    “hedgies and private equity guys”

    I saw a documentary on charter schools in New York or some other eastern city. It showed poor kids being helped by charter schools. I was just about to grab the kleenex to dab away a tear when the show mentioned the “greedy” teachers union and that it’s destroying education.


  10. - Downstater - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 3:06 pm:

    Charter schools seem to be a great alternative the many failed public schools in urban areas. If charter schools don’t make a difference, then why do people get on a waiting list to get in.
    Any competition to the public education sector has to be good for everyone.


  11. - Rod - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 4:25 pm:

    Downstater CPS has no audited wait lists for charter schools all the data is being self reported by charter schools in Chicago. I am not saying it falsified, but families apply to many different schools simultaneously here in Chicago there are hundreds of CPS schools and charter schools. So one family may appear of several wait lists, the data is highly unreliable.


  12. - Percival - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 6:06 pm:

    I think people here are being a bit too erudite in saying charter schools are great and that makes it all fine. Even beyond the ends and means counter to those conclusions, Joe Sixpack is going to hear “some sort of proceeding fixed by people who had a huge conflict of interest, financed by Bruce Rauner.” This may not have legs, but it is hardly a trifle. Time will tell.


  13. - BobInPeoria - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:08 pm:

    Stand for Children gave large contributions to one of Peoria’s state reps——Jehan Gordon-Booth(Dem).
    Found it…..$100K in 2010 cycle, per Rich Miller in Illinois Times, Oct 21 2010… SfC gave $650K, mostly to Dems…

    http://illinoistimes.com/article-7903-who’s-behind-stand-for-children-.html


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Reader comments closed until Monday
* TrackBill update
* Caption contest!
* It's worse than we thought
* Question of the day
* Long-term debt is not short-term debt
* Today's quotable
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * Nexus 6 Stand Folio Case now available on Google Play
        * Chainfire updates SuperSU, CF-Auto-Root, How-to SU
        * 10 excellent movies to stream on Netflix over Thanksgiving weekend
        * Opera Mini for Android gets updated
        * YubiKeys by Yubico provide two-factor authentication by USB
        * Germany’s Linshof i8 boasts 80 GB of storage
        * Take down E.V.I.L with Agent Awesome Android game

        * Give Babies and Young Kids Less Frequent Baths to Reduce Eczema Issues
        * ReWalk Exoskeleton Helps Marine Walk Again
        * Apple and (RED) Team Up to Help Raise Funds to Fight AIDS
        * Kotex Creates Best Site of All Time, Period
        * Keep Gravy Warm and Smooth for Hours in a Thermos
        * How to stop Twitter from seeing what mobile apps you’ve installed
        * Apple And Samsung 2014 Black Friday Deals

        * Catching up with Tadahito Iguchi
        * White Sox ACE program helps send players to college
        * Additional 2005 fan-favorite players added to '15 SoxFest
        * White Sox introduce Adam LaRoche and their plans for him
        * White Sox plan for contention a work in progress
        * White Sox officially announce LaRoche deal
        * Red Sox seize offseason driver's seat with signings

        ...............


