Evanston Township High School board candidate Jonathan Baum has picked up an endorsement from U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Evanston.

In an e-mail message to her supporters, Schakowsky said, “My friend Jonathan Baum is an outstanding leader on behalf of Evanston’s students.”

She added, “Baum’s service on Evanston’s Youth Umbrella Organization (YOU) and his time on the District 65 School Board demonstrate Baum’s commitment to public service.  Baum will work to expand the educational opportunities for all of Evanston’s High School students.”

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Why is she butting in?

    Why is the Congresswoman getting involved in local school board elections?  This seems really wrong to me.  Is it always just about who is Jan's friend, like in the judge elections where she endorsed her "friends" over much better qualified people last year? 

    1. Vote Baum

      Jan lives here, and obviously, just like anyone else, cares about this community. ETHS is a large part of Evanston, and she wants to make sure it is the best it can be, just like any other voter.

      As a congresswomen and an Evanston resident, Jan is voting for the most qualified candidate for the school board election. I suggest others do the same. Vote Baum for 202.

  2. Vote Baum for 202!

    This only further proves how qualified Baum is for the 202 board. Baum will be an amazing board member. He has both the experience and the insight into the school. He can bring the parent perspective, considering he has three students in the school already. 

    Won't it be helpful to ETHS to have a school board member who is a friend of our Congresswomen? Vote Baum for 202 on April 5th!!!!!!

  3. NOW I know how to vote

    I wasn't sure about who to vote for in the School Boards, but this makes it much easier. It will definitely be anyone other than Jan's endorsed buddies.

    Qualified or not, and he possibly may be the best for the job, it doesn't matter anymore. If a candidate is endorsed by Jan, or any of her other cronies, they'll never see my vote for anything.


    So, thanks Jan, for the ringing endorsement of who NOT to vote for.

    1. Amen ! That helped me too.

      I only wish Jan had recommended more, it would have made it clearer who would make excuses and buy into whatever the administration and union wanted instead of running the schools to get good education for the students—-bringing all students up to a high standard and give highly motivated students all possible.  Of course all students should be brought up to the later state, but the liberal list of why they [supposedly] can't assures continued dependence on the 'all wise' bureaucrats and allows them to keep calling for more money—not delievering results.

    2. Well before you vote for

      Well before you vote for anyone other than Baum, do your homework on the other candidates. I voted for Baum and Rochelle – both of which are looking to make decisions based on solid research and evidence – not simply promises by the administration.

      I agree that Jan's endorsement means very little, but I would hope that everyone votes for candidates who are ready to lead this school in the right direction and not allow any more embarrassment. The next time I read about ETHS in the Chicago Tribune, I'd like it to be an article praising our high standards. The current board has embarrassed us enough.

  4. Baum: the best candidate

    As a committed person to public service and a wide range of educational opportunities, Baum is the most qualified and best candidate for District 202. Anyone who watched Baum on the District 65 Board would know he is an independent voice, he watches out for anyone involved in the school AND the community as a whole. He is not intimidated by status quo, and will fight for what is right. He will listen to ALL opinions and represent the entire community. 

    Vote Baum for District 202.

  5. Much ado about nothing

    This is a non-issue.  I don't think there are more than a handful of voters in all of Evanston who vote for a school board candidate because of an endorsement from a sitting politician.  I happen to think Baum is a great candidate, but I won't vote for him simply because of Jan's endorsement, or anyone else's for that matter.

  6. At Least Jan’s Not Baum’s Election Committee Cochair

    Schakowsky's endorsement of Jonathan Baum is at least a little more legitimate than Eamon Kelly's endorsement of Scott Rochelle. Kelly is Rochelle's campaign committee cochair. That's comparable to David Axelrod endorsing Barack Obama for president in 2008 (which, I might add, didnt happen).

    1. My guess is that Eamon wrote

      My guess is that Eamon wrote a letter to the editor that somehow was deemed newsworthy. Either way, influential people are stumping for candidates that they believe in  – both Baum and Rochelle are pretty easy to support when you look at their qualifications and interest in educating all students. Can't say that any other candidates have worked harder at understanding key educational issues. Both are also the only ETHS grads who are running – I like that.

  7. Jan and Jonathan

    Kind or ironic.  Jonathan ran against Jan in the primary for the Illinois house seat.  Jan's win was what started her career.

    Jonathan was the better candidate then, too.

  8. Jan and Jon

    I'm glad I voted early so I wouldn't be swayed by Jan What's-her-name's endorsement. Anyone she endorses must be the least qualified of all the candidates!

  9. Jan and Jon once ran against each other

    For those with long memories, Jan and Jon ran against each other for IL State Representative a long time time ago. I'm glad that any personal animosities that may have existed have disappeared and that each can see the value the other brings to public service.

    They both have my vote.

  10. Only one endorsement?

    Why is Baum the only candidate endorsed by Schakowsky? There are three seats open in each school district race.

    As much as I disagree with everything about Schakowsky, it's more important to vote out all the incumbents who voted to eliminate true freshmen honor courses and voted twice to extend Superintendent Hardy Murphy's contract and agreed to hire two school principals with less than one year experience, passing up more experienced principals.

    That would mean no votes for Keith Terry, Bailey, Metz and Colleton.

    1. Correction for Anonymous Al

      Katie Bailey voted NO in the most recent contract extension for Dr. Murphy

      She asked thoughtful and relevant questions re: Mr. Terry's poorly considered "Courageous Conversations" proposal. She spends hours upon hours in the schools, doing her homework, understanding the issues and trying to provide equitable opportunities for all students.

      Vote YES for Katie Bailey and i agree with your assessment for the other incumbents

  11. Vote Baum

    Jonathan is great and can address sensitive issues without using all of the troubling "key words" adopted by the board.   After all, the "equity initiatives" are really the "achievement gap initiatives," but the board doesn't want to call it that.  Why be tied to all the research on the achievement gap if you can call it something else and avoid criticism based on that research?  Of course, "equity" means fairness, and by twisting the debate, the current board is telling constituents that the curriculum is "unfair" and/or the teachers and administrators are being unfair.  The "unfair" part, though, is the resulting achievement gap.   So lets please just call it that and address that very real, nation-wide problem using the best research on the subject.   

  12. Baum offers common sense

    Sometimes the simplest explanation is the correct one, and I would take Jan Schakowsky's endorsement at face value. Any real political leader recognizes leadership in others. Jon and Jan always had more in common than not, in terms of their basic values. Jan Schakowsky has the same right as a citizen and resident to endorse Jon Baum as do any of the other many community leaders who have given him their backing, and I hope it helps.

    Jon's service on the District 65 board was important, and his departure a loss for the community. He combines intelligence with compassion, and he has demonstrated commitment to social justice and to those less advantaged. Jon Baum has the ability to cut through nonsense with common sense, and often has the courage to say what others won't.  We are fortunate to have someone of his caliber willing to return to the fray.


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