'Push polling' by the University of Chicago and the Tribune to push Rahm's school closing and privatization schemes... Chicago Boys (and girls) Twisting 'Public Opinion'

In the ongoing public relations battle to win over people to the idea that privatization of the Chicago Public Schools the University of Chicago, the Chicago Tribune and the Joyce Foundation are conducting a "push poll" to develop study findings to support school closings and school privatization. We have two children that attend CPS schools, so my name probably showed up on some list that was given to these private companies to conduct this survey of my views. Little did the surveyor know I was a Union employee and reporter for Substance News. Below is the full transcript of my interactions with the phone interviewer.

The call came in over the weekend at a time that I least expected it. What was most interesting about the call was that fact that if I was not versed in the issues in Chicago Public Schools I would have answered most if not all the questions in such a away that would have affirmed the position of Rahm Emanuel and other privateers that the school system was broke and broken with the only solution to close schools and open charters.

Definition of a push poll:

"A push poll is an interactive marketing technique, most commonly employed during political campaigning, in which an individual or organization attempts to influence or alter the view of respondents under the guise of conducting a poll.

"In a push poll, large numbers of respondents are contacted, and little or no effort is made to collect and analyze response data. Instead, the push poll is a form oftelemarketing-based propaganda and rumor mongering, masquerading as a poll. Push polls may rely on innuendo or knowledge gleaned from opposition research on an opponent. They are generally viewed as a form of negative campaigning.[1] This tactic is commonly considered to undermine the democratic process as false or misleading information is provided about candidates.

"In Northern Territory (Australia) legislation, push-polling is defined as any activity conducted as part of a telephone call made, or a meeting held, during the election period for an election, that: (a) is, or appears to be, a survey (for example, a telephone opinion call or telemarketing call); and (b) is intended to influence an elector in deciding his or her vote.[2]

"Push polling has been condemned by the American Association of Political Consultants[3] and the American Association for Public Opinion Research.[4]


Interviewer: Are you a parent or guardian of this child?

John K: Parent. Who are you with anyways again, University of Chicago?

Interviewer: Yeah. NORC. It’s the Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago and we do social studies research on behalf of federal agencies and foundations, and in this case it’s for the Joyce Foundation, the Chicago Tribune and we’re doing a survey on the public education in the City of Chicago.

John K: All right, so you’re just making random calls or how did you get my number or whatever?

Interviewer: That is correct. It’s scientifically selected to be as random as possible.

John K: Okay, so since I have a listing in the phone book you just got my number, okay. All right, so we’re on "Do I have kids in the schools?" right?

Interviewer: Correct. So now I have a statement for you. Before we continue I’d like you to know that your participation is voluntary. You may choose to skip any questions or end the interview at any point. We will take all possible steps to protect your privacy and we can use your answers only for statistical research. This means that no individual will be identified in any of the analysis or reports from the study, and the interview takes about 20 minutes to complete. If you can’t complete it all in one sitting we are able to reschedule and finish at another time. In order to review my work my phones are recorded and my supervisor may listen as I ask the questions. I’d like to continue now unless you have any questions.

John K: No, so what are you going to use my information for again?

Interviewer: It’s a survey regarding the education system in Chicago and so we use the statistics…basically break it down statistically and analyze it and it ends up as a study that will be published in the Chicago Tribune and may well be used to influence policy in funding for Chicago Public Schools.

John K: And funding for Chicago public. So you’re not doing this in coordination with the Chicago Public Schools are you?

Interviewer: No. This isn’t in conjunction with Chicago Public Schools, the CPS. This is in conjunction with the Joyce Foundation which is a non-profit foundation in Chicago, but it’s on the web. You can take a look at it and also the Chicago Tribune.

John K: All righty.

Interviewer: Not CPS, no.

John K: Okay.

Interviewer: Okay. We’d like to begin by asking your opinions about public education and public schoolteachers. Suppose the schools in your neighborhood were graded A to F as students are often graded, what grade would you give the school that your oldest child attends?

John K: A.

Interviewer: Using the same A to F scale what grade would you give public schools in Chicago as a whole?

John K: About the middle one, C.

Interviewer: Using the same A to F scale what grade would you give [3:00] the United States?

John K: About the same, C.

Interviewer: When you think about public education and how it prepares students in numerous ways what is your primary expectation of public schools, is it to prepare students to be good citizens, prepare students to go to college, or prepare students to get a good job?

John K: Prepare students to get a good job.

Interviewer: Do you live within the Chicago city limits?

John K: Yes.

Interviewer: When you think about public schools in Chicago over the past 5 years would you say that schools have made improvements, gotten worse, or stayed the same?

John K: They’ve gotten worse on their mayoral control.

Interviewer: How have things gotten worse? You can make a statement here.

John K: It’s become undemocratic and one mayor has controlled the school system and has actually gone and put an agenda of privatization which has…

Interviewer: Hold on. A little bit slower because I’m typing and I’m not that fast. Become undemocratic and one mayor has…?

John K: And through mayoral control pushed agendas…and through mayoral control has pushed agendas of privatization which are not in the public interest.

Interviewer: Okay.

John K: All right that’s all I’ve got for that.

Interviewer: What do you think is the most important issue facing public education in Chicago, would you say low student achievement, low quality of teachers, low quality of principals, lack of funding, crime gangs and drugs, or overcrowding?

John K: Violence.

Interviewer: So the crime gangs and drugs?

John K: Yes.

Interviewer: And research shows that the quality of a teacher is the most important factor in the school. How satisfied are you with your oldest child’s current teachers, would you say very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?

John K: I disagree with that analysis at all so I won’t even answer that question. That’s absolutely incorrect. The quality of the teacher has nothing to do with it, barely almost anything to do with the performance of the child.

Interviewer: If you would choose your child’s teacher what would be the most important factor for you in choosing the best possible teacher for your child, would it be knowing that the teacher would be caring towards your child, years of teaching experience, teacher’s educational background such as where the teacher went to college, what they majored in and the grades they received, evidence that the teacher students are learning, reputation among other parents and students or none of the above? So the most important factor in choosing the best possible teacher for your child.

John K: There’s not one important factor. None of the above. I’m not going to answer that question.

Interviewer: One critique of the teacher evaluation system in Chicago was that until this year almost all teachers were rated as excellent or superior. About what percentage of teachers with whom you’ve had experience would you describe as excellent or superior?

John K: All of them.

Interviewer: So 100%?

John K: Yes.

Interviewer: This school year under a new state law and in cooperation with the Teacher’s Union the Chicago Public Schools is implementing a new teacher evaluation system intended to provide feedback to teachers and connect them to resources and coaching to help them improve. Have you heard or seen anything about the details of this new system?

John K: Yes.

Interviewer: And under the new teacher evaluation system 70% of a teacher’s evaluation will be determined by their principal’s observation of their teaching. The remaining 30% will be determined by how much the student actually learns in the classroom as measured by state tests and other examinations designed by the teachers themselves. In your opinion is a 70/30 split about right? In other words, should 70% of a teacher’s evaluation be based on the principal’s observation of a teacher and 30% based on improvement in student achievement? Would you say yes the balance seems about right, no, principal observation should carry more weight, or no, improvement in student achievement should carry more weight?

John K: The principal observation should carry more weight.

Interviewer: More weight than a 70%?

John K: Yes.

Interviewer: Let me tell you a little more about how the evaluation system works. At the end of each year teachers will be rated as excellent, which means they are well above average, proficient, which means they meet expectations, developing, which means they need to improve, or unsatisfactory, which means they are far below standards. The unsatisfactory teachers meaning the ones in the lowest category will be given resources and coaching to help them improve. However, if they don’t improve within the school year they could be removed from the classroom. Which statement better describes your opinion of this approach, (1) this is not fair to teachers; teachers ought to have more than a year to improve, or (2) this is fair to children; more than an ineffective teacher hurts their chances at succeeding in school.

John K: I don’t know. I don’t even know how to answer that type of question, so.

Interviewer: So if there’s an unsatisfactory teacher and if they don’t improve within the school year they could be removed, so what’s your opinion of this particular approach, is it not fair to teachers or is it not fair to children?

John K: As far as I know there’s a process in state law that teachers have to go through to remove teachers, so there is a process in place and if the state law is followed then it’s followed. I don’t know anything else, right. That’s what needs to be done.

Interviewer: But we were just looking for your opinion of this approach, not as a basis in state law.

John K: All right, so you’re saying when a teacher is found unsatisfactory, is that the question?

Interviewer: Correct.

John K: When a teacher is found unsatisfactory…

Interviewer: But will be given resources in coaching to help them improve. If they don’t improve within the school year they could be removed from the classroom. So what’s your opinion on this approach?

John K: After they’re found unsatisfactory they have a year to improve. I think that’s the guidelines under the state, so yes, I would have to concur to that, yeah.

Interviewer: What, that this is not fair to teachers, teachers ought to have more than one year to improve or this is fair to children, more than a year with an ineffective teacher hurts their chances at succeeding in school?

John K: You know what, I don’t even want to answer that question. It’s like you’re putting two things into one question. You’re saying that a person who is rated a certain way is actually hurting kids. I mean I don’t want to answer that question.

Interviewer: Well would you then say it’s not fair to teachers, is that the case?

John K: Yes.

Interviewer: So would that be your choice then, this is not fair to teachers?

John K: Yes.

Interviewer: Is that what you’re saying?

John K: Yes.

Interviewer: I don’t want to put words in your mouth. John K: Correct, not to fair to teachers.

Interviewer: Okay. Developing teachers who are in the second lowest category will also be expected to improve each school year in order to keep their jobs. How many years should a developing teacher have to improve – less than 1 year, 1 year, 2 years, more than 2 years?

John K: 5 years minimum.

Interviewer: If you knew your child was being taught by a teacher who was rated in one of these lower performance categories which of the following would you do - support the teacher and your child’s learning by doing more work with your child at home, try to transfer your child to a different teacher, pressure the principal to remove the teacher, give the teacher time to improve?

John K: Uh…how would I even know about this? Is this going to be told to me? I don’t even know if this is a question that’s based on fact. Interviewer: Well some of them are suppositional. Some of them are. John K: It doesn’t make sense to me what rights parents have to be involved in somebody’s work performance. It doesn’t even make sense to me that question. Interviewer: Well then that impacts your answer does it not?

John K: That’s somebody’s work performance. What does that have to do with my kid’s learning? That has nothing to do with it. What was the first response you gave there to that one?

Interviewer: Support the teacher and your child’s learning by doing more work with your child at home.

John K: Uh-uh. What was the second one?

Interviewer: Try to transfer your child to a different teacher, pressure the principal to remove the teacher, or give the teacher time to improve.

John K: That last one.

Interviewer: Give the teacher time to improve.

John K: Yes. Interviewer: As you may have heard Chicago Public Schools is experiencing a financial shortfall that may require some teachers to be laid off. If layoffs are required which teachers should be laid off first, would you say (1) the lowest rated teachers regardless of their level of experience, or (2) the least experienced teachers regardless of their ratings?

John K: Actually that question is false, there is no budget shortfall. There is actually a surplus in Chicago Public Schools. Interviewer: Okay. I don’t write these questions, so I apologize.

John K: There’s a surplus, so the question is a false question. There is no budget shortfall. Their last audited budget which just came out January 28th /27th it’s a CAFR. It’s a comprehensive annual financial report which is an auditor report by a certified auditor found that Chicago Public Schools actually has a $328-million surplus today while we’re talking, and the budget’s shortfall was underrated by $241-million, so actually there was like a $574-million surplus or variance from the budget deficit that they talked about last year. So at this point in time CPS has no budget deficit.

Interviewer: Okay, and where did you…? This may have been written previous to this publication of this. Where did you get this document?

John K: It’s a public document and published by the Chicago Public Schools.

Interviewer: So I could find it on the CPS website?

John K: Yes. It’s called the CAFR – C-A-F-R, CAFR.

Interviewer: Okay. I will bring that to their attention.

John K: Yeah, there is no budget shortfall. There’s a surplus right now.

Interviewer: Well, I don’t know if you want to answer this question now. John K: I can’t answer a question when it’s not based on fact. There is no budget deficit period. There is an audited report that says there is no deficit. There’s a surplus right now.

Interviewer: Okay, I guess I’m not sure that you need to answer that then because part of the question is inaccurate, but the other part is suppositional.

John K: Well I don’t care about the suppositional stuff. I’ll answer a question that’s based on fact. That question is not based on fact.

Interviewer: Okay. John K: Next question.

Interviewer: Okay, here is the next question then. Under current law teachers in Chicago receive tenure within 3 or 4 years on the job if they get excellent or proficient ratings on a consistent basis. Tenure ensures that a teacher is guaranteed to keep his or her job forever as long as they don’t violate safety policies or commit a crime. Do you agree or disagree that teachers should lose their tenure if their evaluations ratings are consistently less than proficient?

John K: Disagree. The teachers are tenured. That’s what I agree with.

Interviewer: Okay, so you would strongly disagree or somewhat disagree?

John K: Strongly disagree. Tenure should trump everything.

Interviewer: Under most circumstances teachers of similar levels of experience are paid the same regardless of their ratings or their track record of success. Do you agree or disagree that teachers with better evaluation ratings should be paid more than those with low ratings?

John K: No.

Interviewer: Strongly or somewhat disagree?

John K: Strongly disagree.

Interviewer: Individual teacher ratings are not made public because it is part of a teacher’s personnel file which is protected by law. Would you agree or disagree with the policy that made the average ratings of a school publicly available?

John K: No, I agree with the law that it’s a private confidential matter, because it’s a person’s working performance. That’s the question you asked me about 5 questions ago, if I found that if a teacher was underperforming I would first ask how did you get that information because it would violate state law.

Interviewer: That is correct. I think it was actually in Los Angeles that they did publish it.

John K: Yeah, right.

Interviewer: Maybe that’s why they’re asking this question.

John K: Right.

Interviewer: So would that be somewhat disagree or strongly disagree?

John K: Disagree. Interviewer: Strongly?

John K: Yes, strongly disagree. Interviewer: Who should have the primary responsibility for ensuring that struggling teachers improve, would it be the district which sets the overall hiring policies and practices, the Union which represents the teaching profession as a whole, the teacher him or herself, or the principal who hires and manages the teachers every day?

John K: The principal. Interviewer: There are many different indicators of school quality, on a scale of 1 to 5 where 1 means not improvement and 5 means very important please rank the following indicators of school quality – student test scores.

John K: The lowest.

Interviewer: That would be 1, not important?

John K: Not important.

Interviewer: Student attendance.

John K: Student attendance maybe in the middle, #3.

Interviewer: Student grades.

John K: Maybe #2 or #3.

Interviewer: Which one sir?

John K: 3.

Interviewer: College enrollment rates.

John K: 1.

Interviewer: High school graduation rates.

John K: Maybe 4.

Interviewer: Teacher attendance.

John K: 5.

Interviewer: We talked a lot about how to hold teachers accountable, but many people feel that parents should also be held accountable. Which of the following statements come closer to the way you feel about parent responsibility, the first option is parents and teachers are full partners in a child’s education, parents have a responsibility to read to young children, do homework with their kids every night, attend school functions and take responsibility for getting their kids to school every day. If parents don’t do their part it’s not fair to blame the teachers when students fall behind. Or (2), it’s the teacher’s job to teach and if students are not learning it’s not fair to blame the parents. Many public school parents are working hard. They don’t always know how to help kids with homework and many of them do not have a lot of time for school functions. Which of the two statements comes closer to the way you feel about parent responsibility?

John K: It’s the teacher’s job to teach.

Interviewer: So you would agree with the second statement?

John K: Hmm. Interviewer: There are some public schools in Chicago where very few students are making progress every year as measured by state tests. Efforts have been made for many years to improve these schools, but often there has been little change in student achievement. For these schools which of the following strategies should the district pursue, choose one: close the school and transfer the students to a high performing school, allow an experienced non-profit to come in and run the school, develop more resources while keeping the staff intact, replace the principal and maybe even part of the staff.

John K: Devote more resources.

Interviewer: When schools consistently underperform would you agree or disagree with giving parents a tuition voucher so they can send their children to a private school?

John K: Disagree.

Interviewer: Strongly or somewhat?

John K: Strongly.

Interviewer: Chicago schools [state [20:28 challenge] enroll a higher percentage of low income students in many other cities and towns in Illinois and face other significant challenges that other cities and towns may not. Considering these challenges do you agree or disagree that it is fair to hold Chicago schools to the same expectations for academic progress as the rest of the state?

John K: Yes.

Interviewer: You agree that we need to hold Chicago schools to the same expectations strongly or somewhat?

John K: Yes, same expectations, sure.

Interviewer: Strongly or somewhat?

John K: Strongly.

Interviewer: Now I would like to talk about public charter schools. A charter school is a public school funded by taxpayers. Charter schools operate separately from the school district usually by a non-profit educational organization. These schools agree to meet certain standards of student achievement in exchange for flexibility in their curriculum and management. Typically they do not use Union teachers and are not bound by the Union contract. Chicago currently has dozens of charter schools and plans to add more each year. Many existing charter schools in Chicago have waiting lists because more parents want to enroll their children in public charter schools and these schools can currently accommodate. Would you agree or disagree that CPS should make it easier for public charter schools to expand in neighborhoods or public charter schools have waiting lists?

John K: Disagree.

Interviewer: Strongly or somewhat?

John K: Strongly.

Interviewer: If a school in your neighborhood had a history of low student achievement results despite efforts to turn the school around would you agree or disagree that CPS should make it easier for public charter schools to expand in your neighborhood?

John K: Strongly disagree.

Interviewer: If a school in your neighborhood had a history of low student achievement despite efforts to improve those results would you agree or disagree that parents of students in that school should have the right to intervene and hire a non-profit with educational experience to manage the school?

John K: Strongly disagree.

Interviewer: Chicago Public Schools recently announced plans to close some schools that are serving less than half the number of students that the school was built to serve in order to help balance its budget and free up resources to support the remaining schools more efficiently. Would you agree or disagree with a policy that would close these under enrolled schools in order to balance the district’s budget?

John K: Strongly disagree. Interviewer: In order to balance its budget Chicago may have to make some tough choices. Do you agree or disagree that to help balance its budget Chicago should lay off teachers and increase class sizes?

John K: Strongly disagree.

Interviewer: In order to balance its budget raise taxes paid by individuals?

John K: Agree. Interviewer: Strongly agree or somewhat agree?

John K: Strongly agree.

Interviewer: To balance its budget cut after school programs like arts and sports.

John K: Strongly disagree.

Interviewer: To balance its budget raise taxes on businesses.

John K: Strongly agree.

Interviewer: To balance its balance close under enrolled schools.

John K: Strongly disagree.

Interviewer: For the first time in 25 years schools were temporarily closed this fall because of a teacher’s strike. In many other cities teachers do not have the right to strike. Which statement do you agree with – (1) teachers in Chicago need the right to strike in order to be heard and have a voice in setting education policy, or (2) teachers should have a voice in setting education policy, but they should not have the right to strike because it takes children out of school and burdens families.

John K: #1.

Interviewer: Now that the strike is over and the district and Union have to work together which statement better reflects your view of the relationship between the district and the teacher’s Union – (1) the primary responsibility of the teacher’s Union should be to advocate for its members on issues like wages and benefits and to ensure that the district abides by the terms of its contract, or (2) the primary responsibility of the teacher’s Union should be to partner with the district in improvement schools and helping teachers get better.

John K: 1.

Interviewer: The school district needs to close a budget deficit and may need to close some schools. Do you agree or disagree with each of the following positions regarding where the district and Union work together. Do you think the district and Union should work together to agree on budget cuts?

John K: Yes, agree.

Interviewer: Strongly?

John K: Yes.

Interviewer: To close the budget deficit the district and Union should work together to agree on which schools to close?

John K: Disagree.

Interviewer: Strongly or somewhat?

John K: Strongly.

Interviewer: The district alone should bear the responsibility for solving these challenges.

John K: Strongly disagree.

Interviewer: What grade is your oldest child in the school year?

John K: 7th.

Interviewer: Do you know anyone who works for the Chicago Public Schools or the Chicago Teacher’s Union?

John K: Yes.

Interviewer: In what year were you born?

John K: 68.

Interviewer: How many different cell phone numbers if any could I have reached you for this call?

John K: 1.

Interviewer: How many different LAN line telephone numbers if any are there in your home that I could have reached you on for this call? This includes listed or unlisted numbers. To answer this question please don’t count cell phones or LAN lines used only for fax or modems. John K: 1.

Interviewer: Generally speaking would you say you use your LAN line phone most of the time, your cell phone most of the time or would you say you use both about equally?

John K: Cell phone more.

Interviewer: Are you of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin?

John K: No.

Interviewer: What race or races do you consider yourself to be?

John K: White.

Interviewer: Does your total household income fall above or below $50,000?

John K: Above.

Interviewer: In which group does your total household income fall, would it be under 75, under 100, 100 to 150, 150 or more?

John K: 150 and more.

Interviewer: What is your 5-digit zip code?

John K: 60609.

Interviewer: 60609. This is the end of the opinion survey. Thank you so much for participating. We really appreciate that you shared your valuable time and opinions. If you have any questions about your rights as a study participant you may call the NORC Institute Review Board toll free at 1-866-309-0542. Any other questions can be directed to the study’s toll free # 1-877-262-1484 and the NORC is online. You are able to see the foundation if you want to look up either of those organizations and you should see some results of this survey within the next few months in the Chicago Tribune and elsewhere.

John K: So this is the Chicago Tribune and University of Chicago, correct?

Interviewer: This is the NORC at the University of Chicago, that is correct.

John K: But the Tribune is going to publish the results?

Interviewer: That is correct.

John K: But the Tribune is not conducting the survey?

Interviewer: They may well be in conjunction with the Joyce Foundation.

John K: So it’s the Joyce Foundation funding this survey?

Interviewer: That is correct. John K: All right, so Joyce Foundation is funding this survey and its run through the NORC at the University of Chicago.

Interviewer: That is correct.

John K: Do you know when the results will be out?

Interviewer: Not specifically. I just know that by the end of the month we should have finished our testing or close to that. It just depends on how we’re able to get through our sample of calls and achieve our goals, and then after that they have to do statistical analysis and I don’t know how long that takes. It could be within the next 2 months. Keep checking back on the NORC website and the Joyce Foundation website to see if there is anything indicating that it will be published. I would imagine that it will get a lot of press because Chicago as you know is getting a lot of press, the education system.

John K: All righty.

Interviewer: Thank you so much sir and you have a wonderful weekend.

John K: All right. Bye.

Interviewer: Bye-bye.



February 20, 2013 at 10:33 PM

By: Sara McNally

Entertained, but speechless...

While this article made me laugh out loud from the absurdity of it all… it also motivated further investigation (aka, Google)!

From the Joyce Foundation website…

Charter schools remain one of the nation’s most promising efforts to produce more excellent public schools, especially for low-income students and communities of color.

From Wikipedia…

Education: Focuses on public schools in Chicago, Cleveland, and Milwaukee; concentrates on teacher quality, early childhood education, and “innovations,” primarily charter schools, small schools, and similar initiatives.

February 21, 2013 at 7:29 AM

By: Hugo Gonzalez

Previous comment -- and charter turnover

I highly disagree with you, charter schools have a high turnover rate which means teachers change alot in charter schools.Also they can get rid of teachers because their is no union to protect them. This provides instability for kids as they dont know their teacher and they sometimes try to take advantage of that which creates discipline problems. P.S wikipedia is not a good source of information because it can change countless times. My info is from

February 21, 2013 at 5:29 PM

By: Christopher Ball

That's not a push-poll

No push-poll goes this long. They are quick and they don't identify the true sponsor. They ask for easy answers: yes, no, or don't know. They look more like this:

I'm with the Institute for Education Advancement. We're conducting a poll on Chicago education.

