School’s Out: Chicago Plans The Nation’s Largest Public School Closures

May 24, 2013  |  

In what will be the largest closing of public schools in U.S. history, the Chicago Board of Education voted to shutter 50 Chicago public schools. Chicago is the nation’s third-largest district. Initially, the board proposed 54 schools for closure, reports The Huffington Post.

“A handful of schools — Leif Ericson, Marcus Garvey, George Manierre and Mahalia Jackson — got an eleventh-hour reprieve ahead of the vote after CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett withdrew her recommendations to close the four schools,” writes HuffPo. One school — Canter Leadership Academy — on the closure list will close a year after the others.

Of course, the move has outraged educators, such as Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis.  The education of the children of Chicago “has been hijacked by an unrepresentative, unelected corporate school board, acting at the behest of a mayor who has no vision for improving the education of our children,” Lewis said in a press statement. “Closing schools is not an education plan. It is a scorched earth policy.”

The battle over Chicago’s public schools has been raging for months now, with a huge teacher’s strike taking place back in the winter. At the time, there were also charges of racism in the system as an overwhelming majority of the students who attended schools that had been shut down to that point (88 percent) were African American.

Chicago parents — Let us know about your thoughts and concerns.

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