Our local schools may not be perfect, but I like having input as to how they are run. Rockford Public School District 205 has some new, elected school board members. The Chicago Public School system (CPS) will have all new, appointed board members in May. District 205 residents voted for their new board members. Chicago voters had no choice. The Mayor of Chicago appoints CPS board members and the superintendent (CEO). While some prefer Chicago’s method, that method has not worked well for Chicago school children. There have been a few academic successes, but overall, it is a stalemate. Making matters worse, many CPS parents don’t feel they have a say in school board decisions, as the school board has not openly discussed issues. No discussion, no debate, and no recourse for the residents. District 205 may not be perfect, but we have a say in who will lead the district, we can make a difference. So, when the mayor and other officials start preaching “appointed” school boards, tell them “no thanks,” you want to keep your voting rights. Listen to this news article from WBEZ radio regarding Chicago School Board openness: http://www.wbez.org/story/controversial-school-decisions-little-discussion-public-85720.
From the May 4-10, 2011 issue