The August 2014 Issue of Substance

Contact Substance | Suggestions (email)

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.

RAHM WATCH: Mayor grabs a headline for doing his job, repairing Lowe Park

While Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was trying to grab as much media attention as possible off the joy over the performance of the Jackie Robinson West Little League team in the Little League World Series, . . .


MEDIA WATCH: 'Rookie mistakes...' can't become a habit when the whole world will be watching... Sun-Times swipe at Karen Lewis isn't a cheap shot... Fact checking, copy editing and proofreading are all available to CTU president in upcoming mayor's race

The Chicago Sun-Times had been arriving at the homes of subscribers for only a few hours when Substance began hearing from readers and others about the Sneed column on August 22, 2014. Karen Lewis, the . . .


RAHM WATCH: Mayor Mudpuddle and the hypocrisy of the Fifth Floor's fair weather baseball fan

One of the most abrasive propaganda points in the Summer of 2014 is the emergence of Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago as a fan of Little League baseball. Of course, Rahm's hyped interest in Little . . .


'Conversations with Karen...' to continue in 22nd Ward hosted by Alderman Munoz on evening of August 21, 2014

The slowly expanding "Conversations With Karen" program, which involves the appearance of Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis at various locations throughout Chicago, continues on August 21, 2014. The August 21 event will be an . . .


OPT OUT 2015: More Than A Score regional meetings to plan for Opt Out 2015

Members of the CORE testing committee met on August 19 and decided to encourage everyone to attend the More Than A Score regional meetings as part of the planning for the 2015 Opt Out . . .


MEDIA WATCH: Shades of how Chicago officials slanted news coverage during Rahm's NATO hype and all the way back to the Vietnam War... Reporters threatened, arrested trying to cover Ferguson stories

"Good" reporters in the eyes of government officials and private crooks are the ones who sit pertly in a room waiting for government officials (and sometimes private crooks like charter school operators) to serve up . . .


MEDIA WATCH: Sun-Times hatchet jobs against Karen Lewis bounce back against Rahm's buddy's newspaper... over and over and over... Ferro publishes a 'dot.com' property to make Zoe Barnes proud...

The puerile attempt by the Chicago Sun-Times to do an "expose" on the finances of Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis backfired as soon as readers had the time to read, digest, and think about . . .


RAHM WATCH: Another chapter in 'Emperor of Chicagoland'?... Rahm's 'friends' at Bud Billiken -- the reincarnation of the paid protesters?

As several observers have reported, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was surrounded by the usual grouping of little black children during the Bud Billiken Parade on August 9 2014. Left out was that the children were . . .


BOOK REVIEW: 'A Chronicle of Echoes... Who's Who in the Implosion of American Public Education' earns a place on every Resistance reference shelf, despite minor flaws

Book Review: A Chronicle of Echoes, Who’s Who in the Implosion of American Public Education by Mercedes Schneider (Charlotte: Information Age Publishing, 2014, 491 pp).









. . .


Something to remind and inspire us for the battles ahead... 'Chicago Teacher' by Rebel Diaz, a video that was created during the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012, and in honor of our struggle

As my family and I prepare to go to the next stage of our 2014 vacation, we will be off the grid until August 13. That means there will be few new postings here at . . .


AFT Common Core update... Context for the Ed Notes publication and video on the AFT convention's 'standards' debate

[Editor's Note: Substance is proud to update the news and analysis of the "debate" during the national convention of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) over the Common Core. Yesterday, August 7, 2014, we published . . .


'If you got enough money, you can be any story you want...' (The Wire)... Rahm the coward afraid of 'his people'? Chicago mayor evades public appearances, reduces 'transparency' to a talking point, and avoids the public like most Chicagoans had Ebola... No public budget hearings this month...

Those who were in Chicago during the warm August of 2011 will still remember that Chicago's new mayor, Rahm Emanuel, had already begun scripting what later became the Hollywood fiction, "Chicagoland" by holding those once-and-only-once . . .


