Neighborhood community schools are called neighborhood community schools for a reason.
Ever since Chicago closed 50 schools in May of 2013, we have listened to teachers worrying about the effects on the children who were transferred to so-called welcoming schools. And we have continued to hear laments from the community after neighborhood institutions were shuttered.
Corporate school reformers always claimed that school disruption would save us from the old 20th century status quo. Disruptive school turnarounds—fire the principal, fire half the teachers, charterize or privatize the school, close the school—were the final prescription in the No Child Left Behind Act as the supposed cure for low performance. They were also at the heart of Arne Duncan’s Race to the Top and School Improvement Grants.
In Chicago, where a growing charter school sector has been actively competing with neighborhood schools, competition from privatized charters has exacerbated an already-declining school enrollment. School closures in Chicago have been justified both as the way to…
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