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Saturday, December 30, 2006

Bad News for Big Picture

Last week the Chicago Tribune wrote a small, unsigned and rather scary story about the high school where Dawn and her brother go. I'm pasting it here because the link will expire soon. For now, just read this and reflect on the head of high schools saying central office needs to "make sure our kids are receiving the support they need." (At a price society is willing to pay is the subtext, I'm afraid. And their per pupil costs would likely be slightly lower now if CPS had permitted them a freshman class--they would have had to pay for two more teachers, but the rest of those costs were fixed, I suspect.)

Costly, small high school becomes a closing target

Published December 21, 2006

BACK OF THE YARDS -- Chicago Public Schools is considering phasing out an expensive high school that stresses small classes and internships, officials confirmed Wednesday.

Big Picture-Back of the Yards High School, 4946 S. Paulina St., was not allowed to accept any freshmen this year because district officials had concerns about the academic program at the tiny school, said Donald Pittman, district director of high school programs. Pittman said a decision about the school's future is expected by next month.

The school currently serves about 75 students and has a budget of $1.6 million, which works out to more than $21,000 per student. There are about 25 students each in grades 10 to 12, and class sizes are around 12, compared with 28 in a regular high school class.

"We need to take a closer look at the school ... and make sure our kids are receiving the support they need," Pittman said. "The money is not what's driving it, but it's definitely a factor."

Copyright © 2006, Chicago Tribune


Anonymous said...

Some "renaissance"!

Anonymous said...

I look on this with a rueful mix of feelings. Both my partner and I were treated badly by the schools when we applied for jobs there, having a posiiton or an interview promised only to have it yanked away. I worried this erraticness extended to the teaching, but the schools are clearly the most innovative in Chicago. It is telling of their MO that the schools were not allowed to take on freshmen, sort of like the auto companies ruining the streetcars so they could shut them down. Sad news. Any word if the school in Bronzeville is threatened.

Maritza said...

Though the Trib story focused on Back of the Yards, my understanding is that the other school is on the block as well.

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