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ASPEN INSTITUTE DELETES STAND FOR CHILDREN VIDEO FROM WEB ACCESS... How the Ruling Class works against public schools and teacher unions... Aspen Institute Session on SB7, Stand for Children, narrates the ruling class's triumph in Illinois

Robin Steans, the millionaire heiress who runs the astro turf group called "Advance Illinois," had just finished speaking at the June 13, 2011 signing of SB7 when the above photograph was taken. A few weeks later, her multi-millionaire father took the family on a safari in Africa to cap her triumphant season in Illinois politics as the person who sheparded the union-busting "SB7" through the Illinois General Assembly on behalf of Chicago billionaires. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.If there was ever and example of the ruling class dictating educational policy and then crowing about it, the recent Aspen Institute session on SB 7 and the work of Stand for Children during the past nine months in Illinois is it. The Aspen Institute, which has been exposed by many analysts (most notably for Substance readers, Susan Ohanian) as one of the key players in corporate rule, held a conference recently at which James Crown (one of the billionaires from the billionaire family that helped bankroll Stand for Children) and Jonah Edelman provided an hour of detail on how they foisted SB 7 on Illinois.

On July 9, 2011, the direct link to the Aspen Institute site that contained the video became unavailable, but the link through the Chicago Tribune blog (district 299.com) was still up. The Tribune blog link, for those who cannot get a hotlink, is http://www.chicagonow.com/district-299-chicago-public-schools-blog/2011/07/polishing-the-sb7-reform-story/

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (above left at podium) speaking at the June 13, 2011 signing of Senate Bill 7, which continued the attack on Chicago's public schools and the Chicago Teachers Union after a billionaires' financed attack by Stand for Children, Advance Illinois, and the Business Roundtable against unionized Chicago teachers succeeded. At the signing above, the bipartisan group that pushed through SB7 was hailed. Only Karen Lewis, the President of the Chicago Teachers Union, did not attend the signing. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.All of the speakers and participants in the panel agree now: SB7 and how "Stand" brought it to Illinois is now a model that the ruling class is going to follow in the future to forge legislation based on the bipartisan consensus they are parading out as a key to the next phase of corporate "school reform." Substance is working on getting a complete transcript of the Aspen Institute session, as well as interviewing leaders of the Illinois Education Association (IEA) about their personal and organizational role in creating and maintaining the Jim Crow "separate and not equal status" of the largest (mostly minority) school district in Illinois, Chicago, at the back of the bud legislatively. This story is just beginning to be told, and the role of the wealthy men and women who are creating phony "grass roots" organizations like "Stand for Children" and "Advance Illinois" will be studied and exposed as well. For those who cannot get the hotlink above, the URL is: http://aifestival.org/session/if-it-can-happen-there-it-can-happen-anywhere-transformational-education-legislation# POSTED AS A COMMENT AND ADDED HERE AS WELL ON JULY 9, 2011... Some time during the past 12 hours, between July 8 and July 9, 2011, the hotlink from which we were getting the Jonah Edelman video (with his master, billionaire Jim Crown) went dead. If you try the direct link to Aspen, you get "PAGE NOT FOUND. The requested page could not be found.

© 2011 The Aspen Institute ..."

We know the Who, What, When and Where. Let's make a few phone calls about the Why and have some fun. Meanwhile, let's speculate. The disappearance of the (hour long) Jonah Edelman video is probably because Aspen (and their billionaire bankrollers, like the Crown family, "Call me Jim...") realized they couldn't sustain the nonsense about how grass rootsy "Stand for Children" and "Advance Illinois" are.

