(CBS) — Mayor Emanuel’s challengers have hammered away at his decision to close 50 schools in Black and Latino neighborhoods during this campaign. But, the Mayor says he’s done what it takes to improve education in those areas, reports WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore.

Mayor Emanuel doesn’t deny his decision to close some 50 Chicago public schools was controversial. It is a major target of the campaigns of his four opponents. But the Mayor says something had to be done about under-performing and under-utilized schools and no one did it before because it was politically difficult. And he had public hearings and a task force help craft the plan.

“The report said there were 3,300 schools that were under-enrolled,” Emanuel said. “We worked through the issues and the recommendations and no high schools would be closed, no level one schools would be closed and the list came down to 49.”

The mayor says the results show most of the student forced to other schools ended up at better ones and some of the buildings are being better utilized now. And while challengers fault him for not listening to the parents, he says there were hearings where hundreds spoke.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is the guest on our “At Issue” this weekend, and you can hear more of his comments coming up at 9:30 p.m.