thumbnail of Making the Grade; Shopping for Schools: Educational Choices in the 90's
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<v John Callaway>I just love coming here for lunch in this mall, you can taste much of the world. <v John Callaway>Chinese stir fry, burritos, good old American hot dogs, offerings <v John Callaway>from Greece. And my favorites, lasagna and pizza. <v John Callaway>This place is choice city. <v John Callaway>Now, if you want to buy a new or used car, if you've got the cash or the credit, <v John Callaway>you can also enjoy plenty of choice. <v John Callaway>Even if you're shopping for the best elementary or high school, there's choice. <v John Callaway>If you can afford it, you can move just about anywhere you want. <v John Callaway>And if you have enough money to pay the tuition, you can join the 12 percent <v John Callaway>of American families who send their children to church affiliated or other private <v John Callaway>schools. But if you don't have the job or the money necessary to move <v John Callaway>to the town or the neighborhood of your choice, and if you can't find the money to pay <v John Callaway>for that tuition. Your choices for educating your children may be severely <v John Callaway>limited. And if your choices are limited, there are those who <v John Callaway>say that the quality of your child's education will be diminished.
<v John Callaway>Tonight, we'll hear from advocates of educational choice who will argue that good schools <v John Callaway>should be available to all without regard to income and that no one <v John Callaway>school is best for all students. <v John Callaway>We'll hear from critics who say that choice programs frequently are a smoke screen for <v John Callaway>highly selective admissions programs, resegregation of school districts <v John Callaway>and other shortcomings which pose a threat to the already troubled public schools. <v John Callaway>So stay with us. Now, as we take you on a trip we call shopping for schools. <v John Callaway>President Bush has said that competition can spur excellence in our schools <v John Callaway>and that choice is the catalyst for change. <v John Callaway>And with us via satellite to Milwaukee is Dr. Robert Peterkin, who is the superintendent <v John Callaway>of the Milwaukee Public Schools. <v John Callaway>And Dr. Peterkin, can let's get started by asking you if choice really <v John Callaway>is a panacea. Can customer driven schools really provide the improvements
<v John Callaway>that we need in American education? <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>No, I don't think choice is a panacea, but I certainly think that choice as an important <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>factor in the restructuring of America's public schools and quite possibly <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>in the public and private domain, it enables you if you work within the context <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>of restructuring and deal with other issues parent empowerment, teacher empowerment, <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>curriculum and staff development that enables you to use <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>the school system and its resources as a vehicle for change. <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>I have some caveats and concerns about about choice in terms of equity and the provision <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>of information to those who usually don't get it. <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>But in fact, I think choice can be a vehicle to drive the kind of change that we're <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>looking for in America's schools, but not alone. <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>Nothing's a panacea for the resolution of the problems of of American education. <v John Callaway>And to any extent is the choice discussion centered around <v John Callaway>the giving up on public schools by some people? <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>I think it is obviously, and that I think is regrettable. <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>It is it is a illogical extension of something that could be a sound principle.
<v Dr. Robert Peterkin>That's why it's so difficult to have have a rational dialog about the issue because we're <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>such polar opposites when in fact we should be looking at the educational benefit for <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>children and parents. <v John Callaway>Well, with us via satellite to Washington, D.C. <v John Callaway>is Phyllis McClure, who's director of policy and information of the NAACP Legal <v John Callaway>Defense and Educational Fund. <v John Callaway>And Ms. McClure, thank you for being with us this evening. <v John Callaway>What do you say to those who say that choice really is, <v John Callaway>if not the panacea is the direction we should really go and emphasize in <v John Callaway>coming years in U.S. education? <v Phyllis McClure>Well, choice has become a buzzword for all kinds of educational arrangements, but as <v Phyllis McClure>a philosophy for school reform, it's really a bankrupt uh <v Phyllis McClure>policy because the whole problem with choices <v Phyllis McClure>that puts the burden for improving schools on parents and lets <v Phyllis McClure>school officials, teachers, educators generally off the hook. <v Phyllis McClure>One of the reasons we've got uh limited choices in education is
<v Phyllis McClure>because of racial discrimination in housing. <v Phyllis McClure>If black and low income people could move to the suburbs of Chicago <v Phyllis McClure>and that generally have better schools in the city of Chicago. <v Phyllis McClure>This choice debate would be as prominent as it is. <v John Callaway>But is there something going on politically in this country other than the segregation <v John Callaway>issue that you raised that makes choice such a major issue in such <v John Callaway>a point of discussion? <v Phyllis McClure>We have a president of United States who wants to be an education president, but he wants <v Phyllis McClure>to be a no cost education president. <v Phyllis McClure>In other words, he wants to spur school reform, but he doesn't want the federal <v Phyllis McClure>government to be any uh major financial contributor to it. <v Phyllis McClure>So he has to come up with what I call the no choice solution to being an education <v Phyllis McClure>president. <v John Callaway>Well, like many urban school systems as a result of court ordered desegregation, Chicago <v John Callaway>currently provides an educational choice program to racially balance schools. <v John Callaway>Mary Broomfield is the assistant superintendent of the Department of Equal Educational
<v John Callaway>Opportunity Programs for the Chicago Public Schools. <v John Callaway>And uh Ms. Broomfield, I'm wondering if you can tell us, I I know you can probably speak <v John Callaway>for 30 minutes on it, but give us some of the highlights of choice within the public <v John Callaway>school system. <v Mary E. Broomfield>Yes, John, the uh Options for Knowledge program within the Chicago public school system <v Mary E. Broomfield>has been very successful in achieving the goals of desegregation through alternative <v Mary E. Broomfield>programs, through creating miles of excellence, through attracting <v Mary E. Broomfield>a racially, ethnically diverse, socially, economically and academically diverse <v Mary E. Broomfield>population into specific models of excellence. <v Mary E. Broomfield>We have programs in approximately 200 schools, about 45 magnet schools, <v Mary E. Broomfield>over 70 receiving schools. <v Mary E. Broomfield>But we also have similar programs in schools that are considered <v Mary E. Broomfield>to be racially identifiable that are exactly like the schools that are magnet <v Mary E. Broomfield>schools. We had approximately 100,000 students or let's say <v Mary E. Broomfield>30 percent of the student population that pac- that participate in our Options for <v Mary E. Broomfield>Knowledge programs. We have about 60,000 students or 15 percent
<v Mary E. Broomfield>that are choosing to go to schools outside of their <v Mary E. Broomfield>own community at this point. There is certainly a need for <v Mary E. Broomfield>an increased opportunity for neighborhood schools to be able to compete with those <v Mary E. Broomfield>options. <v John Callaway>And when you say they have the option of choosing to go outside their neighborhood <v John Callaway>school, is this done on a lottery basis? <v John Callaway>Is it done to have to take some kind of examination? How does it work in Chicago? <v Mary E. Broomfield>It's a lottery basis except for one or two schools that are specifically designed <v Mary E. Broomfield>for academically talented youngsters. We always have more applications than there are <v Mary E. Broomfield>available seats so that we do lottery and students for <v Mary E. Broomfield>all available seats. <v John Callaway>All right. Let me introduce Suzanne Davenport, who is co-director for Leadership <v John Callaway>Development for Designs for Change. <v John Callaway>What is your overview of all of this talk now about choice in schools? <v Suzanne Davenport>Our view is based on some research we did in 4 major cities Chicago, New York, Boston <v Suzanne Davenport>and Philadelphia. Looking at the high schools and just what the difference choice made <v Suzanne Davenport>in those high school systems and what we looked at and found was that the high
<v Suzanne Davenport>that the choice systems that exist within these high schools, such as <v Suzanne Davenport>the magnet school programs and so on, create basically a two tier system of <v Suzanne Davenport>neighborhood schools versus highly selective magnet and other kinds of schools, <v Suzanne Davenport>which are have a much higher proportion of resources, <v Suzanne Davenport>of more qualified teachers and of higher achieving students than you have left <v Suzanne Davenport>in the neighborhood schools. Students who have failed more subjects, students who <v Suzanne Davenport>are in bilingual education and special education. <v Suzanne Davenport>And and thus you have these neighborhood schools with one hand tied behind their back who <v Suzanne Davenport>really cannot compete with the magnet schools. <v Suzanne Davenport>And so you have an internally divided system. <v Suzanne Davenport>And within that system, it's very hard to set up a good choice system with <v Suzanne Davenport>equity. We would like to see more choice in the public schools, but it has to be with <v Suzanne Davenport>equity. <v John Callaway>When children leave to go to a magnet school, is there any evidence to suggest that those <v John Callaway>left behind suffer as a result of that? <v Suzanne Davenport>Yes, documented across the board, the students feel bad.
<v Suzanne Davenport>There's a negative effect on their self image. <v Suzanne Davenport>Same in teacher morale. And there's also a distinct difference in the actual resources <v Suzanne Davenport>available to those schools. <v John Callaway>James Deanes is president of Parent Community Council and is very involved as a as <v John Callaway>a parent in the Chicago school system and has been a part of Chicago school reform. <v John Callaway>Before I get your overview on it, let me just ask you, as a parent, does <v John Callaway>the the notion of having a choice to get your children <v John Callaway>out of a neighborhood school close to your home, if indeed you want that, does that <v John Callaway>appeal to you as a parent? <v James Deanes>As a parent the notion of having educational opportunities unlimited <v James Deanes>certainly appeals to me. <v James Deanes>As a parent and as an involved person in the city of Chicago, I have <v James Deanes>a fear of what some people use as choice when in fact they <v James Deanes>mean voucher. <v John Callaway>Now, what do you mean? Why do you fear vouchers or why do you fear the notion of <v John Callaway>the state, say, presenting, let's say, 2500 dollars to a family <v John Callaway>to let that family have a choice to go outside the neighborhood public school or maybe
<v John Callaway>into a private school. What's your problem with that? <v James Deanes>Well one of the things that we've always heard was that you, in fact, have an opportunity <v James Deanes>as a parent to put your child in any school of your choice, but you should <v James Deanes>not have public dollars to do that. <v James Deanes>Public education is a right for every child. <v James Deanes>We've already had a system that is two tiered. <v James Deanes>We know that there is difficulty in finding private schools and finding <v James Deanes>the resources to send your children to that, those schools. <v James Deanes>We see people now come in. <v James Deanes>And I'm afraid that that notion of choice, as we hear it today, where you are going to <v James Deanes>take public dollars and eventually support private education, <v James Deanes>and that's my fear. <v John Callaway>Mr. Deanes, you really get into the nitty gritty of the schools and the school councils <v John Callaway>that that you work in. Is it true that there are some parents <v John Callaway>in some schools who either don't have the knowhow or they don't have the motivation <v John Callaway>to do the necessary paperwork, the necessary investigation, et cetera,
<v John Callaway>to get their kids even to say a magnet school, much less to try to do the shopping <v John Callaway>for a private school? That is parents who have a problem with making a choice. <v John Callaway>Do you see that at all? <v James Deanes>I see that parents don't have necessarily the resources. <v James Deanes>I think we do, in fact, have the knowhow to a certain extent, but I don't know if the <v James Deanes>resources are extended to as many parents who need it as those <v James Deanes>who don't need it as much. <v John Callaway>What do you mean by resources? <v James Deanes>I mean technical advice and assistance. <v James Deanes>I mean financial resources. <v James Deanes>I mean university interventions and things of that nature. <v James Deanes>Some neighborhoods tend to get more of it, and some other neighborhoods like <v James Deanes>the one I live in tend to get less of it. <v John Callaway>And let me introduce Patrick Keleher, who is president of Teach America. <v John Callaway>That's Taxpayers for Educational Accountability and Choice. <v John Callaway>And Mr. Keleher, I take from that the title of that organization that you are very <v John Callaway>pro-choice. <v Patrick Keleher>We're extremely pro-choice. And really to cast it in the proper definition. <v Patrick Keleher>We're we're for educational self-determination.
<v Patrick Keleher>I like to use that language. And uh. <v John Callaway>You're for educational? <v Patrick Keleher>Self-determination. <v John Callaway>Self-determination. <v Patrick Keleher>And uh we take very literally certain subjects, certain certain words like empowerment, <v Patrick Keleher>teacher professionalism, school site autonomy. <v Patrick Keleher>And most of us are veterans of the Chicago Public School Battle. <v Patrick Keleher>And we're sickened to see the the change of venue of <v Patrick Keleher>Chicago public school reform down to Springfield once again, three years after our <v Patrick Keleher>legislative victory. We're back to the utter politicization of school reform. <v Patrick Keleher>What we see now is that we have got to get the other half of the empowerment loaf that <v Patrick Keleher>we didn't get in 1988. <v Patrick Keleher>In 1988, we got the half of loaf, half of al loaf that Chubb and <v Patrick Keleher>Mo talked about in their book on school reform. <v Patrick Keleher>The political half. We got strong empowerment politically for our local school councils. <v John Callaway>You like that? <v Patrick Keleher>I love it. And the school councils are the heart and soul of school reform. <v Patrick Keleher>But what we didn't get, John, is we did not get economic empowerment. <v Patrick Keleher>And until that until we have that, until local school councils and the members
<v Patrick Keleher>there are just like the folks out in the suburbs, where they can walk away from the table <v Patrick Keleher>in the local school chambers, take their kid out of the school, if they're not satisfied <v Patrick Keleher>with what they're getting, they're not truly empowered. <v John Callaway>Mr. Keleher, let's let's just take that a step further. <v John Callaway>Let's say that the legislature provides a huge amount of funding <v John Callaway>so that those who want vouchers or as I think some if you want to call it scholarships, <v John Callaway>they want 2,500 - 5,000 dollars. <v John Callaway>Now they've got a choice. How far do you think that would go? <v John Callaway>In a in a school system like Chicago with 400,000 plus students, you think 50,000 <v John Callaway>would opt for that? <v Patrick Keleher>I don't think it would be traumatic exodus or traumatic defunding of the school <v Patrick Keleher>system. But you might look at that. <v John Callaway>I'm sorry. Why not? If the school system is as bankrupt as its critics say it is. <v John Callaway>Why wouldn't if poor people who were the only people apparently who don't have the choice <v John Callaway>to get out? Why is it that they would not opt for it? <v Patrick Keleher>For any number of ideological reasons people prefer public schools, and that's gonna be <v Patrick Keleher>the case even after a scholarship plan comes on, by the way, at the college level,
<v Patrick Keleher>if you send your kid to Lyola or DePaul or the University of Illinois at Chicago, you're <v Patrick Keleher>gonna call that a scholarship, aren't you? <v John Callaway>Yes. <v Patrick Keleher>That's tax money going to public or private institutions. <v Patrick Keleher>So why draw a line in the sand and call it a voucher unless you want to put a negative <v Patrick Keleher>spin on the word? <v John Callaway>Well, the use of public funds to pay for private education is not a part of Chicago's <v John Callaway>school reform law. But many, like Patrick Keleher, argue that without allowing parents <v John Callaway>the full range of educational choice, that is choice between both private and public <v John Callaway>schools, parents have no real control over their children's education. <v John Callaway>In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, according to The Wall Street Journal, the 97,000 students <v John Callaway>in the system have a grade point average of 1.62 Or a <v John Callaway>D plus. Almost half the public school students drop out without graduating. <v John Callaway>So in a controversial move to address some of these problems, Milwaukee has embarked on <v John Callaway>the nation's first voucher experiment or scholarship experiment, providing low income <v John Callaway>children their choice of public or private schools. <v John Callaway>WTTW correspondant Royal Kennedy has the story.
