Research and Information supporting an Elected Representative School Board

UIC Report: Should Chicago have an Elected Representative School Board?

This report addresses the question: Should Chicago Have an 
Elected, Representative School Board? To address this question we 
explored several sub-questions: 

• What does research say about the track record of mayor-controlled school systems?
• Has mayoral control improved education for Chicago public school students?
• Have the appointed board’s policies increased educational equity?
• Are there examples where elected boards have been responsive 
and accountable to educators and communities?

The History of School Boards in Chicago

University of Illinois at Chicago professor Pauline Lipman summarizes the history of how the Chicago school board has been selected since its founding. 

Catalyst: History Lesson, Elected Board

"It is a common misconception that the Chicago mayor acquired the authority to appoint the School Board in 1995. In fact, in Chicago, the mayor has always appointed the School Board, at least during the lifetime of anyone now living."

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University of Chicago: Trends in Chicago's Schools Over Three Eras of Reform

Trends in Chicago’s Schools Across Three Eras of Reform finds that Chicago Public Schools has experienced tremendous growth in graduation rates over the past 20 years, but learning gains have been modest. The report tracks elementary and high school test scores and graduation rates in Chicago since 1988, when U.S. Secretary of Education William Bennett proclaimed the city’s public schools to be the worst in the nation. Key findings from the report include:

*Graduation rates in Chicago have improved dramatically, and high school test scores have risen; more students are graduating without a decline in average academic performance.

*Math scores have improved incrementally in the elementary/middle grades, while elementary/middle grade reading scores have remained fairly flat for two decades.

*Racial gaps in achievement have steadily increased, with white and Asian students making more progress than Latino students, and African American students falling behind all other groups.

*Despite progress, the vast majority of CPS students have academic achievement levels that are far below where they need to be to graduate ready for college. (emphasis added)

U.I.C. Collaborative for Equity and Justice in Education

This page includes several reports that relate to issues of equity and justice in the Chicago public education system.