LSC – Power to the People

September 24, 2008 at 11:00 pm 1 comment

I learned this week in LSC training that Chicago is the only major city where a parent-majority board evaluates, retains (or not) their principal, and selects a new principal when needed.  In some ways it makes total sense that the local community  decides who will run their local school.  In other ways, its seems crazy to have hundreds of these small groups across the city reinventing the wheel over and over again when it comes to figuring out what makes a good SIPAAA (school strategic plan,) Budget, and Principal Evaluation.  

Even stranger is the staggering of the LSC term with the school’s strategic plan.  The SIPAAAs were all approved at the end of the last school year, around the same time as LSC elections.  So each new LSC is working off a SIPAAA that the previous LSC approved (or even helped create.)

CPS provides training, but there is also a rogue parents rights group called PURE (Parents United for Responsible Education) who also provides training.  I’d advise anyone who needs LSC training to check them out.  They are a true “Power to the People” group, in a way that makes you look inside yourself and wonder why you haven’t stood up more often and shouted “WE WANT RESPECT!”  Wanda, who leads the groups is a force to be reckoned with and apparently is well known (and sometimes despised) in CPS.  She knows exactly what information parents have the right to see and she knows how to get it when all other efforts fail.  Her motto is basically “why are people being paid $100K per year when Johnny doesn’t know how to read and write.”  Well… good question.  The million dollar question, actually.  But unlike many of us who complain, avoid CPS, or just sit and blog about it, she is out there doing something about it.  In a big way.

Some of my favorite tidbits from training:

– “I like a person with a big pile of data.  It’s easier to send them to jail.” (joke)

– “The principal doesn’t have the paper you asked for, stop the meeting and tell them to go to their computer and get it (is that before or after I cower under the table?)

I can’t rave enough about this group.  Schools in crisis should contact them.  People needing LSC training should contact them.  And Chicago parents should realize that the power really is in our hands.  We just need to figure out how to harness it.

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Yeahhhh, so the homework thing… Ready, Set, Apply

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Diving In  |  October 4, 2008 at 8:13 am

    This is a general post about CPS

    My kid ended up at peirce ,at first i was freaking out because the class sizes were 32 ,32 and 33.We didnt get much communication from the powers that be and our kindergarten teacher was too overworked to be sensitive to our needs.After about 2 weeks or so we heard through a parent that we were “getting” an extra class but it would be a half day only.No one signed up for it so we waited for the next repsonse, that came a few days later,they then said we would get a full time teacher and that they would take 5 kids from each class and put into the new one. In the end they took 9 from our class (4 went into ESL class) and now the class population is 23.This btw was upsetting to many kids,didnt need to happen.
    I wish the school was more communicative and that they had the extra class thing figured out considering other schools have already gone through this.

    The kids are learning the basics,and i mean basic,I think my kid will not learn anything new for a few months,s/he is a little bored , I’m taking a wait and see approach to this.

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