November 5, 2009

Report: CPS School Closings Neither Help Nor Hurt Learning


Visit http://www.wbez.org/Content.aspx?audioID=37731# to hear the full Audio.

Produced by Linda Lutton on Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A study out today finds that Chicago’s practice of shutting down schools has not helped the vast majority of kids academically.

The University of Chicago report tracked more than 5,000 students who were displaced by school closings. The district has closed dozens of schools because of poor performance or under-enrollment. 


Study co-author Marisa de la Torre says when kids find out their school is being closed, their academics suffer temporarily. 

DE LA TORRE: And the effects after, when they move to the receiving schools, it really depends on the characteristics of the receiving schools they go into.

Most displaced students ended up in other low performing schools. Just 6 percent ended up in significantly better schools; those kids did see improved academic success. 

The study didn’t examine social or emotional effects of school closings on kids. Nor did it examine whether the closings influence school violence. 

Spokeswoman Monique Bond called the study fair, and said CPS will consider the report as it develops future school closing policies.

Photo by Max Klingensmith.

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