'...the educational program at Taylor... suffered as a result of the insufficiency of substitute teachers. The students are the ones who have been denied the full benefit of the education...' Chicago Teachers Union wins huge arbitration victory regarding CPS obligation to provide cadre subs

“I believe the Board has no incentive to correct the insufficiency of substitute teachers unless it is subject to a monetary award for breaching the CBA,” the arbitrator rules. “In addition, let there be no . . .


Chicago Board of Education continued delay of video of the July 23, 2014 Board meeting until the final day of the month

It took more than a week, but the Chicago Board of Education finally posted a completely censored video version of its July 23, 2014 meeting just as the month of July ended and August began. . . .


BOARDWATCH: Languid Board of Education meeting during week before school begins in Chicago

Attendance was sparse at the regular monthly meeting of the Chicago Board of Education on Wednesday, August 17, 2014 at 125 S. Clark Street. Many people were at Millennium Park to honor the Jackie Robinson . . .


RAHMWATCH: While grabbing headlines with Little League champions, Chicago's mayor gets flacks at the Sun-Times to ignore Rahm's record of hostility to real 'youth baseball' across Chicago

It was one of the feel good stories of the summer. Chicago's Jackie Robinson Wast Little League baseball team returned home to a water salute at Midway Airport and a lengthy parade and party through . . .


The Obama Betrayal... '... he posed as a progressive and turned out to be counterfeit. We ended up with a Wall Street presidency, a drone presidency, a national security presidency...' How the Chicago Boys and the Chicago Plan conned the country with the fraudulent candidate and the Obama presidency

As the opening of school looms across the USA and teachers in Chicago prepare to return to their classrooms for a school year that might be called "Obama 4.0" (for the fourth school year of . . .


Nominating petitions to begin circulation on August 26, 2014. Petitions due at the Board of Election Commissioners in November

With as many as a dozen Chicago Teachers Union members planning to run for alderman in their wards and at least two significant candidates planning to challenge Mayor Rahm Emanuel for the mayor's job, the . . .


'We need to test less but test right...' Colorado Springs superintendent asks for three-year moratorium on testing, challenging Colorado Springs's participation in PARCC

The superintendent of one of the largest school districts in Colorado, Dr. Nicholas Gledich of Colorado Springs, has asked the school board of Colorado Springs to put a three-year moratorium on the PARCC tests and . . .


'Block the Boat' gets support from ILWU members at port... Oakland protests stop ship over Gaza attacks by Israel

Approximately 3,000-5,000 people mobilized in Oakland on Saturday, August 16, to support the ILWU (International Longshore and Warehouse Union) in its efforts to “Block the Boat,” an Israeli ship trying to unload in Oakland. The . . .


Opt Out and Resistance Movements continue to explode across the USA even as testing insanity tries to expand behind a phalanx of anti-teaching 'education' executives sporting MBAs and no practical reality experience

Before the end of August 2014, the Chicago Board of Education will have subjected hundreds of school principals (and in some cases, unpaid "Team leaders" drafted from local schools) to more than 200 pages of . . .


Karen Lewis and Beverly Woods August 19, 2014... Chicago Teachers Union president has advanced from 'thinking about' to 'seriously considering' a run for Mayor of Chicago

Billed as “A Conversation with Karen Lewis in the 19th Ward,” the conversational Q & A between Karen Lewis and TV news commentator Walter Jacobson started at approximately 6:30 PM on August 19, 2014 at . . .


REBRANDING? '...We are excited to introduce the new CPS logo -- While we are making the public announcement later this week, we wanted to share the logo and branding guidelines with you now as you prepare materials for the new school year...'

As if the highest paid executives at America's third largest school system had nothing else to do during the weeks before school opened for the 2014 - 2015 school year, the newly reconfigured "Office of . . .


'State of the City' conversations... Karen Lewis to chat with 19th Ward residents on evening of August 19 at the Beverly Woods, 115th and Western in Chicago

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis will join with hundreds of residents of Chicago's 19th Ward for an evening chat about city issues at the famous Beverly Woods Banquet Hall, at 115th and Wastern, beginning . . .


