More than two years after PURE first challenged the Noble Network of Charter Schools’ discipline fees, the franchise has decided to stop charging students for not buttoning a shirt button, sitting up straight, or tracking the teacher with their eyes.
It would be nice to think that Noble was making this change because they’ve finally realized that the policy was dehumanizing and financially harmful to families, and a big reason why a whole lot of students leave their schools.
But the most likely impetus behind this decision is to protect Bruce Rauner’s campaign for governor.
Rauner is already taking some heat over his education policies, which center on privatizing public education; Rauner brags about Noble, which named one of its high schools after him after he provided the school’s start-up funding. The Tribune ran a very unflattering front-page story about Noble’s discipline fees just a week ago. At their first face-to-face meeting three days ago, before the Illinois Education Association, Quinn said he wouldn’t “charterize” public education, a reference to Rauner’s version of school reform.
Of course, the discipline fees are not the only skeletons in Noble’s closet. There’s the equally oppressive staff incentive system, reports of Noble students attempting suicide, and the memo below from the Rauner Charter school itself that essentially bribes a student with his/her own year’s worth of credits to transfer out of Rauner.
People are also not likely to forget charges that Rauner clouted his own child into middle class, progressive Payton College Prep, which is about as far as you can get in CPS from the reform school model he touts for the children of the 99%.