Chicago School Closings Highlight Need for Choice

Chicago Public Schools has chosen to close 54 schools, co-locating 11 more and having a completely new staff in 7. These closures make it harder for the children on charter school waiting lists to get out of the failing schools.

Here are few sobering statistics from the Chicago Tribune on Chicago Public Schools:

  • 8,781 students dropped out of school last year
  • 51,106 students could not meet state reading standards
  • 19,000 students are on waiting lists for charter schools
  • 23,000 students expected to be on waiting lists next year
  • 10% of students already attend charter schools
  • Open Enrollment Charter Schools hold top 9 spots in 2012 ACT scores

Top 10 charters outperform/10 open-enrollment, non selective traditional high schools in Chicago

While many teachers teach to help students learn, their union leaders fight against reforms that would allow these students to get a better quality education. To highlight this, here are a couple quotes from Chicago Teacher Union President Karen Lewis:

Lewis on lying to parents:

“You have to lie, if you have to. … I used to love parent conferences cause I would just lie to the parents.”

Lewis on why she lies to parents; to make hostages of the student:

“Now I have a hostage. … Didn’t I have your back on your repoert card? Now I need you to have mine.”

Lewis encouraging teachers to make their principal’s lives miserable:

“Do you have an insane principal?” she said, to laughs and clapping. “Anybody have an insane principal? Take ‘em out. What that means is remove them, by the way, Fox News … How do you do that? You organize to make their lives so miserable.”

Laughing about lying to parents and using students as hostages are despicable acts. They should not be tolerated, but are standard tactics by union leaders. They use the students to get their demands met at every contract negotiation; to protest for more tax money; to protest school closures; to prevent competition from charter schools; and to prevent real reform that would cause a loss in union membership.

Trapping students in failing schools is an outrage. All children deserve access to a quality education. Parents and students need to start calling their legislators and telling them they want choice. They deserve a good education now, not years from now. Demand more charter schools be opened. Demand access to private schools. It is time for choice.

Proposed school and program closures

  • Altgeld into Wentworth @ Altgeld (new STEM program at Altgeld)
  • Dumas into Wadsworth @ Dumas (new STEM program at Wadsworth)
  • Armstrong and May into Leland @ May (new STEM program at Leland)
  • Emmet into Ellington and DePriest (new STEM programs at Ellington and DePriest)
  • Phase out Attucks over 2 years, close into Beethoven Fall 2015
  • Banneker into Mays @ Banneker
  • Ericson into Sumner (new STEM program at Sumner)
  • Fermi into South Shore Fine Arts
  • Bethune into Gregory
  • Garfield Park into Faraday
  • Bontemps into Nicholson (new STEM program at Nicholson)
  • Garvey into Mount Vernon
  • Calhoun into Cather
  • Canter into Harte and Ray
  • De Duprey and Von Humboldt into De Diego (new IB programme at De Diego)
  • Delano into Melody @ Delano
  • Goldblatt into Hefferan (new STEM program at Hefferan)
  • Goodlow into Earle @ Goodlow (new STEM program at Earle)
  • Henson into C. Hughes
  • Herbert into Dett @ Herbert
  • M. Jackson into Fort Dearborn
  • Key into Ellington (new STEM program at Ellington)
  • Overton into Mollison (new IB programme at Mollison)
  • Owens into Gompers (new STEM program at Gompers)
  • King into Jensen
  • Paderewski into Cardenas and Castellanos
  • Kohn into Cullen, Lavizzo, and L. Hughes (new STEM program in L. Hughes)
  • Lafayette into Chopin
  • Lawrence into Burnham @ Lawrence
  • Manierre into Jenner (new IB programme at Jenner)
  • Marconi into Tilton (new STEM program at Tilton)
  • Mayo into Wells @ Mayo (new IB programme at Wells)
  • Morgan into Ryder
  • Parkman into Sherwood
  • Peabody into Otis
  • Pershing West into Pershing East @ Pershing West
  • Pope into Johnson
  • Ross into Dulles
  • Ryerson into Ward @ Ryerson (new STEM program at Ward)
  • Sexton into Fiske @ Sexton (new IB programme at Fiske)
  • Songhai into Curtis
  • Stewart into Brennemann
  • Near North and Buckingham into Montefiore Mason moves from K-11 to K-8 (program closure only)
  • Stockton into Courtenay @ Stockton
  • Trumbull into Chappell, McPherson, and McCutcheon
  • West Pullman into Haley (new Fine and Performing Arts program at Haley)
  • Williams ES and Williams MS into Drake @Williams; co-locate with Urban Prep
  • Woods into Bass
  • Yale into Harvard

Proposed co-locations

  • Richard T. Crane Medical Prep HS with Chicago Talent Development HS and Richard T. Crane Technical Prep HS
  • Noble-Comer with Revere ES
  • New Noble HS with Bowen HS
  • Montessori Charter of Englewood with O’Toole
  • Kwame Nkrumah Charter with Gresham
  • New KIPP with Hope HS
  • Disney II expansion with Marshall Middle
  • Belmont Cragin K-8 with Northwest Middle (Belmont Cragin preK program remains in current location)
  • New Noble HS with Corliss HS
  • Dodge with Morton
  • Drake with Urban Prep Academy for Young Men – Bronzeville

Proposed Turn Arounds

  • Banon
  • Chalmers
  • Dewey
  • O’Keefe
  • Carter
  • Lewis
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About Lennie Jarratt

Small Business Owner, Education Watchdog, FOIA expert, Founder of For Our Children's Future


  1. The Chicago Public School System is just another prime example of the failed Public School System in America that long ago stopped providing an Education to the students but rather serves only the enrichment of the employees and the “money laundering” of taxpayer funds to the Political Parties. The purpose of this system is to create a massive dependent class that allows the corruption and fraud in the Public Sector to continue. It is obvious that Education reform through competition and a Voucher program is prevented at all costs. The Private and Parochial Education Systems demonstrate much superior outcomes at costs that is much less than 40% of the Public Education Costs. The only accomplishment of the Public Sector today is to make all its employees millionaires, bankrupt America, destroy the future of all its students and create the Nanny culture. It is time to restructure and reform this entire Public Sector and start by reforming this failed Public Education System by capping the maximum total Public funding of this K-12 Education System at $7K per student annually and allowing these funds to be giving to the parents via a Voucher that they can use at any Private, Parochial or Public School of their choice. It is time to stop this fraud that is raping and robbing the taxpayers and the students of their future and existence. It is an outright disaster today that the technology available today for Virtual Schools has not be implemented to give every student the World’s best Education and that at a cost structure that is even more efficient and effective then the excellent Private and Parochial Education Systems. A Virtual Education System addresses all the major issues with today’s education process in that it provides each student the personal learning experience with the subject matter expert and monitors progress on a continuous basis allowing immediate reinforcement of instructional means to address issues in understanding and comprehension. The ability to deliver a secure World Class Education that caters to the students ability and allows progress to be based on competency and not on a calendar year or age criteria is key to achieving each student’s maximum ability. It is time for all parents to end this Public Education System fraud that is stealing the future of their children.

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