Three years ago, Mr. Quinn signed legislation creating the panel, which he controls. But more recently he used a budget address to praise two lawmakers—state Sen. Kim Lightford and state Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia—who are pushing legislation to repeal it. What gives?
The commission was ostensibly intended to help charters circumvent hostile school boards, but it has approved just two of 38 appeals since 2011—and both appear to have been at the favor of House Speaker Michael Madigan, who calls all of the shots in Springfield. Last year, the Chicago Board of Education rejected two Concept Schools based on the dubious excuse that the operator’s lone school in the Windy City didn’t outperform its peers by at least 10% on state tests.