Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Groups demand an end to mayoral control of Chicago schools

WHO: Jitu Brown (KOCO), Karen Lewis (Chicago Teachers Union), Margarite Jacobs (People for Community Recovery), Michelle Young (Action Now), Rico Gutstein (Teachers for Social Justice), CPS youth and parent representatives

WHAT: Press Conference

WHEN: December 29, 2010 at 10:30 a.m.

WHERE: Thompson Center lobby, 100 W. Randolph Street Chicago, IL 60601

WHY: The above groups, joined by teachers, students, parents and others directly impacted by Chicago education policy, launch a campaign today demanding an end to the 15-years of mayoral control of Chicago Public Schools and the mayor's appointed Board of Education comprised solely of business interests. This coalition will present a framework for establishing a representative, elected school board comprised of parents, students, teachers, community groups and education research experts charged to form education policy based on proven educational research, and conduct its business in a transparent manner accessible to all Chicago citizens.

Also--The Tribune has an excellent piece by Diane Rado and Tara Malone describing the dismal progress made under reform after 15 years of mayoral control--reason enough to end it. 
Like the menu at a potluck supper, Chicago Public Schools has a dizzying array of offerings, from classical, magnet, selective enrollment and gifted schools to charters and contract schools and career and military academies. The smorgasbord is a testament to Chicago's myriad attempts to fix broken schools and keep middle-class parents from fleeing to the suburbs. But 15 years after a historic shake-up put the city's mayor in charge of public education, the litany of reforms has not produced widespread success. Some 80 percent of the city's schools didn't meet federal testing targets this year, leaving Mayor Richard Daley's successor with a massive organization still plagued by academic failure as well as budget woes, high poverty and debilitating social conditions that make teaching and learning difficult.

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