Friday, February 20, 2009

Are the wheels coming off Chicago's Ren10?

Soto bill gains support in the House

A citywide movement to save 22 neighborhood schools slated for the next round of closings under Mayor Daley's Renaissance 2010 plan, is gaining momentum. A bill sponsored by State Rep. Cynthia Soto, aimed at putting the breaks on Ren10 school closings, has won the support of the state's House Education Committee.

Soto's bill has drawn broad support from community groups and follows on the heels of new research challenging most of the assumptions propelling Renaissance 2010. One of the UIC studies shows that Ren10 charter schools aren't scoring any higher as a group, than traditional neighborhood schools, despite their lack of recruitment among special-education students and their lower percentage of low-income and minority students.

A press release issued by Designs for Change, highlights Peabody Elementary School, which, they say, "is one of the 11 out of 22 schools recommended for closing that out-perform students in the school system's highly-touted 'turnaround' schools."

Angela Caputo, writes in Progress Illinois:
There’s no question that CPS needs an overhaul. And, as we’ve noted before, some of the most innovative school programs, like the Austin Polytechnical Academy, have been pulled together by private interests within the Renaissance 2010 structure. But the emerging pattern -- in which CPS displaces poor children only to upgrade their schools and hand them off off to private companies that cater to fewer of the neediest students -- obviously weighs down the system elsewhere. CPS’ lack of research to prove otherwise only reinforces the need for a moratorium on school closures.
Breaking News...

School Board President Rufus Williams, who has been the target of much of the anti-Renaissance 2010 school closing protests, will hand in his resignation tomorrow.

Also read Ramsin Canon at Gapers Block...


  1. Two independent research studies on Chicago schools were released this week. Both point out that Chicago public schools is using flawed data resulting in bad decisions.
    One compares charter and neighborhood high school performance on ACT, as well as student enrollment and teacher factors. The other on Chicago's current proposal to close or "turnaround" 22 school which data show are primarily in communities of color experiencing gentrification or rapidly changing demographics. This study proposes a new method to measure utilization rates – a common reason cited for closing schools.
    As an opinion leader, these studies deserve your personal attention, Mike.

  2. Thanks Anon.
    As you can see from reading the very post about which you are commenting, I did give the 2 studies my personal attention. They are both timely and compelling. Thanks also for naming me an "opinion leader," I'll put that on my resume.


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