December 7, 2012
Chicago Public Schools (CPS) today announced that at the December 19th Board of Education meeting it will propose expanding high-quality school options for Chicago students in the upcoming school year. Through its Call For Quality Schools application process, CPS received applications from local and national operators seeking to open charter, contract and alternative schools, and to expand existing District schools.
CPS also will recommend to the Board that five charter and contract school operators who submitted applications, but do not meet the Call For Quality Schools standards, be denied authorization to open new schools next fall.
“We are committed to providing high-quality school options for our students and parents and providing every child with the support they need to achieve success in the classroom. These schools will help us fulfill that commitment,” said CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett. “And we are doing this in a sensible and responsible way. Just as we make these recommendations for additional high-quality options, we are recommending that the Board deny applications that will not fulfill the call to provide our students with the education they need to excel.”
The District sought teachers, administrators, national education management organizations, current school leadership teams and non-profit institutions from Chicago and nationwide to submit proposals that demonstrate the capacity to start new, high-quality schools under the District, charter, contract and alternative school models. Operators were required to demonstrate a strong track record of driving significant academic gains with student populations similar to CPS including students with disabilities, English Language Learners, students who qualify for free and reduced lunch rates, and students in temporary living situations.
CPS will recommend to the Board that it authorize four new charter schools, one alternative contract school and one contract-to-charter conversion, all of which will open in September 2013 if approved by the Board:
- Charters – Chicago Collegiate Charter School, Foundations Academy Charter, Intrinsic School and Orange
- Alternative contract – Camelot
- Contract-to-charter conversion – Frazier Preparatory Academy
Additionally, CPS will recommend that the following District schools receive approval to expand by adding additional grade levels in fall 2013:
- Rickover Naval Academy High School, requesting to add grades seven and eight
- Marine Military Math and Science Academy, requesting to add grades seven and eight
- Disney II Magnet School, requesting to add grades nine through 12
New charter and contract schools that may be approved for authorization do not have designated locations at this time, and will not be given any facilities that may be closed or consolidated as part of CPS’ efforts to right-size the District. The City currently has approximately 145,000 fewer school-aged children than it did a decade ago. This has contributed to the District having unused space for another 118,000 students in its schools. CEO Byrd-Bennett has recently said that CPS will work with new charter operators to locate in areas that are experiencing overcrowding in addition to those that are in need of high-quality school options.
Recently, CPS announced its intent to take action on under-performing charter schools that are up for contract renewal in June 2013. The charter contract renewal process entails a thorough and rigorous examination of key academic, compliance and fiscal management areas to determine each school’s renewal status recommendation and conditions for renewal, as necessary. Actions the Board may take on low-performing charters include non-renewal of contracts or shortened contract renewals with conditions, which may result in charter school closings.
Through various initiatives, CPS has expanded the District’s high-quality school options for the families it serves. Additional recent efforts include:
- Creation of five new Early College STEM programs at Sarah E. Goode High School, Michele Clark High School, George Corliss High School, Chicago Vocational Career Academy and Lake View High School to give our high school students a rich, technology-focused program of study that allows them to earn significant college credits and exposes them to careers in major IT companies like IBM, Motorola Solutions, Cisco, Microsoft and Verizon.
- Creation of five new IB programs at Bronzeville Scholastic Academy High School, Farragut High School, Schurz High School and Juarez High school, as well as wall-to-wall IB neighborhood schools at Senn High School, Back of the Yards High School, Roberto Clemente Community Academy and Hyde Park Career Academy.
- Implementation of a new selective enrollment program at South Shore International College Prep High School – creating an estimated 120 high-quality seats at the school.
CPS will host a public hearing at 5:00 p.m. on December 13 at its offices located at 125 S. Clark Street to receive public comment on its authorization and denial recommendations to the Board.
Chicago Public Schools serves 403,000 students in 681 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.