Chicago Tonight: Paul Vallas review

Paul Vallas, CEO of Chicago Public Schools, joins Chicago Tonight to answer questions about school policies and budget concerns. They focus on a controversial new bussing plan which would shift the schedules of magnet schools in order to cut high transportation costs.

0:09Copy video clip URL Introduction sequence to Chicago Tonight.

0:42Copy video clip URL Paul Vallas, CEO of Chicago Public Schools, is at Chicago Tonight to answer questions and concerns about the progress of CPS.

1:30Copy video clip URL Rich Samuels takes a look at Pritzker School and its reaction to a new bussing plan. School would now start at 8:00 A.M. and end at 1:30 P.M, part of a plan to allow one set of buses to serve a pair of schools. Parents complain that their children will now be waiting for buses at 6:30 A.M, and that it will increase child care costs for working parents. Magnet schools and schools with gifted programs are most affected by this change, since students have to travel the farthest to these schools. Pritzker has avoided the change in schedule by finding alternative sources for cost savings.

7:43Copy video clip URL Paul Vallas questions whether magnet schools, which represent 3% of the CPS population, should keep their huge bussing routes, which leads to disproportionately high transportation costs. Vallas says that in order to maintain funding for education programs, there needs to be a cut in transportation expenses, which do not factor into education. Brackett points out that the school schedules do impact students academically, and the change could encourage families to leave the public school system.

16:27Copy video clip URL Vallas wants to find a way to sustain services to magnet schools without depriving neighborhood schools of basic services. He emphasizes the importance of their summer school program, the Lighthouse program, and other support services. They discuss the CPS’ retention policies, and they also discuss the transition schools for students that are too old for middle school but are not academically ready to enter high school. Vallas defends the need for alternative high schools to educate high school dropouts and problem students.

23:51Copy video clip URL Regarding schools in reconstitution, Vallas says that most of the schools have improved, and those on probation will be given time to improve. Vallas says that struggling charter schools will be given time to improve, but those which do not work will be closed in a few years.

26:21Copy video clip URL Over the closing credits, Vallas predicts that most of the bussing schools will find ways to pare down their bus routes to avoid changing their schedules.

26:51Copy video clip URL End of tape.




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