CPS ignores its local school council ‘partner’

CPS alienates and struggles with honest and open communications to its LSCs.

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Lincoln Park High School

Lincoln Park High School

Sun-Times file photo

CPS calls its Local School Councils its “partners” and is sending notices to CPS parents encouraging them to run for the LSCs at their kids’ schools. 

Some of the language Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson used to entice parents to make a commitment to their LSC includes:

  • No one know your schools better than you, and you know what is needed to make it a positive well-rounded environment where every child has an opportunity to succeed. 
  • LSCs also make critical decisions when it comes to selecting school leaders. 
  • These are vitally important roles and CPS looks forward to working together to provide a high-quality education that meets the needs of every child.

Yet at the same time — and especially when important matters arise — CPS alienates and struggles with honest and open communications to its LSCs.

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes.

We are experiencing this now at Lincoln Park High School, the most diverse school in CPS’ network of more than 400 schools. 

In January, without explanation or notice, CPS removed our principal, assistant principal, a dean, and three coaches — all of whom were beloved, trusted, and competent. It did not even bother to tell the LSC, and since then it has still failed to explain its actions to the LSC. CPS has left the school in disarray.

This is not how “partners” behave. And this is not how CPS leadership delivers on its commitment to every child. 

We continue to wait for a response after multiple requests to partner — and the opportunity to openly discuss the needs of our school — from Jackson or CPS leaders.

John Moser, LSC parent member, Lincoln Park High School

A better way

It concerns me that there are still hundreds (if not thousands) of homeless people in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs.

I recently learned of a “Housing First” initiative that has gained notoriety in some cities with massive success. The main goal of this initiative is to provide people with the basic fundamental right of a roof over their head. Once you solve that problem, people are able to succeed in gaining sobriety, gaining health, and gaining a sense of self-worth. I do not want to teach my children to look away from the homeless people we pass in the streets. I want to be able to teach them that we live in a state that builds affordable housing for anyone that needs it. I want to be able to teach them that the great state of Illinois respects people’s basic human right to a roof over their head.

We need to have these discussions and break down the common misconceptions about the homeless population. They are not all drug addicts and mentally ill, although admittedly a large portion of them may be. These people deserve respect and they deserve to be happy and off the streets. I would ask my legislators and Gov. J.B. Pritzker to look into “Housing First” and see if we can implement it in Illinois.

Ashley Masciola, Lisle

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