We can’t really acknowledge anything that contradicts the corporate-driven conventional wisdom about privatizing schools, though:
One day before Chicago School Board members vote on whether to “turn around” a record number of flagging schools, a new study emerged Tuesday that dumped on the results of the city’s major turnaround vendor.
About 33 neighborhood schools with at least 95 percent low-income students not only outscored equally poor schools cleared out of all staff and “turned around’’ by the Academy for Urban School Leadership, but even beat the city test score average, the study by Designs for Change indicated.
And the neighborhood schools did so without the average $7 million per school in funds and facility improvements over five years given the typical AUSL school — and with far less teacher turnover, the study said.
Don Moore, executive director of Designs for Change, said CPS should try to duplicate the formula of success at its own high-scoring, high-poverty neighborhood schools before it pays AUSL to turn around more schools.
“If you look down this list of [33 high-poverty neighborhood schools], most people have never heard of them but the turnaround people get all the publicity and they have not done as well,’’ Moore said.
Often, the study found, neighborhood schools outperformed equally-poor AUSL turnaround schools located only a few miles away. For example, in the South Shore neighborhood, Powell came in No. 14, while AUSL’s Bradwell was No. 194.