ERIC Number: ED476943
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Chicago's Local School Councils. What the Research Says.
Moore, Donald R.
In Chicago, local school councils (LSCs) with a majority of elected parent and community members, exercise substantial school-level decision making powers. They hire their school principals on performance contracts, set priorities for school improvement, and determine school budgets. This report summarizes two 1997 studies that analyzed LSC effectiveness. Overall, parent and community LSC members are substantially better educated than the average Illinois adult. The typical LSC meets monthly and nearly always has a quorum. About 50-60 percent of LSCs are high functioning, 25-33 percent are performing well with support, and 10-15 percent have serious inadequacies. Most LSCs are viable governance organizations that responsibly complete their mandated duties. Very few LSC members use their office to engage in corrupt activity. Needed actions include intervening to rebuild dysfunctional LSCs; strengthen LSCs that meet all their responsibilities but are not catalysts for significant educational improvement; and strengthen LSCs to help improve Chicago's high schools. LSCs must act to stop central office staff from interfering inappropriately in LSC decision making. The current process for educating and assisting LSCs violates widely recognized standards for effective adult education, so an infrastructure is needed independent of the school system's central office to provide high quality education and assistance to LSCs on a large scale. (SM)
Descriptors: Community Involvement, Elementary Secondary Education, Governance, Parent Participation, Participative Decision Making, Principals, Public Schools, School Councils
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Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A