VALLAS FACTS: Quinn's hypocrisy exposed in Sun-Times's VALLAS = RAUNER story -- with the massive Paul Vallas racism left out of an otherwise accurate history...

The fact is, Pat Quinn can't explain away the slaps in the face he has been giving regularly to those who elected him in 2010. As history reports, Pat Quinn was on the ropes as late as a week before the voting in late October 2010. What changed was that the Chicago Teachers Union, under the new leadership of Karen Lewis and her team from the CORE caucus, had decided to break with the Illinois Federation of Teachers, back Quinn's candidacy against Bill Brady despite the fact that Quinn had agreed to a robbery of the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund that totaled $1.2 billon, and get out the vote (and put out the PAC dollars) for Pat Quinn.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (above right) ignored the massive record of racism assembled from Chicago and Philadelphia through New Orleans by Paul G. Vallas when Quinn announced, without telling even his most loyal backers, that he had selected Vallas to run for Lieutenant Governor of Illinois on the QUINN VALLAS ticket in the November 2014 election. All of Quinn's attempts at blarney have been unable to make up for first the racist selection of one of corporate America's most notorious hatched guys, and then the signing of a "pension reform" bill (SB 1922) that have undermined the pension security of the members of the Chicago Municipal Employees Pension Fund -- most of whom are minorities, like Chicago's teacher aides and school clerks.And so, Quinn won only three of the 101 counties in the entire state of Illinois, but still have enough votes to become Governor in the November 2010 election. The edge: Chicago teachers and our brothers and sisters north of I-80. Yet in June 2014, Quinn cannot explain away his desperate appearance before the June 4, 2014 CTU House of Delegates meeting because at this point it was just another example of the widely known at this point Pat Quinn hypocrisy and cynicism. Quinn has now slapped the members of the CTU in the fact three times in less than nine months.

First Pat Quinn saved the drooping career of Paul G. Vallas from oblivion. Quinn's October 2013 announcement came after Vallas's most recent lies were exposed in Connecticut, following the exposure of all the Vallas lies in other places he had been the chief for corporate "school reform". Quinn appeared at the CTU LEAD dinner in late October 2013, and then didn't even bother to tell the leaders of the teachers he was announcing he was going to be the salvation of Paul G. Vallas.

Insult was added to injury when Quinn (flanked by a heavy security detail) talked nice to Chicago's teachers and PSRPs at the June 4 HOD meeting. A dozen CTU delegates and leaders sat right in front of Quinn holding signs telling the Governor not to sign SB 1922 -- a bill which would strip pension rights away from the non-teaching members of the teachers union, an action the union's president had characterized as "pension theft."

Quinn tried his blarney to the hilt. A week later, he turned around and signed a law that robs them of a large part of their present (in the face of "Roberta" to whom Quinn actually spoke) and future pensions.

But for today, another chapter in the Paul Vallas story, after we remind our readers that Quinn didn't even have the courtesy to warn his supporters at the Chicago Teachers Union that he was going to single-handedly resurrect the political career of Paul Vallas.

The June 19, 2014 story in the Chicago Sun-Times about how Pat Quinn's Republicrat running mate, Paul G. Vallas, has more in common with Bruce Rauner's policies than with the supposed policies of Democrats got a lot of it right.

But why is racism so difficult to talk about? A big thing left out of the expose on Paul Vallas's privatization and union busting career is the cynical racism that has long gone along with it. Like other norotious white supremacists of the late 20th and early 21st Century, Paul Vallas realized that if he camouflaged his racist deeds with enough of a "diversity" group of sidekicks, he could get away with destroying the lives and careers of hundreds, then thousands of Black people (mostly teachers) and the educational futures of hundreds of thousands of children (most of them Black).

Like most contemporary racists, "diversity" is the trick. Safely hidden behind a praetorian guard of minority sychophants, Paul Vallas got away with attacking and trying to destroy both the careers and the reputations of strong Black educators, from Chicago to Philadelphia through New Orleans and then into Connecticut when his lies began to run out of steam, finally.

The trick was that Vallas always had around him a Black crony or two, ready to become the public face of Vallas's attacks on Black teachers, principals, administrators and children. Arne Duncan preferred tall guys with military backgrounds. Vallas portrayed corrupt CPS veterans with various backgrounds, and then went on to find a sidekick willing to provide the diversity cover he craves for a substantial profit.

Early on, Vallas had former teacher and principal Cozette Buckney, who was always well rewarded for her loyalties and apologetics. (In Philadelphia, the set up she received as a "consultant" finally became a city scandal and a joke). Also in Chicago was chartering Phillip Jackson (now of Black Star, and cravenly silent about his years doing Vallas's dirty work) as his "chief of staff" people.

