As fervent supporters defended several schools pegged for major changes this fall, Chicago Public Schools chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett on Wednesday said last year’s historically massive school closing process made the district stronger “in spite of dire predictions.”
Byrd-Bennett said that a district analysis of schools consolidated with the closed 47 elementary schools showed that incidents of misconduct were down in schools that took in children from closed schools in the second quarter of this year over last; grade point averages had risen; and the much-touted Safe Passage routes between the closed and new schools saw no major violent incidents while workers were at their posts.
“Much was said last year about potential adverse effects” of closing so many schools at one time, she said at Wednesday’s scheduled meeting of the Board of Education. “None of the negative predictions have come true. In fact the opposite has happened.”