CPS Proposes Historic Turnaround Plan

The plan calls for an overhaul of eight grade schools and two high schools

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    The Chicago Public Schools plan to erase classroom failures in the district’s largest ever turnaround push.
    Jean-Claude Brizard, schools CEO, announced Tuesday a proposal to overhaul eight elementary and two high schools for the 2012-2013 school year. The massive overhaul would leave students at their schools but lead to the firing of their teachers.

    “We can no longer accept or defend schools that have failed our students year after year,” said Brizard in a statement. 
    The district labeled the schools as “some of the city’s worst-performing.” All 10 schools have been stuck on academic probation for at least five years, Crain’s Chicago Business reports
    The proposed changes threaten to drive a bigger wedge between the district and the Chicago Teachers Union. 
    “The desire to see change for change’s sake always concerns me,” said CTU President Karen Lewis in a statement. “Turnarounds are expensive and destabilizing to students who live in neighborhoods already rocked by foreclosures, high incarceration rates. The board comes along and fires all of their teachers …and other faces they know and trust.”
    CPS officials insisted teachers can reapply for their jobs. However, chances are they will be more likely rehired and reassigned to different schools.
    The district explained the 10 new “turnarounds” would become eligible for $20 million each to pay for tutoring, teacher training and additional extracurricular activities like fine arts and athletics.
    The schools under consideration are Casals, Fuller, Herzl, Marquette, Piccolo, Stagg, Wendell Smith and Woodson elementary schools and Tilden and Chicago Vocational high schools.
    The school board would need to vote on the plan.