City Colleges Inspector General and Union Slam Fraudulent Graduation Numbers

on Dec23

22 December 2017 | 1:17 pm

The inspector general and teachers union slammed the Chicago City Colleges (CCC) for fraudulent graduation claims.

An earlier investigation found lowered standards and manipulated data to make it appear that the “Reinvention” of the CCC was a success. Graduation numbers were inflated, which included awarding degrees to students who had left the college or even died, while the number of actual students registered in the colleges dropped dramatically.

The investigation countered the mayor’s boasts of dramatic success under his watch that doubled the number of degrees awarded. City Colleges Chancellor Cheryl Hyman, who headed the Reinvention program, resigned after the faculty voted no confidence in her.

City College’s Inspector General John Gasiorowski recommended stopping a troubled apprenticeship program at Daley College also outlined in the report that artificially doubled its graduation rate by awarding almost 300 diplomas to aspiring electricians loaded with ineligible students and then used it to seek hundreds of thousands of dollars in state tuition reimbursements for free courses, according to Crain’s.

The Cook County College Teachers Union president also demanded sweeping changes in the administration of the college system.

The union president asked why the authors of the report had to file a lawsuit against the City Colleges in order to gain access to public records and documents to better understand the issues, Crain’s reported.

Despite the inspector general and the teacher’s union demand that the City College’s address the troubling report issued by the Better Government Association or BGA, the City Colleges Chancellor Juan Salgado remains defiant.

Salgado for months refused BGA requests to answer questions raised by its investigation. He did acknowledge problems at Daley College, but he told the media it was due to his predecessor.

Salgado posted an email blast to students and faculty that the report was “unfortunate” and created a “completely false” impression of “undeniable” progress at city colleges and the story was an effort to “tarnish that record of success,” Crain’s reported.

Salgado repeated to his employees what the mayor is telling the public, that the program is a success and many students are graduating, despite the report that demonstrates the opposite which he did not dispute when it first came out.

“As faculty and staff members at CCC, we are looking for serious leadership that understands the scope of the problems created by the negligent behavior of our previous administration,” the union wrote in a letter. “The concerns raised in the article are serious and do not deserve to be brushed aside as ‘unfortunate’ or as an attempt to ‘tarnish our students. That is not a serious response.”

The city appears to be on a mission to create a wealthier metropolis and push out its lower-income residents. The city has offered billions to attract the Amazon headquarters which will create high-paying jobs, closed many public schools in African-American neighborhoods, and offered tax incentives to build luxury condos and homes at the expense of affordable housing.

The city has also used TIF tax monies to build selective-enrollment schools to serve middle and upper-class students to the detriment of the public schools. Interim Chicago Public Schools chief Janice Jackson has told the public their mission is to build schools to serve a higher class of students.

Likewise, the seven city colleges have been transformed into quasi-magnet schools, each specializing in its own vocation. In 2015, the administration moved to discourage part-time enrollment by dramatically increasing part-time tuition. As a result, enrollment plummeted, reaching a 25-year low in 2017.

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