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Brizard interview with right-wing think tank reveals Rahm's control freak problems as big part of Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012

The big news as Chicago's public schools moves into the third school year since Chicago elected Rahm Emanuel mayor (Rahm's inauguration was in May 2011), the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, a right wing think tank, has published a lengthy interview with former Chicago schools Chief Executive Officer Jean-Claude Brizard which reveals, for readers who hadn't realized it, that Rahm Emanuel is a strutting power-crazed mealomanic whose Mussolini imitations in front of City Council meetings and before the TV cameras make it difficult, if not impossible, for his top managers to run their departments. The Fordham Foundation, which is overseen by one of the former consultants on public education reform in Chicago, Checker Finn, got the interview with Brizard. Brizard was ousted by Rahm in October 2012 and paid a $291,000 severance package at the beginning of the year that Rahm's school board claimed a "billion dollar deficit." THE STORY PUBLISHED BY DNA INFO CHICAGO IS BELOW HERE:

Within three months of his appointment as CEO of CPS, Jean-Claude Brizard (above right) was being given orders by Mayor Rahm Emanuel on how to handle abortive publicity stunts, like the one on August 2, 2011 (above) centered around St. Sabina's school. Brizard and the mayor told reporters to report to a corner in the community, then called Fran Spielman of the Sun-Times to bring the media entourage three blocks away, since the activity was actually scheduled to take place at St. Sabina's, a politically connected Catholic School. But the activity itself was supposed to be generating student interest in the first day opening of school for the 2011 - 2012 school year (see the door hanger in Brizard's hand). Neither Brizard nor Emanuel had checked to see how many of the families living in the block west of St. Sabina's had children attending the city's real public schools, so the event was shut down after the two mounted the steps of five homes, only to find themselves without children or real "parents" to talk with. Brizard's job, even at that early date, was to take orders from Rahm and stick to the talking points supplied to him by the Mayor's Press Office or the "CPS Office of Communications" under Becky Carroll. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt. Jean-Claude Brizard: We 'Underestimated' Teachers Union

By Alex Parker on August 22, 2013 10:06pm | Updated on August 22, 2013 10:06pm

@AlexParker

CHICAGO — Nearly a year after he resigned as Chicago Public Schools CEO, Jean-Claude Brizard broke his silence Thursday (August 22, 2013) in an interview published by an education think tank, saying CPS "severely underestimated" the Chicago Teachers Union before the strike.

In the interview published by the Thomas Fordham Institute, Brizard also jabbed at Rahm Emanuel's style, saying the mayor clings too closely to power.

"I appreciated his leadership, but his one challenge is to learn to let go and allow his managers to lead," said Brizard, Emanuel's handpicked choice to lead CPS in 2011.

The mayor's office did not respond to a request for comment.

By December 13, 2011, the mayor's low opinion of Brizard's skills was becoming obvious at the many staged media events organized by the Emanuel administration. Above, Rahm closed his eyes a number of times during the remarks by Brizard at the unveiling of "COMPSTAT CPS" at Chicago Police Headquarters. Eventually, Emanuel took the podium back from Brizard and answered reporters' questions himself until his handlers shut down the event. Despite the claim that COMPSTAT CPS was going to revolutionize safety in the schools, it was never heard from again, nor did the administration, despite talk of "transparency," ever again share the supposed data on crime and gangs which the program was supposed to highlight. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Even during his first day on the job, when Brizard was announced as the district's new leader in April 2011, the mayor introduced his own education Cabinet and didn't allow Brizard to answer reporters' questions.

Brizard said Emanuel "is frustrated by the challenges of a school system in crisis and a crime situation that is making international headlines."

He said school districts need to do a better job of interacting with their communities, a lesson he learned when the city "severely underestimated" the power of the Chicago Teachers Union.

"We severely underestimated the ability of the Chicago Teachers Union to lead a massive grassroots campaign against our administration. It’s a lesson for all of us in the reform community," he said. "The 'how' is at times more important than the 'what.' We need to get closer to the people we are serving and create the demand for change in our communities."

He said a "growing rift between City Hall and me" made last year's strike more difficult, requiring School Board Chairman David Vitale to step in and negotiate with the Chicago Teachers Union.

