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Charter Community Takes Action to Bring High Quality Schools to Chicago Neighborhoods

Posted on: October 30, 2015

On October 28, hundreds of charter school parents and supporters gathered before dozens of reporters and TV cameras prior to the CPS Board meeting chanting “Great Schools Can’t Wait,” “My Child, My Choice,” and “Charter Schools are Public Schools.” With the CPS Board vote just a few hours away, the Illinois Network of Charter Schools hosted a press conference, where the charter school community gathered to call on CPS to bring high quality school options to more Chicago neighborhoods and approve KIPP and Noble charter school proposals for the 2016 school year.

Watch a brief recap of the rally.

“Sixty-one thousand charter families cannot be wrong. They’re speaking with one voice today, and they’re calling for CPS to approve high-quality charter schools.”  

—Andrew Broy, President of Illinois Network of Charter Schools



“I’m here to represent Noble in saying “Great Schools Can’t Wait.’ We need more quality schools in our communities.

– Lucy Reese, charter school parent and founding board member of Charter Parents United

Following the press conference, INCS joined the charter community at the monthly CPS Board meeting. Over half of the 60 registered speakers at the Board meeting were charter school leaders, parents, and alumni who voiced their support for Noble and KIPP charter school approvals and shared tremendous outcomes at their charter schools. Dozens of others were in attendance to show their support.

Many charter school parents and leaders shared their charter school achievements and concerns regarding a lack of high quality school options in their respective communities during the public comment portion of the CPS Board meeting.

“Reject hypocrisy and approve high quality schools”

—Andrew Broy, President of Illinois Network of Charter Schools

 “My son had to travel nearly 2 hours a day to get a high quality education. We deserve to have a quality Noble education option in our own neighborhood.”

–Carolina Vivero, Southwest side resident

“Let’s get one thing straight enrollment follows quality. As for the rest of this, it’s just politics.”

–Jelani McEwen, former teacher, Hyde Park Resident, and INCS Director of External Affairs

“KIPP has more than prepared my children for the competitive world.”

–Aundrea Robinson, proud charter school parent and Westside resident

“The average ACT score is 14.2. You need at least a 21 to be college ready. That’s why I’m excited to have options for my daughter whose starting kindergarten.”

-Jahmal Cole, parent, Chatham resident, and INCS Community Engagement Manager

“A high quality education will change the trajectory of a child’s life.”

—Rashid Bell, founder and school leader at KIPP Chicago

“I can’t unpack in 2 minutes why our City has such a great system of disparity that leads to such an inequitable distribution of high quality schools, but it’s the unfortunate truth we all live with in Chicago. “

–Pam Witmer, former teacher, Bucktown resident, and INCS Policy Manager


 As a direct result of these actions, the Chicago Board of Education approved three charter public school proposals yesterday. INCS applauds the Board for putting student needs ahead of politics and allowing the new Noble and KIPP schools to bring additional high-quality seats to our city and create new opportunities for thousands of students. We reject the false dichotomy that pits charter public schools against other public schools and reaffirm our commitment to work with anyone seriously dedicated to improving education in our city.

This event received widespread media coverage from a variety of media outlets, including: