Questions and responses from polls conducted for the Chicago Public Schools in 1999 and 2000.

October 14-17, 2000

Margin of Error +/- 4.3%

When do you believe the school year should begin for the students in the Chicago Public School system?

9% Two weeks before Labor Day

20% One week before Labor Day

46% The first week after Labor Day

12% Doesn’t Matter

3% Don’t Know

Do you believe it is very important, somewhat important or not important at all for parents or guardians of Chicago Public School Students to bring their children to school the first week of school, so the parents or guardian’s can become acquainted with the school and the school’s administration?

68% Very important

23% Somewhat important

6% Not important at all

3% Don’t know

What do you believe is the main reason the Chicago Public School’s student test scores have improved in recent years?

19% Better teaching

16% Parental involvement

5% More studying/homework

4% More effort by administration/teachers

What do you believe can be done to improve the Chicago Public School system?

19% Smaller class size/more teachers

12% More parental involvement

10% Better teachers

4% Better/more programs

Which one of the following do you feel the Chicago Public School system should work hardest on to improve?

20% Security for School

35% Reduce class sizes

14% Increase after school learning programs

10% Computerizing classrooms

12% Expand math and science programs

1% Other

1% None

7% Don’t know

Which one the following do you think should be given the most consideration in promoting a student to the next grade in the Chicago Public School System?

52% Overall grades during the school year

9% Good behavior and participation in the classroom

5% A strong attendance record

25% Passing and exam at the end of the school year to determine if a student is prepared for the next grade

0% None

9% Don’t know

Should a student be promoted to next grade is they fail to achieve a minimum score on an examination at the end of the school year?

27% Yes— Should be promoted

64% No— Should not be promoted

9% Don’t Know

Should the school year be extended to 11 months for Chicago Public School student?

32% Yes—Why?

36% Not learning enough

25% Keep them out of trouble

16% Need more class time

54% No—Why?

43% Need time off/vacation

17% Too long

14% Not needed

14% Don’t know

Should the Chicago Public School system provide before and after school learning programs for it’s students?

84% Yes

11% No

5% Don’t know

Should the parents of the students who attend these classes be required to help pay for these classes, if the parents income exceeds a certain level?

60% Yes

34% No

6% Don’t Know

December 9-11, 1999

Margin of Error +/- 3.4%

Do you think the Chicago Public School system is heading in the right or wrong direction?

57% Right

26% Wrong

18% Don’t know

Who do you think is most responsible for the direction of the system?


29% Teachers

18% Local School Councils

42% Chicago Public School Administration

11% Don’t Know


15% Teachers

16% Local School Councils

50% Chicago Public School Administration

19% Don’t Know

The Chicago Public School system has eliminated social promotions which means students will not be promoted to the next grade unless they are academically prepared for the next grade. Do you agree with the elimination of social promotions in the Chicago Public School System?

94% Approve

3% Disapprove

3% Don’t Know

As you have read zero tolerance in schools has become an issue of much debate. From what you have heard is the Chicago Public Schools System’s policy for expelling students, Very Fair, Fair or Not Fair At all?

17% Very Fair

49% Fair

13% Not fair at all

11% Don’t Know

Do you support or oppose a zero tolerance policy in schools?

71% Support

16% Oppose

13% Don’t Know

June 18-20, 1999

Margin of Error +/- 3.4%

Changes are being recommended for the elementary level Magnet Programs. One change is to reduce the 24 different.programs now offered in the Magnet Programs to 4 core programs? Do you approve or disapprove with this change?

48% Approve

26% Disapprove

26% Don’t know

Would you approve of this change if you knew 4 core programs were math and science, world languages, fine and performing arts, and an Advanced International Curriculum?

45% Yes

21% No

34% Don’t Know

With the reduction from 24 different programs now offered in the Magnet Programs to 4 core programs, each school would be to specialize in only one core area. Do you approve or disapprove of this change?

40% Approve

40% Disapprove

20% Don’t Know

Do you believe the bussing is necessary?

66% Yes—Why?

42% Parents don’t have the time to take/pick-up

8% Not all schools have gifted programs

7% Schools job to take/pick-up students

17% No

17% Don’t Know

April 15, 1999

Margin of Error +/- 3.8%

Do you believe that local school councils are working to provide schools with good administrative oversight?

56% Yes

23% No

21% Don’t Know

Who do you think should hire school principals, local school councils or Chicago Public Schools Administration?

41% Local School Councils

47% Chicago Public School Administration

12% Don’t Know

Do you believe local school councils should be required to have criminal background checks before serving on the local school council?

89% Yes

10% No

1% Don’t Know

Do you believe local school council members should required to satisfy minimal educational requirements to serve on a Local School Council?

85% Yes

13% No

2% Don’t Know

Should local school councils serve only as an advisory to a school or should they have administrative control over the school?

59% Advisory Only

29% Administrative control

12% Don’t Know

If a principal’s evaluations have been unsatisfactory should the local school council be prohibited from renewing the principal’s contract?

67% Yes

28% No

5% Don’t Know

Should the retention of a school principal, by local school council, be based on specific academic criteria or should there be no set standards for a local school council in deciding whether or not to renew a principal’s contract?

78% Set standards

15% No set standards

7% Don’t Know

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