The July 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.

With Friends Like These... Senate passes renewal of No Child Left Behind, now called the 'Every Child Achieves Act''...with support from NAACP and most Dems...

The U. S. Senate has voted to accept its proposed version of the Every Child Achieves Act (ECAA) by a bipartisan majority of 81 -17. The bill is a rewrite of the 1965 Elementary and . . .


Board agenda shows Ruiz to remain as Board Vice President, while Board continues orgy of privatization -- example, another $3.1 million for AUSL despite the supposed 'financial crisis'... Two 'meetings' scheduled for July 22, 2015, but most of the public doesn't know about the 9:30 one...

The public agenda for the Chicago Board of Education's July 22, 2015 meeting shows that at least one faction in Chicago's ruling class is digging in its heels and continuing non-stop on the course it . . .


Principal's critique of Board of Education's principals' meeting... CPS officials repeated City Hall talking points to captive audience... 'These things are forcing us to choose between making pension payments and making needed investments in the classroom'...

[Editor's Note: The article below was forwarded to Substance almost immediately after it was circulated. Since then, we have received it over and over from those who are asking us to republish it. Here it . . .


Rebel flag is a symbol of more than racism... 'The South’s current drive to impose on the rest of the nation its opposition to worker and minority rights … resembles nothing so much as the efforts of antebellum Southern political leaders to blunt the North’s opposition to the slave labor system...'

[Editor's note: The following article came to us early on July 19, 2015, via the news service Portside. While we agree with those who want to purge the Confederate battle flag from publicly funded places . . .


Chicago Newsroom today, tomorrow and Saturday on Chicago Cable...

The Chicago Newsroom show taped on July 16 will be available to Substance readers at CAN TV Chicago and on You Tube. It was fun talking about CPS politics the morning the city learned officially . . .


Cleaning up and vamping photos and the record of Andrea Zopp won't bring her any closer to becoming a candidate of the people after her four vicious years on the Chicago Board of Education...

By the time the Chicago Sun-Times and "Sneed" did their latest attempt to bully regional Democrats on behalf of Andrea Zopp, the joke was becoming too good to miss. The photo that Sneed used to . . .


AFT Executive Council vote for Hillary endorsements was not -- NOT -- unanimous, but AFT isn't saying who voted how...

According to a growing number of sources, the widely publicized vote by the American Federation of Teachers Executive Council to endorse Hillary Clinton more than a year before the primaries heat up was not unanimous. . . .


New York's MORE caucus denounces AFT endorsement of Hillary Clinton... '...another top down decision was made in some back-room during the middle of the summer...'

While many in the Chicago Teachers Union were still discussing a response to the national announcement that the American Federation of Teachers was endorsing Hillary Clinton's bid for the Democratic Party nomination for President of . . .


TeacherMatch... Matchmaking Towards a Corporate Hell? Hiring of new teachers privatized through 'TeacherMatch'...

In Philadelphia, all new applicants to the School District of Philadelphia must create a login and apply througha corporate portal called TeacherMatch. All across the country, school districts, such as Chicago, are outsourcing their hiring . . .


MEDIA WATCH: Mindless corporate media coverage of presidential politics... '...when it comes to education, policies once seen as conservative — high-stakes testing, closing public schools and replacing them with charters, weakening teacher’s unions — share a generally bipartisan consensus...'

FAIR has done a major job in covering how mindlessly corporate media -- including The New York Times and The Washington Post -- is covering the presidential election. The FAIR report notes that the cliches . . .


BOOK REVIEW: A practical guide for tackling health hazards...

[Editor's Note: The following review by Kim Scipes originally was published by Labor Notes and is reprinted here at Substance with permission of the writer. The URL is: equested: http://labornotes.org/blogs/2015/07/review-practical-guide-tackling-factory-hazards . George N. Schmidt, Editor, . . .


MEDIA WATCH: Every silly hagiographic touting of Arne Duncan in July 8 Washington Post article...

The Washington Post devoted a huge amount of space on July 8, 2015, to a lengthy hagiography about Arne Duncan. To read the Post puffery, Duncan is the reluctant "listener" who rose to the top . . .


No Child Left Behind moving through Congress after House rejects amendments to support Opt Out...

Diane Ravitch reported on her blog on July 8, 2015 that the U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of an updated No Child Left Behind (ESEA reauthorization) bill. The vote was largely along party . . .


RTAC to CTPF (and CTU) -- NO DEALS!... 'RTAC is strongly opposed to any and all plans or proposals which in any way reduces or reschedules the amount which CPS is required to contribute to CTPF...'

With a little over a week to go before the next meeting of the trustees of the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund (CTPF), pressure like that on Greece continues from Chicago's plutocrats to force the CTPF . . .


