Update on SFC phone blitz

We were using the phone last night sometime after 7 pm when our SFC call came in. The voice mail message that “Jackie” left for us said she was sorry she missed us but that she was with Stand for Children and that if we, like them, want better education for children, we should look at their web site.

While local SFC leaders are claiming that they “just want to have an open conversation” about ways to improve schools, they seem pretty fixated on the turnaround model. It’s certainly front and center on their web site, and they make it sound so reasonable:

“We need to create quality neighborhood schools where we can continue to keep our students in the same classroom while improving the conditions around them, from better facilities to specially trained principals and teachers to updated curriculum.  This is where public turnaround schools come into play.

“The idea of a ‘turnaround’ school has a lot of misconceptions, but has seen success in many Chicago public schools and has firm roots on what is in the best interest of children. A public turnaround school keeps children in their neighborhood school but changes the culture in the school to create high expectations and proven best practices for learning.

“Staying in his or her neighborhood school and investing in the neighborhood school is good for the child and good for the neighborhood. Do you agree? Join us as we fight for quality public school options. We need parents and community members coming together to say, “YES! My child deserves a great school!”

Here’s what they don’t mention about turnarounds in this pitch:

Oh, and they don’t mention that ALL THE SCHOOL STAFF gets fired when a turnaround comes in.

That kind of takes the fuzz off of their warm and fuzzy vision, doesn’t it?

We trust parents to see wade through the hype, but with all the money that’s being thrown at this project, we’re going to have to pull on our hip boots.

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About the PURE Thoughts blogger
Julie Woestehoff is PURE's executive director. Julie's work has earned her a Ford Foundation award and recognition as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Chicago.