How A “Win-Win” For A Chicago Alternative School Firm Dashed Dreams For Others

Marconi
The former Marconi Elementary Community Academy at 230 N. Kolmar Ave. in Chicago. Sarah Karp / WBEZ
Marconi
The former Marconi Elementary Community Academy at 230 N. Kolmar Ave. in Chicago. Sarah Karp / WBEZ

How A “Win-Win” For A Chicago Alternative School Firm Dashed Dreams For Others

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WBEZ reported on Monday about a small company’s remarkable rise in Chicago.

Camelot Education broke into Chicago by making deals with a handful of South and West side pastors to open alternative schools in their facilities.

Camelot calls this a win-win for the company and the pastors, who benefited financially from their ties to Camelot.

But there were casualties along the way. In Garfield Park, a woman named Angela Taylor dreamed of a new home for kids’ programming in a shuttered Chicago Public school, formerly known as Marconi elementary.

That was scuttled when Camelot and a local pastor worked out a deal behind closed doors. In the end, Taylor had to settle for dashed dreams and just a few classrooms.

WBEZ’s Sarah Karp tells us about Taylor and a community that lost out.

This story is part of a WBEZ Education series looking at the costs of Chicago’s newest alternative schools. Read the others in the series:

* Pastors, Savvy Connections and Chicago Schools: How One Private Company Raked in $10 million

* CPS Paying for Re-Enrolled Dropouts, Even If They Cut Class

Sarah Karp is a reporter for WBEZ. Follow her at @sskedreporter or @wbezeducation.