Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago will go down in American history as the mayor who closed 50 public schools one day.

It was a brutal act. It showed his contempt for public education. While he closed public schools, he continued to open privately managed charter schools. Perhaps he hopes one day he hopes a charter school will be named for him, as one is named for billionaire Governor Bruce Rainer and billionaire Penny Pritzker.

But what about the children? Reformers like Emanuel think that closing schools is great for students. He thinks they thrive on disruption. They don’t.

A new study concludes that the children whose schools were closed suffered academic losses. Duh.

Here is the report in The Chicago Reporter.

Mike Klonsky writes about the report and the school closing disaster here.

Mike writes:

The study concludes:

“Closing schools — even poorly performing ones — does not improve the outcome of displaced children, on average. Closing under-enrolled schools may seem like a viable solution to policymakers who seek to address fiscal deficits and declining enrollment, but our findings shows that closing schools caused large disruptions without clear benefits for students.”

CTU’s Jesse Sharkey, said the report “validates” that the closures “were marred by chaos, a desperate lack of resources, lost libraries and labs, grief, trauma, damaging disruption, and a profound disrespect for the needs of low-income black students and the educators who teach them.”

Important to note… It wasn’t just Chicago. Mass school closings were a requirement of then Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s Race to The Top policy. Unless school districts closed schools, they were threatened with loss of millions of dollars from the D.O.E. An epidemic of closings and teacher firings, mainly in urban districts, followed in the wake of RTTT.

Who thought it would be good for the kids in the closing schools? Arne Duncan started it. He made school closings a feature of Race to the Top. He (and his sidekick Peter Cunningham, now editor of billionaire-funded Education Post) defended it as a “remedy” for low-scoring schools. Duncan’s reform program in Chicago was called Renaissance 2010, built on the idea of closing 100 schools and replacing them with charters. Of course it didn’t work. Kids need stability not disruption.