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