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RAHM WATCH: Bill Clinton joins Rahm Emanuel in a publicity stunt claiming that Rahm is expanding 'early childhood education' -- but ignoring the public schools. The whole Friday event was paid for completely by taxpayers

During a week when more than 500 Chicago public school principals and hundreds of local school councils were wrestling with the negative impact of the budgets foisted on the schools by the Chicago Board of Education (handpicked and subservient to Rahm Emanuel), and by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, it was more Rahm. On June 20, 2014, former President Bill Clinton followed an earlier promotional event on behalf of Emanuel (announcing a major push for Rahm's re-election campaign by Bill Clinton) with an additional event supposedly about "education." This followed and earlier event (at "Chicago Ideas Week") with Hillary Clinton. Over a ten-day period, Rahm was being touted by both the former President of the United States and by the woman many Democrats hope will be the future President of the United States.

One of the two publicity photos distributed by the "Mayor's Press Office" following the propaganda session using young children as props staged by Bill Clinton and Rahm Emanuel on June 20, 2014. The photo credit, according to the press release, should be "Photo by Brooke Collins, City of Chicago."On Friday afternoon, June 20, 2014, Bill Clinton returned to the scene of one of his greatest hypocrisies -- Chicago's Englewood Community -- to pose for publicity pictures with Rahm. Both had spent the day avoiding public school teachers, principals, parents and (most) children so they could pose in a carefully controlled media environment surrounded by little Black and Brown kids on the South Side. The control was complete. The press release stated "no media availability" -- meaning no questions from reporters and "credentialed press only" meaning no bloggers or independents media.

That way, nobody could ask either celebrity why Englewood was still one of the poorest and most dangerous places in the United States after all of Clinton's and Emanuel's claims and programs. Clinton had utilized Englewood as the backdrop for one of his "Enterprise Zone" programs more than a dozen years earlier. He was back, but not taking serious questions from reporters.

Instead, while the Chicago cameras clicked, Rahm and Bill sat surrounded by a group of smiling and energetic children, a diversity rainbow of sorts, to promote a program that Rahm is claiming he invented. This came even as his budget austerity actions are undermining real programs across the city's real public schools.

The carefully staged event took place not in a public school. Even surrounded by Secret Service and other security and a dozen press flacks, Chicago's mayor is unwelcome and likely to hear boos, at a real public schools. So he staged the event at one of the handful of City Hall outposts completely under the mayor's control -- the "Metropolitan Family Services Early Learning and Wellness Center in Englewood."

Those with longer memories than either Emanuel or Clinton want would also have reminded the duo that just before the beginning of the 21st Century, Clinton, then President of the United States, devoted time to staging similar publicity stunts a few blocks from where he was sitting with his former White House aide, declaring that Englewood was where the Clinton administration was going to create programs that would end poverty and violence in urban areas.

In case anyone missed the point and tried to attend or ask questions, an earlier press release from City Hall announcing the event stated clearly that no questions would be taken ("there will be no media availability") and that only those certified by the Chicago Police Department would be allowed to attend (and presumably take pictures and then report the story according to the text of the City Hall handout ("credentialed media only"). A copy of the announcement follows the text of the official news story prepared and distributed by the government (see below).

The media event on June 20 included the complete text of a "news" story, prepared by taxpayer-funded press aides, and two photographs showing Emanual and Clinton surrounded by one of "Rahm's Rainbows" -- a group of smiling children, most of them Black and Brown. It could have been a scene from "Emperor of Chicagoland." The second photo distributed at public expense by the "Mayor's Press Office" following the June 20, 2014 event at the Metropolitan Wellness Center.PRESS RELEASE FROM CITY HALL JUNE 20, 2014.

MAYOR EMANUEL AND PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON HIGHLIGHT THE IMPORTANCE OF EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION. Early Learning Center Part of a Three-Year $36 Million Investment in Early Childhood Education.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE. June 20, 2014

CONTACT: Mayors Press Office. 312.744.3334. press@cityofchicago.org

Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined President Bill Clinton today at the Metropolitan Family Services Early Learning and Wellness Center in Englewood to highlight the importance of increased access to high-quality early childhood education. Mayor Emanuel has committed $36 million in early childhood education over three years to add early learning programming for an additional 5,000 Chicago children.

