NTA Parents Respond to New School Ratings from CPS

October 29, 2018
For immediate release
Contact: Timna Axel, taxel@clccrul.org or 312-888-4194

On Friday, October 26, Chicago Public Schools released its annual School Quality Rating Policy (SQRP) results rating the performance of each school.

The following statement was released by attorneys on behalf of the plaintiffs in Greer v. Board of Education, who are parents and community organizations suing Chicago Public Schools (CPS) for a discriminatory plan to close their elementary school, National Teachers Academy or NTA:

“The new SQRP data shows that NTA has kept its Level 1+ rating, while South Loop Elementary School has fallen to a Level 1. We already knew that NTA was one of the best schools in CPS, and our continued Level 1+ status reflects that.  

In February, the Board of Education approved CPS’s plan to close our beloved elementary school and use the building for a new high school. We opposed this plan through public meetings, letters, and hearings to no avail, and this summer we filed a lawsuit as a last resort. 

Throughout this nightmare, CPS has assured the public that NTA students who are displaced and transferred to South Loop Elementary will not suffer academically. Yet today’s SQRP data shows us that by CPS’s own standards, NTA’s children will lose out.  

Displacing kids causes all kinds of harm, so the law requires CPS to make sure that kids who are forced to transfer at least get to attend a better school. Disrupting our kids’ education to send them to a lower-performing school is not only wrong—it’s illegal. In fact, the data shows that CPS needs top-performing schools like NTA more than ever: There are thirteen fewer Level 1+ rated schools this year. Given the shrinking pool of top-rated schools, CPS should be cherishing thriving schools like NTA, not shutting them down. 

So why is CPS really closing our school? 

Today’s ratings should concern every parent, teacher, and administrator in our school district. If CPS is empowered to close NTA, then no school is safe. We call on CPS officials to halt its discriminatory and illegal plan, and rescind its decision to close NTA.”