Chicago abandons plans to convert school, hours after judge blocks move

December 4, 2018

Chicago Public Schools abandoned a plan to convert a largely African-American elementary school in the South Loop into a neighborhood high school, hours after a judge temporarily blocked the move and dealt a victory to parents who’ve argued the idea violates state civil rights laws.

Chicago Public Schools abandoned an ambitious but controversial plan to convert a largely African-American elementary school in the South Loop into a neighborhood high school, hours after a Cook County judge temporarily blocked the move and dealt a significant victory to parents who’ve argued the idea violates state civil rights laws.

The school district cited the “potential disruption” of further legal action for its blockbuster announcement, just as advocates were processing Judge Franklin Ulyses Valderrama’s ruling to bar CPS from phasing out elementary grades at the National Teachers Academy until the fate of a lawsuit was decided at trial.

According to CPS, NTA will keep its status as an elementary school and its student body will not merge with the nearby South Loop Elementary School. A regional center for gifted students will stay at NTA and not transition to South Loop. The school district will also undo changes it made to surrounding school attendance boundaries as part of the planned merger.