$EE HOW ITS DONE: This article “follows the money!” 'The Chicago story breaks out of the education media and into broader political discourse. The public schools needed help, but were plundered, becoming a plaything for Chicago’s elite. No one seemed to think about the children. This is a well-written story of arrogance, greed, corruption, and deceit. Charters possessed the magic power to make all the bad stuff disappear, because they bottled the stuff that made America great: “Competition!' But how might schools, like convenience stores, compete? Just measure student performance, and close the schools that 'underperform.' Behind-the-scenes barons veritably ran the city; it wasn’t even a year before the Chicago Public Schools headquarters. announced the “Renaissance 2010” initiative to close eighty traditional public schools and open precisely one hundred charters by 2010.'