All articles by George N. Schmidt

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 . . .

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Christine Boardman and Local 73 have contributed to Rahm's campaign fund and had the union's members to cross the teachers' 2012 picket lines, but the SEIU leader threatened to sue Klonsky so he corrected two statements

While there may be some nuance over the question of how to define a scab, generally a scab is considered to be someone who crosses a union picket line during the strike. And in September . . .

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VALLAS WATCH, PART ONE, RACISM: Series begins with the racist record of the Vallas version of 'reform' in Chicago... Pat Quinn's hypocrisy exposed as voters get to take a closer look at the racist, union busting, and privatizing career of Quinn's running mate, Paul G. Vallas

Twelve years ago, in a special edition in print and on the Web, Substance reported on the crimes of Paul Vallas against public education. At the time, in early 2002, Vallas was a candidate . . .

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VALLAS WATCH, PART TWO: How the racist attack on African American teachers and principals was orchestrated and field tested in Chicago by Paul Vallas, Richard M.Daley, and a cast of hundreds -- launched behind a smokescreen of screaming about 'standards and accountability'

By the late 1990s, it was no longer a question of whether Paul G. Vallas was purging large numbers of African American teachers and principals from the ranks of Chicago's public schools, but how many . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Is America finally learning to reject Chicago's 'education' experts? Connecticut rids itself of AUSL's Terrence Carter a few months after ejecting Paul G. Vallas

Before we review the final chapter in the fraudulent career of "doctor" Terrence Carter, who almost got to be the superintendent of the New London, Connecticut public schools, people in Chicago should ask themselves why . . .

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Know your enemies department... Resistance has grown enormously since the Septembers of 'Waiting for Superman' and 'Won't Back Down.' But the attacks on public education continue behind a phalanx of plutocratic billions of dollars and sanctimonious astroturf groups and some Hollywood propaganda

As the 2014 - 2015 school year begins, the spread of the Resistance to the reign of corporate school reform (of which high-stakes corporate testings and single-measure "metrics" of schools' and children's success reign) has . . .

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A final 'Labor Day' reminder... from 'The Ballad of Pretty Boy Floyd'-- 'some will rob you with a six-gun, and some with a fountain pen...'

I wasn't able to make the Labor Day activities in Chicago's historic Pullman district on Labor Day 2014, but it wasn't for not wanting to. Some things I can do, and some I can't. But . . .

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Karen Lewis to speak in Logan Square this Friday...'a rally calling for an investment in neighborhood schools and an elected school board...'

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis will join Northwest Side residents to mark the opening of school on Friday, September 5, 2014. The event on Friday begins from four to five p.m. at the Logan . . .

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Absurdities of computer-graded 'writing' exposed by BABEL

[While a great deal of blogging is kin to the selfie -- all opinion and no reporting with little fact. That is not true, however, about several blogs devoted to education, and one of the . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: The Sun-Times never actually printed the LaRaviere analysis showing Chicago's turnarounds and charters were underperforming... Just left it on the Website

This morning (September 4, 2014), the blogger Diane Ravitch noted that the Chicago Tribune has not published Troy LaRaviere's analysis showing that Chicago's charter and turnarounds schools have failed when compared with the city's real . . .

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RAHMWATCH, BASEBALL... Rahm tries another publicity stunt on Park District baseball while park playing fields remain mud puddles and public school fields are locked to keep kids from 'damaging' the surfaces

While the majority of the baseball fields in Chicago Park District parks remain mud puddles even after a heavy dew overnight, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel continued on September 4, 2014 to try and milk what . . .

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New Orleans schools have not become a 'model for the nation.' Instead, New Orleans stands as an example of brutal corporate attacks on public education and the deep racist roots of corporate 'school reform' since the days when Paul Vallas was overseer of the New Orleans plantation

Between the Illinois race for governor and some national reporting on the opening of school, the brutal destruction of the public schools of New Orleans following the August 2005 assault on the city by Hurricane . . .

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'A school that could start out clean on Monday by Friday, if things haven’t been done, is really almost a pig sty.'... Piss on the floors and poo on the walls dramatize the lies of Tim Cawley's Aaramark Power Point

It's less than six months since David Vitale and the members of the Chicago Board of Education sat smiling benignly while "Chief Administrative Officer Tim Cawley presented the Board will his $300 million proposal . . .

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Planning for mayoral race against Rahm Emanuel... 'Conversations with Karen' move across Chicago as school year begins

The 'Conversations with Karen' featuring Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis's conversations with people across Chicago continued as school began in September. A major event is scheduled in the city's Uptown community September 30. Lewis . . .

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Crazy Cawley quote sums up CPS executives' cluelessness -- 'Let’s not focus on the number of custodians you get; let’s focus on the work that needs to be done...' Principals document Aramark thefts, incompetence, and confusion as CPS continues to push expensive re-privatization contract

As the extent of the scandals involving the massive (more than $300 million) "re-privatization" contracts with Aramark and Sodexo-MAGIC continue to become public across Chicago, the Board of Education members who voted without discussion or . . .

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'The 2014 figures show that 1,412 parents exempted their children, up from 946 in 2013...' From CSAP to TCAP to PARCC the nonsense is the same. Colorado Resistance continues tradition of billboards to assist families opting out

Although some individuals and groups try to claim that The Resistance to high-stakes testing as the basis for corporate "school reform" began in the Pacific Northwest during the past three or four years, the fact . . .

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Rahm's Board tells CPS workers to SIT DOWN and SHUT UP! during upcoming election campaign... How about that respect for the First Amendment rights of teachers and other school workers? CPS issues 'Ethics Guidelines' for upcoming political campaigns

With local election petitions due to be submitted in November and a major election campaign expected up to the February 24, 2015 voting for mayor and members of the Chicago City Council, it comes as . . .

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Aramark scandals increase as Chicago's schools open amid chaos in both janitorial and food services...CTU adds to critique of 're-privatization' of CPS custodial services in research report

As the scandals (that's a deliberate plural) surrounding the "re-privatization" of custodial services at Chicago's public schools enters its fourth week as the summer of 2014 ends and the autumn begins, the Chicago Teachers Union's . . .

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Take Back Chicago meeting in October

The October Take Back Chicago event will take place in the middle of the time being devoted across the city to nominating petitions for mayoral candidates and for those dozens who will be running for . . .

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Rahm sees red, hears the verdict whle trying to pose for a publicity stunt surround by black people... Rahm booed, mocked, during Chicago football classic

Rahm Emanuel was booed in front of more than 30,000 people because of his racist policies on Saturday, September 20, at one of the nation's most important sports events. But the city's corporate media ignored . . .

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As Substance approaches our 40th anniversary, we're reminded, again, of our roots in another era's protests... 'Veterans know from first hand experience that you cannot bomb your way to peace....' Vets for Peace opposes the bombing of Iraq and Syria by the United States

As Substance prepares to mark its 40th anniversary in 2015, we were reminded recently that our origins were in the anti-war movement in the United States military during the Vietnam War. In fact, the "look" . . .

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BOARDWATCH: 'DNAinfo Chicago' news service joins the exposes of the suppression of citizens' First Amendment rights... Board of Education excludes more and more people from its monthly meetings while CPS officials threaten news photographers with arrest for 'disrupting' meetings by covering the news

A few hours after the monthly meeting of the seven-member Chicago Board of Education suffered the lowest citizen turnout for "Public Participation" in (probably) a decade, the story came in about the ongoing attack on . . .

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Clueless? No -- CORRUPT. Chicago Board of Education meeting reprises the silly talking points of Tim Cawley on the Aramark mess -- while ensuring that no financial officials are at the meeting in case the Board has to discuss the ongoing scandal of the 'toxic swaps'

It's in a way no surprise that the so-called "public participation" portion of the meetings of the Chicago Board of Education has reached what might be an all-time low. Between threatening to arrest those who . . .

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Denny Taylor shares a scathing critique and expose about Marc Tucker's 'National Center on Education and the Economy' (NCEE) and reminds us of our links to the early days in the late 1990s to the Resistance against corporate 'school reform'

As we've noted at substancenews before, the Resistance to high-stakes testing was moving along by the end of the last century, and it certainly didn't launch when a group of teachers at Garfield High School . . .

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Karen Lewis in Uptown last day of September -- CANCELLED?!

A few hours after Substance updated our announcement that Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis would be at a "conversations with Karen" in Uptown tonight, we received a press release from Lewis's campaign office (which . . .

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RAHMWATCH: '...Mayor Emanuel will attend an academic and community center ribbon cutting...' but we won't tell you where! Rahm's press praetorians keep the day's public appearance secret as long as possible

The massive propaganda squad that accompanies Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on his daily rounds about town costs the taxpayers more than a million dollars a year. The jobs of the workers in the "Mayor's Press . . .

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Progressives in Chicago City Council push for elected school board referendum -- city-wide -- on February ballot

On July 31, 2014, the eight progressive aldermen in Chicago's 50-member City Council began the latest fight to get an elected school board of the nation's third largest school system. The aldermen introduced a proposal . . .

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Chicago Board of Education continued delay of video of the July 23, 2014 Board meeting until the final day of the month

It took more than a week, but the Chicago Board of Education finally posted a completely censored video version of its July 23, 2014 meeting just as the month of July ended and August began. . . .

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'If you got enough money, you can be any story you want...' (The Wire)... Rahm the coward afraid of 'his people'? Chicago mayor evades public appearances, reduces 'transparency' to a talking point, and avoids the public like most Chicagoans had Ebola... No public budget hearings this month...

Those who were in Chicago during the warm August of 2011 will still remember that Chicago's new mayor, Rahm Emanuel, had already begun scripting what later became the Hollywood fiction, "Chicagoland" by holding those once-and-only-once . . .

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Colbert transcript with Campbell Brown as right wing scripts continue their well-funded paths to the public

From one point of view, you could say that Campbell Brown just got a promotion. From an obscure "reporter" at CNN, she has been elevated to what Substance will call the "Ann Coulter Chair of . . .

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Custodians and other non-CTU workers in Chicago Public Schools are being 'laid off effective September 30, 2014' two years after their union leaders signed a deal with Rahm Emanuel and ordered their members to cross the Chicago Teachers Union picket lines during the September 2012 strike...

The letters are dated August 1, 2014. The most important paragraph reads: "Regrettably, you will be laid off effective September 30, 2014. We have determined that you do not have bumping rights. Additionally, please note . . .

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Judge blocks construction of Lincoln Elementary School 'annex' as community opposition to the unnecessary construction expands

A Chicago judge continued to block the construction of the so-called "annex" to Lincoln Elementary School in the Lincoln Park community following protests and a legal complaint by neighborhood residents who have argued for months . . .

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Craziness of AFT leadership's 'victory' on Common Core vote returns as New York's Norm Scott posts a 12-minute video of the actual floor debate. The video includes UFT's Michael Mulgrew's uber-macho speech claiming that anyone opposing Common Core is against what he calls 'standards'...

The fierce debate over Common Core that took place in Los Angeles between July 11 and July 13, 2014 at the AFT convention is once again in the news, thanks to Norm Scott, a member . . .

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Chicago to pioneer the LEARNING WALK! 'The network told us that is how it will be -- no choice no discussion...' Byrd Bennett adds 'Learning Walks' to the nonsense that will face teachers (and principals) when school resumes in September

If you haven't heard of "Leaning Walks" yet, it's because this is the latest nonsense being pushed by the top executives of Chicago's public schools to bully classroom teachers (and possibly drive principals insane) in . . .

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BOOK REVIEW: 'A Chronicle of Echoes... Who's Who in the Implosion of American Public Education' earns a place on every Resistance reference shelf, despite minor flaws

Book Review: A Chronicle of Echoes, Who’s Who in the Implosion of American Public Education by Mercedes Schneider (Charlotte: Information Age Publishing, 2014, 491 pp).









. . .

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'Learning Walks' to expand centralized insanity, with the goal of closing schools for 'underperformance' by year's end while escalating harassment of classroom teachers and union leaders at the local school level from the beginning of the 2014 - 2015 school year onward

Principals across Chicago are being briefed that they must institute so-called "Learning Walks" throughout the system almost as soon as school begins, even though the idea has never been tested anywhere and the 'Learning Walk' . . .

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RAHM WATCH: Another chapter in 'Emperor of Chicagoland'?... Rahm's 'friends' at Bud Billiken -- the reincarnation of the paid protesters?

As several observers have reported, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was surrounded by the usual grouping of little black children during the Bud Billiken Parade on August 9 2014. Left out was that the children were . . .

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National Resistance to high-stakes testing grows even before school year begins

From the beginning of the Resistance to the regime of high-stakes testing tied to corporate privatization, charterization, and union busting schemes in the late 1990s, the test resistance usually began escalating in January, as the . . .

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Common Core: New York group exposes flaws and stupidities in Common Core despite New York City and national AFT leaders' avoidance of the Common Core debate and their praise of so-called 'standards'

One month after a clean debate over the Common Core, New York parents and others have provided the nation with a comprehensive expose of the flaws at every level of the testing program that was . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Sun-Times hatchet jobs against Karen Lewis bounce back against Rahm's buddy's newspaper... over and over and over... Ferro publishes a 'dot.com' property to make Zoe Barnes proud...

The puerile attempt by the Chicago Sun-Times to do an "expose" on the finances of Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis backfired as soon as readers had the time to read, digest, and think about . . .

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Common Core for early childhood gets its satiric comeuppance

The debate about Common Core continues to escalate, with nationally famous comedians joining teachers, parents, students, and concerned citizens in The Resistance. Most recently, the Onion joined with a funny satiric look at the impact . . .

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Ed Notes video of AFT Common Core -- er, 'standards' -- debate shows Chicago at its best and AFT leadership's defense of Common Core at their macho silliest

With everything else going on, it took our brother Norm Scott a month to organize the videos of the now famous American Federation of Teachers Common Core debate, even though, as those who were at . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Shades of how Chicago officials slanted news coverage during Rahm's NATO hype and all the way back to the Vietnam War... Reporters threatened, arrested trying to cover Ferguson stories

"Good" reporters in the eyes of government officials and private crooks are the ones who sit pertly in a room waiting for government officials (and sometimes private crooks like charter school operators) to serve up . . .

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'State of the City' conversations... Karen Lewis to chat with 19th Ward residents on evening of August 19 at the Beverly Woods, 115th and Western in Chicago

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis will join with hundreds of residents of Chicago's 19th Ward for an evening chat about city issues at the famous Beverly Woods Banquet Hall, at 115th and Wastern, beginning . . .

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REBRANDING? '...We are excited to introduce the new CPS logo -- While we are making the public announcement later this week, we wanted to share the logo and branding guidelines with you now as you prepare materials for the new school year...'

As if the highest paid executives at America's third largest school system had nothing else to do during the weeks before school opened for the 2014 - 2015 school year, the newly reconfigured "Office of . . .

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RAHM WATCH: Mayor Mudpuddle and the hypocrisy of the Fifth Floor's fair weather baseball fan

One of the most abrasive propaganda points in the Summer of 2014 is the emergence of Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago as a fan of Little League baseball. Of course, Rahm's hyped interest in Little . . .

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'Conversations with Karen...' to continue in 22nd Ward hosted by Alderman Munoz on evening of August 21, 2014

The slowly expanding "Conversations With Karen" program, which involves the appearance of Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis at various locations throughout Chicago, continues on August 21, 2014. The August 21 event will be an . . .

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Opt Out and Resistance Movements continue to explode across the USA even as testing insanity tries to expand behind a phalanx of anti-teaching 'education' executives sporting MBAs and no practical reality experience

Before the end of August 2014, the Chicago Board of Education will have subjected hundreds of school principals (and in some cases, unpaid "Team leaders" drafted from local schools) to more than 200 pages of . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: 'Rookie mistakes...' can't become a habit when the whole world will be watching... Sun-Times swipe at Karen Lewis isn't a cheap shot... Fact checking, copy editing and proofreading are all available to CTU president in upcoming mayor's race

The Chicago Sun-Times had been arriving at the homes of subscribers for only a few hours when Substance began hearing from readers and others about the Sneed column on August 22, 2014. Karen Lewis, the . . .

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RAHM WATCH: Mayor grabs a headline for doing his job, repairing Lowe Park

While Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was trying to grab as much media attention as possible off the joy over the performance of the Jackie Robinson West Little League team in the Little League World Series, . . .

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Nominating petitions to begin circulation on August 26, 2014. Petitions due at the Board of Election Commissioners in November

With as many as a dozen Chicago Teachers Union members planning to run for alderman in their wards and at least two significant candidates planning to challenge Mayor Rahm Emanuel for the mayor's job, the . . .

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The Obama Betrayal... '... he posed as a progressive and turned out to be counterfeit. We ended up with a Wall Street presidency, a drone presidency, a national security presidency...' How the Chicago Boys and the Chicago Plan conned the country with the fraudulent candidate and the Obama presidency

As the opening of school looms across the USA and teachers in Chicago prepare to return to their classrooms for a school year that might be called "Obama 4.0" (for the fourth school year of . . .

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RAHMWATCH: While grabbing headlines with Little League champions, Chicago's mayor gets flacks at the Sun-Times to ignore Rahm's record of hostility to real 'youth baseball' across Chicago

It was one of the feel good stories of the summer. Chicago's Jackie Robinson Wast Little League baseball team returned home to a water salute at Midway Airport and a lengthy parade and party through . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Another Chicago fraud exposed, as New London, Connecticut, rejects Terrence Carter's bid to become New London schools superintendent following expose on false claims to be 'Doctor Carter'

Connecticut continued its record for rejecting Chicago's fraudulent education exports on August 28, 2014 when the New London Board of Education rejected the attempt by former Chicago AUSL leader Terrence Carter to become the New . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: New York Times continues to ignore widespread and growing opposition to 'Common Core' while creating 'news' that shows only a small minority in opposition

Ten days before the opening of the American Federation of Teachers convention in Los Angeles at which a central debate will be whether the AFT continues in mindless support of corporate school reform, so-called "standards," . . .

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'Harris v. Quinn' stings unions on agency fee, but is not as bad as some feared... Agency fee from freeloaders is not eliminated, but is carefully restricted... CTU quotes Martin Luther King Jr.

The Chicago Teachers Union immediately issued a statement following the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Harris v. Quinn, and that statement is worth reading. Almost immediately after the ruling was announced, the Chicago Teachers Union . . .

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Have you heard the one about the 'one-time fix' that's been fixin' things for seven or ten years?... Chicago education officials again claim what they call a 'structural deficit'. What they mean is they are again refusing to raise taxes on the 'One percent' to pay for Chicago's schools

Every news organization in Chicago began trying, by the morning of July 3, 2014, to explain the latest Chicago Public Schools "budget" in which a "deficit" has once again disappeared, in which the mayor claims . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Hey, Chicago! Did you hear the one about the 'Pension Crisis'? Or THE PENSION CRISIS!!!! Well, if you didn't you haven't been listening to the Chicago Sun-Times version of reality...

Once again, on July 2, 2014, the current group of people running Chicago's public schools took their talking points to a select group of reporters (and editorial writers) in what amounted to a secret press . . .

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'We may not rewrite the pension protection clause to include restrictions and limitations that the drafters did not express and the citizens of Illinois did not approve...' Illinois Supreme Court rules that public worker pensions -- and health benefits -- are protected by the Illinois Constitution

In a dramatic decision announced one day after the Chicago Public Schools resumed its campaign to renege on its obligation to fully fund worker pensions, the Illinois Supreme Court upheld a provision in the state's . . .

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NEA delegates approve creation of national campaign for equity and against “Toxic Testing”... Campaign to focus on assessments and developing real accountability systems

According to a press release...

"DENVER—The National Education Association (NEA) will launch a national campaign to put the focus of assessments and accountability back on ensuring equity and supporting student learning and end the . . .

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Independence Day: The full text of the Illinois Supreme Court decision in Kanerva v. Weems, the case that upholds the right under the Illinois Constitution to 'undiminished' public worker pensions and reaffirms that a contract in Illinois is a contract -- not subject to plutocratic plunder...

[Editor's Notes: How to celebrate Independence Day in Chicago in 2014? When the week began, it didn't look good in the courts. The reactionaries on the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled against the unions in . . .

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CPS Budget: Chicago Teachers Union is not the only group setting the record straight on the lies of the CPS administration about the FY 2015 budget... Hearing dates not yet scheduled, but three hearings are likely before the July 23 Board of Ed meeting...

It's great not to be lonely in analyzing the massive budget of Chicago Public Schools. While there have always been a few people going through the budget and then bringing their findings to the public, . . .

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NEA demands Arne Duncan's resignation

[Editor's Note: Teachers know that teacher unions are not junkets, but even with that reality the National Education Association's Representative Assemblies are hard working almost to a surprising amount. And so while most of us . . .

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LIES, DAMNED LIES, AND RAHMLIES... Apparently, Arne Duncan and Rahm Emanuel never talked about the Chicago Public Schools budget while they were in the White House together with Barack Obama...

It's no wonder that Barbara Byrd Bennett and the current propagandists at the headquarters of America's third largest school system don't hold press conferences. Even though most education writers and reporters in Chicago are muzzled . . .

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The high, sad, corrupt cost of Common Core + private contractors... Pearson's reign of error ignored as corporation's take now exceeds $1 billion per year from testing insanity

After New Mexico was added to the states that will be using Pearson tests (and grading) for their high-stakes testing programs, Diane Ravitch joined Fair Test to do two quick calculations about the high cost . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Has the Sun-Times decided that Chicago's public schools are teaching their students raping?... July 6 headline and 'news' story -- '3 CPS students accused of robbing, raping girl' -- are a libel against everyone in the city's non-privatized remaining real public schools!

As the print circulation of the Chicago Sun-Times continues to drop, the newspaper's remaining readers are constantly challenged to deal with the incredible biases of those who own and run the city's second major daily . . .

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In Chicago, the John Galt fan clubs learn there is such a thing as a free lunch... Billionaires' Babies' Breakfasts -- and lunches -- are now free thanks to Barbara Byrd Bennett's Bullshit

Since one of the plutocrats let another cat out of the bag when he compared the current wave of anger and criticism at the privileges of the plutocracy to Nazism, some of us in Chicago . . .

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RAHMWATCH: Fourth of July weekend publicity stunt at a South Side park highlights Rahm's methods of media manipulation and underlines the fact that he is afraid to go to a baseball game

Anyone who wanted a set-piece example of how Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is spending taxpayer dollars to promote himself and his "Emperor of Chicagoland" narrative had a good example on the Sunday of the July . . .

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American Federation of Teachers prepares to vote to continue support for Common Core

The 1.6-million-member American Federation of Teachers (AFT), which is meeting at its convention in Los Angeles this weekend, set the stage for a vote in favor of the Common Core during committee meetings on July . . .

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AFT convention approves special order of business in support of British Columbia teachers

Among the more than half dozen special orders of business passed by the American Federation of Teachers convention in Los Angeles was one supporting the British Columbia Teachers, who are facing a reactionary attack from . . .

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Wright College, July 16, 2014... Chicago Public Schools budget hearings continue on the path of mendacity first paved by Rahm Emanuel in 2011... use of security staff to stifle debate and enhance Rahm's police state atmosphere expands on schedule

On July 16, 2014, the nation's third largest public school system held its annual budget hearings, and once again, the public was insulted. A new group of (mostly young) bureaucrats smiled, thanked every critical speaker . . .

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BUDGET LIES AND LIARS -- That three quarters of a billion dollars that Rahm's people 'cut' from the CPS 'administrative' budget? David Vitale could tell you that it never existed -- if he checked his notes from 2006. Reminder -- If you're going to tell a lie, tell a whopper and repeat endlessly...

Eight years ago, as the first graphic with this article shows, the Chief Executive Officer of Chicago's public schools (Arne Duncan), the Chief Administrative Officer (at that time, David Vitale), and the Chief Financial Officer . . .

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RAHMWATCH: Taxpayers are paying for every iteration of 'Rahm's Rainbow' as faux news stories pour out of the Mayor's Press Office. They come complete with photographs of Rahm Emanuel surrounded by (usually) smiling African American women and children

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is sparing now expense to show the world that every day he is engaged in uplifting Chicago with worthy projects, and that he is surrounded by African American people -- usually . . .

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RAHMWATCH: 'Chicago Mayor kisses babies, shows love of Bronzeville!' could be the headline... Rahm doubles down over the weekend with two publicity stunts on South Side and the usual photo ops with African American children ... But no 'media availability'!

Chicago's mayor, Rahm Emanuel, must have studied propaganda by reading some of the masterpieces of the last century. He has virtually stopped talking to most reporters while having his taxpayer-paid City Hall press handlers ("The . . .