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

        Archives
        November 2014
        October 2014
        September 2014
        August 2014
        July 2014
        June 2014
        May 2014
        April 2014
        March 2014
        February 2014
        January 2014
        December 2013
        November 2013
        October 2013
        September 2013
        August 2013
        July 2013
        June 2013
        May 2013
        April 2013
        March 2013
        February 2013
        January 2013
        December 2012
        November 2012
        October 2012
        September 2012
        August 2012
        July 2012
        June 2012
        May 2012
        April 2012
        March 2012
        February 2012
        January 2012
        December 2011
        November 2011
        October 2011
        September 2011
        August 2011
        July 2011
        June 2011
        May 2011
        April 2011
        March 2011
        February 2011
        January 2011
        December 2010
        November 2010
        October 2010
        September 2010
        August 2010
        July 2010
        June 2010
        May 2010
        April 2010
        March 2010
        February 2010
        January 2010
        December 2009
        November 2009
        October 2009
        September 2009
        August 2009
        July 2009
        June 2009
        May 2009
        April 2009
        March 2009
        February 2009
        January 2009
        December 2008
        November 2008
        October 2008
        September 2008
        August 2008
        July 2008
        June 2008
        May 2008
        April 2008
        March 2008
        February 2008
        January 2008
        December 2007
        November 2007
        October 2007
        September 2007
        August 2007
        July 2007
        June 2007
        May 2007
        April 2007
        March 2007
        February 2007
        January 2007
        December 2006
        November 2006
        October 2006
        September 2006
        August 2006
        July 2006
        June 2006
        May 2006
        April 2006
        March 2006
        February 2006
        January 2006
        December 2005
        April 2005
        March 2005
        February 2005
        January 2005
        December 2004
        November 2004
        October 2004

        Blog*Spot Archives
        November 2005
        October 2005
        September 2005
        August 2005
        July 2005
        June 2005
        May 2005

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * Rauners serve Thanksgiving meals at West Side s.....
        * Will Rauner want the mansion?..
        * Let's give thanks for aldermanic elections..


        * Against odds, Chicago school aims for championship
        * Woman's body found near Whiteside county jail
        * Against odds, Chicago school aims for championship
        * Liver transplant recipient marks 25th anniversary
        * Woman's body found near Whiteside county jail
        * VSU chief financial officer to leave for new job
        * Collinsville man guilty of murder in fatal wreck
        * 3 arrested in Chicago during Ferguson protest
        * Clemency for man wrongfully jailed for 1991 murder
        * Illinois doctor fined over medical marijuana slip

        * Illinois attorney general files notice of appeal in pension case
        * Quinn grants clemency to 126 ahead of holiday
        * Illinois gives $4.5M food banks for modernization
        * State begins accepting fracking applications
        * Debt rating agencies weigh in on state pension ruling
        * Lisa Madigan to ask Illinois Supreme Court to consider pensions
        * Rauner tackles transition agenda
        * Attorney general warns of immigration scams
        * State pension changes ruled unconstitutional; appeal to Illinois Supreme Court next
        * State to refund $60 million in retiree health care money

        * Most BP oil spill claims handled correctly, McGladrey says
        * Illinois AG Madigan files notice of appeal in pension case
        * Congressmen sound alarm over anti-Asian Carp move
        * Motorola Mobility loses bid to extend antitrust law reach
        * Chicago business activity is growing—but at a slower pace


        * Rauners don hairnets, serve Thanksgiving to homeless
        * Norman Schoer, viola player with Grant Park Orchestra and Lyric Opera, dies at 103
        * Cupich: Work needed to ‘repair our broken immigration system’
        * Obama 2014 Thanksgiving menu: Turkey, Ham, six kinds of pies
        * Obama guidance, press schedule Nov 27-30, 2014 Thanksgiving break
        * Charity event looks like turkey tokenism
        * Decatur Classical parents want to expand into old Stewart building
        * Cupich: More must be done to ‘repair our broken immigration system’
        * Gutierrez: Obama's immigration delay cost Pat Quinn votes
        * Charity event looks like turkey tokenism


        * Archbishop Cupich emphasizes spiritual blessings at Lake Forest Thanksgiving mass
        * 1 shot on South Side
        * Judge reassigned after failing to follow contempt rules, officials say
        * Pre-Thanksgiving revelers in Naperville unfazed by new alcohol rules
        * Woman shot dead in apparent domestic-related shooting in Gary
        * Ferguson protester in Chicago charged with felony
        * Thanksgiving Day Parade kicks off at Congress and State
        * Crash-and-grab burglars hitting high-end stores in suburbs and Chicago
        * Flurries, cold expected for Thanksgiving
        * Crash-and-grab robbery in North Austin


