Mayor Lightfoot announced her CPS Board of Ed appointments today.
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The new unelected CPS BOE members are Miguel del Valle (president), Sendhil Revuluri (vice president), Luisiana Melendez, Amy Rome, Lucino Sotelo, Elizabeth Todd-Breland, and Dwayne Truss. You can find more details on each of the appointees here. Lightfoot also announced Dr. Sybil Madison as deputy mayor for education and human services, a new position. There were also promises made about public decision making as opposed to the closed door practices we’ve encountered for close to a decade. We are monitoring new developments closely; we do think the process of appointing new BOE members should have been more transparent and included an opportunity for input from Chicagoans from across the city, especially those who are most impacted by BOE decisions.
We are pleased by the appointment of Dwayne Truss, former vice president of the RYH board. He played an instrumental role in shaping our organization and is a phenomenal human and advocate for public schools. Dwayne mentored many of us over the years and we look forward to working with him!
There are some good appointments of people with experiences and knowledge which are very relevant to the needs of our district's most vulnerable students. That said, given the ongoing process to remediate CPS' systemic special education violations, we are concerned that there is no one on the BOE who has a deep background as a special educator or special education advocate.
An appointed board of members who actually have some knowledge about the areas on which they are making decisions, is a reasonable placeholder until we pass a law that brings free and fair elections to the Chicago Board of Education. In the interim, even if these BOE members are appointed by the mayor, they still work for us - the people and neighborhoods of Chicago, especially CPS students, families, and educators.
We look forward to working with CPS and the new school board to rescind failed policies, revise flawed ones, and create better ones. Let’s get to work transforming this district.
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More press coverage:
Sun-Times: Lightfoot names new school board
Chicago Reporter: Miguel del Valle could mark the end of a school board of ‘yes men’
OpEd from RYH board president, Brenda Delgado-Als:
Crain’s Chicago Business: We’re done waiting for an elected school board