Enrollment Dip

Enrollment Dip

Oh, great.  As if dwindling enrollment wasn't already a problem in the past, now we've got even fewer kids registered for CPS this year than in the past (albeit by just 3,000).  Hmm.  I wonder why that's happening --  could it be two years of flub-ups by CPS and relentless acrimony from CTU (plus underlying demographic shifts)?  Get it together, folks.  More of the same is NOT in order for 2013-2014.


Three families tell us why they ditched CPS  Chicago Reader: Chicago's public schools have performed abysmally for years on many measures. But that's how schools with overwhelmingly low-income enrollments typically do.

CPS figures show enrollment down Chicago Tribune: Enrollment figures released by Chicago Public Schools on Tuesday show an overall decline from last year despite growth in the number of students at charter schools. Total enrollment of about 400,000 students is 3,000 less than last year.

CPS School-by-School Enrollment Projections; Final Numbers Coming Soon DNAI: CPS is expected to release 20th Day enrollment numbers Tuesday. Here are the projections...
Where we stand one year after teachers strike Chicago Sun-Times: After the strike, the new CEO, Dr. Barbara Byrd-Bennett with the support of the board, took on the complex issue of under-utilization, which not only exacerbated the district's already weak financial condition, but negatively affected the delivery of ...
CPS releases master plan to improve facilities, access Tribune: Chicago Public Schools released a 10-year master plan that officials hope will improve education by improving facilities.
Mayor, CPS CEO talk classroom improvement plan WGNtv: The mayor and schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett sat down with WGN's Randi Belisomo today to discuss it. They toured Chicago Vocational Career Academy on the South Side which is slated for big improvements.
New Chicago Public Schools WTTW: Phil Ponce talks with Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis and Chicago Board of Education Vice President Jesse Ruiz about the issue.
'People's School Board' Formed in Push for Elected School Board for CPS DNAI: The group, featuring "accountability committees," will meet on the same days as the Board of Education.
Chicago Education Activists To Hold First 'People's School Board Meeting Progress Illinois: Community members upset with the "damaging" education policies endorsed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's appointed school board will hold their first "People's School Board Meeting" Wednesday, the same day as the ChicagoBoard of Education's ...
Ogden International Drafts Job Post After Controversial Principal Resigns DNAI: Nearly a month into school, the Local School Council approved an ad for their vacant principal position.
Area schools receive Blue Ribbon honors Chicago Tribune: Principal Shane Staszcuk's bright blue tie Tuesday matched the ribbon over the entrance of his North Side parochial school and the blue balloons tied to the fence out front.

Chicago Public Schools Adds Flipped Professional Development for ...T.H.E. Journal: Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has adopted a blended approach to teacher professional development in an effort to improve its lowest-performing schools.

Reavis joins new schools network Hyde Park Herald: Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Barbara Byrd-Bennett created OS4 as a part of her five-year action plan aimed at providing every ...

CPS Budget Cuts: Policy Shift Stops the Bleeding at Local Schools DNAI: Principals lauded the school system for "wonderful" budget and enrollment news.
Free Workshops Aim to Connect South Side Parents With Local Schools DNAI: A "Parent University" at Kennedy-King College will include the best way to review report cards.


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  • David Vitale: Where we stand one year after teachers strike - Chicago Sun-Times http://ht.ly/pcwZQ

  • Thanks to Alexander for linking the very interesting articles this morning. Noreen Ahmed-Ullah's Tribune article indicates that CPS as a whole lost about 3,000 students. She then goes on to write: "That figure includes students at privately run charter schools, where enrollment grew by about 4,000 to 54,000, according to the Illinois Network of Charter Schools."

    Now that is very interesting because the CPS FY 14 budget at page 30 explicitly projected that charter and contract schools would have "approximately 58,000 students" and on page 31 the budget projected the charter/contract sector to grow by "approximately 5,000 students."
    I suspect this means that the charter/contract sector missed its growth projection by about 20%.

    Moreover, CPS in its FY 14 budget projected a decline in enrollment in traditional schools in grades k-12 of only 699 students (see page 30 of FY 14 budget). While it is not completely clear to me how large the decline was at grades k-12 in traditional schools, it appears to have been significantly more than just 699 students. While Noreen's article notes the problems the enrollment decline could caused had CPS not waved the 20th day budget reduction practice, the article misses an important issue.