The eight-day teacher strike put the nation's attention on Chicago. Brizard said he was busy coordinating efforts to keep displaced students safe. "I spent the day before the strike baptizing my youngest son at an amazing church in the Englewood section of Chicago. The presiding priest, Father Michael Pfleger, is a courageous Jesuit," Brizard said, referring to St. Sabina parish, which is in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood, near Englewood.

"His audacity in the face of life-threatening challenges always gave me strength. While the strike was made more difficult by a growing rift between City Hall and me, I spent the week managing two key initiatives. We open centers around the city to serve as safe havens for students using mostly non-union staff, community-based organizations, city parks and libraries. The coordination was massive."

Now a senior adviser at the College Board, Brizard and CPS parted ways in a mutual agreement in October 2012 after the strike was settled, with some declaring the teachers the winners. His departure paved the way for new CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett to take over.

On Emanuel, Brizard called him "an interesting man."

August 2, 2011. Although the official narrative about Rahm Emanuel (as in "The Brothers Emanuel" and several media events) claims that he is a guy who is really sensitive to "diversity issues," at most points when Brizard was in the picture, the mayor preferred to deal with while people. This would happen, from the beginning in the summer of 2011, even if the white people's participation was irrelevant to the day's event. Above, on August 2, 2011, Father Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina's Catholic Church stand on the left waiting to speak about the opening of the city's public schools. Rahm organized the opening of schools event at Pfleger's Catholic school despite the fact that Pfleger had a long history of trashing the real public schools, pushing charter schools, and bashing the Chicago Teachers Union. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt. "I received a ton of advice on how to work with and for him, but in hindsight, few of these pieces of advice were helpful," he said. "[The mayor] was always 'on' and a master at managing media. He is actually best when he is not on stage. My best meeting with him was off stage, away from the lights at a private table in a steakhouse. He was thoughtful, funny, and caring.

"While I never experienced the man with the 'reputation,' I certainly can see that possible side. I experienced a man who loves his family dearly and is frustrated by the challenges of a school system in crisis and a crime situation that is making international headlines."

Read the rest of Flypaper's interview with Brizard here.

THE FORDHAM FOUNDATION INTERVIEW IS BELOW HERE:

By the Company It Keeps: Jean-Claude Brizard. Andy Smarick / August 22, 2013

I met Jean-Claude Brizard almost four years ago when he was leading the school district of Rochester. After talking to him for about an hour, I was so impressed that I became convinced he was destined for even bigger things.

Born in Haiti and reared in New York City, Brizard is a career educator. He was a student in the Big Apple’s public schools and eventually became a teacher, principal, and district executive in that same system. He graduated from the Broad Superintendents Academy, Class of 2007, was recruited to Rochester, and then, in 2011, was scooped up by incoming Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel to become CEO of the Windy City’s school district, the third largest in the nation. Brizard is now a senior advisor at College Board, working with an extraordinary leadership team alongside David Coleman, an author and ardent advocate for the Common Core State Standards.

Jean-Claude knows the ins and outs of urban districts as well as anyone around today, and those experiences have left him skeptical about the century-old institutional arrangements in place in virtually all American cities. He has endured some of the toughest political episodes with unmatched dignity. What struck me most during my initial conversations with Jean-Claude — and since — was on full public display during his most challenging times in Rochester and Chicago.

He has that magical combination of utter confidence and genuine humility that produces an approachable posture and a near Zen-like calm. People gravitate to Jean-Claude, and he treats them with kindness and respect once they’re in his orbit.

From his compelling personal story to his numerous major accomplishments to his necessary public scuffles with the establishment, Jean-Claude is an exemplar for our field: His narrative embodies the promise of public schooling; demonstrates the great thing that smarts, hard work, and decency can produce; and reveals why we ought to have enormous urgency about changing urban districts that simply don’t work for millions of disadvantaged kids.

I’m proud to call Jean-Claude a friend, and our field is fortunate to keep his inspiring company.

You were born in Haiti, and that nation’s dictator had a member of your family imprisoned. How did your experience with that kind of oppression, and your subsequent immigration to America, influence your thinking?

