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Question of the day

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

* From JB Pritzker’s Oak Park appearance

Pritzker also said that he opposed any new charter schools in Illinois.

* The Question: Agree or disagree? Click here to take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Joe M - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 1:12 pm:

    Voted Agree. Taxpayer money should not be used for private schools. It should be used to improve public schools.

  2. - Mr. K - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 1:14 pm:

    Agree. 100%

  3. - Anonymous - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 1:15 pm:

    Disagree, unfortunately, we need the CS option to keep the poorly performing public schools honest.

  4. - NoGifts - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 1:16 pm:

    Agree. We should improve public schools not create new schools.

  5. - T Sowell - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 1:16 pm:

    Voted disagree - money should follow the kid; to encourage schools to compete. Charters are one way to get parents and taxpayers back in charge of the educational system in Illinois.

  6. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 1:17 pm:

    Agree. Taxpayers don’t need to subsidize big tax credit scores for hedgies and contract-letting pork for the clout heavy.

    If hedgies want to open up their own schools, they are free to do so on their own dime.

  7. - realkewlio - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 1:18 pm:

    Voted Agree. And John Oliver explained why better than anyone else could/should…

  8. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 1:20 pm:


    What we’ve seen in Illinois is charter schools being used as a marketing and ego boosting tool for rich guys and clout-heavy organizations.

    Where we’ve seen charter successes they are largely free of rules (and students) that traditional public schools have to follow. We’d all look great if you just took out the bad parts, but the point of public schools is to educate all children, even if they’re difficult, even if they’re poor, even if they’re disabled or have behavioral disorders.

  9. - RNUG - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 1:20 pm:

    Have mixed feelings about charter schools. At this point, I would ban any new “for profit” ones. If a school district wanted to experiment with them, I think I would be OK with that as long as they got no more money than any other public school in the district. Heck, a number of school districts are already doing that, sometimes in the guise of “magnet” schools.

    One problem with charter schools is they tend to cherry pick the students. That doesn’t do anything to help the left behind students and the learning disabled.

    The problem I see is how do you measure success or failure. Is it just getting the kids UP to grade level in reading and math? Or is it having the kids exceed their grade level? Or do we just settle for an individual school exceeding the district average by one or more grade levels?

  10. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 1:21 pm:

    Agree. Right now? Totally agree.

    The state is embroiled in a budgetary “crisis” (created, but I digress… ) effecting schools, schools districts, and if those wanting charter schools feel the need in this manufactured “budget crisis” want more charter schools, they can be wholly financed as privately funded schools.

    Agree, no charter schools “now”.

  11. - Keyser Soze - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 1:25 pm:

    Philosophically, the practice of retaining the status quo is a conservative position.

  12. - Cassandra - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 1:26 pm:

    Are there charter schools in the Chicago suburbs. I think not, although I suppose they are a scary thought for some in the suburban public school industrial complex. Oak Park, for example, taxes its residents heavily for k-12 education, yet not all are thrilled with the results, if you read the local papers.

  13. - zatoichi - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 1:27 pm:

    Agree. Our local charter school came in with a big splash, promises and selected students. Outcomes after several years were consistently below the local public school who took everyone. The charter is no more.

  14. - Anon221 - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 1:30 pm:

    Agreed. The WBEZ report is very informative. If you can’t even get new charters to start up in Illinois with a bunch of Federal bucks right now, why think the outlook will improve if you keep throwing money at the “investors”?

  15. - DeseDemDose - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 1:31 pm:

    Who needs charter schools. We can all clout our kids into Payton by calling Arne Duncan.

  16. - Ray del Camino - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 1:37 pm:

    Agree. They are not proven to improve student performance, they siphon money away from existing schools, and create opportunities for graft–often without appropriate oversight. Public education is not a “market,” never mind what the “run it like a business” crowd says.

  17. - Gooner - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 1:53 pm:

    Strongly disagree.

    While there are many abuses with charters (some exist to generate profit and to evade union contracts) the general concept of innovation through charters is sound.

    We need more charter schools. We need change. What we are doing is not working.

  18. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 1:54 pm:

    Show voters that you are not anti-reform.

  19. - blue dog dem - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 1:58 pm:

    Disagree. Can’t read his mind, but looks like a play to the teachers unions

  20. - A guy - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 1:58 pm:

    Disagree. Use discretion, but don’t eliminate any options.

