Gretchen A. Steele | Chicago Reader

Recent Comments

Re: “Hey, charterheads: let's make love, not war!

@ How hard could it be?

Unfortunately the graphs published on the CPS web site, published when test scores came out last summer have vanished. That graph compared three groups of test scores from the following: selective enrollment CPS schools, regular CPS schools, and charter schools. CPS selective enrollment schools vastly outscored selective enrollment charters and charters minimally outscored noon-selective enrollment public schools. (Note - selective enrollment for all schools means parents must enroll their children - all other public schools do not get to choose who enrolls unlike charter schools with all students requiring parents to enroll them.)

Why did that graph disappear? Could this be why Brizzard is gone? Did he tout public school performance on the CPS web site - not charter schools - and then had to pay for it? (Sarcasm for those of you who cannot infer tone on social media.)

It is obvious why the graph had vanished: it supports what all data on school report cards shows - anyone can easily find this data using google. Go there yourself. All schools - even charters - have school report cards you can peruse anytime you want to take the time to fact check. It's easy, you just gotta take the time and see Ben is on the up and up, unlike charters which mislead without data.

Easier to do - go to the Chicago Magazine top schools listing published last summer. No charters are on the list because none of them perform at the level of the highest public schools.

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Gretchen A. Steele on 10/14/2012 at 5:15 PM

Re: “UNO's Juan Rangel does a damn good Chris Christie impression

Exactly, some educators and administrators teach at wealthier schools with parents who are involved with their children's eduction and others do not. This makes a huge difference in test scores, teacher evaluations, re-sale value of homes, and the money made by real estate moguls like Pritzker. Get the picture?

This is why unions were founded: as much for quality of education as quality of work and salary. aI feel unions are necessary yet I also think teachers, administrators, parents, unions, school boards like CPS, and the department of education need to do better to educate students living in poverty. This is a highly complex problem with highly complex - and expensive - solutions like the Harlem Children's Zone, undoubtably successful, yet much more expensive than politicians and about 50% of most Americans are willing to pay.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Gretchen A. Steele on 08/30/2012 at 4:21 PM

Re: “UNO's Juan Rangel does a damn good Chris Christie impression


You have made some astute points. However, education is funded by property taxes across this country. It is no secret why schools in some neighborhoods are much better funded than other neighborhoods - its the property taxes and the economic power of parents in those areas have. Follow the money, real estate benefits from good schools and Pritzker is in real estate.

In addition, what makes Pritzker more qualified to be on the board of education in Chicago than a parent with a child in public school or an educator in a classroom? Nothing but business connections with politicians. It is no secret the entire Chicago board of education is filled with mayoral appointees with MBAs or law degrees.

I agree, both parties do not know how to resurrect our education system, first defamed after the 1983 report on the state of education titled "A Nation At Risk". This report was misrepresented and re-framed by Reagan and others in terms of ideology for their own Machiavellian purposes. Even at the time, the report was an inditement of how poverty impacts students, not how terribly our education system performs. Further more, the numbers in the report were skewed by the Simpson Paradox and I'm not getting into a statistical analysis here.

Schools - teachers / administrators / neighborhoods - cannot improve education when reform leadership is politically driven and based upon a business model. Read the book "Schools Cannot Do It Alone" written by Jamie Vollmer, a business man turned edu-reformer who no longer believes the business model can work to improve education. The problems are largely systemic, teachers are the solution not the problem.

As Vollmer learned from a teacher who challenged his comparison of successful education to successful businesses, the manager of a business selects / controls the raw materials, equipment, and resources used to get results. Educators work with what they are given, usually by politicians. Oh except selective enrollment schools, which include many charter schools. Charters are performing well below the level of selective enrollment public schools in Chicago and student enrollment in Charter schools is largely selective.

To learn how business and politics negatively impact education in the U.S. you gotta do your homework because the media nor either political party have the best interest of students in mind when they spout their latest / best ideas for improving test scores.

9 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Gretchen A. Steele on 08/30/2012 at 2:55 PM

Re: “UNO's Juan Rangel does a damn good Chris Christie impression

And Juan Rangel isn't acting in his and UNO's own interest? Rangel and other Dems seeking to tear down teacher's unions due to their own self-interest, and the self interest of real estate moguls like the Pritzker family, might as well join the GOP. After all, Rangel and others keep borrowing from the Karl Rove playbook: lie, lie again, then keep up the lies until everyone believes them.

All you have to do is look at the test score graphs on the CPS web site to see how charter and turnaround schools are not out performing public schools. It's in the data and you cannot argue with the data used to evaluate teachers with!

27 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Gretchen A. Steele on 08/30/2012 at 9:13 AM

Favorite Places

  • None.
Find places »

Saved Events

  • Nada.
Find events »

Saved Stories

  • Nope.
Find stories »

Custom Lists

  • Zip.