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Subscript: Marilyn Stewart could have stopped the school closings in the new contract, but sold out instead. Was it stupidity or corruption?

…Just how badly has Chicago Teachers Union President Marilyn Stewart sold out to Mayor Richard M. Daley at the expense of her union's members? Does S T E W A R T spell STUPID or just SELLOUT? Remember “Renaissance 2010”? The year 2010, as announced by Mayor Daley in 2004, is also the Civic Committee’s deadline for privatizing half or more of the public schools left in Chicago. Since he got a green light from Marilyn Stewart to privatize everything, Arne Duncan’s stopped talking about “100 new schools for Chicago” for 2010 (the old stuff printed on the banners proclaiming Renaissance 2010) and begun talking about “150 new schools...”? By 2010?

And to this there has not been a peep out of the Chicago Teachers Union, its expensive publicist, or its less than articulate President. No research. No complaints. No studies. No real challenges. In our opinion, that sellout was part of the deal with Mayor Daley that got Stewart to sign in August and September. What’s going to be left of the public schools for the rest of us by 2010 or 2012 (when this horrid contract expires)?

Stewart and her people missed the April 7 “RFP” meeting at Englewood High School, which gave the world the map for future privatization. Duncan has declared that the northwest, southwest and southeast sides of Chicago (the places they haven’t charterized and privatized yet) are “underserved” (that term, by the way, means “underprivatized” and “undercharterized” in the Daley administration’s Devil’s Dictionary; check this out while we channel Ambrose Bierce). Yup. Even the families whose kids are gong to Whitney Young and Northside and King are “underserved” by Duncan’s definitions.

The only group big enough to sort this out and then challenge both Daley and Duncan on this Blitzkrieg of privation is the Chicago Teachers Union. And since Stewart’s sellout last summer, the union’s staff has been looking the other way, not wanting to know what the next sellout is…



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