Ed Notes video of AFT Common Core -- er, 'standards' -- debate shows Chicago at its best and AFT leadership's defense of Common Core at their macho silliest

With everything else going on, it took our brother Norm Scott a month to organize the videos of the now famous American Federation of Teachers Common Core debate, even though, as those who were at . . .


Common Core for early childhood gets its satiric comeuppance

The debate about Common Core continues to escalate, with nationally famous comedians joining teachers, parents, students, and concerned citizens in The Resistance. Most recently, the Onion joined with a funny satiric look at the impact . . .


Common Core: New York group exposes flaws and stupidities in Common Core despite New York City and national AFT leaders' avoidance of the Common Core debate and their praise of so-called 'standards'

One month after a clean debate over the Common Core, New York parents and others have provided the nation with a comprehensive expose of the flaws at every level of the testing program that was . . .


National Resistance to high-stakes testing grows even before school year begins

From the beginning of the Resistance to the regime of high-stakes testing tied to corporate privatization, charterization, and union busting schemes in the late 1990s, the test resistance usually began escalating in January, as the . . .


'Learning Walks' to expand centralized insanity, with the goal of closing schools for 'underperformance' by year's end while escalating harassment of classroom teachers and union leaders at the local school level from the beginning of the 2014 - 2015 school year onward

Principals across Chicago are being briefed that they must institute so-called "Learning Walks" throughout the system almost as soon as school begins, even though the idea has never been tested anywhere and the 'Learning Walk' . . .


Chicago to pioneer the LEARNING WALK! 'The network told us that is how it will be -- no choice no discussion...' Byrd Bennett adds 'Learning Walks' to the nonsense that will face teachers (and principals) when school resumes in September

If you haven't heard of "Leaning Walks" yet, it's because this is the latest nonsense being pushed by the top executives of Chicago's public schools to bully classroom teachers (and possibly drive principals insane) in . . .


Craziness of AFT leadership's 'victory' on Common Core vote returns as New York's Norm Scott posts a 12-minute video of the actual floor debate. The video includes UFT's Michael Mulgrew's uber-macho speech claiming that anyone opposing Common Core is against what he calls 'standards'...

The fierce debate over Common Core that took place in Los Angeles between July 11 and July 13, 2014 at the AFT convention is once again in the news, thanks to Norm Scott, a member . . .


Judge blocks construction of Lincoln Elementary School 'annex' as community opposition to the unnecessary construction expands

A Chicago judge continued to block the construction of the so-called "annex" to Lincoln Elementary School in the Lincoln Park community following protests and a legal complaint by neighborhood residents who have argued for months . . .


Custodians and other non-CTU workers in Chicago Public Schools are being 'laid off effective September 30, 2014' two years after their union leaders signed a deal with Rahm Emanuel and ordered their members to cross the Chicago Teachers Union picket lines during the September 2012 strike...

The letters are dated August 1, 2014. The most important paragraph reads: "Regrettably, you will be laid off effective September 30, 2014. We have determined that you do not have bumping rights. Additionally, please note . . .


An update on Datapalooza at the U.S. Department of Education

Although I posted information about the Datapalooza on January 11, 2013, I now offer an update, with more links to the actual presentations. Some have both text and video because I found the text first . . .


AFT CONVENTION REPORT: Human Rights luncheon highlights Chicago outreach other issues

One of the highlights of the conventions of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) is the Human Rights luncheon. And this year, it was a major event for the Chicago Teachers Union as two of . . .


Colbert transcript with Campbell Brown as right wing scripts continue their well-funded paths to the public

From one point of view, you could say that Campbell Brown just got a promotion. From an obscure "reporter" at CNN, she has been elevated to what Substance will call the "Ann Coulter Chair of . . .


Progressives in Chicago City Council push for elected school board referendum -- city-wide -- on February ballot

On July 31, 2014, the eight progressive aldermen in Chicago's 50-member City Council began the latest fight to get an elected school board of the nation's third largest school system. The aldermen introduced a proposal . . .


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)