School & District Management

Windy City Cloud Shadows Duncan

By The Associated Press — March 30, 2010 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

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 Achievement Webinar
How To Tackle The Biggest Hurdles To Effective Tutoring
Learn how districts overcome the three biggest challenges to implementing high-impact tutoring with fidelity: time, talent, and funding.
Content provided by Saga Education
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
Reframing Behavior: Neuroscience-Based Practices for Positive Support
Reframing Behavior helps teachers see the “why” of behavior through a neuroscience lens and provides practices that fit into a school day.
Content provided by Crisis Prevention Institute
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
Mathematics Webinar
Math for All: Strategies for Inclusive Instruction and Student Success
Looking for ways to make math matter for all your students? Gain strategies that help them make the connection as well as the grade.
Content provided by NMSI

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 Why Schools Struggle With Implementation. And How They Can Do Better
Improvement efforts often sputter when the rubber hits the road. But do they have to?
8 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
School & District Management How Principals Use the Lunch Hour to Target Student Apathy
School leaders want to trigger the connection between good food, fun, and rewards.
5 min read
Lunch hour at the St. Michael-Albertville Middle School West in Albertville, Minn.
Students share a laugh together during lunch hour at the St. Michael-Albertville Middle School West in Albertville, Minn.
Courtesy of Lynn Jennissen
School & District Management Opinion Teachers and Students Need Support. 5 Ways Administrators Can Help
In the simplest terms, administrators advise, be present by both listening carefully and being accessible electronically and by phone.
10 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty
School & District Management Opinion When Women Hold Each Other Back: A Call to Action for Female Principals
With so many barriers already facing women seeking administrative roles, we should not be dimming each other’s lights.
Crystal Thorpe
4 min read
A mean female leader with crossed arms stands in front of a group of people.
Vanessa Solis/Education Week via Canva