As a result, while Vallas was (in Chicago) firing Black principals and harassing Black administrators, he had Cozette and Phillip to run interference for his racist dirty work.

Buckney followed Vallas at a profit to Philadelphia, where his speciality was pushing corrupt charter schools at the expense of real public schools. Part of that process was eliminating the jobs of the mostly African American teaching and other staffs who had been working in the real schools, sometimes for decades. It took Philadelphia years to clean up the mess left behind by the Vallas regime, and it has been taking Vallas's corporate propagandists more and more effort to continue the Vallas hoaxes and myths through many -- but not all -- in the corporate media.

But Vallas's real masterpiece came when he went from Philadelphia to New Orelans and helped destroy not only a mostly Black public school system, but the largest and once most powerful Black led union in Louisiana -- the United Teachers of New Orleans, an AFT local. One bite at a time, with more to come. So for now, we reprint the Substance article by one of the veteran African American school leaders that Vallas tried to destroy but couldn't -- former Chicago high school district superintendent Grady C. Jordan. "The Paul Vallas I Knew" was published in Substance and at a long long time ago. The other stories about Vallas's racist versions of corporate "school reform" will follow in this series.


[Editor's Note: The following article originally appeared in Substance print, March 2002, and was reprinted in June 2013. It has long been on line in the debut Web edition of Substance at -- the "old" substance Website. That site was replaced by in May 2007. The article below was by Dr. Grady C. Jordan. Dr. Jordan had served as high school superintendent in Chicago prior to corporate school reform. Dr. Jordan was forced out of CPS by Paul Vallas, as he describes below. But Dr. Jordan was one of the first of hundreds of Black school administrators -- and thousands of Black teachers and other school staff -- to be forced out of their jobs by corporate school reform as it was pioneered in Chicago between 1995 and 2001. The white supremacist policies of Paul Vallas, however, were not just those of one man or one group of plutocrats. Vallas's successor, another non-entity with no teaching experience until he was made Chief Executive Officer of Chicago's schools, was Arne Duncan. Promoted by the same people and forces that created Vallas, Duncan went on to perfect the "Chicago Plan" of corporate "school reform." With the election of Barack Obama President of the United States in November 2008, Arne Duncan became U.S. Secretary of Education and, via "Race To The Top," make the Chicago Plan -- and all its racism -- national eduction policy. George N. Schmidt, Editor].

Has Chicago seen this much official racism since the end of Jim Crow?... The Paul Vallas I know, By Grady C. Jordan, Ph.D.. High School District Superintendent. 1985-1995. Phone: 773 - 637 -2828. Original URL for this article: /archive/March02 /jordan.html.

After hearing some African-Americans singing the praises of Paul Vallas, I was reminded of the lady who, after listening to the tributes and eulogy for her late husband, went up to look into the coffin to see who was really there.

The Paul Vallas that I know misused the resources, authority, and prestige of his office to harass, humiliate, intimidate and attempt to destroy the careers of many Black people. Vallas’ negative tone toward Black people was set immediately upon taking office. In selecting staff for the top five positions in his administration, he did not interview one Black man. The pattern that he set of excluding Black men from positions of significance prevails to this day.

Despite this sorry legacy, last June I sat at the bar at the University Inn and saw dozens of Black men, led by Dr. John “Watch Dog” West, parading in to pay homage to Vallas. Even though they must have known that they would not be admitted, I saw several Black women present themselves at the door to register their presence. I guess they wanted “Ol Massa” to know that they tried their damndest to get onto the plantation.

Recently I have become aware of the fact that A. Phillip Randolph, after his long struggle on behalf of the Pullman Porters, turned down an offer of a million dollars to betray his people. During the Civil War, many Black soldiers refused to accept any pay because it was less than that being paid to White soldiers. These were men who understood the true meaning of manhood.

Paul Vallas’ web site lists African American administrators, coaches and others who support Paul Vallas [for Governor of Illinois]. If I may be allowed a personal question: How do you support Paul Vallas when you know that the following happened to me?

-- I was banished from the system -- forever -- as a “black racist.”

-- By contrast, a white colleague who had retired has worked every day in addition to drawing a pension.

-- Had to obtain a lawyer and fight to get my full pension.

-- Despite the fact that after 25 years as an administrator handling hundreds of millions of dollars without a single blemish, I was subjected to three years of a criminal investigation with Vallas’ States Attorney unit coming to my home twice.

But I was not alone among Black administrators and principals who were subjected to ill-treatment by Paul Vallas. I was merely among the first.

It was reported to me that in 1995 during a public meeting at Austin High School, Paul Vallas cavalierly announced that the principal, a Black man, was being replaced. This man, who had done absolutely nothing wrong, was hearing this for the first time. Why did Vallas need to rob this man of his dignity? I am convinced that it is because Vallas operates on the basis of the Supreme Court decision in the Dred Scott case: “Black people have no rights that Whites are bound to respect.” He will use the taxpayers’ money to buy those Blacks that he feels he needs at the moment. As I heard one Black activist say: “He finds out a Black person’s price and then he doubles it.” With the taxpayers’ money of course.

Two years ago, a small group of Black men got together and compared notes on the principals who had been removed from their schools by Vallas. At that time, they came up with a list for 45. Of that number, 42 were Black. In other words, 93 percent were Black. This clearly is racial profiling. Black people who support Vallas should be concerned about this.

Early in the Vallas years, Christine Clayton was serving as principal of Senn High School. There was a racist cabal in the area that always wanted her out. When Vallas came in they found a soul brother. Christine Clayton was out. A hack politician from city hall shattered her career as an educator, for which she had worked hard for many years.


Debrona Banks, Steve Newton, Beverly Martin, Shirley Woodard, Theodis Leonard, and others …the list is long. Every one of these administrators was forced to file — and win — a lawsuit against the Board of Education because of the actions of Paul Vallas.

The number of Black principals and administrators who had to go through endless litigation to secure their rights since Paul Vallas took over is unprecedented. It would cause a major uproar in any other city. The cost to the taxpayers — millions of dollars in legal settlements, fees, and costs — would be a scandal in any city but Chicago and with any administrator but Paul Vallas.

At the same time he was undermining the authority of Black principals and administrators, Paul Vallas was terminating tenured teachers, large numbers of whom were Black, the heart of the school system, using equally unfair methods. Sadly, the teachers had fewer resources during those years than the principals who stood up to Vallas. Most have seen their careers finished by his policies.

In the process, are our children getting a better education? I don’t think so. The Vallas years saw the largest increase in the number of children driven out of the public school system, thanks mainly to the testing programs of Paul Vallas. Paul Vallas is now running for governor of Illinois. If he is successful, he will have a four-year contract with the people of Illinois. He would have every expectation of being allowed to fulfill his contract. Despite the fact that I consider Paul Vallas to be the most unprincipled, unscrupulous, unethical person I ever met in my professional life, I would be the first to say that if he wins fair and square, he should be allowed to fill the contract with the people of Illinois.

Unfortunately for a number of would-be black principals in the Chicago Public Schools, Paul Vallas is not so fair-minded. Local School Councils voted several Black members of the Chicago Public Schools staff contracts, but Paul Vallas would not allow them to fulfill those contracts. The courts have ruled that contracts voted by an LSC are valid. Vallas has spent millions of dollars of taxpayer’s money fighting and losing in court. Here are just a few, all from the past year:

On October 24, 2001, the school board quietly voted to pay a settlement of $261,216 to Steve Newton (and an additional $38,783.21 to his attorney). Vallas had slandered and removed Newton — under police escort! — from the principalship of Marshall High School four years earlier. The same screaming headlines that accompanied Newton’s humiliation at Marshall did not follow the more than $300,000 the school board paid to him because of Vallas’s policies.

Also on October 24, 2001, the Chicago Board of Education agreed to pay a settlement of $292,209 to Theodis Leonard, whom Vallas had removed as principal of Paderewski School as part of Vallas’s “probation” policy. Others may follow because of this same problem.

On November 28, 2001, the school board agreed to pay a monetary payment of $80,000 to Beverly Martin, whom Vallas had prevented from taking the position of principal of Gale School five years earlier. During the course of the litigation, the school board paid for three sets of attorneys (for Martin; for the LSC; and for the Board of Education) in a case that cost more than a quarter of a million dollars. On February 26, 2002, Shirley Woodard spoke to the Chicago Board of Education and told the board how she had won a federal lawsuit (and a jury award of $300,000) because Vallas had removed her from the principalship of the South Loop School. Woodard’s comments made the newspapers because she is still not in her principal position and told the board that she is reporting to work every day but not being given duties at the Region 3 office.

And there are others who could be listed.

All of the people involved in the litigations cited here are Black. To my knowledge, all of the people who have been denied contracts under these circumstances have been Black.

Everybody who works on any kind of job has hopes of advancement. When you spend time and money preparing for an upgrade, and then have it denied for no reason, it is a bitter pill.

One young Black man — Tom Brown — was voted a contract at Taft High School. Vallas would not allow him to have the job. Vallas gave the job to a White man who had not received the votes. Not long after that, the young Black man died. How can all of the Black people who are supporting Vallas support this kind of racism? That’s exactly what you are doing. Recently, some White firefighters in Chicago were awarded damages and positions because it was ruled that they were victims of job discrimination. Vallas not only got away with it, but Black folk from the system are supporting him in his racism. I heard that a Black coach has been escorting him to Black churches.

The Chicago Principals and Administrators Association, which claims to be a union representing principals, has maintained complete public silence regarding this Vallas racism and Vallas’ practice of denying Black people their earned principals’ jobs. This sin was recently compounded when the executive board of the association voted to support Vallas for governor and gave his election campaign $5,000.

There are a number of Black people on that board. I am herewith calling them out. You know who you are. A lot of other Black people know who you are. For the most part, Vallas singled out black principals to push out of their jobs. More importantly, he refused to allow several to assume their duly-awarded principal contracts. If you voted to support Vallas under these circumstances, or if you have kept quiet while others have, you are a traitor. Medgar Evers, Fannie Lou Hammer, Martin Luther King, et al must be spinning in their graves at such acts of Uncle Tomism, pathological individualism, and cowardice.

Fortunately, as in the Hanrahan election, rank and file Black people in Chicago have shown that they know who their enemies are despite the Judas goats that attempt to lead them to slaughter for their own selfish reasons.


Paul Vallas has a lot in common with Bruce Rauner. Chicago Sun-Times, print edition, Thursday JUNE 19, 2014 - 2:04AM. BY DAN MIHALOPOULOS. @DMIHALOPOULOS In a plea to mend a crucial relationship thats strained, Gov. Pat Quinn recently told unionized teachers they should hold his record up against nothing more than the views of Republican challenger Bruce Rauner.

Please dont compare me to the Almighty, Quinn quipped, trying to put behind bitter feuding over pensions and classroom funding, at least until the fall election.

Indeed, from the perspective of teachers and other public employees, the Democratic governor could rank far below God and still be vastly preferable to Rauner.

Yet, when it comes to some of the most important issues in education today, Quinns running mate in the November election the former Chicago Public Schools chief executive Paul Vallas appears to have plenty in common with Rauner.

Put aside for a moment whether you agree with self-styled education reformers such as Rauner and their ideas chief among them the rapid expansion of privately run, publicly funded charter schools.

Effective or not, what Vallas did during the many years between leaving CPS and returning home to run for Illinois lieutenant governor seems very much in line with what Rauner says he would love to see more of here.

Vallas worked in New Orleans for a large chunk of the time he was in self-imposed exile from Illinois. That citys struggles with public schools are documented vividly in Hope Against Hope, education journalist Sarah Carrs 2013 book.

Carr details efforts by Vallas that the vast majority of unionized teachers here or anywhere would oppose strongly.

After leading one of the countrys largest experiments with school privatization in Philadelphia, she writes, Vallas arrived in New Orleans in 2007 to become the head of the state-run Recovery School District.

Vallas brought the mind-set of a frenetic businessman to the New Orleans superintendency, Carr says. He hired all manner of consultants, many of whom he knew from his years in Chicago and Philadelphia, often paying them $2,000 a day for their services.

In New Orleans, Vallas clearly hoped to turn nearly all of the schools into charters as quickly as possible, and the city became a destination for young, aspiring and ambitious charter schools leaders from across the country who were far less likely to hire veteran teachers.

He also was a boon to a controversial program Rauner has lauded called Teach For America. It's a national corps of college graduates and other professionals who agree to try teaching in public schools for a couple of years.

Vallas helped triple the number of Teach For America recruits working in the New Orleans region between 2007 and 2010, according to Carr.

That did not go over well since thousands of veteran educators had lost their jobs in [Hurricane] Katrinas wake and now watched as the Recovery School District aggressively wooed young college graduates with little teaching experience, even promising relocation bonuses at one point.

Black teachers had made up 73 percent of the workforce in New Orleans, even after the hurricane.

"Starting in 2007, the percentage of black teachers began to drop steadily each year, to 63 percent during the 2007-2008 school year, and 57 percent the next year, Carr wrote. Between those two school years the number of black teachers in the public schools fell by about 100 while the number of white teachers rose by a similar number.

Vallas did not flinch from the criticism. He told the Times-Picayune newspaper in 2009 that experience can be overrated when it comes to teaching.

And theres little doubt Vallas would have a different take on his time in New Orleans than Carrs excellent book provides. Especially now that hes running for statewide office as a Democrat again, for the first time since his narrow loss to Rod Blagojevich in the 2002 primary for governor.

But a spokeswoman for the Quinn-Vallas campaign declined repeated requests for an interview about his time in New Orleans, Philadelphia and elsewhere.

Thats too bad. Teachers at least should demand to know why Quinn, who claims to be so different from Rauner, would chose a running mate with a track record featuring so much that Rauner heartily embraces.


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