At a time when the district is facing a one billion dollar budget deficit, CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett announces plans for a stronger education at Chicago Public Schools.
Byrd-Bennett calls her vision “simple and profound.” It is a 5 point plan to send CPS students moving forward. A task that may not be all that simple after a contentious teacher strike last Fall and more recently, the closings of 52 schools.
She laid out details of her 5 year district action plan with actually very few details at all.
- Pillar 1 talks about raising standards. CPS will be offering universal full day kindergarten for the first time.
- Pillar 2 addresses creating systems of support, tackling high truancy rates. In preschool truancy rates are 25%. CPS wants problems at home to get attention.
- Pillar 3 empowers and engages families.
- Pillar 4 discusses getting committed teachers and staff.
- Pillar 5 is all about accountability-fiscal and operational.
All of this is a plan to bring students, parents and teachers to the table together for one goal: Children preparing for real life.
But many questions remain about how the school closings will affect our system in Chicago just one week after Philadelphia let go of 3,000 employees when they closed about 24 schools. The affects here may not be as dramatic when it comes to layoffs, but change, how much and exactly what, is the question.