Friday, February 15, 2013

The school closings

Via twitter, @sethlavin, 10 questions for CPS regarding the school closings:

1) You've estimated $500K in savings per closed school. Does this mean closing 100 schools solves only 5% of the $1B CPS budget deficit?
2) What data exist that shows closing underperforming schools results in academic gains for students?
3) You say we have a “utilization crisis.” What data shows that a school’s being “underutilized” hurts student achievement?
4) U of C says in 94% of cases kids from closed Chicago schools didn’t go to “academically strong” new schools. Will this be different?
5) Will you guarantee that no students from closed Level 3 schools will go to another Level 3 school?
6) You say CPS mishandled its last round of 10 closings. Will you share your analysis of what went wrong, and how this will be different?
7) Given that you included 5 of last year’s 10 turnaround schools on the new possible closings list, do you regret those turnarounds?
8) Will you present your plan for where kids from each closed school will go before deciding whether or not each school will close?
9) Have you hired management consultants to assist you in vetting schools for inclusion on the closings list? If so, who are they?
10) How many CPS staff members are currently working on transition plans for 5,792 students with IEPs that may be impacted by closings?

Don’t hold your breath for the answers, the amount of dialogue from CPS in regards to this issue would be hysterical if the consequences were not so dire. There are thousands of kids, families, and communities whose lives will be radically changed and you cannot even come to a community outreach meeting? The savings are also a joke, it would worth asking that if in the “savings” the future use of the buildings was considered. The Philadelphia experience would suggest that it’s a little more complicated. It hard not to see this action as anything else but an attempt to destroy public education as it has been know, and replace it with a public-private model. You know where the public puts in the money and the private takes it out.

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