ERIC Number: ED347267
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Political Culture, Voter Turnout, and the 1989 Local School Council Elections in Chicago.
Lewis, James H.; And Others
A study was done of the school reform and restructuring effort in the Chicago (Illinois) Public Schools specifically of the extent to which the legislative mandate for restructuring, new management, and constituent interests has been translated into educational policy and voter turnout in local school council elections. The study used data from a Chicago Urban League (CUL) study that performed a variety of statistical tests on election data and a joint survey by the CUL, the Chicago Panel on Public School Policy and Finance, and the Chicago Public Schools of systemwide patterns that actually operated at individual schools. The survey was administered to at least 1 parent representative, 1 community representative, the council chairperson, and the principal of each of 30 schools. The statistical and survey evidence indicated five basic points: (1) low socioeconomic status bears heavily on the likelihood that parents will participate in school council elections; (2) racial group membership does not in itself determine willingness of parents to support school reform by voting; (3) conflict within a school can strongly mobilize voters; (4) local political culture heavily influences prospects for local school council mobilization; and (5) strong communication of candidate qualifications and election publicity is vital to voter turnout. (JB)
Descriptors: Advisory Committees, Economically Disadvantaged, Educational Change, Elections, Elementary Secondary Education, Hispanic Americans, Local Issues, Parent Participation, Political Campaigns, Politics of Education, School Community Relationship, School Councils, School Districts, School Restructuring, State Legislation, Urban Schools, Voting
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: African Americans; Chicago Public Schools IL; Chicago Urban League; Language Minorities; Local Control; Political Culture; Voters; Voting Behavior
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, April 3-7, 1991).