The Fight Over A Failing Chicago High School

Monday, November 12, 2012

By just about any definition, Walter H. Dyett High School has failed.

Just 10 percent can pass the state math exam; barely one in six is proficient in reading. The technology lab is so ancient, some of the computers still take 3-inch floppy disks. More teens drop out than graduate.

Yet when the Chicago Board of Education announced plans to shut the place down, it sparked a community uprising.

Students, parents and teachers have staged sit-ins outside the mayor's office; earlier this month, 10 were arrested for refusing to leave the fifth floor of City Hall. The protestors have held rallies. They've sued the school board. A group of students has filed a federal civil-rights complaint seeking to keep Dyett open.

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