Letters: Teachers, not parents, lead revolt on testing, charters

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Parents and students rally in July for a charter school. File photo by Brian Jackson for the Sun-Times.

In a recent Sun-Times column (“Charters and heavy testing hurt our schools” — Nov. 3), the Rev. Jesse Jackson boldly proclaims that parents across the country are “revolting” against standardized testing and teacher accountability and marching against public charter schools.

Well, there is a revolt against testing but it is not coming from parents. The fact is, when the tests were only about judging students and schools, there was no revolt. It wasn’t until the tests were used to evaluate teachers that the “revolt” really took off.

As for all of the parents marching against the expansion of public school choice, where are they? At the last meeting of the Chicago Board of Education, there was a group of parents marching to demand that the district continue to expand the number of high quality public schools. And what was the chant from the counter-protest comprising union teachers and CTU staff? “Save our teachers!”

Rev. Jackson is right that there is an “education spring” afoot in our nation, but he missed the mark because it’s not the folks carrying picket signs outside of school district board meetings. The real “education spring” is driven by nearly 3 million mostly low-income black and Hispanic families who have chosen to enroll in public charter schools across America.

They have traded picket signs for enrollment forms and mass rallies for large school options fairs. And they are demanding for their children the great civil right of our time, a high quality public education.

Chris Butler, former director, New Schools for Chicago, former deputy campaign manager, A+ Illinois.

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes.

Byrd-Bennett’s numerous abuses

The continuing pathetic debacle involving disgraced former Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett is simply the most recent preventable tragedy that resulted (as do all such collapses) from the following:

First, betrayal of trust. Second, abuse of power. Third, and usually most important, is that the cheater did not attend to the following age-old, profound wisdom: If one does not pay meticulous, scrupulous attention to one’s boundaries (whether personal, political, professional, occupational or otherwise), all relationships will be ruined.

Leon J. Hoffman, Lake View

Follow the Editorial Board on Twitter: @csteditorials

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