Showdown in Chicago

The Chicago school system is now facing the wrath of both the US Department of Education (over its insistence on providing tutoring under NCLB) and the US Department of Justice (for reportedly allowing schools with larger numbers of white children to deny transfer requests from black children).

Both of these flare-ups may be resolved without basketball-bruised and defiant Arne Duncan having to pull a Meigs Field, but each gives a clear view of Chicago's desire to be left alone and do things its own way, whether the issue is tutoring children or intergrating the schools. This is not a town that takes kindly to being told what to do.

On the NCLB front, school officials have made lots of noise about the possibility of their having to get out of the lucrative tutoring business, which they have dominated. U.S. hits back at Duncan on tutors (Chicago Sun-Times), Schools told to outsource tutoring (Chicago Tribune), US halts local schools tutoring (Chicago Sun Times), Duncan may sue US over tutoring(Chicago Tribune), Feds halt school tutoring programs (Washington Times), Tutoring laws skirted, official says (Chicago Daily Southtown). There’s also a great interview with Arne Duncan and Gene Hickock on Friday’s edition of WBEZ’s Eight Forty-Eight, which you can listen to online with RealPlayer as soon as it's posted.

Meanwhile, a Federal judge has given Chicago a week to explain why schools with more than 40 percent white kids have failed to take in minority transfers despite having enrollment space. New school integration edict (Chicago Tribune), 41 white kids may have to transfer (Chicago Sun Times), Racial transfer battle reignites (Chicago Tribune), Judge issues new Chicago schools integration ruling (Chicago Daily Southtown).


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