Who's For Or Against LSCs?

Give Julie Woestehoff some credit -- at least she's consistent.  The same can't be said for Mike Klonsky, who's wildly in favor of the LSC process in the current case of Curie (Another strike against Chicago's school "renaissance") but was equally against the LSC process at Telpochcalli when it threatened to nonrenew the principal there.  Maybe there's a difference there, but if so I don't see it.

There are others whose positions aren't entirely clear on the LSC issue, either.  Where's Madeline Stewart, for example, or her anticipated challenger Debbie Lynch?  Where's ACORN or any of the other community organizations you'd think would be out there talking about this, one way or the other?  Where's the city council, or state reps?  For that matter, as I've asked before, why did the mayor come out against this LSC decision but not others?

Filed under: Communities & CBOs

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  • I'm hoping this case is the smoking gun that makes LSCs either become toothless advocacy panels or completely go away. All of the taxpayers in CPSland are paying for all of the schools in CPSland so it should be people elected at large (i.e. alderpeople and the mayor) who get a say-so in how schools are run.

  • Alexander Russo,

    I need to correct your latest jab at me (puny as it was), calling me "inconsistant" because of my defense of LSCs and my critical view of the Mayor's position. In fact, I took the same position in the case of Telpochcalli, even though I opposed the LSC's attempt to illegally fire the school's excellent principal. Even in the midst of that debate, I never attacked LSC's or their rights. Instead, I supported exactly what the school community did and what all communities should do with unresponsive elected representatives. They organized and voted the rascals out and then extended the principal's contract. That's how democracy should work. Each school is different. Each principal's contract should be weighed on its own merit. The inconsistant ones are those officials who claim they support democracy until the vote doesn't go their way. Then they want to turn the system back to the old machine days when principals were patronage hires and accountable only to the mayor and the ward boss. I opposed it then. I oppose it now. How consistant can you be?

  • March 15, 2007 at 11:34 PM is certainly entitled to their opinions about the principals at Curie and Telpochcalli. But, let me say that I ever "berated" Ms. Jones or Curie. I in fact pointed out that Jones has a good reputation and certainly not to blame for Curie's problems nor solely to credit for Curie's gains. What I took issue with, was the way the mayor put the label "superstar" on her and tagged Curie as a "great, great" school for obvious political reasons. That label doesn't serve her or the school well. The mayor should have stayed out of it and tended to City Hall's own hiring scandal. As for Telpochcalli's supposed "horrendous" record, I'll let the students', parents', LSC's and community's decision on that one stand on its own. They have already spoken loudly on that issue. Let me just say that as a neighborhood school, with a low-income, almost-entirely immigrant, Spanish-speaking population, Telpochcalli outscores the district average and last year had 86.7% of its 8th graders scoring at or above grade level in reading. That was an increase of 36.7% in just one year. 80% of its 8th graders met or exceeded on composite reading, math and science last year, compared with 36.7% just one year earlier. It has an outstanding arts-focused, dual-language curriculum and is a small, safe school that I would happily send my own kid to. The community could use more "horrendous" schools like Telpochcalli.

  • In response to 8:57 p.m. who asked me about After School Matters: I'm not sure why you're asking me about ASM. I wrote about the program on my blog,

    back in June. It's one of those programs reflective of the Mayor's s0-called "renaissance." The program was awarded a $7 million no-bid contract ($2million more than they even requested)even though they never even spent all of last-year's money. Maggie Daley founded the organization and serves as its unpaid chairwoman. The group's 89-person board reads like a "Who's Who" of Chicago's elite, including U.S. Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) and restaurateur Richard Mellman. So dishing out a few bucks to the kids is the least of the problems. Something to consider for those who think LSC "agendas" are the real problem in schools. There's much bigger "agendas" at work in this debate.

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