Email Print

HB 5727

Background:

The 1995 Amendatory Act gave the Chicago mayor sole authority to lead Chicago Public Schools and the ability to appoint a five-member Board of Trustees and a CEO to lead the school district. In 1999, the Amendatory Act expanded the Board to seven and restored the name ―Board of Education of the City of Chicago. 

Impact:

  • An overwhelming majority (77%) of Chicagoans want an elected school board according to a 2011 WGN/Chicago Tribune Poll.
  • Ninety-six percent of school districts in the nation have elected school boards, with a variety of structures and methods of electing members.
  • Every school district in Illinois except for Chicago is governed by some form of an elected school board.
    • There is no conclusive evidence that mayoral-appointed boards are more effective at governing schools or raising student achievement.
    • A report released last fall by the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research indicated that the reform efforts  led by the appointed Chicago Board of Education— particularly the opening and closing of schools in the last decade — have hurt minority students and widened the achievement gap between white and black students.
    • The Board’s policies of top-down accountability based on standardized tests, and its simultaneous expansion of selective-enrollment schools has expanded a two-tier education system in Chicago.

 

  • Although data on charter schools, nationally and locally, are mixed, there is no evidence that, overall, CPS’ charter schools are significantly better than its traditional public schools.

 

  • The Chicago Board of Education is composed primarily of corporate executives, while the Chicago school district is 92 percent students of color and 86 percent low-income students whose communities have no role in school district decisions.

 

  • The Board is seemingly unresponsive to community input or concerns.  Parents have gone to extreme measures to be heard: a hunger strike, 43-day occupation of a field house to get a school library, a 24-hour occupation of a school to halt its closing, and “mic-check” interruption of a board meeting. 

 

  • In lieu of authentic participation, we have ministers with million dollar contracts with CPS paying protestors to advocate for school closings.
Chicago Teachers Union