Neighborhood Advisory Councils (NACs) are unofficial advisory groups developed by Chicago Public Schools administration which are nominally designed to allow for community input on proposals submitted by charter operators for the opening of new charter schools within Chicago.
The North Side NAC covers a huge swath of land from Rogers Park to Belmont-Cragin and including numerous communities inbetween.
The North Side NAC is currently considering a single charter proposal. The operator is Intrinsic. The NAC has currently received a “Tier 1 Proposal” which is not the formal, official proposal that triggers allegedly mandatory review on the part of CPS. A “Tier 2 Proposal” is expected to be forthcoming later this summer.
The “Tier 1 Proposal” from Intrinsic does not identify a location, even though state statute explicitly provides that a location must be included in a proposal. Not only is no location specified, but the geographic area in which this school is potentially subject to be opened is identified solely as “north of Fullerton”, which essentially means about a full third of the entire city.
Numerous members of the North Side NAC are very unhappy at being expected to go through a tedious, multi-week process to review a proposal which is blatantly facially deficient and which clearly demonstrates a complete lack of effort or consideration on the part of the operator about both identifying a need for such a charter and having engaged in anything remotely resembling community outreach.
Nevertheless CPS has dictated that NAC members must continue to attend meetings if they wish to take part in the final advisory vote. Of course, since the NAC decision is only advisory, the Board of Education can approve the proposal if they please anyway.
This blog is a means by which to shine greater transparency on the process and to give the people serving on the NAC – the majority of whom are community members very concerned about the state of our public schools – an opportunity to express what they are witnessing and what impacts they feel this process, the larger charter movement, and the way in which CPS administration is conducting itself, are all adversely impacting our neighborhood schools.