An overhaul of the district’s career education programs seeks to make classes more challenging and put career-track students on the path to higher ed, but many schools have lost programs, and fewer students are participating overall.
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Exactly right, Kim. It's OK to opt out of many other things as well: students don't have to say the pledge if it is conflict with their religious views; they can opt out of field trips, and...
I am not sure what the position of the parent advocacy group Raise Your Hand is on Chicago Teachers pensions but I find it refreshing that they have not added to the often disrespectful attacks...
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For the Record: Elected School 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.
This issue has come up recently as activists and some aldermen have started to push for an elected school board.
The 1988 Chicago School Reform Act, which decentralized the school system, created a complicated, grass-roots nominating process that restricted the mayor’s choices. Indeed, former Mayor Richard M. Daley left some seats open rather than choose any of the nominees. The 1995 legislation abolished the nominating process, thus returning unfettered control of the system to the mayor.
That legislation also clipped the Chicago Teachers Union’s wings by letting the board decide whether to bargain over class size, staffing and other issues now in play.
For more details about the 1995 law, see the September 1995 issue of Catalyst. http://www.catalyst-chicago.org/issues/1995/09/new-regime