High School Reform in Chicago Public Schools: Renaissance 2010 (Part Three of a Series of Five Reports)


The Renaissance 2010 initiative was established to increase the number of high-quality education options across Chicago. Launched in June 2004 by Mayor Richard Daley, Renaissance 2010 provides the opportunity to create new, innovative schools designed to meet the diverse needs and interests of Chicago Public School (CPS) students. Under Renaissance 2010, new schools are created through a competitive selection process based on a set of high standards to which schools will be held accountable. The first cohort of Renaissance 2010 schools opened in 2005, and with 85 schools established in four cohorts as of fall 2008, the initiative is on its way to meeting its goal of opening 100 schools by 2010. This report presents findings about Renaissance 2010 high schools drawn from a larger study on high school reform in CPS. The study included 27 of the Renaissance 2010 high schools. Although CPS currently claims 49 Renaissance 2010 high schools, 12 schools were already in operation and 10 were in development before the beginning of the Renaissance 2010 initiative. Of the 27 schools that were studied, 12 are charter schools (i.e., independently operated public schools), 3 are contract schools (i.e., independently operated public schools under Renaissance 2010), and 12 are performance schools (i.e., CPS schools that employ CPS teachers and staff). In general, the schools are small, averaging about 250 students per school in 2007, and most will remain small even when all intended grades are enrolled.

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