Since George W. Bush took the oath of president of the United States, he and his administration have instituted many federally mandated modifications for public schools throughout the nation. Now, according to Margaret Spellings, education secretary for the Bush Administration, there might be more that directly affect the Chicago Schools and the state of Illinois. Currently, the states of Illinois, Michigan and New york city have the lowest caps on the number of public charter schools enabled. Illinois has the most affordable cap of 60, then New York with a cap of 100, and Michigan with 150.
At one of the charter Chicago schools in late January, Spellings stated that the president desires all school districts throughout the country to change their restrictions on the number of public charter schools permitted, providing school districts, like the Chicago schools, the capability to convert as numerous failing standard schools to charters as they want.
Chicago schools’authorities see this as a positive relocation. Over the years, they have strongly pursued the conversion of stopping working schools to charters. The Chicago schools presently have 29 of their allowed 30 charter schools in location and running. With a present 185 low performing schools, the Chicago schools’ officials see conversion to public charter schools as a possible option to improve the schools’ efficiency. Otherwise, their only option is to make significant personnel changes, given that they can only convert another conventional school to charter under current state guidelines.
Chicago schools’authorities think that more drastic interventions are required to make these failing schools successful. Charters within the Chicago schools have more freedom over their curriculum, budgeting and scheduling than traditional schools do. They likewise have more responsibility to the Chicago schools.
Challengers to the Bush Administration proposal for altering the state’s public charter school cap think the president is going too far. Lawmakers involved in drafting Illinois’ cap are a few of those opposed to the proposal. The state’s instructors’ union likewise protests the proposition.
Representative Monique Davis, who is a Democrat representing Chicago (and the Chicago schools) and vice chairwoman of your house Education Committee, specified in reaction to the proposition that the legislators of Illinois think, as numerous others throughout the nation, that charter schools still remain in the experimental stage. Growth of the number of public charter schools ought to be held back until they prove themselves as a viable and successful alternative for the future. They simply are not there yet.
Regardless of what the Illinois legislators believe, the proposal will soon be in Congress. If the costs passes, it takes the matter out of state hands, since the federal government can impose whatever mandates they prefer when contributing federal financing to schools. This implies the Chicago schools’ officials may soon be able to enact some severe interventions for their 185 low carrying out schools.