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CPS To "Turnaround" 10 Schools

Mayor Rahm Emanuel says model will be unique to Chicago's success

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CPS To "Turnaround" 10 Schools

Tim Boyle, Getty Images

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Ten schools in Chicago Public School system will undergo a historic turnaround plan next September.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard on Tuesday announced a plan to close the schools and reopen them with new teachers and faculty.

Emanuel said the schools are performing below expectations. The 10 schools have been on academic probation for the past five years, reported Crain's Chicago Business.

Six of the schools will be under the guidance of the Academy For Urban School Leadership, a nonprofit for re-shaping public education.

Pablo Casals, Fuller, Herzl, Marquette, Piccolo and Stagg elementary schools will undergo the transition under AUSL. CPS will oversee transitions of Chicago Vocational High School, Tilden Career Academy High School, Wendell Smith and Woodson Elementary.

The turnaround, while touted as positives by the CPS board and the Emanuel, is being received with mixed feelings from Chicago Teachers Union. CTU President Karen Lewis claims the mayor and school board are leaning too heavily on AUSL.

"Look at who is in the decision-making process, people that have ties to AUSL. That's problematic for us," said Lewis.

Mayor Emanuel denies any type of conflict of interest.

"It is a model that is unique to Chicago and unique to Chicago's success. It is a thing that is working here superbly in Chicago for the children of Chicago," said Mayor Emanuel. "There would be a conflict if I didn't do it; that I had a great model that [Los Angeles] wants to steal from us, other cities want to take from us, and I held it back. That would be a conflict. It is not a conflict to give kids a good education."

The turnaround plan awaits the Chicago School Board's approval.

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