Police move to solve murder of Tilden student while Huberman continues to insult teachers with media statement about working with preachers, not teachers

The Chicago police are concentrating on getting leads to solving the shooting murder of Tilden High School student Gamaliel Toscano. On Friday, October 23, 2009, they began distributing leaflets asking for help. Police are circulating the information above in the area where Gamaliel Toscano was murdered and at Tilden High School. Chicago Schools CEO Ron Huberman announced he will be working with preachers on the problem, while ignoring teachers and the union. Graphic by Chicago Police Department Office of News Affairs.

Toscano's body was found an hour after he left school on Thursday, October 22, 2009, five blocks from the school. He had been shot to death.

Police are circulating the information above in the area where Gamaliel Toscano was murdered and at Tilden High School. Chicago Schools CEO Ron Huberman announced he will be working with preachers on the problem, while ignoring teachers and the union. Graphic by Chicago Police Department Office of News Affairs.At the same time, Chicago Schools CEO Ron Huberman issued a carefully worded statement to the press in which he again snubbed CPS teachers and made another appeal to preachers. On October 23, the CPS Office of Communications issued the following statement: "Statement from Chicago Public Schools CEO Ron Huberman on the Death of Tilden High School Student Gamaliel Toscano... 'Our priority at this time is to support the family of Gamaliel Toscano and the Tilden school community. The street violence that has taken too many of our students concerns all of us, and we will continue to work with Chicago Police Department, faith leaders, parents and the community to ensure safe passage.'

Reporters are told to call Huberman's long time publicist, CPS Communications Chief Monique Bond, for further information.

The press release says: For more information contact: Monique Bond, CPS Office of Communications, Phone: 773-553-1620, Fax: 773-553-1621, Website:

A call to the CPS Office of Communications yields the information that Bond is not available at this time. If a reporter persists, and asks for Bond's voice mail, the reporter is told to call 773-553-1638, and the following message is played: "I'm sorry. Mailbox 31638 is full. Please try again later..."

One of the ironies about Monique Bond's refusal to answer the phone of pick up voice mail messages is that under Ron Huberman's 'data driven' regime, principals and other administrators are warned to answer all of their voice mail messages. Employees who let their voice mail mailboxes fill up are in trouble.

Except for Huberman's long time aide and media handler, Monique Bond.

Substance has been trying to get answers to immediate questions on these topics all year. Another department that refuses to answer questions is Safety and Security, under the new chief, Michael Shields. Even the most simple questions are dodged, with advice that the caller should made a written request for information under the Freedom of Information Act.

Once again, calls to Bond on October 23 got a message stating that her mailbox was full.

Since he announced his supposed plan for reducing the number of students murdered in Chicago at the September 23 Board of Education meeting, Huberman has repeatedly made it clear that his plan will rely on preachers, not teachers, to provide "mentoring" for students at risk of being murdered, according to Huberman's computer analysis.

Substance is still awaiting copies of the Power Point presentation Huberman forced teachers at many schools to watch the week before students arrived in the schools (see 'Data Driven Drivel' in the print edition of Substance, September 2009). Other requests under the Freedom of Information Act are being stalled by Bond.

Huberman has avoided general press conference since the day after he reveleaded his expensive and controversial computerized plan to identify students at risk of violent death.

The plan was unveiled at the September 23, 2009, meeting of the Board of Education, and immediately hailed by an uncritical press following carefully staged media briefings.

Board members approved it unanimously without asking any critical questions. In the plan, financed with $60 million in federal stimulus money provided by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Huberman claims to have found a way to identify students most likely to be murdered and offers to provide them with "mentoring" from faith-based groups (not professionals like teachers) and jobs (while most teenagers who aren't inclined to murder go without jobs). The day after Huberman's Power Point presentation and plan were presented to the school board, Fenger High School student Derrion Albert was murdered. According to CPS sources, Albert was not on Huberman's list of those students who were computer identified as likely to be murdered. The Derrion Albert murder caused an international uproar when a video of the beating death was put on the Intenet.

On October 7, 2009, President Barack Obama sent U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to Chicago to declare a federal program to combat youth violence. In a City Hall press conference, staff from Mayor Richard M. Daley's office kept Huberman virtually invisible to the media, lest he be asked about his now infamous computerized dead kid list.

Derrion Albert was not among those identified by Huberman's computer team as being likely to be murdered, according to CPS sources.

Nor was Tilden High School sophomore Gamaliel Toscano, whose body was found on October 22, with no video of the murder.

But it is impossible for anyone to review Huberman's program and its impact, since Huberman refuses even to reveal to the public which 38 high schools are targeted for the program.

Substance has again requested an interview with Huberman on this and other topics. Chicago Teachers Union President Marilyn Stewart had no comment on the latest from Huberman. 

Final edited version of this article posted at October 26, 2009, 11:00 a.m. CDT. If you choose to reproduce this article in whole or in part, or any of the graphical material included with it, please give full credit to SubstanceNews as follows: Copyright © 2009 Substance, Inc., Please provide Substance with a copy of any reproductions of this material and we will let you know our terms — or you can take out a subscription to Substance (see red button to the right) and make a donation. We are asking all of our readers to either subscribe to the print edition of Substance (a bargain at $16 per year) or make a donation. Both options are available on the right side of our Home Page. For further information, feel free to call us at our office at 773-725-7502.


October 24, 2009 at 2:52 PM

By: Huberman critic

Huberman plan identifies, coddles murderers — not the victims like Derrion and Gamaliel!

Clearly the Huberman plan is one of the most ridiculous things ever foisted on Chicago from the Daley administration. Since Huberman refuses to discuss all of the TOP SECRET details of his plan, however, it all becomes smoke and mirrors. Using crime data and other "risk" factors to computerize a list of students who might become murder victims, hasn't Huberman really ID'd the potential murderers? And won't his plan — especially when staffed by a bunch of preachers rather than professionals like teachers, psychologists, and social workers — simply become an even bigger hustle for the gangsters who run the communities around many of these "churches"?

October 24, 2009 at 4:00 PM

By: Jay Rehak

Bound to fail without teacher input

Mr. Huberman's secret plan to keep children safe can not be effective unless it is shared with the teachers, counselors and other support staff who work with these at risk children on a daily basis.

Ultimately, the best hope we have of curtailing violence against our students is through the time consuming task of getting to know them. That is why it is imperative that the Board of Education stop "blowing up" schools and "starting over" with new faculty etc. Such "turnaround" efforts simply and clearly create instability.

Quite clearly, it is stability that helps make a school safe. Stability in the schools begins with a faculty and administration that has more experience in the building than any child in it.

This is not to say that young, new faculty can't also be a great asset to the school. Often, new teachers come in with a fresh perspective, and perhaps even a more contemporary connection with students than older faculty may note have.

That is why it is important to have a mixture of older and newer faculty in a building. Any well run organization includes veterans and new hires in its mix.

Those who are enamored with a "business model" for schools need consider this: what business fires all of its staff and management and is successful? Where is the "business model" for such an absurdity?

Likewise, no successful "business model" creates a top down strategy which does not include the front line workers to execute such a strategy.

If Mr. Huberman really cares about the safety of the children of Chicago Public Schools, he should, before acting, include in the discussion the professionals who know these children best.

October 26, 2009 at 4:32 PM

By: GS4


All of your calls for comments go unreturned because you are not a real reporter.

October 26, 2009 at 6:51 PM

By: real reporter

shame on you 9

Thanks God Substance is there! It is the only REAL reporting on CPS this city has. The calls go unretuned because Ms. Monique does not want to answer honestly and also does not want to look stupid since she does not know even common answers to CPS questions. THANK YOU Substance.

Keep telling and reporting the truth!

October 26, 2009 at 9:47 PM

By: CoCo Davis


Can somebody tell us why the Board has placed people in charge of everyone when they have no education background, training, or knowledge of the educational system? They are actually making decisions about trained educator's jobs and kid's educations. The wrong decisions I might add. Should this be? Would you use a smart person to give medical treatment, or a swine flu shot instead of a doctor? Should we allow a friend to pull our teeth. Will we let a neighbor we like to fix our plumbing. How about letting a nice person with no credentials do our taxes? My point is Chicago has defeated the purpose of specialized training and education. As an English teaching major, will I be able to get a job, or will a friend of the city who is untrained be hired first? Why should we go to school? It seems like politics dictates who works where. the results shows that it's not the right way to staff the workforce. You certainly can't stop the killing with attractive data and no knowledge of the streets or the schools, and what breeds the violence. Who among us will help to change this. Not a bus driver or an ex cop. There are still a few people around who have the knowledge, credentials, and experience. I hope they try to involve those people.

October 26, 2009 at 9:59 PM

By: Maddie

former social worker

I hope the Huberman plan works. No one -- in the schools, the community, or at Central Office -- wants another child to die.

And social workers are part of the problem, not the solution. Their education remains subpar from BSW-level to their fake PhDs.

October 26, 2009 at 11:03 PM

By: Ron is wrong

He does not know what he is doing.

Ron ran 911. Ron ran CTA. Ron is running CPS INTO the burial ground! He does not know what he is doing and proves it EACH day! (Still hiring key no-nothing people. Lying about the budget.) Now kids cannot even get to school without being killed. And Daley is not mayor enough (nor does he care with the loss of his beloved Olympics) to let this non-performer go. Stop mourning the olympics mayor and get your act together. you wanted the schools and you got them--all the power, all the $ and now all the death. And the guy you selected is screwing it up with his daily choices. Fine if you do not want to run again, but YOU MUST correct this mistake now. You know mayor, this is your grandchildrens' future too or will they run away from chicago as fast as they can? Your legacy mayor? Stop making it up in your head and get to it now. This is it!

October 27, 2009 at 12:46 AM

By: Zeta

If you think Chicago is mess just wait.until Duncan get's his hands on the nation!

In 2002 when REN 2010 really began ( according to Mayor Daley) Arne Duncan was hired by mayor Daley to "Turn-around" Chicago Schools. He closed schools destroyed communities chased poor families away from the city while the mayor supported an all out assault on poor but especially African American communities.

Now Mr Duncan Thinks he's going to go throughout the nation. Terrorize and destroy poor and minority communities accross the nation.

Now he has left Huberman behind to finish the mess that he started.

We'll I've got news for these two racist jerks. To DUNCAN, HUBERMAN and DALEY


October 27, 2009 at 8:06 AM

By: jean Schwab


George- I like the comments that people write. This is a very informative part of the web site and the ideas expressed make sense! Thanks!

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