October 31, 2013
CHICAGO – Chicago Public Schools (CPS) today released the names of five charters schools, including Catalyst Circle Rock, Catalyst Howland, CICS Longwood, EPIC Academy and UNO Tamayo, which have been placed on the District's Charter Academic Warning List as a result of failure to meet the academic standards outlined in their respective charter agreements. Any of these schools that fail to improve their academic performance by June 2014 could face closure at the end of the following school year.
Updates to the Charter Academic Warning List, which serves as the District's systematic process to identify low-performing charter and contract schools, were based on newly available performance data for CPS schools.
"Every school in our District, regardless of school type, must be held accountable for upholding rigorous academic standards for their students to ensure they are on a path to a bright future," said CPS CEO Byrd Bennett. "We expect each charter school on this year's warning list to improve their academic performance or we will take appropriate action to close those schools."
The five charter schools on this year's warning list have failed to meet or make reasonable progress on the criteria outlined in their own contractual academic accountability plan for the previous two years and have fallen into the bottom third of charter and contract school campuses.
The District's goal is to ensure students graduate, 100% college ready and 100% college bound. Next school year, CPS will be moving to a District-wide academic performance model that will apply to most schools including neighborhood, charter, contract, and other school types to ensure we can reach that goal.
Each of the five schools that have been placed on the Academic Warning List must submit a remediation plan based on their academic contractual agreements with CPS no later than November 15. The schools' performance results will be evaluated at the beginning of School Year 2014-2015 (SY 14-15) to determine if they have improved enough to be removed from the list. In the event any of these schools remain in failing status, the Board of Education will vote on their closure in November 2014. If approved, they will close in June 2015.
The District announced its first Charter Academic Warning List in February. However, it has since revised the timeline to provide schools on the list with more time to execute their remediation plans and demonstrate improvement toward meeting its contractual terms with the District. Additionally, the extended timeline compliments parallel District processes including the assessment schedule and annual performance review of all schools, the evaluation of charter contracts during contract renewal, and enrollment for the following school year should parents wish to seek alternative school options.
Eight charter schools were identified in February's warning list. Since that time, the following five schools have improved their student academic outcomes and have been removed from the list:
For the remaining schools, the Board voted to close, via a phase out process, the ASPIRA Charter School's Mirta Ramirez campus and Betty Shabazz Charter School's Dusable campus by the end of School Year 2015-2016 (SY15-16). CPS was in the process of conducting its contract renewal process for these two schools as well as other charter schools that were at the end of their respective five-year agreements with the District. The Board approved the closure of the Ramirez and Dusable campuses as result of their poor academic performance.
Catalyst Howland remains on the list this year as its performance did not improve enough to be removed from the list. If it fails to improve its academic performance based on the 2013 Charter Academic Warning List timeline, it will face closure in June 2015.