ERIC Number: ED364611
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992
Reference Count: N/A
Chicago School Reform: A Response to Unmet Needs of "At Risk" Students.
Hess, G. Alfred, Jr.
This paper describes the Chicago School Reform Act of 1988 (CSRA); outlines work of the Chicago Panel on Public School Policy and Finance; and traces the Chicago School Reform (Illinois) movement, an effort to address more adequately the previously unmet needs of "at-risk" children by creating a systemic opportunity for schools to restructure. In the late 1980s, reform activists in Chicago, a school system mostly made of "at-risk" students who are unsuccessfully educated, abandoned the effort to add specialized programs in individual schools to meet the needs of "at-risk" students and focused on changing "at-risk" schools. The assumption among these reformers is that schools, which are seriously failing the city's students, must change, and it is inappropriate to blame students who fail. Halfway through the initial reform period (February 1992), the degree of organizational change is encouraging. Despite the chaos created by fiscal and administrative mismanagement by officials who were unwilling to accept their responsibility to change a failing school system, major CSRA elements have been successfully established. Local school councils have been established in every school and most function adequately. Principals have adopted new roles and are providing new leadership. Teachers have become increasingly involved and positive about reform. Resources have been increasingly focused on the schools, with the greatest increases in schools enrolling the highest proportions of disadvantaged students. However, few schools have entered into school-wide efforts to change the nature of classroom instruction. (Contains 23 references.) (RLC)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Chicago Public Schools IL; Reform Efforts; Social Movements