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With $5 millon from Gates and other corporate lucre, Urban League maintains cash flow from the 'one percent' by loudly backing corporate school reform and Common Core

It's not only in Chicago that the Urban League has joined with the local ruling class to undermine the schools in the black community and add to the unprecedented purging of African-American teachers from the city's public schools. While the Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Urban League has been voting to close black schools and open charter schools in the black community since her appointment to the city's seven-member Board of Education by Mayor Rahm Emanuel in May 2011, nationally the Urban League is also filling its coffers by supporting the corporate reform policies of Arne Duncan and Barack Obama. While local criticism of Andrea Zopp may continue to increase in Chicago, Zopp is characteristic of Urban League's attacks on black teachers and black schools.

The slavish support for the racist policies of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel by Chicago Urban League Chief Executive Officer Andrea Zopp has helped provide the mayor with cover in the black community. Since Emanuel appointed Zopp to the Chicago Board of Education in May 2011, she has supported every attack on the Chicago Teachers Union and the other unions representing workers in the city's real public schools. On May 22, 2013, Zopp cast her vote in favor of the largest school closing in history, as the Board voted, following Rahm's demand, to close 50 public schools, most of them in the city's black community, and eliminate the jobs of hundreds of black teachers and other workers. At the September 24, 2014 meeting of the Board, Zopp voted, again, to expand the city's charter schools. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.The Urban League hasn't earned its "seat at the table" by opposing the policies of the "one percent." nIn fact, it's been a lucrative activity -- at least for the Urban League and its highly paid executives. In Chicago, the CEO of the Chicago Urban League, eldest in the USA, is Andrea Zopp. Zopp was appointed to the Chicago Board of Education by Mayor Rahm Emanuel in May 2011 and has slavishly followed his whims against the public schools, teachers, and the unions since. While the systematic elimination of black teachers and other black union workers from Chicago's public schools had begun before Rahm Emanuel became mayor, it has escalated under Rahm's reign.

Zopp has been key to that purge. People have protested at the South Side Urban League offices after her vote(s) to close schools (many within a mile of her offices) and her other votes. Most recently, last Wednesday, Zopp voted, along with the other six Emanuel Board of Education members, to add another three charter school "campuses" to Chicago's public school system -- a year after she voted to close the 50 real public schools Rahm had demanded. Every month she delivers a sanctimonious comment or two, usually safely at the end of the meeting, about how righteous what the the mayor's minions are doing and how it's all for the good of the poorest of black children. Zopp, of course, is not alone, since the other Board member who purports to speak for Chicago's African American community, retired principal Mahalia Hines, has also become notorious for her union busting and sometimes bizarre comments in support of the Emanual administrations edicts.

The local complicity of the Urban League in corporate school reform and the attacks on the community is far from new. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, then Urban League President James Compton served as President of the first "reform" Board of Education, appointed by Mayor Richard M. Daley. The national role of the Urban League most recently exposed (see below) is also nothing new.

Just before the end of September, Politico reported that the Urban League is flush with cash as it continues its support for the so-called "Common Core."

As Diane Ravitch reported at her blog:

Politico.com reported that the National Urban League is aggressively supporting Common Core. Politico neglected to mention that the National Urban League has received more than $5 million from the Gates Foundation in recent years. Anytime that any group advocates for the Common Core, publications should report whether they are funded by the Gates Foundation. The oversight is comparable to giving the results of a study showing that smoking does not cause cancer, yet failing to report that the study was funded by cigarette companies.

Here is the politico report:

"URBAN LEAGUE STEPS INTO CORE WARS: The National Urban League is stepping up its advocacy in support of the Common Core with new radio and TV spots narrated by CEO Marc H. Morial. In one ad, an African-American student flips through a textbook and imagines great possibilities for his life, as images flash by depicting him as a judge, a soldier and an astronaut. "When we put our children first with Common Core, there's no telling how far they can go," Morial says. The other shows girls and boys of several races, ages and sizes lining up for a race - which, a bit perplexingly, they all end up winning, thanks to "equitable implementation of Common Core." The ads were created by the National Urban League in partnership with Radio One, a media company that focuses on African-American audiences. Both will run through Nov. 22 on Radio One, TV One and REACH Media shows, which include broadcasts headlined by the Rev. Al Sharpton, Bishop T.D. Jakes and others. The ads: http://bit.ly/1DxlrfB"

Now what is sad about this is that there is zero evidence that the Common Core and the "harder" tests will reduce the achievement gap or help black students. In New York, where Common Core tests have been offered twice, a large majority of black students "failed" the tests. Eighty percent or more of black students in NewYork did not meet the state's "proficient" standard. What will happen to them? Will they get a diploma? Will continued "failure" increase the dropout rates? According to this study, dropout rates are likely to double under Common Core's "rigorous" demands. The study is called"Opportunity By Design," but it might also be called Failure by Design." Is this what the National Urban League wants?



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