Mayoral Candidate Education Forum Weds 12/15 – Webcast

December 14, 2010 at 11:45 am 12 comments

As a reminder, the Forum that has been organized by Raise Your Hand will be held tomorrow night (Weds Dec 15.)  The seats are full, but you can watch from your warm home in your jammies via web cast.  Info below:

Dear Raise Your Hand Supporter,

The Mayoral Forum on Education is just two days away.  We are pleased with the overwhelming response to this event, which surpassed its registration capacity in only three days – a telling sign of the interest in the race for Mayor and specifically the significance of education as a driving issue for voters.

If you were not able to register for the event or are unable to attend for any reason, we wanted to remind you that a live webcast of the event will be available using the following link:

The webcast, which will also be available for replay after the event, will also be accessible directly through the Raise Your Hand website at:

Should you have any questions about the webcast, please contact Clifford Meece <>

***Now for some unofficial information from behind the scenes at RYH:  As you may have heard, Rahm is the only “big-time” candidate who is not attending the forum, purportedly due to scheduling issues.   Some of his campaign people have allegedly expressed the concern that Rahm’s appearance might suck up all the attention at the forum, given his… (?? I’m not sure…. closeness with Obama? Media focus? Pseudo-celebrity status? Front-runner position?)  I don’t know, maybe it’s true.  BUT, this new mayor will be choosing the CEO for our schools.  Maybe this new mayor won’t know all the answers for CPS, but, as a good city leader, I’d like them to be able to express what they’re looking for when they’re hiring.   Sure, part of that is giving their own ideas on how to improve the school system.  But we all know it’s not an easy answer.  Some well-thought-out intentions for hiring would go a long way with me.

A friend of mine who is involved with RYH reports the following to me:

What is Rahm’s big catch phrase for education? ………

There’s nothing wrong with the Chicago public schools that can’t be cured by what’s right with the Chicago public schools.

Well, yes.  That is a very well-written idea with a wonderful grain of truth in it.  I think the school systems in NYC, LA, and DC would agree with this as well!  The challenge is, uh…. how do we make that happen?


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Moving kids mid-year Mayor Candidate Follow-Up (guest post)

12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mayfair Dad  |  December 14, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    “There’s nothing wrong with the Chicago public schools that can’t be cured by what’s right with the Chicago public schools.”

    What bunk – nothing more than a paliative to ease the fears of the white middle class. This was my quarrel with Huberteam: stop pointing at 8 SE high schools with your left hand and patting yourself on the back with your right hand. More than half of CPS students do not complete high school. This is a travesty.

    Magnet schools do not serve the purpose they were designed for; instead, they drain the neighborhood schools of human capital – motivated students, engaged parents and top-performing teachers – who go to isolated islands of excellence and leave society’s problems behind for the less fortunate to deal with.

    I want a mayor who recognizes the depth and breadth of the problem, and is willing to try something radically different.

  • 2. HSObsessed  |  December 14, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    Lame excuse from Rahm for not attending a major debate!! Between not showing up for this event (and others, I believe), and not showing up for his residency hearings today, he is looking a little weasely. And I am/was a tentative supporter of his, too, as in collected signatures to get him on the ballot. His people released a long policy statement on his plan for the schools earlier in the week on his blog/website, but that only goes so far. However, I’m sure Chico will have plenty of interesting things to say, and we’ll hear a lot about his 6 years as the Chairman of the Board for CPS when the reforms first started in the 90s.

  • 3. anonymous  |  December 14, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    MayFair Dad, I couldn’t agree with you more. Until we see the BROADER issues with CPS solved, I’m so tired of hearing more and more and more about the SEs and magnets. The mayor has always pointed to the top SEs (Payton, Northside, etc) with pride to show that the system works when the vast majority of the system is completely and utterly broken.

    I hope to hear a candidate who has the guts to say that CPS is a failure for the vast MAJORITY of students.

  • 4. Hawthorne mom  |  December 14, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    I would love for ANY of the candidates to give a realistic answer to how in the world they are going to PAY for any of their proposals. Laptops for kids? Major increases in pay for teachers with a proven track record of improving scores who would be willing to go to a lower performing school? Those are just two of the proposals I have heard that would cost tons of money and in an upcoming school year with more cuts sure to happen, I’d like to hear from someone who doesn’t think voters are stupid enough to believe any of these “improvements” will happen.
    I am so tired of the great ideas and the dumb ones (and btw, I think the laptop idea is very, very foolish and a waste of $$) being thrown out there as if there were even a tiny chance of them happening when every one knows none of them will ever come to pass.