PARCC dumped by Ohio... The 12-state consortium is now 'down to 11'... Opt Out triumphs after revelations of Pearson's 'McDonald's style' scoring procedures...

The State of Ohio has ended its participation in PARCC. It was not reported in Chicago's corporate media, but below is the July 2, 2015, story from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the daily newspaper of . . .


Iran teachers deserve our support... 'The General Secretary of the Iran Teachers’ Trade Association, Mr. Esmail Abdi, has been refused permission to leave Iran after being invited to the 7th World Congress of Education International...'

Iranian Teachers have been trying to build their own unions to support education in Iran, their students and themselves. The General Secretary of the Iran Teachers’ Trade Association, Mr. Esmail Abdi, has been refused permission . . .


CPS PURGE SEXIST? Why did Vitale and Ruiz dump some of the women who were part of Barbara Byrd Bennett's 'inner circle' of out-of-town cronies -- but, as of the July 4 weekend, none of the guys?...

Shades of Donald Trump or some benighted Republican? Rahm Emanuel and the obsessively politically correct bunch surrounding him being male chauvinist?! Given that Chicago's Mayor Rahm Emanuel is obsessive about making sure that every time . . .


Ruiz and Vitale 'purge' Byrd Bennett's innner circle, but CPS doesn't explain why those who hired them in the first place -- Ruiz and Vitale -- are still in power... Nor has CPS explained why only the women among BBB's cronies have been dumped....

The news about Chicago Public Schools was exploding during the days before Chicago began the Fourth of July weekend, with the Chicago Sun-Times reporting on July 3, 2015, that the CPS leadership had finally gotten . . .


Hillary? Eli Broad and the Clintons... Rolling back the New Deal and pushing corporate 'reforms'...

"For some people, sleep seems incidental. If you are one of them, I envy you. Bill Clinton, who I have known since he was governor of Arkansas, sticks out in my mind as someone who . . .


MEDIA WATCH: From 'Chicagoland' to 'The Wire', and from Rahm Emanuel to Stringer Bell.... Has Chicago's mayor been using a 'burner' cell phone to contact negotiator and evade the Freedom of Information Act? ...how 'Hillarying' Hillary Clinton...

As negotiations grew more and more intense between the Chicago Teachers Union and the Chicago Board of Education's "team" of lawyers and administrators during June 2015, people on the union side began noting that the . . .


Board continued to stick its finger in teachers' eyes at May and June meetings, expanding wasteful privatization expenses while screaming about the fiscal 'crisis'...

Although the Chicago Board of Education, backed by some of the city's wealthiest and most powerful people (including the editors of the Chicago Tribune, but not the reporters), continued claiming its fiscal "crisis" during April, . . .


Aldermen add voices in opposition to charter expansion, as protests against Board's budget priorities grow...

While there was a great deal of activity before, during and after the July 22, 2015 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education (the last to be chaired by David Vitale, who is being replaced . . .


CTU official asks why Board refused to arbitrate 'toxic swaps' at hastily called hearing on billion dollar bond issue... Board gives vague answer...

Jackson Potter, member services coordinator of the Chicago Teachers Union, was the only public speaker at the hastily called Chicago Board of Education "hearing" on issuing new bonds to cover the Board's projected budget deficit. . . .


LSC 'hearing' at Simeon exposes lies of CPS on budget 'crisis'... CPS Office of Local School Council Relations – Budget Informational Session held at Simeon High School features the version of reality now being presented by the Board's latest 'Chief Financial Officer,' Ginger Ostro...

INTRODUCTION... The Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Office of Local School Council (LSC) Relations scheduled three “Budget Informational Sessions” on the same date and time (Monday, July 20, 2015) in city locations north (Schurz High School), . . .


Senn Principal Susan Lofton removed from school during Inspector General investigation... One news report says manipulation of special education kids' testing is a reason...

The principal of Senn High School, Susan Loften, has been removed from the school, according to CPS sources, an email from alderman Harry Osterman, and DNA Info Chicago. Below are the email from the alderman, . . .


The man who helped engineer the largest school closing in American history is now the best person to be President of the Chicago Board of Education?! Frank Clark appointment is Rahm Emanuel's latest 'F____ You!' message to Chicago teachers, parents, and children...

There is no way that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel wasn't sending his latest "Fuck You!" message to the city's real public schools and the students, teachers and parents of the real public schools with the . . .


The crimes of David Vitale and Jesse Ruiz... Will the investigations end with Barbara Byrd Bennett and her cronies, or will the enablers be indicted, too?... One reporter's opinion -- Vitale and the Board refused to arbitrate the 'swaps' because they were covering up the fact that they knew the risk

With the July 16, 2015 revelation (not yet made official as of this writing) that Forrest Claypool and James Clark will become the CEO and President of the Chicago Board of Education, the issue now . . .


