Chicago School Closings – Keep the kids safe first

Posted: March 22, 2013 by Keith Townsend in Uncategorized
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I really respect Dr. Steve Perry.  He’s truly someone to admire for the work he’s done in creating a model school in CT.  His work on the TVOne show Save my Son is ground breaking.  However, he has strong opinions on what should be done with the schools in Chicago that I don’t entirely agree with him.  In general, I believe that chronic under performing schools should be closed.  Why keep a school that just can’t cut the mustard open?  However, Chicago is in a situation where the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is strap for cash.  They are in a budget hole for 1 Billion Dollars.  One of the ways to help close the gap is to close almost 60 under utilized/under performing schools.  This will force students to potentially go to schools outside of their district.  This isn’t an insignificant number of kids.  Some of the argument from”experts” has been parents and kids just need to deal with the inconvenience in order to provide a better educational environment for the children.



Perry Quote


This isn’t just an issue of “convenience” for parents and kids.  I don’t know if you’ve noticed but kids are getting shot in Chicago.  If you are a single parent and you have to leave to get to work at 6:30 and leave your child on the bus stop at 7:00, this is an issue that needs to be addressed.  We can’t even protect our children when they are going around the corner to the neighborhood school.  How in the world are we going to protect them going to in some cases a marginally better school miles away?  All due respect to Dr. Perry but, I’ll listen to him on this issue when he puts his son on the bus stop by themselves on the corner of 59th and Wood St. in Englewood at 7:00 in the morning for an entire school year.

In choosing between two evils, I choose the option where my child has a higher chance of being safe.  We have to figure out a way to efficiently manage capacity while ensuring we are protecting these kids on the way to school. We can’t just say “shut them down” without considering child safety first.


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