May 16, 2013 5
Why is deficit-challenged CPS proposing to spend over $1 million a year to “turn around” each of six schools, using a program that’s produced mediocre results — especially when teachers at four of the schools have voted to support a far cheaper and more effective turnaround proposal?
Could the political connections of the Academy for Urban School Leadership — whose big-dollar donors include major contributors to Mayor Emanuel, like David Vitale, Penny Pritzker and Bruce Rauner — have something to do with it?
Of twelve turnaround schools listed on AUSL’s website which the group took over between 2006 and 2010, ten of them are on academic probation today. Only one of them is rated as Level 1 — “high performing” — by CPS.
Of those twelve schools, eleven were below the CPS district-wide average for ISAT composite scores. AUSL’s top-scoring school had a composite score that was equal to the CPS average, which is lower than half its schools.
Three AUSL turnarounds at CPS high schools are abject failures, with scores far below district averages and negligible growth.