The late G. Alfred Hess Jr. studied Chicago schools for more than 25 years, first as a post-doctoral fellow at Northwestern University, then as executive director of the Chicago Panel on Public School Policy and Finance and then as director of Northwestern’s Center on Urban School Policy. Before his death on Jan. 27, 2006, he shared his insights on school reform under Mayor Richard M. Daley with Catalyst Publisher Linda Lenz. Topics included how he would have shaped high school reform, the role of local school councils, the soft spot in small schools and the impact of race and class. He also spoke about Evanston’s efforts to close the racial achievement gap, which he also studied.

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