Local News

Parents protest CPS plan to convert school into military academy

In the face of significant opposition, Chicago’s Board of Education voted to approve a controversial plan for Ames Middle School in the city’s Logan Square neighborhood.  The board, with the backing of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and 26th ward alderman, Roberto Maldonado, approved the plan to convert Ames into the city’s next military service academy.


“We conducted a scientific poll, with the help of a professional research firm, “ Maldonado says.  “And we found 72% of parents of the people we polled are in favor and support bringing the Marine Math & Science Academy here.”


But at an emotional Board of Ed meeting today, opponents voiced their displeasure.  “In our community, Marine Academy is not welcome,” one parent says.  “Look for another place.”


Many parents say the school board and Alderman Maldonado failed to get input from the Ames community.  And they say they’ve got thousands of signatures from Logan Square residents, opposing the conversion.


Despite the criticism, Maldonado says he’s convinced the new Marine Academy will be a great opportunity for many families – pointing to service leadership academies across the city – with substantially higher attendance and graduation rates and close to 90% of graduates going on to college.


3 Comments to “Parents protest CPS plan to convert school into military academy”

    Brian Millersmith said:
    December 18, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    Well, of COURSE you can get 72% – when you do "selective polling."

    Dick Beninya said:
    December 19, 2013 at 6:02 AM

    Yeah, who wants math and science! Bring on more sports and recreation!

    Joanna said:
    December 19, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    For the record, Ames Middle School is close to the NW edge of Madonado's ward and many of its students come from other wards. And as Maldonado told parents who visited him in his office: "I don't care where your kids go to school. You don't live in my ward." To the alderduke, the beautiful Ames building is just a piece of property; Maldonado support comes from the SE end of his ward, far from Ames. And he has lied about Ames from the very beginning, but always far from Ames.
    Madonado waged his campaign for more than 3 years, but never set foot in Ames to talk with parents. To him, the fact that the neighborhood school has 600 students, functions well and has many strong community partnerships is irrelevant, let alone the opinions of the students and parents. Its all politics of the worst kind.

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