Story URL: http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=100253
Story Retrieval Date: 5/19/2013 9:47:49 PM CST
Susan Dosemagen/ MEDILL
Chicago Public Schools officials said Wednesday that they are so pleased with recent progress in creating new schools that they are moving ahead rapidly with 20 others.
“We had our first replication of district schools and that’s gone extremely well with the Disney II campus opening,” said Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan. “We’re already starting to think of Disney X.”
Disney II Magnet School at 815 N. Kedvale Ave. in Humboldt Park replicates the lakefront Walt Disney Magnet School in Uptown. It was one of 20 new schools to open this fall under Renaissance 2010.
Duncan proposed another 20 schools to the Chicago Board of Education, which is expected to vote on the recommendations at the Oct. 22 meeting. Two UNO Charter Schools in Gage Park, Charter Academy high school set to open in 2010 and Gage Park Elementary set to open in 2009, were approved by the board in September.
Of the 20 proposed schools, 15 are high schools and five are elementary schools. Duncan said the school system is creating more high schools than ever to provide more options and opportunities for students.
“We can’t become complacent, we can’t accept the status quo,” Duncan said, “and one of the places where we’re getting better fast is new school creation.”
If passed by the board, 14 of the schools are scheduled to open next fall and six schools in fall of 2010.
The Renaissance 2010 plan, started four years ago by Mayor Richard M. Daley to create or develop 100 schools by 2010, includes turning around schools that are underperforming.
In his proposal, Duncan included a recommendation to transform six underperforming schools over the summer and reopen in fall of 2009 with new leadership.
Under Renaissance 2010, 75 new schools have been created.