This Week in Ed 12.1.17: CPS Announces More School Closings

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CPS announces school actions

CPS today announced that they’ll close NTA and four high schools in Englewood (Harper, Hope, Robeson and TEAM Englewood.) CPS will co-locate two charter schools with neighborhood schools. CPS will consolidate Ogden/Jenner and Cardenas/Castellanos. Henry and Haugan Elementaries will add 7th & 8th grades while Roosevelt High School phases out their 7th & 8th grades. CPS posted a list of these actions here, including dates for community meetings and hearings.

The four Englewood high schools will be closed at the end of this school year, June 2018, and then there will be no public high schools in Englewood. CPS says they plan to build a new high school in the fall of 2019. Where are the students at the four Englewood high schools going to go next fall?  Students at Harper High school walked out of class this morning as a response to the announcement.

NTA is a high-performing, majority African-American elementary school with 700 students. By CPS’ own criteria, this is a model school. They are closing it so the building can be used as a new high school in the South Loop. No details were given on this high school in the transition plan. Boundaries for this high school are yet to be released.

CPS also plans to vote to approve a new charter school next week affiliated with New Life Church and financially supported in part by an investment firm founded by Common, son of Board of Ed member Mahalia Hines. CPS backs this charter school, and it will be co-located with Hirsch HS, a neighborhood high school.

WBEZ: Controversial Charter School Backed By Common Wins CPS Recommendation

CPS continues their trend of opening and closing schools with no plan and no accountability. We’ve been saying for years that CPS needs a comprehensive, transparent facilities plan and an elected school board that’s accountable to the public and not the mayor. Read our statement on the proposed school actions here.

Other takes:

Chicago ReporterSchool closing and opening pattern shows Chicago doesn’t have a plan

WBEZ: Will Chicago Close Another 50 Schools?

The South Side WeeklyOpinion: CPS’s Unsettling Answers

Backpack Full of Cash screening tomorrow in Hyde Park!

We still have a few tickets left! Buy them online here. Join us tomorrow at 9:30am (doors at 9:15am) at Hyde Park’s Harper Theater for this moving new documentary about the privatization of public education, narrated by Matt Damon, followed by a short community discussion after the film.

CPS responds to ISBE on special ed front

CPS wrote a letter to ISBE in response to the joint letter many groups including RYH delivered to ISBE two weeks ago.  CPS says they welcome a “working group”, but that is not what the signers of the letter were requesting.

If you are a parent and your child is not getting appropriate services for their IEP or 504 plan, contact us at

WTTW: CPS Asks State to Help Reform Special Education Offerings

In other news

WGN: Rodent infestation at CPS school leads to angry stand off; School fails inspection

Note: Mollison ES was a receiving school for Overton ES during the mass school closings. Parents have been to the unelected BOE multiple times requesting overcrowding relief.

Chicago TribuneCan these Chicago high schools survive?

Sun-TimesAs city weighs more school closures, Chicago parents speak out


The Hechinger ReportA school once known for gang activity is now sending kids to college

CBS: Lawndale School Counselor Named Best in the Country by ASCA

WBEZ: Phillips Academy Celebrates 2nd State Title in 3 Years

WBEZ: Cinderella Chicago Football Team Heads to State, Aiming for Repeat

Sun-TimesHoliday homework: Learn your family’s history

Upcoming events

⟹ Backpack Full of Cash screening in Hyde Park

Sat Dec 2, 9:30am

Harper Theater, 5238 S Harper Ave

Tickets are $5 for this screening. Buy them in advance online. We expect this showing to sell out.

⟹ Nov/Dec consolidated meeting: Chicago Unelected Board of Ed

Online registration to speak or observe Mon Dec 4, 10:30am

Meeting Wed Dec 6, 10:30am

CPS, 42 W. Madison

Please contact us at if you need more information or advice.

⟹ The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

Presentation by Richard Rothstein and response by Natalie Moore

Wed Dec 6, 5:00 - 8:00pm

CTU Center, 1901 W Carroll


What Makes A School Great? Public Forum

Tues, Jan 30, 7:00pm

Kenwood High School, 5015 S. Blackstone