February 21, 2012
CHICAGO – Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and the Crane Coalition, a group of parents, teachers and community leaders committed to quality education at Crane High School, are pleased to announce the formation of the Crane Transformational Task Force which will be tasked with planning a new Health Sciences high school at Crane for fall of 2013.
CPS and the Coalition want to seize the opportunity to better meet the educational needs of students and prepare them for future employment, while also capitalizing on local industry and helping to ensure that area employers are able fill anticipated job vacancies in health care and related professions.
“We are excited about the new direction for Crane and the chance to give students on the Near West Side greater access to high quality education,” said CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard. “There is much work to be done, but the proposed plan for Crane would create Chicago's first public high school dedicated to preparing students for careers or post-secondary education in the health sciences.”
With the creation of the Crane Transformation Task Force, CPS and Coalition members will develop a strategic plan for the school's restart and work together to overcome a history of low performance that has persisted at Crane despite significant financial investment by CPS. The Task Force seeks to restore Crane's reputation as one of Chicago's premier technical preparatory high schools and to reopen with the first class of ninth-graders in the fall of 2013.
“The new approach at Crane calls for an instructional program linked to newly developed community college coursework at Malcolm X City College and on-the-job training available from nearby Medical District employers,” said Benny Horton, athletic director at Crane and member of the coalition. “We look forward to an expanded and stronger partnership of academic leaders, area employers, and civic and community leaders to benefit CPS students and the City of Chicago,” Horton added.
Superintendent Brizard will propose the plan and the establishment of the Crane Transformation Task Force to the CPS board at its next meeting on February 22, 2012. If approved, current Crane students will be able to finish their academic careers at the existing Crane High School and be granted access to additional academic and other resources. Eighth-grade students living within Crane boundaries will be offered a range of high school options for fall of 2012. The proposed plan also calls for the co-location of the Talent Development Center at the Crane facility.
The Chicago Public Schools serves approximately 405,000 students in more than 675 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school system.