Chicago Public Schools - Closings/Consolidations

Discussion in 'General Education' started by FourSquare, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Mar 23, 2013

    CPS is slated to close, consolidate, or turn around over 50 schools in the next 5 months. The whole roll out was disastrous. Principals received a script to read to their staff at 6am, and teachers/admin were told not to talk to anyone about it until the official list release at 5pm. :)rolleyes: Yeah, right.) Principals were not allowed to answer questions. Teachers were told to call HR "as soon as possible" to figure out if they have a job next year.

    Some "welcoming schools" are higher performing/Level 1 schools receiving an influx of Level 3 students and/or an increased Special Ed population. Parents are just THRILLED. :rolleyes: Some parents at a closing school even pulled the fire alarm to evacuate their kids out of protest.

    Ryerson Walkout: Parents Sound Alarm to Protest School's Closing
    http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20130322/logan-square-humboldt-park/ryerson-walkout-parents-teachers-protest-cps-school-closing?cid=253898&group_hood_id=

    [​IMG]

    This is a homicide heat map with projected school actions. Most are in high poverty, African American neighborhoods. It's tragic.

    We have seen too much trauma in Chicago already. This is all too much.
     
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  3. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Mar 23, 2013

    This is where some politicians just don't get it. Schools are not "Pizza Huts" that you can just close the ones that don't seem effective without much of a consequence. Why? Schools are much more than taking tests and book learning for children. They are about relationships with the other students as well as benefiting from caring adults they know at that school.

    The research shows that in over 100 areas in education, the #1 item that had the most negative correlation with success in school was when students change schools.

    Why is this? This statement might answer this question. After leaving a school, the key success factor is whether a child makes a friend in the first month.

    Politicians need to see that schools are so much more than test scores when it comes to effecting children.
     
  4. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    Mar 23, 2013

    I feel for all of you in the Chicago area. Is this a for sure done deal?
     
  5. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Mar 23, 2013

    Wow! Such disappointment. It's the system that's not working. Most teachers are very good teachers. Maybe the system should be one where teachers want to actually stay teachers, and where teachers and students thrive. Instead, it seems to be a war on teachers who are constantly portrayed as ineffective, under-qualified, etc. Granted there very likely are some like that, but not the collective whole. How devastating for Chicago.
     
  6. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    My heart is breaking for the teachers and students.
     
  7. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Mar 23, 2013

    So let me get this straight - teachers are being punished for working in the most challenging schools in the city? Students are being punished for living in the "wrong" areas?

    This is completely heartbreaking. Who in the world is making these decisions??
     
  8. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Mar 23, 2013

    Mostly our Mayor, who decided to take a convenient ski vacation while all this was announced. Keepin' it classy here in the Chi!

    The school I student taught at is being closed. I still have many friends there who are unsure of their futures.

    Some of the schools being closed are Special Education hub schools with autism programs and the like. Many parents are worried their students wont transition well. Others are worried because their receiving school crosses gang boundaries. Walking down the street could mean death for our students.

    On top of all that, it is rumored they are pushing for 35-40 per class in every grade level. Not that we weren't pretty much there already. :eek:
     
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Mar 23, 2013

    :( sorry state of affairs. :hugs: to all affected.
     
  10. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Mar 23, 2013

    I don't think there's anything I can post that wouldn't violate at least 10 different atoz rules...
     
  11. teacherman1

    teacherman1 Devotee

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    Mar 23, 2013

    Philip Cantor will be speaking at the Opt-Out National occupation in Washington on April 4th - just before Diane Ravitch. Here's some info on Mr. Cantor:

    Phillip Cantor is a science teacher at North-Grand High School – a neighborhood public school on the northwest side of Chicago. He was a strike captain during the Chicago Teachers Union strike and is an active member of Teachers for Social Justice and CODE – Communities Organized for Democracy in Education, which is fighting for an elected school board in Chicago. He began teaching in 2002 after a career in multimedia production as a cinematographer, director and producer. He has a master’s degree in education policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Presentation title and description: Fighting for the schools our students deserve. The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) strike of 2012 was a turning point that marks a new chapter in the fight for schools that are equitable, just and relevant to students and their communities. The CTU fought back against corporate style reforms, but they also demonstrated that teachers are fighting FOR well resourced schools with smaller classes, rich curricula, respected teaching faculties and wrap around supports for students. By highlighting this positive message the CTU built strong alliances with parent and community groups setting the stage for further progress.

