Sun-Times: CPS Seeks to Shut Down Four Charter Schools in June

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From the Chicago Sun-Times, on November 5, 2015:

Chicago Public Schools is moving to close four underperforming South Side charter schools in June and is encouraging parents of students to find new schools.

CPS said Thursday they’ll shut down Amandla Charter High School, 6800 S. Stewart; Betty Shabazz – Barbara A. Sizemore Academy Elementary School, 6936 S. Hermitage; CICS – Larry Hawkins High School, 801 E. 133rd Place; and Bronzeville Lighthouse Charter Elementary School, 8 W. Root Street.

CPS is revoking the charters of all but Bronzeville Lighthouse, which is about to expire and won’t be renewed.

“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,” CEO Forrest Claypool said in a press release.

All four schools have a student population that’s more than 95 percent African-American and at least 84 percent poor, according to CPS data.

All four had been warned about their poor performance. But CPS said the schools didn’t implement remediation plans or improve academic outcomes of students at Amandla, Sizemore and Hawkins since last year. And Bronzeville Lighthouse still holds CPS’ lowest rating: Level 3.

All four closures will need Board of Education approval; votes are expected to be taken by the end of the year. No formal public hearings are planned, according to CPS.

The district, which still has a $480 million hole in its current operating budget, recently approved two new charter campuses. As it put them forward, it announced tougher standards for all charter schools.

Amandla has vowed to fight.

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