<v Royal Kennedy>In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where more than half of the 98,000 public school students <v Royal Kennedy>travel miles every day to get to class a controversial plan to get low income <v Royal Kennedy>children off the buses and into local private schools has the city <v Royal Kennedy>sharply divided. Under the Milwaukee Choice program, the Frazier family <v Royal Kennedy>receives a 2500 dollar value from the state to pay for each of their children <v Royal Kennedy>to attend a local private school. <v Royal Kennedy>Since September, just 300 students have participated in the program. <v Royal Kennedy>State Representative Polly Williams, who sponsored the bill, says vouchers will encourage <v Royal Kennedy>competition and give parents more choice. <v Polly Williams>There are some children who do better in public schools and we need public schools and we <v Polly Williams>need good public schools. But there are some children who need to be in private <v Polly Williams>schools or parochial schools. <v Polly Williams>They need the kind of structure that goes with those type of school. <v Polly Williams>We need to have as many options as possible in order to <v Polly Williams>make sure that every child, every child's needs have been met.
<v Royal Kennedy>Opponents of the program argue that although choice is important, it doesn't address the <v Royal Kennedy>real problems of an urban school system. <v Steve Dold>I think the program reflects frustration with the public schools <v Steve Dold>and the seductive notion of choice and competition as somehow <v Steve Dold>being a panacea or a magic bullet that will solve not only <v Steve Dold>the educational problems in Milwaukee, but all of the social problems that contribute <v Steve Dold>to it in an urban setting in almost any urban setting. <v Royal Kennedy>David Frazier put his two children in a private school through the voucher program <v Royal Kennedy>because he felt that the improved education was worth an extra effort. <v David Frazier>They asked parents to come in and help them out in the office, maybe in a lunchroom <v David Frazier>on a playground, cleaning up the school. <v David Frazier>They have special projects, they might ask you to get involved. <v David Frazier>Getting up and driving 'em I think is worth worthwhile seeing the type of education that <v David Frazier>they're gettin'. <v Royal Kennedy>At their best private neighborhood schools offer a challenging environment, a focused <v Royal Kennedy>curriculum and a strong principle.
<v Zakiya Courtney>The philosophy of the mission statement of Urban Day School is that all children can <v Zakiya Courtney>learn if given the proper environment. <v Zakiya Courtney>And what our ambition has been is to provide an environment that's conducive to the <v Zakiya Courtney>learning of any and every student that come to our doors. <v Royal Kennedy>Wisconsin Governor Tom Thompson believes that vouchers may be the only way to improve <v Royal Kennedy>Milwaukee's troubled schools. <v Tom Thompson>Why can't education and schools do a better job if there's competition? <v Tom Thompson>This gives and brings into the area of education, competition <v Tom Thompson>and out of that I think you're going to you're going to evolve a better educational <v Tom Thompson>quality, a better educational program. <v Tom Thompson>And the end result is the child. <v Royal Kennedy>However, Lauri Wynn, who opposes the voucher plan, has many concerns about the quality of <v Royal Kennedy>education at private schools that are not certified by the state. <v Lauri Wynn>I surely don't think that the choice opportunity in a very <v Lauri Wynn>small, subjectively prepared school with teachers <v Lauri Wynn>who are there and who are not certified by the state with
<v Lauri Wynn>facilities that are not updated. <v Lauri Wynn>I don't think that that's the way you prepare youngsters who come from a community that <v Lauri Wynn>is poor, that is black, and that is behind already. <v Royal Kennedy>In December, the private school that Leah Wallace's two daughters attended through the <v Royal Kennedy>voucher program closed its doors. <v Royal Kennedy>A casualty of competition. <v Royal Kennedy>Now, all three of her girls are back in Milwaukee public schools. <v LaKendra Wallace>When you go to a school, such as my mom put me in, <v LaKendra Wallace>um the thing that she didn't do was go and check and make sure that that school <v LaKendra Wallace>was, you know, had the proper materials and <v LaKendra Wallace>um to make sure that that school um has everything that you need and gives a great <v LaKendra Wallace>education. <v Speaker>How many parents would take the kind of time to do the type of research that <v Speaker>is really required to make an informed choice? <v Speaker>Or would parents be persuaded as as we frequently are by successful <v Speaker>advertising campaigns? <v Speaker>I'm not trying to kill the public schools.
<v Speaker>I want the public schools to get better. <v Speaker>But if they're going to take a long time or can't seem to find a way <v Speaker>to immediately make some changes, in the meantime, we shouldn't just continue <v Speaker>to allow our children to die in a system that refuse to change. <v Speaker>We need to be trying to find out ways of helping the children. <v John Callaway>Patrick Keleher, the uh mother takes our children out of the uh Milwaukee <v John Callaway>public schools. She's got a 2500 dollar scholarship. <v John Callaway>She puts the children in private school and now the school closes. <v John Callaway>I mean, what's that say about the Milwaukee experiment? <v Patrick Keleher>It says a lot, let me tell you what it says, because it was described to that school <v Patrick Keleher>closing was described as a casualty of competition. <v Patrick Keleher>John, in the history of the Milwaukee public school system, not a single school has been <v Patrick Keleher>closed for nonperformance. But it was because of Polly Williams in the community <v Patrick Keleher>organizations, in the voucher plan, January 3rd at a community meeting, moved <v Patrick Keleher>in, zeroed in on this non-performing school, that that school is closed. <v Patrick Keleher>By the way, one of the reasons is closed.
<v Patrick Keleher>One of the one of the failures in the plan was that the board of registration, the state <v Patrick Keleher>board, failed to check out that school when it applied. <v Patrick Keleher>It permitted 50 percent more kids on the voucher to come into that school and it <v Patrick Keleher>permitted violations of health and safety standards. <v John Callaway>All right. So there are problems there are problems with it. <v John Callaway>But do you like the Milwaukee experiment, basically? <v Patrick Keleher>Definitely. It's responsive to customers. We have proof in this one, one school being <v Patrick Keleher>closed already. <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>John, that's just not accurate. I'm sorry. <v John Callaway>Dr. Peterkin. <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>First of all, the Milwaukee Public Schools has closed schools that were inadequate <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>and turned them into magnet schools. It's a history of our desegregation order. <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>And I'm sorry that that's not known. <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>Secondly, that school did not close, that private school didn't close. <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>It simply discharged the students. <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>It decided to teach religion halfway through the year and discharged its students <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>and came out of the choice system and we took the students back. <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>That's one of my problems with the whole idea of of public private choices, <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>that it just doesn't play by the same standards. <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>We would not be allowed to do that.
<v Dr. Robert Peterkin>Those students uh those schools continue to have selective admissions <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>criteria. Parents aren't asked to uh to volunteer. <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>That's a part and parcel of the school, we ask parents to volunteer, but in the private <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>schools that are depicted here in Milwaukee, that's in fact, a component. <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>You're required to do that. I wish I could require parents to to participate. <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>It's just an unfair comparison that just doesn't stand analysis. <v John Callaway>But Dr. Peter, when you look at the performance of the public schools in Milwaukee. <v John Callaway>If the Wall Street Journal report was anywhere near accurate, do you understand why <v John Callaway>people are desperate to opt out of it? <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>I understand that. But they also The Wall Street Journal article I thought was scandalous <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>in its in its condemnation of one of my schools, for instance, that had never visited. <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>It just looked across the street from Urban Day School, which was depicted in your clip. <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>Saw our school being closed during the Labor Day weekend and said it was a fortress <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>against the community. It's just not simply true. <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>27th Street schools and extremely caring bilingual school with a lot of innovative <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>programs we've spent a great deal of time on. <v John Callaway>OK. <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>I just don't think that that kind of depiction is helpful.
