CHICAGO (CBS) — The United Neighborhood Organization was hailing a new study it claimed shows that UNO charter schools are doing a great job educating low-income students.
WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports UNO CEO Juan Rangel said his organization –which operates 13 charter schools—is heartened by findings from Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes.
The study examined charter school performance in Illinois, and — among other things — found that Hispanic students in charter schools are outpacing both their Latino and white peers in traditional public schools, when it comes to academic performance.
“Even moreso, and more exciting for us – because I think it shows that we’re closing the achievement gap – is that poor Hispanic students are outperforming non-poor white students,” he said.
Rangel said UNO has been key in the performance of Latino students attending charter schools.
“UNO educates 64 percent of Hispanics in charter schools, so those numbers, we’ll take credit for them. We own those numbers, and we’re very proud of the work that we’ve done, because I think we can show that poor Hispanic students could get a quality education,” he said.
UNO has been trying to put some contracting problems behind it, after coming under fire for paying $8.5 million from a state grant to companies owned by by brothers of UNO’s second in command Miguel d’Escoto.
The study’s finding should help repair UNO’s image.
Construction of a new UNO high school has gotten back on track, after the governor released nearly $100 million in state funding that had been frozen over the scandal. The governor resumed the funding for the school after Rangel agreed to restructure UNO, and eliminate any conflicts of interest.