In last week's pipeline I wrote a few lines on charter schools and received the following response from a fellow First Ward resident who is also a charter school administrator.
As a resident of the 1st Ward and an administrator at a charter school, I'd like to respond to your less than complete description of the state of charter schools in the City of Chicago. Charter schools are not like "franchises", they do not make a profit, and they believe in education public school students just as much as our colleagues at traditional public schools. Charter schools receive less money per pupil than traditional public schools, but do have freedom that traditional public schools do not have, like the freedom to manage our budget as we see fit, hire and fire teachers as we see fit, and develop curriculum and instructional methods, based on research, to educate our students.
In return for these freedoms (and less money than our traditional public school counterparts), Chicago Public Schools require that we show - through standardized testing like the ISAT and other approved assessment tools - that our students are learning. Often, those tests and assessment tools show that public students in charter schools are learning, and learning quite a bit.
I hope that you will do more research than just checking in the dictionary next time you comment on the state of public education in Chicago.
-Resident of Bucktown