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Public Comments to CPS Regarding Proposed Turnaround of Chalmers School

Public Comments to CPS Regarding Proposed Turnaround of Chalmers School

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Published by valeriefleonard
Lawndale Alliance public comments regarding the proposed turnaround of Chalmers Specialty Elementary School.
Lawndale Alliance public comments regarding the proposed turnaround of Chalmers Specialty Elementary School.

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Published by: valeriefleonard on May 16, 2013
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09/29/2013

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Public Comments to CPS Regardingthe Proposed AUSL Turnaround of Chalmers SchoolMay 2, 2013
My name is Valerie Leonard, the Co-Founder of the Lawndale Alliance. We are a groupof residents who have come together to address issues of concern to the community, includingeducation, TIF reform and mortgage foreclosure. We are also members of the Committee to Save North Lawndale Schools. We are here today to provide testimony against the proposedturnaround of Chalmers Elementary Specialty School by AUSL.CPS has provided four primary reasons for the proposed turnaround of Chalmers: 1)"Over the last 6 years, Thomas Chalmers Specialty Elementary School(Chalmers) has been on probation and has not made the progress necessary to take it off probation. 2) "We want to provide students with the opportunity to access a high-quality education and get on a path tosuccess in the classroom.." and " create a culture of success at Chalmers in order to give allstudents the high-quality education they deserve. " 3) "The results of these turnaround schools inChicago have been remarkable
 – 
for example, the percent of students at elementary turnaroundschools that met standards last year improved twice as fast as the CPS district-wide average. 4)"We want to provide your child with access to the same opportunities to boost their chance of academic success, which they will receive next school year if this proposal is approved.With respect to point 1), regarding the fact that the school has been on probation and hasnot made sufficient progress, we ask that you consider the fact that education is a developmental process, and that the current principal, Dr. Kent Nolen, has only been at the school 3 years. Inhis short tenure, the number of students meeting or exceeding state standards in readingincreased from 44.6% to 51.5%. This represents a 6.9 point difference (15% growth), ascompared to 6.2 (11% growth) for North Lawndale, 5.6 points for the district (8% growth), and4.9 points for charter schools (7% growth). Likewise, the number of students meeting or exceeding state standards in math increased from 37.3% to 55.1%. This represents a 17.8 pointdifference, (48% growth) as compared to 7.6 points (12% growth) for North Lawndale, 6.9 points (9% growth) for the district and 6.1 points for charter schools (8% growth). Clearly,Dr. Nolen is a man with a plan, and it is working. There is no need for a takeover from AUSL.
 
Percent Meeting/Exceeding State Standards in Reading2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012Chalmers
19.8 17.5 24.2 25.3 24.4 40.0 43.7 50.3 44.6 42.5 57.0 51.5
North Lawndale
25.2 28.6 28.6 34.4 36.4 48.2 48.1 54.7 56.2 58.8 62.9 62.4
City Wide
38.8 41.5 41.5 46.3 47.7 59.1 60.9 66.7 67.8 68.4 72.7 73.4
Charter/ContractSchools
37.6 42.5 49.0 49.6 62.4 62.3 61.8 68.4 67.9 69.7 72.1 72.9
ReadingGrowth % Growth3-Year 5-Year 11-Year 3-Year 5-Year 11-YearChalmers
6.9 7.8 31.7 15% 18% 160%
North Lawndale
6.2 14.3 37.2 11% 30% 147%
City Wide
5.6 12.5 34.6 8% 21% 89%
Charter/ContractSchools
4.9 11.0 35.3 7% 18% 94%
Percent Meeting/Exceeding State Standards in Math2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012Chalmers
15.2 11.1 25.0 20.3 19.5 40.6 38.0 49.4 37.3 46.9 54.9 55.1
North Lawndale
21.0 24.4 29.4 36.1 32.8 53.6 57.9 59.1 62.6 66.0 69.8 70.2
City Wide
34.8 37.7 41.7 46.8 45.7 64.0 68.6 70.5 73.6 76.5 79.4 80.5
Charter/ContractSchools
31.6 45.6 47.4 53.6 66.3 70.3 74.4 73.3 74.5 77.1 79.3 80.6
MathGrowth % Growth3-Year 5-Year 11-Year 3-Year 5-Year 11-YearChalmers
17.8 17.1 39.9 48% 45% 263%
North Lawndale
7.6 12.3 49.2 12% 21% 235%
City Wide
6.9 11.9 45.7 9% 17% 131%
Charter/ContractSchools
6.1 6.2 49.0 8% 8% 155%
An Education Week article on student mobility has indicated that the potential impact of mobility on students' education is significant. Students who move often between schools mayexperience a range of problems such as: lower achievement levels due to discontinuity of curriculum between schools, behavioral problems, difficulty developing peer relationships, and agreater risk for dropping out.Although little research has been conducted on the impact of student mobility on non-mobile students, schools with significant incidences of student mobility also report an impact ontheir non-mobile students, teachers, and overall school climate. For example, a policy brief  published in 1999 by Policy Analysis for California Education, found that California schoolswith high mobility rates (30 percent or higher), reported that test scores for non-mobile studentswere considerably lower than those of students in schools with lower mobility rates. The findings
 
