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
||Act on the Facts!
Dont Destroy Chicagos Beneficial Local School Council Decision Making at 550 Schools, Based on a Conflict at One School
The most comprehensive study of Chicagos 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.
Chicagos 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
- Chicagos 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.
- Chicagos 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 schools principal. The LSCs 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 LSCs decision can be reversed if the arbitrator rules that
the LSCs 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
|Dont Rush to Judgment and Apply a Double Standard
- Chicagos Mayor Daley has asked that the Illinois General
Assembly rush to judgment by giving Chicagos Central Board the
right to reverse the principal contract renewal decisions of all
LSCs. 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
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 Chicagos LSCs Have Significantly Improved the Quality of Childrens Education and Achievement
The Consortium on Chicago School Research study of LSCs has conducted research that counters many myths
about Chicagos 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 bachelors 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 Chicagos 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
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