Thumbnail Profile: Evanston native; ETHS 1974; B.A, Harvard University; .J.D., University of Chicago. Attorney for almost 30 years, since 1993, for the law firm of Katten Muchin Rosenman LL administering the firm’s pro bono program and personally litigating civil rights and civil liberties cases. Four children, three at ETHS who attended D65 and one at Roycemore School.
Civic activities: D65 School Board member (2003-2007); Evanston Human Relations Commission; more than 20 years, Youth Organizations Umbrella Board.
The importance of preparing students to be on track for college and career readiness, what the Board should do to ensure that is done:
“Both District 65 and District 202 have no more important task than preparing students to be on track for college and career readiness.”
“As a Board member, I would charge our educational professionals with the responsibility for developing and implementing the specific programs to accomplish this task.”
“I think the two Boards should adopt the following framework to guide this effort:
“First, both Districts, working closely together, must clearly and jointly define ‘college and career readiness’ and identify the specific assessment instruments and criteria by which it is to be measured for each student, at each stage of their academic career (kindergarten through 12th grade).
“Second, both Districts, working closely together, should identify where each student is expected to be by 12th grade, and then, working backwards, where they are expected to be by 10th grade, 8th grade, 5th grade, and so on.
“Finally, both Districts, working closely together, should develop and implement the curriculum, instructional methods, support systems, and guidance models needed for each student to achieve the 12th grade goal to the maximum extent he or she is capable.”
A summary of two or three top priorities as a Board member:
“Make sure that every student achieves his or her potential by challenging every student, supporting every student, and guiding every student.”
“Secure’ ever-closer collaboration with District 65 to ensure a seamless educational program for our students.”
“Maintain the fiscal health of the district in tough economic times by scrutinizing every program and position to ensure that we are getting the maximum bang for every buck.”
“Make the Board more responsive to constituents, more transparent in its decision-making, and more vigorous in its oversight of district operations.”
What Mr. Baum says he brings to the table that would make him an effective Board member:
“I have a historical perspective, as an ETHS alum and longtime community activist.”
“As the parent of three current ETHS students and a middle-schooler, I am in touch with what is happening now at ETHS and have a deep personal stake in the success of the school.”
“As a veteran civil rights lawyer, I have a demonstrated sensitivity to the issues of equity facing ETHS.”
“I have a “K-12” perspective honed by four years on the District 65 Board spent tackling the tough academic and fiscal issues both districts face.”
Jonathan Baum’s website is
These profiles were compiled by theRoundTable based on information provided by the five candidates for the District 202 School Board. The RoundTable asked each candidate to provide background information and to respond to three questions: 1) What is your view on the importance of preparing students to be on track for college and career readiness, and what the Board should do, if anything, to ensure that is done?; 2) Provide a summary of two or three or your top priorities as a Board member; and 3) what do you bring to the table that would make you an effective Board member? The RoundTable set a word limit for these three questions, so the candidates’ responses should be regarded as only a summary of their views. For a more complete exposition of their views, the RoundTable encourages readers to visit the candidates’ websites (listed below), attend one or more of the candidate forums, or attend a coffee.