Dvorak Math Science Technology Academy Local School Council

3615 West 16th Street, Chicago, IL 60623 773-534-1690
For Immediate Release: March 30 2014 Contact: Angela Gordon LSC President 773-430-0629 (cell) 773-534-1690 (school) Valerie F. Leonard 773-571-3886 (cell)

Dvorak LSC Votes Unanimously to Adopt Resolution Rejecting AUSL Hostile Takeover
The Dvorak Math Science Technology Academy Local School Council (LSC) voted unanimously on Friday to adopt a resolution rejecting Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd Bennett's recommendation to have the Academy of Urban School Leadership (AUSL) turn the school around. Through its resolution, the LSC instead requested that CPS assign a work group consisting of various education and community stakeholders to develop an alternative plan for school improvement that will increase accountability and attract additional resources without replacing the entire school staff. The LSC also requested that the additional per pupil and capital funding that would normally go to an AUSL turnaround school be provided to Dvorak; and that there be opportunities for joint professional development and sharing of best practices between Dvorak, Chicago Public Schools, AUSL and other key actors in the education arena. The Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL) manages 29 Chicago public schools using a turnaround model that entails firing the entire staff and replacing them. This includes the principal, teachers, clerks, janitors, etc. The group has been criticized by local parents and

community groups for its academic performance, unwelcoming environment and strict discipline policies that result in much higher suspension and expulsion rates than traditional public schools. "If the Mayor and CPS gives Dvorak the same resources they give AUSL, I guarantee you, they will perform", said Angela Gordon, the LSC President. Other areas of concern include the fact that Chicago Board of Education President David Vitale is the former board chairman at AUSL, and Tim Cawley, the current CPS Chief Administrative Officer, once served as a managing director for AUSL. In their current positions, each man is in a position of approving billions of dollars in CPS contracts, including the AUSL contract. "The AUSL schools in North Lawndale, as a group, under-perform North Lawndale schools as a group", said Valerie F. Leonard, Co-Founder of the Lawndale Alliance. How is it that we can expect them to turn Dvorak around? There are other organizations that are capable of actually turning schools around, without firing staff, at a fraction of the cost of AUSL's solution. Why should they get an exclusive deal to turn around our schools?"