April 1, 2014
CHICAGO – Chicago Public Schools (CPS) today reminded parents and community stakeholders that it will hold community meetings April 2 to receive public comment on recently proposed turnaround plans for three schools in School Year 2014-2015 (SY 14-15). The turnaround method is a proven strategy CPS utilizes to overhaul consistently under-performing neighborhood schools without moving students. The District's proposed turnarounds aim to provide a high-quality education for all students and to strengthen neighborhood schools.
"Our goal is to provide every student from every neighborhood with a positive learning environment that equips them with the tools they need to be 100 percent college ready and 100 percent college bound," said CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett. "I encourage parents and stakeholders to review the recommended turnarounds and voice their opinions during the upcoming community meetings, which will help inform our decision-making on how to provide high quality education options for these communities."
The turnaround process brings highly qualified staff, including union teachers, who are specially trained to work in low-performing schools to help meet the specific needs of those students. Turnarounds have a laser focus on driving student learning and improving achievement immediately, providing additional academic support in core subjects, implementing a high-quality instruction aligned to the Common Core State Standards and setting transparent goals for schools, staff and students to reach.
Working in some of the District's most challenging environments, AUSL has had a profound impact on academic performance and school culture. On average, students enrolled in AUSL turnaround schools outpaced the District on the percentage of making or exceeding average growth in core subjects including math and science on NWEA Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessments. Furthermore, 13 of 16 AUSL turnarounds outpaced the District average on ISAT meets or exceeds growth since undergoing the turnaround process.
CPS undergoes an exhaustive review process to determine the appropriate schools for turnaround. The District looked at nearly 50 schools that had a Level 3 rating in each of the last two years and that were on academic probationary status. In making its final determinations, CPS sought input from current and past network chiefs regarding each individual school's principal and staff, the quality of the academic program, the school's culture, and its academic performance data compared to other low-performing schools within its Network and across the District.
Based on that criterion, CPS recommends the following schools undergo the turnaround process in SY 14-15. Meetings will be held between 6-8 p.m. on April 2 for each of the three recommended turnaround schools at their respective locations:
Dvorak Technology Academy
3615 W. 16th St.
Ronald E. McNair Elementary School
4820 W. Walton St.
Walter Q. Gresham Elementary School
8524 S. Green St.
In addition to community meetings, CPS will host public hearings regarding these proposals on April 9th at its downtown headquarters located at 125 S. Clark Street. The Chicago Board of Education is scheduled to vote on the District's recommendations at the April Board meeting.
Chicago Public Schools serves 400,000 students in 658 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.