* A House committee approved a bill yesterday to elect members of the Chicago Public Schools board over CPS opposition…
“An elected school board would have no more authority than our existing board to raise additional revenue for Chicago Public Schools — and revenue is at the root of our problem,” Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson testified.
She told legislators that CPS students are on an upward academic swing, despite the district’s gaping $129 million budget hole, and don’t need any more instability she believes such a large elected body would impose.
Former school board vice president Jesse Ruiz, who recently protested the Board of Ed himself, joined her, calling the bill “a grave mistake.”
He said the bill would create the largest school board of any major urban district and would diffuse the accountability among 21 politicians instead of resting with just one: The mayor of Chicago.
“I’m not here to make a generalization about elected versus appointed school boards and its impact in any school district,” Jackson told a House panel. “But I am here to say that for Chicago Public Schools, we have been governed in a particular way — and that is being threatened. And I believe that there will be an impact on academic outcomes because of the lack of stability.
“Nobody knows that having an elected school board is going to lead to higher outcomes for our students. So in a district like Chicago, with a large population of minority students and low-income students, why would we threaten that when we’re on the right trajectory?” she said.
I dunno. These arguments seem pretty darned weak to me. Your own thoughts?