WBEZ | charter schools http://www.wbez.org/tags/charter-schools Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en North Lawndale high school to help pay out-of-pocket college costs http://www.wbez.org/news/north-lawndale-high-school-help-pay-out-pocket-college-costs-112128 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/north lawndale college prep.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Here&rsquo;s what Evan Westerfield couldn&rsquo;t understand.</p><p>&ldquo;The student has been talking about studying nursing and then, all of a sudden, they&rsquo;ve changed their mind and say, &lsquo;Nah, I want to go to that school because I want to do business,&rsquo;&rdquo; Westerfield explained. &ldquo;And you look them in the eye and say, &lsquo;What? Where did that come from?&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p>Turns out, his answer was in those students&rsquo; financial aid letters.</p><p>&ldquo;You&rsquo;re looking at them and you know that behind there, there&rsquo;s this letter that they don&rsquo;t want to show mom and dad,&rdquo; Westerfield said. &ldquo;They go to the school that has the least out-of-pocket cost.&rdquo;</p><p>A couple thousand dollars may not seem like much. But for many poor North Lawndale students, it might as well be a million.</p><p>The school announced last week it plans to step in and pay the difference with the help of local philanthropists. They are creating a financial endowment called The Phoenix Pact to equalize costs for any student with a 3.0 GPA.</p><p>U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan helped open North Lawndale College Prep 17 years ago and returned to the school for the announcement.</p><p>&ldquo;If you guys can start to prove there&rsquo;s not just one amazing young person or one amazing teacher but systemically dozens of dozens of young people every single year (who) can graduate, and cannot just go to college but graduate from college on the back end, you start to let the nation know what&rsquo;s possible,&rdquo; he said. &quot;If you can create a model, the national implications are pretty big.&rdquo;</p><p>There are a lot of cities trying different models to lower costs of college to almost nothing. Kalamazoo, Michigan, gives its public high school graduates <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/16/magazine/kalamazoo-mich-the-city-that-pays-for-college.html">a full ride anywhere</a>. A number of other cities are trying something similar, through the &ldquo;<a href="http://www.sayyestoeducation.org/">Yes to Education</a>&rdquo; program. Even Mayor Rahm Emanuel has promised <a href="http://www.ccc.edu/departments/Pages/chicago-star-scholarship.aspx">free community college</a> to all B-average students in Chicago Public Schools.</p><p>But The Phoenix Pact is different because it steers kids to colleges with a track record of getting students across the stage on graduation day.</p><p>Westerfield said he sifted through years of information on North Lawndale alumni and came up with a list of more than a dozen colleges he calls &ldquo;Success Schools&rdquo;: Universities where more than half of the low-income, minority students graduate on time. Places like Michigan State, Lake Forest College, University of Illinois, and Luther College.</p><p>He said he hopes the new fund not only motivates the school&rsquo;s students, but pushes colleges to raise graduation rates for low-income students.</p><p>&ldquo;Would colleges work a little harder if they&rsquo;re at 45 percent to get over that 50 percent? Maybe not for just us and our little program, but if we can build it out, if we can model what would happen, then someone will copy us,&rdquo; Westerfield said, noting that right now, billions of dollars in federal Pell grants end up going to colleges that have low graduation rates for low-income students.</p><p>&ldquo;The possibility of harnessing all that federal money to drive improvement in our higher education&hellip; could be really good,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>But if anyone starts copying The Phoenix Pact, it&rsquo;s likely to be local. Chicago Public Schools Chief of Innovation and Incubation Jack Elsey was in the room during the Friday announcement too.</p><p>&ldquo;I think this is game-changing,&rdquo; Elsey said. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m here because we&rsquo;re watching. We want to see if this is actually going to make the difference to increase graduation rates for low-income kids<strong>.&rdquo;</strong></p><p><em>WBEZ&rsquo;s Linda Lutton contributed to this report.</em></p></p> Tue, 02 Jun 2015 08:50:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/north-lawndale-high-school-help-pay-out-pocket-college-costs-112128 Chicago school board to consider charter relocations, renewals http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-school-board-consider-charter-relocations-renewals-112083 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/cappleman.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>The Chicago Board of Education is expected to vote Wednesday on proposals that would expand enrollment at several charter schools and move some into different buildings.</p><p>In one case, Rowe Elementary would move into the old Peabody elementary school, a building shuttered during the 2013 mass closings. The district no longer owns the Peabody building. If it approves the move, the district would have to provide the public charter school with extra money to cover rent and maintenance costs at Peabody.</p><p>&ldquo;(Chicago Public Schools) promised to not only the aldermen, the state legislature, and the public, that they would not allow charter schools into closed school buildings,&rdquo; said Martin Ritter, an organizer with the Chicago Teachers Union. &ldquo;CPS has a serious problem with its credibility.&rdquo;</p><p>Ritter and hundreds of others showed up to a public hearing last week at CPS headquarters. However, the move of Rowe to Peabody was not the most hotly contested.</p><p>Principals, parents, and several elected officials spoke against a proposal to move The Noble Academy to 640 W. Irving Park Rd. Ald. James Cappleman (46th) said that move would &ldquo;suck the lifeblood&rdquo; out of the area&rsquo;s existing neighborhood high schools. If the move is approved, The Noble Academy would add an eighth public high school to the North Side neighborhoods of Edgewater, Uptown, Lakeview, Andersonville and Rogers Park.</p><p>&ldquo;Our schools have a capacity of about 7,400,&rdquo; said Senn High School Principal Susan Lofton, referring to Senn, and nearby Sullivan, Lakeview, Uplift and Amundsen high schools.</p><p>Eleven elected officials signed a letter in opposition to the move. Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th), whose ward includes Amundsen and Lakeview, was one of them.</p><p>&ldquo;When you add a charter school to that mix and you have per pupil funding where dollars follow students, you once again add a market for additional seats where one didn&rsquo;t exist,&rdquo; Pawar said at the hearing.</p><p>The school district is currently facing a $1.1 billion deficit.</p><p>Matt McCabe, director of government affairs for the Noble Street Charter School network, said he doesn&rsquo;t think the school would impact enrollment at nearby schools.</p><p>&ldquo;We don&rsquo;t see it as any sort of detriment to the other schools in the area,&rdquo; McCabe said. &ldquo;Because facilities are such a challenge generally, you look high and low and wide and far to try to find the best option for kids. This is what came out as the best option.&rdquo;</p><p><a href="http://thenobleacademy.noblenetwork.org/">The Noble Academy</a>, like other charter schools, enrolls students from across the city, &ldquo;from 106 elementary schools and 45 different zip codes,&rdquo; McCabe said. Currently, the school is using temporary space next door to Noble&rsquo;s downtown campus, Muchin College Prep, but school officials said they need a &ldquo;permanent home.&rdquo;</p><p>In addition to the proposals to move Noble and Rowe, the Board is also <a href="http://www.cpsboe.org/content/documents/may_27_2015_public_agenda_to_print_2.pdf">expected to vote</a> on the following:</p><ul><li><p>Delaying the opening of three more alternative schools run by for-profit companies: Ombudsman, Pathways, and Magic Johnson Bridgescape. The Board will also consider providing an additional $2.2 million in start-up funding to these three operators in spite of the delays.</p></li><li><p>Closing Catalyst-Howland Charter School. According to the board report, Catalyst officials voluntarily proposed the closure of that campus. It was previously <a href="http://catalyst-chicago.org/2013/10/five-charters-put-warning-list-face-potential-shut-down/">placed on academic warning</a>.</p></li><li><p>Rescinding a previous approval to allow UNO Charter School Network to open two more schools.</p></li><li><p>Rescinding a previous approval to allow Concept Schools to open another Horizon Science Academy on the South Side. CPS halted plans to open the school last fall <a href="http://chicago.suntimes.com/chicago-politics/7/71/160694/cps-scraps-south-side-campus-for-controversial-charter-schoo">amid a federal probe</a> into Concept&rsquo;s operations.</p></li><li><p>Extending six school turnaround contracts (at Dulles, Curtis, Deneen, Bradwell, Johnson, and Phillips) with the Academy for Urban School Leadership through 2018.</p></li><li><p>Five-year charter contract renewals with the Academy for Global Citizenship, Erie, Urban Prep &ndash; Bronzeville, Rowe, Legacy, and Youth Connections Charter Schools.</p></li><li><p>Three-year charter contract renewals with EPIC Academy, Galapagos, Instituto Health Sciences Academy, Urban Prep &ndash; Englewood, Urban Prep &ndash; West, and Chicago Tech Academy.</p></li></ul></p> Mon, 25 May 2015 09:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-school-board-consider-charter-relocations-renewals-112083 Charters might move into closed CPS schools http://www.wbez.org/news/charters-might-move-closed-cps-schools-112063 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/panorama.jpg" style="height: 219px; width: 620px;" title="" /></div><p><em>A LEARN charter school (right) rents space across the street from the now vacant Calhoun North school (left). Chicago Public Schools paid $67,151 in utilities for Calhoun North from Sept. 2013 to July 2014, according to data obtained through a Freedom of Information Act Request. At the same time, CPS pays LEARN $750 per student to offset rent and other facility costs. (WBEZ/Becky Vevea)</em></p><p>There are 40 school buildings <a href="http://cps.edu/Pages/schoolrepurposing.aspx">still sitting vacant</a> across Chicago since the mass closings of 2013. Just two have been sold and the rest cost Chicagoans $2 million annually to maintain.</p><p>These schools are slow to sell for a number of reasons. Many <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/school-closures-only-add-blight-some-chicago-neighborhoods-107345">aren&rsquo;t in thriving neighborhoods</a>. The buildings are old. There aren&rsquo;t a lot of obvious alternate uses.</p><p>But one big reason the empty schools continue to <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/visit-shuttered-chicago-school-shows-all-that%E2%80%99s-left-behind-108419">collect dust</a> and <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/vacant-schools-philadelphia-cautionary-tale-chicago-105570">fall into disrepair</a> is this: CPS chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett, who is <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/cps-training-academy-cooperating-federal-investigation-district-111891">currently on leave</a>, made a promise that eliminated a whole group of potential buyers.</p><blockquote><p><strong>Map: <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/charters-might-move-closed-cps-schools-112063#map" target="_blank">How close are charter schools to vacant CPS buildings?</a></strong></p></blockquote><p>&ldquo;We currently cannot sell any of the properties to a charter school,&rdquo; said Mike Nardini, the district&rsquo;s real estate agent. &ldquo;Does it limit our buyers? Only to the extent that it can&rsquo;t be a charter any more than it could be a nightclub.&rdquo;</p><p>The promise made sense at the time considering one of the main arguments for shutting down 50 schools was to downsize the district. CPS officials argued the school system was operating inefficiently with too many schools and not enough students enrolled.</p><p>But the Chicago Board of Education <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/cps-approves-seven-new-charter-schools-109558">continues to authorize new charter schools</a>. In the past, charters often <a href="http://www.wbez.org/content/mapping-10-years-school-closures">moved into closed school buildings</a>, but that upset many community people, who saw the publicly financed, privately operated charters as replacing traditional neighborhood schools.</p><p>CPS spokesman Bill McCaffrey said Wednesday the Board could be convinced to change its mind.</p><p>&ldquo;If a community were to determine that they do want a charter school in that closed site, then that is something that we would consider,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>McCaffrey was very careful to say officials would break the promise only if the community supports it, not because it might save money.</p><p>&ldquo;Our first consideration isn&rsquo;t the financial implication,&rdquo; he added.</p><p>But saving money is <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-cps-budget-crisis-met-20150422-story.html#page=1">the biggest problem</a> CPS has right now, and the &lsquo;no-charter&rsquo; promise complicates things. Charter schools that are in private buildings currently get $750 per student from CPS to offset rent and other maintenance costs. This is commonly known as a &ldquo;facilities reimbursement.