Tag Archives: chicago public school

Fed judge tosses Pat Quinn’s lawsuit over elected school board

(CHICAGO) A federal judge has quickly tossed a lawsuit by former Gov. Pat Quinn and a handful of active Chicago Public Schools families targeting mayoral control of the city’s school board.

The group filed two lawsuits against the city’s board of education in October — one in state court and the other in federal — aiming to replace the mayor’s appointees with elected school board members. But U.S. District Judge Elaine Bucklo dismissed the federal lawsuit earlier this week, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

“Plaintiffs have no fundamental right to vote in school board elections as a matter of law,” Bucklo wrote. “And the fact that residents of other Illinois jurisdictions have the privilege of voting in such elections in their districts does not confer such a right upon residents of Chicago.”

Chicago Public Schools is the only district of the state’s 859 to have a board chosen by the mayor rather than voters. And the 1995 act that gave the mayor control over the schools took away any oversight previously conducted by elected members of the City Council or Local School Councils.

Quinn and the other plaintiffs — many of them parents or grandparents of CPS students — argued the arrangement violates the First and 14th amendments by depriving residents of the right to vote for board members. They also claimed it amounts to taxation without representation and a scheme to deprive people of the right to vote on the basis of race.

The lawsuit filed in state court is pending.

Petition: Preserve evidence of CPS teacher’s bathroom videotaping

(CHICAGO) A Chicago Public Schools teacher filed an emergency petition to preserve evidence against another teacher who is accused of videotaping people in a Gold Coast school’s bathroom.

The teacher, identified as Jane Doe, filed the motion to preserve evidence Wednesday in Cook County Circuit Court.

The teacher alleges she was illegally recorded in a bathroom of Ogden International School, 24 W. Walton, by a camera set up by Elliot Nott, who taught kindergarten through 5th grade.

The camera was discovered and turned over to Chicago Police on Sept. 7. On Sept. 23, Nott — a CPS employee since 2009 — was charged with one count of child pornography and seven counts of unauthorized videotaping. He was ordered held on $75,000 bail.

An 8-year-old student at Ogden was among those videotaped by Nott, the filing stated.

Nott was hired by CPS despite “a known criminal history, including peeping and prowling,” according to the filing.

Along with the preservation of evidence, the filing also seeks copies of Nott’s CPS employment file, along with any related hiring documents possessed by CPS.

In an emailed statement Wednesday evening, CPS spokesman Michael Passman said several checks were conducted prior to Nott’s hiring.

“CPS requires all employees to pass a comprehensive background check, which includes a fingerprinting, state and federal criminal database review, tuberculosis test, and drug test,” Passman said. “The District’s background checks are guided by Illinois School Code standards and are done to ensure all employees meet our high standards for personal and professional conduct.”

CPS is examining Nott’s hiring to make sure the process was carried out correctly and is open to making changes, should there be areas needing improvement, Passman said.

Graduation rate in Chicago Public Schools now at 73 percent

(CHICAGO) Figures released by Chicago Public Schools show continued improvement in the district’s graduation rate.

The nation’s third-largest school district announced Monday just over 73 percent of students who entered Chicago high schools as freshmen in 2011 graduated by summer of 2016. The first day of the school year is Tuesday.

The five-year graduation rate has improved steadily during recent years. More than 20,400 students graduated in 2016.

A year ago, the district readjusted its graduation statistics and no longer counts students who leave for job training or GED programs as transfer students. They are now counted as dropouts.

That change is reflected in the numbers released Monday. It followed a CPS inspector general report and an investigation by Chicago’s WBEZ and the Better Government Association, which reported that dropouts were being misclassified.

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