’10’ que marcaron el camino

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1 Alcalde Richard M. Daley, Director Ejecutivo en Jefe de las Escuelas Paul Vallas y Presidente de la Junta Escolar Gery Chico:

Estos tres mosqueteros dominaron la última mitad de la década con una fuerza inexorable e irresistible de poder político, tacto financiero, arte de venta estelar y una resuelta determinación por alcanzar las metas.

2 G. Alfred Hess Jr. y Donald R. Moore:

Como los directores del Panel de Chicago sobre Política Escolar y Designs for Change (Diseños para el Cambio), respectivamente, Hess y Moore fueron los principales creadores de la Ley de Reforma Escolar de Chicago de 1988, la cual creó los consejos escolares locales, le puso fin al ejercicio de los directores y atrajo cientos de millones de dólares estatales del Chapter 1 directamente a las escuelas.

3 Jacqueline Vaughn:

La muy enérgica presidenta del Sindicato de Maestros de Chicago (CTU), que falleció en 1994, guió al sindicato a través de dos episodios fundamentales que tuvieron un impacto de gran alcance: La huelga récord de 19 días de 1987, que precipitó la primera ola de reforma, y la crisis financiera de 1993, cuando el CTU detuvo los ataques de la Junta Escolar y de los legisladores que deseaban enmendar el déficit de $400 millones de la junta con devoluciones de los maestros. Mientras tanto, le brindó la oportunidad al difunto John Kotsakis para que impulsara su visión educativa iconoclasta con mente reformista.

4 Alcalde Harold Washington:

Al convocar una cumbre de toda la ciudad para elaborar trabajosamente un plan de reforma para una institución conducida por Afro-Americanos, el pasado alcalde hizo que el reacondicionamiento del sistema escolar fuera una posibilidad política. En las palabras de un observador, “Él quitó el estigma de que la reforma era algo del hombre blanco llevado a cabo para los Afro-Americanos.”

5 Presidente del Senado de Illinois, James “Pate” Phillip:

El político que los habitantes de Chicago adoran odiar, Phillip ha definido los límites de lo posible en Legislatura del estado. Descubriendo los aumentos de fondos para las escuelas de Chicago como un derroche de dinero, sofocó el intento del Gobernador Jim Edgar en 1997 de reformar el financiamiento de las escuelas estatales. En 1995, ayudó gustosamente a traspasar el control de CPS al Alcalde Daley y imponer nuevas represiones sobre el Sindicato de Maestros de Chicago.

6 Foundation officials Peter Martinez (left) and Warren Chapman.

As the education program officer for the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Martinez has taken an aggressive, hands-on approach to spending the $40 million the foundation committed to local education projects over the last decade. The creation of a professional development center at the Chicago Teachers Union, the re-structuring of the education department at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the development of academic standards at the School Board all bear his stamp. Chapman, an education program officer at The Joyce Foundation since 1992, was a leading architect of the $50 million Annenberg Challenge program in Chicago; he also transformed the education committee of the Donors Forum into “an education think-tank,” in the words of one observer. (Disclosure: The MacArthur and Joyce Foundations are major CATALYST funders.)

7 Venture capitalist Martin “Mike” Koldyke:

He founded the Golden Apple Foundation in 1985 to recognize outstanding teachers. Since then, the foundation has branched into cultivating high school students for the teaching profession (Golden Apple Scholars), training aspiring principals (LAUNCH) and training career-changers as teachers (GATE). To do the latter, the Foundation pushed through a state law in 1997 establishing so-called alternative certification of teachers.

8. University of Chicago researchers Anthony Bryk and Melissa Roderick:

Bryk founded the Consortium on Chicago School Research, which has tracked the impact of reform and provided schools with individualized reports on where they stand. Roderick, who has the ear of schools chief Vallas, has addressed issues important to educators through compelling research on truancy, dropouts and ending social promotion.

9 James Deanes and Daniel Solis:

Both galvanized key constituencies in the push for the 1988 School Reform Act—Deanes among African Americans on the West Side and Solis among Mexican Americans in Pilsen and Little Village. Deanes was then chair of the Parent/Community Council, appointed by Mayor Washington, and Solis was executive director of the United Neighborhood Organization (UNO). In the years that followed, Deanes was an outspoken advocate for African-American parents and LSC members, and Solis’s organization worked closely with schools in its neighborhoods. Since 1995, both have provided political cover to the School Board. Deanes became a director in central office, and Solis is a Daley- appointed alderman.

10. Former School Facilities Director James Harney and former Board of Education President D. Sharon Grant:

In the words of one observer, they were “the two who got caught” with their fingers in the board’s immense cookie jar. (See page 22 for details.) “Certainly they catapulted the corruption issue to the front page and the front burner and the politicians’ action plan,” noted another. Their downfall helped pave the way for Daley’s takeover, and it gave Vallas & Co. an easy act to follow.