CPS wants to close two low-performing charter schools
BY TINA SFONDELES Staff reporter February 21, 2013 5:06PM
Updated: March 23, 2013 6:34AM
CPS has recommended closing two charter schools — one a high school, the other an elementary school — because of low performance, officials said.
Aspira Charter School’s Mirta Ramirez high school campus on the Northwest Side and Betty Shabazz Charter School’s DuSable campus on the South Side are being recommended for closure through a phase-out process, which CPS says will allow families and students the option to remain at their current school through graduation.
“These are tough choices, but they must be made in order to help our children succeed,” CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said in a statement.
The news came ahead of a public hearing Thursday evening with parents and community members at the Board of Education.
Every school among the 12 charter operators due for renewal recommendations are being reviewed on several factors, including contract compliance, charter governance, history of fiscal management, academic growth and test scores, as well as parent input.
Both schools were identified as being low-performing. And CPS is also recommending the two charter operators be required to meet more specific annual academic benchmarks.
Test scores at both schools were below average last year. At Aspira, just 15.4 percent of 373 total students met state testing standards. At Shabazz, 10.1 percent of 311 total students met state standards in eighth grade.
Also on Thursday, CPS recommended three-year contract renewals for both Architecture, Construction and Engineering Technical Charter School and Community Services West Charter School.
Besides ACE Tech and CSW, all charter operators will be discussed at Thursday’s public hearing. The board will vote on renewal and closure recommendations on Feb. 27.