Among those celebrating the triumph of SB7 and the latest legislative attack on the Chicago Teachers Union in Illinois were (left to right), Illinois Federation of Teachers President Dan Montgomery (second from left), Robin Steans of Advance Illinois (third from left), Ken Swanson of the Illinois Education Association (fourth from left), State Senator Kimberly Lightford (fifth from left), Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (third from right), State Rep Linda Chapa La Cia (second from right) and former Chicago Board of Education President Gery Chico (right). Behind Chapa La Via is Stand for Children's Jonah Edelman, who was not asked to speak about the group's triumphant purchase of Illinois politicians in late 2010 and early 2011 at the SB7 signing. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.The narrative can't be sustained if the public learns that a bunch of Chicago billionaires were buying grass rootsy types by the dozen to push a legislative agenda to privatize public education, bust unions, and prove (with a straight face; after all, this is the state that gave the world some of the biggest crooks in politics, from Barack Obama to Rod) that with a few hundred thousand dollars you can buy the love and affection of any politician in Illinois and with a few more bucks than that you can buy the undying love and affection of the father of the Illinois Attorney General.

What's not to like about all this? It could go all the way to the Second City main stage without too much work.

Years (actually, decades) ago, I used to drive a Flash Cab on the night shift. The only difference between the "Stand" and "Advance" guys and gals and this generation of the whores of corporate school reform is that the gals on Clark St. or over at the old Hour Glass Lounge (on Argyle, before Jimmy Wong bought the block) knew they were in the world's oldest profession. Aspen has to take down these whorey narratives because the whores of corporate school reform have to pass themselves off, even if the sores on their faces —and the smells of their activities — are visible to the discerning eye and olfactories.

Jonah Edelman was present for the June 13 signing of SB7, the latest Illinois law aimed at busting the Chicago Teachers Union, but kept a low profile. Four weeks later, he laid out how Stand for Children purchased enough Illinois politicians (including State Rep. Linda Chapa La Via, foreground with suspicious look) to get SB7 through the Illinois General Assembly. In early July, Edelman bragged about how SB7 became law at the Aspen Institute, but as soon as hundreds of Chicago teachers and parents began viewing the hour-long video featuring billionaire James Crown and Edelman, the Aspen Institute deleted the video from history. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.As Hamlet suggested: "Get thee to a nunnery." But how can you say that to an Ophelia like Robin Steans who's already been promoted, as a result of her considerable talents, to the rank of Mother Superior?

Anyway, in the photo earlier in this article that recommends every teacher in Chicago view the Stand video, you can see, literally, every person who arranged to continue the Jim Crow version of Illinois law that became SB7.

They're all there, from Kimberly Lightford to Charlie Rose, and from Jo Anderson to Robin Steans. The only person who didn't appear at that event was Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, and as history unfolds, her reputation will grow while each of the others (in that photo) will be answering the question of why they did that? Sort of like during the old days of Jim Crow. It took a lot of people (and a lot of money) to create systems that kept black children (and their teachers) in "separate but equal." And that's really what Pat Quinn, Rahm Emanuel, Kimberly Lightford, Linda Chapa La Via, and the rest of that crew were bragging about when I covered the signing of SB7 last month.



Comments:

July 7, 2011 at 12:59 PM

By: Bob Busch

Apology

GEORGE

I didn’t want to jump the gun on your story. I if did please accept my apology

July 8, 2011 at 8:17 AM

By: Bob Busch

The Yamamoto reaction

December 8th 1941 saw America pissed off. Horrible oaths and a burning desire to seek revenge filled the land. Far away at Pearl Harbor Admiral Halsey guided the Carrier Enterprise out into harm’s way. Declaring that when we got through with them the Japanese language would be spoken only in hell. Both the audacity of the attack and the damage it did were a bone rattling shock to the nation.

After listening to the Aspen video I feel the same emotions as American did then.

We are at war folks with a smart, organized, rich enemy out for the total destruction of American public schools and the thousands of dedicated teachers who serve in them. Senate Bill 7 was a surprise attack on unions every bit as devastating as anything dropped by the Imperial fleet; we lost that battle.

But history also records who won the war. When he heard the news that the attack at Pearl Harbor began 45 minutes before Japan declared war the man who planed the attack Admiral Yamamoto said “ I fear we have awakened a sleeping dragon and filled him with a terrible resolve”

July 9, 2011 at 11:05 AM

By: Jim Cavallero

Aspen Removed the Video

The Jonah Edelman video was removed from the Aspen web page. It was also removed from youtube.

