Jeanne Marie Olson is a public school parent, a qualitative researcher and an independent consultant. She lectured for 10 years at Northwestern University for the Masters of Science in Learning and Organizational Change program; worked as a researcher for NU’s Institute of Learning Sciences; and earned her MSEd in 1996. Now she does education field research and program planning in Ethiopia. For more about why she started this project, click here. And for the timeline of this project as it has progressed thus far, click here. Jeanne is also a member of the SchoolCuts.org team.
Josh Kalov is a data analyst and developer who has a special interest in open government, public education, and Chicago Public Schools specifically. Josh is also a member of the SchoolCuts.org team.
i live in a chicago suburb..but i caught the chicago tonite show on PBS wed nite. It is concerning to me that so many chicago schools are being closed at one time, and that additional schools will be affected because they will be ‘welcoming’ schools; the large amount of financing that will be incurred to remodel the ‘welcoming’ schools; the projected size of classrooms(30 students); the school utilization ratios(not seeming to take in to account special needs classrooms(SCUs), etc. Many residents, also, talk about the loss to the community of the school as a special ‘hub’ for the neighborhood.
From what little i know..it seems the school administration is saying …’don’t be concerned about the loss of the community ‘hub’..we will find other uses for the closed school(??!) as you, JMO, are pointing out…i am very concerned about IFF — it appears to be getting bigger in the funding of charter school development (& it’s like-minded organization on the east coast- TRF-of which trinita logue(who started IFF) is on TRF’s board.. IFF appears to be a community development ‘nonprofit’ which is targeting the midwest)
these appear to be organizations that garner credits/matching funds from the federal govt, & banks etc in order to loan/finance non-profits who would have trouble getting all their funding from a traditional bank..that’s very noble..BUT, i sure hope CPS is not closing a particular school in order for an IFF kind of redevelopment, where IFF provides funding to a non-profit(charter, health care, senior living, etc) to purchase a CPS bldg for ‘cents on a dollar’ !
also, troubling is IFF’s strong endorsement of The Charter Schools Lenders Coalition in their IFF’s may newsletter with a full page ad in ROLL CALL. Some ideas of IFF ..”IFF believes that every child deserves the opportunity to attend a good school near where they live..” (hmmm too bad CPS children can’t have that!) and IFF is…” helping them(charter schools) to acquire vacant school district buildings”… in essence, if charter schools buy closed CPS schools, the chicago taxpayer pays first to build the schools, and then pays federal income tax to give a charter school organization a tax break to buy the closed CPS.