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BOARDWATCH: Chicago's school board continues lies, while outrage explodes at the July 23 meeting. The $6.8 billion budget again increases money for charters (including those under federal FBI investigation) while continuing draining dollars from real public schools...

It has been months since all seven members of the Chicago Board of Education (all appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel) have been at a monthly meeting of the Board together. Considering that they only have . . .

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BOARDWATCH: Of course a career that includes working for Kaplan Higher Education and other corporations prepares a guy to become the new CPS 'Chief Communications Officer'

The Board of Education was explaining at its July 23, 2014 meeting how it didn't have the dollars to pay for teachers in the city's real public schools, while parents, teachers, and others who actually . . .

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BOARDWATCH: Chicago Board of Education meeting of July 23, 2014 highlighted by large public protests against budget lies before the Board doubles down and votes to approve its $6.8 billion budget for the 2014 - 2015 school year

The Chicago Board of Education began its July 23, 2014 meeting at a little after 10:30 a.m. The roll call showed that six of the seven members of the Board were present, along with "Chief . . .

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel ignores public schools, privatizes pre-kindergarten through 'Early Learning Centers'

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel continued to privatize as many public education services as possible by announcing that "Early Learning Centers" for pre-kindergarten educational activities will be privately placed, rather than placed inside the city's existing . . .

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Civic Federation continues attack on Chicago Teachers Pension Fund in annual analysis of CPS budget... One recommendation is that CTPF and TRS be combined

Nobody from the Civic Federation, the business-oriented municipal finance organization, showed up at the July 23, 2014 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education to testify during the public participation portion of the meeting regarding . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: As Rahm Emanuel scripts his run to become the Vice President of the United States, The Economist picks up the 'Chicagoland' script about the heroic Rahm-bo and his heroic battles heroically against the force of bad...

Although most of the ruling class propaganda sheets promoting the current version of reality have already weighed in about Chicago's mayor and Chicago reality, it usually remains for The Economist to put the international capitalist . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: WBEZ decides anti-union Advance Illinois is best source for discussing the California Vergara decision

While Chicago is still learning about the now-infamous "Vergara Decision" by a federal judge in San Francisco, public radio in Chicago has decided that the most informed person to discuss teacher tenure in Chicago and . . .

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The latest multi-million dollar lie from David Vitale! Near North High School building was never 'sold' by the Chicago Board of Education!... Vitale's latest Big Lie will cost taxpayers $50 to $100 million in 2014 - 2015. But the lies of this Board began as soon as Rahm appointed them...

At the very end of the May 28, 2014 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education, just before the six Board members went into "closed session" and after most of the Board members had said . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: 'All the news that fits, they print...' How The New York Times's version of reality and corporate America's 'school reform' biases get into news stories about opposition to the Common Core

From those who created "Chicagoland" to tout Rahm Emanuel's corporate version of reality to the latest output from the Chicago Public Schools "Office of Communcations", apologists for corporate "school reform" are showing their desperation more . . .

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Tim Cawley, 'BBB' and other modern day Javerts... The 'Student Based Budgeting' scam in Chicago... This kind of 'choice' for poor people was old and cold when 'Les Miserables' was first published by Victor Hugo

It's June, and once again the Chicago Board of Education will be refusing to provide the public with its proposed budget in time for a complete examination, while CPS officials like "Chief Executive Officer" Barbara . . .

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'On The Move' to more corruption, cronyism and mendacity... CPS launches website to help bureaucrats relocate from recycled Com Ed building to recycled Sears building as CPS continues corporate charity program

Citizens of Chicago will have to travel long distances to find information about all the properties owned by Chicago's largest property owner, Chicago Public Schools. And it's impossible for children in about 20 percent of . . .

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UNO charter schools charged with securities fraud by SEC

The largest charter school organization in Chicago, UNO charter schools, was charged on June 2, 2014 with securities fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC revealed in unsealing its complaint that UNO . . .

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Chicago Board of Education continues roiling its finance offices with the appointment of the sixth 'Chief Financial Officer' in as many years

It's not precisely a game of musical chairs, because the person who get the chair also gets a significant salary, and the most recent "loser" usually qualifies for a decent pension -- or another job . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: How The Washington Post is trying to whitewash the racist charterization of the public schools of New Orleans

The fate of the public schools of New Orleans is still relevant to Chicago and Illinois as the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrine approaches for several reasons, but two are: charter schools' claims of "success" . . .

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Oklahoma dumps Common Core... Governor rejects 'rebranding' notion

Although several states have taken steps to reject Common Core and some corporate media have attempted to depict the national debate over Common Core as a "Tea Party versus Obama" type thing, the national scene . . .

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BOOK REVIEW: During a time when many many many new books are exposing the ugliness of American monopoly finance capitalism, 'The Divide' still stands taller than most

Looking back 20 or 25 years, we can now see how the negligible differences between Republicans and Democrats on key matters of policy were always overstated when the realities of policy were in play. Bill . . .

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Privatization of physical education pushed by CPS as group that will offer Zumba and yoga (to 'expel toxins' and provide the longest possible life) gets marketing materials out to CPS principals via the CPS email system for free

Since the Power Point outlining the restoration of physical education for all Chicago Public Schools students, the question has been: How are the teachers to be hired given the lies that CPS is telling about . . .

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PERA, PEAC, VAM and other absurdities... Have Chicago principals been ordered to 'Veterans Administration' the 'data' on teacher observations? Is the 'Talent' Office at Chicago Public Schools telling principals to file fraudulent REACH evaluations reports?

As most people paying attention know, the PERA (Performance Evaluation Reform Act) law, was passed by the Illinois General Assembly in January 2010. That was six months before Karen Lewis and the new Chicago Teachers . . .

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Quinn signs bill undermining pensions for non-teaching workers... Chicago Teachers Union quick to express outrage over latest insult to former supporters of the incumbent Illinois Governor

Less than a week after Illinois Governor Pat Quinn made a dramatic plea to nearly 800 delegates at the June 4, 2014 meeting of the Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates, Quinn won praise from . . .

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Billionaires up the ante in union busting and teacher bashing as 'school reform'... Chicago Teachers Union slams California 'tenure is child abuse' court decision

From the front page of The New York Times to just about every teacher and school blog in the USA, the California court decision in the Vergara case has become big news in the middle . . .

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VALLAS WATCH: Critics begin to focus on the two decades-long record of racism and corporate stooging leading to the Vallas candidacy for Lieutenant Governor of Illinois in 2014

One of the most delightful graphical interpretations of Pat Quinn's pick for lieutenant governor came out on the Web at the blog of Fred Klonsky on the morning of June 12, 2014. It's well . . .

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CPS continues to sabotage Local School Councils... CPS bureaucrats will develop the new training manual while ignoring input from the real world

The administration of Chicago Public Schools continues to sabotage democracy in the nation's third largest school system by denying certification to training for Local School Councils. According to a press release from the Chicago Teachers . . .

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'Nearly 50 percent of CPS schools do not have a certified librarian...' 'Rahm's Readers' summer program is another publicity stunt, while Rahm's administration cuts and guts libraries in Chicago's real public schools... 200 schools today do not have libraries staffed by a trained librarian!

Three years after teachers, parents, and community leaders began to expose the fact that more than 160 Chicago public schools, virtually all of them elementary schools, do not have school libraries, the situation has gotten . . .

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Chicago Mayor invents all-day kindergarten says Chicago mayor's propaganda team while Chicago's mayor surrounds himself with cute children and sends the photos around the world -- without parents' permission?

Apparently nothing will stand in the way of another publicity stunt from Chicago's mayor now that he has let the world know that he wants to be the vice-presidential candidate on the slate headed by . . .

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Union blasts Pat Quinn after governor betrays PSRPs with pension 'reform' signing

The Chicago Teachers Union leadership tried to be polite to Illinois Governor Pat Quinn by allowing Quinn, who had requested it, to speak and answer questions at the union's June 2014 House of Delegates meeting. . . .

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Corporate brainwashing must be proving too costly... 'Disruption is always great' nonsense now being debunked as the greatest example today of simple-minded, anti-historical and simplistic corporate propaganda

"Disruption is a theory of change founded on panic, anxiety, and shaky evidence..." says a major study now making the rounds in the pages of The New Yorker. As usual, better late than never. Some . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: As more states leave Common Core, Chicago Sun-Times doubles down with abstractions, inaccurarcies, half-truths -- and stupidities

A couple of days before Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal ended the state's relationship with Common Core and PARCC, the Chicago Sun-Times editorialized in favor of Common Core and misrepresented the position of the Chicago Teachers . . .

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Hatchet Job 'study' by the so-called 'National Council on Teacher Quality' gets a closer examination and gets an 'F' for shoddy research and biased motivations

The situation is no longer as bad as it was during the final years of the Clinton administration and the years of the George W. Bush administration, but the hired guns of corporate "school reform" . . .

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VALLAS FACTS: Quinn's hypocrisy exposed in Sun-Times's VALLAS = RAUNER story -- with the massive Paul Vallas racism left out of an otherwise accurate history...

The fact is, Pat Quinn can't explain away the slaps in the face he has been giving regularly to those who elected him in 2010. As history reports, Pat Quinn was on the ropes as . . .

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From 'dulce et decorum est...' to Vallas and Rahm prattle, the Pedagogy from the Oppressor is always mindless repetition

While some of us were privileged to meet Paulo Friere in Chicago more than 30 years ago and many of our friends continued to study and develop what came to be called "critical pedagogy", we . . .

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Sabotage and destruction of Austin High School began ten years ago, in June 2004. And now, in June 2014, the verdict is surely in... Destroying Austin High School in favor of charter schools and small schools thingies is a complete failure...

Question: If 71 percent of the students in a "school" in Chicago are "chronically truant" according to the Board of Education's own data sets, can anyone claim that that school is a success? No matter . . .

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RAHM WATCH: Bill Clinton joins Rahm Emanuel in a publicity stunt claiming that Rahm is expanding 'early childhood education' -- but ignoring the public schools. The whole Friday event was paid for completely by taxpayers

During a week when more than 500 Chicago public school principals and hundreds of local school councils were wrestling with the negative impact of the budgets foisted on the schools by the Chicago Board of . . .

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How about 'Think Through Math'?... New Jersey corporation gets Chicago Public Schools summer math program... Contract is for $6 million...

is Chicago's Summer Bridge program coming to Chicago via computer from a company in New Jersey? According to recent information sent to us by a summer school principal, the latest contact information for "Think Through . . .

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VALLAS WATCH: New video to trace destruction of New Orleans public schools and the creation of the first 'all charter' school district in the USA

A new video released this month by activists in New Orleans will ultimately trace the history of the destruction of the real public schools of New Orleans and the creation of the nation's first . . .

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Team Obama continues union busting agenda as former top aides rush in to help lawsuits challenging tenure

Team Obama continued its attack on the nation's public school teachers in June 2014, on the eve of the conventions of the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), while a . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Greenwald event for June 26 at Crowne Plaza has been cancelled

The long expected event featuring reporter Glenn Greenwald which was supposed to take place on the evening of June 26, 2014 at "Socialism 2014" has been cancelled, according to a last-minute press release from Haymarket . . .

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BOARDWATCH: Librarians challenge CPS claims that library cutbacks aren't being forced on schools by CPS policies... Board members refuse to sign Declaration for the Right to School Libraries at June 25 meeting of the nation's third largest school system

A group of Chicago Public Schools librarians surprised the five members of the Chicago Board of Education who showed up for the Board's June 25, 2014 meeting with detailed information that this Board has created . . .

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BOARDWATCH: Education Facilities Task Force Report issues devastating critique of CPS school closings and other facilities actions and policies over the past three years

It was barely reported in Chicago's corporate media, and then in one case with a talking point quotation from a City Hall flack. But the report of the Chicago Education Facilities Task Force (CEFTF) that . . .

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Chicago Board of Education pays its fair share to the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund for the first time since 2010

At the end of June 2014, for the first time since 2010, the Chicago Board of Education paid its share of the money owed to the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund (CTPF) for the first time . . .

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FAIR TEST report shows test resistance continues to grow across the USA

The latest report from FAIR TEST shows that even as the school year ends resistance to high-stakes and other corporate "reform" testing programs continues to grow. The resistance stretches from coast to coast and from . . .

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BOARDWATCH: Chicago Board of Education members grow more testy defending their slavish loyalty to Rahm Emanuel... Jesse Ruiz warns against an elected school board...

From arrogance to -- semi-arrogance? Maybe that's the best way to describe the public faces being provided by the seven members of the Chicago Board of Education as they grow more and more defensive about . . .

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Rahm's propagandists cost millions, trying to divert public attention from the attacks on public schools and programs... Destruction of vocational and career programs in Chicago continues behind 'STEM' and other silly smokescreens

The regular propaganda events unfurled by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel have almost become as predictable as the appearance of smiling Black people surrounding the mayor of Chicagoland in the story of the same name. Today . . .

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If you've seen one you've seen one but more than one... The tangled claims of CICS, Chicago's largest 'public school'

From one point of view, Chicago International Charter School (CICS), is the largest public school (i.e., one school) in the City of Chicago -- and probably in the United States of America. Under the smokescreen . . .

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How many will protest the appearance of one of the inventors of corporate 'school reform'?... Vallas scheduled for City Club speech June 3

With a month to go before the appearance of former Chicago schools Chief Executive Officer Paul Vallas at Chicago's City Club (scheduled for June 3, 2014), it's still not known how many people will be . . .

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WTF!?... CPS Board members and executives didn't bother to read what they were voting on!... Chicago Board of Education members vote to fire the staff of Barton Elementary School as part of the 'reconstitution' of Dvorak, Gresham and McNair

According to the Illinois Open Meetings Act, the agendas for meetings of school boards are supposed to be posted 48 hours before the meetings so that the public can read each item. Additionally, copies of . . .

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Sabotage

[Every month, and often more often, CORE meets at the Letter Carrier union hall at 39th and Wabash on Chicago’s South Side. Like the public schools system, the postal system of the United States is . . .

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Did Juarez cook the books to earn the Arne Duncan visit? The question is no longer whether, but how much deceit was involved

Months after a visit from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan supposedly highlighted a "miracle" improvement in attendance at Chicago Benito Juarez High School, investigations are finally producing public knowledge that the real question has . . .

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Computers crash at beginning of NWEA math testing...'This is to notify you of a system outage or degraded performance for Web-based MAP. Event time confirmed: Tuesday, May 06, 2014 9:50 am CDT...'

The Chicago Board of Education's $2 million "Office of Communications" hasn't mentioned it as of the morning of May 7, 2014, but on May 6, 2014 the Board of Eduction's testing program was wrecked when . . .

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'End Common Core!' echoes from Chicago... Chicago Teachers Union unanimously approves resolution opposing Common Core. American Federation of Teachers Local 1 to bring opposition before the AFT convention in July in Los Angeles

The Chicago Teachers Union at its May 7, 2014 House of Delegates meeting unanimously approved a resolution in complete opposition to the so-called Common Core. The lengthy motion, which will be brought before the American . . .

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Chicago Teachers Union hosting Tri-National Convention to Defend Public Education... Friday visits to U.S. and Mexican officials to discuss '...the need to create a continental plan that raises living standards for everyone. ..'

The Chicago Teachers Union is hosting the Trinational Conference in Defense of Public Eduction on May 9, 10, and 11 here in Chicago. The opening session of the conference on Friday evening, May 9, is . . .

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TEST SECRECY AND ANOTHER CPS RACIST COVERUP... '...The language used by the authors may be offensive to students...' CPS blames CPS 'teachers' for racist (but SECRET) 7th grade REACH material causing a student and teacher uproar!

One thing about secret tests, whether it was the CASE tests under Paul G. Vallas and Arne Duncan 15 years ago or the latest REACH materials today -- a secret test makes it nearly impossible . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Sun-Times gives voice to Blaine principal, echoing the fearful hundreds of principals who so far have only spoken out from the shadows or who stand on stage with Rahm Emanuel as extras in just one more publicity stunt for the Mayor Of Chicagoland

One of the most significant pieces of education writing in recent Chicago memory burst forth on Page 11 of the print edition of the Chicago Sun-Times (strangely still calling itself CHICAGO SUN-TIMES.com) greeted readers on . . .

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Facts versus the Southern Poverty Law Center... Common Core debate turns strange, as some liberal groups claim that opposition to Common Core is part of a vast right-wing conspiracy while the Chicago Teachers Union moves against Common Core to the AFT national convention

In one of those delicious coincidences that often make public debate over important public issues so interesting, the Southern Poverty Law Center, which maintains some of the most reliable data bases on extremist groups (recently . . .

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University of Arkansas 'Department of Education Reform' is just another front for Wal-Mart propaganda against the nation's public schools

By the final years of the 20th Century, those who were paying attention to the growing debate about so-called "school reform" knew that many of the supposedly "independent" outfits that were providing the media with . . .

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Neighborhood Schools Picnic builds on the Neighborhood Schools Fair

The second of Chicago's "Neighborhood Schools" events is taking place in two weeks, on May 24, 2014, at McKinley Park, Chicago. During the winter, Chicago's real public school parents and teachers are now coming together . . .

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The Brown decision in May 1954 did not say 'Close the achievement gap...' Segregation in Chicago and across the USA 'worst' as 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education approaches

May 17, 2014 will be the 60th anniversary of the historic U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, and protests against segregation in Chicago will be held at the site of one . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Thanks to Lawndale activists and union researchers and organizers, even the Chicago Tribune -- in its news columns, sometimes -- is getting part of the story right

HOLD THE PRESSES! as they used to say. Despite all the conniving of the Chicago Tribune's owners, the facts on the ground are slowly becoming "news" in the ongoing struggles for public education and against . . .

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May 13 'All Hands' Meeting of CPS executives for damage control?... Rahm's Revenge? CPS 'Chief Executive Officer' has scheduled meetings for all administrators for May 13 -- Reportedly to read all of them (and principals) the Rahm riot act?

When is a meeting of the highest paid public officials in Chicago not a public meeting? Well, one of those will be taking place as the headquarters of Chicago Public Schools on May 13, 2014. . . .

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Jackie Vaughn had a 20th Century message for Chicago teachers and principals in the 21st Century... 'It's time to stand up and be counted or roll over and...'

In one of those historical moments that was probably never reported in writing, before the 1987 Chicago Teachers Union strike, which is still the longest in CPS history, Chicago Teachers Union President Jacqueline Vaughn delighted . . .

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Roseland 'drive by' wasn't a drive by, but the Haley student was killed by one of his companions (who must have missed the restorative justice session about not carrying around a gun)

Two days ago, the media reported that a 15-year-old (later identified as a student at Haley Elementary School) was killed in the Roseland community in a "drive by shooting." Turns out NOT. Here is the . . .

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'One Newark' corporate school reform program rejected... 'Ras Baraka's election is a victory for democracy, not only in Newark, but in every American city where education policy has been hijacked by the rich and powerful...' Ras Baraka wins decisively in Newark mayor election...

In another setback for corporate "school reform", the voters of Newark, New Jersey, elected a public school principal, Ras Baraka as mayor, defeating the candidate endorsed by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Newark . . .

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Apparently the CEO didn't get the CEO's memo about 'protecting the CPS Brand...'... Byrd Bennett in May 2014 is trying to ignore her own February 2014 gag order memo to principals. News photographers have also been threatened with arrest for photographing the action during Board meetings

On May 13, 2014, Chicago Public Schools "Chief Executive Officer" Barbara Byrd Bennett told reporters, repeatedly, that she was not aware that CPS officials were threatening "retribution" or "retaliation" against principals -- and others who . . .

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DFER and other neoliberal and hedge fund 'reformers' spray sour grapes on democracy in Newark

It's not enough that the hedge fund and other corporate "school reform" leaders from the White House to Silicon Valley have ruined, for at least a decade, the once serious reputation of the fact checkers . . .

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Parents, teachers and supporters launch sit-in to protest against 'turnaround' of Gresham Elementary School at the end of the school day on May 16, 2014

According to a mid-afternoon press release from the Chicago Teachers Union, parents, teachers, students and supporters of Gresham Elementary School will begin a sit-in at the school at the end of the school day on . . .

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Gresham sit-in ends shortly after midnight... Is this the right tactic to reverse the tyranny of school closings and 'turnarounds'?

After a flurry of breathless news reports about the sit-in at Chicago's Gresham Elementary School, it looked like the sit-in would last at least one day. But such was not to be. After most reporters . . .

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Police state at CPS tigthens its grip... Board's 'democracy' pretense exposed again, as time runs out to sign up to speak at the May 28 Board of Education meeting shortly after nine in the morning -- on May 19, 2014

At 8:52 a.m. on the morning of May 19, 2014, there were only five "slots" -- out of 60 -- in case you wanted to sign up to speak at the May 28, meeting of . . .

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'When we win 15 and a union it will change all our lives...' Video narrates why one McDonald's worker got herself arrested on May 22, 2014 at McDonald's HQ in Oak Brook, Illinois... Salt of the Earth meets the 21st Century?

The story is already international. McDonald's is one of the signal symbols around the planet Earth of America's globalization -- and the vicious labor policies of neoliberalism and the Ayn Rand economics that has dominated . . .

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Chicago Newsroom brings more light on issues facing teachers, police, and firefighters pension funds

After months during which much of the public discussion of the so-called "pension crisis" was in the hands of pundits who had at best a shallow understanding of the issues and politicians whose talking points . . .

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Agenda for the May 28 Chicago Board of Education meeting... Board poised to continue spending more than $4 million on Teach for America and The New Teacher Project... while destroying the careers of veteran Chicago teachers through so-called 'turnaround' and school closings

Once again, principals and the public are being assured that Chicago Public Schools is "broke" and therefor local school budgets have to be cut and "pension reform" is imperative or things will get even worse. . . .

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Chicago Teachers Union makes it official, announces it will be getting a new home in the heart of the city's West Side

The location of the offices of the largest public worker unions in downtown Chicago has always been a kind of mystery to the unions' members, and the greatest mystery of all was how the Chicago . . .

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Words versus deeds in the 21st Century... Arne Duncan's the racist, but Donald Sterling's words count more than actions... Judged by a more accurate criterion -- jobs for Black people -- Arne Duncan is the racist, and Donald Sterling is not

Question of the day: What do Arne Duncan and Donald Sterling have in common? Answer: Basketball. Question Two of the same day: What is the difference between Arne Duncan and Donald Sterling? Answer, Duncan's a . . .

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Growing community coalition demands Chicago Board of Education reverse decision to 'turnaround' three elementary schools

A growing coalition of parents, teachers, students, and community leaders will be holding a press conference at Chicago Public Schools headquarters at 125 S. Clark St. in Chicago on Tuesday, May 27, 2014, to demand . . .

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Cawley's 'Dry Zamboni' can't climb the walls or the stairs... so ARAMARK doesn't have to clean the poo on the walls of the stalls?

Everyone in the leadership of America's third largest school system knows that a big corporatioin can always do a public job better than public workers, either teachers or engineers or custodial workers. For the seven . . .

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MEIDA WATCH: One of Chicago's most respected education researchers notes that 'merit pay' based on test scores can't work -- ever. As others have noted VAM is 'junk science'

When the Chicago Tribune published an understated but scathing letter to the editor from former Chicago Public Schools citywide testing chief Carole Perlman, it was actually missing a big and important story. That story would . . .

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BOARDWATCH: Vitale's police state expands attacks on press freedom, as parents are hauled out of Board meeting and even the Tribune and Sun-Times are warned against 'disrupting' the meeting by covering the news

One year after the Chicago Board of Education made the Guinness Book of World Records for ruthlessly closing the largest number of public schools in the nation's history and then trying to cover up the . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: 'We are alarmed at the negative impact of excessive school testing mandates, including your Administration’s own initiatives, on children’s love of reading...' Maya Angelou's denunciation of high-stakes testing craziness ignored by corporate media, White House in eulogies' hypocrisy

Maybe we've missed it at Substance, but we haven't read in the eulogies in the corporate media that one of the last acts by Maya Angelou as a public intellectual in the United States was . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Hypocrisy of 'democracy' LSC-style once again in the news... DNA Info gets the story right on discrimination against CPS workers in Local School Council elections...

[Editor's Note: The article below, delightfully rendered by DNA Info's Mark Konkol, tells one aspect of the recent local school council elections story nicely. The LSC rules established a quarter century ago by the first . . .

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Byrd Bennett presentation at Board meeting was full of duplicitous dodges

After a year during which no meeting of the Chicago Board of Education was without a couple of Power Point presentations, usually presented by a recently hired executive whose main qualification for the job was . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: April Fool's joke was on Alexander Russo as most readers just yawned

The report by Brooklyn-based pundit Alexander Russo that he was going to take advantage of his Harvard education to become a Teach for America teacher was greeted as the April Fool's joke that it was . . .