<v Dr. Robert Peterkin>It's one of the reasons that public private choice has so much difficulty <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>in that it's in its advocates feel that they have to demean public schools in order to <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>boost the private schools. <v John Callaway>Suzanne Davenport. <v Suzanne Davenport>I think the example of the Milwaukee school closing for that kind <v Suzanne Davenport>of reason is an example of just the lack of accountability that parents ran up against <v Suzanne Davenport>once they go into the private school arena. <v Suzanne Davenport>And one of the major contrasts here in Chicago is that we have a school reform law that <v Suzanne Davenport>is set up public accountability, unlike any other urban school system <v Suzanne Davenport>in the country where parents together can make choices about who their principal will be, <v Suzanne Davenport>how to spend the budget up to which a third may be discretionary, which <v Suzanne Davenport>could be one million dollars. It's not simply a $2000 per student, it's a million dollars <v Suzanne Davenport>of the average elementary school budget, as well as make <v Suzanne Davenport>decisions about the kind of curriculum goals, the kind of curriculum the special emphasis <v Suzanne Davenport>and so on that are appropriate to that community. <v Suzanne Davenport>Parents have gained in the students. <v John Callaway>Mr. Deanes. <v James Deanes>And I take issue <v Phyllis McClure>Mr. Callaway, can I get in on this.
<v John Callaway>In just a minute, yes. Mr. Deans and then we'll go to the. <v James Deanes>I take particular issue with what Pat saying that Pershing Road has not been downsized is <v James Deanes>simply almost a lie. <v James Deanes>I mean, it's not quite a lie, but it's almost a lie. <v James Deanes>[laughter] Secondly, if you really believe <v John Callaway>Pershing Road for those viewers who may not know it being the central administrative <v John Callaway>bureaucracy of the Chicago public schools. <v James Deanes>Furthermore, when we talk about when we went down to Springfield to get a school <v James Deanes>reform law that we in fact came back with, if we still support <v James Deanes>school reform, we must in fact, give those local school councils <v James Deanes>an opportunity to not only develop those school improvement plans, but also <v James Deanes>to implement it. So you can't say you support it on the left hand and then <v James Deanes>and say you want something different on the right. <v John Callaway>Let's go back to Washington and Phyllis McClure, you wanted to get on it? <v Phyllis McClure>Yes, I wanted to say that these proponents of choice, like Mr. Callahan, have <v Phyllis McClure>a very seductive appeal. They try to get us to believe that competition <v Phyllis McClure>in the commercial marketplace can be applied to the area of education,
<v Phyllis McClure>that there's some sort of quick fix magic solution. <v Phyllis McClure>The major problem with these choice programs, and I sense that from what I hear about <v Phyllis McClure>Milwaukee and about Chicago, is that <v Phyllis McClure>choice does nothing to improve the supply of good schools. <v Phyllis McClure>Well, what you have are both private schools and some public schools <v Phyllis McClure>that want to keep their good reputation or keep their reputation that they are <v Phyllis McClure>of a certain religious persuasion. <v Phyllis McClure>But if those schools take in limited English speakers, disabled <v Phyllis McClure>students, students who are behind in school, their test scores will suffer. <v Phyllis McClure>They will lose their reputation. The result is that they will find a way <v Phyllis McClure>to keep out students who threaten their perceived success. <v John Callaway>OK, Miss Broomfield. <v Mary E. Broomfield>The success of any choice program and I'll go back to the magnet school program in <v Mary E. Broomfield>Chicago depends upon how well it's administered and managed. <v Mary E. Broomfield>And as I stated earlier, the student body is.
<v John Callaway>[laughter] Wait, wait, let's give her a chance to speak. <v Mary E. Broomfield>The student body is lotteries in so that the student body is socially, economically <v Mary E. Broomfield>diverse. Sue had said earlier about special education students, we have done a study <v Mary E. Broomfield>of 100000 students, 50 percent of the students and the Options Knowledge <v Mary E. Broomfield>programs now come from a special ed population. <v Mary E. Broomfield>They are bilingual. They are uh come from all levels socioeconomic. <v Mary E. Broomfield>50 percent of the students are on free or reduced lunch. <v Mary E. Broomfield>So we cannot say that we are skimming out the top because they are managed as not like <v Mary E. Broomfield>the other school systems. I'd Also like to go back to say that we also have to remember <v Mary E. Broomfield>that reform complements choices and reform complements <v Mary E. Broomfield>the options program, but I would say as Mr. Deanes has said it takes <v Mary E. Broomfield>time for the LSCs to began to. <v John Callaway>The local school councils. <v Mary E. Broomfield>Local school, to develop the programs that will be able to be as competitive system wide. <v Mary E. Broomfield>You cannot take something away until you you've given them opportunity for them to work. <v John Callaway>Let's go to a member of our audience. Tell us who you are.
<v Janice Crumpton>I'm Janice Crumpton and I'm a parent of a high school student who has had many choices. <v John Callaway>And what's your experience been with choice? Are you big pro-choice person now that <v John Callaway>you've gotten into a little bit? <v Janice Crumpton>I think choice is a very difficult thing for parents to have to go through. <v Janice Crumpton>However, should a student finally get exposure to a better quality <v Janice Crumpton>of education at the high school level, what safeguards are in <v Janice Crumpton>place in these innovative programs to teach them the learning and <v Janice Crumpton>the study skills they missed, so that they can compete academically? <v John Callaway>Are you saying that that you had a child that went out of the public schools into what we <v John Callaway>would call a private choice. <v Janice Crumpton>Yes. <v John Callaway>Situation and then had some struggles? <v Janice Crumpton>Yes. The struggles came when she needed boosting on study <v Janice Crumpton>skills and learning skills, and it became very, very difficult <v Janice Crumpton>to access to them. <v John Callaway>So if you're going to go into a private school, you want whatever resources <v John Callaway>it takes to enable you, the child coming out of this, was it an inner
<v John Callaway>city school? Out of an inner citiy school to make that leap? <v Janice Crumpton>Absolutely. The leap is very difficult. <v John Callaway>Mr. Keleher, you wanted to comment? <v Patrick Keleher>I find it hard to generalize from that specific example. <v Patrick Keleher>But let me just point out to you that in the city of Chicago, John, we have in our <v Patrick Keleher>largest private school system in the inner city, 130 <v Patrick Keleher>schools and communities designated as fe- federal poverty levels serving 42000 <v Patrick Keleher>children. 80 percent of them are minority kids, 40 percent of the run, are not <v Patrick Keleher>of the sponsoring religion for this particular school. <v Patrick Keleher>They're being served day in and day out. And if you saw a documentary on another channel, <v Patrick Keleher>a channel that long ago last weekend, Islands for Hope, you'll see that inner city kids <v Patrick Keleher>are being served exceptionally well. And I would like to as long as I've got the floor, I <v Patrick Keleher>would like to mention to the lady from the NAACP, because it hasn't been pointed out that <v Patrick Keleher>her organization is local chapter joined the lawsuit against Polly Williams. <v Patrick Keleher>And I'm beginning to understand why, if it's true, the NAACP, ma'am, has <v Patrick Keleher>lost 100000 members in the last 10 years because the civil rights issue