    That issue is CPS projected significantly higher state revenues based on its FY14 enrollment figures than it will receive. In General State Aide alone CPS will likely receive around $ 18.4 million less than last year and there will be other reductions related to funding too compared to last year. Moreover, since CPS inclusive of charter schools actually projected for FY14 an overall enrollment increase of around 4,300 students its budget revenue projections for FY 14 are significantly too high.

    Yet, CPS has elected not to lay off more teachers and staff using the 20th day numbers. While most of us applaud that decision, risk analysts will find the decision abhorrent. I am deeply familiar with the mind set of risk analysts, because that was my occupation when I worked in Chicago's financial industry for the Rosenthal Collins Group before returning to the education sector.

    How will CPS weather this storm? It will use short term borrowing in the form of a line of credit at interest rates that are not disclosed in the FY14 budget. It was exactly the use of revolving short term debt instruments that led to the CPS fiscal collapse in 1979. It is no surprise Fitch cut the CPS credit rating yet again this week. CPS is headed for trouble, trouble bigger than the magic pill of so called pension reform can fix.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    And exactly how many teachers did cps ‘elect’ not to lay off?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Any numbers given by CPS are highly questionable

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Well a good guess would be at least 100.

    Rod Estvan

  • Steve Bogira's Reader article on the three families that moved out of Chicago that Alexander linked to was in my opinion simply brilliant. I have to admit I was shook up by Sue and Sandro Serra's perception of Mather High School. It shook me up because Mather is where my oldest daughter who has a significant disability attended high school and where I also was an assistant wrestling coach for four years. My youngest daughter attended Payton.

    It would be wrong to criticize these three families for being elitist and wanting to fully insulate their children from poverty by moving out of the City. I think it is a basic human instinct to want to protect your children. Judy and I did consider moving out of the City and we looked at homes in Orland Park. From what I could tell of the relative wealth of the families depicted in the Reader story we probably had more assets than any of these three families. I think we made the right decision for myself and Judy in not moving to Orland, I am not sure if the decision was the best one for our oldest daughter who has a disability. But I have also seen students with similar disabilities to my oldest daughter at Sandburg High School out in Orland who appear not to have had better outcomes than my daughter did at Mather. Clearly my youngest daughter who went to Payton got an excellent education.

    As a side note my daughter with a disability did attend a private school for two years, Near North Montessori. We were told by the school her disability was too severe and she was removed from enrollment before 1st grade.

    As to the big question of how to keep families like those discussed in the article in the city, my conclusion is that it's probably not possible in some cases. Because at least two of the families in the article really expressed a desire that their children not be a social economic minority at the high school level due to the income and educational level of their families. In none of the situations did these families seem to be fearful of being a racial minority in the schools their children attended. Even SE high schools can't ensure being in a situation where middle class kids are a majority, for example Brooks is in its majority low income students, so is Lindblom, and so is Lane Tech for that matter.

    The City can't social economically gerrymander selective high schools enough to meet the concerns of families relating to the social economic status of the student body. There are simply not enough non-low income kids to go around. Here is what is also interesting about the three middle class families, none considered charter schools to be an option.

    Rod Estvan

  • Wild guess. It's the economy. Getting poorer.

  • Where have all the projects gone? long time passing.

  • Young civic enthusiasts gather to problemsolve Chicago services - redeyechicago.com http://ht.ly/pdxri @ILRaiseYourHand @JMOChicago

  • To Mr. Estvan, in the 10yr plan, CPS says it will move out cluster programs. What is CPS going to do with them and where will they go?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I did not see that explicitly stated in the 10 year capital plan. But clearly SBB budgeting would make many schools want to dump low incidence programs.

    Rod Estvan

  • Once dumped, where would they go?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I don't know, but having multiple low incidence programs in one school can create utilization problems based on the CPS standards for space utilization. The courts have made it clear CPS can declare a low incidence classroom that by rule has an 8 to 1 student teacher ratio underutilized.

    Ideally these programs would be spread around, including in charter schools. But there are administrative problems doing that too.

