The Chicago Tribune is sticking to its guns—kind of. And kind of not.
Last week the Tribune wrote a series of editorials calling for better schools for Chicago children. The first two editorials began on the Tribune‘s front page, where both asserted that 19,000 students are waiting for places to the city’s charter schools. “19,000 kids yearn to escape their current public schools for seats in charter schools . . .” said one editorial. Said the other editorial, “Suppose your child was one of the 19,000 Chicago students trapped on a waiting list for admission to a charter school. How infuriated would you be watching that child head to a dead-end classroom because he or she can’t enroll at a charter that would deliver a stronger education?”
The 19,000 figure was arrived at by subtracting the number of kids admitted to each charter school or network of schools from the number of kids who applied, and then adding up the results. This Tuesday WBEZ and I both challenged the results. “In all likelihood,” I wrote on this blog, “thousands of these children who can’t wait don’t exist.” WBEZ said the figure “significantly overstates demand.”