I was born under the rule of Papa Doc Duvalier, one of the most brutal despots in the history of the Western Hemisphere. Duvalier and his secret police — the Tonton Macoute — murdered tens of thousands of Haitians and imprisoned tens of thousands of others, often for crimes no greater than speaking out against injustice. One of those political prisoners was my grandfather, who was a classical music conductor and used his position in front of a captive audience to speak out against injustice. In 1970, fearful that they might soon face arrest, my parents—both educators—fled Haiti, leaving me and my siblings with my grandmother until they finally were able to move the rest of the family to the U.S. in 1976.

My parents taught me to see the world through a social-justice lens, never to compromise my core values, and to always see opportunity as limitless. They sacrificed to get us to America and I will always work to honor their legacy and the gift of opportunity that they afforded me. It is my fondest hope that someday every child in America will grow up with that same sense of hope. You are a product of New York City public schools and then became a teacher, principal, and ultimately a regional superintendent in that system. How would you describe the district’s evolution from your days as a student in the 1970s to today?

Wow, I feel old. I walked into Lefferts Intermediate School #61 in Brooklyn in 1976. It was a wild and dysfunctional place. From what I could tell the whole system was in disarray. I was literally saved by one teacher who took a number of us non-English speaking students under his wing. I will forever be grateful to Mr. Cherarsard.

Obtaining a teaching license in NYC in late 1986 is a story for another day (my performance tasks to secure a high school teaching license in Chemistry involved writing a 500-word essay and making salt disappear). My primary goal as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal in several schools in NYC was always to find ways to shelter my classroom and school from the central office dysfunction.

We watched chancellors come and go, and frankly worked hard to keep “Puzzle Palace” —NYC headquarters—away from our schools. There were exceptions of course, unsung heroes and exceptional leaders who developed some of us as teachers and leaders. Changing leadership at the top and the antics of the school board were evening-news entertainment. There was Chancellor Green, who died too soon after taking office; Chancellor Fernandez and his focus on school-based management; Chancellor Cortines and his now-famous “no more bonehead math” headline (after catching a math teacher asleep in a classroom…the tip came from a student). Over time we learned that the central office would churn, but seldom would we, school-based people, be affected.

One change, however, that held our attention was the move to mayoral control and a billionaire mayor appointing a former anti-trust attorney as chancellor. It all looked strange but this new chancellor’s focus on principals and empowerment had many of us glued to our emails, fax machines (yes), and the evening news. The launch of Children First in 2002-2003 and the dissolution of the 32 school districts, plus five high school districts was an educational earthquake in NYC.

When you were superintendent of Rochester City School District, the union leader orchestrated a no-confidence vote in you. What led to that, and how did you respond?

Adam Urbanksi convinced me to take the job as superintendent in Rochester. He was known nationally as a union reformer. It did not take long for my team to realize that it was all empty rhetoric. We disagreed immediately on several key issues such as keeping middle-school children in school while high schoolers were being tested. We had a series of major flare-ups. One of the loudest protests that he orchestrated aimed to stop me from abolishing out-of-school suspensions.

The system was averaging approximately 17,000 suspensions a year (in a district of approximately 32,000 students). Nearly 50 percent of the students being suspended were students with disabilities, and almost all were black and Latino males. In addition to this moral dilemma, we were violating federal IDEA rules. The final straw came when I refused to settle a contract and allow raises for teachers without a differentiated pay and accountability structure in place.

I was more worried about being labeled “anti-teacher” than the vote because I come from a family of teachers. My board stayed strong and almost all were very supportive of me. My press secretary and I were prepared and we released a side-by-side comparison of Mr. Urbanski’s historical rhetoric and our reform efforts showing near uniform alignment. I released an additional (sort of cranky) statement stating in part that I had no confidence in empty rhetoric, only work that supported children. The next morning, I looked in the mirror, knowing that I was on the side of good and made my way to classrooms and schools across the city. I engaged teachers directly to clearly show that the work will continue, that I would not capitulate, and that I was in charge of my school district.

You were superintendent of Chicago Public Schools when the teachers union went on strike for the first time in 25 years. It’s hard to imagine a more stressful, all-consuming situation for a leader in our field. Personally, how did you weather those days? If you could do it over again, what would you do differently?

