Phasing Out Austin High Schools

Chicago_north_mapOn Friday, CPS sent out a press release about a hearing that I never heard about until after it was done --

"Three Chicago Public Schools will complete their phase-outs by the end of this summer under already announced plans to dramatically improve education options in underserved neighborhoods. They are Austin High School, 231 N. Pine, Calumet Career Academy, 8131 S. May, and Westinghouse Career Academy, 3301 W. Franklin Blvd."

The full press release is below.  Thanks to George (yes, that George) for flagging this for me.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 6, 2007

CPS COMPLETE PHASE OUTS OF THREE HIGH SCHOOLS
PUBLIC HEARINGS SCHEDULED TO ADDRESS QUESTIONS FROM THE COMMUNITY

For more information contact: Malon Edwards, CPS Office of Communications,
Phone: 773-553-1620; FAX: 773-553-1622.

    Three Chicago Public Schools will complete their phase-outs by the end of
this summer under already announced plans to dramatically improve education
options in underserved neighborhoods. They are Austin High School, 231 N. Pine,
Calumet Career Academy, 8131 S. May, and Westinghouse Career Academy, 3301 W.
Franklin Blvd.

    Public hearings on the phase-outs will be held Friday, July 6.

    The last graduation class at each of the three schools graduated this
spring, ending a phase-out process that began in 2004, when each school stopped
enrolling freshmen as a way to either change the academic focus of the schools
or to address the physical condition of the building. The incoming freshmen
who would have attended the three schools were allowed to enroll at nearby high
schools or attend new schools opened in Austin and Calumet as part of the
Renaissance 2010 Initiative.

    Currently, the Austin building houses one small high schools, the Austin
Business and Entrepreneurship Academy, which opened there last fall. A second
high school, Austin Polytechnical Academy, will open in the building in
September. A third and final small high school is slated to be added to the campus
in the fall of 2008.

    The Calumet building also houses a small high school that opened last
fall, Perspectives Charter Calumet. The building will be the site of two more
schools in the fall -- Perspectives Charter Technology High School and
Perspectives Charter Middle School.

    A new facility is being constructed for Westinghouse and will house both
a college prep school and a career prep school. Construction for the new
building began this spring and will be completed by the fall of 2009.

Parents with
questions can contact the School Reassignment Hotline at (773) 553-5020.

Filed under: Communities & CBOs

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  • I fail to see how closing large high schools and opening smaller schools that won't be able to take in as many students is going to "dramatically improve education options in underserved neighborhoods."

    I have nothing against small schools, they may help some students achieve their potential, but that has to be balanced against having enough seats in the neighborhood to take in all the neighborhood students.

    I understand that Austin wasn't a great school, that it had serious security issues, but those security issues were caused (for the most part) by the student body. The only way to get rid of the violence and chaos is to get rid of the violent and disruptive students. CPS has made a decision not to do that for a variety of reasons.

  • Hound the teachers, principal, and LSC to get what your child needs out of the school and encourage all the other students' parents to do the same.

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