January 26, 2016

Chicago, Detroit, and DC! Lotteries, Discipline, And Rubio On Edu. Harpists.

By Bellwether

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I did a discussion this morning on NPR’s On Point to discuss the school challenges in Chicago and Detroit. What do they have in common? School districts with too large footprints based on past enrollment, large fiscal overhangs, and tough state – city politics. Not enough? OK, throw in challenging within teachers union politics in the unions in both cities. Also in both cases other issues are clouding the conversation and eroding trust: The mishandling of a police shooting in Chicago and the mess in Flint in Michigan.

The differences? Chicago has a serious pension problem caused by some past decisions and deals. Detroit’s enrollment loss is simply staggering, more than 100,000 kids in the past decade or so. Chicago is losing students (and fell below 400k last year) but nothing on that scale. Charters at 55 percent market share in Detroit, about 15 percent in Chicago. You can see the outlines of a deal in Chicago but Detroit is a lot tougher given the underlying conditions there.

Meanwhile Detroit teachers are right about the conditions there but not sure they’re making a lot of allies with the sickout (and it’s no good for kids). Seems like a classic closed feedback loop.

Great move by Kaya Henderson and DCPS to provide warm food during the storm even though schools were closed. Takes a sting out of snow days.

Again….What has six balls and screws teachers? Lotteries. Pondiscio on charter schools and discipline and creaming. Rundown on Rubio and education (but gives short shrift to his higher education ideas).

Harp twins.

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