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CPS Closures: Will it Really Improve the School System?

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Major changes are on the horizon for more than a dozen Chicago Public Schools that suffer from low test scores or under-enrollment. The solutions CPS has in store for these schools are drastic—they range from consolidating students to replacing staff or closing the school entirely. It's not the first time CPS has tried this and faced criticism for it. But Mayor Richard Daley says closures are a step toward providing better quality education. But is it an effective leap? WBEZ's education reporter Linda Lutton and Elaine Allensworth the Interim co-director of the Consortium on Chicago School Research give insight about the situation. The consortium's new book, Organizing Schools for Improvement: Lessons from Chicago is based on 20 years of Chicago data. Allensworth and the other authors identified the “five essential supports” schools must have to improve: school leadership, parent and community ties, professional capacity of the faculty, school learning climate, and instructional guidance.

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