CHICAGO—She's only been on the job 11 days and Chicago Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett is already staring down one of her most unpopular duties. She has a month from today to announce a list of schools that will close before next school year.
Byrd-Bennett says the district's 681 schools are too many for its 403,000 students.
Byrd-Bennett wants the deadline extended to allow more time for community input and a transparent decision process.
The Chicago Teachers Union applauds that attitude, pointing out in the past the school board has not considered the opinions of families and teachers before making decisions on closures.
A draft of guidelines that will be used in the process says the CEO can recommend closing or consolidating a school only if the affected students have an option to enroll in a better performing school.
The guidelines also focus more on building safety and upkeep rather than student performance.