On August 5, Wirepoints' Matt Rosenberg wrote about empty, failing Chicago Public Schools. The numbers we reported are truly astonishing but they are the school district's own.
Mike Flannery of FOX 32 Chicago asked the Chicago Teachers Union to join his show to discuss the numbers along with Wirepoints' Ted Dabrowski.
"F*** Wirepoints," was the union spokesman's answer to Flannery. He used the whole word and said his answer was on the record, according to Flannery. The spokesman added nothing more about the numbers and did not join the video segment, which is here at the 8:30 mark, wherein Flannery described the union's response.
Is the union so confident in its political power that it can respond to legitimate issues in such a manner?
Is that how the union believes Chicago students should be educated to engage in discourse?
Where is the Chicago leadership to address the calamity in its public schools?
Where is the government of the State of Illinois that has full power force reforms but shirks any responsibility?
The numbers we reported almost defy belief. Of CPS' 478 stand-alone "traditional" schools, one-third of them, 150, are less than half-full, according to the school district. The 20 most empty CPS schools are only 5% to 25% full and most have abysmal educational outcomes, with proficiency percentages in the single digits.
Manley High School has a capacity of 1,296 students but just 64 students are enrolled. There, 2% are proficient in reading and 1% in math. Just 44 students attend Douglas High School that has a capacity of 888 and their reading and math proficiency are both 0%. The list goes on.
CPS has already lost 100,000 students, or 25% of its enrollment, since 2000 and enrollment is projected to decline by tens of thousands more within a few years.
That's in a school system that spends an astonishing $28,000 per student to cover the district's operating, capital and debt costs, a spending number which has doubled since 2013, as we reported earlier.
It's in a system that graduates 84% of its students though only about a quarter can read or do math at grade level.
And it's in a system that rates the portion of its teachers as "proficient or excellent" at 100%. That's correct, 100%.
Those numbers are real, as is the omnipotence of the Chicago Teachers Union, but how one of the world's formerly leading cities could have let it comes to this seems to defy reality.