Thursday, December 16, 2004

Free Betty!

The news from the latest testing mandated by No Child Left Behind is delightful. The Chicago Public Schools have certainly come a long way from the day that Education Secretary Bill Bennett described them as the worst in the country. Congratulations! And stay the course on converting Senn High School into an U. S. Naval Academy. Bravo Zulu.

If I got the figures from the news broadcast right, the surprise performer is an elementary school in Cicero. It is getting results comparable to schools with twice their per pupil spending of only $3,709 each. Cicero is a Red State town surrounded by blue. Once home to Eastern European immigrants who formed the blue collar backbone of Western Electric’s Hawthorne Works, Cicero is now over 90% Hispanic. Yet the Bohemians & Lithuanians would recognize the emphasis on a good education at bargain basement prices. It fits right in with the concept of Bohemian Wall Street (Cermak Road) where, on Houby Day, you could go to the bank and get a “Czech book” of ten neatly bound $1 bills! So how did they make this transition? The answer, in part, is an individual reviled by the liberal media who they got sent to the federal pen. Her name is Betty Loren-Maltese. When two little Hispanic boys got in gang crossfire, she unleashed the police to end the violence. She established gang-free zones and chased the hookers on Cicero Avenue. She’s one tough cookie who was relentlessly ridiculed for her makeup (ala Katherine Harris). She’s done the time. It’s time to free Betty!


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