10 Chicago Public Schools Targeted For ‘Turnaround’

CHICAGO (CBS) — Hundreds of pink slips might soon be on the way for principals, teachers and staff members at 10 Chicago Public Schools.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to turn the low-performing schools around and he wants to use a certain educational model to do it at most of them, despite protests from the Chicago Teachers Union.

CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports that the mayor promised to do this during his campaign and he was clear about his support of the Academy for Urban School Leadership, which will be the model for most of the schools targeted for turnarounds.

But the teachers union was asking “where’s the transparency?”

LISTEN: WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore Reports

Emanuel wants the targeted schools to have classrooms led by teachers trained at the Academy for Urban School Leadership, guided by a principal with the same background.

“It’s a model that has proven – not once, not twice, but repetitively – successful across the city, in different parts of the city,” Emanuel said.

That’s why the mayor and CPS Chief Executive Officer Jean-Claude Brizard have targeted six low-performing schools for AUSL turnarounds next year.

That means every single staff member at those schools will get fired and the staff will be reassembled from scratch.

“You have to hit a restart button. You can’t have a teacher or a principal on their lone, stand and try to change,” Emanuel said.

“You need an environmental change, to effectuate the change you’re looking for,” Brizard added.

Currently, 12 Chicago schools, like Morton School of Excellence, have undergone that change and Emanuel said scores are up at those schools.

But a clean staff sweep doesn’t sit well with some parents of kids at targeted schools, like Theodore Herzl Elementary School.

“I don’t think they should fire the whole staff, because Herzl do have good teachers. It’s some good teachers that is there,” said Herzl mother Tequila Burts.

CTU President Karen Lewis said, “I am against taking every single adult out of the building and destabilizing that school.”

The union said that other turnaround strategies are out there, but Emanuel says the AUSL model is working and, because AUSL teachers have to sign a five-year contract, the city will save money in the long run.

The mayor pointed out that half of new teachers leave CPS after less than five years.

“Every training dollar we train an AUSL teacher, they stay through the hardest years of their education and once they’re past five years, they stay,” Emanuel said. “So we’re getting for the taxpayers, a return on their investment.”

The ten schools targeted for turnaround are:

• Pablo Casals Elementary School
• Brian Piccolo Elementary Specialty School
• Theodore Herzl Elementary School
• Carter G Woodson South Elementary School
• Melville W Fuller Elementary School
• Marquette Elementary School
• Wendell Smith Elementary School
• Amos Alonzo Stagg Elementary School
• Edward Tilden Career Community Academy High School
• Chicago Vocational Career Academy High School

CPS officials said the cost to train AUSL teachers adds up to about $400 more per student.

The turnaround plan has to be approved by the Chicago Board of Education, which will also weigh in on any announced school closings – slated to be discussed later this week.

Two of Emanuel’s top school officials have ties to AUSL, but he said that has nothing to do with his decision.

  • Jim Hamilton

    The kids will look at this as a victory for their rebellious nature. Perhaps thats what Democrats consider a good education. This is how Liberals recrcuit.

    If you don’t like athority rebell and the liberals will feel sorry for you
    Don’t do your home work
    Be lazy the world owes you a living
    Grow up and take to the streets
    show the violent nature that worked so well for you in school that the teachers got fired

    GO OCCUPY (Democrats promote degeneracy)

  • Migrant3

    Politicians have been trying to turn around these schools for 50 years. No success yet! Fifty years ago The Chicago Public Schools were successful. What has happened?

  • Migrant 3

    Reading these articles makes me think that Rahm Emanuel is taking lessons from Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin.

    • LOTD

      IF only that were true!!! You democratic union fux can kiss my @ ss !!! Let me guess, you’re a CPS employee or some other absolutely worthless unionized public sector employee?? Keep voting us into socialism you fool, because I can GUARANTEE you that a majoirty of people are tired of this sh!t !!!

  • dj

    Why don’t you listen to the teachers. And others who know the schools better than you. Tilden will not make a better school because you are letting teachers go. The problem with this school is the students themselves. They don’t like authority. They walk in the middle of the street, have the pants hanging down all the time. You need to sit outside for a few weeks to get an eyeful of what goes on.

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