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LSCs celebrate 20 years

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A number of community activists who have served continuously on Local School Councils since they were established in 1989 will be honored at a celebration of the 20th anniversary of school reform and LSCs tomorrow evening.

Designs for Change [2] is sponsoring the celebration at Washington Irving Elementary School, 749 S. Oakley, from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, December 11.   Irving was the school where then-Governor James Thompson signed the original school reform legislation in 1989.

Also honored will be former State Senator Arthur Berman, sponsor of the original legislation.

While lots of attention goes to a relatively small number of “new schools” created without LSCs by Mayor Daley’s Renaissance 2010 program – an evasion of state law which some school advocates have challenged — 85 percent of CPS students attend schools governed by LSCs, said Don Moore of Designs for Change.   There are about 6,000 LSC members at over 500 schools, he said.

DFC research [3] has shown that effective LSCs have contributed significantly to achievement gains in low-income schools.

CPS is planning its own 20th anniversary celebration (and a kickoff for next year’s LSC elections) tonight at 5 p.m. at Andrew Jackson Language Academy, 1340 W. Harrison.