CPS Changes Course On Six Schools [updated]

Late Monday evening, CPS announced that it was changing course on six of its school closings and turnarounds. Which schools, and based on what factors? Read blow, and share your reactions and predictions.

Is this the largest number of changes that CPS has ever made? I think so. Did CPS make the right decisions, or were they merely responding to public sentiment or political considerations? I don't know but hope to find out.

UPDATE

Peabody victory bittersweet, but careful planning paid off Substance

The transcript shows how carefully Peabody handled its hearings.

Six schools spared closure, shakeups: CPS officials Sun Times

Six

of 22 schools will be spared closure or shakeups, Chicago public school

officials said Monday, just two days before a School Board vote on the

issue.

Six Chicago Schools Spared Closure WBEZ

Several

schools and community groups are breathing a sigh of relief this

morning after being taken off the list of Chicago Public Schools to be

closed or reconfigured.

Huberman saves 6 schools

Chicago Breaking News - Tribune

Hamilton spared

Chicago Journal

For more

information contact:

CPS

Office of Communications

773-553-1620--office

Fax: 773-553-1622

Website: http://www.cps.edu

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

February 23, 2009

CPS

WITHDRAWS PROPOSALS FOR PEABODY, YALE, LAS

CASAS, HOLMES, GLOBAL VISIONS AND HAMILTON

Officials

Cite Compelling Community Testimony & Improved Scores

Chicago Public Schools CEO Ron Huberman announced today that

six schools have been taken off the list of school closures, turnarounds and

consolidations, after community groups and parents provided compelling

arguments in support of the neighborhood schools and their performance levels.

Consistent with the purpose of holding public hearings, a

series of community meetings were held where school officials provided public

comment opportunities for parents, local school council members, teachers, and

community leaders.

“The purpose of conducting public hearing meetings

where open dialogue can be exchanged provides school officials with the

opportunity to hear first hand from those most affected by the proposed

changes,” said Chicago Public Schools CEO Ron Huberman.

“Closing a school is not an easy task, nor is it popular. But it is

our responsibility to be inclusive and open minded so that we achieve an end

result that benefits the students, parents, faculty and community,” he

added.

Peabody Elementary School was

originally slated to close due to under-enrollment. The community

provided new insight into space utilization. When this information was

taken into consideration, Peabody

no longer met the under-enrollment criteria.

Las Casas, a vocational school for special needs children,

was also recommended for closure. Parents expressed concern over alternatives

for current special needs students, and it was determined that more time was

required to work with parents on best options for all students.

Yale Elementary School was recommended as a

“turnaround” school, based on its academic performance.

However, given Yale’s improvement in the areas of reading and math over

the last three years, it was determined that Yale would be given additional

time to improve its performance.

Despite Hamilton

School’s relatively

low utilization, students at the school performed well in ISAT testing, 82.4

vs. a district average of 65.5 (with English Language Learners included).

Given its high performance, it was determined that more needed to be done to

address under-enrollment. Hamilton

had been recommended for phase-out.

Holmes met the turnaround criteria and its long term trends

are showing improvement. At the public hearing, school officials, parents

and community members touted teacher dedication, collaboration and initiatives

they are putting in place to further increase student achievement. There

were also discussions with the Local School Council about working with central

office to select a new principal. Given the positive trend in test scores, it

was determined that Holmes would be given additional time to continue

progress. Chief Education Officer Barbara Eason-Watkins stated, “We

will complete a comprehensive review of the academic, social and performance

data to determine the best way to support Holmes’ continued

progress.”

While Global

Visions High

School had the lowest enrollment of the four

existing small schools in the Bowen Campus, the school demonstrated the highest

PSAE composite score compared to the other schools within the Bowen

Campus. It was therefore determined more time was needed to review this

recommendation.

CPS has been, and is committed to continuing to work with

all stakeholders. CEO Ron Huberman stressed that school closings require

a comprehensive review that includes the community, students, parents,

teachers, principals and union leaders. “We are committed to

on-going discussions about the most effective strategies to improve

students’ performance.”

The decision to withdraw proposals to close or turnaround

Peabody Elementary School (1444 W. Augusta Ave); Las Casas (8401 S. Saginaw

Ave,); Yale Elementary School (7025 S. Princeton Ave.), Hamilton Elementary

School (1650 W. Cornelia Ave.), Holmes Elementary School (955 W. Garfield

Blvd.) and Global Visions High School (2710 E. 89th St.) will be presented at

the February 25th Board Meeting. Board members are expected to vote on

the proposed recommendations.

Peabody, Yale, Las Casas, Hamilton, Holmes and Global Visions

are among 22 Chicago Public Schools proposed for changes earlier this year.

Filed under: 125 S. Clark Street

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