CPS tries to figure out what's working, copy it

Chicago Public Schools administrators think they have hit upon a winning formula for creating top-notch elementary schools: copy what is already working.

As part of what is called the "Renaissance 2010" initiative, school officials will attempt to duplicate the success of two elementary schools where test scores and attendance rates are above-average: John C. Burroughs School in Brighton Park and Walt Disney Magnet School in Uptown.

"We see this program as a framework of how we can franchise successful models within the school district and create more high performing school options for Chicago families,” said CPS Chief Education Officer Dr. Barbara Eason-Watkins.

Plans call for leaders of the two schools to  work with school officials to help identify and export the best practices.

The two new schools, called “Burroughs 2” and “Walt Disney 2” after their predecessors, will offer longer school days, more elective options, tutors in classrooms and 20-minute recesses.

The new Walt Disney Magnet School will also offer an art and technology focus in which students participate in four major art projects each year.