  21. - Robert the Bruce - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 1:58 pm:

    Agree, given the way they are started now (clout-heavy plus application generally required).

  22. - Amy - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 1:58 pm:

    Disagree. Springfields charter receives 75% funds per student than public school students. Over 50% are minority students and over 60 % are below poverty level. Students are picked through a lottery system. So much for cherry picking the elite.

  23. - Colby jack - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 2:08 pm:

    Disagree. Chicago may have corrupted the process, but they have been successful elsewhere.

  24. - yinn - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 2:20 pm:

    Agreed. Charter schools, in general, are another clever way for corporations to get their hands on public money. Unfortunately, too many buy into the “new and improved” message, which is code for throwing out the babies with the bathwater. It’s a deeply radical approach with the casualties that radicalism entails, and I want no part of it. Fix what needs fixing, stabilize and sustain the rest.

  25. - TinyDancer(FKASue) - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 2:20 pm:

    We can have public neighborhood schools or we can have charters - that’s the choice. The two cannot exist side-by-side. One must necessarily destroy the other and right now all the advantages are being given to the charters.

    Charters are draining funds away from neighborhood schools. Neighborhood schools must accept all children from the neighborhood, whereas charters are cherry-picking the best students and “counseling out” the behavior problems/special ed etc. Their operations, books, etc. are opaque, even though they are publicly funded.

    Charters were meant to laboratories of innovation - a safe place to experiment with new teaching/learning methods that could then be implemented in public neighborhood schools. They were not supposed to compete with neighborhood schools.

  26. - Robert the 1st - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 2:30 pm:

    Agreed. Why fix something that’s not broke? Oh wait, never-mind, disagree.

  27. - walker - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 2:37 pm:


    Charter schools so far have not demonstrated the benefits promised by the “free-market-improves-everything” crowd. The real world experiment is not working well enough to recommend more investment.

  28. - olddog - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 2:41 pm:

    Strongly agree. At some point in the future, we should take a fresh look at the original rationale for charters — i.e. providing support for innovation in curriculum, etc., designed by teaching professionals and held accountable to standards — but as they have developed, charter schools all too often have become a vehicle for privatization and gentrification. It’s time to hit the reset button.

  29. - Downstate - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 2:48 pm:

    Strongly disagree! Charter schools are about allowing a parent to send their child to a school filled with kids from like minded parents.

    Teachers tell me that classroom discipline is a direct reflection of the parent(s) and their interest in education. Why should a parent be forced to send their child to a school where other students (and their parents) have no respect for the teachers, education or its opportunity?

  30. - Dance Band on the Titanic - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 2:51 pm:

    Agree. All charters accomplish is taking money away from existing schools and leaving those students who remain at a severe competitive disadvantage. The track record of charters achieving better results is spotty at best and in many cases results are far worse than the original public schools.

  31. - Ahoy! - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 2:57 pm:

    I disagreed, not because I want to see more charter schools, just don’t like blanket statements or policy positions. Just my opinion, but in general, if the words “any” “all” or “never” are in a statements, it’s not a very good one.

    I do think there would need to be a compelling case for new charter schools, right now we need to focus on on the schools we have. That being said, charters schools do provide families options and choices, although a choice to enter into a lottery is not a very good choice at all.

  32. - Anonymous - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 2:59 pm:

    Charters may be needed in some cases…remember if the private schools all closed it would hammer resources in the Public system. Some public schools just cant get it done in some places…thus Charters are a viable option

  33. - Shake - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 3:05 pm:

    Agree. Charter Schools All About Privatization.. Not Good. Drain The State. What Rauner Likes.

  34. - OurMagician - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 3:27 pm:

    Disagree-need to change the thinking of education. 21st century is here and many schools still teach in the 19th century style.

  35. - Jocko - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 3:45 pm:

    Agree. Given our track record with privatization in government, in the military, and with education…can we stop with the “competition improves everything!” mantra?

  36. - Last Bull Moose - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 4:25 pm:

    I agree conditionally. A pause while we sort out how to fund and organize schooling for children makes sense. Longer term we need a way to improve schooling.

    Public schools in densely populated areas are no longer natural monopolies.

  37. - Chicago 20 - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 5:20 pm:

    Agree. Charter schools drain resources from public schools and creates a tiered education system that benefits very few and penalizes the majority of students.

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