Thursday, June 8, 2017

CPS Floats Idea to Turn National Teacher's Academy (55 W. Cermak) into High School to Serve Sloop

Lots of coverage and news coming out of Tuesday night's CPS community meeting regarding schooling in the Sloop and surrounding neighborhoods.  Race and affluence is a key issue being raised (via WBEZ):
Chicago Public Schools proposes converting National Teachers Academy, an elementary school at the southern end of the South Loop, into a high school. This move satisfies the desires of new, wealthier residents in the area who want a high school. But parents of students at NTA, who are mostly black and low-income, don’t want to lose their school and say they are being ignored.

CPS Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson defends this plan, saying it was devised to create more integrated schools and not to exclude the area’s longtime, mostly black, low-income residents. The plan includes moving NTA students to South Loop elementary, which is getting a new building.

“You see a community that welcomes diversity, that has welcomed the idea of merging the two schools [NTA and South Loop], despite some of the socioeconomic and racial differences that exist,” Jackson told WBEZ. “So I think that they are actually a model community for that kind of diversity.”

While that may be spin from the CPS CEO, it's a nice sentiment and something that we agree is a unique quality about the Sloop - it's diversity.  Should be interesting to see how this plays out.

That being said, a high school that adequately serve the neighborhood is sorely needed, so it seems like this is a good development.  We've heard from many people and many families that feel schooling options are limited and thus feel the need to leave the area and the city.  We applaud the city and CPS for at least trying to offer an adequate solution.

Anyway, here are some of the links if you'd like to read further.  For our money the Tribune's is the best and easiest to follow:

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