Thursday, November 1, 2012

WBEZ: Public school closures to be based on enrollment, not performance

Chicago Public School officials announced Wednesday that they do not plan to shutter schools based on student performance, as they have in the past.

Newly seated schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said the district will close only schools that they consider to be underused. The district says 140 schools are more than half empty, but did not put a number on how many of those could be slated for closure.

Low-performing schools could still face drastic school improvement measures, such as being turned around, which usually means children stay at the school, while the entire staff is replaced.

Rumors have been flying for months about plans to close more than 100 schools, but Byrd-Bennett, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Board President David Vitale have all repeatedly said there is no plan to close that many schools.

Like her predecessor Jean-Claude Brizard, Byrd-Bennett said she wants to get feedback from communities before making any decisions. Under state law, school closures must be announced by December 1.
Many of us probably aren't happy with the idea of school closures. Especially if that means the neighborhood school could be closed and if our child goes to a school that could get closed.

Have you read the Tribune editorial posted yesterday? Do you think the effects of closing "underutilized" schools could have either negative or positive benefits?

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