Huberman Tightens Down On New Schools - Will Board Go Along?


The press release is out, and the news isn't good for Avondale Montessori or a slew of other folks who went through the yearlong rigamarole to get a new school approved for next year. 

Just six new schools are being recommended for approval -- most of them add-on campuses of existing networks.  Fourteen did a full application only to get rejected.  Meanwhile, a slew of existing contract schools are vying for charterization thanks to the newly lifted charter cap. 

There's a hearing on the 9th, and the Board has to sign off on the ONS / Huberman recommendations.  Take a look and let us know what you think about who got approved (and who didn't) and whether any of the rejectees stand a chance of turning things around.  It doesn't happen often that the Board crosses Huberman but once in a while... 

CPS Announces Six
New School Proposals for Priority Communities

Board of Education
Will Consider Proposals at Next Meeting

Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive
Officer Ron Huberman today announced six new school recommendations
to be submitted to the Chicago Board of Education for consideration
at its November 18 meeting. If approved, all six schools will open in
communities in need of high-quality education options.

"Six months ago we targeted three underserved
communities and strongly encouraged new school design teams, composed
of educators and entrepreneurs with close ties to the community, to
submit proposals for schools in those areas," said Huberman.

Today, after months of community, and parental input, we are
pleased with the results."   Huberman also stressed that
input from the Transition Advisory Councils (TAC) was crucial in making
the decision process fair and sensitive to the needs of each of the
school communities. TAC members met with Huberman last month to share
their new school recommendations.

The six proposals include four elementary
schools, one high school serving grades 9-12, and a combination middle
school-high school that will serve students grades 6-12. Three of the
new schools are slated to open in the fall of 2010, and the other three
schools are slated to open in the fall of 2011. All six will be subject
to approval from the Chicago Board of Education later this month.

The three schools slated to open in fall
of 2010 are proposed in communities the district considers to be high
priority -- Englewood, Riverdale (Far South Side) and South Chicago--and
would be run by existing charter school operators who manage other high-performing
schools in Chicago. If approved, these schools will be located in CPS
buildings listed in the 2009 Request for Proposals (RFP), released this
past May.

- more -

The three schools that will be recommended
to the Board for a fall of 2010 opening include:

  • Noble Street Charter School
    - Englewood Campus,
    a proposed charter school,
    would serve grades 9-12. The Englewood Campus would follow the Noble
    model, which is built on a platform of small schools, strong leadership,
    strict adherence to a discipline code and a rigorous academic program
    that includes emphasis on reading, math, community service and physical
    fitness. The culture at all Noble Street schools is infused with the
    "Noble Way"-scholarship, discipline and honor. Noble Street currently
    operates nine campuses serving 2,200 students. The new school is proposed
    to be located at Reed Elementary School, 6350 S. Stewart Ave, which
    is being phased out.


  • Chicago International Charter
    School (CICS) - Riverdale Campus,

    a proposed charter school, would serve grades 6-12.  The Riverdale
    Campus would offer students a rigorous college-preparatory education
    through innovation and choice. CICS currently operates 13 campuses serving
    8,100 students, including the K-8 Lloyd Bond Campus that opened in Altgeld
    Gardens in the Riverdale community this fall. The new school is proposed
    to be located at Carver Middle School, 801 E. 133rd Place,
    which was consolidated with Carver Elementary last year.


  • LEARN Charter School
    - South Chicago
    Campus, a proposed charter school, would
    serve grades K-8. The South Chicago Campus would provide its students
    with the foundation and ambition to earn a college degree through an
    academically challenging college preparatory curriculum. Each LEARN
    school, which features an extended day and extended year, is driven
    by its set of distinct Core Principles: mutual respect among staff,
    parents, students, and communities served; expected active family contribution;
    and emphasis on character development and the whole child. LEARN currently
    operates three elementary schools serving 900 students on the west side
    of Chicago. Their flagship campus is one of the highest performing non-selective
    elementary schools in North Lawndale. The school is proposed to be located
    at James N. Thorp Elementary School, 8914 S. Buffalo Ave. as a permanent


CPS received 14 proposals to serve the
Englewood, Riverdale and South Chicago communities. Design teams applied
to open new schools in those areas through a competitive and community-based

In each of these three communities, district
officials formed a Transition Advisory Council (TAC) composed of parents,
educators, community residents, community and faith- based organizations,
and elected officials and their representatives. Beginning in May of
this year, and lasting through October, the TACs met regularly to discuss
the community's educational needs and assets, review education-based
research, visit high performing schools, and review new school proposals.

- more -

Commenting on the process, Paulette Cage
Edwards, Riverdale TAC member and Executive Director of the Foundation
for Family Empowerment located in the Riverdale community said, "Parents
in the Riverdale Community, like other communities, want to have a choice
in schools for their children.  CICS is the choice of the Riverdale
TAC. As a member of the Riverdale TAC and former Altgeld Gardens resident,
I believe the rigorous academic plan and disciplined environment offered
by CICS is needed to propel these children to reach beyond state academic
benchmarks and in doing so achieving their fullest potential."

The three schools that will be recommended
to the Board for a fall of 2011 opening in independently owned buildings

  • LEARN Charter School
    - South Shore Campus
    , a proposed charter school, would serve grades
    K-8 in the South Shore community. Like the South Chicago Campus, the
    South Shore Campus would provide its students with an academically challenging
    college preparatory curriculum, a strong school culture and an extended
    day and extended year. The school is proposed to be located at 7110
    S. Coles.


