We have a deep respect for those who choose to exercise their right to free speech, but we make no excuses for taking action on some of the worst performing schools in the district. We can no longer accept a status quo that has allowed so many schools to fail our students year after year, where only 7.9% of all 11th graders test college ready and more than 120,000 attend low performing schools. We will take whatever steps are available to ensure our students can access higher quality school options in their community immediately – that includes creating new turnaround schools, which have proven track records on boosting student achievement in the district’s lowest performing schools, and, in very few cases, close schools where we can safely send students to neighboring schools that are higher performing. We must make necessary but difficult choices if we are to do the right thing for our students and get them on a path for college and career readiness.
Chicago Public Schools serves 405,000 students in 675 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.