July 9, 2011 at 12:04 PM

By: George N. Schmidt

Aspen removed the video to shield 'Stand's' brand... What so surprising about that?

Some time during the past 12 hours, the hotlink from which we were getting the Jonah Edelman video (with his master, billionaire Jim Crown) went dead. If you try the direct link to Aspen, you get "PAGE NOT FOUND. The requested page could not be found.

© 2011 The Aspen Institute ..."

We know the Who, What, When and Where. Let's make a few phone calls about the Why and have some fun. Meanwhile, let's speculate. The disappearance of the (hour long) Jonah Edelman video is probably because Aspen (and their billionaire bankrollers, like the Crown family, "Call me Jim...") realized they couldn't sustain the nonsense about how grass rootsy "Stand for Children" and "Advance Illinois" are when a bunch of Chicago billionaires were buying them by the dozen to privatize public education, bust unions, and prove (with a straight face; after all, this is the state that gave the world some of the biggest crooks in politics, from Barack Obama to Rod) that with a few hundred thousand dollars you can buy the love and affection of any politician in Illinois and with a few more bucks than that you can buy the undying love and affection of the father of the Illinois Attorney General.

What's not to like about all this? It could go all the way to the Second City main stage without too much work.

Years (actually, decades) ago, I used to drive a Flash Cab on the night shift. The only difference between the "Stand" and "Advance" guys and gals and this generation of the whores of corporate school reform is that the gals on Clark St. or over at the old Hour Glass Lounge (on Argyle, before Jimmy Wong bought the block) knew they were in the world's oldest profession. Aspen has to take down these whorey narratives because the whores of corporate school reform have to pass themselves off, even if the sores on their faces —and the smells of their activities — are visible to the discerning eye and olfactories.

As Hamlet suggested: "Get thee to a nunnery." But how can you say that to an Ophelia like Robin Steans who's already been promoted, as a result of her considerable talents, to the rank of Mother Superior?

Anyway, in the photo at the beginning of the article that recommends every teacher in Chicago view the Stand video, you can see, literally, every person who arranged to continue the Jim Crow version of Illinois law that became SB7. They're all there, from Kimberly Lightford to Charlie Rose, and from Jo Anderson to Robin Steans. The only person who didn't appear at that event was Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, and as history unfolds, her reputation will grow while each of the others (in that photo) will be answering the question of why they did that? Sort of like during the old days of Jim Crow. It took a lot of people (and a lot of money) to create systems that kept black children (and their teachers) in "separate but equal." And that's really what Pat Quinn, Rahm Emanuel, Kimberly Lightford, Linda Chapa La Via, and the rest of that crew were bragging about when I covered the signing of SB7 last month.

July 9, 2011 at 12:56 PM

By: Jim Cavallero

Copy of Video for Download

Anyone who wants a copy of the video can download it at this website:

http://www.schooltechconnect.com/2011/07/scrub-dub-dub.html

July 9, 2011 at 3:56 PM

By: Bob Busch

Aspen video's key portions...

Sixteen Minutes

The video is almost an hour long but the part which will come back to bite them starts at minute 12 and goes till minute 28.

July 10, 2011 at 3:31 PM

By: Jim Cavallero

Jonah Edelman Apology on Fred Klonsky Blog

Below is an apology from Jonah Edelman that was posted on the Fred Klonsky Blog.

http://preaprez.wordpress.com/2011/07/10/jonah-edelman-apologizes-to-my-blog-readers/

Jonah Edelman apologizes to my blog readers.

July 10, 2011

by Fred Klonsky

.

Jonah Edelman writes:

Fred Klonsky blog readers:

After watching the fourteen minute excerpt and then viewing the whole video of the hour-long session, I want to very sincerely apologize.

My shorthand explanation in the excerpt of what brought about the passage of Senate Bill 7 had a slant and tone that doesn’t reflect the more complex and reality of what went into this legislation, nor does it reflect my heart and point of view in several ways:

–It left children mostly out of the equation when helping children succeed is my mission in life, as I know it is yours,

–It was very unfair to colleagues leading Illinois teachers’ unions, and,

–It could cause viewers to wrongly conclude that I’m against unions (Note: I said later in the session – not in the “juicy part” — that I do not view teachers’ unions as the problem. If that were true, I said, schools in states whose unions are less powerful would be among the nation’s best rather than some of the nation’s lowest performing.)