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OPT OUT NEWS: More than 6,000 Long Island students Opt Out of New York State tests

More than 6,000 students in the public schools of Long Island have opted out of the New York State testing program that began on April 1, 2014. The exams, called the ELA tests, are part . . .

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Common Core content decried as more and more examples become available from various places in the USA

Now that the Common Core is being implemented, even in a test phase, across the United States, teachers, principals and school administrators are finally getting a close look at the actual content of the tests. . . .

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CORPORATE OPT OUT FREAK OUTS go national?... United Opt Out website hacked -- and destroyed -- as conference helps add to plans for massive nationwide opt out for this Spring

Although the Opt Out movement and the Resistance to high-stakes testing has been around fro nearly 20 years, the explosion of Opt Out during the 2013 - 2014 school year obviously has some very powerful . . .

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OPT OUT FREAK OUTS: Michelle Rhee gets free space in The Washington Post to preach against the Opt Out movement... Anyone for reducing Amazon's business now that Bezos owns the Washington Post?

Without having offered any of the major spokesmen and women of the growing national Opt Out movement an inch, the Washington Post newspapers, now owned by Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos, have given a major space . . .

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Philadelphia tries 'portfolio model' treating schools as if they were stock holdings... Just as Chicago dumps the notion and fires its 'Chief Portfolio Officer'!

It's been more than a year since the disappearance of Chicago's "Chief Portfolio Officer" and an end to that bit of corporate terminology, it was something of a surprise that Philadelphia has been adopting the . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Opt Out news begins to hit 'mainstream' of corporate media as New York opt outs reach at least 33,000 as testing season begins

Diane Ravitch notes: "Preliminary figures indicate that at least 33,000 students opted out of state tests in New York. This is a huge increase from last year, when only a few hundred students refused to . . .

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Caught in the CPS 'Matrix', schools facing threat of turnaround can't figure out what the rules are

For more than a decade, Chicago mayors and school officials have proudly proclaimed that their strategy of "turnaround" for so-called "failing" schools was just what was needed to promote true education reform for the nation's . . .

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Arne Duncan comes out publicly against Common Core... Duncan tells Congress 'I'm just a big proponent of high standards. Whether they're common or not is sort of secondary...'

Has the U.S. Secretary of Education whose two signature policies have been "Race To The Top" and "Common Core" changed his mind? In two days in April 2014, it began to sound like Arne Duncan . . .

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CPS launches massive privatization of custodial work during Spring Break... 'Rest assured that any new employees will be trained on Aramark’s world-class cleaning standards. The program is rigorous, and you should have every expectation it will deliver immediate results...'

The massive continuation of privatization of CPS custodial services under contract with Aramark corporate is being pushed with fiercesome speed by CPS officials. On April 8, 2014, CPS principals received the following email from Aramark . . .

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'Chief' Saegert tops 'A LIST' for April 2014... Micro managing classroom instruction while still learning her way around her new home city, Rhonda Saegert brings crazed bureaucratization of teaching the little ones to a new gritty peak of inanity

The competition was still for the first monthly "A LIST" award to CPS bureaucrats, but after reviewing the entries for April 2014, the judges found that Rhonda Saegert, the "Chief" for "Network 10," had won . . .

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BOARDWATCH: 'All advance registration speaker slots are filled...' nine days before the Board of Education meeting even begins, Rahm's Board members continue attack on democracy and decency

It was a full nine days until the April 23, 2014 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education, but when I went to the sign in screens at cps.edu on April 14, 2014, the registration . . .

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TURNAROUND WORLD: In CPS turnaround world, 2 + 2 equals 6, or 66, or WTF as Babara Byrd Bennett and Rahm's minions vote to do whatever they want, and 'independent hearing officers' can remain on the gravy train for two decades -- as long as they rubber stamp what CPS wants

As students of CPS history know, the first hearings on "reconstitution" (now called "turnaround" but legally still "reconstitution") were held back in 1997 -- nearly two decades ago -- and the first hearing officer to . . .

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A LIST competition expands and grows more intense as Substance broadens criteria for the award... 'Not all Network Chiefs are A_______ -- just the majority'

Within two days after Substance published the first of our monthly recognitions of self-important semi-competents at the top levels of administrative power in CPS, the A LIST, we began hearing that we had been unfair . . .

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Principal evaluations go insane in Chicago... How about this 'Principal Evaluation Placemat'?! that explains how principals will be evaluated for running Chicago schools -- without mentioning children's education or children ONCE!

Anyone who has ever tried to understand educationese -- the technobabble of some "educators" -- was stunned by how jargon filled and vacuous it is. But educationese has nothing on corporateedreformese -- which is now . . .

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Zombie policy of 'turnaround' returns for tenth year... April 23, 2014 Chicago Board meeting to feature latest scripting of 'turnaround', additional millions of dollars to AUSL despite a decade of AUSL failures and racism... 'Reconstitution' is among the zombies of corporate school reform policy

Although zombies have only become a feature of popular culture during the past few years, the Chicago Board of Education has been attacking public schools using what can only be characterized as a "zombie school" . . .

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BOARDWATCH: Board member Andrea Zopp criticizes Board supporters for 'gaming the system'?

At the end of the contentious public session of the Chicago Board of Education's April 23, 2014 meeting, and before the five Board members present went into closed session, the Board members, as usual, repeated . . .

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BOARDWATCH: Chicago Teachers Union denounces 'hostile takeover' of three schools following Board of Education vote on 'turnaround' and a meeting where 'security swarms' dragged protesters away while those singing the praises of the Board were given extra time

A few hours after speaking in opposition to the proposed so-called "turnaround" of three of Chicago's real elementary schools, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis issued a fiery statement denouncing the vote of the Board . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Daily reporters get some of the 'turnaround' story right following Chicago Board of Education's hypocritical vote... 'Done Deal!' now in its tenth or eleventh year finally getting the detailed attention it has always deserved... CPS 'Communications' staff get AUSL's name wrong!

Despite the ongoing attempts by the seven members of the Chicago Board of Education and the administration led by CPS "Chief Executive Officer" Barbara Byrd Bennett to manipulate the news media, evade holding open press . . .

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'Barack Obama High School will reek of Chicago racism!'... Black community leaders blast Rahm's plan to build a 'second Payton' near the Gold Coast while communities are denied even basic public education services... Rahm's administration continues firing veteran teachers, too

Leaders from Chicago's Black Community responded vigorously to the announcement by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel that the supposedly "cash strapped" Chicago Board of Education will build a "Second Payton" selective enrollment high school within a . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: A 'shoveled already' project courtesy of the chief of incubation and innovation for America's third largest city. 'What trees to they plant?' asks Chicagoland mayor as Rahm's press team announces innovative and incubative use for the city's potholes

Chicago's technocratic and mediagenic Hollywood mayor, Rahm Emanuel, announced on April 25, 2014 an exclusive Chicago technological incubation. Rahm will be using the city's existing potholes to add to the city's greening. At a press . . .

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Test secrecy violations of free speech rights goes beyond the gag order against teachers... AFT goes to London for corporate meeting... Union officials challenge Pearson corporation to end gag order against teachers talking about their tests

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis sent an email blast to all union members asking them to support the move by American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten to force Pearson corporation to stop putting . . .

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Karen Lewis to speak to City Club on Monday, May 5

Karen Lewis, President of the Chicago Teachers Union, will speak at the City Club of Chicago on Monday, May 5, 2014. The event will begin with a reception at 11:30 a.m. followed by the 12:00 . . .

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CPS computer problems begin with beginning of NWEA MAP testing program.... 'Event time confirmed: Tuesday, April 29, 2014 (beginning at 8:40 AM CDT, ending at 10:45 AM CDT)...'

A month after Chicago Public Schools faced an unprecedented Opt Out from the ISAT testing program, the controversial NWEA MAP testing program, which is computer based, blew up at several schools because the computers didn't . . .

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Houston teachers suing over flawed VAM ratings... Ravitch, Horn and others have proved that VAM is 'junk science'

Seven Houston Texas teachers are suing over flawed ratings that resulted from the district's VAM (Value-Added Model) rating system. VAM, the latest fashion in corporate school reform, was developed in Tennessee by an agricultural economist, . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Chicago Public Schools administration tries to suppress First Amendment in panic over Opt Out resistance... while corporate newspapers and other media ignore the corruption of the regime of Barbara Byrd Bennett and other out-of-town administrators

In a series of activities worthy of the satire stage at Second City Comedy Theater, the administration of Chicago's public schools have responded to the unprecedented organization of parents, students, teachers and other citizens against . . .

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OPT OUT NEWS AND MEDIA WATCH: 'Even a very generous undercounting of the remaining tests using the method of counting used for their elimination method yields about 80 some tests...' CPS lies about the 'reduction' in tests is exposed by a More Than A Score study...

The editors of the Chicago Tribune, most of whom live in the wealthiest of Chicago's northern suburbs, rarely bother paying attention to the facts when their closely held beliefs are in play. The March 1, . . .

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OPT OUT NEWS CHICAGO: Support for teacher boycotts of the ISAT is growing from Chicago, across the country, and around the world

As those who rule Chicago and think they own the souls of teachers and children thrash around in search of ways to stop the exploding Opt Out and boycott movements sweeping across the city on . . .

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OPT OUT NEWS: Parents at more than 74 Chicago elementary schools have opted their children out of the ISAT tests by the evening before the testing program, which begins March 4, 2014

Parents at at least 74 Chicago elementary schools (out of roughly 500) have requested that their children be opted out of the ISAT (Illinois State Achievement Tests) testing program as of March 3, 2014. The . . .

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OPT OUT NEWS: More Than A Score launches Opt Out kit for parents and children facing the lurid assaults at many Chicago schools against children and families opting out... Opt Out HOTLINE Call (413)-3OPT-OUT

More Than A Score, the leading coalition in the Chicago Opt Out Movement, responded to the attacks by school principals and other Chicago Public Schools administrators against families opting out of the ISAT testing program, . . .

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New national coalition demands Congressional hearings on high-stakes testing

The Network for Public Education met in Austin Texas over the weekend of March 1 - 3, 2014, while in Chicago the largest movement against high-stakes testing grew as the "Opt Out Movement." The meeting . . .

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OPT OUT NEWS, DAY ONE: CTU slams CPS 'dishonesty and outright lies...' 'Teachers are teaching...' while boycotting ISAT

One group called it "testing chaos." The Chicago Teachers Union exposed the bullying and lies spread by officials of the third largest school system in the United States of America. But by the time Chicago's . . .

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OPT OUT PROCTOLOGY REPORT: Chapter One: About the principal who ruled that graham crackers were not an approved 'healthy snack' because a child Opted Out

With today's Substance, we begin our daily "Proctology Report". Everyone knows what a proctologist studies and treats, and so we are forced, again, to do that dirty noisome work by citing for national attention the . . .

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OPT OUT DAY TWO: Principals ordered to turn in daily tally of teachers and children choosing to opt out of the ISAT while the bullying of teachers and children continues

As the controversies over the Chicago Opt Out movement become part of national news, most Chicago public schools have been handling the issues swirling around the ISAT (Illinois State Achievement Tests) testing and massive opt . . .

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SAT revised (again) but still claiming to measure something that it doesn't

"David Coleman, president of the College Board (and architect of Common Core), announced plans on March 5, 2014, to revise the SAT," reported Diane Ravitch.







Critics now . . .

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Legislation in Illinois to abolish Charter School Commission passes House Education Committee, HB3754 goes to full House

On March 6, 2014, the Illinois House Education Committee approved legislation to abolish the state's so-called "Charter Schools Commission." The Commission, which was established six years ago based on legislation proposed by ALEC, was given . . .

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OPT OUT PROCTOLOGY REPORT: Chapter Two: About 'Chief Accountability Officer' John Barker, brought to Chicago from Memphis, a man who doesn't have an Illinois teaching certificate but who is prattling about taking away Illinois certificates from Opt Out teachers...

Late in the afternoon on March 6, 2014, WBEZ radio news reported that CPS may try to revoke the teaching certificates of teachers who have been boycotting the ISAT and others who have been encouraging . . .

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OPT OUT NEWS: Teachers to hold rally in support of Opt Out at Saucedo Monday March 10... 'CPS and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) have performed a most unusual feat — they have turned a detour into a disaster...' said CTU vice president Jesse Sharkey

The Chicago Teachers Union announced on March 7, 2024, that it would hold a rally at the "Network" office in support of the teachers at Saucedo elementary school who voted not to administer the ISAT . . .

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OPT OUT NEWS: Leading educators back Chicago Opt Out movement

As the Chicago Opt Out movement continues to explode across the city and resonate across the USA, a group of leading educators has issued a national statement in support of the Chicago resisters. In a . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: MSNBC, New York Times, and others expose latest SAT frauds and mendacities with the help of teachers, professors, and common sense... '...A better way of revising the SAT... would be to do away with it once and for all...'

As most informed teachers know, the "SAT" remains a kind of fetish among Americans -- and not just corporate "school reform" types. This remains true despite the fact that the SAT (and its companion, the . . .

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OPT OUT NEWS: University of Chicago Lab School teachers and unionized CPS charter school teachers support Opt Out

Teachers at the University of Chicago Lab School and at unionized Chicago Public Schools charter schools have publicly announced their support for the Opt Out movement. The announcement came in a press release from the . . .

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OPT OUT NEWS: The panic of the plutocracy against the Opt Out movement sounds like a resurrected 'Domino Theory'

By the time most of the administrations of the ISAT (Illinois State Achievement Testing) testing program had ended on March 11 and March 12, 2014, the evidence was still incomplete about the panicky response by . . .

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OPT OUT NEWS: Principals told that parents didn't really opt out their children if they learned of their rights from their teachers! Chicago tries to abolish the First Amendment rights of Chicago teachers who informed parents about their legal rights to Opt Out

The administration of Chicago's Public Schools has increased its pressure on local school principals to abolish the First Amendment rights of Chicago teachers. The administration of the current "Chief Executive Officer" of Chicago's public schools, . . .

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OPT OUT NEWS: Newspapers (in other states) are promoting parental Opt Out of state testings

As the first phase of Chicago's Opt Out movement ends with the final days of the ISAT testing program, news from across the USA shows that in more and more states opposition to both state . . .

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Board of Education still has openings for March 24, 2014 'public participation' testimony after a full day of sign-up time for the first time since Vitale changed the guidelines in January 2013

Apparently between St. Patrick's Day (March 17, 2014) and election day (March 18, 2014) Chicago activists were so busy that few signed up to speak at the monthly meeting of the Board of Education. As . . .

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Eight lessons drawn from March 2014 primary including 'This ain't Wisconsin...' Guzzardi victory noted by CTU as a warning to incumbents who betray teacher pensions, other issues

When the votes were counted on March 18, 2014 in Chicago, the all-out electoral mission of the Chicago Teachers Union in support of two candidates for the Illinois General Assembly had proved a success. In . . .

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OPT OUT NEWS: CTU calls CPS ISAT Opt Out investigation a 'Witch Hunt' as press reports indicate that America's third largest school system continues to try and intimidate teachers, parents and children in order to reduce the largest Opt Out in testing history

Officials of the Chicago Teachers Union are responding to an onslaught of investigations and apparent intimidations of children, parents and teachers as the nation's third largest school system enters the second week following the largest . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: '...their viewers are basically hearing one side: politicians who support the standards, and the billionaire funding the policy itself...' Billionaire Bill Gates paraded as an education expert by corporate media in promotionals for Common Core

Thanks to FAIR for providing readers with another critique showing the corruption of the ways in which American's corporate media in 2014 portray the realities of public education and the contradictions of official "school reform." . . .

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OPT OUT NEWS: 'CPS Opt Out Freak Out Still in Full Swing' reports a fun-filled Chicago blogger

One of the most stunning characterizations of recent Chicago Public Schools behavior comes three weeks after the most vigorous opt out movement in U.S. history began with the onset of the ISAT testing program on . . .

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Board adds privatization of recess and playground activities to massive privatization continuum... $34 million on March 26 Agenda

One month after voting to privatize what is left of custodial services, the Chicago Board of Education is poised, at its meeting of March 26, 2014, to privatize recess. A Board Report on the agenda . . .

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BOARDWATCH: Board's claims about 'turnaround' success are challenged by parents and community leaders while complaints about conflicts of interest are ignored... Parents, union and community leaders denounce AUSL 'network' in Black Chicago, West Side schools as new AUSL turnarounds are proposed

In a series of dramatic moments, parents, teachers, union and community leaders from Chicago's West Side repeatedly took the floor at the March 26, 2014 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education to denounce the . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: New Ageyness tells a 'story' or two but ignores most of the facts and almost all the news... Why do the Sun-Times and Tribune ignore so much that happens monthly at the meetings of the Chicago Board of Education?

Once upon a time, before word processing, emails, Twitter, and cell phones, newspapers checked out the news before they printed their stories, based on the long ago learned knowledge that a second set of eyes . . .

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Opt Out News: 'CPS should stand for Chicago Police State!'... Parents denounce Byrd Bennett for doubletalk and police state tactics against kids

Dozens of irate Chicago Public School parents and some teachers took the floor during the March 26, 2014 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education to denounce an ongoing investigation into why so many parents . . .

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OPT OUT FREAK OUT NEWS: How wrong can you be? If you're Mahalia Hines, so wrong it would be laughed at if she weren't a member of the Board of Education. Board member says with a straight face 'you can't get into college' without ACT and or SAT!

Anyone who has been to a meeting of the Chicago Board of Education knows that some of the most interesting prattle from the seven members of Rahm Emanuel's school board will come when most people . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Today show continues to tout controversial Michelle Rhee even when it's reporting on the growing resistance to the reign of test-based error... Poll went 5,692 to 41 against overtesting

When a major story about how bad so-called "Standardized" tests are impacting schools goes on the Today show, you know the Opt Out movement and critiques of test-based insanity are gaining ground across the country. . . .

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OPT OUT NEWS: Opt out Freak Out is hitting New York as movement spreads across New York City and throughout New York state

Unlike Chicago, New York City has a robust free press, and the result is that news stories and analysis critical of corporate school reform appear regularly in the city's newspapers (although rarely in the New . . .

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Raise Your Hand to Host Author about Education in Finland

At the last weekend of April, Raise Your Hand will host a public forum at which Chicagoans can hear from one of the nation's leading experts on the subject on public education in Finland. The . . .

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NEWS ANALYSIS: Rahm Emanuel continues to push privatization at the ground breaking for the Noble Charter School 'ITW Campus'... Noble charter chief brags that this latest 'campus' will bring the total number of students to 10,000

It was one week after the corporate-sponsored "New Schools Expo," which has become the annual charter schools fair despite the claim to be about "new schools". Held at Soldier Field's United Lounge, "New Schools" meant . . .

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Inspector General of Chicago Public Schools carefully selects the scandals to publicize -- and to ignore politically hot scandals like massive administrative corruption at Juarez High School

Every year, the Inspector General of the Chicago Public Schools carefully leaks details of the scandals of the month to selected members of the press, garners a few headlines, and then, after the headlines have . . .

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Jay Travis campaign to hold major press conference February 4

Press release:





Longtime Community Organizer Jay Travis Challenges Machine Incumbent in Democratic Primary for Illinois’ 26th District

Travis will release policy platform and announce early endorsements on Tuesday, February . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Rahm's Script for Noble January 31 'Groundbreaking' tells a lot about how managed news is supposed to get the so-called facts

The idea is pure Rahm Emanuel and pure charter schools. Do a carefully orchestrated and scripted media event, refuse to answer any questions from reporters, and get your "story" out in TV and radio without . . .

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BLACK HISTORY MONTH LESSON PLAN: How Rahm Emanuel is in the Chicago tradition of Sewell Avery as a traitor to the best in the USA

Why should a 28-part Substance series on Black History Month begin with a famous white capitalist from Chicago? Because from the day the first slave ship sailed to West Africa to bring back a “cargo” . . .

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BLACK HISTORY MONTH LESSON PLAN: Langston Hughes birthday another chance to appreciate the complexity of one of America's most prolific writers, poets, and activists

Here is a Langston Hughes trivial question. Why isn't the phrase "But you ain't dead!" from a famous Langston Hughes poem as famous as, say, that "Raisin in the Sun" line? The 112th anniversary of . . .

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BLACK HISTORY MONTH LESSON PLAN: Martin Luther King Jr's 'It's Time To Break The Silence' (on the Vietnam War) drew nasty criticism from Time magazine, the Washington Post and most corporate media -- for being prematurely right about the horror and waste of that war

In March 1968, a traumatized President Lyndon Johnson announced that he was not running for re-election because of the Vietnam War. But as late as one year earlier, Johnson and his "team" were promising the . . .

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'...The ISAT, however, is not aligned to any CPS curriculum, and in Chicago, it is no longer used to measure student progress, school performance, promotion, or for any other purpose...' Chicago Teachers Union to help parents opt children out of the ISAT!

In a major event with national implications, the 30,000-member Chicago Teachers Union, the second largest K-12 local in the American Federation of Teachers (the United Teachers of Los Angeles is larger, but is part of . . .

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BLACK HISTORY MONTH LESSON PLAN: Muhammad Ali when he made his stand against the Vietnam War was reviled, not honored as (later) 'The Greatest'

"No Vietnamese ever called me Nigger" was the quote on a poster that hung in thousands of rooms of young people, bridging the often huge gap between America's Black ghettos and the dormitory rooms of . . .

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More than a Score proclaims 'Ice The ISAT' as test nears... 'Why are we disrupting two weeks of the school year for a test that serves no instructional or administrative purpose this year?'

As the panic grows inside the headquarters of the nation's third largest school system, more and more teachers and parents as basically saying "WTF?" Why should Chicago children spend weeks (this month, February 2014) in . . .

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BLACK HISTORY MONTH LESSON PLAN: Jacqueline B. Vaughn was the most powerful labor union leader in Illinois by the beginning of the 1990s -- and the most influential woman in Chicago... Why was her memory whited out after her 1994 death?

When the funeral ended, the sound of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" resounded through the historic church on Chicago's South Side, and the final march of Jacqueline B. Vaughn took place as she exited . . .

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BLACK HISTORY MONTH LESSON PLAN: Paul Robeson

For some, the last anti-Communist attack on Paul Robeson took place two years after the death of one of the greatest artists, athletes and activists of the 20th Century. The incident took place at the . . .

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BOOK REVIEW: Mostly an accurate version of the Chicago Teachers Union story

If anyone writing a book about Chicago and the Chicago Teachers Union were to ask me the one thing NOT to do in a book about us, my advice is simple: "NEVER attempt to read . . .

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BLACK HISTORY MONTH LESSON PLAN: James Meredith Civil rights hero launches ‘American Child’s Education Bill of Rights’.... 'money has become the engine of education policy...'

Originally, the plan for this series of BLACK HISTORY MONTH LESSON PLANS was to publish brief profiles of Black Americans, most with a connection to Chicago (directly or indirectly) from the 20th Century. But in . . .

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RAHMWATCH: STEM psychosis reaching new depths in mayor's publicity stunted growth

Apparently, Chicago's Mayor Rahm Emanuel has never met a silly cliche he can't embrace, as long as he can claim it as his own "brand." And by far the most obnoxious and hypocritical of these . . .

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Organizing based on the 'Chicago Model'... Portland teachers vote to begin strike February 20... Portland Public Schools Supt. Carol Smith hopes substitute teachers will scab

Portland teachers vote to walk out Feb. 20, while superintendent Carol Smith plans to put Subs under pressure if Portland teachers strike. Portland Public Schools (PPS) cancels meeting while teacher talks go on... The news . . .

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Chicago election begins to draw national attention, with CTU-backed candidate Jay Travis locked in a race against a corporate reformer... DFER backs charter school fan Christian Mitchell against 'radical' Jay Travis

With 50 states and hundreds of reactionary "Democrats" still promoting corporate "school reform," charter schools, and even vouchers as part of the privatization attack on public schools, it's a rare thing for one politician from . . .

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RAHMWATCH: 'Advisory Committee for School Repurposing and Community Development'... Rahm announces 'repurposing' report and promises 'transparency' -- after no one knew Rahm's secret committee existed

Everyone who participated in or covered the massive protests in 2012 and 2013 against the proposed closings of public schools in Chicago heard about the importance of Wilbur Milhouse, Milhouse Engineering & Construction, Inc. Well, . . .

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BLACK HISTORY MONTH LESSON PLAN: How Lorraine Hainsberry's work and life expose how ridiculous the corporate 'school reform,' Common Core and its racist supporters -- Black and White -- really look in the spotlights and stage lights of history

Anyone who has read, seen, taught and loves the archtypal Chicago story "A Raisin in the Sun" knows immediately that any 20th (and some 21st) Century Black History Month curriculum centered in Chicago has to . . .

