How much do you know about mayoral control in CPS? A quiz!

How much do you know about mayoral control in CPS? A quiz!

Friends, it’s finals time, and in solidarity with our students, we’re going to have a little end-of-year quiz. Choose only one option per question! Do not use a #2 pencil! No peeking at your neighbor’s work!

How Much Do You Know About Mayoral Control in CPS?

  1. Which of the following is a way parents and students in Chicago have tried to get a response of any kind, at all, from the mayoral-appointed Board of Ed?
    1. Give 2-minute speech at Board meeting before Board members who doze, check phone, and belittle
    2. Solicit donations of toilet paper for schools at side of road
    3. Hold sit-ins, walk-outs, boycotts, and die-ins
    4. Stage a 34-day hunger strike
    5. All of the above
  2. Which of the following is a way CPS parents and students have tried to get a response of any kind, at all, from their elected officials?
    1. Occupy a school library to prevent it from being bulldozed
    2. Hold a group camp out at elected official’s office for days
    3. Dress as giant, person-sized bill and present self at state capitol
    4. Chain selves to each other at City Hall in hopes of officials perhaps stepping over and noticing
    5. All of the above
  3. Which of the following is a way that a mayoral-controlled CPS has responded to community, parent, and student actions?
    1. Ignore indefinitely
    2. Physically remove people from podiums and meetings
    3. Send lawyers to interrogate third graders who refused standardized tests
    4. Call police on parents who refuse to leave a school in protest
    5. All of the above
  4. Which of the following did a mayoral-controlled CPS purposely conceal from the public?
    1. A decade’s worth of sexual abuse for which CPS had no protocol to deal with
    2. A year’s worth of secret, unexplained cuts to students’ federally-guaranteed IEP services
    3. Illegal no-bid contracts for which for which several people did actually go to jail
    4. Just who that new school in Dunning is for, anyway
    5. All of the above


Each answer is worth the number to its left. Add up your total points.

1-19 points: Hmmm. You could stand to learn a few things. Well, it turns out that you know less about CPS under mayoral control than you think! What the mayor’s office tells us does not always square with reality, and in the case of CPS, the mayor does not tell us about things like illegal contracts, deep-rooted school inequity, and coverups. Better get to reading. I’ve provided handy links below to start you off.

20 points:  You sure know your mayoral-controlled CPS! Congratulations, I’m sorry to say you got them all right! You are someone who is well aware of the problems of an appointed school board and a district under mayoral control. You probably need no persuading that it’s time for an elected school board and a new mayor. What can you do to help make that happen?

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Here are some links to stories about all the above multiple choice answers, in the order that they appear. In the list below I have scarcely touched the 2013 mass school closings, now shown by U of C researchers to have essentially failed the students they were intended to help. All of this adds up to an urgent need for the accountability that can come only with an elected school board.

These statements made at a recent board of ed meeting reflect the board’s entire failure to listen for years at a time.

Here’s the story of the toilet paper drives parents and even an alderman held because there was no money in the budget for it.

Where even to start with stories about sit-ins, etc. There have been too many to count. But here are a few examples: Students held a read-in in response to a fired librarian; students boycotted (the still) terrible Aramark food; here’s students walking out and holding a rally in 2016 over budget cuts, and here’s a 2017 student walk out in protest of a co-located charter school. Here’s a 2013 die-in over a school closure perceived as dangerous.

On the 34 day hunger strike. This blog also contains many posts about Dyett High School and the events leading up to the hunger strike.

Here’s the story of when CPS destroyed the library at Whittier school because it was thought a soccer field was better. (I guess I didn’t mention in the quiz that the parent occupation failed, did I?)

This story is about the time the Dyett High School supporters camped in front of Ald. Will Burns’ office. 

She’s just a bill, yes she’s only a bill, and she’s sitting here on capitol hill.

Chaining oneself to City Hall seems to serve only to get one arrested in this city.

So much ignoring. 

So much dragging from the podium, from the meeting, from the mic.

An interrogation/lying about it twofer. 

Here’s a time when police were called on parents.

The monumental work of the Chicago Tribune about the sexual abuse that CPS has failed to handle appropriately for years. 

The investigative work of Sarah Karp about previous CEO Forrest Claypool’s secretive changes to special education.

That SUPES contract.

That new school in the Dunning neighborhood was a mystery for a long time.


Follow me on twitter and facebook @foolforcps.

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