All charter schools removed from Byrd Bennett's latest list
A comparison between the two lists of what she called "underutilized" schools — the first with 330 schools listed; the latest consisting of 129 schools — shows that every charter school that was considered by CPS criteria "underutilized" previously has been removed from the list. Despite numerous community and professional critiques of the claims of rampant "underutilization," CPS has continued with its previous talking points. On February 13, Byrd Bennett produced yet another Power Point, this one of nine pages, further adjusting the explanation of the situation.
On February 13, 2013, Byrd Bennett provided some reporters with a copy of all the information CPS was providing to some reporters as semi-secret press meetings. (Substance learned of the press breifings, arrived at CPS headquarters, and was eventually able to get the materials from Byrd Bennett).
But the major shift in Byrd-Bennett's approach to charter schools even contradicted what she herself had told the Board of Education meeting a mere three weeks earlier. At the January 23, 2013 meeting of the Board, during her presentation on the "underutilization" and school closing stuff, Byrd Bennett declared that charters would be held to the "same standards" as the city's real public schools. For some, those words meant that Chicago charters which were "underutilized" by CPS definitions were to face the same examination and possible closing. By January 2013, despite all the claims of Chicago charter propagandists, the attentive public could see that a large number of Chicago charters, from across the city, were "underutilized" using the same examination procedures that Byrd Bennett had been applying to the city's real public schools.
And so it was that the initial list produced by CPS officials, consisting of 330 schools, noted that nearly a majority of the city's charter schools were, by CPS definitions, "underutilized."
At that time, Byrd Bennett's office listed all those charters (like, for example, the "Providence Englewood" charter inside the Bunche school on S. Ashland) and so-called "campuses" (like, for example, the majority of "campuses" of the University of Chicago charter schools, or the scandalous Aspira Haugan building on the north side) on its initial list.
These included schools and "campuses" of every major charter provider in Chicago, including the UNO charter schools and the Noble Street charter schools, both of which have been particularly favored by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his corporate propagandists.
The publication of the list effectively should have effectively ended the claim by Chicago charter schools and their propagandists (especially the corporate people operating Phyllis Lockett's charter school propaganda offices out of the offices of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago) that there was a major demand for the charters — and for charter expansion — based on the existence of a so-called "waiting list." The "waiting list" lie was first promoted by Arne Duncan by 2005, when he served as CEO of CPS (2001 - 2008). It became part of the national propaganda on behalf of charter school "choice" after President Obama made Duncan U.S. Secretary of Education in January 2009 and has been repeated endlessly from coast to coast, without its ever being FACT CHECKED) since.
Yet between January 23 and February 13, Byrd Bennett Orwellianized her phrasings again. Charters, it turns out, will not face the same criteria for "underututilization" and closing as being faced now by the city's real public schools. Once again, they continue the privileges -- and expansion -- that has been a Chicago hallmark since Chicago became a national center for all of the lies and giveaways propelling charterization of the nation's public schools over the past decade.
But readers don't have to believe me. Barbara Byrd Bennett distributed both her "initial list" (of 330 schools, including high schools and charters) on February 13, 2013, along with the latest list of the still Hit List targeted 129 schools that now face the axe as the hearings and politics move forward.
BELOW IS A LIST OF ALL THE UNDERUTILIZED CHARTERS AND CAMPUSES THAT CPS NOTICED IN THE INITAL LIST OF 330 SCHOOLS:
CHARTERS IN THE AUSTIN-NORTH LAWNDALE 'NETWORK'
Austin Business and Entrepreneurship High School (located inside the Austin High School building).
Frazier Elementary (just converted to a charter).
KIPP Ascend (which has been moving around for years and is currently located on the West Side).
Noble Street (Silver Campus)
North Lawndale Charter High School (Collins Campus)
Voice High School (located inside the Austin High School building).
CHARTERS IN THE BURNHAM PARK 'NETWORK'
Perspectives IIT "Campus"
Shabazz Charter HS (at the DuSable High School building)
University of Chicago Charter (Donoghue Campus)
University of Chicago Charter (Woodson Campus)
Urban Prep Charter (Bronzeville Campus)
ENGLEWOOD GRESHAM NETWORK
Amandla Charter High School
Montessori Charter (Englewood)
Noble Street Charter (Johnson Campus)
Providence-St. Mel's Charter (at Bunche elementary)
Shabazz Charter (Sizemore Campus)
Urban Prep Charter (Englewood HS building campus)