Chicago School Families Exiting the Buildings

Education Week posted an article about the Chicago Public School Board‘s decision to close 50 schools, along with fallout from the affected families. After losing the battle to keep their schools open, some parents are making the decision to totally take charge of their children’s education.  Chicago is in a sad state of affairs when the school board must formulate a Safe Passage for parents and children to make their way to the building, let alone using fire fighters to provide the safety.

Chicago School Closures Galvanize Parent Activists By Michele Molnar

For Frances Newman, who has a 7th grade daughter at soon-to-be-closed Williams Preparatory Academy Middle School, home schooling is under discussion as a practical solution while she and her husband continue to be active in protesting the school board’s move.

They have added their names to two lawsuits.

Progress Illinois (PI) also reports more family advocacy resulting from the Chicago Public School (CPS) massive mess of school closings.

As A Result Of School Closures, CPS Parents Consider Homeschooling by Ashlee Rezin

Nina Stoner, a 37 year-old mother of four students enrolled in West Pullman Elementary School, said she no longer trusts the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to educate her children.

“I can teach my kids better than them,” she said. “The solutions they’re coming up with for a budget deficit or whatever, they’re not right for my kids.”

Ms. Stoner has safety concerns that seem legitimate with the murders and injuries of hundreds of Chicago’s children in the last few years. From PI:

But Stoner said the neighborhood is too dangerous and the longer commute from West Pullman to Haley puts students and parents’ “lives at stake.” She called the district’s Safe Passage proposal, which will provide students with a guided route to and from school by faith-based or community leaders, a “joke.”

Gang wars and neighborhood violence will make the transition a “bloodbath,” she said.

Parents will be re-booting their children’s educational plan and are making use of the local church’s facility for what sounds like a co-operative type of private schooling.  It appears they are not listening to the University of Illinois Chicago‘s Dean of (Public) Education, who thinks new homeschoolers will be “shocked” at the “big investment“.  She followed with this insult: “They should consider if they have what it takes to really provide a comparable or superior education at home.”

And there’s this tiresome talk:

Chou also questioned the potentially isolating effects of homeschooling and the loss of social development that occurs in public schools.

“Unless you have a large cluster of kids, the learning that can come from peer-to-peer contact is going to be absent in homeschooling,” she said. “Peers are more influential than adults in many circumstances and can be a powerful vehicle for learning.”

So which is it?  Certified education experts are needed that “have what it takes” or the kid sitting to the right and/or left can do the trick?

Nina Stoner seems on the right track for her children.

“CPS has taken away my children’s love for education,” she said. “I’m just frustrated all the way around.”

I think they’ll be just fine finding a new path that’s safe and enriching for their children.  First and foremost, seeking the right people for homeschooling information is the way to go.

In preparation for her homeschooling plan, Stoner is contacting homeschool organizations and support groups, such as Illinois HOUSE, for assistance. As a self-employed house cleaner, Stoner says her schedule allows her the opportunity to personally take on her children’s education.

Homeschool advocates tend to know school law better.  That’s evidenced with the over-compliant demands the Chicago Public School makes on new homeschoolers.  The United State’s third largest school district doesn’t have their facts straight about homeschooling. No CPS Statement of Assurance Form, nor letter to CPS describing the manner in which you will be instructing your child, nor an Illinois School Board of Education Home Schooling Registration Form are required to transfer out and homeschool your child.

It appears the Chicago Public School staff have enough to do without worrying about homeschools or other private schools.  Sticking with Illinois HOUSE‘s or other state or local homeschool group advice.  Those suggestions are usually backed up by statutes, instead of the Chicago Way.

Cross-posted on Home Education Magazine News & Commentary.


Chicago School Families Exiting the Buildings — 3 Comments

  1. This news saddens me. Schools being closed is one of the most unfortunate things that could ever happen. Think about all the students that need education.

  2. like the
    1. CPS Statement of Assurance Form
    2 A letter to CPS which describes the manner in which you will be instructing your child at home
    3 A copy of the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) Home Schooling Registration Form that is mailed to ISBE

    I have so many questions on homeschooling and what forms i must fill out.

  3. Elizabeth, if your child is already in public school, you only need to send a letter informing the school you are transferring your child to a private school (your homeschool). If your child has not ever been in school, you don’t need to notify, just follow the compulsory attendance exemption requirements, as listed here:
    “…the following children shall not be required to attend the public schools:
    1. Any child attending a private or a parochial school where children are taught the branches of education taught to children of corresponding age and grade in the public schools, and where the instruction of the child in the branches of education is in the English language

    Here’s some more information about the transfer process:

    The Chicago requirements on their CPS website are requiring much too much. They are not supported by any law in those over-compliant demands. Find a local homeschooling group (ask at the library or look on-line). Or email me. Homeschoolers know the laws because it affects our family’s well-being.
    Here’s some general homeschooling information that might help: