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College and careers

An overhaul of the district’s career education programs seeks to make classes more challenging and put career-track students on the path to higher ed, but many schools have lost programs, and fewer students are participating overall.

CPS announces draft criteria for school closings

Officials released the district’s long-awaited criteria for school actions this afternoon, providing a glimpse of which schools could be closed, phased out or consolidated at the end of this year.

However, the criteria – required by Illinois Senate Bill 630, which also mandates that any proposed closings be announced by Dec. 1 – do not apply to school turnarounds.

This year’s round of school actions will be the first to take place under the stringent requirements of the new facilities law. CPS is also required to draft a 10-year facilities plan and a 5-year capital improvements plan, with community input.

Any school that has been on the lowest level of the district’s performance policy (“Level 3”) for two consecutive years will be eligible, unless its graduation rate (for high schools) or percentage of students meeting state standards (for elementary schools) is above average in its geographic area. Schools that are in the top three-quarters of the district on the "trends and growth" section of the school report card will also be off the hook.

However, those that are in the process of phasing out can be targeted regardless of performance. And, any schools that are up to half a mile apart and don't offer all grades K-8 can be combined into a single school.

The guidelines are only a draft, and will be finalized after a 21-day public comment period.

The district’s actions will be guided by a “portfolio analysis” of its school seats, which has shown so far that 123,000 students attend low-performing schools.

At a presentation to the Chicago Board of Education on Wednesday, Chief Portfolio Officer Oliver Sicat argued that parents are “voting with their feet” and leaving low-performing schools, causing them to be underutilized to boot. Under-enrolled schools are an enormous resource drain at a time when the district faces projected budget deficits of $363 million next year, and $862 million in fiscal year 2014.

Officials pledge that when closings occur, receiving schools will get extra resources – such as arts and after-school programs, social-emotional learning supports, extra administrators, or school-based health clinics – to help with students' transition.

5 comments

Go Family wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

School Closing & Moving Resources

It is never politically correct to close a neighborhood school, but the reality is that the CPS system is broken and needs to be fix if we are to be a competitive society around the world. Look at the statistics, Chicago and America is lagging behind as far as educating our society in the primary and secondary education. Especially with the poor. Move the resoures of the closing schools toward schools that are making the difference. It is like taking medicine, at first it taste bad, but the results will be good.

Anonymous wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

and when 450k students are

and when 450k students are going to 450 schools around the city? do you have a logisitcal solution to this? i am assuming you have a car? do you know what it is like to take 3 kids to 3 different schools. why not make EVERY SCHOOL good! instead of building a 30million dollar school why not use this money to restore 10 schools?

Concerned Parent wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

Support EVERY school!

I couldn't agree more with Anonymous! The last paragraph in this article completely sums up CPS' refusal to support neighborhood schools that face so many barriers to academic achievement:

"Officials pledge that when closings occur, receiving schools will get extra resources – such as arts and after-school programs, social-emotional learning supports, extra administrators, or school-based health clinics – to help with students' transition."

Why on earth wouldn't the neighborhood schools get these resources to begin with? Why is it only after the community has been completely disrespected and dismantled by the closing of the center of its community? Obviously CPS knows these elements are important - that's why, as an apology, the receiving schools will SUPPOSEDLY get these supports. Clemente and Wells didn't get any support when CPS closed Austin HS down and sent the kids across gang lines, not to mention miles from their homes.

This "School Action Policy" is just a justification to give away our schools to charters who are totally unaccountable, aren't achieving academically like they claim, and are just succeeding in marketing themselves better than the public schools. This is not about the well-being of our children, it's only about pushing the neo-liberal privatization agenda. We are all going to be so sorry when this agenda falls flat on its face and we are stuck without an education system at all. The reason why the CTA was created was because there was absolute chaos with independent transportation companies. There is a reason why we need central planning and administration. CPS is fraught with problems, yes, but abolishing the system is definitely not the answer!

school report cards? wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

AMEN... some how taking our

AMEN... some how taking our schools back to a fuedal system of organization will make it all go away????

school report cards? wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

why didnt cps give these

why didnt cps give these "great report cards" to the charter parents?? notice how uno and the rest have no new format cards??????

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