&rdquo; &nbsp;And while these real estate deals can be complicated, the bottom line is that Chicago taxpayers end up paying extra to charter schools who are forced to rent on the private market. &nbsp;And those same taxpayers also are paying to maintain buildings the city already owns, but isn&rsquo;t using.</p><p>&ldquo;These are assets that we have in our city that are paid for typically and what we don&rsquo;t need are more vacant buildings,&rdquo; said Andrew Broy, executive director of the Illinois Network of Charter Schools.</p><p>In many cases, the charters and the vacant buildings are just blocks away from one another. In Garfield Park, a LEARN charter school rents space across the street from the now vacant Calhoun North school. In Woodlawn, a University of Chicago Charter School is planning to <a href="http://hpherald.com/2015/03/09/u-of-c-planning-new-building-for-woodlawn-charter-school/">build a brand new school</a> on a plot of land right next to a CPS-owned building where it currently operates.</p><p>It all speaks to a very basic and fundamental question that no one&mdash;CPS, the mayor, city aldermen&mdash;has grappled with: Exactly how many public schools does Chicago need? And where should they be?</p><p>When asked after Wednesday&rsquo;s City Council meeting, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said that&rsquo;s not his job.</p><p>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s something CPS will do based on the student population, patterns of growth,&rdquo; Emanuel said. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s a fair question, but not the only question. Are the schools that are open achieving educational excellence?&rdquo;</p><p>CPS is holding public hearings Thursday night on <a href="http://cps.edu/Calendar/Documents/05212015_MMAPublicHearing.pdf">new requests</a> by charter schools to move to different locations. Most have plans to move into private buildings, but at least one, <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-charter-school-closed-building-met-20150520-story.html">The Chicago Tribune reports</a>, wants to move into the closed Peabody Elementary school on the West Side. Peabody <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-school-closing-brief-met-20141022-story.html">was sold last fall</a>.</p><p><em>Becky Vevea is an education reporter for WBEZ. You can follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/WBEZeducation">@WBEZeducation</a>.<a name="map"></a></em></p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="800" scrolling="no" src="http://interactive.wbez.org/maps/charterbuildings" style="float: right; clear: right;" width="620"></iframe></p></p> Wed, 20 May 2015 14:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/charters-might-move-closed-cps-schools-112063 CPS finally releases school ratings http://www.wbez.org/news/cps-finally-releases-school-ratings-111187 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/raising hand edit_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago parents can finally see how their school stacks up to others.</p><p>Typically, school ratings, which give &nbsp;schools Level 1, 2, or 3 labels, come out in late October, around the same time that student report cards are released. But this year, Chicago Public Schools officials changed the complicated calculation that determines the school ratings.</p><p>One of the big changes was moving to five categories, instead of three. Now, schools can be rated Level 1+, Level 1, Level 2+, Level 2, and Level 3. CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett can also override a school&rsquo;s rating if something dramatic had happened at the school in the past year.</p><p>For instance: &ldquo;Just based on my experience as a principal, when you get a large number of students coming to your school that have not been there previously, it changes the dynamic,&rdquo; Byrd-Bennett said.</p><p>Byrd-Bennett changed the ratings for just 12 schools. She also placed six charter schools on an academic watch list.</p><p>Two of the schools on academic watch are the Chicago International Charter Schools&#39; Lloyd Bond and Larry Hawkins campuses. Both are in Altgeld Gardens, an isolated area on the far South Side made up of public housing.</p><p>Interestingly, one of the 12 schools given a higher rating through Byrd- Bennett&rsquo;s discretion, Dubois, is just down the road from the two CICS schools. The other neighborhood elementary school in Altgeld Gardens, Aldridge, was rated Level 3. Bryd-Bennett boosted Dubois to a Level 1.</p><p>Beth Purvis, CICS&rsquo;s executive director, said both Bond and Hawkins need to improve, but she questioned the fairness of the ratings, given the exception for Dubois. Dubois, Aldridge and CICS-Bond have similar scores on the metrics used in the ratings calculation.</p><p>&ldquo;That seems unfair to both Aldridge and CICS,&rdquo; Purvis said. &ldquo;If all schools aren&rsquo;t treated the same under a ranking process, I don&rsquo;t understand how it informs parents and helps them make decisions.&rdquo;</p><p>CPS spokesman Bill McCaffrey said the reason Byrd-Bennett gave Dubois a Level 1 rating when it originally earned a level 2 rating was because a quarter of the student population changed in the past school year.</p><p>Purvis and other CICS officials sent data to WBEZ showing similar student mobility at CICS-Lloyd Bond.</p><p>The other charter schools placed on academic watch this year are: Amandla Charter School, Betty Shabazz Charter School, Betty Shabazz - Sizemore Campus, and Polaris Academy Charter School.</p><p>One charter school that was placed on academic watch last year, UNO-Rufino Tamayo, jumped from the lowest rating, Level 3, on the old system to the highest rating, Level 1+, on the new system.</p><p>In all, just 44 schools still remain in the Level 3 category, while 161 schools are considered Level 1+, 154 are rated Level 1, 118 schools got Level 2+, and 159 were at Level 2, the second to lowest rating.</p></p> Thu, 04 Dec 2014 05:12:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/cps-finally-releases-school-ratings-111187 CPS students scramble for new school after Concept charter opening delayed http://www.wbez.org/news/cps-students-scramble-new-school-after-concept-charter-opening-delayed-110688 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/cmsa_0675_edit.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>With just one week before the first day of school, Chicago Public Schools officials are scrambling to find hundreds of students a new school.</p><p>A new campus of Horizon Math and Science Academy located in Chatham will no longer open as planned.</p><p>The group that planned to open the school &mdash; Concept Schools &mdash; is currently under FBI investigation. They operate four other schools in Chicago, and several more in Indiana and Ohio.