Issue: November 2005 Issue
Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley has raised a few eyebrows in his 16 years as chief executive of the Windy City.
Just a couple years ago, Daley sent a bulldozer in the middle of the night to dig up the runway of the cityâ€™s Meigs Field lakefront airport. He said it was for homeland security reasons, but really it was to make room for a park. Try pulling that one in Cleveland.
Daley surprised a few Northeast Ohioans when he revealed that there are more than 5,000 students in the Chicago Public Schools learning to speak Chinese.
â€œEducation, thatâ€™s how weâ€™re competing against India and China,â€ Daley told an audience of 500 developers, bankers, attorneys and other business executives at the Sixth Annual Commercial Real Estate Deal Maker Forum in September. â€œChina has 10 million students right now learning English.â€
Daley says he wants to expand the number of students learning Chinese to 25,000 in the coming years.
Since 1995, when Daley took over his cityâ€™s school system, his management team closed a $1.8 billion deficit; made homework mandatory; ended social promotion of underperforming students; improved school safety; expanded summer school, after-school and early childhood education programs; and invested $4 billion in capital improvements.
No wonder Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell, who says Chicago â€œgives us a sense of hopeâ€ at the Forum, is so chummy with her Windy City colleague.
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