    Rod Estvan

  • Are white parents of affluent backgrounds more or less willing to put their kids in classes with gangbangers or other good kids with ghetto ass parents or uninvolved parents? The likelihood of 1/3 white, even 20 percent, seems far-fetched at schools like Roald A, lake view, Mather. Once critical mass is lost, many parents won't consider it. How does it feel to be the only white kid? A valuable experience, but for 180 days? Parents need to communicate with others in their communities with similar aged children to establish that cohort, but in today's climate it seems there's more distrust and collusion w CPS to re-open schools (Andersen, carpenter) than to actually work at integration. Will I do it in 4 years when my kid's old enough to attend Yates? Depends on who I can network with who shares similar values in the meantime. As a CPS teacher whose wife teaches at NNM, I can attest to the false perception of more affluence in the room equalling higher quality schooling. Jeez it's just a quarter of our days!

  • Morgan Park High School is a prime example of this in action: "Once critical mass is lost, many parents won't consider it."

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Yes that is one of the best examples you could use of higher families fleeing a school. Even in 1998, when middle class flight had already taken hold and was impacting the white middle class more than the black middle class the school still was 49.4% non-low income.

    In 2012 Morgan Park was composed of only 23% non-low income students. If I dug in my paper files and got data for Morgan Park going back to the late 1980s the decline on non-low income students attending that school would be even more stunning.

    Rod Estvan

  • For almost 30 years I drove past Morgan Park High School on my way to college, and after 1970 Simeon where I taught. What happened there was a real crime. Most white kids who went there lived west of the school in the Mt.Greenwood or Beverly neighborhoods . Constant muggings robberies. and intimidation beset the students on their way to school. The same things were going on around Harper, Fenger, Calumet, and a host of grammar schools. But Morgan Park was different .it was the neighborhood school for the clout rich 19th ward. Unlike all the former schools where nothing was done an attempt was made to save Morgan Park .in a spectacular example of foolish anticipation every building for several blocks around the school were demolished save three. One post office a catholic youth center, and a police station were all that was left after the wrecking ball. I still am not sure why all this was done and nobody ever seems to remember.
    Go on Google earth and look for yourself .Even now in the half mile from Longwood Drive to Vincennes along 111th there are three buildings the largest one is the new police station .Perhaps If the entire city were demolished it might bring the middle class home?

  • Why doesn't the "clout heavy" 19th ward have a viable high school for its neighborhood students? CHAS is selective and Morgan Park is unsafe so I guess the 19th ward is not that "clout heavy"......hmmm and Rahm fared how well in the vote count? Where is their NSP and Payton? It does seem very unfair but......then again, the south side is the red-headed step-child in Chicago Politics....

  • In reply to district299reader:

    At least you have CHAS. Brooks is the NSP and Payton for the 19th Ward. It is a safe school. You have Keller as well. The 23rd Ward has neither a magnet, SE high school or SE elementary. There is plenty of city-owned land where LeClaire Courts used to stand. If the SW side ever gets an SE high school it needs to be near Midway.

    By the way the 19th Ward has 2 quality hospitals nearby in Evergreen Park and Oak Lawn. We got nothing unless you want to drive 4 or 5 miles and roll the dice at MacNeal or Holy Cross.

  • Good question perhaps Brother Rice,Marist ,and Mother McCauley

    have something to do with that.My point was that it seems no matter how much the city does to help a school if the parents abandon it
    nothing will change.Brooks is housed in a former catholic school
    ( Mandel )and last time I looked it was selective enrollment like Payton.

  • Where do all the 19th ward sped kids go, if not MPHS?

  • You will have to ask the parents where they go.I am venturing my opinion and observation.In two years MPHS will be a hundred years old
    and it is still educating students.that speaks for itself.

  • Parents in the 19th ward will work 2-3 jobs and pay the tuition at Marist which has an excellent program for children with disabilities. Suburban children with disabilities also attend Marist's Marcellin Program.
    This program works wonders for students with disabilities or even those students who have difficulties in school but have not been identified as disabled. Some children may need the program for one or two subjects or all subjects. Marist has made a commitment to educate all students.

  • CHAS is not selective. It is magnet - big difference. Those kids need to score a 5 out of 9 on the exam. And that place has a huge sped program.

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