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CPS Launches Charter Renewal Process to Close Underperforming Charters and Retain High-Performers

CPS Launches Charter Renewal Process to Close Underperforming Charters and Retain High-Performers

Chicago – Chicago Public Schools (CPS) today announced the process and timeline for its comprehensive review of the District’s charter school contract agreements that end on June 30, 2013. This process is governed by Illinois State School Code. All renewal recommendations will be presented to the Chicago Board of Education for approval during the January 2013 Board meeting. Charter schools that do not meet the terms of their contract will not be renewed.

The charter contract renewal process entails a thorough and rigorous examination of key academic, compliance and fiscal management areas to determine each school’s renewal status recommendation and conditions for renewal, as necessary.

“Every school in every corner of the city, regardless of school type, must be held to rigorous accountability standards without exception to ensure all students have access to the high-quality education they deserve,” said CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett. “We can and will take action on operators who have failed to meet the terms of their agreements.”
All charter operators must complete a renewal process at the end of their contract that includes the following phases:
Submit a renewal application to CPS
Review of renewal application by CPS officials
Participate in a school site visit so CPS officials can gather evidence for renewal recommendation, when necessary
CPS prepares final recommendation and shares with the operator
Renewal recommendation goes before the Board for approval
Following is the timeline for the 2012-2013 renewal process:
Conduct site visits, as necessary, to gather additional evidence for renewal – Through end of November
Renewal applications and school site visit findings review – Early to mid-December
Renewal decisions shared with charter operators – Early January
Public hearings – Early to mid-January
Board vote – January Board Meeting
To determine renewal recommendations, CPS officials consider several factors including academic performance data from ISAT, PSAE and ACT test scores, compliance data, financial management history and parent input.

The Board will enforce actions on low-performing charter operators, which include non-renewal of contracts or shortened contract renewals with conditions, which will result in charter school closings. CPS officials will conduct site visits at each underperforming campus to interview students, teachers, parents and administrators to understand why the school is not meeting the terms of its contract. If the Board accepts CPS recommendations to not renew a charter contract, the school will close at the end of the school year.

The following schools are currently up for contract renewal:

ACE Tech Charter School
Amandla Charter School
Aspira Charter School (Early College, Haugan and Ramirez campuses)
Betty Shabazz International Charter School (DuSable, Shabazz and Sizemore campuses)
Community Services West Career Academy
KIPP Ascend Charter School
North Lawndale College Prep (Christiana and Collins campuses)
Passages Charter School
Plato Learning Academy
University of Chicago Charter School (Donoghue, North Kenwood/Oakland, Woodlawn and Woodson campuses)

UNO (Casas, Fuentes, Homan Charter Elementary, Cisneros, Garcia, Paz, Marquez, Torres, Tamayo, Zizumbo, St. Marks, UNO Near West Elementary and UNO North Side Elementary campuses)
Young Women’s Leadership Charter School of Chicago

Chicago Public Schools serves 403,000 students in 681 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.


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