<v Patrick Keleher>of education in the 90s is definitely educational choice. <v Patrick Keleher>We have two thirds of the kids in the Chicago public schools are poverty level <v Patrick Keleher>kids. 88 percent are minority yet half of their teachers <v Patrick Keleher>go to private schools at twice the rate of the general population. <v John Callaway>When you say you half their teachers go to private schools, that have their children go to private schools? <v Patrick Keleher>Half their teachers send their kids, send their kids to private schools. <v John Callaway>Well, let me stop you right there, because you've said, Ms. <v John Callaway>McClure, do you want to respond to that? Is that why the, I mean is it true that the <v John Callaway>NAACP has lost a 100000 members? <v Phyllis McClure>Well, I just have to make a factual correction, Mr. Keleher. <v Phyllis McClure>I do not work for the NAACP. The Legal Defense Fund's a separate organization <v Phyllis McClure>and has been for 50 years. <v Phyllis McClure>We don't have membership branches, so address your remarks to somebody else. <v Patrick Keleher>That's a distinction without a difference as far as I'm concerned. <v John Callaway>OK. <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>John, I'll be glad to talk a little bit about it if you if you wish. <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>The NAACP joined the lawsuit precisely because the choice legislation <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>passed by the Wisconsin legislature did not provide for protection for youngsters. <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>To wit, the issue of selective admissions criteria was not addressed
<v Dr. Robert Peterkin>in the in the legislation. <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>The department, the US Department of Education wrote an opinion that said that, in fact, <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>these private schools were not responsible for handling special educational <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>children, that they were the responsibility of the public school system. <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>And the legislation did not take into account any of the desegregation efforts of the <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>Milwaukee public schools. That is why the NAACP entered the lawsuit. <v John Callaway>We have to move along. And the next question that we'll ask is what if you could design a <v John Callaway>system that could take urban children from the lowest academic rankings <v John Callaway>and place them squarely in the middle of the pack where public funds support excellent <v John Callaway>education, parents and teachers feel empowered, and parents choose the educational <v John Callaway>opportunity for their kids. Sounds impossible? <v John Callaway>Well, choice advocates claim that to find this educational Camelot look no further <v John Callaway>than East Harlem, New York. [music] <v Royal Kennedy>East Harlem, New York City, better known as El Barrio, this congested area encompasses
<v Royal Kennedy>only two square miles just north of Manhattan's Upper East Side. <v Royal Kennedy>Its population is predominantly Hispanic, African-American and poor. <v Royal Kennedy>Like all poverty ravaged communities, it is plagued with problems. <v John Falco>You have all the things that you wouldn't want in any community. <v John Falco>You have violence. You have drugs. <v John Falco>You have an economically depressed area. <v John Falco>You have single family, single parent homes. <v John Falco>You have child abuse, child neglect. <v John Falco>And what we're very fortunate to have are schools that <v John Falco>serve as an oasis for these youngsters. <v Royal Kennedy>16 years ago, El Barrio youngsters had the worst schools in the city. <v Royal Kennedy>Today, East Harlem district schools rank firmly in the middle of New York City's 32 <v Royal Kennedy>districts. District educators credit their salvation to choice. <v Marcelino Rodriguez>The choice evolved as a result of teachers with a dream, with an idea. <v Marcelino Rodriguez>It was teacher driven, student centered and the 1975 in the middle <v Marcelino Rodriguez>of the crisis that we were undergoing, budget wise choice and
<v Marcelino Rodriguez>alternative programs started to evolve. <v Royal Kennedy>What evolved were 24 junior high schools, each offering a different program from which <v Royal Kennedy>all East Harlem students and their parents choose. <v Royal Kennedy>One is the Harbor School for Performing Arts. <v Royal Kennedy>[music] <v Leslie Moore>What we try to do is provide an opportunity for youngsters from <v Leslie Moore>tough neighborhoods to come into this place that's safe where <v Leslie Moore>they can get an education. <v Leslie Moore>We try to motivate children through performing arts so that they can succeed in their <v Leslie Moore>academics. [chorus] <v Stormy McNair>Well <v Stormy McNair>the academic program is very good. Um there there is a <v Stormy McNair>lot of hard work, but the teachers will carry you through it step by step. <v Leslie Moore>I think Harbor is a special place for students to come. <v Leslie Moore>It's a place where students make relationships that last for a long time.
<v Christina Hawkins>Here everybody cares about each other. <v Christina Hawkins>Its like a family 'cause the school is so small so everybody gets to know each other. <v Royal Kennedy>The sense of family is common in the alternative schools, including Central Park East <v Royal Kennedy>Secondary School, created by former Chicago teacher Deborah Meier. <v Deborah Meier>The staff and the parents and the students aren't uh share, at least <v Deborah Meier>on some level, a common viewpoint and are there together by choice on a voluntary <v Deborah Meier>basis. <v Gwen Paige>I like the philosophy here at these schools. <v Gwen Paige>It says that children can develop at their own pace. <v Gwen Paige>It says they can be creative. <v Parnell Jones>I know the children in this school and people in the school also with including myself, <v Parnell Jones>like to be here. In most schools, they want to be someplace else. <v Ricky Harris>All right, boys and girls, let's do our thing. I like the people I work with. <v Ricky Harris>The fact that teachers in this building are involved in learning and are involved <v Ricky Harris>in growing and helping each other learn.
<v Royal Kennedy>This supportive climate was created by a maverick administration who provided a buffer <v Royal Kennedy>zone around the staff and students, giving the alternative schools independence and <v Royal Kennedy>time to develop. <v Carlos Medina>We we came up with the one with one basic assumption, and that is that we had to create <v Carlos Medina>good schools. At schools where kids would want to go to, schools <v Carlos Medina>that parents would want to send their kids to, and schools where teachers would want to <v Carlos Medina>teach. <v John Falco>So once you had the kind of ownership that was was being <v John Falco>brought about through the choice system, the schools began to flourish. <v Royal Kennedy>Today, 64 percent of East Harlem students read at or above grade level <v Royal Kennedy>versus only 15 percent in 1974. <v Royal Kennedy>Daily attendance at the junior high schools is 92 percent, up from 65 <v Royal Kennedy>percent. 83 percent of its students graduate from high school as compared <v Royal Kennedy>to 54 percent in all of New York City. <v Royal Kennedy>Additionally, students from all over the city transfer into East Harlem schools.
<v Sy Fliegel>They're not coming into East Harlem because they like their kids to have an experience in <v Sy Fliegel>a poor community. <v Sy Fliegel>They were coming into East Harlem because they felt they were quality schools providing <v Sy Fliegel>quality education. <v Royal Kennedy>16 years into its evolution, East Harlem's secret is out. <v Royal Kennedy>Educators around the country are looking at District 4 as alternative. <v Royal Kennedy>And three other New York City school districts are planning similar choice programs. <v Carlos Medina>Anyone that doesn't believe that choice does not want that choice, does not work <v Carlos Medina>for minority communities, should look at District 4 as a model. <v Carlos Medina>Again, as a public school choice model. <v John Callaway>Ms. Davenport, I know that you and others here have many serious reservations <v John Callaway>about choice,, but you got to love East Harlem. <v John Callaway>It's in the public school system. They haven't gone outside and left any poor kids <v John Callaway>behind. See, those reading scores are up. <v John Callaway>See empowerment. Come on. <v Suzanne Davenport>Let's look at a few more facts, John. <v John Callaway>You can sign on to that. Do you have reservations?
