Chicago’s educational system with it’s 6 billion dollar budget ranked the 3rd largest school system in the country yet is far behind in educating children attending its system. There was a time when Chicago lead the country in graduating rates and college attendance among it students. It was a time when Black communities flourished with Black business, community engagement, Black politicians delivered resources to the communities, and schools was properly funded. Under The Board of Education students was equiped with life skills such as home economics, sewing classes, trades such as plumbing, carpentry, art class, theater, band classes, wood shop. A public school in a Black community Dunbar High School students built a working home inside the school. In 1989 Chicago elected Richard Daley as mayor he was reelected five times serving as Chicago’s mayor for 22 years, one year longer than his father Daley Sr.
In 1995 Mayor Daley took over The Board of Education and ushered in Chicago Public Schools this is when the dismantling of public education began.
Under Daley’s Chicago Public Schools phonics was taken out of schools in the city. Such as cursive writing, child are taught to remember the spelling of a word opposed to sounding the words out. What does all this means ? It means education as it was when I was a young person in Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has changed, no longer is the schools resourced as they were, no longer are parents allowed to participate in daily activities at the schools, engage with staff, provide volunteers services for their child/children’s schools. The education system was politicialize under than Mayor Richard Daley take over, it is where the school system started it’s decline.
Other systems was put into play as parents no longer was welcome into their community schools. Systems such as Local School Council (LSC) consisting of Teachers, Parents, Community members, and Students. Community Action Councils (CAC) consisting of community members and parents. These systems are noting more than beraurcy, red tape and road blocks for parents already strapped with working providing food water and shelter for the family.50 schools in Black communities were closed under Mayor Daley’s leadership The Board of Education change to Chicago Public School under this change. Under Daley’s leadership noticeable changes occured such as supplies books clean classrooms yearly trips and Black Teachers no longer existed in schools. Schools stop teaching cursive writing, schools adopted a new learning curriculum instead of teaching children vowels and sounds students was taught to remember words, standard testing was implemented, Individual Assessment Plan for students was adopted. The political backdrop of these changes proved a dieaster for students in the Black communities.
In 1995 GOP in Springfield passes the Chicago School Reform Amendatory Act, effectively reversing the decentralization ushered in by the 1988 reform act. Local school councils remained, but the Board of Education was reconstituted, and the superintendent was replaced by a chief executive officer. The law gives the mayor power to appoint School Board members directly and strengthens school accountability measures, trims union bargaining rights, mandates the training of local school councils and takes the strings off substantial amounts of money. This is when public education became politics and big salaries for the Mayor’s appointies. Since this take over most of the funding are paid into salaries and pensions.
Mayor Daley announces Renaissance 2010, his plan to close dozens of poorly performing schools and create 100 new ones, most of them charter and contract schools, by 2010. Activists gear up for battle, citing lack of community and parent input into the sweeping proposal.
2004 CPS agrees to postpone closing schools with poor academic performance, striking a deal with the Chicago Teachers Union to provide extra money and support 10 struggling schools. The state charter law is amended to increase the state charter school cap to 60, adding 15 more charter schools for Chicago, for a total of 30. The KIPP and ASPIRA charter school networks open their first Chicago schools.
It’s important to look back in past Chicago at the time education reconstruction occured, 60% of the white population relocated to suburbs enrolling their children in private schools, The education makeup in Chicago was 80% Black students.
After school closing children was forced to attend schools outside their communities which lead to fights and even killing of students (chicago is made up of 77 communites and very territorial).
Where are we today is education CPS has a 6 billion dollar budget CTU (chicago teachers union) with it’s lack of concern for public education did not fight with residents when Daley and future Mayors closed schools in Black communities, The silence was could be heard throughout communities when Black Teachers was laid off.
No Child Left Behind ………