Why Relent -- Why These Schools?

Why did some schools get a reprieve while others didn't?  Picking through the news coverage for hints at how and why Huberman changed his mind on a third of the schools:

CITY COUNCIL PRESSURE
(SUN TIMES):  "Huberman made the changes to his original list of 14 shake-ups just
days before a City Council hearing on the school closure process. 

A City Council Education Committee hearing on the resolution is
scheduled for Monday, just two days before School Board members are to
vote on the new recommendations." (5 city schools get reprieve, won't close)

ORGANIZING (TRIBUNE): "It's a tribute to parents and communities demonstrating the fact that
they were not going to stand for bad policy," said Jitu Brown,
education organizer at the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization. "It
is definitely encouraging that they have acknowledged the engagement
process is flawed." (5 Chicago schools slated are spared)

VIOLENCE (CATALYST):  "It's
one of the first times the board has responded to community pressure
(in Englewood)," says Chisum, noting that the pastors also had the
backing of Operation Push. "This victory will be an encouragement for
the community to get further involved." (Huberman grants reprieve to five schools)
NEW INFORMATION (CATALYST):  "In the case
of Gillespie, it seems as though district officials looked at the
numbers, but didn't talk to enough to parents and staff about what was
happening in the school before making the January announcement. Come to
find out, the new principal had undertaken a self-styled turnaround
already." (Huberman grants reprieve to five schools)

Filed under: 125 S. Clark Street

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  • here's a blog entry from the sixth ward blog about the removal of gillespie from the list and the keeping of deneen

    http://thesixthward.blogspot.com/2010/02/gillespie-elementary-removed-from.html

  • here's an austin weekly story from wendesday about things gillespie was already doing that might have warranted it getting a little more time:

    http://www.austinweeklynews.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleID=2660

  • here's a great comment from someone who thinks that prescott should have been given a reprieve, and that concerns for safety effectively punished prescott for being in a better neighborhood than, say, paderewski, and that the schneider phase out makes no sense:

    Prescott School had the largest turnout of supporters (over 500) at any hearing. Yet, Prescott stayed on the closing list.

    Prescott School's leadership introduced a plan to improve dramatically the school 18 months ago. And the teachers delivered. Data shows substantial learning improvement. Yet, Prescott stayed on the closing list.

    As a Magnet Cluster school, Prescott has over 250 applications for next year. Yet, Prescott stayed on the closing list.

    Prescott has more students in a smaller school than Paderewski and much higher student achievement. Paderewski was pulled from the closing list-- citing safety concerns. So Prescott is punished for being in a "safe" neighborhood?

    Alcott High School is slated to be put in Prescott School. It currently has only one grade (Freshmen) of 85 students. After adding a grade per year, the maximum enrollment of Alcott High School, by district plan, will be 340 students in three years. By planning to have only 340 students at Altcott HS (housed at Prescott), the district is saying that maximum capacity is 340 for a high school at Prescott. But in its testimony to the hearing officer, the district claimed that 600 elementary school students could be housed at Prescott. (Prescott School showed convincingly that the maximum capacity of the building is 330 students).

    As a phase-out school, Schneider School will remain open for 7 years at a cost of roughly $10 million. Huberman's team last week recommended to Huberman that Schneider be closed (to save $10 million) and Schneider students be placed at Prescott. Even Board members said that, based on the huge community support and the convincing data, they were uncomfortable with closing Prescott and would not vote for it. Huberman went on a rant to his own staff and told them that Prescott must be closed.

    This process and its results are a farce.
    Posted on February 19, 2010 7:03 AM

  • last but not least, danny comments over at substance that the closing process was supposed to include safety considerations BEFORE the schools were announced

    http://www.substancenews.net/articles.php?page=1182§ion=Article

    good point.

  • not much new news in this chicago news cooperative story just posted on the internet, but if you're looking for every last little bit of information

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/21/us/21cncpulse.html

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