<v Suzanne Davenport>Deep reservations. <v John Callaway>Okay. <v Suzanne Davenport>There are a lot of things about some of the schools in Central Central Park, East and so <v Suzanne Davenport>on and District 4 that are attractive. <v Suzanne Davenport>There's been a 10 year history of the schools evolving their own programs, which we'd <v Suzanne Davenport>like to see in Chicago under the local school councils. <v Suzanne Davenport>However, what your spot does not tell us is that there's a vast <v Suzanne Davenport>range in reading scores among those 24 schools within East Harlem. <v Suzanne Davenport>The percentages of students reading at grade level in the 24 schools <v Suzanne Davenport>in East Harlem range from the 30th percentile to the 90th. <v John Callaway>But is there any pattern of who has the higher ones in the lower ones? <v John Callaway>In other words, is is there a two track system? <v John Callaway>Even within that, East. Multitrack? <v Suzanne Davenport>Yes, it's tracking within all of the programs of the 24. <v Suzanne Davenport>And who makes the final choice as to which students go into which programs? <v Suzanne Davenport>The parents? No. The school administrators make those decisions. <v John Callaway>And are you saying some of those kids are looked upon as desirable for <v John Callaway>this school and others are kind of? <v Suzanne Davenport>Well they're they're tracked by ability as measured quote by standardized tests and
<v Suzanne Davenport>previous grades and so on. Finally, there are no choice programs for <v Suzanne Davenport>bilingual students, which average about 6 percent in the New York population. <v Suzanne Davenport>And there are no choice programs for special education children, which are 10 percent <v Suzanne Davenport>of the population in District 4. <v John Callaway>With those reservations acknowledged, what is it you like about East Harlem? <v Suzanne Davenport>I like that for 10 years, small scale schools <v Suzanne Davenport>have been able to evolve their own programs under a great deal <v Suzanne Davenport>of teacher and staff autonomy. But there has not been the kind of parent community <v Suzanne Davenport>input into that autonomy which we value here in Chicago and think it's critical. <v John Callaway>Miss Broomfield, the the School Reform Act that <v John Callaway>the Chicago public school system is now trying to live up to and make <v John Callaway>into a reality, has a small section of it that says that <v John Callaway>the Chicago public schools not only are undertaking this huge empowerment <v John Callaway>of parents at the local school district level, but that they also <v John Callaway>should try to move towards some kind of a choice program above
<v John Callaway>and beyond the ones you've already articulated for us this evening. <v John Callaway>What do you think those might be? Do you see anything in the East Harlem experiment, in <v John Callaway>the Milwaukee experiment that you think should be discussed in the Chicago <v John Callaway>context? <v Mary E. Broomfield>Well, I don't think we have to go all the way to East Harlem. <v Mary E. Broomfield>We have an outstanding performing arts programs, math and science academy. <v Mary E. Broomfield>We have a diversity of programs that are functioning extremely well in Chicago. <v Mary E. Broomfield>The problem, of course, is something that has been identified earlier, it does not <v Mary E. Broomfield>provide the quality education for the entire population. <v Mary E. Broomfield>The reform bill says that we are to expand open enrollment within the Chicago public <v Mary E. Broomfield>school system. That can be done again within the Chicago public school <v Mary E. Broomfield>system. And it also must be done in a manner that strengthens the neighborhood <v Mary E. Broomfield>school, that empowers the school so that the neighborhood schools will be able to offer <v Mary E. Broomfield>the same diversity of programing and compete and market their programs <v Mary E. Broomfield>just as the magnet schools have done. <v John Callaway>So you don't you don't see Chicago going out into the scholarship or voucher area?
<v Mary E. Broomfield>Not no no. <v John Callaway>You don't see that as necessary. <v Mary E. Broomfield>I not only don't see it as necessary. <v Mary E. Broomfield>I don't see it as feasible. I don't see it as contributing to our basic <v Mary E. Broomfield>premise and that is to provide educational services to improve outcomes for our children. <v John Callaway>Let's go to another. <v Phyllis McClure>Mr. Callaway can I ask a question? <v John Callaway>Well, just a second. I want to go to a member of our studio audience. <v John Callaway>Tell us who you are and what your view on choice is. <v Bernie Novan>My name is Bernie Novan, I'm with the Parents United for Responsible Education. <v Bernie Novan>I'm a social worker in the schools and I'm adamantly opposed to the voucher system. <v Bernie Novan>However, I support local school choice. <v Bernie Novan>I have worked with many parents who have virtually been prisoners at their local <v Bernie Novan>schools. The schools hating them and they hating their schools. <v Bernie Novan>I feel parents should have the choice to attend any school within walking distance of <v Bernie Novan>their school, perhaps one and a half miles from where they live. <v Bernie Novan>There would be no bussing involved. <v Bernie Novan>There would be an element of competition. It wouldn't open up the dangerous doors to a <v Bernie Novan>voucher system. <v John Callaway>Thank you very much. And Phyllis McClure back in Washington. <v John Callaway>You had a question? <v Phyllis McClure>Yes, I wanted to ask about the Chicago program.
<v Phyllis McClure>Why is it limited just within the city of Chicago? <v Phyllis McClure>Why can't students choose to go to public schools in the suburbs? <v Phyllis McClure>And secondly of all. <v John Callaway>Wait, wait, wait. Let's let's let Mary Broommfield respond to that. <v John Callaway>Ms. Broomfield [laughter]. <v Mary E. Broomfield>When the consent decree was first approved in 1981, a metropolitan exchange was <v Mary E. Broomfield>a very strong component of that. <v Mary E. Broomfield>However, the supportive legislation was never approved. <v Mary E. Broomfield>So that the costs for a metropolitan exchange was never approved by the state <v Mary E. Broomfield>and that portion of the plan was never implemented. <v Mary E. Broomfield>At this point, it was never implemented because of cost but <v John Callaway>Could that be, could that be. <v Phyllis McClure>Well, I'm not asking about your school desegregation plan I'm asking about your Illinois <v Phyllis McClure>state law or the state school board's proposal for choice. <v Phyllis McClure>Why is it limited just to within the city of Chicago? <v Phyllis McClure>Why not between districts? <v Mary E. Broomfield>Because when you have exchange programs between districts, it's usually accompanied <v Mary E. Broomfield>by a supportive finances, between as afforded by the state, <v Mary E. Broomfield>between the receiving district and the sending district.
<v Mary E. Broomfield>And the state legislature have never sen- provided that kind of support <v Mary E. Broomfield>at the time that the consent decree was written. <v Mary E. Broomfield>It was seen as possible. <v Mary E. Broomfield>I would venture to say now that the Chicago school system does not even want to <v Mary E. Broomfield>participate in the Metropolitan exchange even if the state approved the finances. <v Phyllis McClure>Does that mean that the state legislature has locked Chicago kids within the city <v Phyllis McClure>and they can't go outside? <v Mary E. Broomfield>There's no financial support for it, but we also. <v John Callaway>I'm sorry Mr. Deanes wants to comment. <v James Deanes>Some of those same suburbs that we're talking about, though, have not welcomed Chicago <v James Deanes>minority children with open arms. <v James Deanes>We have to be realistic. <v John Callaway>We're talk about race relations here, aren't we? <v James Deanes>We're talking about a lot of things that includes ra-race relations. <v Mary E. Broomfield>Well, that's that's what I think the hidden agenda. <v Mary E. Broomfield>Mr. Dean. That's why they don't want black kids from the city of Chicago coming out to <v Mary E. Broomfield>the suburbs. <v James Deanes>And I'm saying is is a father of five black kids. <v James Deanes>I would much rather have them walk to the neighborhood school that they've attended <v James Deanes>since all five have attended Chicago public schools.
