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.
The transcript shows how carefully Peabody handled its hearings.
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
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.
Chicago Breaking News - Tribune
Office of Communications
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 23, 2009
WITHDRAWS PROPOSALS FOR PEABODY, YALE, LAS
CASAS, HOLMES, GLOBAL VISIONS AND HAMILTON
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
“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
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.
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
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
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
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