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Study: School Turnarounds Don’t Work

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A school hallway (CBS)

A school hallway (CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — A new study is throwing cold water on Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s school “turnaround” effort.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, Mayor Emanuel says replacing entire school staffs, or turning schools over to charter school operators, are the best ways to get children learning.

But a new study says that is not true.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports

READ THE STUDY

The study by Designs for Change says about 33 neighborhood schools with at least 95 percent low-income students outscored poor turnaround schools run by the Academy for Urban School Leadership, a charter school operator. The low-income, non-turnaround schools even beat the city’s test score average, the study said.

The study also says low achievement and high teacher turnover at schools that were turned around happened despite the extra dollars those schools receive.

The Chicago School Board is set to vote Wednesday on a plan to administer turnarounds at 10 Chicago Public Schools, and close or phase out seven more.

CPS chief education officer Noemi Donoso said Tuesday that schools that have already gone through the turnaround process are doing better.

“What we know is that our schools that are having the most aggressive growth that are low performing, are getting growth somewhere from 4 to 6 percent a year; sometimes even 8 to 10 percent,” she said.

But parents and teachers have been protesting the turnaround plan, and are urging the board to vote against it.

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