Do you believe it is fair for Chicago teacher to get salary increases even though their students are failing?


Would you support teacher raises despite the budget deficit that may require cuts to programs that students need?


Do you support Mayor Rahm Emanuel's efforts to cut wasteful spending in Chicago school and improve quality education?


Thank you for you time.

So respondents believe that teachers get raises, their students fail, programs that help students learn are cut, and Rahm is trying to stop wasteful spending and help children learn. No one records the answers.

February 21, 2013 at 6:50 PM

By: Sara McNally


Hugo, I agree with you...\r\rI included the quotes and web links in an effort to expose the motivations behind who is funding the survey. I realize I should have made that clear, sorry for the confusion. In Unity and Solidarity....

February 22, 2013 at 12:33 AM

By: John Kugler

Poll? Millions spent to control public

Call it what you want. clearly this "survey" -- or whatever she called it -- was not meant to get my true feelings on the subject matter, but to get certain answers to leading questions that were not based on facts. then use the corporate media to "announce" the findings.

February 22, 2013 at 8:34 AM

By: Jean R. Schwab

Dishonest polls -- Who cares what Kugler calls them?

The Tea Party sent me a survey last summer which was similar. All the answer options were really against my beliefs. I did not answer some and finally decided to ditch the survey. How can they call this a survey if they give you three answers to choose from and none of them reflect my opinions?

March 26, 2013 at 4:49 PM

By: Luis Aguilera

U of C shenanigans

It's a mixed bag at The University of Chicago. I know. I attended four years as an undergraduate there and lived an extra 3-4 years in the neighborhood. Some of us know what sorts of shenanigans some play there - from Argentina to Alaska and from the U.S. all the way back. And some of us think the best way to counteract these shenanigans is first by informing folks of what's going on. But there's an old saying, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make that horse drink...

March 26, 2013 at 7:46 PM

By: John Kugler

Toads of corporate media

Funny how corporate media "breaks" the story yet i wrote about this bullshit a month ago.

March 28, 2013 at 9:47 AM

By: John Duffy

Joyce Foundation, Chicago Public Education Fund...

The Joyce Foundation has been a major contributor to the "Venture Capital" organizaation the Chicago Public Education Fund. Until a few years ago the Fund proudly and prominently published the lists and amounts of their corporate donors who backed a range of business sponsored education changes. The list read like a Chicago Fortune 100 with the usual suspects like Pritzker, Harris Bank, Tribune, Boeing, Lilly etc. being major contributors. In 2010 Joyce threw in $600,000 for the push to tie teacher evaluations to test scores. Joyce's early support of the Wisconsin voucher program is also part of their legacy as proponents education reform. See Robert Miranda's chapter "Voucher Vultures" in the recently released book Defending Public Education from Corporate Takeover (Price, Duffy, Giordani, 2013, University Press of America) for more on the corporate backers of the Milwaukee voucher plan.

March 28, 2013 at 11:41 PM

By: Hugo Gonzalez

Christopher Ball's comment

I just had to comment. Christopther now why would you pick those questions as a example of a push poll. Seems to me that you really belive those questions you just mentioned and is trying to do what a push poll does. Push. You could have picked anything for a example like "Do you support CTU and their efforts to stop corporate greed?"

See my point? That was a push poll question, but it's obvious there is corporate greed due to charter school's operation. But don't believe me look it up yourself; doubt everything.

Add your own comment (all fields are necessary)

Substance readers:

You must give your first name and last name under "Name" when you post a comment at We are not operating a blog and do not allow anonymous or pseudonymous comments. Our readers deserve to know who is commenting, just as they deserve to know the source of our news reports and analysis.

Please respect this, and also provide us with an accurate e-mail address.

Thank you,

The Editors of Substance

Your Name

Your Email

What's your comment about?

Your Comment

Please answer this to prove you're not a robot:

4 + 3 =