Monday, October 8, 2012

CODE Chicago - Communities Organized for Democracy in Education

CODE Chicago - Communities Organized for Democracy in Education:

How can you help win an Elected Representative School Board?


The CPS Board—appointed by the mayor— is not accountable to the people it is supposed to serve.  The Board is failing our children.       
Vote YES on the advisory referendum for an Elected Representative School Board for CPS on November 6th. The Illinois legislature must change to law to allow Chicagoans the same right the residents of every other city and town in the state enjoy... the right to elect the people who run Chicago's public schools. This referendum will make our voices heard and a resounding "YES" will begin to push the process in the right direction. 

What you can do. 
  • The advisory referendum calling for an Elected Representative School Board will be on the ballot in hundreds of precincts around the city. To find out if it will be on the ballot in your precinct go to and click on the "Nov. 6th" button to get a sample ballot for your address. Look for the referendum near the bottom of the ballot. 
  • It is critical that you vote YES and you get your friends and neighbors to vote. Spread the word through social media and word of mouth.
  • Contact your elected officials. Ask them to support a Representative Elected School Board. If it is not on the ballot in your precinct, call your alderman and let them know you support an Elected Representative School Board. 
  • Download a flyer/window sign here and print out several to give to your friends and neighbors. They may not even know this important referendum is on the ballot. 
  • Visit this site regularly or get on our mailing list through the "contact" page so you can learn about opportunities to volunteer on and before November 6th.

Why we need an Elected Representative School Board 

  • CPS’s privatization policies—school closings, turnarounds and charters—do NOT improve education. They have been devastating to all children, especially those in African American and Latino communities. 
  • Class size has increased. Art, music, recess, PE & after school activities have been cut, while high-stakes testing eats up more classroom and learning time. 
  • CPS has expanded an unequal system: A top tier of selective schools for a few students and a bottom tier of resource-starved neighborhood schools for everyone else. 
  • CPS makes decisions, like the ones that forced the teachers' strike without any pubic input. 
  • CPS blames teachers, parents, and students for the problems THEY have created.    
  • The teachers were able to fight back against the board on some issues by striking, but the union is legally prohibited to strike over many issues that affect students, parents and communities in CPS.  School closures, class size, expansion of charters, uneven distribution of resources and the expansion of more and more standardized testing are all CPS board policies that are imposed with no input from students, parents or communities.  
An Elected Representative Board is a Necessary FIRST STEP to Improve Our Schools. 
  • An Elected Representative Board would be accountable to the citizens of Chicago as well as CPS teachers, parents and students and would be more diverse, reflecting the people it serves.  
  • By state law, Chicago is the only city in Illinois with an appointed school board. The Illinois Legislature must pass a law to enact an elected school board. Our advisory referendum will make our voices heard in Springfield and let our legislators know that they have our support for an Elected Representative Board.
  • Election requirements could mandate specific qualifications and cap campaign expenditures, thus reducing the influence of money and politics on education.