Stand for Children and I share a common commitment with teachers and teachers’ union leaders to ensuring the most qualified individuals choose the teaching profession, that teachers have the preparation, tools, support, and school climate they need to do their best work, that teachers should be compensated at a level that reflects the high skill and intense effort required by the teaching profession, and that evaluations of teachers need to become more meaningful and useful. We share a common commitment to ensuring adequate resources for schools and early childhood education. And we share a common commitment to ensure school districts and schools have effective administrators that create healthy work cultures within which teachers are respected and can be creative and innovative.

You wouldn’t know that from excerpt and that’s my fault.

There are quite a few things that I want to take myself very strongly to task for and which I’ll learn from and improve upon in the future, but first

I want to emphasize how Senate Bill 7 will impact students and teachers.

–After the improved teacher evaluation framework stipulated by the Performance Evaluation Reform Act of 2010 is developed through a collaboration of the state board of education, teachers’ unions, management groups, and advocates, Senate Bill 7 will make performance rather than seniority the basis for granting tenure and it will make performance the primary criterion for layoff decisions (with seniority being a tiebreaker in situations of comparable performance ratings). In addition, based on advocacy by teachers’ union leaders during our negotiations, with which I wholeheartedly agreed, tenure will be granted on an accelerated basis to teachers with three excellent ratings in a row and teachers with tenure who switch districts will be able to earn tenure in their new district within two years.

–The dismissal process for teachers with tenure with poor performance or conduct maintains due process while being substantially streamlined and improved to ensure that consistently ineffective teachers or teachers with poor conduct are not teaching children in Illinois. Before the dismissal process can proceed, based on advocacy by teachers’ unions, with which I again wholeheartedly agreed, a second evaluator must corroborate that dismissal is warranted. This will ensure fairness and should cut down on conflict and cost in the subsequent dismissal process.

–There will be more transparency in the contract negotiation process statewide, which will hopefully lead to fewer divisive conflicts and better, more student-centered decisions, and Chicago Public Schools’ will be able to lengthen its school day and school year in order to give teachers more time to help students learn and to plan and collaborate.

For committed, capable teachers throughout Illinois, all of these changes are incredibly good things, and it made complete sense therefore for teachers’ unions, who were at the table shaping Senate Bill 7, to back Senate Bill 7. Also, by virtue of negotiating in good faith for four months, Illinois teachers unions, management groups, and advocates achieved a much better law than Stand and Advance Illinois’ original Performance Counts proposal.

This leads to my self-critique, which is fairly harsh and extensive.

First, in a session I approached from the perspective of being brass tacks and blunt about politics, I deeply regret that I had an “us vs. them” tone. That tone contradicts my deeply held view that key aspects of the current education system are the problem, not teachers’ unions, and that the us vs. them far too often prevents real dialogue that results in better solutions like Senate Bill 7. As I said throughout the session (but not during the excerpt), my colleagues at Stand and I are always looking for opportunities for win-win rather than win-lose scenarios. That’s why I’m disappointed in myself for the way I framed the Senate Bill 7 story – a framing that does not reflect the good-faith and substantive negotiations that drove this process on all sides.

Second, I was wrong to state that the teachers’ unions “gave” on teacher effectiveness provisions when the reality is that, indeed, there were long, productive negotiations that led to a better outcome than would have occurred without them.

Third, I was wrong to make assumptions or comments about the unions’ political strategy. In future presentations, whether on video or not, I will refrain from supposing why a particular party made a particular decision. Having watched the video, reflected on it a lot in the past couple of days, and discussed it with my wife and colleagues, that was not only presumptuous but, in this particular case, wrong and ungenerous. I know from conversations with Audrey Soglin, Jim Reed, and Dan Montgomery that Illinois’ union leaders are deeply committed to teaching and learning, that they have exhibited that consistently in the past, and that they exhibited that commitment in spades throughout the negotiations on a series of Senate Bill 7 provisions that will improve teaching and learning. I want to apologize specifically to Audrey Soglin, Ken Swanson, Mitch Roth, Jim Reed, Dan Montgomery, Karen Lewis, and the other capable union leaders who represented their membership and negotiated creatively and seriously to help craft a bill that addressed tough issues in a fair and thoughtful way.

