politics of Education in Chicago

After the fall out of school closings in Chicago, Councils, Boards and political Positons was created. LSC Local Schools Councils was created, this council made decisions for the school in the community each school had its own coouncil. The council consisted of Parents, Students, Teachers and Community Represenitives. Community members desiring to be apart of the coucil campaigned to be elected to a two year term. Members of the community voted for the member to represent the communities best educational interest. I ran for a community Representive seat, I was very active in my community and apart of many of the students attending the community schools. This is the moment politics enter the Educational system in Chicago. The race was brutial for absolutely no reason at all. During a community meeting candstes presented themselve to the community. I was attacked by people I never seem in the community. I knew only one other candidate running for the seat. Needless to say I lost the race by four votes. Later after the election I did find out the person I knew from the community had others come into the meeting to oppose my candidacy, needless to say it was my first experience with Chicago dirty politics I had many experiences since then (laughs).

Chicago Board of Education was another entity created, these members were hand picked by the Mayor with enormious salaries willing to be apart of the further diamantling of Chicago educational system. This board’ met once a month its sole responsibility was isten to complaints from the public of issues concerning building maintance, personell, and lack of resources for schools. Many times parents was cut off from speaking, even having security drag parents for the meetngs, community advocates thrown out and barred from future meetings. Litterly this board was nothing more than another road block for parents already over maxed form working to provide food anf shelter for their family. This board did nothing it was designed to acheive.

The Illinois State Board of Schools another board cretaed to overseer the training and requit future teachers.

Along with Councils and newly created Boards, we saw an increase in Academy, College Prep, and Selective Enrollment Schools (laughs).

Academy schools offered nothing for students these schools had the same harsh, follow the orders to the line, students was penalized for a small infractions. The name Academy fooled parents into thinking the curricullum would be a parent student friendly positive learning environment for students, and schools woould be properly resourced, these schools turned out to be nothing more than pipelines to prison. I remember once a FBI agent stating when he visited a Academy school he asked why did the students wear uniforms to school ? He was told uniforms are requred to keep children focused on Education instead of fashion. His reply was the schools reminded him of prisons where prisoners all where the same uniforms. To prove these Academy’ Schools was strict, a young person showed up to school without his tie, he rushed out the house with his mom to dropped him off both not noticing the missing tie. His parent was called notifying her the school was sending him home, Before she reach the house her son lay dead on the street killed by a stray bullet …

After the incident with the student and the tie, community advocates visited the school and tied ties on the fence of the school.

Selective Enrollment created after schools closings was created to futher deplete community schools. These schools selected students from across the city. Parents got a good feeling about selective enrollment students had to passed a entrance exam to attend the schools. I cant say much if the schools met educational requirements I do know some of the schoos was on academic probation.

Colege Prep Schools was the cream of the crop of Chicago Public Schools, these schools was funded with public and private funding. Students attending these schools was students whose parents sat on boards of cooperations, school boards, heads of unions etc. Teachers lost their jobs if their children attnded College Prep schools and didnt live in the school districts. These schools exists on the West, South, and Northside of the city. High tech media library foreign language classes, and many more aminities not avaliable in Selective enrollment or Academy schools. Although youth from the south and west sides of the city do attend College Prep school on the Northside they was met with racists acts and laungage. Studnets attending the school for disadvantage communites stage a protest against the principal she was eventually fired and replaced. I must note the College Prep school on the Northside of the city is better funded and maintained. Educate yourself or die

Helen T.

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