        * LLCC Offers Variety Of Community Education Classes
        * Incoming U of I President Speaks To Springfield Audience
        * Another Year Of "Messiah" For Springfield Choral Society
        * New Exhibit On Lincoln's "Undying Words"
        * Locals Organize For Vigil In Response To Ferguson
        * Illinois Hunters Kill 52,000 Deer Over The Weekend
        * Pension Ruling "Credit Negative," But No Ratings Change
        * Tim Landis: Foreclosure Sales, CIPS Icehouse and Heritage River Trail
        * Part Timers & Manufacturing in Illinois Feeling a Slow Economic Recovery
        * Notes From Ferguson: A QA With St. Louis Public Radio's Rachel Lippmann


        * Our Opinion: Help combat hunger this holiday season
        * Eugene Robinson: On replacement, caution urged
        * George Will: Thanks, or something
        * Quote of the Day: Nov. 27, 2014
        * Illinois attorney general files notice of appeal in pension case
        * Quinn grants clemency to 126 ahead of holiday
        * Illinois gives $4.5M food banks for modernization
        * Michael Gerson: The big ‘but’ on immigration
        * Quote of the Day: Nov. 26, 2014
        * State begins accepting fracking applications


        * Thanksgiving Day shopper
        * Kenneth Saul
        * Indiana State Pregame 11-27-14
        * LIVE! Indiana State from Las Vegas
        * Library to host senior citizen program
        * Minonk Christmas light parade set Dec. 6
        * News in brief 11/27/14
        * YWCA Holiday Helpers program begins
        * Blue Sky Vineyard: A Tuscan hideaway in Southern Illinois
        * Illinois health officials offer turkey safety tip


        * Palatine Jaycees hold 57th annual tree sale
        * Naperville police watching for street racing on 95th
        * Navy recruits celebrate Thanksgiving with veterans in Arlington Heights
        * Images: Thanksgiving Day in the Suburbs
        * Suspect arrested after Elk Grove Village robbery

        * Congressman calls for removal of police co...
        * Congressmen Plan House Speech on Chicago's...
        * Sri Lanka's Downward Spiral - Foreign Policy
        * Davis To Obama: 'Do Everything In Your Pow...
        * Rahm Touts New Law to Clear Juvenile Polic...
        * Dem Rep. to Columnist: Stop Comparing Blac...
        * Davis retains US Congress 7th seat with ea...
        * Danny Davis Defeats Robert Bumpers In Illi...
        * Rehab of Affordable Housing Building in Ol...
        * Rep. Danny Davis Hopes to Keep His Seat fo...

        * Durbin Celebrates Obama’s Announcement at ......
        * We Blew It On Obamacare, Top Democrat Admi......

        * Iran's Supreme Leader supports extending t......
        * Chicago Tribuen: Squeeze a stalling Iran t......

        * "Nigerian Kitchen" Closes On Wilson
        * #HappyThanksgiving from The Sixth Ward blog!
        * In Chicago the race is on. It’s easy as ABC.
        * Lisa Madigan files her appeal.
        * The Better Government Association continues to spread the lie about public employee pensions.
        * Happy Thanksgiving. “My idea,” says Rahm.
        * Chicago parents demand answers from Emanuel after sex ed lessons revealed
        * Happy Thanksgiving
        * We're Grateful To Live In Uptown, And For You
        * Will Thanksgiving meal someday come at shopping mall food court?


        * Governor Quinn Announces Investment to Help Regional Food Banks Better Serve Those in Need - Governor’s Investment Will Ensure Lower Cost and Higher Efficiency for Services Reaching Nearly 2 Million Illinois Residents
        * Governor Pat Quinn Takes Clemency Action
        * Governor Quinn Statement on Abner Mikva Receiving Nation’s Highest Civilian Honor
        * Department of Insurance Announces Multi-State Settlement with Symetra Life Insurance and Symetra National Life Insurance Company - Illinois will share part of a $1.2 million penalty against Symetra Life regarding Life Insurance policies
        * Avoid Foodborne Illness This Holiday Season




            Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller