CTU Election Campaigns begin a year before Election Day

The next election for officers of the Chicago Teachers Union is not going to happen until May 21, 2010 -- nearly one year from now -- but on June 3 at the Plumbers Union Hall at 1340 W. Washington St. it looked like the election was just around the corner, as two declared candidates and one very very likely candidate leafleted against CTU President Marilyn Stewart outside the union meeting and promoted their programs to the union's 800 delegates and 34,000 members.

Linda Porter (center) currently serves as Treasurer of the Chicago Teachers Union, but has broken with CTU President Marilyn Stewart over several issues. In May 2009, Porter announced her candidacy for the presidency of the union on the slate of the "Coalition for a Strong Democratic Union" (CSDU) slate and leafleted the June 3, 2009 meeting of the CTU House of Delegates (above). Linda Porter stands (above, center) with the CSDU's vice presidential candidate John Moran (left) and a delegate whose name Substance did not get at the time of the photograph (sorry). Linda Porter currently works full-time at the Chicago Teachers Union, where she is treasurer. Jack Moran currently teaches at Beaubien Elementary School on Chicago's northwest side. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Before the final meeting of the 2008-2009 school year, the Chicago Teachers Union was already confronting activities that will not be resolved until the end of the 2009-2010 school year.

The next election to decide who will run the Chicago Teachers Union will be held on May 21, 2010.

Three candidates already lining up to oppose Stewart

]The currently most prominent of the three candidates who will oppose Marilyn Stewart and her United Progressive Caucus (UPC) in the 2010 election is Linda Porter, who is heading an announced slate of candidates from the "Coalition for a Strong Democratic Union" (CSDU).

Linda Porter currently serves as treasurer of the CTU.

Ms. Porter was one of the main people who made sure that Stewart was elected CTU president in June 2004 in a hotly contested runoff election against one-term incumbent Deborah Lynch. After helping re-elect the Stewart slate (and herself) in May 2007, Ms. Porter quickly fell out with Stewart. The first disagreement, members later learned, came in August 2007, during the final days of negotations on the controversial five-year contract by Marilyn Stewart.

Above, flanked by two dissatisfied officers, treasurer Linda Porter (far left) and vice president Ted Dallas (far right), Chicago Teachers Union President Marilyn Stewart tried to tell reporters on August 31, 2007, that the CTU House of Delegates had just approved a five-year contract she had negotiated, after excluding the officers from the final days of bargaining, with Mayor Daley's labor lawyer James Franczek. What Stewart did not tell the assembled TV, radio and print reporters was that she had refused to take the count of the House and walked out when dozens of delegates rose up to demand a count of the "No" votes against her contract. Instead of ordering the count of the "No" votes as required under CTU rules and Roberts Rules of Order, Stewart left the meeting and went down a back stairway to the press conference (above). Stewart and her publicity chief, Rose Maria Genova, had prepared a statement for the press saying the House had approved the recommended contract even before debate was held. Stewart's press conference was interrupted by a protest demonstration outside the press conference room which grew until reporters left Stewart behind and covered the tumultuous story outside. (See photos below with this article and stories in the September 2007 Substance at, including YouTube videos of the confrontations). Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Linda Porter stood with Marilyn Stewart at the tumultuous meeting of the House of Delegates on August 31, 2007, while the delegates became more and more angry as they went through the proposed contract page-by-page. Then before the process was completed, Stewart told delegates that the room in which they were meeting would be closing, and there was not enough time to debate the entire contract. Stewart's decision forced an early vote before all of the pages in the proposal had been discussed. Already, delegates were growing more and more skeptical -- in many cases openly angry -- as they learned the details of the agreement. One of the most controversial, buried in fine print, reduced the overtime pay of teachers who worked in after-school programs to less than their hourly pay for regular work. In the most controversial move of the night, Stewart then called a vote, ruled that the "Yes" votes had won, and refused dozens of calls for a count of the "No" votes.

More than a hundred delegates refused to leave Plumbers Hall that night and instead held an impromptu demonstration outside a lower level room where Stewart and the other officers had assembled to hold a press conference announcing that the House of Delegates had recommended a "Yes" vote on the contract to the membership. Along with vice president Ted Dallas, Porter stood stolidly and refused to comment as Stewart tried to tell reporters that the House had approved the contract she had just negotiated.

Above, surrounding one of the TV crews that had been covering Marilyn Stewart's press conference on August 31, 2007, some of the dozens of delegates who began the spontaneous protest against Stewart's refusal to count the "No" votes on her contract proposal chant against the deal. Although Stewart's "security" police tried to keep reporters from leaving the room in which Stewart was holding a press conference, ultimately the story from August 31, 2007 was that there was a large protest against what Stewart claimed was a good deal. By the time the protest was over, Substance had counted more than 100 delegates in it. The refusal of Stewart to follow parliamentary procedure and do a complete count of the votes was recorded both on camera and on video as a result of new technologies. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Meanwhile, a growing chorus of chants of "No!" "No!" echoed from the hallway behind the room in which the press conference was being held.

[Readers who wish to review the fullest reports from Substance on that meeting can find them in "Back Issues" here at September 2007. See "August 31, 2007... How Marilyn Stewart refused to count the 'No' votes in the House of Delegates and then rammed through a five-year sellout contract for 31,000 CTU members..." There are also links from several Web sites to You Tube videos showing dozens of delegates demanding the vote count and being ignored by Marilyn Stewart. On the videos, one of the union's attorneys, Jennifer Poltrock, shouts from the microphone that Stewart doesn't have to recognize a call for a count of the "No" votes. That night, Poltrock was serving as "parliamentarian" for the meeting.]

The Stewart Purges

If Linda Porter's differences with Marilyn Stewart first showed over the controversial five-year contract that Stewart negotiated virtually in private with the Board of Education's negotiating team, they then exploded over Stewart's purge of then CTU vice president Ted Dallas.

Former Chicago Teachers Union President Deborah Lynch (above right) has continued working within her "Pro Active Chicago Teachers and school workers" (PACT) caucus for the past eleven years. In May 2001, with significant help from Substance, Lynch and her running mate, Howard Heath, scored an unprecedented upset defeating the United Progressive Caucus (UPC) slate (headed by then President Tom Reece) with a decisive 57 percent of the vote. The defeat for the UPC was the first time it had lost a union election in 30 years. After disappointing many members with the contract she negotiated in 2003, Lynch faced a four-way election race in May 2004. Because no candidate received a majority of the votes in the May 2004 election, a runoff took place in June 2004. After a controversial count, the American Federation of Teachers ruled that Lynch had lost in a one-to-one runoff against Marilyn Stewart, who headed what then called itself the "New UPC." Stewart and her vice president, Ted Dallas, were able to make the next three years an ongoing referendum on the Lynch record. As a result, Marilyn Stewart, Ted Dallas, Linda Porter, and their UPC "team" were re-elected by a significant majority in May 2007. Stewart then single-handedly negotiated a controversial contract that was rejected by the House of Delegates (after a vote at which Stewart refused to count the "No" votes on August 31, 2007) but approved by the members in a September 2008 referendum. By December 2008, Stewart was purging her own ranks. She succeeded in eliminating the man who had organized her two election victories, Vice President Ted Dallas. Standing with Deborah Lynch (above left) is Tanner Elementary School delegate Josephine Perry. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt. Also on the sidewalk leafleting the delegates was former CTU President Deborah Lynch, who was ousted by Stewart and her faction in elections in May and June 2004 by a narrow margin, and decisively in May 2007, when she ran as the only candidate against Stewart in the most recent CTU election. Elections for CTU officers are held every three years.

A surprise announcement on June 3 came from teacher Marcia Williams, who ran as one of four candidates in the May 2004 CTU election, at the time opposing Lynch and her PACT caucus. Williams is now teaching at Jensen Elementary School and has formed a group called the "Independent Caucus." CORE Working on Elaborate Process

The other active group inside the Chicago Teachers Union is CORE, the Caucus Of Rank and file Educators, which has been most active this year in opposing the school closings, phase outs, turnarounds and consolidations. CORE, which was founded one year ago, has decided to run a slate in the 2010 election, but will be developing its platform and candidates according to a different strategy from the other three groups that are opposing Stewart and the UPC. CORE intends to survey the entire CTU membership during the summer of 2009, develop its platform in part based on the results of those surveys, and then slate candidates based on agreement with the platform.

Complex Election Process

Jensen Elementary School teacher Marcia Williams (above center) announced her candidacy at the June 3 CTU House of Delegates meeting by distributing a leaflet with some of her colleagues from Jensen (above). Williams has revived the "Independent Caucus" of the CTU, the group whose slate she led in 2004 as one of four candidates in the election that saw Deborah Lynch ultimately defeated in a runoff against Marilyn Stewart. (Lynch got the largest number of votes in the May 2004 election, but because it was a four-way race was unable to get the required majority of the votes and so was forced into a runoff against Marilyn Stewart's UPC). Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.The Chicago Teachers Union has one of the most complex election processes known.

In order to qualify as a candidate, a candidate for any union office has to get nominating petitions signed by at least five percent of the members who are eligible to vote for that office. Retired teachers who remain as union members are not eligible to run for citywide office or to vote in the election for officers. (Disclosure: this reporter is currently a retired teacher member of the CTU and a retiree delegate).

With the union currently having approximately 28,000 active duty members (down by more than 4,000 since Stewart took office in 2004), that will mean that candidates for President will have to get their nominating petitions signed by at least 1,400 current, active duty CTU members.

The nominating petitions become available each election year (every third year) on February 1 and must be turned in to the union offices by the third Friday of March. Nominating petitions are then reviewed by the union's Rules-Elections committee and a report on the eligibility of candidates is presented to the union's April House of Delegates meeting. It is only in April of an election year that the union actually knows who is slating eligible candidates for election.

The candidates for President are then allowed to debate at the May House of Delegates election, and the election is held in all schools and other locations where union members work on the third Friday in May of the election year.

Major split in UPC leads to Porter candidacy

In December 2008, CTU President Marilyn Stewart had a lawyer send a letter to the union's treasurer, Linda Porter, demanding that Porter resign and agree not to participate in union activities until after the 2010 union election. Instead of signing the six-page contract Stewart proposed, Porter refused and informed Substance reporter John Kugler, who broke the story in the January issue of Substance. The story about the attempted intimidation of Porter was published one year after Kugler scooped the city by reporting that Stewart had send a letter to then schools CEO Arne Duncan (which ended with the words "in solidarity") telling Duncan that the union's elected vice president, Ted Dallas, was no longer authorized to speak with CPS officials on behalf of the union.

Despite harassment from Marilyn Stewart's security forces (which barred the group from picketing at the main Chicago River entrance to the Merchandise Mart and refused to allow union members to enter the building without Stewart's approval) dozens of union members protested the trial of Ted Dallas by the executive board on June 12, 2008. Above, those who opposed Stewart's attempt to purge Dallas from the union included independents and members of various caucuses and groups within the 31,000-member union. Above (left to right, standing): Jim Vail (Substance reporter and CORE member), Pam Taurus (delegate), Marian Santillan, a member hiding behind a sign, and an unnamed member. Kneeling: Garth Liebhaber (CORE); John Kugler, and Chris Rudzinski. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.During the year following the "in solidarity" letter to Arne Duncan, Stewart and her faction persecuted Dallas. Ultimately, the union's executive board, which consists almost exclusively of people from Stewart's faction, voted to expel Dallas, a 30-year CTU veteran, from the union. The expulsion effectively barred Dallas from holding office as vice president, despite the fact that he was the main person instrumental in both Stewart election victories (in May-June 2004 and in May 2007). But the end of 2008, the Chicago Teachers Union no longer had a vice president. Despite demands from members of the CTU House of Delegates that the decision of the executive board be submitted to the House of Delegates (and possibly to the membership) for approval, Stewart stonewalled the House and was able to get away with firing Dallas without consulting the membership of the delegates elected by the membership.

Next, Stewart went after her second most loyal supporter from the 2004 and 2007 elections, treasurer Linda Porter. But instead of succumbing to the demands Stewart made, Porter refused, and Stewart shied away from another attempt to utilize her executive board to purge another officer.

Instead, Stewart barred Porter from any contact with union financial matters, an odd situation since Porter had been elected treasurer. Stewart, with the help of the American Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Federation of Teachers kept Porter away from union finances, placing them in the hands of an official appointed from the AFT and in the hands of "financial secretary" Mark Ochoa.

Porter's CSDU Platform

By May 2009, Porter was breaking away from Stewart, and Stewart's remaining "United Progressive Caucus" base, decisively. During a roll call vote at the May 2009 House of Delegates meeting, Porter voted with the opposition in a successful vote against Stewart. At the June 2009 meeting, Porter defiantly cast her "No" vote against Stewart's own proposed budget (which won, as Substance has reported, when Stewart packed the House meeting with "delegates" appointed by her own field reps).

Joining the non-partisan opposition to the trial of Ted Dallas and Marilyn Stewart's attempt to purge the union of officers elected by the membership, former CTU President Deborah Lynch (above, center) picketed outside the Merchandise Mart, which houses the CTU offices, on June 12, 2008, the first of two days on which Dallas was "tried" by the CTU's executive board. Despite the fact that Dallas was credited with organizing the two election campaigns (2004 and 2007) which defeated Lynch, she opposed the purge. Like most CTU members, Lynch maintained that only the membership, in a general union election, had the power to oust an elected officer. Nevertheless, Marilyn Stewart's executive board voted to oust Dallas, and then refused to allow the ouster to be reviewed by the House of Delegates and the membership. Although Stewart has bragged (most recently at the June 3, 3009 meeting) that she saved the union money by getting rid of Dallas, the legal costs to the CTU because of Marilyn Stewart's perjuries and mistakes have cost the CTU as much as a half million dollars since she took office in August 2004. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Outside the June 3, 2009, meeting, Linda Porter and her four running mates joined Ted Dallas (who is not even allowed to attend union meetings) in distributing literature on behalf of Porter's candidacy.

Linda Porter and her supporters, including all of her fellow candidates and former vice president Ted Dallas, leafleted the June 3 CTU meeting. Although their Website has been experiencing what they refer to as "technical difficulties", the group presented the delegates with an 11-point position paper opposing the budget proposed by Marilyn Stewart to the House that night. The questions included the following:

"1. Why won't the CTU leadership list all of the officer', coordinators', field representatives' and professional staffs' salaries, annuities, automobile and cell phone allowances?...

"2. Why has the consultant/lobbyist item at $100,000 in the current budget been replaced with a consultant /lobbyist item in the 2009-2010 budget at $400,000 a year...

"3. What does each of the four new lobbyists earn on top of CTU Legislative Coordinator Tracy Cobb-Evans, who is compensated at about $175,000 a year?..."

There were eight additional detailed questions about the proposed budget.

Inside the meeting, delegates affiliated with CSDU spoke in opposition to the budget proposed by Marilyn Stewart, and when it came time to vote, Linda Porter voted against Stewart.

Additional leaflet from CSDU

A second leaflet from CSDU that was distributed prior to the June 3 meeting was a half page in length and contained seven points that were described as the CSDU "Platform for a Strong Democratic Union." The seven points were:

-- Contractual job protection for all employees

-- PSRP contractual job parity equal to teachers

-- One prep per day for elementary teachers

-- Stop privatization of schools

-- Arbitration rights for all disciplinary actions

-- Pension protection through legislative action

-- Professional salaries

Although the leaflet outlining the CSDU platform listed the CSDU Website (, the Website was not available during the week of the union meeting.

The CSDU Website is supposedly at

Attempt to reach the csdu Website during four days following the House of Delegates meeting have been greeted with the message... "Directory listing denied..."

Deborah Lynch poised for a comeback?

Former Chicago Teachers Union Deborah Lynch has remained active in the union since she was unseated by Marilyn Stewart's UPC in the 2004 union election, and her PACT (Pro Active Chicago Teachers and school workers) caucus continues.

Like the CSDU, Lynch's group dedicated most of its literature on June 3 to the CTU budget, which Marilyn Stewart, as president, was required to submit to the House for debate and approval. Throughout the past five years, Lynch and her colleagues have defended the record of her presidency against strident attacks from the UPC and some of the most vicious cat-calling during House of Delegates meetings.

Two years after she left the office of the president of the Chicago Teachers Union, Deborah Lynch (above left, with 'Stop' sign) continued to help lead teachers in the struggle against the sabotage of the schools by then Chief Executive Officer Arne Duncan. The picket line above was done on August 31, 2006, after Duncan fired Gage Park High School Principal Martin McGreal because McGreal refused to allow Duncan to continue sending additional students to the already fiercely overcrowded Gage Park High School (5650 S. Rockwell), where Lynch is a teacher. Duncan was creating a boutique charter school less than two miles away from Gage Park at the time. The "Urban Prep" all-boys charter high school was located at Lindblom High School, 6130 S. Wolcott, at the time, while Duncan completed the destruction of Englewood High School, a bit farther to the east. From April 2002 on, Lynch led protests and spoke publicly against the charterization of Chicago public schools. Between 2004 and 2008, Marilyn Stewart was largely (not completely) silent as Arne Duncan closed more school and fired more teachers than any other school chief in Chicago history. As late as February 2008, Stewart wasn't even at the Board of Education meeting when the Board voted to close all the schools on that year's Hit List, including the first six public schools to be subjected to "turnaround." Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.By June 2005, less than one year after Lynch lost the union presidency, Marilyn Stewart ordered the police called and Lynch arrested following a disagreement over whether she was entitled to remain on the House floor during a vote count. At the time Lynch was running for a seat on the executive Board (which she subsequently won, while she was outside the hall in police custody). [The complete story of the Lynch arrest was published in the print edition of Substance (September 2005) and is available on line at the "old" Substance Web site (; go to "Past Issues" and then open September 2005 and open the article "CTU officials attempt to arrest Deborah Lynch, by George N. Schmidt")].

Despite the vicious verbal attacks on her and the attempt to arrest her (the police released her after escorting her from the union meeting when CTU officers and staff refused to sign any complaint against her), Ms. Lynch remained active in the union.

In 2005 she was elected to the executive board, where she served as a high school functional vice president until her bid for re-election as CTU president was defeated by Stewart's group in May 2007. During that entire time, she has served as CTU delegate from Gage Park High School, where she is a special education teachers. At various times she has joined protests and led pickets against policies of the Chicago Board of Education and the union.

In August 2006, she and her colleagues picketed at Gage Park when former CEO Arne Duncan fired Gage Park principal Martin McGreal because Mr. McGreal refused to take in additional students because the school was dangerously overcrowded.

In June and August 2008 she joined teachers from across the city in protest against Marilyn Stewart's move to purge vice president Ted Dallas from the union and remove him as vice president. By June, she was distributing materials explaining the budget claims being made by Marilyn Stewart and trying to correct some misrepresentations. Her group's leaflet went into detail about the budget that was to be voted on that night.

One PACT Website is currently found at It has not been updated in a long time. A second site can be found at and is more up to date. One of the things that can be done at the PACT Website is to go to the links to the YouTube videos of the controversial vote at the August 31, 2007, meeting of the House of Delegates. That was the meeting where Marilyn Stewart, after ruling that the "Yes" votes had "won," refused to call for the "No" votes and ignored calls for a division of the House and a roll call, both of which are required by Roberts Rules of Order.

Marcia Williams revives 'Independent Caucus'

Marcia Williams, an elementary teacher, ran at the top of four slates in the May 2004 election. After four years out of the limelight, she was leafleting outside the House of Delegates meeting announcing her candidacy and another run by the 'Independent Caucus'.

The Independent Caucus has a logo ("Independent Caucus Twenty-Ten" featuring a graphic that looks like the Star of Bethlehem from children's Bible stories. The slogan on the leaflet is "The IC will fight for our membership. Change is needed to restore dignity to CTU!"

The leaflet from the Independent Caucus listed 14 points:

1. We will renegotiate to rescind the P.A.T. clause.

2. No more 5 year contracts.

3. Restore ESP workers' rights with fewer layoffs.

4. Instead of just talk, we CAN stop school closings!

5. To restore teachers' hourly wages from $432.50 & $37.50 currently in our contract.

6. To negotiate for a hearing officer outside CPS' headquarters!

7. To establish a CTU members 'Hard Times' fund for members who have not successfully found employment due to school closings, closings of positions, strikes, etc.

8. To stop principals abuses via the Employees' Discipline Code.

9. To establish an "Open Door Policy" where CTU members can have an one on one meeting with any CTU officer. No more Ivory Tower Syndrome!

10. All CTU officers, including the CTU president, will participate in 5 CTU members' grievance hearings per month.

11. To invite CTU members to sit on contract talks with CTU & CPS negotiators.

13. To restore fiscal responsibility back to CTU.

14. To bring about real transparency. No more secrets!

The Independent Caucus has a functioning Web site ( which lists the caucus as having four officers, a dozen members, and an attorney. The Independent Caucus is also sponsoring a fundraising event in July 2009 at a bowling alley in Oak Lawn: July 11, 2009, Time: 3:00-6:00 PM, Location: Brunswick Zone, 4700 W. 103rd Street, Oaklawn, Illinois...

UPC unleashes attacks on Porter, Lynch utilizing full force of fonts and emphases available with today's computer technology

Marilyn Stewart's United Progressive Caucus (UPC) distributed the shortest leaflet of all at the meeting, but what it lacked in length it made up for in emphasis. The entire leaflet was in bold face type, all caps, with exclamation points scattered throughout, apparently for additional emphasis.

The UPC leaflet read as follows. The following is the text in its entirety, with capitalization and punctuation kept as in the original. The entire leaflet was also in boldface type.




[Italics in original].


[The word 'bankruptcy' was also underlined in the original].


[Italics in original, The words "in two years" were also underlined].



United Progressive Caucus. No Web site address was given.

CORE plans survey, democratic slating procedures

CORE (the Caucus Of Rank-and-file Educators) distributed a two-page monthly newsletter which did not announce candidates for the election scheduled for eleven months from now.

Instead of announcing candidates, CORE members distributed two items, one of which was a four-page monthly newsletter ("CORE Issues", which is available on line at The CORE newsletter reported on a number of struggles taking place around the city, including the ongoing fight against school closings, phase outs, and turnarounds, and the work CORE did to organize the special House of Delegates meeting which took place on May 19 at Dunbar Vocational High School (instead of at Plumbers Hall). The special meeting was called in response to a petition circulated by CORE. The meeting was supposed to deal with staffing problems in the schools caused by CPS policies, but Marilyn Stewart ruled that the meeting did not have a quorum, so no action was taken.

CORE also announced that it will not be slating candidates until it surveys teachers and other union members across the city and then holds a meeting -- like a nominating convention -- at which nominations will be agreed upon by a vote of CORE members.

"On Tuesday, June 2, CORE set itself apart from the crowd of Chicago Teachers Union caucuses by choosing its leadership in a fully transparent electoin by its members. In voting open to all registered members of the caucus, secret ballots were cast from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the United Electrical Workers (UE) Hall at 37 N. Ashland Ave..."

The leaders of CORE have promised that CORE will not be announcing its slate until it has surveyed all CTU members and then held an open meetings for nominations for all offices to be elected.

The newly elected officers of CORE are:

Co-chairs. Karen Lewis, King High School; Jackson Potter, Little Village High School.

Communications Secretary, Kenzo Shibata (Hancock High School).

Treasurer, Carol Caref, Chicago Vocational High School.

Recording Secretary, Jennifer Johnson, Lincoln Park High School.

At large members of the steering committee elected June 2 are: Lois Ashford (O'Keefe Elementary), Norine Gutekanst (Whittier Elementary), Kristine Mayle (DeLaCruz Middle School), and Jesse Sharkey (Senn High School).

CORE also announced that it will be holding meetings on Wednesday afternoons throughout the summer. CORE will also continue speaking out at the regular monthly meetings of the Chicago Board of Education (June 24; July 22; August 26) and at the annual budget hearings on the CPS budget (which have again been postponed beyond the required date of June). The other caucuses have not discussed their relative sizes, but at the June 2 meeting CORE reported that its dues-paying membership had surpassed 100 people. 


June 5, 2009 at 4:54 PM

By: kugler


who knows but maybe my cut was related to my reporting or political work.


June 6, 2009 at 2:44 AM

By: George N. Schmidt

Kugler job cut

Possibly. We'll be looking for a reporter to do the complete story, since part of it involves the fact that most of the people in "High Schools" and other parts of 125 S. Clark St. don't know much about what their jobs are (FNGs are like that), so the Board has been hiring retired teachers and principals (whose pensions are already more than $100,000 per year) as "consultants" (whose fees reach $100,000 per year) to do jobs that are also budgeted in-house. The complete politicization of everything downtown (and the enormous expense of all the clout jobs there) is one of the three biggest scandals at CPS.

The destruction of one of the best teaching/learning programs in Chicago's high schools that comes when CPS cuts and guts your program at Hyde Park High School (er., what's the latest, "Career Academy" or is there another title in the Synonym Joke Book?) is just an example of what you've been writing about for more than two years.

This system is sabotaging the general high schools deliberately. Cutting great programs for kids is just a very good example. I'm glad you've saved photographs and all those other mementos. It's not the first time; it won't be the last; and all the talking points and lying policy statements aside, 2009 is different from the last four or five years (when Marilyn Stewart was helping Arne Duncan take over the USA by being terminally stupid) and this summer sill be a hoot.

Get ready for a lot of reporting.

June 6, 2009 at 4:25 AM





June 6, 2009 at 12:50 PM

By: Prescott Recap

What's wrong with this picture?

At the beginning of the school year there were 15.5 teachers employed at Prescott.

1. Two non-tenured teachers released.

2. Two transferred mid-year.

3. One tenured given an E-3, quaranteed unsatisfactory rating at the end of the process. WIll she return?

4. Primary teacher reassigned to teach 7/8 Science. Will she return?

5. One Special Ed program closed- teacher assigned to teach 7/8 math. One relocated. Will these teachers be back?

6. One LD teacher on medical leave due to stress.

7. ELL teacher on medical leave due to stress.

Other Staff:

1. Engineer retiring.

2. Security guard fired at beginning of year.

3. TA suspended.

4. School clerk suspended.

5. After School program coordinator essentially fired.

6. Librarian position closed.

You do the math...

Congratulations, Mr. Roche. Your 8 year flush plan is way ahead of schedule.

June 6, 2009 at 1:06 PM

By: Prescott Recap 2

Flush the LSC - the Queen Bee and her workers

Congratulations, YES, Mr. Roche you are way ahead of schedule. Will the New Leaders give you and your pact a FIVE STAR award?

Maybe the next step you should force out the Queen and all her workers? Or aren't they part of your master plan yet?

Lastly, since Social Studies isn't taught at Prescott (nice job telling teachers to put it in their lesson plans (after 30 weeks of school in session). However, I have a suggestion maybe at the next LSC meeting (June 13-?) read aloud to everyone "Terrible Things" by Eve Bunting.

The picture book appears to have similarities to your actions and master plan! But i don't suppose the Queen Bee and her workers will get the theme of the book--since it is an allagory to the Holocaust and it is a part of the Social Studies/Language Arts curriculum. I doubt if those high quality subs (that you hired to replace tenure teachers) would know how to integrate across the curriculums.

Lastly, I feel and empathize with the teachers, students, and community who have had to endure the stress this year. I bet those teachers and few parents who voted for you are in regret! If only they would have listened.

And, they feel, "it can't happen to them"! Just think, there are only 3 more years left to your contract!

August 15, 2011 at 3:06 PM

By: Ariel Mondala

Trying to find an old teacher

I am a former student of Pamela Taurus. Can someone please tell me how I can get in contact with her?

August 19, 2011 at 12:05 AM

By: Pamela Touras

Former Teacher

You can reach me at

You were in my class in room 205 around 1993-1994 with about 48 other students.

I remember you well. I still have the lovely card you and your parents gave me at the end of the school year.

Look forward to hearing what you have been up to all these years.

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