Arne Duncan kept a Clout to the Top log.
Back in 2010 then Mayor Richard Daley denied their was a Clout to the Top list that allowed City Hall favorites special entry to Chicago’s selective admission high schools.
A secret log of clout-heavy Chicagoans seeking to help kids win admission to elite public schools was a complaint file, not a back-channel admissions process, Mayor Daley said today.
Daley said there was nothing wrong with former Chicago schools chief Arne Duncan’s office maintaining such a log because “no favoritism” resulted from it.
“People are calling,” Daley said. “What do you do, just say, ‘No?’ Arne Duncan said you have to say something. Someone complained, ‘My child did not get in to this school. What can I do?’ He sent it to the principal to review, which is the right thing to do.
“You cannot hide it. It existed … There’s no favoritism, as Arne pointed out. Any complaint they had, he sent it right to the school … If people complained, you can’t just dismiss the complaint.”
Earlier this week Crain’s columnist Greg Hinz reported that GOP gubernatorial candidate and Rahm pal Bruce Rauner got his daughter into top-ranked selective admission Walter Payton High School through clout and Arne Duncan’s say-so.
The results of a Freedom of Information Action request by WBEZ’s education reporter Linda Lutton gives us a log kept by Duncan of the results of the requests made by clout-heavy pals.
Names of parents requesting admission for their children are redacted. The only names not redacted are those of elected officials, high-level school or city officials, or other individuals who forwarded requests to Arne Duncan. Requests coming directly from Duncan appear as “AD” on the log. Petitions from Duncan’s wife appear as “KD” on the log.