Chicago – Schools
Well, push-has-come-to-shove in Chicago. We have a “do as I say, not as I do,” Republican Mayor who wants to break the Teachers union.
Did you ask why I said “Republican?”
Well, he sure as hell ain’t no Democrat. Doesn’t come close to being a DINO. So he has to be a Republican.
But there is one criminally under-discussed aspect of it. It would be so helpful if just one of the many politicians and newspaper editorial boards lining up to lambast the teacher’s union could explain why Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s vision for a model Chicago public school is so at odds with the education he is providing for his own children. Mayor Rahm is fighting to create a school system dominated by high-pressured standardized testing. Everyone and everything must bow to the test. Cut art, cut music, cut physical education, extend the school day and create an educational environment that revolves around filling in a bubble.
Yet Rahm sends his own children to the University of Chicago Lab School. As labor journalist Mike Elk reported, “The Lab School has seven full-time art teachers to serve a student population of 1,700. By contrast, only 25 percent of Chicago’s ‘neighborhood elementary schools’ have both a full-time art and music instructor. The Lab School has three different libraries, while 160 Chicago public elementary schools do not have a library.”
Rahm wants less art and more standardized testing for Chicago’s children, while he wants more art and less high-stakes testing for his own children. One set of rules for him and one for the rest of us.
Does that convince you that Rahm is a Republican? No? Well here’s some more
“Physical education, world languages, libraries and the arts are not frills. They are an essential piece of a well-rounded education,” wrote University of Chicago Lab School Director David Magill on the school’s website in February 2009.
Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) President Karen Lewis agrees with Magill, and believes what works for Mayor Emanuel’s kids should be a prescription for the rest of the city.
I have only served as a substitute teacher at our local school, so I shan’t speak from a teacher’s point of view. But I am the proud parent of four adult children, who received their education in the public school system.
As to the Mayor, Mr Rahm Emanuel, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.