Is Chicago Public Schools the Scrooge?

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Chicago teacher and award-winning blogger Marilyn Rhames may have it figured out:

As a kid, I had a love-hate relationship with “A Christmas Carol,” the Charles Dickens tale that plays out in black and white TV every December.

I loved the character of Tiny Tim, a poor sickly boy whose kindness and grit gets rewarded at the end, but I spent most of the time despising mean old Ebenezer Scrooge who hated everything about Christmas. Plus I loathed the idea of ghosts appearing on Christmas Eve; they frightened me–and fear is for Halloween, not Christmas!!

If I could do an education-based parody of “A Christmas Carol,” I would have to cast Chicago Public Schools as Scrooge (though the competition is stiff). It’s not that CPS doesn’t have any redeemable qualities–graduation rates are on the rise, more of its students are going to college, and some of its schools rival the best in the nation. But historically the district has mismanaged funds and failed to meet the needs of its most vulnerable students.

Instead of having the scary ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, I’d cast a jaw-dropping cast of male angels that look a lot like The Rock.

And the spirit that comes to CPS on Christmas Eve wouldn’t be that of Scrooge’s greedy dead business partner but instead a voice–a chorus of prayers that have been sent up to heaven by my organization, Teachers Who Pray.

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