To the Editor:
Three years ago the Chicago Board of Education voted to phase out Dyett High School by 2015.
I, along with many other Bronzeville residents and stakeholders, opposed that decision. We engaged in advocacy efforts at the time to stop the Dyett closure.
We were not successful in 2011. But I remained undaunted. I continued to argue with CPS officials and the mayor’s office that Dyett High School should be kept open.
The reasons are clear. Between the redevelopment efforts from Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd) and me, we are reversing the decades-long hollowing out of Bronzeville. As we add more residents to Bronzeville and the Mid-South Side, it is clear that we need another high quality open enrollment high school.
Kenwood Academy, one of Chicago’s highest performing open-enrollment high schools, is overcrowded, demonstrating that there is a market for another high quality neighborhood option.
We were finally heard.
On Friday, Oct. 24, the Board of Education announced that it would seek proposals for a new Dyett High School to open in the fall of 2016. The RFP prohibits an alternative, charter or selective enrollment school at the site.
Friday’s announcement is an unprecedented victory for our community, and recognition of our steadfast efforts.
To paraphrase President John F. Kennedy, victory has a hundred fathers and mothers. I thank all of the organizations and leaders who worked with me to keep Dyett High School open. I also thank CPS and Mayor Emanuel for listening to our community.
Ald. Will Burns (4th)