I spent the day before the strike baptizing my youngest son at an amazing church in the Englewood section of Chicago. The presiding priest, Father Michael Pfleger, is a courageous Jesuit. His audacity in the face of life-threatening challenges always gave me strength. While the strike was made more difficult by a growing rift between city hall and me, I spent the week managing two key initiatives. We open centers around the city to serve as safe havens for students using mostly non-union staff, community-based organizations, city parks and libraries. The coordination was massive. I also wanted to ensure that negotiations were continuing, and because of the growing rift, my board chair took over as lead for negotiations. We talked often and I worked hard to ensure that we did not waiver on key issues. As you can imagine the pressure to capitulate was intense.

It was an extremely difficult week but calls and emails from colleagues around the country as well as my amazingly supportive wife sustained me. It takes a ton of inner strength to watch 4,000+ people in red shirts outside of your window protesting while a very heavy police presence looked on.

I reflect often on my experience in Chicago. We did an enormous amount of outreach to community, and I spent my weekends and evenings engaging teachers and community members directly. I spoke to no less than 20,000 teachers in the year leading up to the strike. It was still not enough. We severely underestimated the ability of the Chicago Teachers’ Union to lead a massive grassroots campaign against our administration. It’s a lesson for all of us in the reform community. The “how” is at times more important than the “what”. We need to get closer to the people we are serving and create the demand for change in our communities.

You recently wrote, “Whether or not the replacement of the school district is the answer, we need to be brave enough to dispose of the structures and strategies that have failed so many for decades and have no chance of preparing our students for the future.” What structures and strategies were you talking about?

There are too many to list but let’s start by agreeing that the current structure is not working and is unsustainable. Let’s start by believing that the school is the unit of change. Therefore our reform efforts must pivot on the school-building leader who must understand that s/he is the primary human capital manager.

In the absence of a compelling reason to retain control centrally, school leaders, as the primary agents of change, should have freedom and flexibility over how best to use their resources (time, people, and money) to create meaningful changes that directly impact students. Let’s start by believing that operating within a clear framework of standards for student success, highly effective school leaders must use their resources to develop effective practices and innovative school designs, to best meet the needs of their students. Let’s start by believing that highly effective teachers must reinforce high expectations for all students and that they are responsible for (and should be supported to) provide instruction that is standards-aligned, student-centered, engaging, and data-informed.

The paradigm shift must include a new look at governance at all levels—school boards, mayoral control, etc.—looking at the best structure to support our agents of change.

Why did you decide to work for the College Board? What do you hope to accomplish there?

I had a number of opportunities after leaving Chicago, but I came to the College Board because of one person—David Coleman. He said to me, “The world does not need another advocate. The world needs solutions.” David is working to bring solutions to our nation’s schools, to close not just the access to rigor gap, but to also close the success gap. We are doing well on the former, but not so well on the latter. I wanted to go to a place where social activism was alive and one that is focused on bringing solutions to our teachers and district leaders.

You fly airplanes recreationally. Why did you decide to learn, and why do you still do it?

I am a private pilot with instrument and commercial ratings. I started taking lessons nearly fifteen years ago to conquer a fear of heights. It did not work, but flying provides an amazing escape for me and allows me to see the world from very different perspectives. Imagine flying to Martha’s Vineyard, or Nantucket for a bike ride, or Kalamazoo from Chicago for a quick bite to eat. In addition to being an educator and pilot, you’re a husband and dad. What’s the perfect Saturday in the Brizard family?

I have an amazing wife. She keeps me grounded. A perfect Saturday starts with a breakfast outing with my children (in Chicago it was to an awesome place called Bakin’ & Eggs), followed by an hour or two at the park. An afternoon nap gives me a chance with the New York Times or the Washington Post. The day continues with a late afternoon walk along the Mall in D.C. or spending time at the Smithsonian or the National Archives. A really great Saturday will end with a sitter and the adult Brizards finding a great table at a favorite restaurant.

What was it like working for Rahm Emanuel? Please, please, please give us at least one colorful story about the mayor.

MRE—Mayor Rahm Emanuel—is an interesting man. I received a ton of advice on how to work with and for him, but in hindsight, few of these pieces of advice were helpful. MRE was always “on” and a master at managing media. He is actually best when he is not on stage. My best meeting with him was off stage, away from the lights at a private table in a steakhouse. He was thoughtful, funny, and caring. While I never experienced the man with the “reputation,” I certainly can see that possible side. I experienced a man who loves his family dearly and is frustrated by the challenges of a school system in crisis and a crime situation that is making international headlines.