Randi's Chicago 'bum's rush' and the current Hillary controversy... AFT's rush to the altar is hurting -- not helping -- Hillary's candidacy, and it will hurt more in the future...

The Randi Railroad that pushed the "American Federation of Teachers" (AFT, but not all of us) into a very VERY early "endorsement" of the candidacy of HIllary Clinton is backfiring across the USA. If Randi . . .


Across the USA, AFT teachers say 'No f______ way!'

[Substance Editor's Note: Our mailboxes have been filling up with comments and screams against Randi Weingarten's cynical behind-closed-doors endorsement of Hillary Clinton on behalf of the 1.6 million members (including this reporter/editor/parent/activist) of the American . . .


Vitale gag successful on speakers for the July Board of Education meeting! Speakers 'closed' by 8:05 a.m. on July 13, as Board and mayor continue to refuse to allow public participation at public meetings of the public schools' Board...

It's 8:05 a.m. on July 13, 2015, and I was just told by the Board of Education's website (http://www.cpsboe.org/meetings/details/192) that "all speaker slots are filled" when I tried to sign up to speak at the . . .


Fourteen months before Democratic Party nominating convention... American Federation of Teachers Executive Council endorses Hillary Clinton!

Five years after Randi Weingarten, the national president of the 1.6 million member American Federation of Teachers (AFT) shared the stage at the union's July 2010 national convention with Bill Gates (while snubbing Gates's union . . .


Was the AFT executive council endorsement of Hillary unanimous?

As the national news sunk in among the leaders and members of the 1.6 million-member American Federation of Teaches (AFT) on July 12, 2015, in some places the question was: Was the vote of the . . .


Shaw's punditry is what's bankrupt... The 'BGA' under Andy Shaw should really be called the 'PAA' -- the 'Plutocratic Apologetics Association'... CTU refutes BGA claim that Chicago needs a 'bankruptcy' to clear off the books (and screw teachers and retirees)...

Anyone who didn't already know that the smug apologist for Chicago's ruling class and corporate "school reform" -- Andy Shaw -- should have realized it before the Chicago Sun-Times ran an Andy Shaw Op Ed . . .


History lesson: 'Invention of the White Race' by Theodore Allen is worth discovering, then studying, and finally discussing...

When I first met Ted Allen more than 40 years ago, I was studying racial segregation in Chicago's schools and writing a series of articles for Substance called "How Chicago Segregates." Then, as now, segregation . . .


Paul Vallas resumes teacher bashing and union busting career with Crain's opinion piece...

Less than a year after he helped bring down Governor Pat Quinn's administration (a duo, actually, since Quinn made the bigger mistake), Paul G. Vallas was back in his historical union busting mode, opining in . . .


Protst against Rahm's layoffs at City Hall... 'This is despicable, disgusting and completely unacceptable...'

A little over two hundred teachers, students, parents and union members marched on LaSalle street in front of city hall to demonstrate their opposition for the reported layoff of 1,400 educators and the reduction of . . .


'Broke on Purpose' charges detailed in exposé of the lies of CPS budget claims and financial priorities under both mayors Daley and Emanuel... Chicago Teachers Union budget analysis exposes CPS officials' lies about reduction in administrative costs and other financial materials...

A four-page document analyzing the massive Chicago Public Schools budget has been released by the Chicago Teachers Union. The document challenges every claim made since 2011 about the actual priorities of the city's massive public . . .


Raise Your Hand schedules forum on CPS budget, 'cuts', and claims...

After the July 1, 2015 announcement by CPS officials that the public schools system will be making budget "cuts", some of which will supposedly reduce the school system's massive administrative offices (central and "networks"), the . . .


Ruiz and Cawley appear before pension trustees to propose a deal... CTPF looks to approve Board plan to spread out 2016 and 2017 pension payments....

The Chicago Teachers Pension Fund (CTPF) heard from three top financial officials on the morning of July 1, 2015, following the cliffhanger payment of the full $624 million that Chicago Public Schools owed to the . . .


Board of Education pays full pension payment after lengthy game of 'Chickie' with the public on behalf of Rahm Emanuel and the world's ruling class.... Jesse Ruiz announces layoffs of 1,400 from the city's schools as the divide and conquers tactics continue...

Despite one last attempt by officials of the Chicago Board of Education and the administration of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to bully the leaders of the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund (CTPF), the leaders of the . . .


Board lays off 1,400 school staff... Revenge for forcing pension payment?

At the same time the Chicago Board of Education was making the mandatory payment of $634 million to the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund, officials of Chicago Public Schools announced that 1,400 teachers and other school . . .


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)