</p><p>CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett insists the delayed opening has nothing to do with the federal investigation.</p><p>&ldquo;I know as much as you guys in terms of the FBI probe,&rdquo; Byrd-Bennett said in a conference call with reporters. &ldquo;This is purely the fact that the facility is not ready. If that facility were ready for this school to open, I would open it tomorrow.&rdquo;</p><p>The building where Concept planned to open, 9130 S. Vincennes, was also the source of controversy. A Chicago Sun-Times <a href="http://politics.suntimes.com/article/chicago/board-eds-david-vitale%E2%80%99s-bank-would-benefit-charter-deal/fri-08082014-1022pm">report earlier this month</a> found that the property is currently in foreclosure and the owners currently owe $2 million to Urban Partnership Bank, which is chaired by Chicago Board of Education President David Vitale.</p><p>That location was the second one proposed since the Board of Education approved the school. The first was at 8522 S. Lafayette, a property owned by Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church, whose pastor, Rev. Charles Jenkins, has close ties to Mayor Rahm Emanuel.</p><p>Despite the questions around Concept Schools&rsquo; operations, Byrd-Bennett said CPS is not revoking the group&rsquo;s charter. She characterized the delayed opening for this particular campus as &ldquo;unusual&rdquo; and said there&rsquo;s no need to change how they approve and open new schools.</p><p>When asked if there were any contingency plans for other Concept schools, should the federal investigation prompt further legal action, Byrd- Bennett said there were not.</p><blockquote><p><strong>Full audio of the call with&nbsp;Byrd-Bennett</strong><iframe frameborder="no" height="20" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/164174420&amp;color=ff5500&amp;inverse=false&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_user=true" width="100%"></iframe></p></blockquote><p>CPS officials could not immediately say what would happen to the $4 million dollars budgeted to Concept for the Chatham campus.</p><p>According to budget documents, the Horizon school was projected to serve 432 students. It is not clear if all of those open seats were filled with registered students. CPS officials are making calls to families today to help their children find another school option.</p><p><em>Becky Vevea is a producer and reporter for WBEZ. Follow her </em><a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZeducation"><em>@WBEZeducation</em></a><em>.</em></p></p> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 08:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/cps-students-scramble-new-school-after-concept-charter-opening-delayed-110688 On education, candidates for Illinois governor closer than they think http://www.wbez.org/news/education-candidates-illinois-governor-closer-they-think-110575 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/rauner-christie.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>The Republican candidate for Illinois governor says he&rsquo;ll soon be talking more about his top priority: education. Bruce Rauner has been involved in education for years, giving lots of money to schools and programs he believes in. But expanding his vision in Illinois&rsquo; political climate is another matter altogether.</p><p>Bruce Rauner, the Republican venture capitalist, has made a name for himself in education - literally. Rauner College Prep is a charter school on Chicago&rsquo;s near west side. He&rsquo;s also been recognized by education groups for his philanthropic work.</p><p>&ldquo;Education is simply the most important thing we do together as a community. There&rsquo;s nothing more important,&rdquo; Rauner said during a debate organized by ABC 7 and Univision in the Republican primary. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s our future. It&rsquo;s our democracy. It&rsquo;s our income level. It&rsquo;s at the core of every challenge that we face.&rdquo;</p><p>Sources say Rauner was active behind the scenes in one of the biggest education policy initiatives to pass the state legislature in recent years. Senate Bill 7 was later signed into law by Rauner&rsquo;s now-Democratic opponent, Gov. Pat Quinn.</p><p>The legislation dealt with teacher strike votes, evaluations and tenure. But when negotiations around those issues veered away from Rauner&rsquo;s own vision, he distanced himself from the bill.</p><p>Some who&rsquo;ve worked closely with Rauner on education issues say debates like that are why he is running for governor - to have the authority &nbsp;to put his stamp on education policy.</p><p>&ldquo;More charter schools, vouchers for poor kids, merit pay for great teachers, modified tenure so ineffective teachers aren&rsquo;t locked in jobs forever,&rdquo; Rauner said in that same debate.</p><p>But a governor&rsquo;s accomplishments are rarely solitary efforts. &nbsp;</p><p>It&rsquo;s a pretty unique example, but 10 years ago, then-Governor Rod Blagojevich was in full rhetorical mode for an hour of his State of the State address. He spent more than an hour of his 90-minute address completely trashing the state&rsquo;s education board.</p><p>&ldquo;The Illinois State Board of Education is like an old, Soviet-style bureaucracy,&rdquo; Blagojevich said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s clunky and inefficient. It issues mandates. It spends money. It dictates policy and it isn&rsquo;t accountable to anyone for anything.&rdquo;</p><p>Blagojevich called for abolishing the Illinois State Board of Education and creating a new cabinet department under his office - a Department of Education.</p><p>The idea went nowhere. Blagojevich didn&rsquo;t get legislators or interest groups on board.</p><p>That bit of history points to the political structure Rauner would have to work with.</p><p>More charter schools?</p><p>That means getting the legislature&rsquo;s okay.</p><p>School vouchers?</p><p>That&rsquo;s also a legislative issue.</p><p>Paying teachers based on the quality of their work?</p><p>He&rsquo;d likely have to get lawmakers on board.</p><p>&ldquo;I think whether this is a Governor Rauner or a Governor Quinn, what we&rsquo;re finding is there&rsquo;s a lot more support by legislators quietly to support some transformative policy,&rdquo; said Myles Mendoza with Ed Choice Illinois. His organization is a non-profit that wants to expand educational alternatives for families.</p><p>Mendoza said a good example of the bipartisan movement around education change is Gov. Quinn&rsquo;s Democratic running mate, Paul Vallas. Vallas ran public schools in Chicago, New Orleans, and Philadelphia.</p><p>&ldquo;Both Paul Vallas and Bruce Rauner have really been aligned, very, very similar in their thinking of how they would approach education policy,&rdquo; Mendoza said.</p><p>I asked Mendoza if it&rsquo;s weird, seeing Republicans and Democrats &nbsp;aligned that way.