School & District Management

Windy City Cloud Shadows Duncan

By The Associated Press — March 30, 2010 1 min read

Revelations that U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan kept a log of calls from powerful people trying to get students into top Chicago high schools when he ran the school district have raised new questions about the city’s admissions practices.

Still, some observers said last week that the political standing of the former chief executive officer of the Chicago public schools probably will not suffer unless it is determined that he or his office pressured school authorities to admit specific students during his tenure.

“I would think that obviously you want to rule out the possibility of anyone acting to unduly influence admissions,” said William Trent, an education professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “That’s the bottom-line question.”

The Chicago Tribune reported last week that Mr. Duncan’s office had kept the log, which included calls from politicians and businesspeople, when he headed the nation’s third-largest school district from 2001 to 2009.

But Peter Cunningham, who is Secretary Duncan’s assistant secretary for communications and outreach, told the newspaper that Mr. Duncan’s district office never put pressure on schools or told them to consider one student over another. “It’s just a way to manage the information,” Mr. Cunningham said of the log.

School officials say the log tracked requests, but many students still weren’t admitted.

Dick Simpson, a University of Illinois at Chicago political science professor, said he didn’t immediately see a risk that the matter would grow into a full-blown scandal. “If they just kept a log, that’s fine,” he said.

James Sullivan, the school system’s inspector general, has been investigating admissions practices for months amid complaints the system is confusing and rigged in favor of clout-heavy Chicago residents.

Monique Bond, a district spokeswoman, said the school system has implemented tougher guidelines in recent weeks in a bid to ensure there’s no favoritism in the application process.

A version of this article appeared in the March 31, 2010 edition of Education Week as Windy City Cloud Shadows Duncan

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Safe Return to Schools is Possible with Testing
We are edging closer to a nationwide return to in-person learning in the fall. However, vaccinations alone will not get us through this. Young children not being able to vaccinate, the spread of new and
Content provided by BD
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
Meeting the Moment: Accelerating Equitable Recovery and Transformative Change
Educators are deciding how best to re-establish routines such as everyday attendance, rebuild the relationships for resilient school communities, and center teaching and learning to consciously prioritize protecting the health and overall well-being of students
Content provided by Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Addressing Learning Loss: What Schools Need to Accelerate Reading Instruction in K-3
When K-3 students return to classrooms this fall, there will be huge gaps in foundational reading skills. Does your school or district need a plan to address learning loss and accelerate student growth? In this
Content provided by PDX Reading

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management Opinion COVID-19 Ripped Through Our Emotional Safety Net. Here’s How My District Responded
Three years after overhauling its approach to student mental health, one California district found itself facing a new crisis.
Jonathan Cooper
2 min read
A young man stands under a street light on a lonely road.
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and Getty Images
School & District Management Opinion Students Need Better Connections. To Wi-Fi, Yes, But Also to Teachers
We have to fix our digital divide, but let’s not lose sight of the relationship divide, writes one superintendent.
Susan Enfield
2 min read
A teacher checks in on a remote student.
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and Getty Images
School & District Management Opinion Superintendents Have Weathered a Lot of Vitriol This Year. What Have We Learned?
The pandemic turned district leaders into pioneers, writes one superintendent. We had to band together to make it through.
Matthew Montgomery
2 min read
A person walks from a vast empty space towards a team of people.
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and Getty Images
School & District Management Opinion Critics Complain My District Doesn’t Really Need Relief Aid. If They Only Knew…
District expenditures have ballooned in the pandemic, but many critics expect the opposite. How can leaders set the record straight?
Theresa Rouse
2 min read
A business person convinces colleagues by presenting a plan.
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and Getty Images