LSCs must not be undermined by CPS

Local School Councils have played a pivotal role in the steady improvement of our schools. Local School Councils have been the vehicle for true parental involvement and accountability in the Chicago Public Schools. LSCs hire principals, approve budgets, approve school improvement plans, and develop school policies. This success has to be continued.

Recently, officials from both the Chicago Board of Education and Chicago Public Schools have quietly lobbied the Illinois General Assembly to erode Local School Councils’ power. They have done this by legislating to CPS central office the power to have the final say in renewing a principal’s contract. Their justification for eroding LSC power was the legal decision by the Curie High School Local School Council in not renewing the contract of a principal who CPS defined as a “superstar principal.”

CPS CEO Arne Duncan and board President Rufus Williams are using one LSC out of 500 to justify the consolidation of power at CPS central office while ignoring the following facts:

Test scores have risen over the past 15 years at low performing schools.

Over 20,000 citizens have served on a LSC, which have been virtually free of corruption.

Principals whose contracts are not renewed have the opportunity to appeal to an independent officer.

LSCs need more support from the central office of the CPS, not less.

Wanda Hopkins, chairperson
Dwayne Truss, member
SACCC Education Committee

An apology to our sistas

In response to the way black women have been portrayed and the use of negative language to define their character: My Dear Sisters,

There is no possible excuse that I could give to rectify the actions of my gender. We have been disrespectful, promiscuous, an adulterer, possessive, sexist, missing from being a father, vain, angry, greedy, slothful, envious, lustful, vindictive, unconcerned, cold and callous.

I could cite the actions of one who stole you and me from our homeland and taught us to be more European than they are. I could cite the atrocities placed upon us as slaves. I could even cite society for racism, bigotry and social and economical injustice. But for a man to reach back into his past and not have made an attempt to reinvent himself has no bearing or foundation on our neglect of you.

We, like yourself were created in the image and likeness of God-the original man, and you, the original women. If I wanted a valid excuse, I could blame my former slave masters for my behavior, being that I may still suffer from TSS-Traumatic Slave Syndrome. But again, it returns to me for he, my former master, is but the genetic mutation of my loins. And I again see that it was I who defiled you in whatever color I may have appeared. I continued by defaming your character. I and I alone have done this to you-one who said that I would protect, clothe and shelter you, who God saw fit to bring forth great nations, and most of all, great men.

I, after calling on the name of God, also called your name when in agony and need of comfort. And there you have always stood, not behind me but even in front. You, the one whose beauty has set precedence in being the most alluring and nurturing companion and confidant that other women pattern their lives.

I, as a true man, knowing that when I can admit that I am wrong, accept my blame. A foolish creature, set on false pride, vanity and boyish ways, has come to access my charter.

I am and was wrong. I ask for forgiveness and trust you to allow me to make amends for these words and ways unbecoming of a true king and a child of God.

Your highness, I beg your forgiveness on bended knee in the face of God our father, our ancestors and generations to come.

I am sorry.

Rickie P. Brown Sr.
On behalf of my brothers