  • 5. cps Mom  |  December 15, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Another costly venture – $4,500 vouchers to send low income kids to private schools that Rev. Meeks is bringing up AGAIN. Not sure what that solves.

  • 6. klm  |  December 16, 2010 at 9:11 am

    #5. I think what Rev, Meeks was thinking is that poor, inner-city Cicagoans, faced with the fact that their kids have no choice but to attend failing, dangerous bastions of dysfunction (i.e. local public “schools”) that virtually guarantee that these kids’ chances in life are almost completely void, well maybe these parents could give their kids something most Americans take for granted –a “decent” education. It’s nice that people want to change things and turn around CPS neighborhood schools (Yes! Yes! Yes–to all that!), but I for one cannot honestly feel OK with the notion that poor kids in the inner-city will have to sit and wait until their schools become decent (how many years has this been supposed to happen?), when in fact I would never, ever in a million years send my kids to those same schools. Yes, in theory I think that taking public money and giving it away is a bad idea, but here $4,500 is possibly going to provide an educational option other than a “failure factory” for that very purpose –a relative bargain in the big scheme of things.

  • 7. cps Mom  |  December 16, 2010 at 10:25 am

    @6 – I do disagree. The system needs total revamp, fixing for all not just some (50,000 x 4,500 = $225,000,000) cost to run away from the problems and potentially create same problems elsewhere.

  • 8. adad  |  December 16, 2010 at 10:30 am

    What private or Catholic school in the city only costs $4500 to attend? How would they make up the difference if this were to go through? Just asking…

  • 9. cps Mom  |  December 16, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    I don’t know. I would assume also that this would only cover 1 year. That’s one expensive band-aid.

  • 10. klm  |  December 16, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    # 7. Places that have used vouchers (.e.g. Milwaukee and DC) sometimes gained because some students were using a much lower amnt (here $4,500) than the $11-13k+ in CPS (or much more per student in DC). The fact is, if a CPS school is doing a good job (and this whole web site is devoted to trying get one’s child into a good CPS school and avoid the ones that are not) then there’s nothing to worry about. Who’s money is it, anyway? The administrators’? The teachers’? The School Board’s? I always though k-12 education funding should be devoted to the best interests of the kids it serves, not the adults that get paychecks from it. Shouldn’t it go towards what’s best for kids? In Sweden (hardly a place known for not taking care of its children), parents can choose their local “public” school or they can send them (and their per-student ‘public school’ money) to an accredited open-enrollment school (most of which are run by for-profit companies) if they think it’s a better option. Public schools have an incentive to do a good job, otherwise kids (and their money) go elsewhere. The “non-Public” schools have an incentive to do a good job, otherwise they lose their money, too (and won’t attract ‘new’ students). Why is it OK to keep dangerous, dysfunctional poor inner-city neghborhoods’ children in schools (education being the only way out) that any middle-class person would rather die than sent their own kids? For $4,500 per student??!! I don’t mean to disrepect or demean other opinions, but how is it moral to to not provide some options when we know public schools are failing so many of our poor, minority fellow Americans.

  • 11. klm  |  December 16, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    I don’t mean to monopolize this discussion, but I know a Chicago family where 2 kids go to a very good Catholic school (the family’s not Cathlolic) for full-day classes and they pay $8,000 for BOTH. So, yes, $4,500 per child can make a big difference –don’t forget most voucher plans (DC, Milwaukee and the one proposed by Meeks) go only to low-income families not middle-class and above ones that have options (i.e., moving or paying private school tuition). Also, some schools that cost more may be happy to admit more students can pay something –this happened in DC where (with vouchers) at least 2 low-income DC kids were able to attend the private Sidwell Friends school, where the Obama girls go and where Chelsea Clinton went. God knows Obama wouldn’t send his own kids to an inner-city DC public school (what educated person of means does?), just like he sent his kids to Lab rather than a low-performing neighborhood CPS school –and I don’t honestly blame him because neither would I. At least President Obama admiited that he sent his kids to a private school because DC public schools were bad and didn’t make up some exuse about “security” like President Clinton did. George W. Bush’s twin daughters went to public school, for the record.

  • 12. adad  |  December 21, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    @ 11 – What Catholic school are you referring to? That’s a low tuition price for 2! Is that the full amount required or are there others fees? Just curious about options.

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