What should the City do to improve the quality of all local schools?


I believe expanding existing half-day early learning programs (like Preschool for All
and Head Start) to a full day for 3 and 4-year-olds is one of the most pressing issues
facing education in Chicago. I would expand early learning programs for infants and
toddlers from birth to 3 –years old who receive child care through the Illinois Child Care
Assistance Program.

Reduce class size. Charter reform.

No response provided

I think identifying defined revenue sources to properly fund and support CPS will provide
for a real solution. This will provide money for arts, music, and physical education. Also
providing for more advanced education programs that better match the training needs of
today’s businesses and industries.

The city should cease the funding of charter schools and concentrate funding of CPS programs

Invest in the schools that we have. Cook Elementary is a public disgrace. Ancient chalk boards,
huge cracks down the center of the hallways, doors off student rest rooms, multiple climate class
rooms, and missing learning materials. Some teachers invited me in to see the conditions they are
working under. My opinion is that CPS divest in these schools so there will be no public outcry in
their closing.

Residents should be able to take great pride in public education in the City of Chicago and, citywide, we have some work to do.
That said, key indicators are trending in the right direction. Graduations rates are up, hitting a record high of 70 percent for the school year that ended last spring. More young people are going to school with attendance rates over 90 percent. While they need further improvement, ACT scores are at a record high and graduation rates at City colleges are expected to triple over the next three years.
The City is helping bridge the gap between wealthy and poor neighborhoods by expanding early childhood development and increasing education opportunities. We are going to provide free pre-K to low income families starting next year. The earlier children start their education, the better, and I support these efforts.
I believe more programs to increase parental involvement are needed to better connect schools to our communities.

Stop cherry picking the
best and the brightest students. Provide equal opportunities across the board. Stop
publicly labeling schools as “probationary” or “poor performing,” which trickles down to
the students who are very aware of what it means. Ensure schools assessed as such are
staffed with full-time site-based librarians, social service personnel, counselors and school
nurses. Provide mandatory LSC training opportunities with accountability checks to
ensure all members are astute enough to make decisions for the students and not just
rubber stamps for the principals. One member should be from an oversight committee.

First, the top administrators
should have strong education backgrounds, as should a number of board members. Even
with LSC’s, there is too much top-down tinkering and whole-scale change, with little
attention to several home-grown models of success in even the poorest neighborhoods.
The emphasis on numbers and security often diverts much needed funding from the
academic, cultural and health aspects critical to young development. CPS should also
examine how moving students to different neighborhoods often creates or increases the
very behavioral problems that have a negative impact on the learning environment.

Fully fund the schools

Continue to focus on teacher and principal performance. Increase the level of school
funding from state revenues so that more teachers can be hired.

The alderman of the city council do not have a vote on the board of education’s decisions. However, schools are the backbone of healthy communities. We should be
working to make these schools better. The school closure plan disproportionally affected
at-risk children in underserved communities. In the 20th Ward alone, the closings
displaced 3,330 students. In order to better use the city’s already available resources
and keep local public schools open, I cosponsored a resolution calling for a moratorium
on opening new charter schools.
As community leaders, we should be encouraging better school attendance, not
instituting educational barriers. That starts with a realistic approach to evaluating the
city’s educational assets, not simply trying to save money on the backs of working

To improve the quality of all local schools, Chicago must enforce a standard of excellence
in every area. From administration, to students, everyone must be committed to
excellence in education. We must take pride in our campuses and pride in our classroom.
Each student should realize education is a privilege and every teacher should feel
appreciation and satisfaction when they step into the classroom. Every school should be
a safe haven for all who attend, and everyone should be taught that their actions not only
affect themselves, but their entire school and city.

See Question 39.

In addition, I believe in our schools, our children and our teachers. I had the opportunity to serve as a member of the Lincoln Elementary Local School Council, where I worked with my fellow Council Members to secure a new school annex to resolve the school’s overcrowding issue. I spearheaded a team of over a dozen school parents to develop and design the new Lincoln Elementary School website, increasing communication and transparency for our school community. I am also serving as a 5th Grade Room Parent for the school. I believe we need to continue to increase public school funding and expand access to and integration with technology in the education experience.

To establish a Education
committee, to help develop a strategy for improving students learning abilities

Stephen Niketopoulos IVI-IPO 2015 Chicago City Council

Take a hard look at assessments, for teachers and principals. Involve more roles for
parents and after school projects. Institute more technology upgrades.

More funding, reduce class size, upgrade the classrooms, cafeterias, auditoriums, in our schools, quit firing qualities teachers who have accumulated a great deal of years in the classroom, quit after working for 5 years, then leave taking that skill
set with them to some suburban school district.

