A Race against Time: The Crisis in Urban Schooling

By James G.Cibulka; William Lowe Boyd | Go to book overview

CHAPTER SEVEN

Implementation of an Accountability Agenda in High Schools

integrated governance in the Chicago public schools

KENNETH K.WONG, DOROTHEA ANAGNOSTOPOULOS, STAGEY RUTLEDGE, LAURENCE LYNN, ROBERT DREEBEN

IN 1995 THE ILLINOIS STATE LEGISLATURE ENACTED the Chicago School Reform Amendatory Act, granting the Chicago public schools the policy capacity to launch an ambitious educational-accountability agenda aimed at system-wide improvement in teaching and learning. The Act reversed the trend towards the decentralization of decision-making concerning school operations and integrated authority at the system-wide level. In our 1997 and 1998 reports on Chicago school reform, we identified this new governance framework as “integrated governance.” 1 The major institutional features of integrated governance include the reduction of competing authorities, linkages among the school board, district administration, and city hall created through mayoral appointments, and system-wide authority to hold organizational actors accountable located in the office of the chief executive officer (CEO).

Under integrated governance, the School Reform Board of Trustees took several actions in attempts to strengthen the fiscal and political support for the school system. Using expanded powers over financial operations provided by the 1995 Act, the central administration improved capital funding, balanced the budget, and secured labor stability through a four-year contract with the teachers' union. The second four-year contract, approved in November 1998, took effect in the fall of 1999. The school

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