Fourth, the way I talked about the endgame wasn’t fair. I said we decided the fine print regarding the way the dispute resolution process will work in Chicago going forward but the specifics are that we submitted our proposal late at night on April 12th, Senator Lightford was receptive to it, got feedback from all sides over the next 24 hours, and made several changes based that feedback. The end product was similar to our proposal only because all sides judged it to be acceptable.

Fifth, and finally, I deeply regret what I perceived in watching myself as an arrogance in my tone. This underlies the other critiques and is the most difficult thing to admit, but it’s also the most important thing to hold myself accountable for if I’m to be worthy of the leadership role I’m fortunate to have. I was raised to be humble and respectful and reared on stories of my grandfather and grandmother’s service within the African-American community in their small South Carolina town, service which my mother always reminded my brothers and me is “the rent we pay for living.” Based on that upbringing, I view my role and the opportunity it provides for positive impact on children’s lives as a blessing and a privilege. Also, I am constantly aware and readily admit that I don’t have all the answers. I seek counsel from outstanding educators about what works in their experience, read as much as possible about what’s happening in all corners of the country and world that appears to be working, and have shifted my perspective on many issues as a result. Humility and respectfulness are hallmarks of effective leaders and I will ensure going forward that my tone always reflects the humility and respectfulness with which I seek to live my life.

Last thing – a word of apology to my wonderful colleagues at Stand, whose hearts, motivations, and approaches to the work in no way resemble the flaws I apologized for above. I fully understand your judging me harshly but I hope you’ll meet and engage them with openness.

Jonah Edelman

July 10, 2011 at 5:49 PM

By: hannah

sorry...

\"sorry i got caught\"\r\rweasel.

July 10, 2011 at 8:22 PM

By: Bob Busch

Joel

Nickel Slick

Well good bye Joel. He could care less about the lives he ruined. But I am sure he never figured his big mouth would do him in like it has. One thing politicians cannot tolerate is a big mouth braggart who embarrasses them in public. I noticed he doesn’t mention Mr. Speaker at all in his phony apology. He has committed political suicide.

July 10, 2011 at 10:08 PM

By: Jennifer Marshall

stand for children video

Well to be honest I watched the video from a link for Education Nation. Knowing full well that people will scrub videos quickly when they sniff bad publicity, I video taped it and edited it to about 14 min. I then uploaded it to YouTube for everyone to see. Here is the link. http://youtu.be/kog8g9sTDSo

Share freely!!

July 10, 2011 at 10:57 PM

By: John Kugler

Friend or Foe?

If I am listening right sounds like the IEA set the CTU up for the bait and switch. They even got an appointment to DC out of it.

Also listen carefully in the beginning of the session. This is only a political experiment by billionaires with no intention for long-term commitment to on the ground resources for at risk children.

If you want the full video here is the link

http://youtu.be/ddtd0vt6oYE

July 11, 2011 at 7:29 PM

By: Kati Gilson

Aspen Institute

I am unable to access the video from any of these links. If someone can post it on my face book page I will share!

July 11, 2011 at 9:23 PM

By: Samantha Kappalman

transcript of edelman

I have the transcript of the video and link to full 50 minutes of session. What's best way to get to you?

July 12, 2011 at 6:34 AM

By: Bob Busch

The Speaker's Silence

Mr Speaker

Lost in his apology is any explanation of the role our Speaker of the house

had in this matter. Bragging that he got the speaker to call a public meeting

The very next day after they planed the assault on public education is not

only highly unusual but downright suspicious. Anyone who follows Illinois

politics knows worthy causes sometimes have to wait years to gain the

this forum .What did you talk about Mr. Speaker? What persuaded you to

act so quickly?

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