CPS to close at least 20 schools

December 22, 2008

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The Chicago Public School district is planning on shutting down at least 20 schools. A group of Chicago teachers is calling for a moratorium on school closings.

School closings have become an annual ritual in Chicago. District spokesman David Pickens:

PICKENS: In schools that are performing poorly, we feel we have an obligation to do something dramatic to turn those schools around.

Last week, president elect Barack Obama praised schools chief Arne Duncan for his willingness to close struggling schools and start new ones in their place.

But some teachers believe the closings are an attack on veteran teachers and a smokescreen for privatizing schools. Jackson Potter is part of a new caucus of the Chicago Teachers Union.

POTTER: The problem is really lack of commitment to these schools, to these teachers--who know what they need to improve education but they're not getting the support they need to do that.

CPS will announce the list of schools in January. All staff at the shuttered schools will be terminated.

I'm Linda Lutton. Chicago Public Radio.