  • Roseland Preparatory Academy,
    a proposed contract school, would serve grades K-8 in the Roseland community.
    Roseland Prep would offer students an education where they take pride
    in themselves, their families, their environment, their school and their
    community. The school will be modeled after Frazier Preparatory Academy,
    a college-prep contract school that opened in North Lawndale in the
    fall of 2007 and utilizes the Mosaica Paragon curriculum. The school
    is proposed to be located at 11400 S. Edbrook.


  • UNO Charter School,
    a proposed charter school, would serve grades K-8. UNO seeks to provide
    its students a rigorous curriculum in a well-managed, structured environment
    to redefine the culture and expectations of public education, especially
    in urban settings among minority students. UNO currently operates one
    high school and eight elementary schools serving 3,700 students. Historically,
    UNO has focused on opening schools in communities experiencing overcrowding.
    The school's location is yet to be determined.


Also, three schools were approved by
the Board last year to open in fall of 2010. They are:

    • UNO Charter School,
      a charter school approved by the Chicago Board of Education at its September
      2008 meeting, will serve grades K-8. It will offer students a structured
      academic and social environment to prepare them for success in high
      school and beyond. The school's location is yet to be determined.


    • UNO
      Hospitality High School,
      a charter school approved by the Board
      at their September 2008 meeting, will serve grades 9-12. Established
      in collaboration with the Chicago LEADS (Leading Economic Advancement,
      Development and Sustainability) Initiative, it will offer students a
      college-prep track and a career-prep track focusing on the hospitality
      industry. The school's location is yet to be determined.


- more -

    • Instituto Health Sciences
      Career Academy,
      a contract school approved by the Board at their
      October 2008 meeting, will serve grades 9-12. Also in partnership with
      Chicago LEADS, will offer college-prep and career-prep tracks that focus
      on study and careers in the health sciences. Students will have the
      opportunity to earn industry certification in nursing, health technology
      or health administration. The school's location is yet to be determined.


Finally, eight contract schools have
applied to convert their existing or planned schools to charter schools.
They are:

  • Academy of Global Citizenship
    (Garfield Ridge)
  • Catalyst Circle Rock Campus
  • Chicago Talent Development
    High School (West Garfield Park)
  • EPIC Academy High School (South
  • Instituto Health Sciences
    Career Academy (Near Southwest Side)
  • Rowe Elementary (West Town)
  • Urban Prep Academy for Young
    Men (East Garfield Park)
  • Urban Prep Academy for Young
    Men (South Shore)

A public hearing to allow for comments
about the new school proposals will take place Nov. 9 at 6 p.m. in the
CPS Board Chambers, located at 125 S. Clark St., 5th floor.
Registration to speak at the hearing will be between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30p.m.


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  • looks like avondale montessori is really going for it:

    "Please Join Us At Our 11/06/09 Support Rally As We Demontrate To Chicago Public Schools That The Community Demands Its Right To A New Public Montessori Charter School!"

    from their site

  • wbez reports the cps announcement but says nothing about avondale, the low number of approvals, or this latest nonsense about Ren10 priority community areas only being on the south side.

    it's the closings of schools that have been controversial in the past. now it's selection of schools to be opened that's under scrutiny.

    / alexander

  • huberman's quoted in the press release above as saying that the board decided to focus on three priority communities six months ago, but i don't remember any of that and obviously the avondale people weren't told that either.

    in fact the ren10 booklet lists a bunch of communities on a map, including avondale.

  • Alex are you for real! You expect transparency from these grifters. I have a bridge to sell you!!!

  • glad someone is finally putting brakes on these out of control charters. The Soto Bill and its passage AGAIN, now places a priority on accountability for these schools--which is only fair, right and just.

  • this does beg the obvious question=why are there so many people employed at office of new schools? If so few will be apporved, does CPS really need all those administrators in ONS-all that $$ spent on all those administrators. Did not Ron just hire another $150,000 person in there form ohio...

  • the catalyst story on the new schools announcement is also disappointing. it's full of press release fluff and repeats without verification the CPS rhetoric re budgets, quality, and community areas

    there's nothing about avondale, there's no opposing view or mention of controversy or criticism.

  • WBEZ interviewed an Avondale parent volunteer tonight. Sounds like they're picking up the story, should air in the morning.

  • It's true that charters have open enrollment lotteries, but who is tracking numbers of charter expulsions? These expulsions do not require standard cps expulsion hearings, only a school-determined process (often minimal) and then 'difficult' students are booted out and told to report to their neighborhood school. Wouldn't it be interesting to track the test score data on those expelled students ...? and how are those vacancies then filled, through additional lottery steps...? me thinks no ~ me thinks hand-picked transfers in.

  • uno fuentes gets 98 mil but avondale can't get a school, notes an avondale supporter who sends along this tribune story about UNO,0,4336990.story

  • I worked at one of the approved spin off school's campuses for 5 years. It's just a test prep machine, where kids are told what to wear, what to think, and their integrity and creativity is squeezed out of them. I think something new, although the method's been around for over 100 years, like the Avondale Montessori proposal, would offer a real "new school" to the children of Chicago. But CPS isn't really into innovation, even though it talks that talk.

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