Last Out, First In?

Welcome back!  Hope the first day is going OK. Bet it’s sort of strange being back in school with colleagues, administrators, and parents you might not have seen in a few days.  I’m guessing not everyone in the building sees things the same way you do, or vice versa.  OK, enough pleasantries.  Let’s talk about closing schools.

Pretty soon now — OK, it’s already happening — the talk about school closings is going to start up again.  Under-enrolled, low-performing, or both.  Until more folks start coming to and staying in Chicago — and sending their kids to CPS schools — that trend is going to continue.   In the coming game of musical chairs, the question is, who gets to stay and who has to leave, and whether that process helps or hurts kids in schools now and CPS’s popularity overall in the long term.  Most of all, who gets to come back!?

If you’re curious about how these things work, and how they impact kids, read this Ezra Klein / Washington Post entry about recall rights from last week (What are they and do they matter?). Most districts have seniority-based recall rights, but some do not. Effectiveness-based recall would help raise student achievement, based on available research.


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  • Why so negative, Alexander? My day back was nothing like you suggest. It wasn't at all "strange" to be back at work (quite the contrary--it was strange to be on strike). Employees of the other unions who had to work during our strike were quite welcoming and cheered us for standing up to the Little Mayor. And our principal had the red carpet out for us (really).

  • Alright Danny.

  • African-American teachers in the Chicago Public Schools have been losing their jobs at a greater rate than any other group due to school closings, consolidations, phase-outs and turnarounds since 2000: 2000- 40.6%, 2001- 40%, 2002- 39.4%, 2003- 37.5%, 2004- 36.4%, 2005- 34.7%, 2006- 33.3%, 2007- 32.8%, 2008- 31.6%, 2009- 30.5%, 2010- 29.6%, 2011- 19.5%. This information can be found on the 2012 Illinois Interactive Report Card, Northern Illinois University, with support from the Illinois State Board of Education. P.S.- CPS is planning on closing, cosolidating, phasing-out and turningaround 100 CPS neighborhood schools in the 2013-2014 school year.

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