Nearly a decade ago, Chicago Public Schools announced it would shut down three chronically low-performing schools-Williams, Dodge and Terrell. It was Chicago's introduction to "renaissance," to the hope that an entirely new staff- or even some entity other than the school district-could create a high-performing school from the ashes of a struggling one.
Since then, the announcement of school actions-turnarounds, closings and reconfigurations-has become an annual occurrence. Last week, CPS announced it wants to turn around 10 schools (firing all staff) and wholly or partially close eight others.
If the proposals are approved by the district's Board of Education, Chicago will shutter its 100th school since Williams, Terrell and Dodge. WBEZ and Catalyst plotted out annual school closings and turnarounds over the last decade in Chicago. The sortable chart and maps show where schools have been closed or turned around, what's become of the school buildings and how well new schools in those buildings are performing.
The closings and turnarounds have disproportionately affected African American schools on the West and South Sides. Humboldt Park and the Near West Side, followed by Grand Boulevard, have been the locations of the most school actions. Closings are also clustered around former CHA developments.
Very few of the schools shut down have remained vacant. Many house charter schools, magnets or selective enrollment schools. Almost all of the schools that closed were neighborhood schools with attendance boundaries. More than half of the replacement schools admit students by lottery or test scores.
Eighteen percent of the replacement schools (those schools located in buildings where either closure or turnaround has occurred) were rated "Level 1" by CPS this year, the highest performance level. Nearly 40 percent of replacement schools are Performance Level 3, the lowest rating CPS gives.