The man who helped engineer the largest school closing in American history is now the best person to be President of the Chicago Board of Education?! Frank Clark appointment is Rahm Emanuel's latest 'F____ You!' message to Chicago teachers, parents, and children...

There is no way that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel wasn't sending his latest "Fuck You!" message to the city's real public schools and the students, teachers and parents of the real public schools with the appointment of Frank Clark as the latest President of the Chicago Board of Education. Frank Clark's career has been one of promoting charter schools (and the frauds of the Noble Network of Charter Schools) against the city's real public schools. There is even a Noble "campus" half-named after him (Rowe-Clark). But even more than his privatization work, Clark was one of a handful of people who engineered the most ruthless, dishonest and massive closing of real public schools in American history on behalf of Rahm Emanuel and Chicago's ruling class between late 2012 and May 2013 (when the Board of Education members voted to close 50 of the city's real public schools).

Commonwealth Edison President and charter school zealot Frank Clark chaired the commission that white washed the largest school closing in American history in 2013. Above, Clark is seen chairing the meeting on the closings held at the "House of Hope" church on the city's far South Side on December 3, 2012. Like many African American preachers, professors and plutocrats, Frank Clark's career has been very lucrative thanks to his support for the most reactionary policies of the American oligarchy. After the 2014 Illinois election, Rev. James Meeks, who once said that the Chicago Teachers Union was the worst "gang" in Chicago, became Bruce Rauner's choice to be head of the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), a few months before Rauner's colleague Rahm Emanuel decided that Clark was the best man in Chicago to head Chicago's Board of Education. Substance photo by David Vance.Frank Clark chaired the hearings on closing schools under the circumstances that were barely legal at the time.

The Chicago Board of Education, as Substance reported in more detail than anyone else at the time, was supposed to provide the public with a complete list of schools to be closed of changed by December 1, 2012. Barbara Byrd Bennett and David Vitale got state officials to grant them what amounted to a waiver on that rule, and then began a massive propaganda and citywide attack on the schools, most in the inner city, through the hearings that Frank Clark chaired. Although the vast majority of the 20,000 - 30,000 people who participated in and testified at the hearings were opposed to the closings, Clark and Barbara Byrd Bennett then talked about the "process" (so called) as if the hearings indicated that there was widespread public support for the closings. Like so many things said by CPS officials during that time, it was not true.

One month after the Board of Education voted on the school closing list, the Board voted on the no-bid contract with "SUPES Academy" that has gotten Byrd Bennett into hot water. The corrupt entanglements of then Board of Education President David Vitale, then schools CEO Barbara Byrd Bennett, and Frank Clark were still in process at the time the SUPES deal was voted on by a unanimous vote of the Board members (one absent).

But if the $20 million crony contract was corrupt, the more corrupt action during the spring of 2013 was the school closing action. At no time were CPS officials or Board members concerned with the fact that they were opening charter schools in areas where they were simultaneously claiming there were empty buildings.

Also, as witnesses across the city pointed out at virtually every hearing, the "metrics" utilized by CPS officials, and ratified by Clark and his committee, were dishonest in the extreme.


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