The historic closing of 49 elementary schools in Chicago left many parents bitter and feeling left out as they try to get involved in new schools. Yet parent engagement is essential for school improvement, and principals are faced with the challenge of building trust at schools that scored poorly on surveys of parent involvement.
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Board member Hines: School actions not "done deal"
A number of school turnaround and closure opponents spoke at Wednesday's board meeting. Alderman Robert Fioretti (2nd Ward) asked CPS to save Crane, slated for phase-out, from the chopping block. He suggested a litany of extra programs to help the school: career education, International Baccalaureate, 7th and 8th grade feeder programs, a night school program for credit recovery, and increased special education services.
Fioretti also complained about protesters who received money in exchange for showing up at hearings. “I would ask that if the board reviews those minutes… that they omit each and every person who was a paid protester that day,” Fioretti said.
Kenwood-Oakland Community Organization's Jitu Brown, among those pictured addressing the board, complained that Dyett (slated for phase-out) has long been under-resourced, and that Price (slated for closure) has been weakened by previous school actions in the neighborhood.
Board member Mahalia Hines told the group that “we are looking at your plan.”
“It’s not a done deal, what is happening,” Hines said. “This is not a cookie-cutter board.”