MRE and I disagreed on process at times, and it was unfortunate that he never really got to know me. I appreciated his leadership, but his one challenge is to learn to let go and allow his managers to lead. You know as well as anyone the challenges of being an urban superintendent.

But if the next mayor of New York City calls you on the day after his/her election and said simply, “Jean-Claude, the Big Apple has the largest school district in America, and that system educated you and then employed you for two decades. I’d like you to be the next chancellor of New York City Public Schools.” What are the first words out of your mouth?

Ha, this is a tough one!

Convince me that you will provide the bold leadership needed to continue the reform work in the city that I love so much. Convince me that you will give me the autonomy and support needed to continue some of the great work and change some of the ones that have not worked so well. Finally, help me explain to my family that they have to move again.

CHICAGO SUN TIMES VERSION OF THE STORY APPEARS BELOW HERE ...

Mayor needs to let his managers manage, former CPS CEO says

BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter August 23, 2013 10:45AM

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Ousted Chicago Public Schools chief Jean-Claude Brizard says Mayor Rahm Emanuel is a “master” media manipulator, but he’s also a control freak who needs to “let go” and “allow his managers to lead.” | Sun-Times file photo

Updated: August 24, 2013 3:02AM Mayor Rahm Emanuel is a “master” media manipulator, but he’s also a control freak who needs to “let go” and “allow his managers to lead,” according to his ousted Chicago Public Schools chief.

Nearly one year after being sent packing with a $291,662 severance package, Jean-Claude Brizard is opening up to an education think-tank about the mayor’s management style and about mistakes the mayor made that set the stage for Chicago’s first teachers strike in 25 years.

Brizard could not be reached for comment. He now serves as a senior adviser at the College Board in Washington, D.C.

“Mayor Rahm Emanuel is an interesting man . . . I appreciated his leadership, but his one challenge is to learn to let go and allow his managers to lead,” Brizard was quoted as saying in an interview with the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.

Brizard said he received a “ton of advice” on how to “work with and for” the former White House chief-of-staff with a cartoon-like reputation for brute-force politics, micro-management and brow-beating underlings.

But in hindsight, Brizard said, “Few of these pieces of advice were helpful” in dealing with Emanuel. The two men “disagreed on process at times, and it was unfortunate that he never really got to know me,” Brizard said.

“MRE was always ‘on’ and a master at managing media. He is actually best when he is not on stage. My best meeting with him was off stage, away from the lights at a private table in a steakhouse. He was thoughtful, funny and caring,” Brizard was quoted as saying.

“While I never experienced the man with the `reputation,’ I certainly can see that possible side. I experienced a man who loves his family dearly and is frustrated by the challenges of a school system in crisis and crime situation that is making international headlines.”

Tarrah Copper, a mayoral spokeswoman, said in response: “We appreciate Mr. Brizard’s service during the time he was here. We are focused on the first day of school next week and looking forward.”

Brizard also reflected on the seven-day teachers strike that Emanuel’s bullying missteps helped to instigate. It turned Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis into a folk hero.

The teachers were fueled by their anger against a mayor who stripped them of a previously negotiated, 4 percent pay raise and offered schools and teachers extra money to waive the teachers contract and immediately implement his longer school day.

The strike ended, only after Emanuel took a political beating and recouped by persuading a judge to order the teachers back to work.

“I spoke to no less than 20,000 teachers in the year leading up to the strike. It was still not enough. We severely underestimated the ability of the Chicago Teachers Union to lead a massive grass-roots campaign against our administration,” Brizard was quoted as saying.

“It’s a lesson for all of us in the reform community. The `how’ is, at times, more important than the `what.’ We need to get closer to the people we are serving and create the demand for change in our communities.”

Brizard said the strike was “made more difficult by a growing rift between City Hall and me” that forced the mayor to replace Brizard at the negotiating table with School Board President David Vitale. Barbara Byrd-Bennett, Brizard’s successor, also played a pivotal role.

“It was an extremely difficult week, but calls and e-mails from colleagues around the country, as well as my amazingly supportive wife, sustained me,” Brizard was quoted as saying about the strike.

