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CPS Recommends Closure of Two Poor Performing Charter Schools

09 December 2019

CPS Makes Charter Closure Recommendations After Extensive Review as part of Annual Process

CPS Office of Communications

Phone: 773-553-1620
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Monday, December 9, 2019

CHICAGO - Chicago Public Schools announced today that following extensive reviews of charter school performance, the district will recommend the closure of two poor performing charter schools, Chicago Virtual Charter School (CVCS) and Frazier Preparatory Academy Charter School. Additionally, this year the district did not receive any completed new charter school applications, and therefore, no new charter schools will be opening in the district next school year.

"As part of our commitment to ensure that students have access to a high-quality education that prepares them for success, we have established clear accountability metrics, standards and expectations that must be met in order to operate in the district," said CPS CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson. "Based on our comprehensive review of charter school performance, our recommendation to close two charter schools is necessary to ensure students have access to the high-quality education they deserve."

Recommended Closure of Two Poor-Performing Charter Schools

In 2015, the Board of Education approved a Charter School Quality Policy to identify charter schools that are failing to provide students with a high quality education. Following comprehensive performance reviews conducted in accordance with the Charter School Quality Policy, CPS is recommending the Board of Education close Chicago Virtual Charter School (CVCS) and Frazier Preparatory Academy Charter School via charter revocation at the end of the current school year.

  • Chicago Virtual Charter School: CVCS is being recommended for revocation due to the school’s failure to provide a high-quality education for its students and meet the academic, financial, and operational standards necessary to operate in the district. A school serving grades kindergarten through grade 12, CVCS had the lowest SQRP score of any charter high school, the lowest Freshman OnTrack rate, and one of the lowest graduation rates in the district. The school also had the second lowest elementary school SQRP score among charters. Additionally, CPS has identified financial and management concerns with the school, which is currently under investigation by the CPS Office of Inspector General.
  • Frazier Preparatory Academy Charter School: Frazier Prep Academy is being recommended for revocation due to the school’s failure to meet its contractual condition to successfully implement a remediation plan and improve enough to be removed from the Academic Warning List. The district is recommending the school for revocation because the school has failed to provide students the high quality education they deserve and higher quality school options exist for students in the community.

If approved by the Board, CPS will provide families of current CVCS and Frazier Prep Academy students with significant transition support, which includes dedicated staff who will work directly with students to help them identify a new higher-performing school that best meets their educational needs and priorities. Additional transition supports include a social and emotional assessment to determine what supports are needed, as well as personalized coordination with school leaders to ensure academic supports and resources -- such as targeted after school programming and support -- are available for transitioning students. For CVCS, the district will work to make families aware of flexible options for transitioning CVCS families who determine a traditional school environment will not meet their students’ needs.

Recommended Grade Structure Adjustment at Chicago Collegiate Charter School

In addition to CVCS and Frazier, CPS also considered the potential closure of Chicago Collegiate Charter School following the school’s placement on the Academic Warning List for two consecutive years. The school currently serves grades 4-11 and its placement on the list is a result of poor academic performance in the lower grades. Because the school is meeting the district’s academic standards in the higher grades and serves a need in the community, the district is requiring the school make changes to the grades it offers rather than a closure. The specific grade structure adjustment is in the process of being determined and will be brought to the Board as part of the annual charter application amendment process later this school year.

"The district is committed to providing students with access to a quality education, especially in communities where students have fewer high-quality school options,” said CPS Chief Education Officer LaTanya D. McDade. "In recommending a grade structure adjustment rather than a closure, CPS is taking a holistic approach and allowing the school to focus on the grade offerings where they are helping students succeed."

New Charter School Applications

Each year, in compliance with the state’s annual requirement to accept and review new charter school applications, CPS releases a request for proposals (RFP) for new charter and contract school applications. One prospective operator initiated the process in 2019 but withdrew their application, which means no new charter operators will be authorized to open next school year. Additional information about the RFP process can be found here.

Chicago Public Schools serves 355,000 students in 642 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.