Spare a Little (Disruptive) Change?

Charter schools, parking meters and the privatization of Chicago…

Parking MeterQuick, reader: what do charter schools and parking meters have in common? If you’re drawing a blank, may I invite you to accompany me on a ride through Chicago’s South Side, at the expert hands of driver Frank Kuran? Full disclosure: Frank¬†isn’t a traditional cabbie but a driver for that driver of disruptive change, Uber. Unable to find a cab that will take me to Gage Park and the K-8 school that I’m visiting, Frank has come to my rescue, and a la Tom Friedman, supplied me with a post that is practically writing itself. You see, Frank has plenty to say about the subject of education in Chicago and about the charter schools that are proliferating like Starbucks in this part of the city. *They’re a rip off,* he tells me as we make our way up Ashland. *Just like when the city sold the parking meters. It takes money away from the public and poor people pay the price.* ¬† Continue reading →

It’s About the Kids

When a major Wall Street investor and the CEO of a fast growing chain of charter schools get together for a chat, what do you suppose they talk about? Well that’s obvious. They talk about the kids of course, and their shared dream of *crushing* the achievement gap in order to put those kids on a path leading straight to 21st century skills and success. In fact, when an executive from Prudential Financial and the CEO of the UNO Charter Schools in Chicago conversated this spring, the kids were topic #1. Let’s listen in, shall we? Continue reading →