School Choice & Charters

Chicago Eyes 16 New Schools

By Catherine Gewertz — November 15, 2005 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Chicago, which is pursuing a controversial plan to replace struggling schools with charter-like schools, has unveiled a new group of contenders vying to move from idea to reality under the program.

Sixteen proposals under the district’s Renaissance 2010 plan are to be considered by the school board this week. If approved, 13 schools would open next fall. Three would open in 2007.

Among the proposals are an all-boys high school designed to prepare a primarily black population for college, and a “virtual” elementary school in which students would do their work at home by computer.

Those 16 schools together would serve about 3,200 students. Another 5,000 students attend 22 new schools already opened under the program, known by local educators as “Ren Ten.”

The new proposals came in response to the second request for school designs that the district has made since the June 2004 unveiling of Renaissance 2010. The five-year program aims to replace 60 or more underattended or underperforming schools with more than 100 smaller, reconfigured schools operated under contract by the district or by outside groups.

All of the new schools will get more freedom from district regulations than regular Chicago schools, but the amount will depend on their model.

Hosanna Mahaley Johnson, who assumed the job of overseeing Renaissance 2010 in May, said she was gratified that the new round of schools would increase educational choice and quality in neighborhoods most in need.

But the project continues to draw fire from the local teachers’ union, largely because under both the charter and contract models, schools would have more freedom to hire uncertified or nonunionized teachers.

Chicago Teachers Union President Marilyn Stewart contends that district Chief Executive Officer Arne Duncan is “talking out of both sides of his mouth” for backing such models, while simultaneously calling for more teachers certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in the city.

Ms. Johnson countered that the district is committed to hiring “highly qualified” teachers for the schools.

“There are still standards,” she said. “People aren’t just being picked up off the street corners.”

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the November 02, 2005 edition of Education Week

Events

Special Education Webinar Reading, Dyslexia, and Equity: Best Practices for Addressing a Threefold Challenge
Learn about proven strategies for instruction and intervention that support students with dyslexia.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Families & the Community Webinar
How Whole-Child Student Data Can Strengthen Family Connections
Learn how district leaders can use these actionable strategies to increase family engagement in their student’s education and boost their academic achievement.
Content provided by Panorama Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
College & Workforce Readiness Webinar
The School to Workforce Gap: How Are Schools Setting Students Up For Life & Lifestyle Success?
Hear from education and business leaders on how schools are preparing students for their leap into the workforce.
Content provided by Find Your Grind

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Choice & Charters Biden Administration Tightens Rules on Charter School Funding Program
The U.S. Department of Education responded to over 25,000 public comments in making its final revision of charter school funding rules.
7 min read
Students in Monica Farren’s 6th grade English class read outside during a poetry exercise at Albert Einstein Academy Charter Middle School in San Diego.
Students in a 6th grade English class read outside during a poetry exercise at Albert Einstein Academy Charter Middle School in San Diego. The U.S. Department of Education released final rules for the Charter School Program, a federal grant that provides money to schools in their first three years of operation.
Sandy Huffaker for Education Week
School Choice & Charters Opinion The Biden Administration Is Right: Charters Need to Be More Accountable
The proposed changes to the federal Charter School Program are just common sense, write Jitu Brown and Randi Weingarten.
Jitu Brown & Randi Weingarten
3 min read
Illustration of students and teachers holding puzzle pieces.
<b>F. Sheehan/Education Week and iStock/Getty</b>
School Choice & Charters What's Behind the Fight Over the Biden Administration's Stance on Charter School Funding
Proposed new rules for federal charter school funding have drawn the ire of many in the charter school community.
8 min read
Publish Charter school parents stage a counter protest as thousands of public school teachers, administrators and supports march through the streets of Sacramento during a protest held at the California State Capitol urging state legislators to provide more funding for public schools in Sacramento, Calif., on May 22, 2019.
Publish Charter school parents stage a counter protest during a march in Sacramento, Calif., that advocated for more funding for public schools in 2019.
Jessica Christian/San Francisco Chronicle via AP
School Choice & Charters Opinion Families May Like Their School But Want More Options. That’s Where Course Choice Comes In
Educational choices have grown inside each school as a result of the pandemic. Families should take advantage of this.
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty