CPS "Do-Over" For 100+ Schools

Anytime you see a long press release like the one below, and reference to "technical deficiencies," you know something's up. Read between the lines of this Tuesday night press release and it seems clear that CPS is trying to gussy up what is essentially a do-over for more than NCLB restructuring plans. Oops!

Either the state or the Feds must have made them take responsibility for the plans -- apparently no one at CPS reviewed or approved them as they're required to under law. Amazing that they wouldn't WANT to review restructuring plans, given their generally power-hungry ways.

With this release, CPS is trying to be polite about this having happened on someone else's watch, and trying to make it sound like they've been in substantive compliance all along. But they can't have it both ways. Either you're in charge at 125 S. Clark Street, or you're not.

Anyone know if CPS usually reviews, approves, or asks for adjustments on school restructuring plans, or whether SIPAA plans are identical to NCLB restructuring plans? Let us know.

Chicago Board of
Education to Address NCLB Requirements on

Individual School
Restructure Plans

The
Chicago Board of Education will be presented on Wednesday, May 27, with
restructuring plans for 18 schools that have been identified to meet
Adequate Yearly Progress requirements under the No Child Left Behind
act.

At
the same time, the Board will be asked at its monthly meeting to formally
approve restructuring plans for 78 schools that missed their AYP goals
in previous years. The restructuring plans for those schools were developed
and have been implemented in a timely fashion over the last several
years.

“This
action, once it receives Board approval, will bring us into full compliance
with NCLB requirements regarding restructuring plans for schools that
fail to meet their AYP requirements,” said Chicago Public Schools
Chief Executive Officer Ron Huberman.

“As
a result of our work this year to ensure we are meeting NCLB mandates,
we determined the need for formal Board of Education approval of restructuring
plans that were put in place for specific schools as they entered the
2006-07 and 2007-08 school years. That board action will correct a technical
deficiency.”

Huberman
pointed out that the restructuring plans for those schools were developed
as required and that schools and their students have been getting the
interventions set out under those plans.

CPS
schools that have not made AYP for five years are required to develop
restructuring plans to address the areas in which the school requires
improvement. Restructuring plans typically are developed at the school
or area level.

—more—

Those
restructuring plans are designed to align with each school’s School
Improvement Plan for Advancing Academic Achievement (SIPAAA). A SIPAAA
is approved annually by an individual school’s Local School Council
or the Board, depending on the school’s status.

Schools
that entered restructuring planning in 2008-09 based on 2008 AYP were:
George Armstrong, Bontemps, Brighton Park, Chicago Discovery, Dvorak,
Hale, Hampton, Hedges, Henry, Jordan, Morgan Park, National Teachers,
Phoenix Military, Pulaski, Sawyer, Scammon, Tonti, and Waters.

Since
2006, most CPS restructuring plans were filed directly with the Illinois
State Board of Education after they were adopted at the local level.
However, as part of an internal review of NCLB compliance procedures,
plans developed in 2006 and 2007 are now being submitted to the Chicago
Board of Education to comply with a technical requirement in state law
that the local Board formally approve such plans.

The
proposed action will ensure that all restructuring plans meet the technical
filing requirements. In most cases, no substantive changes to the plans
are proposed though for several schools, outdated activities have been
removed or new activities added.

“The
decentralized way in which these plans were developed has presented
challenges to the district in terms of tracking compliance with ISBE’s
procedural requirements,” Huberman said.

“In
response, we are developing more centralized lines of authority to ensure
that restructuring plans are developed, implemented, monitored and filed
with ISBE in a timely manner. Primary responsibility for these duties
will reside in the Office of Chief Education Officer.”

CPS
monitors the performance of all schools every year based on achievement
data. Restructuring plans can target school structure, practice and organization,
among other factors, to positively impact the quality of education a
school offers.

“Where
a restructuring plan is proving effective in improving educational outcomes
for students, we will continue to implement the plan. Where a plan is
not effective, we will make adjustments to the interventions or implement
more aggressive actions to address the school’s failure to improve,”
Huberman said.

Also
on Wednesday, Board members will be presented with 10 updated plans
from CPS schools that were restructured prior to 2006 but were part
of the CPS turnaround process. Huberman noted that in these cases the
district is going “over and above” NCLB provisions, as there is
no requirement that those plans be revisited.

Chicago
Public Schools serves approximately 408,000 students in more than 660
schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school system.

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