Posts Tagged ‘Rauner’

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%.



PSAT for 9-2-12: How to boycott hedge funder “reformers”?

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Have been spending some time thinking about how to call for a boycott of people like hedge funder, former Bain guy, and Rahm Emanuel best buddy Bruce Rauner, chairman of the Education Committee of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago and a member of the board of the Chicago Public Education Fund and New Schools for Chicago.

Why Rauner? Well, he’s recently set himself up as the primary nemesis of the CTU (maybe to deflect parent anger from his pal Rahm?). The day after the CTU strike ended, Rauner went on a rant against the union at a civic event and then went off on local public television. He followed that up with a particularly ugly editorial in today’s Tribune in which he actually accused a CTU member of calling him a derogatory name out in the street. Sure, that will really help sell his message that the CTU is the only thing standing between children and uniformly great schools (i.e. more charter schools).

It’s one thing to talk about avoiding WalMart and  Hyatt hotels to protest the Waltons’ and Penny Pritzker’s support for the privatization of public education. It’s even possible to stop using Microsoft products as a way of protesting Bill Gates’ arrogant trampling of democracy in our schools (I did it!).

Problem is, you need $$$ to stop giving $$$ to the hedge funders.

But, as I have pointed out before, it’s not as if my little crusade against Microsoft or WalMart is going to cause a blip on the NASDAQ. What we can do together, though, is put a little schmutz on the shiny corporate image that these companies spend billions to create and maintain.

And the schmutz we can put on Rauner has to do with his aspirations to become governor of Illinois.

I just remember when Paul Vallas, another guy who came close to destroying our public schools, was running in the gubernatorial primary in Illinois in 2002. As CPS CEO, Vallas had angered a handful of mothers in Little Village by telling them that they wouldn’t need the new high school they were demanding if they didn’t have so many children. Not only did those mothers go on a historic hunger strike and win their new school, but they dogged Vallas throughout his primary campaign, which went down in flames.

Si, se puede.

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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.