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Hyde Park Career Academy to become an IB school

3-8-06 Hyde Park Career Academy. 6220 S. Stony IslAvenue. Chicago Illinois. Exterior view Hyde Park Career Academy Wednesday afternomaentrence school.

3-8-06 Hyde Park Career Academy. 6220 S. Stony Island Avenue. Chicago, Illinois. Exterior view of Hyde Park Career Academy Wednesday afternoon the main entrence of the school. Photo by Scott Stewart/Sun-Times

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Updated: August 14, 2012 6:23AM

Hyde Park Career Academy in Woodlawn will become Chicago’s fourth public high school devoted exclusively to the rigorous International Baccalaureate diploma program tailor-made to prepare students for college.

Hyde Park joins Clemente Community Academy, Senn High School and the new Back of the Yards High School scheduled to open in 2013 as the only “wall-to-wall” IB high schools in the Chicago Public Schools. One more is scheduled to be announced in the coming weeks.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the switch Thursday flanked by politicians, religious and community leaders who had lobbied him hard to become one of the chosen five. They included Byron Brazier, the Apostolic Church of God pastor who co-chaired Emanuel’s transition team.

IB students are 40 percent more prepared to attend a four-year college, 50 percent more likely to get into a selective college and 90 percent certain to stay in college for at least two years, according to University of Chicago researchers.

“The IB program is one of the most exciting things — making sure our parents and their children have more choices, more rigorous choices, more educationally excellent choices,” Emanuel told a news conference at the 1,200-student school, 6220 S. Stony Island.

“I’m also excited about Dr. Brazier’s vision for the community: To make sure that, in 6th, 7th and 8th grade, we’re getting that rigor — not just in high school [but] all the way down to the early childhood education.”

The Chicago IB program that’s been stuck in place since 1995 selects students based on several factors and weeds out those unlikely to succeed. That will not be the case for the five new exclusive IB schools.

“That was one of my requirements: that every kid in Woodlawn goes,” Brazier said.

He proposed an IB “feeder” program to prepare students for sixth-eighth grades, saying, “It’s unfair to have somebody test in when there’s a system that is not adequately preparing them. It’s not their fault. So, we have to get the system to actually prepare them properly.”

Brazier called the full-time IB program a “culture changing initiative” that would establish “new thought leaders” within the African-American community.

“We appreciate the financial and intellectual investment into the Woodlawn community,” he said.

Emanuel announced the fourth all-IB school on the morning after a raucous public hearing on the proposed, $5.7 billion school budget.

A crowd packed with supporters of the Chicago Teachers Union jeered plans to “stand tall’’ on controversial charter schools and invest an extra $76 million in them while draining Chicago Public School reserves down to zero.

On Thursday, the mayor made no apologies for his massive investment in charter schools.

“Every charter in this city has a line of people that, more want to get in than we have capacity

“I cannot, as a parent, say to those people who want that charter, ‘You’re not gonna get it because of ideology.’”

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