* I’m just gonna outright steal an Eric Zorn post in its entirety…
From the Tribune story about the latest test scores from the Chicago Public Schools reflecting the percentage of pupils performing at or above grade level:
Charter schools did not show an increase in the number of students meeting or exceeding standards, while neighborhood schools improved by 2.2 points.
From the Sun-Times story:
Charters citywide have been performing at about the same level as regular CPS neighborhood schools over the past several years and just slightly worse this year at 50.4 percent overall compared to CPS’ 52.6 percent, according to the district.
And we’re all in for charter schools because….?
CPS students — magnet, charter and turnaround schools alike — sat for the tests in early March, weeks before CPS announced it would ask the board to permanently close a record 54 schools, 48 of which were approved.
CPS officials said the composite scores of the closing schools lagged 12 percentage points behind the schools set to receive children, validating the district’s claim they’re sending students to better schools.
Of the 48 closing, 23 improved, 23 declined, and one remained the same. The 48th is a high school program whose students don’t take the ISAT.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, speaking at an unrelated event Tuesday, was quick to link ISAT performance to his longer school day initiative, saying the greatest growth under CPS’ recalculation of past data was at the schools that first adopted the longer day two years ago.
Chicago Public Schools officials announced late Thursday that 2,113 teachers and other employees would be laid off Friday, largely due to a giant pension obligation increase that’s straining the system.
“In fiscal year ‘14 we’re facing a historic deficit of $1 billion that is driven primarily by a $400 million increase in our annual teacher pension payments,” said CPS spokesman Becky Carroll. “Absent pension reform in Springfield, we have very few options available to us to close that gap, and that has resulted in bringing this crisis to the doorsteps of our schools.” […]
[Alicia Winckler, who is in charge of human resources for CPS] attributed the layoffs of 815 support staff, 398 tenured teachers and 510 non-tenured teachers to budgetary decisions made by principals. School closings account for the layoffs of 68 support staff employees and 194 food staff employees, she said. And changes in school enrollments account for the layoffs of 43 tenured teachers and 85 non-tenured teachers, Winckler said.
The latest layoffs… are in addition to 855 employees — including 420 teachers — who were laid off last month as a result of the district’s decision to close 49 elementary schools and a high school program. […]
The district again blamed the lack of pension reform for many of its fiscal woes, noting that pension payments are growing this fiscal year by an additional $400 million. The layoffs were the result of “budgetary decisions made by principals or changes in enrollment,” the district said in a statement.
“Absent pension reform in Springfield, we had very few options available to us to close that gap,” Carroll said. “This year, given the magnitude and the size of this deficit, and the fact that there was no pension reform reached in Springfield, this has made it to the doorsteps of our schools.”