Support Stockton School

Petition to President Obama to end education policies that promote the closing of public schools

Petition to President Obama to end education policies that promote the closing of public schools

While we are making sure that Stockton School remains an integral part of the Uptown community, many public schools across the nation are facing the spectre of closure while well-connected charter school executives profit from the diverted funds.  Sign this petition on the White House official website to support fully funded public schools across the nation.

Mass school closings have proven to be disruptive to low-income minority communities, and the negative impact could outweigh the benefits. Students who transfer as a result of school closings could initially lose up to 6 months in academic achievement. Under-performing neighborhood schools are typically replaced by charter schools that perform no better. It takes at least 5 years for new schools to fully develop. In some districts nearly 40% of charters have experienced serious cash flow problems, and a significant number are having difficulty complying with state-mandated pension funding requirements. Across the nation, it is expected that 15% of charter schools will fail. Low-income minority students, who are already struggling, cannot afford such instability.

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CPS: Renovations At Underutilized Uptown Schools Would Cost About $34M

Via DNAinfo.com

Ald. James Cappleman (46th) told DNAinfo.com Chicago in November that he expected “some tough decisions,” to address the high vacancy rate in schools and “wouldn’t be surprised,” if that includes school closings in Uptown. The proportion of children in the 46th Ward who are under age 18 is 12.25 percent, more than 10 percentage points lower than the city average, according to Cappleman’s office.

Filling every available space (including displacing most non-general education- such as special area teachers, English Language Learners teachers, special education teachers, Center for Native American Studies, and support for the hearing impaired- from their classrooms) would allow for 25 total general education teachers at Stockton. That would require 40.8 students per classroom in order to reach the 1020 student mark mentioned by CPS representatives in this article.

WBEZ- Independence of Independent School Commission Questioned

Read the full WBEZ News Education Report

The independent Commission on School Utilization was named by Chicago Public Schools’ CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett to examine the school closings issue, specifically underutilized schools.

But the commission is being assisted behind the scenes by the Civic Consulting Alliance—a politically connected nonprofit that deploys business consultants to city government.

New York Times Reports on Poverty and Performance

Some interesting articles from the New York Times about how poverty affects performance in public schools and continues into college and beyond.

NYT- For Many Poor Students, Leap to College Ends in a Hard Fall

Poor students have long trailed affluent peers in school performance, but from grade-school tests to college completion, the gaps are growing. With school success and earning prospects ever more entwined, the consequences carry far: education, a force meant to erode class barriers, appears to be fortifying them.

Affluent Students Have an Advantage and the Gap Is Widening

Low-income students with above-average scores on eighth grade tests have a college graduation rate of 26 percent — lower than more affluent students with worse test scores. Thirty years ago, there was a 31 percentage point difference in the share of affluent and poor students who earned a college degree. Now the gap is 45 points. The gap has also grown in college entrance rates and spending per child on tutors, sports, music and other enrichment activities.