November 5, 2009

Parents, Activists Say Renaissance 2010 Exacerbates Youth Violence

Listen to the full audio here:

Produced by Linda Lutton on Wednesday, October 28, 2009 

Parents, activists and some former CPS students are saying that Chicago school officials ignored their warnings that school closings would cause increased violence.
The activists say closing schools forces kids to cross neighborhood boundaries and attend schools where they’re not wanted. And they say they’ve been warning school officials for years at public hearings that closing schools would increase youth violence. Matthew Johnson spoke to reporters before addressing the Board of Education today:

JOHNSON: I was a parent, I spoke out over a year ago. The kids was talking about things like this before it even happened. 'Aw…they gonna bring them over here, we gonna do this to them.' This was shared more than a year ago. I told them that would be a bad move to even make that decision. CPS does not want to hear us.

A separate report out today looks at the educational impact of school closings. It finds that kids whose schools were closed tend to end up in other low performing schools; most students continue the same learning trajectory they were on before their school shut down.

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