This is a sad and infuriating headline from the Chicago Tribune last week:
Question: When was the last time a public school in Chicago closed down? If you answered never, you’re very close to the truth.
These two Catholic schools located in middle-class and lower-income neighborhoods and serving mostly minorities are closing not for lack of performance – the students who attend the Catholic schools far outperform the kids warehoused in Chicago public schools. The Archdiocese simply lacks the dollars to stay open even though they spend only about half per student what the Chicago public schools spend – incredibly, nearly $30,000 per child in 2023!
So how are the public schools in Chicago doing with their piles of dollars?
Our friend Jeanne Allen of the Center for Education Reform recently ran the numbers:
Less than 16% of the Chicago Public School’s 300,000 minority students can read at grade level – including only 11% of Black students and 17% of Latino children. Yet in 2021, 100% of CPS teachers were “evaluated as excellent or proficient by an administrator.”
Talk about grade inflation!
In a sane world where the children are the ones who matter, wouldn’t we shut down the public schools that are failing and keep open the schools that are working? If you’re a teachers union member, the answer to that question is a definitive: NO.