University of Illinois at Chicago Office of Public Affairs (MC 288)
601 S. Morgan St., Chicago, IL 60607-7113, (312) 996-3456,

December 28, 1999 Contact: Jeffron Boynés (312) 413-8702,


Education writer and school-reform advocate Michael Klonsky has been named to the Academic Advisory Council of the National Campaign Against Youth Violence. Klonsky, director of the Small Schools Workshop at the University of Illinois at Chicago, will begin his appointment next month.

In accepting the appointment, Klonsky said his primary objective will be "to help teachers develop strong relationships with students and models of non-violent behavior in their daily interactions." This is more easily accomplished, he said, "where an intimate learning environment can flourish, and more difficult when the presence of armed officers and metal detectors lead students to believe violence is normal."

The National Campaign was conceived at a May 10 White House summit of educators, parents and civic leaders. The Campaign's mission is to enlist the private sector to develop and support three specific initiatives:

  • Create two national media campaigns that will raise consciousness about effective means of reducing and de-normalizing violence and enlist young people in the non-violence movement;
  • Assist local violence prevention collaboratives by enlisting corporate sponsors to provide sustained support within their communities; and
  • Partner with the Department of Justice and national networks to develop a national clearinghouse to better connect communities, schools and individuals with effective programs and services.

Jeff Bleich, CEO and director of the Campaign, said naming scholars like Klonsky to the Advisory Council is the Campaign's highest priority.

"We feel very fortunate to have Michael Klonsky assist us in this initiative," Bleich said. "His insights into structuring schools in a manner that reduces violence among young people are important and should help guide our collective efforts."

Klonsky has written extensively on the link between school size and a reduction in violent or disruptive behavior on the part of students, which small-schools teachers attribute to a greater sense of - more - UIC/Klonsky Appointed to National Council - Add One ownership of a school by its students. He is the author of "Small Schools: The Numbers Tell a Story" (University of Illinois Small Schools Workshop) and is currently co-editing "Simple Justice: The Challenge for Teachers in Small Schools" (Teachers College Press).

Klonsky started the School Change Institute in 1998 as a training ground for external partners giving assistance to under-performing public schools. His research interests include charter schools, small schools, violence in schools and school reform.

Klonsky serves as president of the editorial board of "Catalyst," Chicago's school-reform journal, and has written extensively on the history and progress of Chicago's dynamic school-reform effort. He also teaches graduate courses on "Teacher Leadership in School Change" and "Politics of School Reform" at UIC's College of Education, where he also directs the U.S. - South Africa Educators Exchange.

Additional information on Klonsky and the Small Schools Workshop can be found at

With 25,000 students, the University of Illinois is the largest and most diverse university in the Chicago area. UIC is home to the largest medical school in the United States and is one of only 88 Research I universities. Located just west of Chicago's Loop, UIC is a vital part of the educational, technological and cultural fabric of the area.


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