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 was still up. The Tribune blog link, for those who cannot get a hotlink, is

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: 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.