Richard Fernandez is one of the most eclectic, interesting, and over-looked contributors on the blogosphere. He brings us this story, and I warmly invite you to read his entire post, along with the links to the reporting he provides.
The story comes from Chicago, that bastion of the collective, very much the home of B.H. Obama. It involves the public schools there, and the duel track education system that was carefully crafted by very cynical "idealists"...cronies, actually...of the corrupt powers in government there, many of whom now warm the seats of power in Washington.
They [the well-to-do parents] were “dissatisfied with neighborhood schools” and so need to “jockey for a limited number of slots in well-regarded magnet schools, out-of-boundary schools or selective public schools that base admissions on criteria such as grades and test scores.” But the VIPs couldn’t really be expected to line up. One solution: a front door and a backdoor. That’s why Duncan’s list was secret, referring to a special list maintained by current Secretary of Education who then ran the Chicago school system. It contained a list of connected parents and special schools. Some school officials they denied there was any correlation between these two columns whatsoever. If there was a backdoor the rear entrance had no visible signs.
But those who could read the secret writing could find it. John Kass of the Chicago Tribune described the special glasses needed to understand the way things really work in the Windy City. He says the Daley dynasty designed it some things to be hard to see, unless you had the spectacles. “Today, I’m not going to rip on Daley. Instead, let’s focus on his brilliance, in creating Chicago’s two-tiered public school system. It bound the professional class to him and maintained him in power.” His Honor figured that the way to keep the professional class on his side was to corrupt some of them. So he built a two tier system, like a building with an executive washroom and a sewer. Those who wanted to use the executive washroom needed to find it. Most of all, they needed a key. Those who didn’t play could join the crowd or they could slip into their own environment where everyone was comfortable with everyone else amid the freshly changed linen and scented soaps. Kass explains:
The mayor knows how it works. He etched it into Chicago’s civic infrastructure years … When first elected in 1989, Daley eagerly reached out to those in the city’s predominantly white professional class. They were edgy and many were considering leaving Chicago.We all known Arne Duncan, that all-American appearing whited sepulcher who runs Education, and who is seeing to it that the (poor minority) children of Washington are deprived of a voucher system that everyone knows is working. He's doing the bidding of his boss, THE ONE, Mr. HopenChange. It's the Chicago way. It's the way Obama absorbed and now exudes.
In response, the mayor built top magnet and college prep high schools, pushing through work-rule changes to attract the best teachers. He produced the schools that nervous white-collar voters demanded.
Members of the professional class wanted city life. But they wanted their children educated. They became clients of Daley’s first tier. …
… education in the second tier remains abysmal. High school dropout rates are still around 50 percent, yet much higher when magnet schools are exempted. But even as tens of thousands of kids drop out to become calcified in the permanent underclass, the second tier still supports the mayor.
It’s not just about education. It is about jobs and patronage. Top teachers either fled or were lured to the top schools. But middle-rung teachers and below are the backbone of the teachers union.
The neighborhoods were rewarded with local school councils to elect, and budgets to manage and principals to appoint. By allowing the locals to run their mini-fiefdoms, Daley bound neighborhood activists to the system.
They were no longer beefers outside City Hall. They’d bought in.
The Chicago school saga is fascinating for the penumbra which it throws over the possible management of Obamacare, whose architects hail from the same city as Daley Education. What if like Chicago, there were a fist of cold steel and rotting flesh beneath the velvet glove? Who could ever prove it?
And the question I ask is: "What American...worthy of that name...would ever tolerate the possibility?"