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CTU blast Emanuel, Cullerton plan to rob teacher pensions

A week before hundreds -- perhaps thousands -- of Chicago teachers and retired teaches will be going to Springfield to protest the attacks on their pensions, the Chicago Teachers Union responded to the latest attack . . .

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Second City CORE benefit promotes Opt Out and the issues of 2014... Major social event follows year of CORE's landslide reelection with 80 percent of the vote in May 2013

The annual CORE Second City benefit drew more than 200 teachers, family and friends to the world famous Chicago comedy mecca on February 11, 2014, for an evening of fun and fun-filled politics. Although the . . .

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RAHMSWORLD: 'Juking the Stats' and fraud result in declaration of suspension rate reduction... Violence increasing in the schools as gang bangers learn to play the 'peer jury' game

Years ago, whenever a statistical miracle showed up on some CPS data set, there was an audit which brought the claims closer to reality. This was especially true with test data on the old (non . . .

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From Paul Vallas's babble about teaching to get kids 'over the bubble' to Byrd Bennett's NWEA 51st percentile fetish... Same Bullshit, different century!

Raise Your Hand and other groups supporting this year's Opt Out of the ISAT testing program have just revealed, thanks to an anonymous teacher, that CPS officials are telling "instructional leaders" to focus intense instruction . . .

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More Chicago Snake Oil... If this were a new experimental drug, the government would have to ban it... NWEA MAP facing major challenges as CPS tries to foist an invalid, un-aligned, never proven (and very expensive) testing program on America's third largest school system

It was August 2013 and many people were out of town when Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Barbara Byrd Bennett told the Board of Education that the new "accountability" system for the nation's third . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Napoleonic ambitions -- but with what artillery? Rahm worship continues from the plutocracy's highest perches as Financial Times features Chicago's diminutive chief executive as the Napoleon to blast away the rabble for the plutocrats of the 21st Century

You won't learn about potholes across Chicago during the worst winter in decades reading about Chicago's mayor in the mid-February weekend edition of the Financial Times, one of the publications that's a required reading for . . .

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'The problem with the strategy of public cuts and corporate subsidies is that such an approach undermines the real economy...' Chicago Teachers Union releases major report on pensions

The Chicago Teachers Union released another research report on the morning of February 17, 2014, on the even of the planned lobbying campaign in Springfield scheduled for February 19. The lengthy report, which includes discussion . . .

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Chicago pushing Zombie ISAT testing program like a bad movie despite growing Opt Out by parents and students... CPS urges ISAT 'URGENCY' while some CPS administrators and 'Chiefs" push ISAT pep rallies as Chicago testing season begins

Someone with better artistic skills than we have currently at Substance should do the cartoon. A bunch of cheerleaders cheering on a corpse, kind of new wrinkle on the Zombie fad. As everyone in Illinois . . .

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Common Core 'rebranding' even suggested.... Testing fetish across the USA facing unprecedented challenges, including enormous opposition to the Obama administration's 'Common Core'... But Chicago and Illinois still fall behind more than a dozen other states

Chicago was once a national center of the test resistance in the United States, and there are still many centers of the resistance growing as the testing season looms to begin in March 2014. Yet . . .

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OPT OUT NEWS. Drummond parents en masse opting out... ''We would rather have our kids engaged in Montessori schoolwork, artwork, independent projects or quiet reading, instead of ‘bubbling’ on a test that that doesn’t count for anything.'...

According to a February 20, 2014 announcement from More than a Score Chicago, "Thirty-four parents of students at Drummond Elementary have written a public letter to their fellow parents stating that they will be opting . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: How long will principals continue allowing themselves to be insulted and gagged by mercenaries running CPS? ...'We must manage the message in order to ensure consistency with the District's brand...' says CPS Communications Office memo that needed proofreading

As the confrontation between test crazed bureaucrats and thousands of teachers, parents, children -- and even Chicago public school principals -- grows in the weeks before the Chicago Board of Education tries to force more . . .

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Divide and conquer destroying the power of CPS custodial workers as their union retreats after crossing 2012 CTU picket lines... Principals ordered to privatize remaining union custodial workers despite impact of job losses and pay cuts on local communities

Less than two years after their union, Local 73 of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) thought it had curried favor with the administration of Mayor Rahm Emanuel by signing a contract a month before . . .

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Chicago Board of Education February 26, 2014 agenda finally includes CAFR... Was the delay because the audit shows that the 'billion dollar deficit' claim was a very Big Lie?

For the first time in a hundred years, the Chicago Board of Education did not receive the audited "Comprehensive Annual Financial Report" (commonly called the CAFR) at its December meeting, nor did the public get . . .

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OPT OUT NEWS: Saucedo teachers to boycott the ISAT! Explosion of resistance to ISAT testing program now includes entire schools voting to boycott the extinct testing program

On the morning of February 25, 2014, teachers and other staff at Maria Saucedo elementary school on Chicago's southwest side voted to boycott the ISAT. The teachers have informed the public that they will not . . .

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OPT OUT NEWS: National petitions growing minute by minute in support of ISAT boycott, Saucedo teachers... CORE meeting February 26 at five p.m. at Manny's Deli in Chicago

The explosion of the Opt Out movement in the face of the March 3, 2014 date when Chicago Public Schools officials are demanding that more than 300,000 children take the now-defunct ISAT (Illinois State Achievement . . .

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OPT OUT NEWS: Chicago Badass Moms to host national chat on Opt Out Thursday night

The Chicago chapter of "Badass Moms," a local event horizon of the international badasses (which include at least one other group, called "Badass Teachers") will be holding a "Twitter chat/war" on Thursday evening, February 27, . . .

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OPT OUT NEWS: The sidewalk in front of the school is a public way, and the police cannot interfere with non-violent leafleting on that public way

Despite some misinformation from principals and Chicago Public Schools officials, the sidewalk in front of a public school in Chicago is a public way -- not CPS property. Therefore, parents, teachers and students handing out . . .

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LIES, BIG LIES, AND THAT 'BILLION DOLLAR DEFICIT' THAT NEVER WAS... CPS continues the 'Great CAFR Cover Up' following February 26, 2014 Board of Education meeting... or 'Why do you need to audit the books when Rahm told you there was a billion dollar deficit?!!'

The claim that Chicago's public schools were facing a "deficit" of a billion dollars (or in some statements, "approaching a billion dollars") became the common narrative for the nation's ruling class throughout the end of . . .

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OPT OUT NEWS: Great video 'Ain't Gonna Teach To The Test No More' needed to begin every class today... Few corporate media news reports from the February 26 Board meeting get to the truth about what was said during the long meeting

A new You Tube video "Ain't Gonna Teach To The Test No More" to the tune of "Gonna Lay Down My Sword And Shield..." is going viral on You tube, thanks to the talented . . .

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Best Book of 2013? Diane Ravitch's 'Reign of Error...The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools'!

The only disappointing thing about Diane Ravitch's book "Reign of Error...The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools" is that America's public school parents and teachers didn't work harder to . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Will 2014 see the invention of a Pulitzer Prize for Political Pandering? Sun-Times had Rahm Emanuel on its front page more than 50 times during 2013

There may not be a Pulitzer Prize for pandering, but if one is ever invented, it should go first to the Chicago Sun-Times, which reached heights in political pandering by a daily newspaper not seen . . .

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PENSION NEWS: A laughable ignorance of history and economics is no excuse for spreading nonsense

For reasons known only to those who refer to massive pension theft as "reform," one of the more ludicrous examples of an ignorance of history arises every time someone repeats the crazy statement from Illinois . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: While Chicago Tribune touts silly 'winners' book on New Year's Day, world facts point out that only Romania has higher child poverty in the 'First World'

You won't hear this cheer on Rose Bowl day: "Go USA! Beat Romania!" but in the neoliberal Race To The Bottom, that's what's happening. Only Romania, according to world renowned economist Robert Reich, has made . . .

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'Teachgreat.org' joins dozens of Michelle Rhee-type astroturf groups attacking public schools... The Missouri billionaire Rex Sinquefield -- who said in a university lecture that public schools were a KKK plot against black people -- takes aim at teachers and unions...

While Illinois gets to focus on Bruce Rauner's billionaire's version of how reality should be reset, nearby Missouri gets an even funnier dosage of what happens when people with little imagination and the imbecilic focus . . .

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NEW YEAR NEWS! Byrd Bennett discovers that Chicago schools have auditoriums, other meeting spaces!

Nearly two years after she was first hired as a $27,000-per-month consultant to Chicago's public schools while completing her job destroying the public schools of Detroit, Chicago schools "Chief Executive Officer" Barbara Byrd Bennet discovered . . .

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Nickle and diming for another $39,000 on the way out the door.. Vallas demanding extra money from Connecticut on his way to serve on the 'Vallas - Quinn' gubernatorial ticket in Illinois

[Editor's Note: The following information was sent to us by Connecticut blogger Jonathan Pelto on January 4, 2014. The information is provided to our Illinois readers as it came from him. As readers know, Paul . . .

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Teachers Union urges that Chicago schools be closed because of 'life-threatening cold' after CPS officials told 400,000 children that schools would be open

The Chicago Teachers Union on Sunday January 5, 2014, urged Chicago public schools officials to close the city's more than 600 public schools as a band of what the United States Weather Service is calling . . .

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Was CPS quarter million dollar 'CEO' at home in Ohio as weather crisis grew in Chicago?... Barbara Byrd Bennett lied to reporters on January 6 about CTU press release and Karen Lewis's suggestion to use 'common sense' and close the schools

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was not the only city official lying or dissembling to reporters during a series of hastily called and largely controlled media events on January 6, 2014, the first of two days . . .

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American segregation exposed as central to the real 'gap'... Textbooks promote a racist view of American history while 'Race To The Top' pushes more segregation via charter schools

A growing number of serious scholars, as opposed to platitudinous pundits on the payroll of the plutocracy, are noting that racial segregation is central to why there is an "achievement gap" in America's public schools. . . .

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PHILADELPHIA STORY: Corporate school reform looks alike from Maine to San Diego -- the story from one city

[Editor's Note: The following article was first published at Portside on the morning of January 9, 2014. It is reprinted here as part of the Truth Squad here in Chicago. Let's all share.]

. . .

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' 'a billionaire who makes $7.36 a second wants to wage war on low-income people...' Chicago Teachers Union breaks billionaire's proposal to reduce Illinois minimum wage

Less than 24 hours after Bruce Rauner, the billionaire Republican candidate for governor of Illinois, declared on the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty that Illinois should reduce, not increase, its minimum wage. The . . .

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ELECTED SCHOOL BOARD? Los Angeles school board split leads to dramatic vote to fill a vacancy with a special election

For those who are planning to move towards an elected school board in Chicago, a good view of how intense the politics will be can be seen in the fighting currently taking place in Los . . .

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Illinois has an 'Open Meetings Act,' but the Chicago Board of Education practices the 'Closed Meetings Act'... Vitale and Ruiz continue to gag the public through trickery in 'registration' to speak and attend the monthly meetings... Massive charter expansion will be the Board agenda January 22!

How do sanctimonious dictators and tinpot tyrants gag democracy? The monthly meetings of the Chicago Board of Education are a textbook example. Since January 2013, the Board has edicted that registration to "speak" to the . . .

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Colorado Opt Out movement has long been a model for rest of the nation

While Chicago resistance leaders greet "More Than A Score" and other recent additions to the Resistance to corporate schools reform (part of which is based on the nonsense bred by high-stakes standardized testing), we need . . .

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'That’s 17 charter schools in Columbus closed in one year, which records show is unprecedented...' While Chicago plans further expansion of charter schools, Columbus has just closed 17 of them, mostly because of incompetence and corruption

One week from today (January 15, 2014), at the Chicago Board of Education meeting on January 22, 2014, Chicago will vote to expand its already overloaded load of charter schools. The specific number to be . . .

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Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday History Lesson... 'Comes the moment to decide...' Rev. Wright's remarks remind us of the history of the lessons of Dr. King's life. ... On April 7, 1967, Dr.King delivered his most powerful denunciation of the Vietnam War -- to be called a commie by TIME...

Another corporate media tempest in an ignorant teapot cascaded on the Chicago Teachers Union and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright on January 15 -- the actual birthday of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. But the tempest . . .

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'A Slap In The Face...' and 'Public Humiliation' for principals as Barbara Byrd Bennett orders 'State Of The Schools' from principals to follow rigid Board-provided templates

While Chicago Teachers Union members are winning more and more grievances against the stupid evaluation system put into place by the administration of Rahm Emanuel, Chicago principals, which have a "union" but no protection, are . . .

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RAHMWATCH: What does Rahm do when he can't get potholes fixed? He hosts a Lake Shore Drive publicity stunt to announce a 'Pothole app' ... and nutsy 'data' management, viz... '50,000 potholes in streets in alleys across Chicago, using 1,000 tons of asphalt patching material...'

As the sun set on the third Saturday of 2014, Chicagoans in most communities had to decide whether to drive on the dark streets and risk their cars' undersides because of the plague of potholes . . .

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Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday History Lesson...THE BURGLARY... New Book reminds the world that America's government and major media attacked Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and civil rights leaders in the most vicious ways

The sanitized version of the career of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was swamping children and many adults last summer on the anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington and the "I Have A Dream" . . .

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Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday History Review... 'The Newark school district is not a military dictatorship, and Ms. Anderson is neither an army general nor a police chief...' Newark schools supt. suspends five principals -- all African American -- for opposing 'One Newark' charter schools plan

Less than a week after another major New Jersey political scandal became the subject of public debate, the superintendent of the public schools of Newark, New Jersey, put the city's corporate "school reform" in the . . .

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BROAD BACKS THE BULLIES!... Barbara Byrd Bennett's Broad Foundation buddies made Chris Christie a condition of getting half million dollar Broad

Most Chicagoans who follow education know that Barbara Byrd Bennett was placed into power in Chicago by Mayor Rahm Emanuel because she had loyally served the Broad Foundation's version of "school reform." In fact, she . . .

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BOARDWATCH JANUARY 22, 2014...' ...[T]oday's vote to approve seven new publicly-funded, privately held charter operations, in the wake of school budget cuts, lacked logic, reason and common sense...' (CTU President Karen Lewis)

The Chicago Teachers Union issued a fiery press release within hours after the Chicago Board of Education voted to expand the city's charter schools less than a year after the same Board voted to close . . .

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Sam's Club announces a huge layoff as Mitts, Brookins praise the union busters... Chicago's 'WalMart' aldermen in the tradition of the black leaders who insulted and attacked Martin Luther King Jr. in 1966

It was only coincidence that the week two Chicago alderman played racial games in support of Chicago's anti-union charter schools that Sam's Club, owned by WalMart, announced it was going to lay off more than . . .

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'...It's time to hit the 'pause button' on high stakes while, at the same time, increasing support for students, parents and educators...' New York State United Teachers vote 'No Confidence' in NY State Schools Commissioner and Common Core

In a major move, the directors of the largest state teachers union in the USA has voted "no confidence" in the State Education Commissioner and demanded that New York stop the implementation of the Common . . .

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The Radical Dr. King... How history as mandated by the 'One Percent' has tried to erase the last five years of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

As the most important Black History Month of the 21st Century looms, more and more forces are moving to bring back the truths of history -- especially the history of the struggles of Black people . . .

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Newark principals sue charging Cami Anderson violated their First Amendment rights

Five principals who were suspended by Newark schools superintendent Cami Anderson after they spoke out publicly against the plan to further expand charter schools in Newark have sued the school district charging that Anderson's action . . .

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MEDIA WATCH, RED SQUAD REDUX: Police spying in Chicago is (was, and will be) no joking matter, and has helped get people killed or jailed for long periods...

As dawn breaks following another couple of days of below zero cold in Chicago, the continuing entertainment provided by the trial of the so-called "NATO Three" for "terrorism" (on a Cook County charge of all . . .

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CTU reaction to Pat Quinn's State of Illinois address... “They’re destroying the morale of the people who are actually doing the work and threatening the security of those who have already served. We call on the governor to end this pension heist.'

After Illinois Governor Pat Quinn delivered his State of Illinois address on January 29 2014, the Chicago Teachers Union issued a major policy statement, emphasizing that Governor Quinn continues to betray Illinois public workers by . . .

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Parent and teacher groups denounce Barbara Byrd Bennett's latest threats against parents and children who are massing to opt out of Chicago's testing programs

Within a few hours after parents, teachers and students received the latest threats from Chicago Public Schools "Chief Executive Officer" Barbara Byrd Bennett on January 29, 2014, responses ranging from disagreement to outrage began pouring . . .

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Rahm Emanuel continues to push privatization at the ground breaking for the Noble Charter School 'ITW Campus'... Noble charter chief brags that this latest 'campus' will bring the total number of students to 10,000

Flanked by a number of charter school promoters in a special events tent that was smaller so that potential protesters from across the street could be excluded, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on the morning of . . .

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CTU declares solidarity as Mount Prospect teachers prepare to strike

As school boards across the USA continue to try and break the teachers' unions at the local level, while trying to buy off state and national leaders, another relatively small union local in Illinois is . . .

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VALLAS WATCH: Black teacher elimination was a key to the Vallas program from 1995 through 2001

Although a great deal has been reported during the last few years about the elimination of black people from Chicago's teaching force, an examination of the historical facts (please leave the word "data" to the . . .

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Major City Hall protest planned for Monday, December 9... 'Naughty or nice' awards to be given

The Chicago Teachers Union, in alliance with several other organizations, will be holding a protest at Chicago's City Hall on Monday, December 9, 2013. According to a union press release: "On Monday, December 9th, hundreds . . .

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Why 'School Choice' is not the 'Civil Rights Issue of Our Time'

[Editor's Note: Its one of those salvation stories that indicates when you are dealing with someone of a religious zealotry. The CHARTER SCHOOL THAT SAVED MY SOUL (AND LIFE) version of reality. Every meeting of . . .

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'This is not over...' Union leaders vow to continue fight for fair pensions, despite Springfield vote

Despite the narrow vote to approve so-called "pension reform" legislation by the Illinois General Assembly on December 3, 2013, opponents of the continued attack on public service and public sector workers are preparing to continue . . .

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ALEC plans include continuing attacks on public education, teachers and unions

Despite growing protests across the nation, the strategy of America's ruling class continues unabated. The December 3, 2013 Illinois vote to begin the destruction of the state's defined benefit pension plans (most, for teachers and . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: 'These people are hypocrites, and they should be ashamed to open their mouths...' Karen Lewis lays out the challenge on 'pension reform' in The New York Times

It was buried towards the end of the article, after a stream of half-truths and lies quoting Rahm Emanuel and the billionaires' mouthpiece, Civic Federation chief Laurence Msall, but at least it was there. The . . .

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CTU had a history of activism against apartheid... Chicago Teachers Union pauses to honor memory of Nelson Mandela

The Chicago Teachers Union has had a long history of organizing opposition to racism, and part of that history was supporting the struggles of the majority of people in South Africa against apartheid. That support . . .

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Catalyst investigation hitting Byrd Bennett's corruption... 'Chicago Executive Leadership Academy' is another ripoff... Principals will be attending their 'training' on December 7 while edupreneurs and Barbara Byrd Bennett's buddies laugh all the way to the bank...SUPES Academy corruption continues

The question is when Chicago principals and other professionals (including those at the city's major universities) will take a public stand against an example of corruption that even in Chicago is a zinger -- CELA . . .

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UNO chieftain out... Problem with charter corruptions grows

The December 5, 2013 announcement that UNO chieftain Juan Rangel was resigning came as a shock to no one who has been following the rather sordid tale of nepotism, cronyism, union busting and corruption at . . .

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New York's 'reform' mayor creates a short list of the most reactionary corporate reformers out there... Byrd Bennett looking for a new job in New York City as New York schools chancellor?

When the rumor first reached Substance that Chicago Public Schools "Chief Executive Officer" Barbara Byrd Bennett was consulting with people in New York City about returning to New York for the job as schools chancellor . . .

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National Day of Action at City Hall December 9, 4:15 p.m.

Chicago parents, teachers, students and community leaders will be at Chicago's City Hall on December 9, 2013, to sing holiday songs and protest the school privatization and closing policies of the national administration and locally, . . .

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ZAP! Vitale, Ruiz & Co. continue strangling democracy at Chicago Board of Education meetings by restricting sign in to speak at Board of Education meetings

At 8:32 a.m. on the morning of December 9, 2013, the message went up at the Home Page of the nation's third largest school system: "All advance registration slots filled." What the message meant was . . .

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'National Day of Action' brings hundreds to City Hall and State of Illinois building December 9 in protest

CTU Press Release:

EMBARGOED UNTIL 4:15pm
December 9, 2013

Contact: Michael J. Harrington
312-329-6216


Chicago Teachers Union and coalition of community partners in
National Day of Action to Reclaim . . .

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AFT video explains why international 'test scores' like PISA do not tell the real story of American schools

Indicative of a significant shift in national union policy, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) has devoted its considerable talent and resources not only in the implementation of the National Day of Action but to . . .

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Office Depot headquarters remains in Florida... When will Illinois politicians stop playing corporate blackmail games?

On the morning of December 10, 2013, Crain's Chicago Business reported on line that Illinois was "losing" the possibility of the company's headquarters of Office Depot to Boca Raton, Florida. But as the story notes, . . .

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Chitown CEO Nixed in NYC!... Byrd Bennett strikes out in New York City as her slavish adherence to Rahm's school closing quota catches up with her

Despite her attempt to escape Chicago, schools chief Barbara Byrd Bennett will not find a new home running the nation's largest school system after a little more than a year running the nation's third largest . . .

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Rahm the Grinch featured in Chicago protests during National Day of Action

Rahm the Grinch was one of the features of the Chicago demonstration that was part of the "National Day of Action" held on December 9, 2013, at more than 30 cities across the USA. The . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Ignoring the murder of teachers in Honduras, The Wall Street Journal declares Mexican teachers union a terrorist threat, virtually a group of banditos who 'kidnap businessmen' (maybe)

Teachers may have been murdered by right wing death squads in the past year in Honduras, where one of the most corrupt elections in memory returned to power a government favored by the Obama administration, . . .

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New York City Council passes resolution against High Stakes Testing

While Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's aides among the city's aldermen block a referendum for Chicago to get an elected school board, the City Council of the nation's largest city has taken a stand against high-stakes . . .

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'In other words, charter schools may not be funded with state dollars dedicated to funding our state's common schools...' Washington State court declares that charter schools are not real public schools

In one of those growing number of stories that will never be reported by Chicago's corporate media, a court in Washington State has declared the charter schools are not real public schools because they are . . .

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Privatization steamroller continues... Byrd Bennett brags to principals she could have closed 100 schools despite impotent community opposition, brushes off New York rejection with a smirk

As press reports continue to reveal that the cost of closing the largest number of real public schools in American history continues to escalate in Chicago, the "Chief Executive Officer" of the nation's third largest . . .

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Ames parents, community continue struggle against military academy with ballot referendum and ongoing organizing even as Barbara Byrd Bennett puts conversion of Ames on December 18 Board of Education agenda

Parents, teachers, students and residents of the area surrounding Ames school on Chicago's Northwest Side continued their fight to stop the Chicago Board of Education from converting the schools into a "Marine Military Academy" despite . . .

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Chicago Teachers Union denounces Board of Education plans to destroy Ames school on eve of Board meeting

Less than 24 hours before the seven members of the Chicago Board of Education are scheduled to vote on two proposals from Chief Executive Officer Barbara Byrd Bennett to destroy Ames school in Logan Square, . . .

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Grade changing and attendance data doctoring ignored by Chicago's Inspector General... Duncan's Potemkin Village challenged by the facts of Chicago's Juarez High School

Former Chicago Public Schools "Chief Executive Officer" Arne Duncan's return to Chicago in December 2013 was a typical performance, well known to those who had covered Duncan for the years (2001 - 2009) he was . . .

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Reverend 'Slim' Slimes Every High School Teacher on Chicago's North and Northwest Side

By the time he had finished talking, the tall bearded man in the clerical collar had spoken for nearly five minutes, the chirpy voice of the Secretary of the Chicago Board of Education, Estela Beltran, . . .

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BYRD BENNETT'S DUCT DYNASTY? DUCT TAPE advice in the official 'calendar' of the nation's third largest school system... Comments about ridiculous CPS calendar and hiring policy (

On the morning of December 20, 2013, Labor Beat has posted on You Tube the four-minute comment I made at the December 18, 2013 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education, and the URL . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: 'Reign of Error' named 'Most Valuable Book of 2013' by The Nation

Every year, the magazine The Nation, which has been doing "progressive" journalism since the 19th Century -- before the official "Progressive Era" -- gives annual awards. The awards don't feature a red carpet or $500,000 . . .

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SUBSTANCE EXCLUSIVE. 'While, I respect the right to opt out of testing, it is extremely important that all families understand that by doing so their child’s future could be negatively impacted...' In December 20 edict, Byrd Bennett orders principals to stop parents from opting kids out of NWEA

The "Chief Executive Officer" of the third-largest school system in the United States hastily issued an order on Friday, December 20, 2013 to CPS principals. The principals were asked to stop parents from having their . . .

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CTU exposes corruption of Illinois Charter Schools Commission in follow up to Sun-Times exposé of Michael Madigan's ties to Turkish cult, charter schools

Following the exclusive Chicago Sun-Times exposé of the corruption of the Illinois Charter Schools Commission and the unprofessional influence of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan in the expansion of Chicago charter schools, the Chicago Teachers . . .

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Fired teacher reinstated with back pay after VAM mess was exposed... 'The 'errors' cannot be corrected because the method itself is the problem. The errors and flaws are integral to the method. VAM is Junk Science...' VAM D.C. Testing Scandal ... This time it's 'Technical Errors' in IMPACT

Over the past few days, best-selling author Diane Ravitch released a scoop. The Washington D.C. public schools -- again -- has a scandal. This time it's about their program for improving test scores (again). This . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: If you thought you missed some 'news' about resistance in the USA, you probably haven't been tuning in to Al Jazeera USA... Massive protests against 'Pension Reform' are rocking Puerto Rico (and setting a model for Illinois in February 2014)

While it's possible to get a tiny bit more news by reading The New York Times and Wall Street Journal every day in Chicago, most Chicagoans are still at the mercy of Rahm Emanuel's "Chicago . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Catalyst and MSNBC just catching up... Dyett High School's 'slow death' has been part of Board policy since the final years of the last century

As a growing number of parents, teachers and others prepares for one of the many actions that will be taken during "Black History Month" in February 2014, Chicago was somewhat surprised that a national TV . . .

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Common Core 'unrest' in 22 states -- why not Illinois?

As the stupidity, mendacity and maliciousness of the so-called "Common Core" become clear to a larger and larger number of people, bloggers and education analysts have been tracing the arc of resistance. Most notable, . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Chicago magazine protects its reputation for silly lists, celebrity gossip, and gastronomic intensity by demanding that an accident of real reporting not be reprinted at Substance

On October 17, 2013, shortly after our print issue of the November 2013 Chicago magazine arrived, Substance published what amounted to a compliment to a magazine that usually specializes in Rahm Emanuel hagiography, flattery of . . .

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RAHM WATCH: Rahm, touts his record on China, ignoring his predecessor completely

More than once a week, the propaganda department of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel provides the press with a complete story, with pictures, for immediate publication. In every one, Emanuel himself is the center of the . . .

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COMMON CORE WATCH: Duncan, Kerry see new terrorist threat in White Suburban Moms

No sooner had Arne Duncan voiced his attack on "White Suburban Moms" than satiric responses began pouring in. Duncan's version of reality came out in comments about the growing national opposition to Common Core testing . . .

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InBloom to play Big Brother with children's 'data'? Privacy forum in Chicago November 21, 2013 sponsored by More Than A Score and other groups

A coalition of groups in Chicago is sponsoring a public forum on Chicago's attempts to take away the privacy of children's data through a privatization contract with InBloom, a private corporation. The public event will . . .

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Board and principals stall on reducing class sizes, while some schools add non-teaching staff

It's November 1, 2013. School began the day after Labor Day for the children, and many faced an unprecedented increase in class sizes because of the new "Student-Based Budgeting." As usual, any program promoted by . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: New 'Network Chief' was parked as an 'Area Officer' since summer while Barbara Byrd Bennett worked latest Ohio crony into a top administrative job

Ohio Governor John Kasich should be sending regular "Thank You" letters to Chicago School CEO Barbara Byrd Bennett and her boss, Rahm Emanuel. Byrd Bennett may be decimating Chicago's real public schools and firing veteran . . .

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List of new 'Networks' and 'Network Chiefs' released... Configurations remain a mystery to the public and parents

The latest version of an organizational structure in the nation's third largest school system became available, sort of, to the public late on October 31, 2013, with the release of the new 13 "Networks" and . . .

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Halloween scary... Rahm's favorite hedge fund, Magnetar, is back... and back trying to loot tax money from public schools

It was only a coincidence that Bloomberg Business Week decided to update its readers on the saga of Magnetar in its Halloween (October 28 - November 3, 2013) edition, but the story should serve as . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Diane Ravitch a hit on 'The Daily Show' as more and more teachers buy 'Reign of Error' to join growing number of study groups

Two days after Diane Ravitch's "Reign of Error" fell off The New York Times Best Seller List (hardcover books), Ravitch brought her message to Jon Stewart on The Daily Show. As usual, Ravitch presented . . .

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CPS releases Network reconfiguration information, provided in this article... Major reorganization of the nation's third largest school district completed without public input and while ignoring the Board of Education and the Illinois Open Meetings Act

Between Halloween, October 31, 2013, and the second day of November (November 2, 2013) the "Chief Executive Officer" on the nation's third largest school system announced and apparently completed the massive reorganization of Chicago's sub-districts. . . .

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New VAMBOOZLED blog brings needed humor to exposing 'Value Added' frauds and hoaxes with humor and a 'Top Ten Reasons' list of reasons to reject VAM

Thanks again to Diane Ravitch, more people will become aware of a new blog aptly named VAMBOOZLED. The blog is pouring out information about the latest hoax in the Manufactured Crisis -- "Value Added" . . .

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Diane Ravitch in major Chicago appearance next Wednesday, November 13, at Ashland Ave. church

Best selling author Diane Ravitch will be at a major Chicago appearance on the evening of Wednesday, November 13, 2013, at 7:30 p.m. It will be at the First Free Church, 5255 N. Ashland. Diane . . .

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Controversial operator facing forensic audit... UNO Charter Schools served with petitions demanding that UNO pay its teachers' pension costs

Flanked by two colleagues, CTU member and Whitney Young teacher Jay Rehak delivered a petition signed by 3550 taxpayers demanding that the UNO Charter School system submit to a forensic audit to account for the . . .

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'Mayor 1 Percent' delivers the plutocratic vision of voc ed in Chicago as 'Chicago's Vision'...Rahm Emanuel continues attack on Chicago's public schools in speech to the World Bank on November 7, 2013

On November 7, 2013, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel went to Washington, D.C. to tell the leaders of the World Bank his version of what he's been doing to Chicago's schools since his inauguratioin in May . . .

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CTU President issues statement challenging Vallas pick for lieutenant governor

Within hours after the announcement that Illinois Governor Pat Quinn had selected Paul Vallas to be his running mate in the upcoming gubernatorial election, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis issued the following statement of . . .

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More Than A Score challenges CPS promotion policy... Demands return to teacher grades as the real assessment

"More Than A Score" continued the launch of a year of test resistance in Chicago with a press conference at the Chicago Public Schools headquarters on the morning of November12, 2013. Their statement follows: . . .

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COMMON CORE: Challenges to Common Core grow. Is Illinois really this silent?

The closer you look, the worse it is. Common Core is being challenged in almost every one of the fifty states, and not a day goes by when there is not another report in the . . .

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TEST RESISTANCE: 'Hundreds of thousands of mommies are going to fill out this form and they are going to have their children refuse to take this test!...'

A delightful video was just posted from a November 12, 2013 meeting in New York during which a teacher demanded the resignation of New York State Schools Chief John King (a charter school principal . . .

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THE RESISTANCE: 'There is a sense that the student privacy issue has awoken a sleeping giant in parents...' Growing number of New York districts opt out of Race To The Top, many citing InBloom and increasing privacy concerns

While a growing number of parents are signing Opt Out letters in the face of Barbara Byrd Bennett's expansion of testing and an equally controversial privatization of children's data via InBloom (and other private outfits, . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Network lists demonstrate (again) that those running Chicago's public schools are clueless out-of-town mercenaries operating a crony based system ignoring both the public and the Board of Education

Since Chicago Public Schools "Chief Executive Officer" Barbara Byrd Bennett announced that she was reducing the number of "Networks" (Chicago's latest name for sub-districts) to 13 from 19 one week after the Board of Education . . .

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MEDIA WATCH. How to obviate obfuscations Orwellingly while pushing puerile pontifications... Rauner - Steans screed leaves out 'choice' in Tribune bagful of BS on how to fix the schools

Doubtless, it cold be used as a Common Core reading, since it is -- in a certain way -- "informational text." But probabaly the best way to describe "A breakthrough in public education" is "disinformational . . .

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Chicago's Barbara Byrd Bennett shows how to Opt Out -- but only to bully principals into joining silly CPS 'training'... 'It is not my intention to add any additional burden to your schedule, but to offer a quality professional growth opportunity...'

Parents have been asking for months for a CPS statement or form that allows them to Opt Out their children from the crazy increase in mandated tests (now generally referred to as "assessments" by CPS . . .

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Saturday forum on charter school corruption continues Northwest Side opposition to charter infection with Saturday forum on 'UNO corrption'

With barely a pause for the Thanksgiving holiday, the growing opposition around Chicago to the infectious spread of charter schools continues on Saturday, November 30, 2013 with a forum on UNO charter corruption at the . . .

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'Noah Webster Academy ... nothing but a clever scheme to get public money for children who are already being educated by their parents -- at home...'Al Shanker broke with the so-called 'Charter School Movement' by 1994 after learning the early examples of charter school corruption

During the early years of America's so-called "Charter School Movement," one of the movements most important supporters was Albert Shanker, President of the American Federation of Teachers. Shanker, who had taken some of the criticisms . . .

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InBloom Outbloomed, KABOOM! InBloom controversy now is only in New York state... Parent and teacher victory as CPS dumps InBloom and Illinois makes InBloom 'voluntary' for smaller school districts

Less than a week after a major public forum in Chicago brought together opponents of the controversial privatization of student data in Chicago via a contract with a company called "InBloom," Chicago Public Schools has . . .

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Parents get 'choice' when it comes to charters, but not when it comes to choosing to opt out of dangerous testing and curricular hoaxes?

For the past several years, many Americans have heard about the importance of "choice" in education. Despite the fact that vouchers are always opposed by large majorities wherever they are imposed, the screaming is all . . .

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BOARDWATCH: Chicago Board of Education continues Kafkaesque Power Point attacks on common sense as CPS presents a 'Facilities Plan' that is not a real facilities plan at its September 25, 2013 meeting

When is a 'plan' not a plan? When it's a school "facilities plan" in Chicago a few months after the massive school closings of 2013. And when it's a plan that can be ignored by . . .

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'Tennessee became a voluntary laboratory for various experiments and manipulations of public schools that are now becoming the law of the land'... Review of 'Mismeasure of Education' recommends this must-read book

Although it has been somewhat overshadowed by the September 17 debut of Diane Ravitch's "Reign of Error," a second book exposing the hoaxes in corporate education reform also became available lately and joins the Ravitch . . .

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Caught in the latest corporate 'reform' MATRIX... Washington D.C.'s principals are mostly 'failing' according to the current Michelle Rhee, a Rhee clone named Kaya Henderson

Anyone who believed that the reign of error over the Washington, D.C. public schools would have ended with the resignation of Michelle Rhee three years ago and the publication of the facts about how Rhee . . .

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Evergreen Academy latest to face charter school raiding assisted by CPS officials... Principals to face more and more 'student poaching' by charter schools as CPS pushes charter expansions at the expense of the city's real public schools

By October 1, 2013, it was official. The only way Chicago Public Schools was going to "relieve overcrowding" on the city's Northwest, Southwest, and Southeast sides was by creating new charter schools -- even if . . .

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Dissent magazine back with another expose on America's governing plutocracy... How 'charity' from the plutocrats always begins and ends with their own self interests

Investigative reporter Joanne Barkan is back again, after several months of work on the beats she has covered for years. This time, she returns with a historical investigation and expose about how for America's billionaires . . .

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CTU asks 'What will it take to end this reign of error?'

As the ever-crazier mandates and orders from the various executives at Chicago Public Schools pour out on to the schools, and in some cases like the facilities plan, citywide, more and more people are noticing . . .

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'Partnership for Smarter Schools'... More than 2,500 at Buffalo protest against high-stakes testing

Thanks for Fair Test's Bob Schaeffer for passing this along through the ARN (Assessment Reform Network) ListServe. If you aren't already on ARN, this year is a good time to begin. The group, which calls . . .

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Bloomberg comes out against the SAT!... 'What's holding American students back? The SAT... (from Bloomberg Business Week)

[Substance Editor's Note: During his three terms as mayor of New York, billionaire Michael Bloomberg did as much as any powerful individual in the USA to entrench the reign of testing that has now been . . .

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HISTORY FLASHBACK: Giap death reminds USA that the (U.S. part of) the Vietnam War did not have to be...

Everybody who studied the cluttered history of the world after the brutal endings of World War II knows that a lot of the problems that have continued through today could have been solved had Roosevelt's . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: After helping plague the West Side with charters and closing 49 of Chicago's real public schools, Rahm does publicity stunt in 'Austin community'

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel may have helped destroy the professional careers of hundreds of black people who worked in Chicago's public schools, tried to break the unions, and plagued most of the city's West Side . . .

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Charter backer Whitney Tilson, however, is 'shorting' K12 stock as troubles mount... Thanks to Diane Ravitch for this hoot of a story... Idaho 'virtual' charter school has outsourced its essay scoring to India

With the Chicago Board of Education poised to run sloppily through another round of charter school expansion at the cost of the city's real public schools (this year it's because we need -- only charters . . .

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New report charges racism in city priorities, investments

A major study released by the Grassroots Collaborative on October 8, 2013, charges that the City of Chicago, through its budget and investment priorities, has crated a racial divide across the city, with downtown being . . .

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Teachers strike rocks Brazil... major clashes in Rio

Teachers from Mexico to Great Britain have been leading strikes and taking part in demonstrations against neo-liberal government policies over the past months. In October 2013, in addition to strikes in England and Mexico, teachers . . .

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'Suicidal ideation is not uncommon. We lost one CPS teacher to suicide this year, and many more are at risk...' Study reveals PTSD among Chicago public school teachers... Students and Educators Suffer PTSD in the Chicago School Wars

[Editor's Note: The following was published at Education Week's blog (Anthony Cody) on October 9, 2013. Paul Horton: : The Road to Gatopia IV, forwarded By Anthony Cody on October 9, 2013 12:01 PM. While . . .

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Substancenews editor on Chicago Newsroom discusses 'Hogwarts' budget wizards at CPS and the attacks on general high schools via biased corporate media reports

It was a pleasure to appear on the cable TV show "Chicago Newsroom" on October 10, and the show will be aired for the next couple of days. Below is the cablecast info and . . .

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Of course a dogcatcher could beat Rahm... Dogcatchers spend their time in better company than Rahm and the billionaire boys clubs at which he lurks

A Saturday morning without the daily newspapers would be a typical Saturday morning in Chicago, but some days the Sun-Times or Tribune brings unexpected joy -- or at least a pleasant surprise. So it is . . .

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'JB' and 'BBB' demand that principals set 'Stretch Goals' to prove 'high expectations' as the new CPS Performance Policy and the Five Pillars land across America's third largest school system

The "other shoe" finally fell on the roughly 600 principals in Chicago's real public schools on October 12, 2013. That's when the school system's "Office of Accountability" issued the memo warning them that they might . . .

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Take Back Chicago forum at UIC evening of October 15

The Chicago Teachers Union and its allies will be hosting a forum at the University of Illinois at Chicago on the evening of October 15, 2013, beginning at six p.m. The event will take place . . .

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Billionaire James Crown gives $10 million to University of Chicago to expand charter school 'model,' other 'Urban Education' thrusts

Chicago billionaire James Crown and his wife Paula announced on October 15, 2013 that they were donating $10 million to the University of Chicago's Center for Urban Education, according to a university press release. One . . .

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Upcoming movie to remind Chicago of the history of the 1963 boycott of Chicago's schools to protest segegation

The upcoming premiere of "Lessons of the '63 Boycott" is being promoted by the movie's producers (Kartemquin Films). It is also by the Chicago Teachers Union, through its Black Caucus. The film, which will be . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: 'Candy room' and 'game room' replace photojournalists and make Trib's days of Sam Zell look like sanity... Sun-Times owner revealed as a crazed self-important jackass who will destroy his newest 'property'

What is a newspaper's value? Between 1992 and 2012, 1,007 journalists were killed, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. The largest number killed in recent years were killed covering the wars in Irag, Afghanistan, . . .

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Illinois Federation of Teachers promises to 'Power Forward' throughout convention in Chicago

The Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT), the Illinois state unit of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) held its convention just outside Chicago in Rosemont, Illinois, over the weekend of October 19 - 21, 2013. . . .

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Last minute language in debt deal gives windfall to Teach for America... Congress rules that TFA's FNGs are 'highly qualified' by definition

As everyone in Chicago learns the hard way, the only way you can stop legislation from harming you is to watch every word up until the final minute when the General Assembly approves it. Corporate . . .

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How many Chicago Public Schools 'Networks' are facing the axe? Will the Chicago Board agenda published on October 21 show that networks have been reduced to the 'unlucky 13' from the 20 or 21 CPS currently has?

The abrupt announcement that Leslie Boozer, the Harvard trained "Chief of Schools" (or "Chief Network Officer") for the Northside High School "Network" of Chicago's public schools was never made in public. But it became clear . . .

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Rahm punked out of Columbus Day Parade in Chicago... Why?

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel became the first mayor of the city in more than 60 years to miss marching in the front of the annual Columbus Day Parade. Emanuel was in the city and doing . . .

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Board meeting October 23, 2013 in rehearsals now... Is Chicago in for another mendacious Power Point -- and another eyes-closed vote from its school board members?...Will Barbara Byrd Bennett try to use another crude and mendacious Power Point to validate the new 'Promotion Policy' October 23?

Another vintage Power Point looms. It's a CPS thing. There were only six members of the seven-member Chicago Board of Education at the Board's September 25, 2013 meeting (Board member Carlos Azcoitia was absent), and . . .

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Open Letter against high-stakes testing to President of the United States... 120 famous writers denounce overtesting of the children of Chicago and America

Not that anyone in Chicago will get to read about it (the Chicago Sun-Times is still devoted to promoting Chicago's mayor, even in the most trivial instances, with a front page photograph at least once . . .

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BOARDWATCH: Million dollar home owners of Lincoln school demand preferences, while middle class of Canty community continues after fifteen years to suffer massive overcrowding... Facilities incompetence at CPS continues to return after quickie planning exposes Rahm's regime ... again

Imagine a public school which has been appealing politely for relief from major overcrowding for 15 years. This is a Chicago elementary school where there is no library left, where children have to eat their . . .

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BOARDWATCH: Does 'STEM' mean that Chicago schools will feature 'bookless' libraries soon? Parent charges that Earle Elementary School is being decimated by CPS, and 'interim' principal

In Chicago, all public schools are equal, but, it may be said, some are more equal than others. Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently announced the public money was found to add space at Payton High School, . . .

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Hitch Elementary School speaks out against overcrowding nightmare on Northwest Side

How far will Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the members of his appointed school board go to sabotage the city's remaining real public schools so that the resulting chaos forced families to "choose" charter schools . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: While Chicago Sun-Times reactionary cartoonist trashes 'Obamacare', the reality in Cook County proves that the right wingers are sabotaging health care for the poor, while a little effort brings great results

To hear the story told over and over, the informed citizen would think that the computer glitches that accompanied the rollout of "Obamacare" (the Affordable Health Care Act) doomed the entire program. While there is . . .

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Eupreneurship is a lucrative (and union busting) business... New York City charter school executives paid more than the chancellor of the nation's largest school district... In Chicago, charter salaries are simply NOYFB -- 'None of your _____ business!'

Because it's in trouble with just about everybody except Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, UNO and the UNO charter schools have been in the news, to the point where even the charter-loving editorial writers at the . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: An intelligent show on corporate 'school reform' on MSNBC with Melissa Harris Perry and Diane Ravitch is now available... Links here

One of the recent pleasures we've had here is watching the video of the MSNBC interview -- and subsequent show -- featuring Diane Ravitch on MSNBC. "The interview and panel discussion were broken into three . . .

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TRICK, TREAT, OR SIMPLY 'BOO!' FOR HALLOWEEN? Management by Chaos continues as Barbara Byrd Bennett purges 'Networks' on Halloween Eve following network-induced confusion at hundreds of Chicago's real public schools since school began

Less than a week after Chicago Public Schools "Chief Executive Officer" Barbara Byrd Bennett did not put her latest management reorganization on the agenda for the monthly meeting of her Board (and six days after . . .

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OPT OUT 2014: '...Our children’s teachers provide us with rich, insightful narratives telling us how our children are responding to their thoughtfully designed curriculum...' Castle Bridge parents explain why they are opting out in New York City

The decision by the majority of parents at Castle Bridge Elementary School in New York City to opt out their children from the testing mania sweeping New York has become a larger and larger news . . .

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Chaos at Sumner Elementary School as second half of first semester begins

The veteran teachers of Chicago think they’ve heard it all when yet another crazy story comes to light. After spending nearly ten weeks adjusting to the second year of the Longest School Day (the master . . .

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Chicago again finds the necessary administrative talent -- in Ohio -- as Barbara Byrd Bennett brings in another Ohio crony adding insult to injury in Illinois

The final lists of the new "Chiefs of Schools" for the newly created 13 "Networks" in Chicago's public schools have not yet been made public, but it looks like once again Chicago's "Chief Executive Officer" . . .

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'Modern Eugenics' denounced... 45 Pennsylvania NAACP branches come out against Pennsylvania high school exit exam, exclusively in the Pittsburgh Courier

More than 60 years after another landmark series of stories, the coverage of the integration of Major League Baseball by Jackie Robinson ("42") the legendary Pittsburgh Courier newspaper carried the report this week that compared . . .

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BOOK REVIEW: 'The Mismeasure of Education' shows The Resistance is winning... September 2013 hits with a bang as corporate 'reform' is driven from serious education discussion and relegated to the realm of hoax, fraud and junk science -- where it has always belonged

[Editor's reviewer's note: This review began on September 1, 2013. As I was developing it and working through the historical, analytical and contemporary aspects of what the book says and what I wanted to say . . .

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Have you heard the one about the Quintinity replacing the Blessed Trinity? Five-year plans, Five 'Pillars' of Performance, and Five 'levels' of 'Accountability'... Chicago Public Schools forges ahead from its blessed trinities to a new theology -- SACRED QUNTINITIES?

Anyone with a droll sense of humor about the historic tyrannies of the 20th Century -- and the origins of the Volkswagon -- must be shaking his head as Barbara Byrd Bennett and her "cabinet" . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Sun-Times continues to show it has a crush on Rahm Emanuel with 'analysis' filled with silly metaphors and sophomoric pop psychology instead of facts... Even in supposed critique, the mayor's 'good intentions' trump his many nasty lies into 'lofty goals'...

Does the Chicago Sun-Times still have its schoolgirl crush on Chicago's mayor? That was an interesting question over Labor Day weekend. At first, the Sunday September 1, 2013 story about Mayor Rahm Emanuel's lies, half . . .

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University of Chicago Consortium discovers that young children who are absent a lot are -- absent a lot and don't do well in school... Local right-wing think tank continues to ignore the perils of poverty and class oppression in Chicago's schools

For the opening of school, the University of Chicago has done it again: A major and expensive study proclaims the obvious while ignoring the viciousness of class society and its impact on the youngest children . . .

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REIGN OF ERROR: Perhaps the most important American book of the 21st Century... Putting 'service' back in its proper place of dignity, respect, and history

Diane Ravitch's book Reign of Error was published on September 17, 2013, and by the end of the week had been blogged and reviewed thousands of times. But that will only be the beginning, since . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Safe Passage already collapsing as Rahm's propagandists -- including Chicago's police chief -- claim it's been a success

Two weeks ago, as Chicago's mayor was pushing the propaganda talking points about his school closing policy and touting so-called "Safe Passage", Substance asked the simplest question about the program: Would you take a . . .

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Art exhibit on the first anniversary of the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012 begins Friday, September 6, at a gallery in Pilsen

An exhibit of photographs and art commemorating the first anniversary of the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012 will open Friday in Pilsen. The Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012 began on the morning of September 10, . . .

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CTPF Supports Conclusion of Bipartisan Think Tank CTBA: Tax Levy Diversion of 1990s, Chronic Underfunding of 2000s Created CTPF Financial Difficulty... Study demonstrates how CPS officials have been lying about the problems of the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund

The financial challenges facing the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund can be attributed to nearly 20 years of short-sighted decisions involving diverted tax levies and General Assembly-approved skipped or reduced contributions by Chicago Public Schools — . . .

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A look back at the right wing billionaires and their annual opening of schools privatization propaganda... What? No 'Superman'? New school year begins with billionaires in confusion about how to push their charter school and voucher attacks on public education as the resistance grows

In Chicago, one year after the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012, the Chicago Board of Privatizing Public Schools (aka, the Chicago Board of Education, the seven ideological tea partiers appointed by the right wing zealot . . .

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Historical malfeasance comparing Ravitch and Nixon... 'Billionaire Boys Club' front group called 'Democrats for Education Reform' (DFER) begins pre-publication attack on Diane Ravitch's new book 'Reign of Error' two weeks before publication

By 1971, Richard Nixon was President of the United States, easily the most powerful man on earth at the time. He was prosecuting several wars (air; Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand) as the Commander-in-Chief of the . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Who's full of bullshit? Russo's 'District 299...' is usually irrelevant, but when a 'reporter' living in Brooklyn criticizes reporters in Chicago who are watching Safe Passage nonsense, he becomes the joke

Actually, Alexander Russo is the one who is full of shit about Safe Passage, but what can you expect from a guy who believe he can pontificate about Chicago's public schools from 800 miles east . . .

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SOLIDARITY FOREVER: A new take on 'Fashion Week'... Even Warrior Princesses need a union... 'Zena' carried a union card and the song is now a far cry from the 'organize the guys' years of the classic union song 'Union Maid'

Fans of the famous feminist stories of the past 20 years might remember the shortened James Cameron show "Dark Angel," which launched the career of Jessica Alba as a genetically modified kick-ass rebel against the . . .

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RAHM'S PSEUO-NEWS: Mayor spends public money on Walmart propaganda featuring Rahmphotos

On September 10, 2013, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, via the "Mayor's Press Office," Rahm's personal taxpayer-supported propaganda office, issued another press release with photograph, this time touting Walmart. The press release, with the desired photographs . . .

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'While Lockheed CEO Augustine touts the need for more STEM graduates and STEM teachers for public schools, Lockheed is laying off thousands of engineers!...' Research studies show there is no STEM shortage...'STEM shortage' another example of Rahm's use of junk science

This afternoon, September 12, 2013, at two o'clock, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will be at Michelle Clark High School on Chicago's West Side to prattle on, again, about how Chicago is expanding STEM ("Science, Technology, . . .

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RAHMSWORLD: 'Ground grass fed beef' for only five bucks a pound! Thanks, Rahm. Millions (in tax dollars) to subsidize boutique Whole Foods stores on the South Side -- but not a penny for restoring 'Home Economics' -- let alone shop, music, art, or other -- teachers

Everybody in Chicago knows it's a great idea to pay five bucks a pound for hamburger, right? In case you missed it, Whole Foods will be selling hamburger on "Sale" at $4.99 a pound this . . .

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CHILE ANNIVERSARY: 'The American Federation of Teachers and the CIA' by George Schmidt (1978)... Substance AFT - CIA pamphlet available in PDF

The Substance pamphlet "The American Federation of Teachers and the CIA" is now available in PDF format. The 1978 pamphlet, which traced the early involvement of the AFT beginning in the 1970s with the . . .

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REACH: Chicago test insanity grows, as CPS plans to test pre-kindergarteners despite all valid and reliable research saying that should never be

Chicago parents and children, down to the lowest grades, got a small reprieve from the increase in testing insanity in Chicago Public Schools when one of the many privatized portions of public education failed to . . .

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PRE REVIEW REVIEW OF THE BOOK BURNERS' SCREAMS.. Duncan, Cunningham, Williams and other Propagandists of the Plutocracy unleash their impotent fury against Diane Ravitch's 'Reign of Error' -- without even waiting until the book is published!

The foreplay from the propagandists of corporate "school reform" was in play weeks before the official publication date. Diane Ravitch's "Reign of Error" will be published on September 17, 2013, a day after I write . . .

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Special Education class size provisions saved in Illinois... for now

A proposal to eliminate protections for class sizes for special education students in Illinois has been tabled -- not defeated -- at least for now at the Illinois State Board of Education. For the past . . .

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Another 'Broad' entrepreneur... Emanuel administration moves ahead with plans for charter schools to 'relieve overcrowding' on Northwest Side... Chicago Plan Commission approved a new charter school at 4540 W. Belmont over community objections... Noble Charter 'campus' near Prosser HS next?

The Emanuel administration moved full speed ahead with its continuation of the massive privatization of Chicago's public schools through charter schools while most residents of the affected areas weren't even aware of how far the . . .

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CRAZY ABOUT DIANE may become a new feature at substancenews.net... 'Evil' Diane Ravitch, according to a Tweet from a Colorado Congressman (a Democrat)... Cong. Jared Polis is a multi-millionaire fan of corporate reform

While it's only been four days as of this writing (on September 21, 2013) since the official publication date of Diane Ravitch's Reign of Error, Substance is considering publishing a regular feature and calling it . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Strange 'Tendency' seduces Tribune's ace Brooklyn-to-CPS blogger... Has Alexander Russo become a closet Trotskyist of the 'infantile disorder' kind?

Anyone reading the Chicago Tribune would have been surprised to find the Tribune endorsing class struggle -- at least of the kind where the "99 percent" are organizing to strip the "one percent" of their . . .

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BOARDWATCH: Facilities plan gets an 'F' a year after the 'Great Stalling' began... Power Point and 'plan' provide so few serious details that even the Board members express skepticism before voting for the 'plan'

Some teachers grade on a curve, and some grade ruthlessly on some absolute scale, but given all the massive amount of time and energy (and obfuscation) that went into the development of the CPS Facilities . . .

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Illinois Federation of Teachers President to speak at Chicago's City Club in November

Following on the heels of the bombshell speech by Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis at the City Club of Chicago, Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) President Dan Montgomery has been scheduled to speak at . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: WTF? Everyone -- at 'Education Nation' at least -- knows that Deborah Quazzo is the best person to represent Chicago's public schools in a nationwide TV show. Education Nation chooses corporate propaganda over fact, once again...

Were anyone in Chicago but Rahm Emanuel asked to name 100 or 1,000 teachers, students, union leaders or parents who know Chicago's public schools, the name "Deborah Quazzo" would not come up. Until she was . . .

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WTF Kevin Huffman? 'Rigor is not always more...' Tennessee TFA state schools supt. increases the number of critics of corporate 'school reform' across the state that invented 'value-added' teacher bashing 'matrices'

Proving that like many ruling classes, those currently running the most avid "school reform" governments -- whether at the local, state, or national level -- learn nothing and forget nothing, Tennessee, which brought us Lamar . . .

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New book becomes a handbook for those organizing to save true public schools and end corporate attacks on democracy, unions and teachers... Reviews of Reign of Error show corporate reform and 'Race To The Top' may be breathing their last fetid breaths

It doesn't really matter when we mark the historical beginning of the madness of corporate "school reform." Most historians will probably mark it with the publication of that silly screed -- A Nation at Risk. . . .

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EDITORIAL: Lawsuit exposed not only violations of the rights of students, but the incompetence of Chicago's out of town administrators

The ongoing lawsuit against Chicago Public Schools for rushing the closing of the largest number of schools in U.S. history has revealed the indifference of CPS officials as well as their out-of-town incompetence. . . .

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BOOK REVIEWS: Propagandists for corporate 'school reform' publishing books regularly touting their versions of reality

In a way, the writers don't matter, because what is important is to overstuff the libraries with so-called "studies" and other tomes all depicting the same version of reality: The USA needs corporate reform to . . .

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Illinois judge rules that CPS can close schools even when a hearing officer rules 'No'

Cook County Circuit Judge Thomas Allen ruled on July 31 that the Chicago Board of Education has the right to close schools even if a hearing officer finds that the schools shouldn't closed. The ruling, . . .

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Protest against ALEC on August 8

ALEC PROTEST AUGUST 8th. JOIN US: Let’s “Welcome” ALEC to Chicago. Thursday, August 8, 2013. Noon. Outside the Palmer House Hilton Hotel, 17 East Monroe, Chicago, IL 60603





We will . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Chicago taxpayers pay more than $2 million per year to provide daily propaganda on behalf of Rahm Emanuel... Synthetic News straight from City Hall, Chicago style

Once again, on August 1, 2013, the taxpayers of Chicago paid for a complete media package from the city's mayor, mediagenic Rahm Emanuel. Once again, at taxpayer expense, the mayor's media team issued a press . . .

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Why Substance has published more than 100 pages of trial reporting from the federal lawsuit against Chicago Public Schools for the violation of the rights of children with disabilities

While there has been a lot going on in Chicago and with Chicago's public schools during the last weeks of July and the first week of August 2013, Substance reporters and editors have devoted more . . .

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Lawyering up at CPS... No 'Billion Dollar Deficit!' when Board hired a million dollars worth of new lawyers and paid one outside law firm another million dollars in eight months

The next time Mayor Rahm Emanuel or his hand-picked schools “Chief Executive Officer” Barbara Byrd Bennett tells you that sacrifices have to be made and that Chicago Public Schools has cut its budgets to the . . .

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Board of Education's star-studded cast back in federal court Wednesday, August 7, for hearing on Trumbull special ed lawsuit

While the public awaits the decision of federal judge Lee after last month's three days of hearings, the public can return to court on Wednesday, August 7, to see the Board's star-studded case of outsiders . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: New York Times offers Rahm's propaganda as front page 'news'

How much propaganda is coming out of America's most important "news" organizations in 2013? A current example, splashed to the world on the front page of "America's Newspaper of Record" (whose motto is "All The . . .

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Chicago Tonight shows credibility gap between Board and reality

The August 5, 2013 edition of Chicago Tonight on WTTW (Channel 11) once again showed how the Chicago Board of Education is doubletalking the main issues facing the schools. The URL for the show . . .

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Byrd Bennett announces that CPS intends to 'reduce excessive testing'

In a press release embargoed until 12:01 a.m. on August 7, 2013, Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Barbara Byrd Bennett announced that CPS will be reducing the number of standardized tests required by the . . .

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Derrion Albert murder, $65 million in federal money, launched 'Safe Passage' preacher patronage program

The report in the Chicago Tribune of August 8, 2013, that "Safe Passage" still hasn't been fully implemented as Chicago schools move towards the most tumultuous opening in history (thanks to the closing of 49 . . .

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The Countdown begins... Once Barbara Byrd Bennett has successfully closed the largest number of real public schools in U.S. History, her Chicago time as Rahm's toady is heading for its ending

With the credibility of the leaders of Chicago's Public Schools at an all-time low (and those who are saying this are aware of the credibilities of the leaders of Chicago's schools during the era of . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Chicago Police arrest Snowden

The Chicago Police Department announced on August 11, 2013 that they had captured Terrence Snowden on charges of murder. Names: Terrence SNOWDEN, 24, 8700 block of S. Euclid, Charges: First Degree Murder, Firearm W/O valid . . .

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Destroying the evidence of a racist attack on Chicago communities and public education... Rahm Emanuel administration begins the GREAT WHITE OUT of schools and communities following the massive closings voted on by the Board of Education on May 22, 2013

While protesters for the most part have concentrated their attention during the summer of 2013 on events in and around Chicago's downtown — with focuses on the City Council Education Committee, that State of Illinois, . . .

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CPS had massively -- and ludicrously -- censored the official video of critical student testimony on July 24 , 2013 and cut all those who were dragged out of the meeting -- AGAIN

As the David Vitale Board of Education, appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, continues to try and cover up all of the opposition to its policies, a dramatic example of CPS censorship became available on the . . .

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UNSAFE PASSAGES AND RAHM'S CYNICAL PATRONAGE... Will you take a bullet for Rahm for ten bucks an hour?

Having been outside a Chicago public schools on more than one occasion when the gang bangers were using live ammunition (my job for several years include "security coordinator" at Bowen High School, 2710 E. 89th . . .

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Brizard interview with right-wing think tank reveals Rahm's control freak problems as big part of Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012

The big news as Chicago's public schools moves into the third school year since Chicago elected Rahm Emanuel mayor (Rahm's inauguration was in May 2011), the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, a right wing think tank, . . .

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'Beautification' and then 'Helping Hands' expose another Barbara Byrd Bennett lie... Millions of dollars worth of 'central office' staff that don't exist were sent to the schools for 'beautification', then 'Helping Hands', and 'Welcoming' as Chicago schools opened

It was kind of a second city (or Second City) version of "Where's Waldo?" For most of two weeks, it was difficult to find the denizens of the Chicago Public Schools central and "Network" offices . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Special ed children pushed out of New York's clout heavy charter school... New York Daily News exposes 'Harlem Success Academy'... 'has for years used a 'zero tolerance' disciplinary policy to suspend, push out, discharge or demote...' kids who would lower scores

It seems that the formula for a supersuccessful charter school in New York, as in Chicago, is to dump the kids who might lower the school's scores before the next test, then ignore the violations . . .

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Vitale, Byrd Bennett continue to whittle away at democratic participation in public schools' public affairs... How CPS excluded the 'public' from a public meeting -- and then doubletalked about the Open Meetings Act... CPS (again) gives the finger to democracy at Aug 28 meeting

The Chicago Board of Education was scheduled to vote on the largest and most controversial budget in recent history, and so Chicago Public School officials made sure that most members of the public were excluded . . .

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RAHM'S PSEUDO NEWS: August 29 reminds public of the importance of India corporations to Chicagio

The Safe Passages routes may already be collapsing and the Chicago Police Dept. is trying to explain the continued presence of the Gangster Disciples street gang on the city's far north side (Ashland and Farwell), . . .

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Rahm touts opening of schools, crazy numbers about 'attendance'

It's not that anything that is said by the leaders of public education in Chicago has any credibility with most people in the nation's third largest city, but every now and then Chicago Mayor Rahm . . .

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BOARDWATCH: Henry Bienen and the other six smug self-important hypocrites from the Chicago Board of Education

One of the droll features of the monthly meetings of the Chicago Board of Education arrives according to the script just before the Board meeting goes into executive session. The administrators' reports are completed. The . . .

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BOARDWATCH: 'Last call for' democracy as the Chicago Board of Education continues to strangle the truth from the schools and the streets

It echoes at every meeting of the Chicago Board of Education. "Last call for Mardess Toney..." Estela Beltran said. Beltran, the secretary of the Chicago Board of Education was calling the names of those people . . .

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How about a 'Chief Officer for Innovation and Incubation' to solve the problems of a public school near you

During the eight months that Chicago Public Schools "Chief Executive Officer" Barbara Byrd Bennett was overseeing the production of the latest CPS production -- "Underutilization Crisis 1.0" -- the prattle from the ruling class media, . . .

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Reporter Glen Greenwald electrifies Chicago 'Socialism 2013' conference via Skype -- instead of in person -- because of U.S. attacks on his reporting in The Guardian

Reporter, author, and critic Glen Greenwald, who worked to bring the stories about PRISM and the massive NSA spying to the world thanks to the whistle blowing of Edward Snowden, spoke to the Socialism 2013 . . .

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Vallas's chutzpah continues following Connecticut court ruling that he was illegally holding superintendent's job in Bridgeport

Thanks to the report below which furthers the story about the recent defeat of Paul Vallas's fraud in a Connecticut court. As readers now know, a Connecticut court ruled Friday that Vallas did not qualify . . .

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CPS hires another outsider for a top executive post

It's gotten so the surprise would be if Barbarba Byrd Bennett hired a Chicago principal for any job other than "Transition Coordinator" for a couple of months at a thousand dollars a day. The executive . . .

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Vallas tells NBC he's a 'target of union-backed anti reformers'... and that he's not Rahm Emanuel

Former Chicago -- and Philadelphia, and New Orleans (and Haiti so of) -- schools chief Paul G. Vallas brought his whining campaign to Chicago on the morning of July 2, 2013, when he called NBC . . .

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VALLAS FACTS: 'The Paul Vallas Hoax' in the March 2002 Substance exposed every lie, half-truth, and self serving utteration of Vallas... But it took other places a decade to check out Vallas's nonsense and try to stop his 'school reform' nonsense

[Editor's Note: Substance had the story first, with all the facts. Paul Vallas was a fraud ten and fifteen years ago, in 1998 or 2002, just as he has been exposed to be in 2013 . . .

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Edward Snowden, 2013, Phillip Agee, 1970... Empire defends itself brutally against the truth and those who bring the truth out

A good news story is about the facts, not about the way in which the facts come to a reporter or news organization. Yet as soon as we publish the facts, someone on the other . . .

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Pritzker/Emanuel minion Beth Swanson did 'budget' Power Points at the time... Chicago Board of Education began planning 'Pension Crisis' six years ago to force CTPF into defined contributions

By the time George W. Bush was completing his second term, during which he failed to privatize Social Security, Chicago's plutocracy was already planning the "Pension Crisis" which is supposedly driving the cutbacks in Chicago's . . .

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VALLAS FACTS: Chicago's infamous CASE tests... Paul Vallas's million dollar 'copyright infringement' lawsuit against Substance protected dumbs tests -- and frightened potential teacher whistle blowers? -- for a decade... Now ending?

As Susan Ohanian recently reported on her website, the Chicago Board of Education's 1999 million-dollar "copyright infringement" lawsuit against Substance (and this reporter) cost the Chicago Public Schools a million dollars in attorneys' fees . . .

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VALLAS FACTS: How 'Chainsaw Paul' got de-chained when 'Chainsaw Al Dunlap' was exposed as a pre-Madoff crook who cooked the books. While business reporters were blowing the whistle on Dunlap, education writers created the Vallas myth by praising Vallas's cooking of the books and macho bluster

It was hagiography, not really journalism. But as the 1990s progressed, more and more business, financial and economic reporting was reduced to a kind of celebrity drivel: CEO portraits and CEO worship. During the frenzy . . .

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RAHMWATCH: Whither the DAILY RAHM? Mayor's press minions subtract Substance from email list of City Hall press releases (again)

For the second time in a year, someone in the Mayor's Press Office at Chicago's City Hall has hit the DELETE button and cut off Substance from the daily (or more than once a day) . . .

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TWINKIES, THE NEW SCAB SNACK: Union busting billionaire brags about his 'efficiencies' while preparing to put snack foods, including Twinkies and Ding Dongs, back on the market after breaking union contracts and reneging on union pensions

When they return to grocery and other store shelves, the "new" Hostess Twinkies will become as much a scab symbol of union busting and plutocratic greed as Wal-Mart, Sam's Clubs, and Rahm Emanuel's Chicago "school . . .

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Ogden principal, assistant principal reassigned pending investigation

DNA Info reported on July 9, 2013, that the principal and assistant principal of Ogden "International" schools (two schools, the "high school" was placed on the corpse of the Carpenter Elementary School after Ron Huberman . . .

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Parental 'Opt Out' gets national support! NEA adopting resolutions opposing 'excesses' of high-stakes testing and Common Core

The National Education Association's annual "Representative Assembly" has adopted a number of resolutions dealing with high-stakes testing the the upcoming problems facing teachers as the "Common Core" develops. The annual meeting, held in Atlanta, ended . . .

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Scabby recovering from scab shanking

Family sources report on the afternoon of July 11, 2013, that Scabby the Rat -- long a friend of the working man, women, and child -- is recovering from a desperate shanking by a scab . . .

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Barbara Byrd Bennett adds to schools' confusion with new 'budget' claims (and a small increase in dollars)... Then she repeats the lie that CPS has 'cut' $600 million from central office, while continuing the claim that America's third largest school system faces $1 billion 'deficit'

How many lies add up to and end to Rahm's rule over Chicago schools? As July 2013 moved forward, more than 600 Chicago school principals and local school councils -- along with nearly a million . . .

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From coast to coast, corporate 'reform' school chiefs defying courts and boards

While Paul Vallas makes his George Wallace-style stance in the schoolhouse door for the sake of the children of Bridgeport, Connecticut, another corporate "reform" chieftain, John Deasey (Los Angeles) is having a confrontation with the . . .

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HISTORY: Some facts about the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Justice -- and school desegregation

[Editor's Note: There is a quote attributed to Napoleon that history is written by the victors, and generally that's accurate. But how, then, do we have the various versions of the history of Napoleon himself? . . .

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LA Supt. vows to thwart school board resolution to reduce class size... 'a directive to hire every human being on the West Coast,' LA Supt calls the order... Will L.A. continue expansion of charters, privatization, and union busting?... Elected school board gets its test -- in LA after victory

How well does an elected school board work in a major city? Chicago continues facing the problems caused by mayoral control and a seven-member Chicago Board of Education appointed from the ranks of the plutocracy . . .

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Federal court hearings begin on lawsuits challenging Chicago school closings

Lawsuits challenging to Chicago Board of Education's May 22 decision to close 49 of the city's real public schools begin being heard in the U.S. federal court building in Chicago on July 16, 2013. A . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Poor Paul Vallas is always being picked on by opponents of 'true reform' and heroic 'change agents'... New York Times continues corporate 'reform' propaganda with hagiographic tale about the travails of poor Paul Vallas in Connecticut

To hear The New York Times tell the story, Poor Paul Vallas has proved himself a true leader of school reform -- a "change agent" of the highest order -- and his critics, the most . . .

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Copy of complaint in Swan v. Board of Education available on PDF

A copy of the 17-page complain in Swan v. Board of Education is available in PDF format from the Chicago Teachers Union at http://www.ctunet.com/blog/text/2013-5-15-Swan1-Complaint.pdf . . .

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DETROIT NOW LEADS CHICAGO SCOOLS: Rahm's school 'team' -- the detroiting of Chicago... The majority of top executives hired by the Chicago Board of Education during the past 18 months came from other cities -- with the most coming after they helped 'bankrupt' Detroit!

Rahm Emanuel may be warning Chicago about becoming Detroit, but at the same time his school board is promoting what can only be called the "detroiting" of Chicago. A half dozen members of the "team" . . .

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Substance summer survey to sample 'State of Chicago Censorship'. It's almost one year after the SOJO principal attack outspoken teachers, and a few months after the brief banning of 'Persepolis', and a growing number of violations of the First Amendment by CPS principals

With the same 25 years after the 1987 strike comes the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Hazlewood. While the arbitrary attacks on teacher, student and human rights by the officials of Chicago's . . .

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Unions block attacks on pensions... CPS to claim budget 'crisis' while ignoring TIF and other revenue sources

The Illinois General Assembly ended its session on May 31, 2013 without passing what the corporate media have been calling "pension reform." Nor did the legislators approve the attempts by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and others . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Chicago Sun-Times fires photographers... Reporters to be required to do double-duty

Less than two weeks after a Sun-Times photograph captured the police state reality at the monthly meetings of the Chicago Board of Education, depicting parent Erica Clark being dragged from the May 22 meeting of . . .

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CPS claims half of children from closing schools have enrolled in 'Welcoming Schools' based on questionable numbers

The public battle over the questionable use of numbers by leaders of Chicago Public Schools continued on May 30, 2013 when the CPS "Office of Communications" issued a press release claiming that half the children . . .

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'Family and Community Engagement' in action after the school closings vote -- How to stop an 'active shooter'

It's sometimes impossible to satirize the Chicago Board of Education during the years of Rahm Emanuel's administration. The ever expanding CPS bureaucracy under Rahm continues to produce nonsense like the attached to prove that what . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: New York Times magazine publishes best refutation of the TIME magazine hagiographic cover story on Rahm Emanuel with a story on Chicago's anti-eviction activists who are moving 'home-less people into the people-less homes.'

[Editor's Note: There are times in reporting when the facts can obscure the truth, and other times when a good reporting of the facts can bring to light a "greater truth." In 2013, Chicago has . . .

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KAFKA ON CLARK STREET... Emanuel administration hacks strangle Chicago democracy... David Vitale and Barbara Byrd Bennett teamed up to eviscerate the video of the May 22 Board meeting... Government manhandling of protesters is edited out of Emanuel's Hollywoodized version of 'reform'

The gutting of the video version of the May 22, 2013 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education is unprecedented even for a school system that has systematically censored part of the public record of . . .

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'Student based budgeting' destroying local schools behind a smokescreen of distortions, half-truths, and outright lies about fiscal realities and histories from CPS and City Hall

With the June 5, 2013, release by Chicago Public Schools of the local school budgets under what officials are calling "Student Based Budgeting", the destruction of the city's real public schools under the administration of . . .

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Crain's Chicago Business adds to skeptics about austerity claims... The Chicago Public Schools billion dollar 'deficit' is disappearing like the City Hall invented fiction it always was!

