|Clout-heavy banker David Vitale, former AUSL board chairman, now runs the Board of Education|
Koldyke, has donated heavily to political candidates, including $25,000 to Daley's re-election campaign in 2006 and $25,000 to Emanuel's mayoral fund in 2010. In total, Koldyke and AUSL board members have contributed more than $100,000 to various political campaigns since 2003, according to state election records.
Now running 19 schools, six of which are now designated "among the worst in the city", AUSL is now locked in a public battle to add six more. The group has become a force inside CPS, a virtually autonomous "district within the district" supported by millions in public and private funding, diverted away from cash-strapped neighborhood schools, according to a report today in the Chicago Tribune.
"Yet for all the public attention, AUSL's results have been mixed; many students have made considerable progress, but as a group they still lag well behind district averages ... with many ending up on par or even below comparable neighborhood schools."According to the Tribune report, all of AUSL's turnarounds remain on academic probation and few if any of AUSL strategies have found their way into other CPS schools.