</p><p>&ldquo;It certainly does scramble the radar,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>What he means is that Vallas, a Democrat, and Rauner, a Republican, have taken similar stands against teachers unions and the Democrats who traditionally support them.</p><p>Dan Montgomery heads the Illinois Federation of Teachers, a union that represents about 80,000 teachers in the state, including charter schools.</p><p>Montgomery said politics has framed the debate around education in the wrong context.</p><p>&ldquo;The challenges we have in this state are not about tenure, you know? They&rsquo;re not about merit pay,&rdquo; Montgomery said. &ldquo;The challenges we have in the state are parents who look around and they say, &lsquo;How come my kid&rsquo;s school doesn&rsquo;t have a library?&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p>He says Bruce Rauner has made unions the enemy, and his economic and tax policies are examples of the misguided debate. Montgomery repeats something Quinn&rsquo;s campaign often says, that Rauner&rsquo;s plans will lose the state millions and he&rsquo;ll end up having to cut education funding.</p><p>Montgomery says unions should get ready to find support in the legislature to resist negative education changes if Rauner&rsquo;s elected.</p><p>But they should also be ready for another tactic: That Rauner would go around the legislature altogether with executive orders.</p><p><em>Tony Arnold covers Illinois politics for WBEZ. Follow him </em><a href="https://twitter.com/tonyjarnold"><em>@tonyjarnold</em></a><em>.</em></p></p> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 11:02:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/education-candidates-illinois-governor-closer-they-think-110575 Morning Shift: Comparing disciplinary tactics in Chicago schools http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-05-14/morning-shift-comparing-disciplinary-tactics-chicago <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Classroom cover Flickr dharder9475.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We take a look at school discipline in Chicago&#39;s charter and traditional public schools. WBEZ&#39;s bureau reporters tell us what they heard at their &quot;On the Table&quot; events. And, we&#39;ve got the ragtime sounds of pianist Reginald Robinson.&nbsp;</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-comparing-disciplinary-tactics-in-pu/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-comparing-disciplinary-tactics-in-pu.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-comparing-disciplinary-tactics-in-pu" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Comparing disciplinary tactics in Chicago schools" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Wed, 14 May 2014 08:06:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-05-14/morning-shift-comparing-disciplinary-tactics-chicago Student suspensions, by the numbers http://www.wbez.org/news/student-suspensions-numbers-110172 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/voyce signs.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>More than 50,000 Chicago Public Schools students got out-of-school suspensions last year, according to a WBEZ analysis of state and district data. That&rsquo;s about 13 percent of the district&#39;s population.<br /><br />At about a dozen high schools, more than half of the students enrolled served at least one out-of-school suspension. All of those schools are majority African American and only a few are charter schools.<br /><br />The numbers provide one of the first looks at how charter schools compare with traditional public schools when it comes to suspension, and also reveal troubling inconsistencies with how data is reported.</p><blockquote><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/you-be-decider-what-punishments-should-students-get-110173" target="_blank"><strong>You decide: Does the punishment fit the student&#39;s offense?</strong></a></p></blockquote><p>The data, obtained through multiple Freedom of Information Act requests, show charter schools suspended a higher percentage of students than district-run schools. But in separating out high schools from grammar schools a different story emerges.</p><p>CPS-run high schools and charter high schools suspended basically the same percentage of students, with 18 percent of kids enrolled getting at least one out-of-school suspension last year.<br /><br />In fact, nine of the thirteen schools suspending more than half of their students are neighborhood high schools. Three others are run by the Academy for Urban School Leadership. &nbsp;</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="761" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" msallowfullscreen="msallowfullscreen" oallowfullscreen="oallowfullscreen" src="http://cf.datawrapper.de/Vyrf1/4/" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" width="620"></iframe></p><blockquote><p><em>*CICS disputes the number reported to the state for CICS-Ralph Ellison. A spokeswoman said the number was misreported at the campus level.</em></p><p><em>**These schools closed in June 2013.</em></p><p><em>OSS stands for &ldquo;Out-of-School Suspension&rdquo;<br />ISS stands for &ldquo;In-School Suspension&rdquo;<br />Student Count is the number of students who received one or more suspension last year, meaning if a student got more than one suspension, they were only counted once.</em></p></blockquote><p>CPS tracks the number of suspensions at its schools and recently released that data to the public. But charter schools are not required to report suspension numbers to CPS. They are now, however, asked to report the number of students that got at least one suspension in a given school year on compliance forms filed with the Illinois State Board of Education.</p><p>WBEZ obtained those forms through a Freedom of Information Act request. But in order to look at suspensions across all schools, WBEZ also filed a Freedom of Information Act&nbsp; request with CPS for comparable numbers&mdash;counting students&mdash;at district-run schools. (Earlier this year CPS released data around suspensions and expulsions, but those numbers counted suspensions, not the number of students affected.)<br /><br />Here are the main findings:</p><ul><li>Of all students enrolled in CPS, including charter schools, more than 50,000 students (13%) got an out-of-school suspension last year.</li><li>On average, charter high schools and district high schools suspended 18 percent of the students enrolled.</li><li>Charter grammar schools, overall, suspended 14 percent of all students enrolled. That&rsquo;s double the percentage of students suspended from district-run grammar schools, which on the whole suspended 7 percent of the students enrolled.</li><li>Collectively, schools run by the Academy for Urban School Leadership suspended about 22 percent of their students. AUSL&rsquo;s five high schools, on average, suspended 42 percent of their students.