CPS Recommends Closure of Four Underperforming Charter Schools 

Proposed Closures Follow Last Week’s Adoption of Strengthened Charter Accountability Policy
For more information, contact: 
CPS Office of Communications
Phone: 773-553-1620

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                               
Thursday, November 5, 2015                
 CHICAGO – Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Forrest Claypool today announced recommendations for closure of four chronically underperforming charter schools that are currently on the Academic Warning List and are either up for a renewal or have failed to implement required remediation plans.
If approved by the Board of Education, the following charters will be revoked or won’t be renewed at the conclusion of this school year:
  • Amandla Charter High School (Closure resulting from revocation)
  • Betty Shabazz – Barbara A. Sizemore Academy Elementary School (Closure resulting from revocation)
  • CICS – Larry Hawkins High School (Closure resulting from revocation)
  • Bronzeville Lighthouse Charter Elementary School (Closure resulting from non-renewal) 
“Every child deserves a high quality education, and we are holding charters accountable to ensure our students are prepared for a bright future,” said CPS CEO Forrest Claypool. “The proposed closures announced today were made to ensure better outcomes for students, and signal to charters not performing well, that they need to either improve or pack their bags because they will not be able to operate in Chicago.”
The four schools CPS is recommending for closure were placed on the Academic Warning List and were designated to receive additional scrutiny because they were either on last year’s Warning List or were in the final year of their contract.
Amandla, Shabazz-Sizemore and CICS-Hawkins were on last year’s Warning List, and were required last year to submit a remediation plan detailing how they would address their poor performance. CPS has reviewed the schools’ remediation plans and determined they failed to adequately implement their plans and improve outcomes for students. Due to their failure to implement remediation plans, CPS is recommending the revocation of each school’s charter at the conclusion of this school year.
In addition to the revocation of three charters, CPS is recommending the non-renewal of Bronzeville Lighthouse Charter, which is in the final year of its contract. CPS recommends not renewing Bronzeville Lighthouse because it has failed to meet the District’s performance standards during the course of its contract. Bronzeville Lighthouse is a Level 3 school, and the District will not recommend the renewal of a school that has not proven it is capable of consistently offering a high-quality education to its students.
The proposed actions announced today follow the adoption last week of a strengthened charter accountability policy designed to allow CPS to take action against poor performers. By holding charter schools accountable for poor performance and establishing new performance standards for future evaluations, the District is taking meaningful steps to ensure quality throughout all of our schools.
“Closing a school is always a last resort, but after reviewing the performance of these four schools, it is clear our students need and deserve better options,” said CPS Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson. “Our team is fully committed to working with families to find new options that will meet the individual needs of each student.”
CPS is recommending the closure of these four schools because it will lead to better outcomes for public school students in Chicago. However, the District recognizes that transition can present challenges for some students.  CPS will be working closely with families to provide resources that will allow them to identify a new high-quality option for their children.
The CPS Offices of Access and Enrollment and Innovation and Incubation are standing ready to assist families that will be impacted by the four proposed closures in enrolling in a school that meets their needs for the fall of 2016. The Office of Access and Enrollment, which can be reached at 773-553-2060, can assist families seeking new District-run options. The current window for open-enrollment school applications runs through Dec. 11, 2015, and officials from Access and Enrollment are available to assist families interested in exploring these options.
Families seeking a new charter school option should contact the Office of Innovation and Incubation at 773-553-1530. Innovation and Incubation officials can help families explore charter school options available throughout the city.

Page Last Modified on Thursday, November 05, 2015