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Making The Second City's Schools Second to None

In 2010, schools across Illinois were still reeling from the Great Recession. The Chicago Tribune reported that the crisis strained school budgets in Illinois so much that many were at a "breaking point." Across the state, teachers and parents worried that schools would not be able to open their doors, let alone improve their practice. Despite inheriting a school system in economic freefall, newly elected Mayor Rahm Emanuel did far more than confront budget challenges. In his first three years in office, Mayor Emanuel has secured more time for instruction, more public school options for parents, and more support for students.

Read "Making The Second City's Schools Second to None" here.

DFER News Roundup

DFER News Roundup

Education news fresher than the iPhone 6!

By Stephanie Doctrow, Communications Coordinator and Web Editor and Bianca Dorsey, Communications Project Coordinator

DFER Seen & Heard:

  • “For goodness sake, let’s stop finding reasons to fight against the innovation, creativity and success we are seeing in education that our citizens want and need,” DFER Board Chair Emeritus Kevin Chavous writes in the Washington Informer.
  • DFER-IL called on CTU President Karen Lewis to choose between declaring her candidacy for mayor and negotiating the next teachers contract, reports the Chicago Sun-Times’ Natasha Korecki. 
  • DFER-NY State Director Nicole Brisbane tells EdWeek’s Andrew Ujifusa that Governor Andrew Cuomo “deserves credit for his long-term approach to teacher evaluations, Common Core implementation, and support for charter schools and other school choice in NY.”
  • In The Olympian, DFER-WA’s Lisa Macfarlane suggests that the state’s Supreme Court appoint a “special master” to facilitate funding for the state’s public schools.
  • DFER-NY’s Craig Johnson comments on inequitable teacher distribution to Capital New York’s Jessica Bakeman.

Advocacy, Policy Briefs & Such:

  • Statement | DFER-IL Calls On CTU President Karen Lewis To Choose Between Mayoral Candidate Or Lead Negotiator In New Teacher Contract. 
  • Statement | Education Reformers Beef Up Staff.

DFER Blog:

In Related News:

  • Conor Williams writes about the anti-reform movement’s “ad hominem problem” for Talking Points Memo


DFER-IL Calls On CTU President Karen Lewis To Choose Between Mayoral Candidate Or Lead Negotiator In New Teacher Contract

Owen Kilmer | 708.560.3388 | Owen@dfer.org


DFER-IL Calls On CTU President Karen Lewis To Choose Between Mayoral Candidate Or Lead Negotiator In New Teacher Contract

Chicago -- Democrats for Education Reform - Illinois (DFER-IL) today called on Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis to either declare her intentions to run for mayor of Chicago or step down from her post leading negotiations for a new teacher contract.

“With a $40,000 contribution to her mayoral campaign, President Lewis has made it clear she is running for Mayor, but she has also said that she will force negotiations over a new teacher’s contract this year,” DFER-IL State Director Rebeca Nieves-Huffman said.


Who Runs Public Charter Schools?

(Download the PDF for a closer view here.)

Created by DFER's Communications Coordinator and Web Editor, Stephanie Doctrow

From DFER's Blog Series: Infographic Tuesdays

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Our schools are worth supporting again...

It doesn’t really take much these days to be considered a Democrat who supports public education. It’s one of the reasons we ask you each month to dig down and support those pragmatic Dems who understand at their core that we have a lot of work to do to restore the promise of what public education is supposed to be for the young people who most need it to thrive in American life.

We’re delighted this month to present two great leaders - Ro Khanna and Carol Donovan - as our Reformers of the Month for September.

Ro, an educator and former trade representative for President Obama, is running an inspiring campaign for Congress to represent California’s Silicon Valley area. He’s pushing greater investments and greater accountability in our schools.

Carol, a business owner who has committed her adult life to community service, is frustrated with the results of Texas students compared with their national peers and wants to restore support and excellence in the classroom.

Click here to donate $25 right now to help Ro and Carol. Both of these great candidates deserve your support today.

We’re asking you to support leaders who believe that, by rolling up our sleeves and doing the hard work, we can convince the public that our schools are worth supporting again.

These sentiments - and indeed this optimism that things can be better in our schools - are not always popular with the professional political class.


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