Holding on

Since the steel industry vanished from South Chicago in the 1990s, the blue-collar community has struggled to create jobs and affordable housing. More than one of every three children in the community lives below the poverty line, and 85 percent of students attend public schools.

Neighborhood snapshot
South Chicago
Chicago
Students in private school
12%
18%
Population 25 and over w/ high school diploma
66%
72%
Median household income
$28,600
$38,600
Children below poverty level
39%
29%
Unemployment rate
18%
10%
Residents living in own homes
45%
48%
Average sale price (single family residence)
$139,243
$329,908
Median rent (per month)
$512
$616

Source: Census 2000; Average sale price from Multiple Listing Service of Northern Illinois, June 2005 to June 2006.

School performance mixed

Poverty rates at each South Chicago school are above the district’s average of 85 percent. Yet 8th-graders posted good to average reading scores, although math scores are low; 3rd-graders posted better scores in math than in reading. As for high schools, Bowen’s small schools are outperforming its general program, which graduates its last class of seniors in June.

Student population
Enrollment
Poverty
Bilingual
Mobility
ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
Coles
781
94%
1%
29%
Mann
845
87%
0%
25%
Mireles
1,233
97%
20%
34%
Ninos Heroes
791
91%
8%
26%
South Chicago Community
185
98%
2%
51%
Sullivan
781
97%
11%
36%
JN Thorp
629
99%
9%
41%
HIGH SCHOOLS
B.E.S.T.
331
99%
1%
37%
Bowen High
77
96%
8%
42%
Chicago Discovery
382
93%
9%
13%
Global Visions
306
93%
1%
44%
Las Casas
93
87%
.
.
New Millennium
254
93%
4%
36%
_
Student ethnicity
White
Black
Hispanic
Other
ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
Coles
0%
96%
2%
2%
Mann
0%
100%
0%
0%
Mireles
0%
53%
44%
3%
Ninos Heroes
0%
78%
22%
0%
South Chicago Community
1%
89%
10%
0%
Sullivan
1%
65%
32%
2%
JN Thorp
0%
81%
18%
1%
HIGH SCHOOLS
B.E.S.T.
0%
83%
15%
2%
Bowen High
0%
80%
20%
0%
Chicago Discovery
0%
44%
55%
1%
Global Visions
0%
88%
11%
1%
Las Casas
3%
88%
7%
2%
New Millennium
0%
91%
7%
2%
_
Elementary performance
ISAT
math-3
ISAT
math-8
ISAT
read-3
ISAT
read-8
Coles
34%
19%
27%
63%
Mann
44%
12%
32%
53%
Mireles
32%
12%
19%
44%
Ninos Heroes
61%
23%
32%
60%
South Chicago Community
28%
0%
22%
38%
Sullivan
43%
14%
18%
41%

JN Thorp

32%
11%
32%
36%
_
High school performance*
Graduation
Dropout
PSAE math
PSAE reading
B.E.S.T.
NA
3%
5%
34%
Bowen High
48%
37%
2%
13%
Chicago Discovery
NA
3%
19%
27%
Global Visions
NA
21%
NA
NA
*Note: PSAE scores are not available for Global Visions Academy because this is the first year the school has had 11th-graders. New Millennium School of Health is not included because it opened in 2004-05 and no data is yet available. Las Casas Occupational High School is not included because it is a special education school.
Source: CPS, Consortium on Chicago School Research

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