    In addition to Mr. Cantor, Karen Lewis and Katie Osgood (also from CPS) will be speaking on April 5th.

    Here is the schedule for this three day event
    http://unitedoptout.com/the-official-schedule-for-occupy-doe-2-0-the-battle-for-public-schools/
     
  12. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    Mar 23, 2013


    MM, well stated.
     
  13. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Mar 23, 2013

    And this is going to help learning and achievement HOW...???? :mad::mad::mad:

    The Special Education part makes me especially angry.

    And 35-40 in primary grades as well?!
     
  14. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Mar 23, 2013

    Sounds awful and I am sure they will blame the teachers for this, knowing Chicago :(
     
  15. kme93

    kme93 Companion

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    Mar 23, 2013

    I don't understand this at all. In the city's view, how does this help with the "failing schools" problem? All of those kids have to go somewhere. The schools that aren't being closed won't suddenly grow extra square footage to accommodate the additional students. Also, if the "failing schools" have low test scores and the kids go to another school. The new school will just have lowers scores.

    What is their rationale for this? I really am curious.
     
  16. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    We have dozens of schools that are operating below 50% capacity. Huge schools for 1,000 kids have like 250 kids attending. I could get behind closing SOME buildings in the name of pooling resources for one campus....HOWEVER...

    ....it has not been thought through. The "space utilization" assessment was not done fairly. A classroom was considered underutilized if it has less than X number of students...so small SPED classes counted against you. And rooms used for specials did not count as "instructional" space. Neither did health clinics, parent rooms, etc. So some schools aren't really as underutilized as they say.

    Furthermore, receiving schools were not analyzed for matching vacancies....meaning in an ideal world a closing middle school would move to another campus with lots of space for 6-8th grade. But what happens when a "welcoming" school is packed to the gills in 1st and 2nd grade but somehow has to absorb this closing school's 1st and 2nd graders. What if there's no room?

    They only counted "space" based on overall numbers...not by grade. So it's going to be a disaster trying to assess space and teacher position needs. Teachers at closing schools are supposed to follow their students to the new school, but you know that wont go smoothly. What if I teach PE at School A and School A closes? Receiving School B might already have a PE teacher and that person is guaranteed a job before me. So I'm screwed.
     
  17. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Mar 24, 2013

    What a mess! I definitely feel for those teachers too-everything being up in the air at this time of year is going to be really stressful.
     
  18. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    Mar 24, 2013

    Tragic!
     
  19. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    That's what I want to know. If they are allegedly closing these schools because they are not performing well, these new changes don't sound very promising either.
     
  20. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    It's no secret that Chicago wants to privatize the education system. They know very well that their actions will sabotage the receiving schools turning them into failures as well, then they can say "see, the school system as a whole is a failure and we need to bring in these corporations to save it".
     
  21. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    Mar 24, 2013

    Wow, I'm not sure if the UK is copying this or is you are copying us. Whichever it is it will not end well for the kids.
     
  22. GeetGeet

    GeetGeet Companion

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    Mar 27, 2013

    Its about time that educators stand up and say NO to all this. We are PROFESSIONALS treated like garbage and we can see right through all this. It disgusts me. Why are we not making more of a resistance effort?
     
  23. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Mar 28, 2013

  24. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    Mar 29, 2013

    Performance supposedly isn't a factor. Utilization... But who knows.
     

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