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Renaissance 2010


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									Name:                                                                                       Date:

Renaissance 2010
Renaissance 2010 is a program of the Chicago Public Schools school district of Chicago,
Illinois, United States.

In 1997, the Illinois General Assembly approved 60 charter schools for the state. Since then, the
city of Chicago has outpaced the rest of state by starting 27 public charter schools, with 47
campuses. The student achievement, increased demand, and strong parent satisfaction in these
new schools set the stage for the Renaissance 2010 initiative, announced in June 2004 by the
Chicago Public Schools and the City of Chicago. Renaissance 2010 calls for 100 new schools by
2010. This bold plan sets up a competitive, community-based selection process to determine the
best school operator for each site.

Under Renaissance 2010, the Chicago Public Schools seek to create 100 high-performing public
schools in designated communities of need by 2010. These schools will be held accountable for
performance through 5-year contracts while being given autonomy to create innovative learning
environments using one of the following governance structures: charter, contract, or

SUM IT UP for $2.00: Read the above paragraphs and summarize them in twenty words or
less. Pretend each word is worth $.10.

Renaissance 2010 Schools Types
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There are three different types of Renaissance schools, a charter school, a contract school, and a
performance School.

  •     Charter – Charter Schools are independent public schools. Free from many state laws,
        district initiatives, and board policies, charter teachers are employees of the nonprofit
        governing board or an education management organization hired by the board. Charters
        are operated pursuant to Illinois Charter Law (ILCS 5/27A).
  •     Contract – Contract Schools are a newly created public school model established as a
        part of Renaissance 2010. Contracts will be managed by independent nonprofit
        organizations in accordance with Performance Agreements. Contract schoolteachers will
        be employees of the nonprofit. Contract schools are operated pursuant to Illinois School
  •     Performance – Performance Schools employ CPS staff and are CPS schools that have
        freedom from and flexibility on many district initiatives and policies.

Terms you can use: Read the terms and definitions above. Once you have finished reading the
terms and definitions complete the chart below by creating your own definition for each of the

             Term                                          Definition



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Renaissance 2010: More success with high
A tale of two new schools

Linda Lutton February 18, 2011

How successful have Renaissance 2010 schools been at adding to the quality of schools in
Chicago's neighborhoods?

Nearly seven years ago, Chicago launched a plan to create 100 new schools. On Thursday,
WBEZ released a school-by-school update on how well those ―Renaissance 2010‖ schools are
performing on state tests. We compared them to neighborhood schools to ask: has the school
district been successful in creating better options for families in those neighborhoods.

In our first story, we talked about elementary schools. Today we turn to the city’s new
Renaissance high schools, which are more likely than elementaries to be an improvement over
current neighborhood schools. In 65 percent of comparisons we did—the Renaissance high
schools performed better.

We report from two new high schools—one that has quickly become the best option in the
neighborhood, one that is not beating out even low-performing nearby schools. We start there.

The promise of what a new school can be for a community is felt deeply at Little Village High
School, where residents went on a hunger strike to get the school built.

WEIDEN: This is a mural—it was created by students, staff and really represents the values of
our school. The mural is called HOPE.
Chad Weiden is principal of Social Justice High School, one of four small schools inside the
soaring, sunlit new building. Weiden says the neighborhood wanted a school that would get kids
to college—and instill in them a commitment to come back to build up their community.

WEIDEN: They want an institution that just beams from the highway, that this is academic

Linda Sarate was one of the hunger strikers.

SARATE: What I really wanted was a school that was gonna pay attention to what was going on
with the child and not let the children fall through the cracks.

Her son was in the first class of students to attend Little Village High. It still makes her proud to
think of that. But he didn’t make it through the school SHE fought to create. She says he missed
graduating by a credit and a half.
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SARATE: And I feel like my son fell through the cracks. Like there wasn’t enough being
pushed, or challenged enough.

In WBEZ’s analysis, the four schools inside Little Village High score about the same or worse as
already low- performing schools nearby.

The high schools have other positive things going—attendance rates are good, their first
graduates are in college. Students are taught a deep commitment to community. But principal
Weiden admits: test scores help kids get into college, and HIS need to improve.

Five miles north is Noble Street Charter School’s Pritzker campus. It’s one of 4 Noble street
schools opened under Renaissance 2010 for which we have test scores. All four of beat every
neighborhood high school around them. In every subject. By a lot.

Noble-Pritzker is housed in the old St. Philomena's school. Pablo Sierra is principal there.

SIERRA: I would say that we’re like a Catholic school but only stricter. The bell rings, and they
start getting demerits. And that’s part of the magic. So we’re very structured, very
disciplined. The onus of the learning is on the child. And they gotta be on task and on time.

There’s a singular focus here: college, and the test scores kids need to get there.

With a few exceptions, Chicago essentially has two classes of high schools: the very best in the
state—which kids test into. And the worst, which are segregated with poor and minority kids.

Noble Street is pushing students that might otherwise go to those low-performing schools—into
a new middle ground.

That sort of accomplishment has people asking what comes next. What do we do with what’s
been learned from Renaissance 2010?

Noble Street’s superintendent Michael Milkie says he wants to keep going.

MILKIE: Dozens of high schools. I mean we could run certainly 20, 30, 40 high schools.

Milkie envisions something provocative: having the school district contract out its high schools.

MILKIE: So right now we’re 5 percent of the high school students attend Noble campuses. We
hope that will soon be 10 percent. I foresee a day where—I hope—where a majority of the
students are educated in either Noble campuses or campuses like that at the high school level.

Milkie admits that on average, between 35 and 40 percent of Noble students leave for other
schools before hitting senior year. Some say that’s the reason his schools look so successful.

TOZER: The difference isn’t between charters versus publics. The difference is between how
you do school.
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Steve Tozer is the head of a principal development program at UIC.

TOZER: It’s not magical when high school kids succeed. They’re getting high quality
instruction. What we want to say is: What’s going on in those schools and what do we as a
district have to do to achieve that?

Tozer says that should be the school district’s post-Renaissance 2010 homework assignment.

In 2005, the Chicago Teacher's Union's president, Marilyn Stewart, was uniformly negative in
her assessment of Renaissance 2010, stating that "Chicago's charter schools had scores that were
in the basement. [...] All Chicago-based charter schools had scores below the statewide average
in third-grade reading, third-grade math, fifth-grade reading and eighth-grade math".[1]

A 2009 study by University of Chicago researcher Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach found more
mixed results, that "test scores in the Renaissance schools slightly lagged those of students with
similar backgrounds who attended neighborhood schools — though not to a statistically
significant degree. But results were far from homogeneous, with some Renaissance schools
posting decidedly stronger test scores compared to others." Schanzenbach further notes that new
schools generally have higher hurdles to face than established ones, and that the best practices
used in the Reniassance schools were "on the right track.‖[2]

Another study released in 2009 by SRI International, a California-based independent research
institute, indicated that Renaissance 2010 schools have performed about on par with Chicago
Public School-owned schools, with potential for further improvements. Demonstrating the
divisive nature of the Renaissance 2010 plan, proponents have used this study to argue that the
new schools are solid foundations for better education, while opponents have used this same
study to claim that the new schools provide little to no gain for their cost and social disruption.[3]

                          A tale of two new schools
Supporting Details: As you read the article about the two different schools record both positive
and negative details about the schools that are described in the article.
Name:                                                                             Date:

        Little Village High School              Noble Street Charter-Pritzker

SUM IT UP for $2.00: Using your notes from the chart above summarize them in twenty
words or less. Pretend each word is worth $.10.

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