<v James Deanes>I'm also saying as a parent that I think that the systems, whether they be <v James Deanes>the state legislature or whether they are school board, ought to provide the resources <v James Deanes>at the local school so that my child has what they call quality <v James Deanes>or competitive educational opportunity. <v John Callaway>Patrick Keleher. <v Patrick Keleher>You can counter argue that the uh the system that we have right now, the <v Patrick Keleher>public school system as it's structured, given us captive market, two thirds of <v Patrick Keleher>low income kids, poverty level kids is the new plantation. <v Patrick Keleher>And that's not my language. It's from from one of the top African-American reform leaders <v Patrick Keleher>in the city of Chicago. She's in your audience right now. <v John Callaway>I want to go back to. Oh, I'm sorry. Go ahead with your comment. <v Patrick Keleher>I would like anyone on the panel to explain to me how when we structure <v Patrick Keleher>social institutions, it is equitable, it is fair, to <v Patrick Keleher>to keep in thrall one large section of the population growing, <v Patrick Keleher>the low income section of the population. <v Patrick Keleher>The only difference between them and their teachers, for example, who send their kids to
<v Patrick Keleher>private schools is the lack of money. <v Patrick Keleher>Isn't it unfair? <v John Callaway>But but but, Mr. Keleher, what do you say to those who say that the president's emphasis, <v John Callaway>instead of being on choice, that is in terms of an escape valve in which you can get out <v John Callaway>of the system? Why shouldn't every public school be a school of choice? <v John Callaway>Why not focus on that? <v James Deanes>Right. <v Patrick Keleher>What, that's my question? <v John Callaway>Yes. <v Patrick Keleher>It every school, every public school should be a school of choice. <v Patrick Keleher>We want we want local school councils to be able to opt out of the system. <v Patrick Keleher>But we also want all parents. <v Patrick Keleher>We want to redirect the tax flow to the consumer away from the provider. <v John Callaway>But what about the parent who doesn't have the knowledge or as Mr. Deanes called it, "the <v John Callaway>resources" to even make that choice and that child is now left behind, <v John Callaway>as those parents who do have the wherewithal and the knowledge to go shopping for schools <v John Callaway>get their kids out. What about that child who is defenseless and left behind in that <v John Callaway>school? <v Patrick Keleher>John, John we Teach America label that the abandonment argument.
<v Patrick Keleher>And if you look at it, the middle class has abandoned those kids. <v Patrick Keleher>Their teachers have abandoned those kids to the tune of 50 percent. <v Patrick Keleher>But the real point is. <v John Callaway>Welll do you want more abandonment then? <v Patrick Keleher>Now it's a it's but it's in the last analysis, it's a patronizing argument that <v Patrick Keleher>poor people can't make these sorts of decisions. <v Patrick Keleher>Then maybe they shouldn't vote for president. [applause] <v James Deanes>It is just always interesting for me to hear people who <v James Deanes>are so presumptuous to speak about the lack of membership in the <v James Deanes>NAACP, to also speak about minority participation, to single <v James Deanes>out one African American in our community who supports their choices. <v James Deanes>Yesterday at the Chicago or Urban League, over 30 <v James Deanes>African American people that I know, organizations <v James Deanes>that I know spoke out against this choice notion that you're espousing. <v James Deanes>I'm saying that it should be left up to those people involved to determine their own <v James Deanes>destiny. <v John Callaway>I want to go back to Dr, I want to go back to Dr. Robert Peterkin.
<v John Callaway>Dr. Peterkin you wanted to get back in the conversation? <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>Well John, I think it's the dial- the dialoge we just heard is what hurts the whole the <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>whole issue of whether or not you ought to have public or private choice. <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>Here in Milwaukee we had, in fact, contracted with private schools for well over a decade <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>for certain children that we could not educate well. <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>It's the reason that you have to shy away from it, even if you believe that choice within <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>the public sector would be would be healthy. <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>I'd like to go back to the panelists who indicated that you really have to magnetize all <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>schools. So those who want their children to go in the neighborhoods can go in the <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>neighborhoods, those who want their children to go across the city can go across the <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>city. We've we've eliminated the term magnet schools in Milwaukee because it clearly <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>denotes a two tier system. We've gone to a [applause] process that we call <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>the equity fund that enables those schools that have been disenfranchised to apply for <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>funding, to change their schools dramatically, to make them more powerful for children. <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>Finally, there are ways to get information to to those that don't traditionally get <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>information. And by the way, those folks don't vote for president either. <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>The issue, if they had, we would have a different president. <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>[applause] The issue in Cambridge.
<v Patrick Keleher>You'll have very different superintendents in Milwaukee very soon, sir. <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>Yes, they will. But that's by my choice, not yours. <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>[crowd oh-ing] <v Patrick Keleher>Polly Williams, polly Williams will be there after you. <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>I doubt it seriously. And that's not helpful to the dialoge. <v Dr. Robert Peterkin>And that's why your cause is going to fail. <v Patrick Keleher>Yours us full of the nuancing we don't need in this discussion. <v John Callaway>We have another member of the audience that wishes to speak. <v John Callaway>Who are you, sir? <v Laslos Anderson>My name is Laslos Anderson, and I'm a professor of education at University of Illinois, <v Laslos Anderson>Chicago. I'm here making a personal statement rather than an <v Laslos Anderson>institutional statement. <v Laslos Anderson>Two points. One that I think that the debate needs to be <v Laslos Anderson>couched in different terms than choice and the language of choice. <v Laslos Anderson>I don't think that there's an any real difference of opinion between individuals <v Laslos Anderson>as to the need for the enlargement of choice. <v Laslos Anderson>That is not really the question. I think the question really is the need <v Laslos Anderson>for improving schools where they are rather than providing the opportunity <v Laslos Anderson>for students to opt out of the system by voting with one's feet. <v John Callaway>Okay, thank you, Mr. Keller. I want to go back and follow up on the earlier point and
<v John Callaway>and ask you if a genuine market does exist. <v John Callaway>Because when I asked about those persons who have trouble making choices and so on, so <v John Callaway>forth, I didn't mean to be patronizing. I only wanted to suggest that because this is <v John Callaway>perhaps early on, that it is difficult to get that information even if <v John Callaway>you were motivated. And some people, I think, are not. <v John Callaway>I think that's a fact. And I don't mean to be patronizing about it. <v John Callaway>How much of a market does exist and is competition in the educational <v John Callaway>arena really healthy or do we really need more cooperation? <v Patrick Keleher>They're not mutually exclusive. You can play in a football team and be competitive and <v Patrick Keleher>cooperative at the same time, but that's not the point. <v Patrick Keleher>The information can easily be designed. <v Patrick Keleher>The proper information channels can easily be designed into any sensitively designed <v Patrick Keleher>piece of public policy. But your first question is what is the market? <v Patrick Keleher>And this is one of the best kept secrets in Chicago. <v Patrick Keleher>We have in this town right here in River City, 448 schools, John, <v Patrick Keleher>non-government schools serving 125000 children, almost
<v Patrick Keleher>as 23 percent of the total go to non-government schools. <v Patrick Keleher>That's the market that could begin to take up the slack. <v Patrick Keleher>Then we've got people like Jack Weast in the audience with his alternative schools <v Patrick Keleher>network just waiting to get some tax dollars instead of stringing stringing <v Patrick Keleher>funds together. So, so so, Jack. <v Patrick Keleher>So. So Jack would have a chance to remediate high school <v Patrick Keleher>dropouts and solve some of the problems that we have. <v John Callaway>So you would. So you're saying that there's a market that we haven't really had <v John Callaway>adequately acknowledged and then would you and to help you with the argument, would it <v John Callaway>also be say that in order to be fair to those of you who want more choice to let you <v John Callaway>mature an even better market, that is give you some time and not be judgemental <v John Callaway>on you on the first day of a Milwaukee experiment? <v Phyllis McClure>Mr. Calloway? <v John Callaway>Yes. <v Phyllis McClure>Did I not read that the archdiocesan schools are closing down <v Phyllis McClure>in the center city of Chicago? <v Phyllis McClure>Is the supply shrinking of private schools? <v John Callaway>Mr. Keleher? <v James Deanes>The funds are shrinking from those parents. <v Patrick Keleher>Ma'am, the um the archdiocesan Catholic schools serve a uh they
<v Patrick Keleher>mirror the population, those inner city schools, are poverty level schools, even though <v Patrick Keleher>those diocesan schools can educate an elementary kid at 1500 bucks, fully <v Patrick Keleher>loaded cost versus 5300 dollars for the public schools in <v Patrick Keleher>3000 versus maybe 7500 or 8000 per public school highschooler. <v Patrick Keleher>Those schools are closing just because people don't have the money. <v John Callaway>Mr. Keleher, you mentioned Jack Weast of Alternative Schools Network. <v John Callaway>And he's here. Please help us with this discussion. <v John Callaway>What do you need? and What do you propose? <v Jack Weast>Well, Pats, a good friend. We have some disagreements on this. <v Jack Weast>Basically, schools are places in the most successful schools are places, not necessarily <v Jack Weast>buildings, but they're really places where relationships between teachers and kids and <v Jack Weast>parents can really work in cooperation. The school system, as it's structured now where <v Jack Weast>there's local school councils that can kind of cook, I think develop the issue of trying <v Jack Weast>to develop some sort of financing that will support that. <v Jack Weast>Some of the issues we've raised is that not individual vouchers, because I think with <v Jack Weast>individual vouchers, you've got a good example at the higher education level, where
<v Jack Weast>hundreds of thousands of adults have gone into for profit schools and <v Jack Weast>almost bankrupted the entire system, which was basically individual voucher system with <v Jack Weast>no safeguards. <v John Callaway>But you have a different notion of the public school. <v Jack Weast>Might be to look at where you have public schools. <v Jack Weast>But what what is a public school when you have financing to save a group of 200 parents <v Jack Weast>who join and develop a kind of a school that becomes a public school, I think with Dr. <v Jack Weast>Peterkin's ideas that there's protections for these kids, but they're still public <v Jack Weast>schools. Our schools in many ways are public. <v Jack Weast>They have public dollars they have public accountability. <v Jack Weast>We have to incorporate not for profit and private. <v Jack Weast>They would just soon be public schools with certain kind of protections for the kids. <v Jack Weast>You can have abuses in our schools as you can have abuses in public schools. <v Jack Weast>You need to have strict regulations, I think, on some some strict oversight of these <v Jack Weast>schools. But I think one of the issues you want to think about a different kinds of <v Jack Weast>financing that I would not support an individual voucher, but maybe a supportive system <v Jack Weast>and you a charter school where you have 50 to 100 parents who then form a school and it <v Jack Weast>becomes a public school within regulations.
