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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Meeks for Mayor on school vouchers

Sun-Times:
Arguing that Chicago Public Schools are “broken’’ and that parents deserve a “choice,’’ mayoral challenger James Meeks said Wednesday he would offer $4,500-a-year vouchers to 50,000 low-and-middle-income Chicago families to use toward private school tuition. 

If he is elected mayor, Meeks said he would also offer full-day kindergarten and character education in all Chicago Public Schools and double the time spent on reading and math in first through third grades. Full-day kindergarten would be financed in part by cutting bonus pay for teachers with master’s degrees.

The 90 minutes of daily reading time — up from 45 minutes currently — is designed to make certain that students read at a third-grade level by the time they finish third-grade.

The Chicago Teachers Union would be given one year to develop a policy “with teeth” to “identify and dismiss” teachers who are not performing. If the union cannot or refuses to meet that deadline, Meeks said he would ask the Illinois General Assembly to mandate a policy to weed out bad teachers.
Sounds good.

I don't have the numbers to back up outright vouchers, but I've just as easily decided that I can't have a position on that. I believe in school choice and that parents should have the ability to "vote with their feet". I can support the idea of parents moving their tax dollars from school to school or district to district. Nothing says that you should remain at a failing neighborhood school.

As for getting tough with the Teacher's Unions, I can definitely support that. I also know that this could take years and years of fighting to win.

Via Newsalert!

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