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Catalyst censoring teacher comments during CTU strike authorization vote

Catalyst, which for decades has claimed against the weight of the facts, to be reporting "independently" on Chicago public schools, has apparently shut down all current comments on its website, but failed to shut down the automatic notifications that inform those who comment that additional comments have been added. Yesterday afternoon, June 6, 2012, I received an email from Xian Barrett, who teaches at Gage Park High School and who, like me, comments on a handful of blogs in his own name. At the time, Xian had tried to post a comment to Catalyst on the trail of comments about the strike authorization vote and had been censored. He thought that someone else posted the same comment it could get into circulation, that the censorship had been directed at him.

With everything else going on at Substance and at the Chicago Teachers Union, I wasn't paying precise attention to that issue, until I noticed that between yesterday morning (June 6, 2012) and this morning (June 7, 2012) I had received a dozen notices from Catalyst that someone had responded to my comments, but that every time I went to the Catalyst website the most recent comment, from an old friend and union colleague, was he last one up. It became clear to me that Catalyst was censoring its own comment threads, not just against Xian Barret and George N. Schmidt (both of us comment in our own names) but apparently against any teacher who tried to comment accurately about the current reality with the strike authorization vote.

So much for "independent" reporting on school issues in Chicago. When Catalyst's foundation funders order them to dance, the tune isn't independence, but dependence of the funders. And in Chicago, all of the big bucks funders are on the other side of the current strike authorization vote. But it's as useful to those funders to have a pseudo-"independent" voice like Catalyst out there as it is to have the various Astroturf groups (Stand for Children; Advance Illinois; Democrats for Education Reform; Black Star Project) working to promote the version of reality brought to you by the plutocracy.

Here is one of the dozens of messages I've received from Catalyst the past 24 hours. Trouble is, when I go to their Website to read the latest, nothing has changed.

Hi George N. Schmidt,

Anonymous has commented on: "Strike authorization vote to start Wednesday"

The post is about

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*By: *Rebecca Harris [1] / June 01, 2012 *Tags: *Chicago Teachers Union [2]

The Chicago Teachers Union officials will kick off a strike-authorization

vote this Wednesday, and allow it to continue “until there is a clear

result one way or the other.”

Holding the vote over a multiple-day period will help the union garner more

participation. Under a new law, at least 75 percent of all union members must

authorize a strike potential strike.

[1] http://www.catalyst-chicago.org/author/rebecca-harris

[2] http://www.catalyst-chicago.org/topics/chicago-teachers-union

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You can view the comment at the following url

http://www.catalyst-chicago.org/notebook/2012/06/01/20155/strike-authorization-vote-start-wednesday#comment-36189



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