4 CPS charter schools targeted for closure

Four Chicago Public Schools charter schools that have been "chronically underperforming" could be closed.

CPS CEO Forest Claypool said in a statement Thursday that the four schools that he recommends that the Board of Education revoke or don't renew the charters at the end of this school year.

The four schools are Amandla Charter High School, Betty Shabazz - Barbara A. Sizemore Academy Elementary School, CICS - Larry Hawkins High School and Bronzeville Lighthouse Charter Elementary School.

According to CPS, the schools are on the Academic Warning List and were designated to receive additional scrutiny because they were either on last year's Warning List or were in the final year of their contract.

Amandla, Shabazz-Sizemore and CICS-Hawkins were on last year's Warning List, CPS said, and were required last year to submit a remediation plan detailing how they would address their poor performance. CPS officials said they have reviewed the schools' remediation plans and determined they failed to adequately implement their plans and improve outcomes for students. Due to their failure to implement remediation plans, CPS is recommending the revocation of each school's charter at the conclusion of this school year.

In addition to the revocation of three charters, CPS is recommending the non-renewal of Bronzeville Lighthouse Charter, which is in the final year of its contract. CPS recommends not renewing Bronzeville Lighthouse because it has failed to meet the District's performance standards during its contract.

Last week, CPS changed its charter accountability policy to allow the district to take action against poor performers.

In response to the announcement, the Illinois Network of Charter Schools released a statement that said: "The Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) has always stood for quality. Over the past several years, we have worked with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to ensure that the charter school movement fulfills its promise of providing a high-quality education for all children. The news today that CPS is moving to close four charter public schools is an extension of that work. Quality and accountability are at the very heart of the charter movement, and we remain steadfastly committed to those ideals. We have an equal obligation to ensure that any students affected by closures have access to high-quality public schools, charter or otherwise. We will work with the schools and families impacted by these closings to guarantee that each student receives the excellent education they deserve."
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