<v John Callaway>A new kind of public school? <v Jack Weast>Well, as a public school, you have accountability, public financing in much the same way <v Jack Weast>you have a regular public school. <v Patrick Keleher>That's one of our proposals. <v John Callaway>Okay. Phyllis McClure, I want to go back to you in Washington and put the question to you <v John Callaway>this way. <v John Callaway>Why, if if choice is such an undesirable <v John Callaway>thing, in your opinion, why is it that so many teachers, for example, <v John Callaway>in the city of Chicago, opt out of the public school system for choice? <v John Callaway>What is it that they know that the rest of us don't know? <v John Callaway>[laughter and applause] <v Phyllis McClure>I'd say that those teachers don't have any commitment to their schools and to their <v Phyllis McClure>students. That's one thing I know. [applause] And <v Phyllis McClure>sec second, I suppose that they have, because if the teacher <v Phyllis McClure>raises the union has gotten them, they have the funds to pay for the private school. <v Phyllis McClure>[applause] <v John Callaway>You really want to be that harsh on those teachers? <v Phyllis McClure>Well, if you tell me <v John Callaway>Anybody want to defend those teachers?
<v John Callaway>Mr. Kelhler? <v Patrick Keleher>Why shouldn't those teachers have, this is this is a time when the Soviet Union is <v Patrick Keleher>discussing voucher systems. <v Patrick Keleher>And here we're getting this anti-market argument from the NAACP, which used to represent <v Patrick Keleher>civil rights for the point of the spearhead. <v James Deanes>There you go making assumptions again. <v Patrick Keleher>This is double talk. This is double-talk. [applause] <v John Callaway>Mr. Deanes. <v James Deanes>And I certainly don't make. <v Phyllis McClure>Mr. Calloway, how many of those teachers actually live in the city <v Phyllis McClure>of Chicago as opposed to the suburbs? <v John Callaway>Mrs. Broomfield, perhaps you can help us with that. <v Mary E. Broomfield>No, I'm afraid I don't have any percentages on the percentage of teachers that reside <v Mary E. Broomfield>outside of the city. <v John Callaway>Ms. Davenport? <v Suzanne Davenport>We don't have the statistics. It's illegal. <v Suzanne Davenport>They were grandfathered in as of 1981 and it's been legal since, but the statistics <v Suzanne Davenport>aren't kept. <v John Callaway>Mr. Deanes you wanted to get in a final word. <v James Deanes>My word was that again and wouldn't want want to be presumptuous. <v James Deanes>And we certainly don't want to beat up on Pat anymore than necessary. <v James Deanes>[laughter] <v Patrick Keleher>I got thick skin. <v James Deanes>But the thing is, when you talk about the choice plan that
<v James Deanes>that's being promoted now, when it came up in the education summit, which is where the <v James Deanes>whole school reform piece started when it came up in Springfield, when it comes up <v James Deanes>in educational circles, I've talked to Dr. Bright, I've talked to Dr. Bailey, <v James Deanes>I've talked to the people at Urban League, et cetera, et cetera. <v James Deanes>People are saying those same people that you say you speak for, you allude that you speak <v James Deanes>for. I said we don't want it. <v James Deanes>We want curriculum changes. <v James Deanes>We want educational opportunities within the Chicago public school system. <v John Callaway>Mr. Deanes. On that note, we thank you very much. And we thank all of you very much for <v John Callaway>being with us. The Bush administration has made school choice one of the hallmarks of its <v John Callaway>educational program. As you have seen this evening, there is no easy consensus <v John Callaway>on the issue of school choice. <v John Callaway>On this program, we have only begun the conversation about these complex issues, but <v John Callaway>we hope it has been a useful and productive beginning. <v John Callaway>I'm John Callaway. Thank you for being with us. <v John Callaway>[music]
Making the Grade
Shopping for Schools: Educational Choices in the 90's
Producing Organization
Public Broadcasting Service (U.S.)
WTTW (Television station : Chicago, Ill.)
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The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
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Episode Description
This episode of Making the Grade continues to discuss school reform with a panel of representatives from the Chicago school district, Milwaukee school district, NAACP Legal Defense, and other experts who argue whether schools should be reformed through vouchers, choice, choice options, etc. Documentary segments are shown in between discussion sections. Those on the panel include Dr. Robert Peterkin, Phyllis McClure, Mary E. Broomfield, Suzanne Davenport, James Deanes, Patrick Keleher, and moderated by John Calloway.
Series Description
"MAKING THE GRADE was a year-long, ongoing project of WTTW/Chicago aimed at showing the range of existing approaches to the education crisis, including the need for citizen involvement in school reform. "In 1991, MAKING THE GRADE included SHOPPING FOR SCHOOLS, SCHOOL REFORM: ALL POWER TO THE PARENTS', TEACH ME!, and individual profiles of people who make a difference in education called MAKING THE GRADE MINUTES. Also incorporated into the series was a special edition of Chicago's weekly forum for independent producers, IMAGE UNION. "SHOPPING FOR SCHOOLS explores the national issue of 'educational choice,' with education experts and representatives of communities in which working choice plans are in place. SCHOOL REFORM: ALL POWER TO THE PARENTS? follows members of the local school councils as they work through their first year of this new system in school reform. TEACH ME! introduces viewers to new concepts in educational research and to teachers who are implementing them in the classroom. The IMAGE UNION SPECIAL featured videos shot by high school students about their perceptions of school and of the issue of school reform."--1991 Peabody Awards entry form.
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Producing Organization: Public Broadcasting Service (U.S.)
Producing Organization: WTTW (Television station : Chicago, Ill.)
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The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
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Chicago: “Making the Grade; Shopping for Schools: Educational Choices in the 90's,” 1991, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 26, 2022,
MLA: “Making the Grade; Shopping for Schools: Educational Choices in the 90's.” 1991. The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 26, 2022. <>.
APA: Making the Grade; Shopping for Schools: Educational Choices in the 90's. Boston, MA: The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from