In Chicago, and nationally, if schools don’t “work” we close them down or turn them around. If we take a look at why they do not “work” however, we see a pattern of strategic decision-making:
1) Chronically under-resource a school.
2) Declare it a “failure” after when you have a couple years of test-score results.
3) Throw it away and tell the students and educators to go elsewhere.
4) Re-open the building as a charter school with a $1 lease the following year.
Chicago attorney and edu-journalist Matt Farmer recently reported on the timeline to close Walter Dyett HS in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood.
All the rest is connecting the dots, and following the money.
Also, check out WBEZ’s map and chart for turnarounds and closures since 2001. They also list the reasons given for each school action.