It is becoming clear that Chicago Public Schools will not be presenting its Proposed Budget for the 2013 - 2014 school year in June, as it should, because the fiscal year ends on June 30, . . .

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The real face of 'austerity'. Philadelphia closing 23 real public schools while Pennsylvania will be spending $400 million on a new prison

[Editor's note: The following was forwarded to us from the Black Youth Project and originally appeared on June 5, 2013 as "Philadelphia to Close 23 Public Schools While Building $400 Million Prison." http://www.blackyouthproject.com/2013/06/philadelphia-to-close-23-public-schools-while-building-400-million-prison/]

. . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Sun-Times reporters getting the story straight on Chicago's real public schools, while propaganda departments subtly tout charter schools on an almost daily basis

The Chicago Sun-Times has begun reporting more and more accurately on the lies and evasions of the Chicago Board of Education and Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Barbara Byrd Bennet, while the publishers of . . .

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Uproar in Denver as principals purge teachers who oppose test-driven corporate 'reform'... Has teacher union deal aided and abetted purging of teachers?

Every day more news is coming in from reliable sources that principals in Denver, Colorado who are promoting corporate school reform have been given a green light to purge teachers who have spoken out publicly . . .

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CTU reacts to CPS 'Five-Year Plan' without noting the sordid history of 'five-year plans' in previous decades... Byrd Bennett lists 'Five Pillars" of the Plan

The officers and staff of the Chicago Teachers Union have resisted the temptation to note the historical ancestors of the most recent announcement by Chicago Public Schools "Chief Executive Officer" Barbara Byrd Bennett -- viz., . . .

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Bullying the 'narrative' to edict that innovation must mean privatization, union busting and teacher bashing... Instead of 'innovation' grants to utilize buildings, Rahm Emanuel's school board pushed the austerity lies and the destruction of public schools

Anyone who reads Education Week, the national voice of corporate education reform, could not have missed the fact that the U.S. Department of Education was awarding hundreds of millions of dollars in awards of late . . .

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Rahm teams up with right-wing 'Waiting for Superman' propagandist Davis Guggenheim

Anyone who thinks that the coincidence between the fatuous scripts that Rahm Emanuel keeps repeating and the teacher bashing, union busting, pro-privatization plutocracy didn't have to go far on June 10, 2013, as Rahm teamed . . .

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OIC: CPS bureaucrats concoct a Pre-School registration process that will defy most people's attempts to register

One of the results of leaving teachers, principals and most parents out of virtually all serious planning at Chicago Public Schools while involving some of the most expensive and incompetent consultants the world has to . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Oh, Yes! And everyone is going to get a FREE PONY, too!

Barbara Byrd Bennett may have gotten away with announcing her "FIVE-YEAR PLAN!!!!" without serious questions from the carefully selected reporters from the tank that the CPS Office of Communications keeps, but the closer one looks, . . .

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Rick Mills leaves Minnesota for Florida boss gig

Just when Chicago principals were noticing that half the "Chiefs of Schools" they are supposed to bow down to seem to be packing their bags and distributing resumes across the USA, the media begins to . . .

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Chirpy, the CPS Robot, takes over blocking phone calls... CPS unwelcome policy -- 'Thank you for calling... but Phuque Hue -- You can't call there from here anymore!'

Any parent or other person who tries to get through to a real person by calling the CPS main switchbvoard telephone number (773 - 553 - 1000) will be greeted with a menu in English . . .

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Chicago Teachers Union blasts CPS Sabotage of the city's real public schools as 'Student Based Budgeting' sucks millions per school from the city's real public schools while leaving charter schools without injury

Less than a two weeks after Chicago principals first received word of how they are supposed to prepare their school budgets under what CPS is calling "Student Based Budgeting" but which is being exposed as . . .

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Chicago dumping hundreds of teachers just in time for 'Charter School Jobs Fair'

Just as Chicago is continuing its attack on the city's real public schools by dumping hundreds of veteran teachers and other schools staff, almost as a spooky coincidence Chicago teachers are receiving emails that they . . .

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California city gets the usual barrage of verbiage about 'budget deficits' and 'underutilization' crises... Parents file lawsuit on behalf of poor families as Sacramento closes seven elementary schools following the neo-liberal attack on public schools with seven closings

Sacramento California, where the school board is elected, joined the neoliberal racist attack real public school serving children who live in poverty with a vote to close nine of the city's real public schools. Last . . .

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Lewis proposes improved funding for Chicago schools during City Club speech, urges city to own up to racism and poverty underlying most problems of Chicago schools

Accepting the challenge from Chicago Schools "Chief Executive Officer" Barbara Byrd Bennett and others to propose solutions to the schools system's budget "crisis," Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis offered several suggestions during a speech . . .

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Whitney Young Magnet High School LSC votes unanimously to reject CPS budget imposed on the school... First Lady's Alma Mater challenges CPS attacks on local school budgets... CPS refuses to provide details of its fiscal 2014 budget, hiding behind an ongoing smokescreen of talking points

At a meeting on Tuesday morning, June 18, 2013, the Local School Council of Whitney Young Magnet High School, one of the top five high schools in Illinois and long one of the best high . . .

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Byrd Bennett tries to gag principals following published complaints about budget cuts... CPS SNAFU on school budgets reaching FUBAR proportions

With almost none of the top officials of Chicago Public Schools having any experience as Chicago school teachers or principals, the massive disruption of school programming for the 2013 - 2014 school year continues to . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Sun-Times reporters getting the story straight on school closings and budget attacks on real public schools, with the Sports pages even offering serious discussion while the Tribune provides non-stop propaganda for CPS and Emanuel

While the Chicago Tribune continues to show itself to be a regular propagandist for the party line on corporate school reform coming straight from the Emanuel administration, a funny thing happened on the way to . . .

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BOARDWATCH: What comes after doubletalk and tripletalk? Maybe CPSBABBLE... Board members prattle on in accustomed roles untethered to any reality... Power Point substitutes for the realities of privatization, charterization and the willful destruction of the real public schools of America's third la

Any reporter who has covered the meetings of the Chicago Board of Education more than once has to have noticed certain patters of Board members' speech. Whether they rehearse or not is probably beside the . . .

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CPS sabotage of real public schools moves forward with 'Talent Office' program for frustrating substitutes for 2013 - 2014 while displaced teachers are going to face ridiculous hurdles on the way to finding jobs that are out there

If you want the city's real public schools to succeed, you provide the schools and principals with the cleanest ways to get the most teachers by the opening day of school and keep classrooms purring . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Why Chicago reporters need a strong union and not smarmy 'Pledge Drives'... Reader's Michael Miner explains how WBEZ exploited Becky Vevea, then dumped her

Every now and then, I'm tempted to rejoin WBEZ radio after a decade of not pledging. The only reason for doing so, I tell myself before changing to another station when the Pledge Pups Pitch, . . .

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Austerity instead of democracy in every possible way... 'Last call for...' highlights Vitale's plan to eliminate public participation at the Chicago Board of Education's public meetings

"Last call for Mardess Toney..." Estela Beltran said. Beltran, the secretary of the Chicago Board of Education was calling the names of those people who were supposed to participate in "Public Participation" at the June . . .

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Hearings on turnarounds continue at CPS, excluding as many parents, teachers, and students as possible

The final days of the hearings on the 2013 Hit List, the greatest in history, continue during the first week of May 2013 at the headquarters of the Chicago Public Schools at 125 S. Clark . . .

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SOLIDARITY FOREVER: Debate looms on May 8, while 'Salvation' caucus making school visits, pushing a mendacious disinformation campaign

As the final three weeks of the Chicago Teachers Union election campaign began, members of what a growing number of CTU members are calling the "Salvation" caucus are going around to schools, trying to sell . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Rahm plans another media event at the Merchandise Mart to celebrate May Day

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, continuing his corporate media events, will be at Chicago's Merchandise Mart on the morning of May 1, 2013, to celebrate, for the second or third time the so-called "incubator" for high-tech . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: 'Safe Passage Working Group' included in media hype from City Hall...Rahm, Barbara Byrd Bennett, staged hype to promote 'Safe Passage' and move into home stretch for massive school closings

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel continued to push his program to close the greatest number of schools in American history with a carefully staged media event on April 30, 2013, featuring his cabinet and the promotion . . .

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Raise Your Hand Petition against closings, CPS class size increases... '...Your child's school may have avoided being on the closure list or on the receiver school list, but with a 36 student allowed per classroom limit now in place, every school in CPS could be seeing these numbers at some point...

Continuing their tradition of opposing the pushes against Chicago's public schools from the administration of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the Raise Your Hand coalition has begun a new petition against Emanuel's push to close the largest . . .

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Market Based Reforms and Why They Have Failed... New Report finishes debate on 'Market Reforms', including mayoral control

For more than 30 years, since the publication of "A Nation At Risk," American public education has been under the most sustained attack since the founding of the USA. "A Nation at Risk" marked the . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Rahm uses Golden Apple announcement for another publicity stunt as Lindblom teacher wins award

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel used the announcement of the annual Golden Apple awards to hold another school based publicity stunt and get his version of reality into the newspapers, sending out a press release from . . .

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Kristine Mayle shares union critique of Penny Pritzker (appointed as U.S. Commerce Secretary), while new video interview with Kristine Mayle

While the corporate media have generally been applauding the appointment by President Barack Obama of Chicago heiress Penny Pritzker at U.S. Commerce Secretary, at least one newspaper got some of the critique of Pritzker accurately. . . .

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Lincoln Park HS students hold massive walkout against 'Wall To Wall IB' teacher firings

Hundreds of students from Chicago's famed Lincoln Park High School walked out of the school at approximately 9:00 a.m. on Friday May 3, 2013 to protest the principal's decision to fire at least eight of . . .

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UNO whistle blower's lawsuit to go to a jury trial in federal court... UNO fired a teacher after he reported a locker room sexual assault, then reinstated the student assailants

A federal judge has ruled that a Civil Rights lawsuit filed by a former UNO charter school teacher should go to a jury trial following more than three years of litigation on the matter. According . . .

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EDITORIAL: 'Wall-to-wall IB' is another example of Emanuel administration's nonsense

One of the ironies of the current (and growing) controversy over whether several high school principals in Chicago should be allowed to fire experienced teachers under the pretext of selecting them for a so-called "Wall-to-wall . . .

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Chris Whittle's latest scam aimed at the richest strivers in Manhattan... Instead of a Pump-And-Dump like EDSN, the founder of Edison Schools, Inc. and 'Channel One' is going where the really big bucks are: Parents too rich and too dumb to know what money can't buy -- and who hate public schools...

There is was, a quarter century after the first Chris Whittle hype. Another story in The New York Times about another scheme from a guy who has pioneered the scams and schemes of the education . . .

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REVIEW: You've right: Rahm's a sicko -- but representing a sickness of his plutocratic class, as recent research shows. In case you didn't already realize it, there is a lot of narcissism in the education reform fantasies of the rich Rahms and others trying to dictate 'education reform' in the USA

Everyone familiar with the range of scholarship dealing with the class and race problems in the USA has studied the seminal work of W.E.B. Dubois, but maybe more people should read beyond "The Souls of . . .

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'Teacher Appreciation Week'... In case you missed it, Rahm really cares about appreciating teachers. And he sent out a brief press release to prove it

During the nearly two years since Rahm Emanuel became Mayor of Chicago, he has rarely let a day pass without sending out a detailed press release claiming that another corporation has "brought jobs" to Chicago. . . .

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Arne Duncan's Chicago-style nonsense emerged in speech to AERA convention

One of the lowlights of the AERA (American Educational Research Association) convention in San Francisco during the last week of April was a speech by former Chicago schools "Chief Executive Officer" and current U.S. Secretary . . .

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FACTCHECK: Kim Bowsky and Drew Heiserman challenge Tribune's support for the 'Coalition to Save Our Union'

At least once a day from now until the Chicago Teachers Union votes in the May 17 union election, Substance will present FACTCHECK, a way of checking (with a nod to the Blackhawks) the nonsense . . .

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Children's safety and morality are 'outside the scope...' of the hearings... Another 'Done Deal' on school closings... CPS lawyer blurts out the grim truth -- the 'hearings' are a sham because the hearing officer must simply affirm that CPS has followed its version of Illinois law

Reading the fine print, anyone who has been following the annual hit lists knows what CPS officials proclaimed after the hearing officers offered critical comments on the CPS proposed action. “Rather than evaluate whether the . . .

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Massive Civil Rights 'March for Educational Justice' to demand moratorium on Rahm Emanuel's school closing 'Hit List'...Union to hold Monday, May 13, press conference on planning for the march to stop school closings

As the date nears for the Chicago Board of Education's planned vote to close 54 of the city's public schools in the largest school closing in U.S. history, the Chicago Teachers Union and its allies . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Is the CTU leadership fighting goofy evaluation systems just because 'it gets them elected'? Bloomberg Business Week proclaims 'New Haven Model' (and Chicago's un-model) in major article headlined 'This Is How You Fix Public Schools'

Is the Chicago Teachers Union run by a bunch of "rabble rousers"? Anyone reading the Chicago Tribune or some of the pundits of the plutocracy elsewhere in Chicago's media would hear that phrase often applied . . .

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Federal court upholds Michigan law banning union dues deductions from payrolls

[Editor's Note: The following article was published in the Detroit News on May 12, 2013. The issue of dues deduction from the payroll checks on workers is now part of the strategy of the ruling . . .

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Parents file lawsuit against school closings

A group of Chicago parents and students, supported by the Chicago Teachers Union, filed a lawsuit against the proposed school closings on the afternoon of May 15, 2013, according to CTU and other reports.
. . .

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Chicago Board of Education officials threaten to arrest ministers, priests and other religious leaders at 'Pray In' against the school closings

Officials of Chicago public schools threatened to arrest a group of ministers, priests and other preachers who held a "Pray In" at the headquarters of the nation's third largest school system on the afternoon of . . .

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Chicago Teachers Union to protest 'Turnarounds' at headquarters of AUSL

Parents and community members from schools slated for "turnaround" by CPS visited the Chicago Academy High School/Academy of Urban School Leadership (AUSL) headquarters and protested the district’s use of a program that causes instability for . . .

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Contacts needed for historical film about the 1963 boycott

Did you or someone you know participate in the 1963 Chicago School Boycott? Kartemquin Films filmed the boycott in 1963 and we are searching for participants in this historic event who are interested in sharing . . .

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Video depicts overcrowding at Wildwood Elementary School, shows CPS lies about capacity and overcrowding

The "Apples to Apples" group that has been doing research exposing the lies of the Chicago Public Schools has a delightful video showing the reality of Wildwood Elementary School, on the city's far northwest . . .

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Chicago Teachers Union marks Brown v. Board of Education anniversary with research report showing Chicago segregation remains unconscionable

New Report Unravels the Sordid History of Racial Segregation in Chicago Public Schools
BY CHICAGO TEACHERS UNION RESEARCH DEPARTMENT | 05/17/2013

CHICAGO—On was is the 59th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Brown . . .

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Karen Lewis and CORE slate re-elected in landslide in Chicago Teachers Union election.... Margin for President of the CTU is 12,316 to 3,291

The members of the Chicago Teachers Union voted decisively on May 17, 2013 to re-elect incumbent president Karen Lewis, her fellow officers, and the entire slate of CORE, the Caucus Of Rank-and-file Educators, to three-year . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: The Washington Post is getting Chicago school and union stories straighter and more complete than the Rahm Emanuel daily newsies

In a way, it's no surprise that The Washington Post is getting the story from Chicago more straight than the two Chicago dailies or the TV "news" outlets, all of which have been in the . . .

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RAHM PUSHING SHOWDOWN WITHOUT COMPROMISE... The complete Hit List stays... Board agenda for May 22 meeting includes 70 'school actions' including all 53 closings. Emanuel orders showdown with protesters, unions, and majority of community leaders

The full agenda for the May 22, 2013 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education shows that even though several federal and local court judges, thousands of teachers, students and parents, and the editors of . . .

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RAHMWATCH: 'Rahm the Restaurant Guy' is the City Hall show while racist attacks on black schools enter the final days before Chicago Board of Education vote

Most Chicago reporters now know that if their editors force them to, they can spent each day following the city's mayor from one corporate media event to another, ignoring virtually everything else in the city. . . .

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From Ben Willis to Barbara Byrd-Bennett, the administrators who implement Chicago's racist school policies are always well-paid and viciously powerful...

Within a few months, a local filmmaker will be releasing a new film retelling the history of the great school boycott of 1964 (and hopefully telling the story of the "Justice" strike of 1968 that . . .

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RAHMWATCH: Emanuel regime keeping reporters away from the schools' stories... WBEZ, others are reporting that CPS is trying to stop reporters from getting stories at closing schools

Just as the most dramatic and traumatic part of the school closing narrative begins with the forthcoming (and predictable) May 22 Board of Education vote to close 53 real public schools, turnaround another six of . . .

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'From Logan Park to Humboldt Square, Rahm Rules...' Rahm's racist regime plays 'Ignore them and they'll go away...' as massive protests rock Chicago Board of Education and City Hall

The day before the Chicago Board of Education voted to destroy more than 50 of the city's remaining African American elementary schools, many of them named after famous African American heroes, the mayor devoted a . . .

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Chicago Board of Education votes to close 49 elementary schools, 'turnaround' five elementary schools, and force eleven schools into 'co-location' in the largest number of closings of real public schools in American history

The Chicago Board of Education voted at its May 22, 2013 meeting to close 49 elementary schools, 'turnaround' five elementary schools, and 'co-locate' eleven schools in the largest attack on the real public schools of . . .

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Karen Lewis's statement on the school closings... After the vote by the Board on May 22, 2013

The following statement was circulated by the Chicago Teachers Union after the union's leaders learned of the May 22, 2013 vote of the Chicago Board of Education.







. . .

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West Side parents continue resistance to closings... Delano, Emmett and other closings denounced at May 24 press conference

Anyone who believed that the struggle against the racist attacks on Chicago's public schools by the administration of Mayor Rahm Emanuel was concluded by the now notorious vote of the six members of the Chicago . . .

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Dramatic protest video now available... 'Chicago fights to save our schools'

Between May 18, 2013 and May 20, 2013, the Chicago Teachers Union allied with parents, community activists, and children from across the city led marches to highlight the destruction of the schools that was looming . . .

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Newark teachers, parents block school closing, cite 'Chicago' as example

In the face of the same neo-liberal racist attack on real public schools in the largest city in New Jersey that is being carried out on a larger scale in Chicago, teachers and parents in . . .

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Jean-Claude who? Oliver what's his name?... Mercenaries come and go, as 'Accountability' claims from CPS officials ring more and more hollow

One of the featured guys at the dramatic May 22, 2013 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education was the diminutive CPS "Chief Transformation Officer," Todd Babbitz. It was Babbitz who was called upon by . . .

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'Won't back down!' scam Part Fifty... 'Parents' paid to circulate propaganda for 'Won't Back Down' and Parent Trigger attack on unions and public schools

[Editor's Note: The following article was just published in the San Bernadine Sun on May 24, 2013. Not bad reporting. There is some local and national background: Less than a year ago, the 'Parent Revolution' . . .

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Who is 'Global Workplace Solutions' and why does Chicago hire an Ohio firm to do the closing work? Chicago Board of Education votes $14 million to privatize and outsource the transition for all the closing schools

Now that the Chicago Board of Education has finally voted to push through Rahm Emanuel’s 50-school Hit List, everyone concerned about fighting back against the attacks on public education in Chicago will be following how . . .

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It's time for Chicago to end its 'Amos and Andy' show in school naming... Evanston, Naperville and Northbrook just have elementary, middle and high schools... Why did Chicago go Orwell for nearly a half century in school names? Racism

Now that everyone has access to some of history with the help of the Internet, maybe Chicago could begin the debate about the racist naming of schools that has consumed a lot of creative energy . . .

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CTU holding press conference Wednesday on new lawsuit against closing... Union and parents to charge that the Board's May 22 vote was illegal

The Chicago Teachers Union announced on May 28 that it will hold a press conference at CTU headquarters at Chicago's Merchandise Mart at 11 a.m. to announce another lawsuit being filed against the school closings. . . .

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CTU, parents sue in state court over illegality of Board of Education closing vote on 11 schools

The Chicago Teachers Union and the parents of students at ten of the public schools slated for closing next month sued the Chicago Board of Education in the Circuit Court of Cook County on May . . .

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Attack on pensions continues as Illinois General Assembly goes into final day

As the Illinois General Assembly moves into its final hours, Chicago and Chicago Public Schools lobbyists are pushing for changes in the structure of the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund (CTPF) and, as a last minute . . .

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Movie shows West Pullman struggle

[Editor's Note: The following was sent to us on behalf of the Raise Your Hand coalition, including a movie about the West Pullman struggle].






By Furman


. . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Stupid Rahm move makes national news for second time in month as USA Today notes Chicago closing struggles

For the second time in a month, an offensive and arrogant move by the administration of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel made national news when USA Today in its Easter Weekend edition reported extensively on the . . .

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Another Rahm Emanuel first! Cowardly members of Emanuel's school board put off the March Board meeting until April after announcement of massive rally, march and other protests... More angry than ever, Chicagoans prepare for April 3 Board of Education meeting

In Chicago, absolute power means you can turn one month into another. In March 2013, Rahm Emanuel turned March into April and for the first time in more than 150 years the school board went . . .

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Black Star, Catalyst continue to push 'Urban Prep' hype

Black Star Project, after boycotting the protests against the school closings, continued its trajectory as one of the few cheerleaders for fraudulent corporate "school reform" left in Chicago by hailing the latest year of the . . .

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Chicago Teachers Union to host 'School Closing Bus Tour' for members of the media and elected officials on Thursday April 4, 2013

In an effort to help reporters who have been covering the education stories in Chicago and elected officials get closer to the stories -- and take a break from officials data sets and talking points . . .

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New video adds musical background to the school closings Fight Back... and adds to a growing musical tradition being born out of Chicago's struggles

Throughout US history, every new struggle of working people has given rise to cultural expressions, both in song and in art. Chicago's struggle to prevent the destruction of public education by the "one percent" plutocrats . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: WBEZ finally blows the whistle on the charter school 'waiting list' fiction

The first time, five or six years ago, I heard Arne Duncan claim in public that there was a supposed "waiting list" for entry into Chicago's burgeoning number of charter schools, I asked him how . . .

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Hearings on the 2013 Hit List announced by CPS

On April 2, 2013, the Chicago Public Schools finally announced the schedule for the legally required hearings for all schools on the 2013 Hit List. The hearings are to begin this Saturday April 6. Each . . .

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Connecticut lawsuit charges that Paul Vallas is unqualified to head a Connecticut school district... Local board of education chief responds with absurd endorsement of Vallas as 'Beyond qualified'

Could it be that one of the longest running corporate scams in corporate "school reform" will soon come to a screeching halt? Back in the days when Enron and World Com were the darlings of . . .

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Illinois governor endorses elected school board for Chicago!... 'I think the Chicago Board of Education which for years has been appointed, it would serve us well to have an elected school board...'

In a dramatic announcement put out by a very reputable reporter on the morning of the April "March" meeting of the Chicago Board of Education, April 3, 2013, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has announced that . . .

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'You can't spend the charter school funds for anything you want...' Charter school operators guilty of misusing funds... The couple running Ivy Academia could face prison time over the $200,000 in public funds. The case is seen as having major implications for other charters.

[The following article appeared in the Los Angeles Times on April 5, 2013. The photo with the article -- Yevgeny “Eugene” Selivanov reacts to the guilty verdict. He faces a maximum prison sentence of about . . .

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RUNAROND ON CLOSINGS: King elementary school closing hearing... Parents get the brush off from CPS 'officials'

As the reports from various school closing hearings come in, the strategy and tactics of CPS officials at the so-called "hearings" become clear. Without a stenographer, CPS executives sit at a table, while a timekeeper . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Mayor asked to 'Walk the Walk'!... No major 'boycott' of protests against closings, turnarounds, and co-locations as second week of hearings begins and creative protests against Chicago's hypocrisy grow...

As the second week of the latest round of 'We will 'listen' to you but if you have a question call 911...' so-called hearings by Chicago Public Schools continues, some of the Chicago corporate media . . .

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Network Chief from Pilsen Little Village Zrike heading to East Coast... Another CPS administrator jumping ship

The question about the future of Stephen Zrike is not whether he is soon leaving Chicago, but whence... Less than three years after his media-centric departure from a firm and much touted commitment to a . . .