Prior to the event, Mayor Emanuel invited President Clinton to tour the new early learning center, established to serve the Englewood and New City/Back of the Yards communities. The Mayor made the request because of President Clintons work, as president and through his Foundation, stressing the importance of early childhood education.

Investing in high-quality early childhood education is essential to our childrens future success, said Mayor Emanuel. I have set a goal for the children of the City of Chicago to graduate 100 percent college ready and 100 percent college bound. Early learning provides a lasting foundation for our children as being ready for the first day of college starts with being ready for the first day of first grade.

To accomplish the goal of having every child in the City of Chicago ready to learn by kindergarten, the City has embarked on an ambitious effort to achieve three distinct goals: Increase access and serve the most at-risk children in high-quality programs.

Raise the quality of early childhood programs in Chicago.

Bolster transparency and accountability across the educational services spectrum.

The City of Chicago supported the development of the Metropolitan Family Services Early Learning and Wellness Center to provide high-quality full day early learning and pre-kindergarten as well as wraparound and health services for families in the Englewood and Back of the Yards. The new Early Learning and Wellness Center is the first of its kind for these neighborhoods and exemplifies the Mayors investments in expanding access and raising quality across the citys early learning programs. Starting in 2014, all of the Citys early learning centers require that all instructors have a bachelors degree or higher.

"When you know better, you do better and we want families to know what quality looks like and what it feels like to be empowered to do better for themselves," said Jennifer Alexander, Program Director of ECE at Metropolitan Family Services

In addition, as part of the Citys ongoing commitment to ensure our youngest learners have access to high-quality education, Mayor Emanuel also recently celebrated the first year of full-day kindergarten for all 30,700 Chicago Public Schools kindergarten students.

We are proud to showcase Englewoods new Learning and Wellness Center today because it exemplifies the innovative ways we are using the Mayors new early learning investments to increase access and quality in under-served communities. The Center is bringing early education, healthcare, and family support together to help our youngest residents thrive.

The City developed an Early Learning Portal that serves as a one-stop-shop to help parents find programs, assess program quality, and understand their childs eligibility for programs. To access the portal, please visitwww.chicagoearlylearning.org, text your zip code to 773.886.1819, or call the Chicago: Ready to Learn! hotline at 312.229.1690.

###

Photo Credit: Brooke Collins // City of Chicago

Photo Caption: Mayor Emanuel and President Clinton read to children at the Metropolitan Family Services Early Learning and Wellness Center

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2 Attached Images

COPY OF THE PRESS RELEASE ANNOUNCING THE EVENT:

Today, Mayor Emanuel has invited President Clinton to tour the Metropolitan Family Services Learning and Wellness Center, a new Early Learning Center established to serve the Englewood and New City/Back of the Yards communities.

The Mayor made the request because of President Clintons work, as president and through his Foundation, stressing the importance of early childhood education.

The early learning center opened earlier this year as part of Mayor Emanuels three-year $36 Million investment in the city budget for high-quality early learning. It is the first of its kind in the Englewood and New City/Back of the Yards communities, two of the Citys neighborhoods most in need of high-quality early childhood education options. In addition to providing high-quality full day early learning and pre-K, it also offers wraparound and health services for families.

Time: 4:00 PM

Media Check In: 3:15 PM

Location: Englewood Early Childhood Center, 5338 South Loomis Street, Chicago, IL **

*There will be no media availability following.

**Credentialed media only.



Comments:

June 23, 2014 at 8:57 AM

By: Kati Gilson, NBCT

early childhood

What a crock. CPS has systematically destroy the preschool program over the past 20 years. We went from having support staff including parent coordinators, who provided monthly workshops for parents, education coaches, social workers, nurses, a screening team, a testing team, quality monthly professional development and our own budget lines for supplies, lending libraries, field trips, nutrition and admissions to having all but the social workers eliminated. Budget money was turned over to "principal discretion" which, resulted in many programs receiving no funding for the past 7 years. The only PD available is online regarding the standardized assessments, of which we give four during the school year. So much time is spent assessing and entering documentation that little time is left for teaching and play. The icing on the cake was Brizzard hiring the latest Early Childhood head who, has no early childhood experience. Rahm and his CPS flunkies don't give a damn about our kids. Never have and never will.

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