support claims that continual student turnover is disruptive and keeps non-mobile students frommoving ahead as teachers spend extra time helping newer students catch up. Some schools haveattempted to alleviate this by keeping highly mobile students (i.e. children of migrant workers)segregated from other classes, so that the continual arrival and departure of mobile students doesnot disrupt the education of other non-mobile students (Hartman, 2002).(Education Week 2004)Chalmers is in an area of Lawndale with an increasingly significantly transient population, due to a number of factors, including family issues, a shortage of affordable housingand the mortgage foreclosure crisis. A number of students live in homeless shelters. The studentmobility rate has increased from 27.7% in 2001 to 42.6% in 2012. This represents a 53.79%
increase
in mobility for Chalmers The average mobility rate for all Chicago Public Schools was25.2% in 2001 and 18.3% in 2012. This represents a 27.38%
reduction
in mobility for CPSstudents across the district. During this time, Chalmers has seen 160.10% growth in the number of students meeting or exceeding state standards in reading as compared to 89.18% for thedistrict. Chalmers has experienced a 262.50% increase in the number of students meeting or exceeding state standards in math, as compared to a131.32% increase for the district.With respect to point 3) regarding the remarkable results of the AUSL turnarounds, wecannot say that AUSL provides better option at this time. While it is true that AUSL schoolshave made significant gains relative to district averages, the AUSL North Lawndale co-hort hasnot outperformed district averages or North Lawndale averages in reading or math.(See Charts 1 and 2).
200120022003200420052006200720082009201020112012% ChangeChalmersMobility
27.7 29.2 36.5 23.2 35.7 39.3 31.8 34.6 31.5 31.3 39.0 42.6 53.79%
Citywide
25.2 24.8 24.5 24.4 24.0 26.8 22.4 23.3 18.8 18.7 17.9 18.3 -27.38%
200120022003200420052006200720082009201020112012
 
Chalmers %Meet/Exceed inReading
19.8 17.5 24.2 25.3 24.4 40.0 43.7 50.3 44.6 42.5 57.0 51.5 160.10%
City Wide
38.8 41.5 41.5 46.3 47.7 59.1 60.9 66.7 67.8 68.4 72.7 73.4
89.18%
200120022003200420052006200720082009201020112012
 
Chalmers %Meet/Exceed inMath
15.2 11.1 25.0 20.3 19.5 40.6 38.0 49.4 37.3 46.9 54.9 55.1 262.50%
Citywide
34.8 37.7 41.7 46.8 45.7 64.0 68.6 70.5 73.6 76.5 79.4 80.5 131.32%

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