Tuesday, April 2, 2013

CReATE Researchers Issue Open Letter on School Closures

Education Scholars Agree Chicago School Closures are Ill-Advised and Unsupported by Data

 An Open Letter of Concern to
Mayor Rahm Emanuel,
Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett
and the Chicago School Board

We, the undersigned, call upon the Chicago Board of Education to reject the closing of 54 schools at their May meeting, and instead, to implement reforms that are guided by solid research and by a vision of public education that offers every child the very best that our city has to offer.  We also urge consulting with the professors in CReATE, who bring both scholarly and practical expertise on these issues.

Chicagoland Researchers and Advocates for Transformative Education (CReATE), a network of over 100 professors from numerous Chicago-area universities who specialize in educational research, has reviewed the literature on school closures and conducted an analysis of newly released data to critically assess Chicago Public Schools arguments to justify school closures and to gain a better understanding of what Chicago residents can expect from massive school closures.  The history of previous school closures and school actions reveal that closures negatively impact academic performance and create more hardship for communities already suffering from social abandonment.  Our findings do not support CPS’ arguments for closing schools and we conclude that school closures will contribute to a separate and unequal educational system in Chicago.  

Primary Contact: Prof. Stephanie Farmer, Roosevelt University, sfarmer@roosevelt.edu, 312-341-3746.  Complete list of 107 Chicago-area Education Researchers who signed this letter available at http://tinyurl.com/bn34ncb

UPDATE April 3, 2013 - Education Researchers Nationwide endorse CReATE Open Letter. 
A complete list of the 100 education researchers from across the country who have added their signatures to the CReATE Open Letter is available at http://tinyurl.com/buasg2m.