OK, so I’m fortunate to be teaching in Weston, not in Chicago. The populations are very different, the school systems are very different, and the school administrations are very different. Nevertheless, I highly appreciated the essay
“Make No Mistake, Corporate Ed Reform is Hurting Kids,” by a Chicago special ed teacher who dubs herself “Ms. Katie.” You really should read it, even if you have no direct contact with urban education. (I have indirect contact with it myself, though in Cambridge and Boston rather than Chicago, because of my nine years of teaching in the Crimson Summer Academy, where the majority of my students have been educated in the Boston Public Schools.)
You might say, when you start Ms. Katie’s second paragraph, that she is a special case, as she teaches in a psychiatric hospital. And you would be half-right.
But you would also be half-wrong, as the events she reports on are the results of nationwide issues with nationwide implications: closing schools, too much testing, unsuccessful “ed reform,” too much testing, poverty, too much testing… Did I mention too much testing? Ed reform is lining the pockets of for-profit companies and is only widening the gap between the Westons and the Chicagos.