Cleaning up and vamping photos and the record of Andrea Zopp won't bring her any closer to becoming a candidate of the people after her four vicious years on the Chicago Board of Education...

By the time the Chicago Sun-Times and "Sneed" did their latest attempt to bully regional Democrats on behalf of Andrea Zopp, the joke was becoming too good to miss. The photo that Sneed used to push the Zopp candidacy could have been the same one Zopp used when she was applying for jobs after her time at Harvard Law School. But that was a much younger Zopp -- and one with a lot less baggage.

Andrea Zopp in a recent photo (taken during the March 25, 2015 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education). As noted in the accompanying article, Zopp helped David Vitale and Mayor Rahm Emanuel eliminated more teaching and other union jobs for black people during her four years on the Chicago Board of Education than any other regime in Chicago history. By voting in May 2013 to close 50 Chicago public schools, while continuing to open anti-union charter schools, Zopp placed herself in the same league as the rulers of Louisiana, who wiped out the black-led United Teachers of New Orleans during the "reforms" following Hurrican Katrina. Substance photo by David Vance.During her four years as a member of the Chicago Board of Education, Andrea Zopp, who was during that entire time Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Urban League, voted to close more schools in Chicago's African American communities than any Board member in history. Of course, during those years Zopp had not acted alone. All of the seven members of the Board (with a couple of exceptions on a small number of schools) had voted "No" once or twice.

But unlike them, Zopp was the person whose organizational roots were supposed to be in protecting the interests of the "Black Community" and in furthering the causes of the Civil Rights Movement. Instead, by serving the interests of the administration of Mayor Rahm Emanuel (who appointed Zopp to the Board of Education in May 2011), Andrea Zopp helped be overseer of the destruction of more jobs for African American teachers than in any city in the USA except New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. And in New Orleans, the massive destruction of the United Teachers of New Orleans (the most powerful black-led union in the Deep South) and the charterization of the New Orleans public schools was done by white state and local officials, including Chicago's former CEO Paul Vallas. In Chicago, the destruction of fully half of the black teaching jobs in Chicago was done by votes that included Andrea Zopp's.

But what was perhaps even more telling than her votes to screw the "Black Community" was the regular preaching of Zopp about the duty of the Board of Education and the Chicago Teachers Pension fund to hire Black -- privatization contractors, not regular union-scale workers. Barely a month went by without Zopp, either on the school board of at the pension board, pontificating about the need to expand "minority hiring." But by "minority hiring", Zopp meant hiring minority business owners, usually those who employed non-union, and sometimes scab workers. At well below union wages and benefits.

Anyone with the patience to view the videos of the Board of Education meetings beginning in June 2011 can see for themselves Zopp's hypocrisy in action.

Zopp's record of lies and hypocrisies unfolded month after month during her entire four years as a member of the seven-member Chicago Board of Education, beginning with her very first meeting. At that meeting, in June 2011, Zopp voted with the Board majority that the Board did not think (and the emphasis is on the spiritual piece here) that it might have the money during its 2011 - 2012 year to pay a four percent raise to Chicago's teachers and other union workers in the schools. Although the fiscal year ended on June 30, 2012, with the Board discovering that it had had all along nearly a half billion dollars (the actual reserves it had hidden in its budgets when it met for the first time as Rahm Emanuel's Board a year earlier), it was too late for the unionized workers. The unusual language in the Chicago Teachers Union contract allowed the Board to deny the raise during the fifth year of the five-year contract negotiated by former CTU President Marilyn Stewart to evade the raise based on its "belief" that it didn't have the money. Facts didn't matter.

No sooner had Zopp voted to deny the raise to the union teachers and other workers, than she and her fellow Board members went into high gear promoting the first Big Lie of the Rahm Emanuel administration -- the myth of Chicago's shortest school day and the demand for the "Longer School Day." And so it went, on and one, for every meeting and every vote that Zopp took as a member of the Board of Education of the third largest school system in the USA.


July 18, 2015 at 2:38 PM

By: Jean Schwab

Andrea Zopp

I was surprised when Zopp announced she wanted to run, mainly, because she had so little compassion for communities involved when they were closing schools. I was surprised that Jesse Jackson supported her in her bid. I was surprised that she has gotten as far as she has because she doesn't really represent the ordinary families in Chicago.

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:

5 + 5 =