'Vitale Stall' continues to insult parents, teachers and community leaders as the June 27 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education
"Bankers hours and bankers' arrogance because, well, they are bankers and the bankers' stooges..." might be the best way to view the way in which the seven members of the Chicago Board of Education handle their monthly meetings. As usual, the meeting of the Chicago Board of Education June 27, 2012, was supposed to begin at 10:30. with public participation. Once again, the public was treated to the infamous "Vitale Stall..." which is what they have implemented to discourage people from attending and signing up for Board meetings to speak (except their chosen shills).
The "Vitale Stall..." is the new policy whereby the Board holds most of its meeting for an hour or two (or more) after convening late on the day of the Board meeting. This means that public participation rarely begins before noon and often not until as late as one o'clock. Anyone who comes from a school by bus is thus excluded from testifying, while the Board's shills and touts (Stand for Children; Advance Illinois; Democrats for Education Reform; etc.) have already had their day attended to, as we've reported. (We reported that people from CPS hold places in line for the Stand for Children and DFER touts).
On June 27, 2012, members of the every-increasing CPS Communications Department staff tried to tell reporters that "it has always been this way," but were called out for lying.
Under former CPS Board Presidents and CEOs, going back to Paul Vallas, the beginning of the meeting was always for public participation. Reports from the Chief Executive Officer and others were always delayed until after the public had been able to speak, in recognition of the fact that many parents had to take a day off from work in order to attend the Board meeting, and some were also enduring the expensive parking costs of Loop parking.
During the first 16 years (1995 - 2011) of mayoral control "school reform," beginning in 1995 when Mayor Richard M. Daley appointed Paul Vallas as CEO and Gery Chico as Board President, the public was always able to begin speaking by not later than 11:00 a.m. (and in most months, that was considered late). A review of the tapes of the Board meetings and photographs from the meetings (which are time stamped by the Substance digital camera) shows the same pattern for more than a decade. Whether the Board President was Gery Chico, Rufus Williams, Michael Scott, or Mary Richardson Lowry, the public was always treated with respect. Since the arrival of David Vitale, Henry Bienen, Mahalia Hines, Jesse Ruiz, Penny Pritzker, Roderigo Sierra, and Andrea Zopp on the Board, the outright hostility of the Board members to the public has become more and more clear at each meeting.
By the time Rahm Emanuel's Board was settled in its positions, the "Vitale Stall" was in place. Members of the public were denied access to the Board meetings, while Board staff held down seats marked "reserved" in the Board chambers. Some were told that there was not even room in the "Holding Room" on the 15th Floor of the CPS headquarters (confirmed by Substance June 27), while parents who objected were threatened with arrest or removed from the Board chambers, while staff deliberately stalled the proceedings with lengthy and sometimes humorously inane Power Point presentations.