1994 News Briefs
January: Vaughn's Death
Jacqueline Vaughn, president of the Chicago Teachers Union for a decade, dies of cancer.
February: New CTU president
Thomas Reece, vice president of the Chicago Teachers Union, is elected president.
February: Harney's resignation
The School Board's accounting firm says building contracts overcharged the system by more than $7 million in 1992; subsequently, its longtime facilities chief, James P. Harney, resigns.
February: Three-Tier Process
Supt. Argie Johnson unveils her Three-Tiered Process to prod and help schools to step up improvement efforts. School activists complain it focuses too heavily on test scores and takes a top-down approach; Johnson eventually revises it.
March: Early retirement, II
1,100 teachers and principals apply for early retirement in the second-round offer.
March: Board non-appointments
Nine months past the deadline, Mayor Daley acts on pending School Board nominations, rejecting all of them.
March: Harvey appointment
Supt. Johnson finally wins praise from school reformers for a top-level appointment when she names Hefferan Elementary Principal Pat Harvey as her special assistant.
April: Inspector General
The School Finance Authority names veteran FBI agent Kenneth Holt as inspector general.
May: Science and math grant
The School Board announces it will receive a $15 million, five-year National Science Foundation grant to overhaul math and science curricula.
June: Teachers job fair
More than 2,500 teachers attend a two-day job fair sponsored by the school system.
July: Coporate/Community school
With corporate funds drying up, the Corporate/Community School joins the public school system, using the waiver process in the Chicago Teachers Union contract to maintain its longer school day and year.
August: Board appointments, budget deficit
Mayor Daley names four School Board members, leaving one seat on the 15-member board vacant and two seats occupied by members whose terms have expired. Meanwhile, the board announces a $290 million revenue shortfall for 1995-96.
October: Privatization proposal
Mayor Daley raises the possibility of "privatizing" some schools or operations.
November: Redistricting proposal
Winning control of the legislative as well as executive branches, Illinois Republican leaders talk about radical change for Chicago schools, including possibly breaking up the system into smaller, separate districts. Civil rights experts warn that, in a city as segregated as Chicago's, a system breakup likely would be unconstitutional.
Under pressure from Supt. Johnson, subdistrict superintendents begin to select struggling schools for remediation efforts. West Pullman Elementary wins the dubious distinction of becoming the first.
December: Operations proposal
The School Finance Authority proposes creating a public agency to assume ownership and operation of Chicago school buildings so the system can "concentrate on it core mission: education."