An Outside Look at Charters in Chicago (Chicago IL)

The folks at the Democratic but pro-charter Progressive Policy Institute just released the latest in their series of case studies on charter school efforts in various states and districts (I did the one on Ohio that came out earlier this year).

Their take is generally positive, though frighteningly effusive at times, calling Chicago's effort a national model etc. "Chicago has built a reputation as a charter school trailblazer through selective oversight, key political and community support, and first-rate school developers" reads the blurb.

I'm not sure everyone will agree, especialy those who know the history first-hand. The report also seems especially light on political understanding, though it does offer a delightful summary of many of the Ren-10 conspiracy theories out there: " anticipating the need to close schools under NCLB; getting around the state cap, this time by opening charter-like schools; and attracting middle-class African-American families back to the city. Others note that New York City and Los Angeles have also recently announced similarinitiatives, which suggests an element of competition among America’s leading cities."

What about the whole gentrification angle? Still, there's lots of good background information and some decent recommendations about what might happen next. You can find it here: Chasing the Blues Away: Charter Schools Take Off In Chicago


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