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Monday, March 8

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The Mechanics
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Education Mon Mar 26 2012

General Assembly To Consider Banning Noble Street's Fining Policies

State Senator Willie Delgado has introduced legislation banning the stringent fining practices used by charter network Noble Street. There was an uproar against the ticky-tacky fines imposed by Noble Street for infractions such as "not tracking the teacher with your eyes" and "running a pencil along the edge of the desk." A freedom of information act request by a student organization and a parents organization found that the school system had raised nearly $400,000 from these fines.

To protest the fines, students self-organized a protest and press conference, wearing chef's hats and aprons, mocking Mayor Rahm Emanuel's statement that Noble had a "secret sauce" that led to be better behaved students.

Senator Delgado's legislation is meant to prohibit nominally public schools like Noble Street from imposing fines (which the schools call "fees") as a disciplinary measure. Noble Street's rationale for the fees, according to Catalyst Magazine's Jim Broadway's coverage, is to increase parental involvement and make sure only those kids using disciplinary resources (e.g., after-school detention requiring staff time) have to pay for them. Of course, this is precisely the type of thing public schools cannot do and which give charter schools a comparative advantage that powers what little greater efficacy they have over public schools.

 
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Feature

Parents Still Steaming, but About More Than Just Boilers

By Phil Huckelberry / 2 Comments

It's now been 11 days since the carbon monoxide leak which sent over 80 Prussing Elementary School students and staff to the hospital. While officials from Chicago Public Schools have partially answered some questions, and CPS CEO Forrest Claypool has informed that he will be visiting the school to field more questions on Nov. 16, many parents remain irate at the CPS response to date. More...

Civics

Substance, Not Style, the Source of Rahm's Woes

By Ramsin Canon / 2 Comments

It's not surprising that some of Mayor Emanuel's sympathizers and supporters are confusing people's substantive disputes with the mayor as the effect of poor marketing on his part. It's exactly this insular worldview that has gotten the mayor in hot... More...

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Mechanics is the politics section of Gapers Block, reflecting the diversity of viewpoints and beliefs of Chicagoans and Illinoisans. More...
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