The January 2015 Issue of Substance

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We were forced to suspend subscriptions to our print edition a year ago, and after wishing we could get back into print have finally admitted that we can only continue as an online publication. Therefore, readers can no longer subscribe to Substance on paper, but those who wish to donate will be thanked.

LETTERS: Senator Alexander is wrong -- the issue is not 'feds v states'

Is the issue Feds vs. States? Lamar Alexander says: "Most of the controversy that exists today is the result of Washington getting involved [in state education policy] over the last six or seven years." (http://time.com/3681776/lamar-alexander-no-child-left-behind/) . . .


Chuy Garcia's speech from the January 24 Grand Ballroom rally... 'the main thrust of my campaign is to marshal the power of the people of Chicago so the neighborhoods will be at the center of new government in this city...'

The rally for Jesus "Chuy" Garcia was held Saturday, January 24, 2015, at The Grand Ballroom on 63rd and Cottage Grove Ave in the heart of Chicago's South Side. More than 700 people attended,.The energy . . .


Labor Beat on Ukraine reality

A new Labor Beat video, Ukraine and NATO Expansion, is now available from Labor Beat on YouTube at:. http://youtu.be/fhILmIvBe6o. The video is also archived at:laborbeat.org. This important story is not getting enough factual attention in . . .


CORE slate sweeps election for retiree delegates in the Chicago Teachers Union

The 34-person slate proposed by CORE (the Caucus Of Rank-and-file Educators) swept all 34 seats for retiree delegates to the 800-member Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates. The voting, which began in December, ended in . . .


Whence and where the PARCC in Chicago? CPS will test all students at '66 schools' on the PARCC, but the names of the schools are still Top Secret! Details of testing plans show, again, how CPS administration is now clueless about grassroots realities in Chicago

The Chicago Board of Education last week denied a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the names of the schools that will be testing using the PARCC test this school year. The request was . . .


PA court rules in favor of teachers against Philadelphia 'reform' commission's attempt to unilaterally end contract

A Pennsylvania state court ruled on January 23, 2015 against the Philadelphia "School Reform Commission" on the question of whether the commission could unilaterally terminate a teacher union contract. In October, the SRC had unilaterally . . .


'Youth Dreamers' at United Opt Out

An enthusiastic group of three students, Jessica White, Iman Cuffe and Deja Joseph, accompanied teacher Kristina Berdan, gave a lunch time presentation on their organization "Youth Dreamers" at the United Opt Out conference in Florida. . . .


United Opt Out covers some of the complexity of building a national opt out movement, county by county and state by state

"The greatest mistake of the movement has been trying to organize a sleeping people around specific goals. You have to wake the people up first, then you'll get action." (Malcom X). Tim Sleker, United Opt . . .


Fioretti to host pre Super Bowl party at the West Side Billy Goat's with NFL player supporters

Following the announcement that former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka was supporting Bob Fioretti's candidacy for mayor, the Fioretti campaign on January 22, 2015 announced a party with former NFL Football Players for Bob Fioretti. . . .


Democracy nixed on the West Side... Jason Ervin has a hundred percent rating supporting Emanuel, but managed to eliminate opponents... Teacher Tammie Vinson was knocked off the ballot even though she had more than double the necessary signatures!

In Chicago elections, circulating nominating petitions and talking with your neighbors about the upcoming election is only the beginning of the fight to (a) get on the ballot and (b) win the election. Everyone familiar . . .


“US, Ukraine and Russia: What Went Wrong?” A talk by John Mearsheimer and Rick Rozoff, Evanston, Illinois, January 10, 2015

Two widely recognized authorities on big power politics and NATO recently gave a public talk on the current situation in the Ukraine at the Evanston (Illinois) Public Library. Organized by the Evanston Neighbors for Peace, . . .


Colorado Opt Out movement expands billboards... Four highway billboards now up as testing season looms

The test resistance in Colorado has expanded the billboards our coalition has put up urging parents to exercise their rights and exempt their children from the fraud of high stakes standardized tests. Our campaign resulted . . .


Stephen Krashen delivers major address to United Opt Out... America is doing fine on international tests... our 'low' scores are due to poverty

The world renowned researcher Stephen Krashen delivered a major address to the recent United Opt Out conference. In his remarks, Krashen continues his campaign to provide all children with the "print rich" environment that all . . .


