Rallying The LSC Troops

Check out this email from Designs For Change in support of LSCs, claiming that Dale is gunning for the councils with the state (has he said that explicitly yet?) and that most LSCs are perfectly viable (which seems true) and not unlike IL's 900 school boards (too many by far, but OK).

UPDATE:  The attachment didn't work, so here's the full attachment as a Word file: Download










Designs for Change



DFC logo Act on the Facts!
Don’t Destroy Chicago’s Beneficial Local School Council Decision Making at 550 Schools, Based on a Conflict at One School

April  2007


For More Information, Contact:

   Valencia Rias 
Elena Rios

Designs for Change
814 South Western Ave.
Chicago, IL 60612

Phone: 312.236.7252
Fax: 312.236.7927




Transforming Urban Education on a Scale That Matters.

Download "Chicago's Local School Councils: What the Research Says."  



The most comprehensive study of Chicago’s Local School Councils by the Consortium on Chicago School Research concludes that:

“The vast majority of LSCs are viable governance
organizations that responsibly carry out their mandated duties and are
active in building school and community relationships.”



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


  • Illinois has nearly 900 school 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 key powers 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
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


  • Then Illinois Senator Barack Obama actively supported the
    arbitration process, which gives the final decision to a truly
                          independent arbitrator.
Don’t Rush to Judgment and Apply a Double Standard


  • Chicago’s Mayor Daley has asked that the Illinois General
    Assembly rush to judgment by giving Chicago’s Central Board the
                          right to reverse the principal contract renewal decisions of all
    .  If adopted, this legislation would cut the heart out of
    Local School Councils and the community voice in improving our schools
    and eliminate the role of a truly independent arbitrator.


  • The General Assembly would be applying a clear double
    .  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
counters many myths
about Chicago’s Local School Councils, replacing them with
hard facts.


  • Parent and community LSC members are significantly better 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 need to strengthen this valuable resource, not to gut LSCs.


    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.

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 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. 

Our Schools Belong to the Community! Say "No!" to any Legislation That Would Change the Principal Selection Process

  • Across 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 this right.


  • Call members of
    the House and Senate Education Committee and tell them: NO LEGISLATION
     Remind them about the arbitration
    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




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