</li><li>The district&rsquo;s therapeutic day schools, which serve students with the most severe behavior problems, gave out-of-school suspensions to large percentages of their students last year, with Montefiore suspending 100 percent of the students enrolled.</li></ul><p>Suspensions and expulsions have been in the spotlight a lot lately. CPS has revised its&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cps.edu/Documents/Resources/StudentCodeOfConduct/English_StudentCodeofConduct.pdf" target="_blank">Student Code of Conduct</a>&nbsp;more than once in recent years and is in the process of reviewing it again. In January, the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ed.gov/news/speeches/rethinking-school-discipline" target="_blank">urged schools to use suspensions and other strict discipline only as a last resort</a>.&nbsp; And in March, federal data showed what juvenile justice advocates have known for a while: that minority students, especially African Americans, are suspended at disproportionate rates.<br /><br />&ldquo;We know (the code of conduct) is not being applied the same way,&rdquo; said CPS spokesman Joel Hood.<br /><br />District officials are currently conducting community summits and focus groups, including one on the West Side this Thursday. CPS plans to do district-wide professional development over the summer.<br /><br /><strong>Charter Schools Vary Widely</strong></p><p>On the whole, charters suspended a larger percentage of their students than district-run schools did, but the numbers vary a lot from school to school.<br /><br />Generally, charter schools in Chicago have a reputation for being more strict than other CPS schools--and, at many of them, you can feel that when you walk in. The logic goes: a more orderly school, fewer disruptions, more learning.<br /><br />Bill Olsen, the principal of&nbsp;<a href="http://noblenetwork.org/" target="_blank">Noble Street College Prep</a>&rsquo;s flagship campus, said the network&rsquo;s approach to discipline is part of the draw.<br /><br />&ldquo;We just had a lottery with 840 families who want to send their student to Noble and one of the big things that families say over and over again is safety,&rdquo; Olsen said. Noble has gotten criticism for it&rsquo;s strict approach to discipline and the detention fees it would charge students. Last month, Noble&nbsp;<a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-04-11/news/chi-charter-school-drops-controversial-discipline-fee-20140411_1_charter-school-noble-network-student-discipline" target="_blank">announced it would drop those fees</a>, because they were becoming a distraction.<br /><br />Overall, a quarter of the students enrolled at Noble schools got at least one out-of-school suspension last year. The flagship campus, where Olsen is principal, had the least, suspending 14 percent of its students, while the newest campus in the 2012-2013 school year, Hansberry College Prep, had the most, suspending 59 percent of its students.<br /><br />&ldquo;One of the things we do see is that some of our younger campuses tend to have higher rates, while some of our more established campuses have lower rates,&rdquo; said Noble spokeswoman Angela Montagna.&nbsp; &ldquo;If they only have freshmen, you might see that be a little higher because freshmen tend to get suspended more than seniors. But also, it&rsquo;s a school establishing itself in a community. People know what Noble&rsquo;s like in West Town.&rdquo; (Noble&rsquo;s older campuses, including its flagship, are on the city&rsquo;s west side.)<br /><br />Of all the charter school networks,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.perspectivescs.org/" target="_blank">Perspectives Charter Schools</a>&nbsp;suspended the largest percentage of its students, with 41 percent getting one or more suspensions last year.<br /><br />In a statement, Kim Day, the network&rsquo;s chief education officer, said the Perspectives schools &ldquo;sweat the small stuff&mdash;and the majority of consequences are based on principles of restorative discipline.&rdquo; The network focuses on what it calls &ldquo;26 principles of A Disciplined Life.&rdquo;<br /><br />A few single-campus charter schools suspended almost none of their students. At&nbsp;<a href="http://www.namastecharterschool.org/" target="_blank">Namaste Charter School</a>, where 6 percent of students got an out-of-school suspension last year according to CPS numbers, school officials attribute low numbers to the school&rsquo;s commitment to physical activity throughout the day.<br /><br />There are at least 90 minutes of movement worked into every school day, said Rickie Yudin, the school&rsquo;s Director of School Culture &amp; Wellness. There are 60 minutes of formal physical education, 20 or 25 minutes of recess depending on grade level, and another 10 to 15 minutes of movement within the classroom.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/149388587&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><em>The two people speaking in this clip are Yudin and Namaste&rsquo;s Director of Development Allison Isaacson Lipsman.</em></p><p>At the&nbsp;<a href="http://agcchicago.org/" target="_blank">Academy for Global Citizenship</a>, no students got an out-of-school suspension.<br /><br /><a href="http://www.nlcphs.org/">North Lawndale College Prep</a>&rsquo;s two campuses reported low numbers of out-of-school suspensions. John Horan, the school&rsquo;s founder, said they&rsquo;re able to keep misbehavior at bay by keeping a lot of counselors on staff.</p><p>&ldquo;We have no metal detectors and we probably have three security guards,&rdquo; Horan said. &ldquo;We have nine counselors and they&rsquo;re all in on this culture of peace, doing the front end work to prevent the sort of behaviors that result in out-of-school suspensions and expulsions.&rdquo;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/149488822&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><a href="http://www.chicagointl.org/">Chicago International Charter Schools</a>&mdash;the largest network in CPS&mdash;suspended 19 percent of the students enrolled across its schools.&nbsp; A CICS spokeswoman said several of their campuses, including Ellison, misreported suspension numbers on the ISBE compliance form.<br /><br /><strong>Data Quality Problems</strong></p><p>CICS wasn&rsquo;t the only charter school network with mixed up, inconsistent or incomplete data.</p><p>According to the data reported to the state, NLCP-Collins had fewer than 10 suspensions. But the Collins campus Principal Tim Bouman said the school had more suspensions than what was reported. That&rsquo;s because they only reported suspensions resulting from serious infractions. He sent WBEZ numbers for all out-of-school suspensions, even for minor things, and turns out about 40 percent of the students enrolled last year got one.</p><p>LEARN Charter School Network misreported numbers for two of its five campuses. Greg White, LEARN&rsquo;s chief executive, said it&rsquo;s unclear why the numbers were misreported.