Jeanne Allen is the CEO of the Center for Education Reform. She’s got her job cut out for her in Chicago. Here she details how Chicago parents are fed up with left wing educrats and are doing something about it.
“Phone lines at many of the city’s Catholic schools were jammed with calls this week from weary parents, inquiring how to enroll their children.”
Watching public education inflict its own wounds is incredibly difficult.https://t.co/ccmHbeG4Zu
— Karen Vaites (@karenvaites) January 15, 2022
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Allen: Within just two days of the holidays ending, Chicago Public School teachers were forced to illegally stop working by the Chicago Teachers Union.
Parents went from confused to outraged as their families endured the 10-day work stoppage that was created to supposedly safeguard the health and well-being of employees. Never mind that in every community, all Catholic and most private and charter schools were open without a hitch.
The same theater was playing out in Newark, New Jersey and Detroit, Michigan. By Wednesday, January 11th, 5000 schools around the country were still closed, despite CDC and government proclamations that this COVID variant was milder and kids and teachers could safely be in school.
Despite receiving billions of taxpayer dollars in federal COVID-relief funding to do precisely that, large urban school districts were unable to handle challenges that they’ve had plenty of time, experience and again, money, to figure out. The system failed our students again — as the song says — just when they needed them most. It’s unacceptable for any institution that fails to do the job it is paid to do.
But there’s a way out: Give parents the control to make their own decisions. When parents have power, stuff happens. That’s the message that parents are sending loud and clear in Chicago, where thousands of them have inquired directly of the city’s private and charter schools about open slots. When the Center for Education Reform in partnership with a national philanthropist announced it was awarding $5 million in emergency grants to schools that could take CPS children, it was flooded with applications and stories of parents calling schools begging for slots. They know that students in the hands of educators not controlled by union contracts and large bureaucracies not only do better and get the attention they need but are safer. They also stay open even in a crisis.
Just look at Distinctive Charter Schools, the first recipient of the STOP Award’s Chicago Rescue Grants, to facilitate the influx of new student requests they’ve received since the start of these protests. These students, of which 89 percent are non-white and 85 percent are part of a free or reduced lunch program, show just a small picture of those being hurt most by the refusal of the teachers’ union to show up for students who need it most…
While the current stalemate over in-person education has come to an end for the time being, parents and students alike are saying enough is enough as teachers failed to respond to their need for in-person learning. If the Chicago Public Schools and others couldn’t use their billions in federal COVID relief funding to date to ensure kids could be educated, who can The answer is simple. Parents.