ALDERMANIC UPDATES: Tara Stamps and United Working Families to host forum on violence on Wednesday, January 21 at West Side church

Tara Stamps, who is running for alderman of the 37th Ward against incumbent Emma Mitts, has announced that she will be sponsoring a public forum on violence this WEDNESDAY, January 21, 2015.... "37th Ward Community . . .


'Solidarity Forever', the classic union song, was written 100 years ago

"Solidarity Forever," the classic union song that is sung at the beginning of every meeting of CORE (the Caucus Of Rank-and-file Educators) is now 100 years old, while CORE members and other union activists still . . .


RAHMWATCH: The Economist touts Rahm's 'school reforms' as part of Rahm's Rose Garden Strategy... 'Some of the toughest decisions Mr Emanuel had to make in his first term concerned schools. ..' while the Sun-Times exposes more Rahmcorruptions

As the February 24, 2015 election day draws near, Rahm Emanuel's re-election strategy becomes more and more clear - what has been called a "Rose Garden Strategy." Sit carefully while your propaganda machine portrays you . . .


MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY: 'Dr. King Left Behind'... Would Dr. King agree with the ruling class's version of 'No Child Left Behind'?

As Washington's corporate jet is filling up on both sides of the aisle in preparation for a new flight of educational fancy, it seems appropriate to suggest a name for the new flight plan for . . .


SUBSCRIPT: 'CORE has has its [sic[ time. Now its [sic] time for teachers to unite'... Unrest begins within Chicago Teachers Union while internal debates are over strategy and tactics in upcoming electoral and contract fights

While the members of the House of Delegates of the Chicago Teachers Union were debating some of the most pressing issues facing the union's 27,000 members inside the large meeting hall at the Operating Engineers . . .


Unelected school board's financial corruption in defense of the 'toxic swaps'... A new Labor Beat video -- 'Unelected CPS Board In Bad Bank Loan Scandal'

As the day draw near when Chicago voters will get to vote on whether they want an elected school board, examples of the corruption of the current school board proliferate, with the city's corporate media . . .


'Star' CPS principal announces support for Chuy Garcia, issues five minute critique of Rahm Emanuel's education agenda

A celebrity CPS principal has issued a stinging assessment of the education agenda announced earlier in January by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Troy LaRaviere, a well-respected district principal who according to the Garcia campaign's promotional materials . . .


The true cost of Teach For America... Millions of dollars are being wasted by urban school districts paying TFA its 'finder's fees'

[Editor's introduction. This stunning analysis from The American Prospect should close the book on the two decades of hypocrisy coming from the ruling class and the massive dollars behind Wendy Kopp and "Teach for America." . . .


MEDIA HYPOCRISY IN THE WINDY CITY: Chicago's daily newspapers weren't saying 'Je suis Charlie Hedbo' in 1999 when they called for the legal lynching of Substance after we published the odious CASE tests and the editors followed the lead of Paul Vallas

Despite the fact that Chicago newspapers are falling over themselves in January 2015 to proclaim the values of free expression and "freedom of the press," it only underscores their craven hypocrisy as avatars of corporate . . .


MEDIA WATCH: 'Quazzo’s companies have gotten an additional $2.9 million in Chicago Public Schools business in the year and a half since the millionaire venture capitalist joined the board...' Quazzo scandal ignored by mayor, while ruling class digs in its heels

After media revelations that Deborah Quazzo, one of the seven members of the Chicago Board of Education appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, has massive conflicts of interest, instead of asking Quazzo to resign her post, . . .


What goes 'down' while it's going up?... Chicago Murder Rate Increases 48%: Rahm Can't Cover up Crime and Chaos in 2014 by playing with the statistics.

[Editor's Note: The following article was originally published at Daily Kos while Subtance was down, as Chicago Murder Rate Increases 48%: Rahm Can't Cover up Crime and Chaos in 2014 by playing with the statistics. . . .


Steve Conn now president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers

A new era began in Detroit recently with the election of Steve Conn, a teacher at Detroit's Cass Tech High School, as President of the storied Detroit Federation of Teachers. The DFT for decades had . . .