&nbsp; Ten charter schools filled out compliance forms, but left the section regarding discipline blank. And a handful of charters did not file a form with ISBE.<br /><br />A lack of consistent and reliable data around suspensions and expulsions is nothing new. The student group Voices of Youth in Chicago Education, or VOYCE, found similar problems several years ago when they began researching school discipline.<br /><br />&ldquo;Either people would say they didn&rsquo;t have the data or they weren&rsquo;t going turn over the data, so we ended up having to file Freedom of Information Act requests,&rdquo; said Shawn Brown, an organizer with VOYCE.<br /><br />VOYCE is pushing&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocTypeID=SB&amp;DocNum=2793&amp;GAID=12&amp;SessionID=85&amp;LegID=78681" target="_blank">a bill</a>&nbsp;in Springfield that would require all publicly funded schools to annually publish numbers of suspensions, expulsions and arrests. It passed out of the Senate last week, 55 to zero. The House Education Committee is&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ilga.gov/house/committees/hearing.asp?HearingID=12027&amp;CommitteeID=1184" target="_blank">scheduled to take it up on Wednesday morning</a>.<br /><br />CPS spokesman Joel Hood says charter schools are currently not required to report suspension numbers to the district. But, district officials are pushing charters to join a district-wide effort away from zero-tolerance policies to more restorative discipline. Hood said new charter school applicants will also get preference in the approval process if they develop holistic discipline codes.</p><p>AUSL spokeswoman Deirdre Campbell said the numbers of students getting suspended at the schools run by the non-profit group seemed off, too. She specifically took issue with the numbers at Orr Academy, which suspended the highest percentage of its students last year, according to CPS data.</p><p>Campbell said school leaders at Orr argued that using 20th day enrollment didn&rsquo;t capture the total number of students that went to Orr last year and therefore, the proportion of students getting suspended would be lower if you factored in student mobility. As a rule, however, CPS uses the 20th day count for nearly all of its data collection and school accountability metrics and there&#39;s no way to know if students who left the school or entered after the 20th day got an out-of-school suspension.<br /><br /><strong>Keeping Calm Over Time</strong></p><p>The majority of the schools suspending a large proportion of their students are on the city&rsquo;s West Side. One of them, Manley Career Academy, has been working to improve its culture and reduce suspensions for years.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/149485062&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>In 2009, then-CPS CEO Ron Huberman launched a $30 million initiative to create a &ldquo;Culture of Calm&rdquo; inside the city&rsquo;s most troubled high schools.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/news/education/pursuing-culture-calm-8" target="_blank">Manley was one of them.</a><br /><br />School administrators and community partners, like Umoja Student Development Corporation, say it worked&mdash;out-of-school suspensions dropped 30 percent between 2010 and 2013. Principal Warren Morgan says serious infractions, like fighting, drug possession and vandalism, continue to fall.<br /><br />But last year, the total number of suspensions doubled, and more than 70 percent of the students enrolled got at least one.<br /><br />Morgan said that after the success with Culture of Calm, he wanted to focus on the school&rsquo;s academic performance. But students were still coming late to school and not getting to class on time.<br /><br />So last year, he said, he implemented a few policy changes. It was the first year students were required to wear uniforms and the first year that students would be required to serve a 9th period if they were tardy. If a student skipped out on 9th period, they would get a suspension.<br /><br />And a lot of students learned the new rules the hard way. Hence, the spike in suspensions.<br /><br />&ldquo;Whenever you start a new policy that hasn&rsquo;t been done and it&rsquo;s a culture of no expectations, you&rsquo;re going to have a lot of students that are pushing that. And we wanted to follow through on it,&rdquo; Morgan said.<br /><br />But the policies contributed to an overall increase in attendance and academic performance, Morgan said. Last year, Manley moved from a Level 3 school, the lowest rating CPS gives, to a Level 2 school. At the same time, many of the resources&mdash;and people&mdash;that came with the Culture of Calm grant left.<br /><br />Ilana Zafran works with Umoja, the group that partnered with Manley under Culture of Calm. They&#39;re still involved at the school, though not as much as when the grant was in place.<br /><br />She says Principal Morgan&rsquo;s choice to tighten up on kids coming late is not bad intentioned.<br /><br />&ldquo;Ideally, you&rsquo;d be able to assign each of those young people a case manager to figure out what&rsquo;s going on. Why aren&rsquo;t you getting to school on time? And then that person might show up at the kid&rsquo;s house every morning and escort them to school,&rdquo; Zafran said. &ldquo;Schools unfortunately don&rsquo;t have that type of man power or woman power. Non-profits don&rsquo;t have that type of funding to be able to staff that kind of thing.&rdquo;<br /><br />Principal Morgan was able to keep Brian Collier on staff as the school&rsquo;s dean of students.&nbsp; And during a&nbsp; visit to the school during dismissal, it&rsquo;s easy to see why.&nbsp; Collier stands at the entrance, wearing a bow-tie, dreadlocks and a smile as wide as his face, interacting with students as if he&rsquo;s known them since they were five.<br /><br />He still staffs the peace room, but only as needed. But he says the biggest challenge isn&rsquo;t inside of Manley.<br /><br />&ldquo;What comes into anybody&rsquo;s school building is what is happening on the streets of their cities or their townships or the homes,&rdquo; Collier said.&nbsp; &ldquo;The shift has to not only happen in here but we&rsquo;ve got to start doing things differently outside.&rdquo;<br /><br />For now, Collier says, that is a &ldquo;utopia that does not exist.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p><em>Becky Vevea is a producer for WBEZ. Follow her&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZeducation" target="_blank">@WBEZeducation</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 13 May 2014 15:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/student-suspensions-numbers-110172 Charter supporters rally against bills in Illinois legislature http://www.wbez.org/news/charter-supporters-rally-against-bills-illinois-legislature-109990 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/IMG_3555.