CPS students return to school

January 5, 2009 1:53:32 PM PST
Chicago public school students headed back to class Monday.Mayor Richard Daley rang the bell marking the end of the holidays and the return to school at the Caldwell Academy, 8456 S. Cregier.

The mayor joined Arne Duncan, the soon-to-be U.S. education secretary, at a school assembly.

The mayor commended the Caldwell students on their performance on math and science tests. Daley also emphasized the city's commitment to improving the quality of neighborhood schools.

The mayor cited accomplishments among Chicago public school students in recent years including higher test scores, improved first-day attendance and falling drop-out rates.

But the mayor emphasized the need to raise the bar even higher.

"In the next few weeks we will offer our ideas about taking our schools to the next level. And each year, you have to take it to another level. You cannot be satisfied with the status quo. You can't say 'we've done well in '08, let's forget about '09," said Daley.

Mayor Daley also called on state legislators to reform and increase education funding in Illinois.