School quality begins with changing school culture; this can be school leadership creating and fostering a stronger commitment to the community, parents, students, and their faculty. We need to also make sure that schools are provided with ample quality and beneficial professional development that allows for the continued growth of their seasoned and new staff members. Each community is unique and it is important for every school to reflect the needs of the community, we cannot provide a cookie cutter solution to all schools

To improve the quality of all local schools, the city should:
Fully fund our neighborhood public schools, place a moratorium on school closings and
charter expansion, support a democratically elected representative school board, hold
CPS School Board meetings at night so that all parents can participate without losing a
workday and students can advocate for their schools without missing a school day,
support the reduction of high-stakes testing and promote opt-out for parents, and
improve school safety by ending harsh discipline policies and promoting restorative
justice programs in every Chicago Public School.

As mentioned above, the city needs to address TIF funds and minimize the degree to
which they divert resources from local schools. An elected school board would also help
ensure that CPS and community goals are aligned. Finally, more must be done to
encourage community involvement.

Susan Sadlowski Garza IVI-IPO 2015 Chicago City Council

candidate's responce

No response provided

Provide adequate resources for CPS. Also, provide comfortable and safe learning environments for our kids and teachers.

No response provided

Michael E. LaFargue IVI-IPO 2015 Chicago City Council

The city should take the politics out of the education system as it stands now, Too much of the
system is based upon class (monetary) vs, the needs of our children. All other districts in the
State have an elected school board. Chicago should also work with this option also.
Other ideas:
1. Give more power to the LSC.
2. Motivate parents to be more involved, in manner that is revenue/cost neutral way..
i.e. Having school card pick up days Saturdays versus weekends.

Carlos Ramirez-Rosa IVI-IPO 2015 Chicago City Council

As previously stated, I believe the Chicago Public Schools should implement the best practices developed by the world’s most successful public school systems. This includes: smaller class sizes, full funding, rich curriculum, wraparound services, and less time spent on test prep. I believe the City Council should work to increase funding to our public schools by reforming our TIF system.

Perform a quality assessment taking into account community economics.

An elected school board is necessary, among other things, so that the public can begin to regain
confidence in the public schools system All neighborhood schools need to be appropriately
funded and teachers need to have more time and resources to teach. We need greater
community involvement in schools in general.

No response provided

Invest in the schools and
propose and implement new programs that would increase enrollment. Create a partnership with
neighborhood and city organizations to promote a healthy school environment.

I think an elected school
board is a key first step and an opposition to any more charter schools.

The City should support all neighborhood public schools as the backbone of our city. Neighborhood schools are the centers of communities, as are the parks and playgrounds connected to them. When kids can walk to their local school, it increases the health of those children and of the community as a whole. Magnets were set up as an answer to failing neighborhood schools, but cannot be seen as a solution to our entire system, nor can charter schools. The more we invest in strong neighborhood schools, the stronger communities we will have in the end.

Michael E. LaFargue IVI-IPO 2015 Chicago City Council

The city should take the politics out of the education system as it stands now, Too much of the
system is based upon class (monetary) vs, the needs of our children. All other districts in the
State have an elected school board. Chicago should also work with this option also.
Other ideas:
1. Give more power to the LSC.
2. Motivate parents to be more involved, in manner that is revenue/cost neutral way..
i.e. Having school card pick up days Saturdays versus weekends

I believe that learning needs to start before kindergarten, and students need to be supported
inside and outside of school until they leave for college and careers. As I noted above, we also
need significant investments of time, money, and personnel, as well as parent and community

The City must ensure that the schools are properly resourced and equitably funded. Further, I support the school board being an elected body and the CEO or Superintendent should have a strong background as an educator.

Joseph J. Moseley II IVI-IPO 2015 Chicago City Council


No response provided

The key to improving public
education in Chicago is to implement sound education policy and practice – not just, what is
politically expedient. We must put our education system back in the hand of educational
professionals, not corporate managers or those who have no sense of what good education policy
and practice look like.

Reduce class size. Charter reform

All schools should
receive the resources necessary to provide a quality education for children. Studies have shown
that the best performing schools are schools that encourage the active engagement of parents.
The City should continue to encourage active participation by both parents and community
members alike.

We should also do whatever is necessary to pass meaningful legislation in Springfield to address
the growing education funding inequities in this State. Meaningful improvements to public
education cannot take place without adequate financial support.

The City should fully fund our public schools, including with sufficient resources to provide for
smaller class sizes and appropriate classroom technology. We should prioritize our public
schools above virtually all other city priorities. The City should continue to emphasize hiring
principals who will be strong leaders, who can build a strong school culture around them, and
who have broad discretion and flexibility to shape their schools.

Chevette A. Valentine IVI-IPO 2015 Chicago City Council

Balance the table by making
the tools needed for the children in all wards to have equal access to information and
equipment to keep them competitive, such as computer access and hands on training. I am
also in favor of longer school days and extra-curricular activities being restored in the