Last-Minute Reprieves For Prescott and Marconi

Wow -- two more last-minute reprieves, according to a press release just sent out by CPS (below). 

Austin,
Lincoln Park schools spared
Sun Times
Huberman said Deneen and McCorkle are "the two bottom performers" among
the 29 TAP schools and others are "lined up" to replace them.

Board
of Education Considers School
Closings
. WBEZ
"I
guess CPS to some degree is listening to some degree is listening to
what the community is saying. I know not every school has been pulled
off the list, and I really hope that every other school gets the same
fortune as we do. But at least they are starting to hear it."

Two More Schools Spared Closure WBEZ
"It's not a fait accompli. We go in saying we know there's a lot
of information that we don't know."
 
What do you think really prompted the changes, and did they give the right schools a break?
From CPS:

"Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Ron Huberman announced
today that he is removing William H. Prescott Elementary School, 1632 W.
Wrightwood, from the school actions list that is to be submitted to the
Chicago Board of Education tomorrow,

Huberman also said he is also suspending a proposal regarding the
consolidation of Guglielmo Marconi Elementary School, 230 N Kolmar.

"Huberman said CPS officials have received substantial input from the
Prescott School community regarding plans to increase the school's
enrollment for the next school year. Prescott was proposed for closing
because of under-enrollment. The school has less than 200 students and a
design capacity to accommodate 600.

"The school community at Prescott has put forth a variety of plans on
how they would improve enrollment, and we are going to give them the
opportunity to do that," Huberman said. The success of those efforts
will be reviewed this fall, he said.

"Marconi was proposed to be consolidated with George W. Tilton School,
also because of under-enrollment. Marconi currently has an enrollment of
236 students with a design capacity of almost 800.

Huberman said he is suspending, for now, any proposed action involving
Marconi while CPS officials work with the school community on
alternative options.

Filed under: 125 S. Clark Street

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  • Thanks for your awesome coverage! We linked to you on Lincoln Park Now--Prescott is in West Lincoln Park.

    You might also want to check out the ABC7 video on our post that covers protests outside the schools on the action list today, as well as some of the press conferences.

    http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/lincoln-park-now/2010/02/plans-to-increase-enrollment-save-prescott-elementary-from-city-wide-school-closures.html

  • cbs notes that mccorkle is still on the list even though it was one of the two that ctu aimed to prevent -- but must have come out before the deneen announcement.

    http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local&id=7293864

  • a few more details from catalyst, including ald smith's apparent role in the marconi decision

    http://www.catalyst-chicago.org/notebook/index.php/entry/561

  • "Saving" these two schools is a start, but the Board of Education needs to reevaluate how it threatens schools with closing in the first place. We need a better process beyond bullying communities into action. We need to understand that threatening schools with closing has a detrimental effect on the children we are trying to serve. There is a better way. That is to look more closely at schools and their surrounding communities and then discuss with school stakeholders long term strategies that relate to the "success" the Board of Education is looking for.

    This can be done with community input, teacher and administrator input, along with policy maker input. My suggestion is to have committees of all school stakeholders create criteria that measures a school's "success". After establishing this criteria, monitor school quality on a regular basis and consider impediments to learning and how such impediments can be removed. In the end, it's a slower, yet fairer process, and stability in the schools are maintained. This can be done if the Board of Education and the school community create and maintain honest channels of dialog.

  • At this point CPS should only consider closing a school if the closing is going to save money over the next two fiscal years and very few closings actually save money. CPS like virtually all districts in our state are on the edge of fiscal collapse, due to the effective bankrupcy of our state which according to the Civic Fed which on Feb 22nd released a report stating Illinois now has unpaid bills totalling $5.1 billion of which more than $1 billion is owed to school districts. Turn around efforts cost money and that is clear.

    CPS needs to accept the idea of a moratorium, but right now apparently the Mayor will not allow for that. He would prefer a broke school district, a teacher's pension fund in crisis, charter schools fiscally blowing up, and down the line much larger class sizes with possibly thousands of teachers on the street adding to the current unemployment crisis. Then he will give us all one of his quips blaming everyone but himself for what has happened. It will make for a cynically funny article by Kass in the Tribune.

    Frankly, Ron Huberman is a prisoner of an ideologically driven Mayor who wants to privatize every assest this city has using the argument that the private sector is so much more efficient than the public sector. But he fails to recognize, or more likely choses not to recognize that market effieiency is based on winners and losers. If the schools lose, or the city loses, they will not go out of bussiness. What will happen is we the tax payers will have to bail out these governmental units and we will be paying for years and years long after our beloved Mayor has retired to Michigan. Being the CPS CEO is not a job I would want.

    Rod Estvan

  • The deed is done! Schools to be turnarounded: Bradwell, Curtis, Phillips, Marshall and Deneen. McCorkle will be consolidated with Beethoven and Schneider will be phaesed out. Read it and weep!

  • It's not like the high schools got in students who were reading at grade level and then just let them lag behind. High schools reading levels are usually consistent with middle school reading levels and elementary before that. The real problem is students are passed along before they have achieved the prior grade level.

    Of course, there are good reasons not to retain students, too. One is the cost, having students in school longer means paying more for them. Two is practicality, it's usually a bad idea to have a 12 year old in class with 8 year old students. Three is that retention increases the likelihood of a student dropping out.

    So you either have the first set of problems in which students are in classes they are not prepared for and teachers have to teach over too broad of a spectrum of differentiation or the second batch of problems.

  • two commentaries from the papers -- one not that unexpected (greg hinz in support of softened turnarounds process), the other perhaps a little more so (mary mitchell on the success of the turnaround at howe)

    http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/blogs/hinz.pl?plckController=Blog&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&plckPostId=Blog%3a1daca073-2eab-468e-9f19-ec177090a35cPost%3a64c9a836-ec1d-4371-bba8-feaa1aca186e&sid=sitelife.chicagobusiness.com

    and

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/mitchell/2069380,CST-NWS-mitch25.article

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