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Chicago Sun-Times Opinion This Week
Good morning,
Chicago’s future rests with its schools. Good public schools are Chicago’s foundation, and how strong that foundation is will determine the city’s success.
That’s why Mayor Lori Lightfoot must fight against a bad proposal to create an ungainly, unmanageable fully elected school board that would upend how Chicago’s public schools are run, the Editorial Board writes. Read today’s lead editorial and ask yourself — does anyone really believe that the best thing for our city’s schoolkids is another 21 politicians?
While we wait for the shoe to drop in Springfield regarding the school board proposal, a major shakeup at CPS made news this week: the departure of its CEO, Dr. Janice Jackson. In Letters to the Editor, Froy Jimenez argues that ugly politics is why Jackson, a product of CPS schooling and a former CPS teacher, is leaving a job she loves.
In Commentary, I bring you a story about my family. After being raised by my parents, who used to be undocumented immigrants, my brother expressed interest in wanting to become a Border Patrol agent. Check out how and why politics and opinions on immigration vary widely in the same family.
— Ismael Pérez, editorial board member

Students walk down the hall at Nicholas Senn High School in Edgewater on April 23, 2021. The fate of the city depends on the quality of its public schools, and legislators should reject a proposal for a 21-member elected board. Pat Nabong/Sun-Times
Students walk down the hall at Nicholas Senn High School in Edgewater on April 23, 2021. The fate of the city depends on the quality of its public schools, and legislators should reject a proposal for a 21-member elected board. Pat Nabong/Sun-Times
Ultimately, Chicago’s future rests with its schools.
Good public schools, more than anything, will keep young families from fleeing the city for the suburbs. Good public schools are vital to thriving neighborhoods across the city, and especially in communities of color left devastated by decades of disinvestment. Good public schools lead to a well-educated workforce that keeps and lures businesses.
Good public schools are Chicago’s foundation, as they are for every successful big city. Without that foundation, Chicago is going nowhere.
So Mayor Lori Lightfoot must fight, publicly and hard, against a bad proposal to create an ungainly, unmanageable 21-member fully elected school board that would upend how Chicago’s public schools are run — and not for the better.
Stability, not the uncertainties and transparent dangers of a completely new system of governance, is what Chicago needs right now to build on more than a decade of hard-won academic progress. And that’s truer than ever as three top CPS officials — CEO Janice Jackson, Chief Education Officer LaTanya McDade, and Chief Operating Officer Arnie Rivera — make their way for the exit.
Their resignations will leave a huge leadership vacuum at the very top at a time when the school district is struggling to recover from the educational and financial impact of a devastating pandemic.
One person must be accountable to recruit superb new leaders. One person must be in charge. That one person should be the city’s elected chief executive, the mayor.
The Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board is the opinion voice of the hardest-working newspaper in America. It is headed by editorial page editor Tom McNamee and includes Thomas FrisbieLorraine ForteLee BeyIsmael Pérez and Mary Mitchell as members.
What others have to say
Ismael Pérez on his brother’s interest in joining the Border Patrol:
How could my family see it as something morally wrong while Rilin simply saw it as a job with a starting salary of $49,508 to $78,269 a year?
My parents ran from Border Patrol agents. My brother wanted to be one
More editorials we published this week
If ShotSpotter constantly misfires, what’s Chicago getting for its $33 million?
Membership should have its privileges: Hurray for the ‘Vax Pass’ for Chicago
In your words
“Sharing more in the crafting of educational decisions could lead to less gridlock, less ugly politics and the school district’s better ability to hire and retain good people like Dr. Jackson.”
— Froy Jimenez, CPS civics teacher and CTU member
Ugly politics driving good leaders out of the Chicago Public Schools
Every day we publish submissions from Chicago Sun-Times readers weighing in on issues facing the city and its residents. Send letters to letters@suntimes.com or reply to this email to share your perspective.
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Chicago Sun-Times Opinion This Week

A weekly overview of opinions, analysis and commentary on issues affecting Chicago, Illinois and our nation by outside contributors, Sun-Times readers and the CST Editorial Board.

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