CPS Eyes Four More Schools for Closure - NBC Chicago
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CPS Eyes Four More Schools for Closure



    "We can create better options in these communities," CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard says. (Published Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011)

    Four more Chicago Public Schools are being eyed for closure, school officials confirmed this week.

    Under a proposal to be formally announced next year, two elementary schools -- Guggenheim and
    Price -- would close at the end of the school year.

    Two high schools -- Crane Technical, at 2245 W. Jackson St., and Dyett, at 555 E. 51st St. -- would cease enrolling new students for fall and would gradually shut down over the next three years.

    "We can create better options in these communities. If you look at these two schools, they were in such poor shape it made no sense to keep them open. In both high schools, I believe, three out of five, or four out of five kids don't graduate high school," said CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard.

    Under the plan, students at Guggenheim Elementary, at 7141 S. Morgan St., would transfer to Bond Elementary. Students at Price Elementary would attend National Teachers Academy.

    Both have performed poorly on standardized tests and have been on academic probation for more than four years. Guggenheim is the lowest-scoring elementary school in the state, the Chicago Sun-Times noted Wednesday.

    Brizard said the blame for the poorly performing schools didn't fall on one single entity.

    "It is CPS as a whole. It is us at Central Office. It is the network team. It is the principal. It is teachers. It is parents. It is everybody," he said.

    Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis said the proposal raises questions.

    "Did you see what their plan is for Crane? The plan for Crane is to move these children to four different schools," said Lewis. "Students have a tendency not to go to the other schools, because they're dangerous. It's a dangerous process for them to get from Point A to Point B."

    The closures, coupled with Tuesday's announcement to "turnaround" 10 schools, will affect more than 7,000 students.

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel maintains the changes are vital to his efforts for academic success.

    "Failure is not acceptable," he said Wednesday at a press conference announcing that a crime-fighting method used by the police department was heading to Chicago high schools.