Karen Lewis leads 'Jesus 'Chuy' Garcia for Mayor' election rally of 700 people at the Grand Ballroom on January 24

Surrounded by signs reading "Chuy," more than 700 people, many of them children, participated in a rally for Jesus "Chuy" Garcia at the Grand Ballroom on Cottage Grove Ave. on January 24, 2015. KOCO's (Kenwood . . .


Rahm says voters who want an elected school board have been 'tricked'!

At the “Chicago Women Take Action” mayoral forum on January 24, 2015, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said people had been “tricked” into wanting an elected school board. With a referendum scheduled in the majority of . . .


ALDERMANIC RACES: 33rd Ward race heating up... Meegan gets endorsements from United Working Families and Cook County College Teachers Union, plans events all week

Tim Meegan, the Roosevelt High School history teacher running for alderman of the 33rd Ward against Deb Mell, announced on January 22, 2015 that his candidacy has received the endorsements of the Cook County College . . .


Reader profile explains Chuy Garcia's decision to run for mayor... "Garcia offers voters a compelling personal history..."

A lengthy article in the January 22, 2015 edition of the Reader gives many Chicagoans the first in depth look at how Jesus "Chuy" Garcia decided to run for mayor of Chicago and a great . . .


Chicago Teachers Union begins to encourage ward canvasses for those candidates supported by the union.... Election activities increase dramatically during the 'Final Four' weeks before the February 24 voting for mayor and aldermen

By the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on January 19, 2015, dozens (perhaps hundreds) of rank-and-file members of the Chicago Teachers Union began signing up to support the 23 aldermanic candidates backed by the CTU. . . .


January 16 Chicago Mayor Campaign Forum Has Two “Missing in Action” (Chuy and Rahm)... Those Present Spoke Eloquently

Arriving 30 minutes late to campaign forum at UIC’s Student Service Building on Friday, January 16, 2015, there were two things immediately noticeable when I walked into the room: only three candidates were present, while . . .


And the race now enters its final month!... CTU website completes listing of aldermanic candidates supported by the union and offers contact information

Halfway through the warmest weekend since Christmas, the website of the Chicago Teachers Union updated the political endorsements approved by the union's House of Delegates and brought the union's 28,000 members information, via a link, . . .


Whistleblower case in the 12th Ward... Alderman fired an assistant after she talked with FBI agents investigating ward corruption, lawsuit charges

Since we are now in full swing of the February 24, 2015 Chicago municipal elections it is good to remind ourselves who are the people that are trying to get elected in our city. This . . .


Women Against the Machine meets on January 4... Major efforts in wards across the city against the 'Machine'

More than 120 people, standing room only, were crammed into the Jane Adams Hull House, on January 4, 2014, for the "Women Against the Machine" forum. This event was organized by the group "Women Organizing . . .


Chicago Teachers Union slow in reporting results of election endorsements approved -- or rejected -- at the January 14, 2015 House of Delegates meeting

Several major changes were made by the union's House of Delegates to the list of candidates receiving the CTU endorsement, but the public was still awaiting the news as the day after the meeting passed. . . .


CORE organizes to help aldermanic candidates after six CORE members running for City Council pitch their candidacies at a special caucus meeting

A special meeting of CORE, the Caucus Of Rank-and-file Educators, was held on January 12, 2015 so that CORE members could hear from aldermanic candidates who are members of CORE. CORE itself has not endorsed . . .


Meeks avoided question on elected school board at the December 2010 CTU mayoral candidates' forum

Now that Governor Bruce Rauner has appointed Reverend James Meeks to be head of the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), it's important for everyone to review some of the record Meeks has established. One . . .


December 17, 2014 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education

[The following article was kept in a ‘Queue File’ in December and early January 2014 – 15 during the time that the Substance website was “crashed.” After the site was repaired by Substance computer engineer . . .


Substance returns on line

This morning, January 10, 2015, Substance has returned on line. Over the next week, we will fill in the blanks of the five weeks since our systems "crashed" and waited for repairs. . . .


Opt Out movement organized by Portland teachers union

According to a local news service from Portland Oregon, the teachers union there is "quietly" organizing and opt out movement encouraging parents to opt their children out of the Portland test program. Portland school officials . . .


We were forced to suspend subscriptions to our print edition a year ago, and after wishing we could get back into print have finally admitted that we can only continue as an online publication. Therefore, readers can no longer subscribe to Substance on paper, but those who wish to donate will be thanked.

Contact Substance | Suggestions (email)