The Crusader Newspaper Group

To learn about improving urban public schools, we should study Chicago. Yes, Chicago.

By Valerie Strauss,

It was five years ago that Chicago officials closed some 50 public schools in a move that drew widespread protests from the community. Now there are plans to close four more schools in a high-crime area and build a new $85 million high school.

Officials say the plan — which includes allowing private charter operators to open publicly funded schools on two of the shuttered sites — will reverse a trend of under-enrollment and help neighborhood students. Community members say that is not so, and the kids who will wind up getting hurt are mostly black students from low-income families who will be sent to other schools. Meanwhile, they say, the new high school will primarily benefit white students.


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