Friday, January 28, 2011

The Teething of Inner Jealousy: From a Political Voyeur's View. Rahm and Charter Schools

It is difficult to watch a candidate, who has lived much of his life in Washington  and the North Shore Suburbs run for office. It is upsetting to view his comments about sucking up money to substitute Chicago Public Schools with Charter Schools. My children left private school to attend public schools. It was a conscious choice. It is one for which I have no regrets. Yet, as I read Rahm's chatter about Charter Schools, it seems ignorant.  Rahm seems out of touch with our neighborhoods. I can see it in his political rhetoric and position papers.

Rahm Emmanuel is an incredible politician, who has a deft control of his opposition. Strangely, I don't view myself as his opposition. I just wished that he followed the rule of law. He has not dwelled in Chicago within the last year. I wish the that Illinois Supreme Court could have taken a step back and looked at the Illinois Municipal Code with reasonable reverence. However, that is no longer reality.

I have watched the pride of the Chicago School System belittled and underestimated by Oprah, among others. The challenge is parenting, not the schools. Taking the substandard funding from CPS and turning it over to Charter Schools is a mistake.

I know in my heart that Charter Schools are a mistake. The control over learning, once removed from public control, can be manuevered to such an extent as to minimize its effectiveness in order to seek a higher profit for those who work within it. We can ill afford to turn our schools into babysitting services. Chicago needs to find a way to deal with absentee parenting and children birthing children. It will not come from teaching absentenance, but understanding and reacting to reality. These are facts that many politicians politically sidestep.

In Rogers Park, CMSA, that is the Charter School known as Chicago Math and Science Academy on Clark struggles to avoid being viewed as a babysitter service for wannabe gangsters.  Kids who lack structure at home, can lash out at those who they know the least; their neighbors. Many of us remember the shootings of a CMSA Student on Clark by another.  Perhaps, it is an unfortunate anecdotes to a coming age. 

Here are my questions. Does the City of Chicago amass records of violence at Charter Schools? How does it compare? Is there a trend showing that those expelled from public schools are having their impact on the Charters?

My teething sensitivity over this, among other Chicago issues upsets me. Yet, I had a reckoning. I am no more than a political voyeur. I comment, I prophesize, and sometimes I can explain what may be difficult or frustrating to explain for some. Perhaps, it's too complicated for words. Sometimes, its simplistic and sophomoric. Occasionally, I misunderstand, like all others willing to accept it.

The 25 page Illinois Supreme Court decision isn't the issue. I predicted several days ago that Bob Thomas would write it. I feared that politics would dictate a reversal on procedural grounds. The decision seems based upon the failure to object and preserve the issues, perhaps. The scathe from the newest Maksym decision appears like it was written by an upper end law firm and locked in place by the Illinois Supreme Court. I was not surprised.  There was meant to be a distinction, but politics steamrolled over reason.

Chicago has four insubstantial candidates, some whom have actually lived in Chicago for the last year.  There is another who maintains a residence of convenience for his political aspirations.  Yes, a permanent abode, but not a home that has dwelled within for the past year. The storage of personal property was not meant as a sacrifice for physical presence.  I am unaware of any candidate for Mayor of Chicago that has ever spent so little time in the Chicago before an election.

Our Mayoral Candidates are career politicians, who seem too pre-occupied in their ivory towers to appreciate the differing needs of Edgewater and Englewood.  These politicians carry populist, not practical agendas.  Everyone knows that compromise is always on the table, but few appreciate that the dollars spent are often an indicator of where they are from.  There is  a functional disconnect from the City that I was born in. I have physically dwelled nearly 27 of my 48 years on this earth, like others who have similar insight. There is more to Come.

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