Posts Tagged ‘Diana Nelson’

Diana Nelson made my day

Friday, May 20th, 2011

What a delight to read this in an editorial from former Illinois state legislator and retired executive director of Chicago’s Cross City Campaign Diana Nelson over my morning coffee:

“I have some practical recommendations for (incoming CPS CEO Jean-Claude) Brizard, including the following: Do not believe the stories told you by people hired to brief you. At the very least reject those who say it can’t happen here. Instead, seek out and study closely the work done by the Consortium on Chicago School Research, interview Dr. Donald Moore of Designs for Change and talk with Julie Woestehoff of Parents United for Responsible Education — experts who have the best interests of the child uppermost.”

Diana offers more advice:

  • Move to a weighted student formula, where each child is assigned a fair percentage of the (entire) budget and the funding follows the child to whatever schools he or she attends….(A)ll the stakeholders come to the table each year to decide together how to divvy up the pie, no matter how large or small it is.
  • Convert the central-office service departments to a buy-back system so that budget money flows to the schools, and the schools decide which central-office services to purchase….(Y)ou end up with a smaller, more-efficient central office that provides those services to the schools they truly need.
  • Let’s work to restore music, art and science labs in all schools. Let’s make civics the hallmark of a CPS education….Giving young people a voice in decisions affecting their lives changes them forever.

Looking for change, Mayor Emanuel? Here are some great ideas, ones that are much sounder than the “status quo” of the past 15 years under mayoral control.

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About the PURE Thoughts blogger
Julie Woestehoff is PURE's executive director. Julie's work has earned her a Ford Foundation award and recognition as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Chicago.