| The most comprehensive study of Chicago’s Local School Councils by the Consortium on Chicago School Research concludes that:
vast majority of LSCs are viable
governance organizations that responsibly
carry out their mandated duties
and are active in building school and
Yet Mayor Daley wants the Illinois General
Assembly to rush to gut the power of all
LSCs, based on a controversy at
one school. The General Assembly has already
established an independent hearing
officer process to deal with this issue,
which is moving ahead at Curie.
|Chicago’s Local School Councils Are Modeled on School Boards in the Rest of Illinois
has nearly 900school
boards that are made up of elected
citizens who set educational policy
and hire a school superintendent on
- Chicago’s more than 550 elected Local School Councils have some of the keypowers that school boards exercise in the rest of Illinois, including the power to select their principal to serve under a four-year contract.
- Chicago’s elected LSCs consist of six parents, two community representatives, two teachers, the principal, and (in high schools) a student.
|Legislation Already Exists To PROTECT Wronged Principals
- Recently, the LSC at Curie High School voted not to renew the contract of the school’s principal. The LSC’s decision has generated a major public controversy. The principal has requested arbitration by an independent arbitrator from the American Arbitration Association, and that process is moving forward.
- The LSC’s decision can be reversed if the arbitrator rules that the LSC’s decision was “arbitrary and capricious.” This arbitration process was established by the General Assembly after much debate in 1999.
- Then Illinois Senator Barack Obama actively supported the arbitration process, which gives the finaldecisionto a truly independent arbitrator.
Rush to Judgment and Apply a Double Standard
Daley has asked that the Illinois
General Assembly rush
to judgment by giving Chicago’s
Central Board the righttoreverse
the principal contract renewal decisions
LSCs. If adopted, this
legislation would cut
the heart out of Local School
Councils and the community voice in
our schools and eliminate the
role of a truly
- The General Assembly would be applying a clear double standard. Would the General Assembly eliminate critical rights for 900 Illinois school boards in the state based on a controversy about one school board? Look at the evidence about the effectiveness of Local School Councils across the city before considering this power grab.
|Research Shows that Chicago’s LSCs Have Significantly Improved the Quality of Children’s Education and Achievement|
The Consortium on Chicago School Research
study of LSCs has conducted research that
about Chicago’s Local School Councils,
replacing them with hard
and community LSC members are significantly
educated than the average Illinois
adult. Thirty-one percent of
LSC members have a bachelor’s degree,
compared with 21% of Illinois adults.
Thirty-two percent have some college,
compared with 25% of Illinois adults.
Only 13% lack a high school diploma,
compared with 24% of Illinois adults.
- Based on detailed ratings of LSC effectiveness, about 55% of LSCS were judged to be “high functioning,” 30% to be “performing well but need support,” and 10%-15% as having “serious problems,” ranging from inactivity to sustained conflict. The strong base of effective LSCs indicates the needto strengthen this valuable resource, not to gut LSCs.
A study by Designs for Change indicated that one of the key ingredients of success in Chicago elementary schools with a seven year trend of substantially improved reading scores is an effective LSC (as rated by the school's teachers).
- The average LSC meets more than once a month, nearly always has a quorum, and has three or more active committees. The average parent or community member spends 11 hours per month volunteering at the school, in addition to LSC duties.
The Central Office appointed Chicago’s principals during the 1980's, the same time that a coalition of Chicago parent, community, and business leaders grew so disgusted with the quality of the school system that they went to the General Assembly in 1988 and radically restructured it.
Schools Belong to the Community! Say "No!"
to any Legislation That Would Change the
Principal Selection Process
Chicago, LSC members must
protect their right to select
and renew principal contracts. It
is in the best interest of the local
school community of parents, residents,
educators, and businesses to protect
members of the House and Senate Education
Committee and tell them: NO
LEGISLATION TO CHANGE PRINCIPAL SELECTION!Remind
them about the arbitration
process they already put in
place. And tell them how your
LSC has worked hard with your
school staff to improve student achievement
|Key Members of the House Education Committee to contact:|
Chair - Representative Michael K. Smith (D)
91st District (309) 647-7479/(217) 782-8152
V-Chair - Representative Monique D. Davis (D)
27th District (217) 782-0010/(773) 445-9700
Republican Spokesperson - Representative Jerry L. Mitchell (R)
90th District (217) 782-0535/(815) 625-0820
Representative Esther Golar (D)
6th District (217) 782-5971/(773) 925-6580
Representative Harry Osterman (D)
14th District (217) 782-8088/(773) 784-2002
Representative Karen A. Yarbrough (D)
7th District (217) 782-8120/(708) 615-1747
Key Senate Education Committee Members to contact:
Chair - Senator Kimberly A. Lightford (D)
4th District (217) 782-8505/(708) 343-7444
V-Chair - Senator Deanna Demuzio (D)
49th District (217) 782-8206/(217) 854-4441
Minority Spokesperson - Senator Dan Cronin (R)
21st District (217) 782-8107/(630) 792-0040
Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D)
16th District (217) 782-1607/(773) 224-2830
Senator William Delgado (D)
2nd District (217) 782-5652/(773) 292-0202
Senator David Luechtefeld (R)
58th District (217) 782-8137/(618) 243-9014
Senator James T. Meeks (D)
15th District (217) 782-8066/(708) 862-1515
Senator John J. Millner (R)
28th District (217) 782-8192/(630) 351-9340
Other Key Legislators to Contact:
Majority Leader Representative Barbara Flynn Currie (D)
25th District (217) 782-8121/(773)667-6550
Representative Cynthia Soto (D)
4th District (217) /(773) 252-0402