When Arne Duncan, the secretary of education, was chief executive of the Chicago Public Schools, his office kept a log of nearly 40 pages listing the local politicians and business people and others who sought help getting children into the city’s most selective public schools
According to an article Tuesday in The Chicago Tribune, which first obtained and reported on the confidential log, those who sought such help included 25 aldermen, Mayor Richard M. Daley’s office, the State House speaker, the state attorney general, the former White House social secretary and a former United States senator
According to The Chicago Tribune, about three-quarters of those in the log had political connections
. The log noted “AD” as the person requesting help
for 10 students, and as a co-requester about 40 times, according to The Tribune. Mr. Duncan’s mother and wife
also appeared to have requested help for students.
Admission to top Chicago schools has long been a competitive and murky process, with longstanding rumors of abuse
. Mr. Duncan created a formal appeals process in 2008, and when he left to join the Obama administration, his successor, Ron Huberman, created a system to stop the gaming of the system
The existence of the list surfaced amid a federal investigation
, according to The Tribune. A spokesman for the Department of Education said Tuesday that the investigation stemmed from a case involving a school principal after Mr. Duncan left.
In July, Mr. Huberman announced an internal investigation of the city’s 52 application-based elementary and high schools. The president of the Chicago school board, Michael Scott, who had been subpoenaed in the federal investigation, committed suicide in November