Posts Tagged ‘Noble’

No more discipline fees! Why now, Noble? I think I know.

Monday, April 14th, 2014

RaunerlogoMore 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%.



Now we’ve got Mayor Rahm upset

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

The secret sauce has made a touchdown, according to Mayor Rahm.

He’s really mad about our protest yesterday against Noble’s discipline policy. I’d guess he’s even madder that the news made every Chicago news outlet plus CNN, MSNBC, and Huffington Post, so far, and it definitely has legs.

He’s mad because we forgot to mention that Noble has better-than-mediocre test scores (though the network is federal academic watch) and a better-than-citywide graduation rate (though it’s hard to compare given that the discipline system in question allows Noble to pressure almost any lagging student to leave).

He may even be mad that we made fun of his comment that Noble has “the secret sauce.”

By the way, Rahm claims that Noble’s near-90% graduation rate is “almost double the system-wide [rate]” which is “a touchdown in the city.”

The truth is (and Rahm has a lot of trouble telling the truth about Noble and charters in general) that the system-wide citywide graduation rate, according to the district state report card, is 73.8%, not the pretend number that Rahm uses to puff Noble up.

And the bottom line is that “results” are only valuable when the means used to get them are sound. Noble’s discipline policy is more reform school than college prep.

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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.