“It takes a ton of inner strength to watch 4,000-plus people in red shirts outside of your window protesting while a very heavy police presence looked on.”

Less than a month after teachers returned to their classrooms, Brizard became the strike’s first casualty.

One of Emanuel’s showcase hires, he resigned by “mutual agreement” with the mayor after just 17 months on the job. Brizard had angered the mayor by going on vacation in the run-up to the strike and, more importantly, by falling short as a manager.

Both sides declared it was “time for a change” and that constant speculation about Brizard’s status had become a distraction. Two days after Brizard’s ouster, the Chicago Sun-Times wrote that Byrd-Bennett’s ability to succeed where her predecessor failed would depend on Emanuel’s ability to let go.

Now, Brizard himself is seconding that insight.

Contributing: Maudlyne Ihejirika

Email: fspielman@suntimes.com

CHICAGO TRIBUNE STORY BELOW HERE:

Brizard takes shot at Emanuel

Mayor should 'allow his managers to lead,' former school boss says

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Former Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard said in an interview that Mayor Rahm Emanuel “was always ‘on’ and a master at managing media. He is actually best when he is not on stage.” (E. Jason Wambsgans, Chicago Tribune / September 17, 2012)

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Former Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard chided former boss Mayor Rahm Emanuel this week in an interview from the safety of his new post at an East Coast educational organization, saying the mayor needs to "learn to let go and allow his managers to lead."

In an interview with the Fordham Institute, Brizard also said the administration was caught flat-footed last year by the strength of the Chicago Teachers Union's organizing power during the first walkout in Chicago in 25 years.

"We severely underestimated the ability of the Chicago Teachers Union to lead a massive grass-roots campaign against our administration," Brizard is quoted as saying in the interview.

Brizard parted ways with Emanuel after the seven-school-day teachers strike in September 2012, telling the Tribune that "the mayor should have the CEO he wants to have."

Brizard said talking to people about his new boss ahead of time didn't prepare him for working for Emanuel when he took over in Chicago as the mayor's hand-picked schools CEO in May 2011. Brizard came from a similar job leading the Rochester, N.Y., school district.

"I received a ton of advice on how to work with and for him, but in hindsight, few of these pieces of advice were helpful," Brizard said in the interview. "MRE was always 'on' and a master at managing media. He is actually best when he is not on stage.

"While I never experienced the man with the 'reputation,' I certainly can see that possible side. I experienced a man who loves his family dearly and is frustrated by the challenges of a school system in crisis and a crime situation that is making international headlines."

Calling Emanuel a micromanager isn't exactly a revelation. He has carefully cultivated a reputation as a hands-on, type-A leader. "Patience is not one of my strong suits," the mayor is fond of reminding reporters when launching a new initiative.

But Emanuel also inspires a certain level of fear from subordinates, in no small part because he has stoked the legend of his own mean streak. So it's rare to see a former employee take even gentle pokes at him.

"MRE and I disagreed on process at times, and it was unfortunate that he never really got to know me. I appreciated his leadership, but his one challenge is to learn to let go and allow his managers to lead," Brizard said.

Brizard, now an adviser at the College Board, which administers the SAT, could not be reached for comment Friday.

Emanuel and Brizard's successor, Barbara Byrd-Bennett, have been making appearances around Chicago this week in preparation for classes beginning Monday. With thousands of students heading to new buildings because the mayor closed dozens of public schools, Emanuel has been trying to focus the public on the steps he's taking to attempt to make children's commutes safer.

Asked to comment Friday on Brizard's thoughts about the mayor, Emanuel spokeswoman Sarah Hamilton released a statement: "We appreciate Mr. Brizard's service during the time he was here. We are focused on the first day of school next week and looking forward."

jebyrne@tribune.com

Twitter @_johnbyrne

Copyright © 2013 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC

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Comments:

August 24, 2013 at 11:15 PM

By: John Kugler

Media Manipulator

Chicago Murders Increased July 2013 compared to July 2012 by at least 4%. am i missing something? i just figured out that the murder rate increased by doing simple math. I heard no news at all of this increase in any corporate media outlets. WTF!!! from the news it seems like crime is going down!!!

http://homicides.redeyechicago.com/date/2012/7/

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