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Hundreds of Chicago charter school parents, students and alums rallied in Springfield Tuesday to oppose legislation they say will hurt charter schools.</p><p>The group started its day with a rally outside U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, with more than 20 tour buses lined up to take them to the capitol. Supporters wore yellow scarves and carried printed signs that read &ldquo;I choose charter.&rdquo;</p><p>Illinois Network of Charter Schools President Andrew Broy addressed parents and others before they departed to join up with supporters from other Illinois communities.</p><p>&ldquo;This is a statewide movement,&rdquo; Broy told the group. &ldquo;We face threats in Springfield that we&rsquo;ve never faced before. There are no fewer than twelve different bills in Springfield designed to limit your right to choose the best school for your student. And we&rsquo;re not going to let that happen.&rdquo;</p><p>Charter advocates planned to pack the capitol rotunda. They said they want state lawmakers to see the faces of charter parents and students, students they say would be hurt if those dozen pending bills are passed into law.</p><p>Some of the key bills being considered:</p><p>-SB2627/HB3754 would get rid of a charter school appeals commission that can approve charter schools even if&nbsp; the local school board denies them.</p><p>-SB3303 would prohibit charters from opening in the same zip code as a&nbsp; closed traditional school.</p><p>-HB4655/SB3004 would force charters to follow&nbsp; the same discipline policies that traditional schools follow.</p><p>-SB3030/HB6005 would forbid charter schools from marketing, prohibit charters from subcontracting with Educational Management Organizations and Charter Management Organizations to operate schools and create a compensation cap for school CEOs.</p><p>A number of the bills were introduced by suburban lawmakers. Their interest in charters was piqued last year when a for-profit company, K12, Inc., proposed opening virtual charter schools in more than a dozen suburban school districts. All the districts&nbsp; rejected the plan. As state law is currently written, the Illinois State Charter Commission could overrule those local districts.</p><p>That happened last year when the charter provider that operates Chicago Math and Science Academy tried to open up two new schools in the city. The school district denied the provider&rsquo;s request to expand, but when the organization appealed, the commission gave the go ahead.<br /><br />Charter advocates say a neutral committee needs to examine the merits of charter proposals, because school boards often have a disincentive&mdash;even if district schools are weak&mdash;to approve charters.<br /><br />Many students and parents at the morning Chicago rally said they were there to support individual schools.&nbsp;</p><p>Nahum Alcantar said he supports charter schools because he thinks his charter school has given him a better education than a public school could have. Alcantar, a senior at Chicago Math and Science Academy, went to Kilmer Elementary, a CPS neighborhood school, before enrolling at the charter.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve been to a charter school and I&rsquo;ve been to a public school and based on my experience &hellip; charter schools can ... provide the same amount of education that public schools can,&rdquo; Alcantar said. &ldquo;From the schools that I went (to) and compared to the charter school that I go (to)&nbsp; now I&rsquo;ve gotten a really better education.&rdquo;</p><p>Many also said they believe their charter schools are underfunded relative to traditional Chicago Public Schools.&nbsp; But the school district says charters and other schools get exactly equal funding.<br /><br />Although it has been a complaint from charter opponents, many rallying parents said they see no connection between charter schools opening and traditional schools closing</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re not making that school worse, we&rsquo;re not making it a bad school. If they can&rsquo;t get the grades or what they need then they should close,&rdquo; said charter parent Amber Mandley. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s not our (fault) it&rsquo;s happening, just because we want to keep our schools running doesn&rsquo;t mean we&rsquo;re trying to close CPS schools.&rdquo;</p><p>Ebony Edwards-Carr, who like Mandley has children at the Chicago International Charter School in Bucktown, said the day &ldquo;is about uniting&rdquo; parents, charter school or otherwise.<br />&nbsp;<br />The Chicago Teachers Union supports many of the bills on the table.</p><p>Its membership is threatened by charter school expansion; as charters expand and traditional schools close, Chicago Teachers Union&rsquo;s membership is dwindling. Charter teachers are not allowed to be represented by the CTU.<br /><br />Stacy Davis Gates, CTU&rsquo;s political director, said suburban districts are looking at Chicago as&nbsp; a &ldquo;cautionary tale&rdquo; where &ldquo;neighborhood schools have been chased out by charters.&rdquo; Gates said the state needs to &ldquo;close some of these loopholes&rdquo;&nbsp; in state charter law.</p><p>She said the bills being considered will bring more transparency and accountability to charter schools.&nbsp;</p><p><em>Patrick Smith is a WBEZ producer and reporter. Follow him <a href="https://twitter.com/pksmid">@pksmid</a>. Linda Lutton is WBEZ&rsquo;s education reporter, follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZeducation">@WBEZeducation</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 15:27:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/charter-supporters-rally-against-bills-illinois-legislature-109990 Morning Shift: Legislation aims to make changes at charter schools http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-04-08/morning-shift-legislation-aims-make-changes-charter <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Classroom Flickr cayoup.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We look at what some charter school supporters are hoping for as several bills work their way through the state legislature. Plus, how the popular business model of franchising is squeezing small business owners between corporations and workers.&nbsp;</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-what-s-at-stake-for-charter-schools/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-what-s-at-stake-for-charter-schools.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-what-s-at-stake-for-charter-schools" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Legislation aims to make changes at charter schools" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 08:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-04-08/morning-shift-legislation-aims-make-changes-charter