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Chicago Teachers Union election to be held May 17... It is a two-way race, incumbent CORE versus the 'Coalition to Save Our Union'

The Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates meeting on April 10, 2013, voted to certify the two slates that had submitted nominating petitions to run in the upcoming race for CTU offices in the May . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Mayor asked to 'Walk the Walk' exposing his racist school closings, but only has time for stunts and macho posturing aided and abetted by media propagandists posing as reporters

Once Chicago reporters proudly noted they had been trained under a motto: "If your mother says she loves you, check it out!" By 2013, the motto should have been, "If the mayor says it, make . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: New York Times shaming Chicago newspapers by investigating the corruption of the privatization of public education services

While it was touching to read that the Chicago Tribune has received some recognition for its reporting on the truancy crisis in Chicago (and to a lesser extent Illinois), the Tribune's series on the topic . . .

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Concept charter school withdraws bid for Lincoln Square location

Less than a month after an overflow crowd protesting the attempt by Concept charter schools to locate a school in the Lincoln Square area, the charter has withdrawn its request for a re-zoning of the . . .

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'...leaders in all three of the studied cities gave short shrift to more holistic approaches to education that have shown to have promise...' New study shows depth of failure of corporate school reform in Chicago, New York and D.C.

A new study shows just how mendacious the claims of corporate school reformers are when measured against the actual facts that can be gathered over time. Although in Chicago the lies of Arne Duncan and . . .

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CORE publishes complete list of CORE candidates in the May 17, 2013 CTU election

On Saturday, April 13, 2013, CORE published the complete listing of the candidates it has slated for all executive board seats in the upcoming May 17 election. The information, along with other information, is available . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Corporate 'reporters' ignore CORE election campaign launch on April 14 at Haymarket

I just got back from the CORE election launching party, and as usual the corporate media boycotted it (even though it is a Sunday, and a slow news day). Only ABC TV turned up (and . . .

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Plutocrats' press pawns and propagandists from Sun-Times, Tribune and Catalyst ignore major union event... CORE launches election campaign with spirited rally and meeting at the Haymarket, noting the links to Chicago union history

With the certification of candidates for the upcoming (May 17, 2013) Chicago Teachers Union election completed as of the April 10 meeting of the union's House of Delegates, CORE, the Caucus Of Rank and file . . .

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From 'pioneer schools' in 2011 and 'welcoming' schools in 2013 to massive insults to dozens of veteran high school teachers, CPS continues its attacks and provocations... On April 12, 2013, CPS 'rescinded' the March 2013 appointments of veteran teachers for 'IB' programs at at least four high school

One month after dozens of Chicago high school teachers were told that their positions in the expanded "international Baccalaureate" program had been confirmed for the 2013 - 2014 school year, principals at no fewer than . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Corporate 'reporters' coverage April 15, 2013 of CTU press conference... Most coverage ignores facts reported about Guggenheim school

Although the main news story on April 15, 2013 was the Wrigley Field deal -- until the explosions at the Boston Marathon -- the corporate media did send a full team of reporters to cover . . .

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Chicago Teachers Union releases major report on destruction during previous school closings

A major press conference at the headquarters of the Chicago Teachers Union was held on April 15, 2013 bringing to the public a report on how the Chicago Public Schools destroyed Guggenheim Elementary School after . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Assassinations require highly paid assassins! Who are Adrian Willis and Robert Hubbird -- and why does Chicago pay them $150,000 per year? CPS Assassins routinely have been sent to destroy schools from the inside before 'closing' attack delivers the final blow

If, as the latest report from the Chicago Teachers Union proves, a campaign of destabilization takes place at those schools which are eventually targeted for closing, then the closings themselves constitute a form of public . . .

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'More than a score...' Teachers and parents plan 'Play In' to highlight dangers of standardized testing April 16, 2013

The PLAY IN is a kid-friendly event! We will demonstrate the power of play to let the Chicago Board of Education know that we want play back in our schools for all children. Come by . . .

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Accountability always cuts both ways... And other meditations on the 'Arc of Justice' Arne Duncan has been breaking through Race To The Top

As the final hearings on the largest number of school closing in US history begin in Chicago, with 54 schools facing closing, an equal number about to be disrupted by the closings and transfers of . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Barbara Byrd Bennett's record as an assassin for the Broad Foundation and corporate Chicago was just what the Tribune wanted, so the 'news' becomes daily propaganda promoting closings, charters and the attacks on public schools

[Editor's Note: The lengthy analysis below was published by "South Side CPS Mom" on April 16, 2013. Normally, as Substance readers know, we reject pieces that come in anonymously. Although Substance utilized anonymous (i.e. "off . . .

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'Although injustice may not affect all of us equally, we all must struggle together for our liberation...' Jewish leaders to call for a moratorium on school closings and challenge Rahm Emanuel's closing plans as racist... April 18 afternoon prayer scheduled outside the mayor's City Hall office

Joining the growing coalition that is demanding a moratorium on school closings in Chicago in the face of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's announced plan to close 54 of the city's real public schools (and disrupt more . . .

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'Just what's wrong with Schurz?'... Protests against creating 'Disney II High School' expose another savage inequality in CPS plans -- the creation of 'boutique schools' to insulate certain gentrifying communities from the working class and poor?

One of the last wrinkles in the ever-expanding menu of strange permutations aimed at destabilizing and undermining Chicago's neighborhood elementary, middle and high schools by Arne Duncan came with the transubstantiation of a handful of . . .

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COMMON CORE: Chicago piles up 'bookmarks' for parents while Byrd Bennett gets the days of report card pickup wrong...Chicago 'CEO' can't even get the dates of the report card pickup straight

Imagine if the Chief of Police in Chicago stopped moving experienced Chicago officers into the upper ranks -- and began promoting out-of-towners who were in it for the money and then ready to move on? . . .

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'Did you hear the one from 1840 about the great returns slave ships were bringing to their investors....?' Four Cheers for Randi! Wall Street Journal editorialists fulminate and fume against AFT president for opposing hedge fund union busters as investment managers for public pension funds

Not just three cheers -- four cheers -- for AFT President Randi Weingarten. On April 19, 2013, the Wall Street Journal's editorialists, who are the voice of the "one percent" if anyone on Earth is, . . .

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Wal-Mart billions increasing for 'school reform' Chicago-Style

The Walton Family Foundation is increasing its involvement with Chicago's public schools. From the days when the Wal-Mart fortune was pouring money into Chicago charter schools (Aspira, etc.) while others of the "Billionaire Boys Club" . . .

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CELEBRITY WATCH: Barbara Byrd Bennett 'available' -- for a fee -- as a motivational speaker... One month before the meeting that will destroy more than 60 Chicago schools, corporate reporters continue to ignore the corruptions of the most corrupt schools chief in Chicago history

The escalating saga of the corruption of Chicago's current "Chief Executive Officer" for public education adds layers of arrogance and deceit by the day. Despite CPS regulations about residency and outside work for top executives . . .

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Susan Ohanian video now available on You Tube

For those who have ready any of all of the nearly a dozen books by Susan Ohanian, meeting her in a You Tube Video should become a pleasant experience. In a new five-minute . . .

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Chicago's mindless boosterism proved in response to New York Times Book Review feature mocking Chicago's mindless boosterism

On Sunday, April 21, 2013, those of us who subscriber to the print edition of The New York Times rose to read a humorous if hyperbolic book review making fun of Chicago on the front . . .

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BOARDWATCH: Board of Education fine tunes its police state to suppress critics and criticism... Chicago's school board finally holds its April meeting as mayor's plan to destroy more than 60 public schools nears the finish line ... Vitale and Byrd Bennett gag protesters when 'Time!' is called

Security was tight, and deployed several times against anyone who presented a danger to the Board of Education's official version of reality on April 24, 2013. CPS is especially concerned that TV news will get . . .

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New York election news... Mulgrew and 'Unity' re-elected as leadership of New York union, MORE promises complete union support

[Editor's Note: The following press releases were sent out by the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) and MORE, a caucus in the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), New York. The MORE press release was distributed . . .

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SOLIDARITY FOREVER? Chicago Tribune continues support for CTU 'Salvation' caucus by printing an April 26 Perspective by Tanya Saunders Wolffe trashing Karen Lewis and CORE

Anyone devoting any time to searching the archives of the anti-union, pro charter school and pro-privatization Chicago Tribune would have a hard time finding much coverage of any major union election, city, state or national. . . .

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Michael Mulgrew re-elected as UFT President... Opposition MORE caucus evaluating election outcome

The "Unity" caucus in New York City's United Federation of Teachers (UFT) won the recent union election, returning incumbent Michael Mulgrew to a full term at president of the largest K-12 local in the American . . .

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SOLIDARITY FOREVER: 'Salvation' caucus brags about Tribune's support for their version of company unionism

By the afternoon of April 26, 2013, the "Coalition To Save Our Union' had posted another article from the anti-union Chicago Tribune on its Website. There is little on the site, except Tribune stories. Emails . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Are Chechnyian terrorists making CPS central a target? CPS uses Boston bombing as another pretext to gag protesters and limit democracy... Barbara Byrd Bennett's paranoia leads to enhanced Central Office security... New security memo limits access to Clark St. headquarters

As the Chicago Board of Education moves towards the most massive school closing in the history of the USA, CPS officials have been tightening security and orchestrating an illusion of democracy so that the administration . . .

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PURE notes UNO airplane, other toys... Parents demand inspector general check out UNO corruption

PURE is demanding that the Inspector General investigate the activities of UNO. The information provided by UNO includes photographs of UNO events including a trip to Disneyland. And a photograph of the UNO airplane. According . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Tribune's scab pundit John Kass pushes union busting Rauner for Governor

The only line left out of the nearly boilerplate column by Tribune pundit John Kass endorsing billionaire Bruce Rauner for governor of Illinois was some tough guy note — like how much Rauner can bench . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Rahm on the Ropes as media adulations begin to sow giggles rather than awe -- despite millions of taxpayer subsidized Rahm Emanuel propaganda, national media claims about Rahm's greatness now becoming a version of 'The Emperor has No Clothes'

Editor's Note: Since the RETURN OF RAHM (it really has to be rendered thus) to Chicago, the national and international media story line has been RAHM THE GREAT, even as things in Chicago degenerated before . . .

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BOARDWATCH: 'Salvation' stories from AUSL enter their second decade... Michael Scott's ghost still walks the halls of Clark St. as a new generation of mercenaries and traitors continue the tradition of subservience to the City Hall Party Line

If the ghost of deceased Chicago Board of Education President Michael Scott continues to walk the halls of the Chicago Public Schools headquarters at 125 S. Clark St., as some believe, then the Board's February . . .

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Forum at Northeastern University Thursday (March 7) to discuss racism and other corruption in CPS school closings

An important forum scheduled for Thursday, March 7, will take place the Northeastern illinois University to discuss the issues around the proposed school closings and the so-called "underutilization crisis" at Chicago Public Schools. The four . . .

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Who is Eli Broad and why is he trying to destroy public education is now on line from Philadelphia

Who is Eli Broad and why is he trying to destroy public education?, An investigation of the Broad Foundation and its role in privatization of public schools.
from Defend Public Education!
“Venture philanthropy treats schools . . .

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Teachers in Philadelphia, St. Louis facing same austerity lies and giveback demands that Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012 beat off

Although union teachers in some cities (Newark, Baltimore) surrendered to demands that they accept merit pay, givebacks, and a major increase in privatization, other local teacher union were still standing against what is obviously a . . .

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Portland school board votes 'No!' on proposed closings... In Chicago the script calls it 'right sizing.' In Oregon, the script called it 'rebalancing'... Alliance of teachers, union and community leaders defies the national scripting for closings...

In Chicago, they call it "right sizing." In Portland, they called it "rebalancing." In both cities, it is the same corporate attack on inner city public schools, those serving minority children, behind a smokescreen of . . .

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Unprecedented example of ideology over responsibility... With dozens of recently hired and very expensive new executives, why would CPS privatize -- at great cost in a time of 'austerity' -- the sale of 125 S. Clark St.?

On March 4, 2013, Chicago Public Schools issued an RFP (Request for Proposals) asking that a real estate professional bid on the job of selling the central office building of the third largest school system . . .

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COMMON CORE CORED: Principal (who wrote a book praising Common Core) now rejects Common Core as more and more materials come out

As has been widely reported, the so-called "Common Core" was really a marketing claim by corporate school reformers -- led by the U.S. Department of Education under Arne Duncan and several leading not-for-profits foundations that . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Is the official version of 'The Reign of Rahm the Magnificent' about to change?... The Nation narrates 'Rahm on the Ropes' in its digital edition

Although the news hasn't yet reached America's three major daily newspapers or the TV versions of reality (as "news") that the administration of Rahm Emanuel devotes millions of dollars in manipulating on a daily basis, . . .

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CTU blasts closing 'Commission' report... 'The Commission's report does not contain a single pedagogical argument on why closing schools helps our students in any shape or form...' (Karen Lewis)

The Chicago Teachers Union on March 6, 2013 issued a response to the release of the report by the "Commission" on school closings in Chicago, reiterating the union's opposition to any closings this year and . . .

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Chicago Teachers Union exposes the criminal mismanagement of CPS properties -- and CPS plans to explode class sizes -- on the eve of another round of massive school closings... 'This is the result of having decision makers who are completely out of touch with the classroom' (CTU President Karen Lewi

How can CPS close more schools when it has failed to secure and manage those it has already closed? On March 7, 2013, the Chicago Teachers Union added to its critique of the Chicago Public . . .

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Five hundred North Side residents plan to gather Sunday, March 10, 2013, to demand no more charter schools in 49th Ward, affordable higher education, and closure of Illinois corporate tax loopholes

A group of activists -- North Side POWER -- in the 49th Ward on Chicago's far north side plans a meeting on Sunday, March 10, to demands that no charter schools be placed in their . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Washington Post notes the obvious in report on Philadelphia closing threat -- the 'underutilization crisis' in a manufactured crisis brought to cities by America's corporate ruling class

The commentary below -- How closing schools hurts neighborhoods -- about the proposed school closings in Philadelphia was posted by Valerie Strauss on March 6, 2013 at 6:00 am. The Washington Post.


. . .

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MEDIA WATCH: DFER pushes slick attacks against Garfield High MAP boycott -- penned by a 'fourth grade teacher' (charter school variety) who is now a DFER 'policy analyst'

Back in the days before the movement against using body counts for "assessments" became stronger in Chicago (and across the USA), the late Jerry Bracey (whose books everyone should get and read before they go . . .

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Chicago Teachers Union challenges new Board of Education 'budgeting' as a new attack on teacher professionalism -- and a way to purge veteran teachers

No sooner had the Chicago Board of Education announced its plan to move the school system to "student based budgeting" than the Chicago Teachers Union responded vigorously, charging that the plan in effect will force . . .

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Black and Latino legislators call for moratorium on Chicago school closings

In a dramatic press conference on March 11, 2013, leaders of the Black Caucus and Latino Caucus of the Illinois General Assembly stood with members of the Chicago City Council at the State of Illinois . . .

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Another Rahm Emanuel Hollywood scripting from the people who brought us 'Won't Back Down' and 'Waiting for Superman'...Right Wing Naperville Republican aims 'Parent Trigger' at Chicago's public schools

Why would an Illinois Republican whose district includes some of the best funded and top "performing" public schools in the state introduce legislation that would result in more charter schools for poor children in Chicago . . .

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Rahm's 'Raft of Lies' grows as city shakes its head at the 'Murder Mayor'... Parents 4 Teachers details the latest additions to the case against 'underutilization crisis' and the closings

While the 800 members of the Chicago Teachers Union's House of Delegates were increasing their commitment to implementing the union's decision to demand -- by any means necessary -- a moratorium on school closings in . . .

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SOLIDARITY FOREVER: Regular updates on the 'Salvation' caucus, er, The Coalition to Save Our Union

As the deadline approaches for candidates and caucuses to submit nominating petitions for the Chicago Teachers Union election, which will be held May 17, Substance will continue our decades' long community service of providing our . . .

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Penny Pritzker resigns from Chicago Board of Education... CTU and others respond to pernicious career of Chicago billionaire heiress during her time as one of Rahm's seven Board members

The resignation of Penny Pritzker from one of the seven seats on the Chicago Board of Education was announced late on Thursday, March 14, 2013. As Substance has been the only Chicago news service to . . .

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Raise Your Hand and Open Data Institute challenges school 'utilization' claims on eve of CPS announcement of the 2013 Hit List

The Raise Your Hand coalition and the Open Data institute have announced the opening of a new web site to provide accurate information for parents, teachers, and the public as CPS moves to publish . . .

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CTU President Karen Lewis and Settle test boycott leader Jesse Hagopian in March 19 anti-testing Chicago forum at Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church, 2976 S. Wabash Ave.

As the Chicago Public Schools expands its expensive testing (and semi- and pseudo-testing) program, with the most severe problems hitting the city's inner city schools, the Chicago Teachers Union is co-sponsoring a forum scheduled for . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Rahm speaks to the 'one percent' as more proof emerges of their thievery... Senate blasts J.P. Morgan Chase in 300-page report on the coverups of the massive losses from 'The London Whale' while Rahm speaks in New York to the banksters

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has become notorious among reporters with a sense of humor for staging, almost daily, publicity stunts on behalf of the "one percent" and announcing, almost always without much thought, the ironic . . .

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PERSEPOLIS WATCH: Libraries and books prove dangerous to tyrants in Chicago and in Iran... Barbara Byrd Bennett orders banning of the novel 'Persepolis' from the school libraries and classrooms of the third largest public school district in the USA... Teachers begin to organize 'read-ins'

On March 15, 2013, a new question was being asked in Chicago: Why is Barbara Byrd Bennett (the latest "CEO" of the nation's third largest school district) banning books on the eve of a massive . . .

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PERSEPOLIS WATCH: When is a banning not really a 'banning'?... CPS 'Chief Executive Officer' Barbara Byrd Bennett issues 'clarification' about the non-banning of the novel Persepolis, which earlier had been banned in more than 500 of Chicago's real public schools....

After leading all of the city's so-called "Networks" (which in other large cities are called sub-districts) into ordering principals in Chicago's more than 600 public high schools and elementary schools to remove the graphic novel . . .

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PERSEPOLIS WATCH: Reporters reject Barbara Byrd Bennett's confusing explanation for the banning -- unbanning? quasi-banning? -- of Persepolis... The book's author says she feels the district's explanation concerning an 'inappropriate' torture scene in the novel is 'a false argument'...

No sooner had the CPS Office of Communications issued a statement attributed to Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Barbara Byrd Bennett attempting to explain how the graphic novel Persepolis had not been banned two . . .

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Rahm tells bankers parents are the problem with CPS... 'The real problem is not just the education of our children,' he said, 'We have parents that can’t be parents....'

On the day his appointed "Chief Executive Officer" decided to try and explain why she had successfully ordered her principals to remove a world famous book from the libraries and classrooms of the third largest . . .

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PERSEPOLIS WATCH: What's their price? Now we know it... More than 600 Chicago public school principals and higher 'officers' fail the integrity test... 'Just following orders' on censorship of Persepolis is not a defense when history sits in judgment, as 'Nuremberg' long ago taught us all

What would the average Chicago education boss do to keep a job that pays between $130,000 and $151,000 per year? Among other things, more than 600 of these people would trample on the basic freedoms . . .

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PERSEPOLIS WATCH: American Library Association condemns Barbara Byrd-Bennett and CPS officials for banning of Persepolis and the removal of the novel from Chicago public schools libraries and classrooms

By the end of the final day of school of the second week of March 2013, the Chicago Teachers Union had protested the banning of the world-famous novel Persepolis from Chicago's schools, teachers and students . . .

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PERSEPOLIS WATCH: Challenges to Chicago's ayatollahs' censorship grow... as students and others organize a sit-in -- and possible 'read-in' -- of Persepolis in the famed school's library at Addison and Western at 8:00 a.m. on March 18, 2013

Despite the fact that the administration of Chicago Public Schools issued a confused attempt to partially retract its order banning the novel "Persepolis" following an international protest against the censorship, students from across the city . . .

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PERSEPOLIS WATCH: 'Our students can handle it...' is the last word (from CTU Financial Secretary Kristine Mayle) as Chicago Tonight March 18 show allows Chicago Public Schools, Rahm Emanuel, and Barbara Byrd Bennett to dodge blame for censorship

The book has been in print for a decade. The movie has been out for half decade. Yet suddenly under Barbara Byrd Bennett's regime as "Chief Executive Officer", Persepolis is ordered out of libraries and . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Rahm pushing new privatization scheme as 'opportunity zones'

When Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel isn't out of town speaking at a forum sponsored by a bank that has just been found to have defrauded the public and its own shareholders on $6.2 billion worth . . .

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Zrike to New Bedford after less than three years as 'Chief of Schools' for the Pilsen Little Village Network... Another out-of-town mercenary leaves Chicago

Do they know something about the present regime at Chicago Public Schools that the rest of us don't? For the second time in less than two months, a top administrators brought to Chicago to supposedly . . .

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Community meeting to take place March 21 against charter school aimed at Amundsen and Mather high schools and seven local elementary schools... Charter expansion to be challenged at 40th Ward hearing March 21

Despite pressure to finally provide oversight for Chicago's ever expanding network of non-union, and usually controversial charter schools, the Chicago Board of Education, certain members of the City Council, and some state legislators are still . . .

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CPS now has an 'Ex-Marine' as 'Chief Pacification Officer' as mayor turns Chicago into a mini-Kabul... Chicago Public Schools releases 2013 Hit List of 54 schools, largest attack on public schools in American history!

Late in the afternoon of March 21, 2013, Chicago Public Schools "Chief Executive Officer" Barbara Byrd Bennett released a list of 54 of Chicago's real public schools which, if she gets away with it, will . . .

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Robbie Gould -- The Rahm Emanuel character in 'Dirty Dancing'... 'Some people count, and some people don't...'

As Chicago moves into the largest confrontations in history over the school closings being foisted on the city's (mostly) African American schools by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, it's fun to review the historical antecedents and literary . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Lu Palmer they're not!... Catalyst and Sun-Times pundit -- as usual -- repeat CPS talking points (from out of town mercenaries) to bring the corporate reform propaganda straight to readers as 'news' and profundity in punditry

The way in which the propaganda of Chicago Public Schools becomes "news" will be the subject of many examples in the next few days. Now that CPS has announced the 2013 Hit List, the kind . . .

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THE SEMI-FINAL HIT LIST? Public may be unable to find a complete list as... Complete Hit List buried in CPS Web site propaganda and talking points...Actual list of the 'closing' schools is almost impossible to find, as media lists vary and CPS buries the names of the schools behind a barrage of pres

Despite the fact that Chicago Public Schools has now declared that it will be closing the largest number of real public schools in any city in the history of the United States of America -- . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: When the mayor and his minions are playing a Kazoo, only in Chicago would reporters swear they were hearing a symphony! Rahm's symphony orchestra had only one instrument -- an annoying kazoo -- as another school year is wasted playing over and over Rahm's neoliberal 'austerity shriek'

Who told Chicago's media that the best way to educate 400,000 public school children in the third largest city in the USA was to repeat after the mayor's press flacks and agenda that has had . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Tribune, others notice massive resistance to latest attack on city's real public schools

The Chicago Tribune sent several reporters across the city the day after CPS announced the Hit List of 2013.







TRIBUNE MARCH 23, 2013 Below here:


. . .

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SOLIDARITY FOREVER: 'Salvation' caucus lies about history of school closing fights

Although it's still three weeks before members of the Chicago Teachers Union will know who is actually on the ballot in the May 17, 2013 election for the leadership of the Chicago Teachers Union, the . . .

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Chicago Teachers Union challenges CPS claims of savings on school closings... Byrd Bennett's 'repurposing' propaganda talk challenged while the CEO talks and talks and talks

No sooner had the Chicago corporate media begun reporting as fact the claims by CPS "Chief Executive Officer" Barbara Byrd Bennett that there will be major savings when CPS closes a large number of public . . .

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Cartoon art humor from an artist, brother, and friend...

Sharon, Sam, Josh, Danny, Bear and I are leaving this weekend for a week in New York City (and New Jersey) mainly to see the closing of an art exhibition featuring art by my brother, . . .

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FACTCHECK CTU 2013: Factional nonsense escalates in Chicago Teachers Union as first phase of the 2013 CTU election ends with the petition turn-ins... CORE video from five years ago reminds teachers, parents and others who was leading the fighting against the union busting ... and who was not

No one will know with certainty until the April 10 meeting of the Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates who is facing off in the election scheduled for May 17, but the fighting is already . . .

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Students to march against closings March 25... Chicago Students Organizing to Save Our Schools (CSOSOS) begins... Citywide preparations for huge downtown really on March 27

A newly formed group of students will be marching from the Chicago Board of Educatoin's headquarters to City Hall on Monday, March 25, two days before the massive downtown rally and march against the closings. . . .

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HIT LIST 2013: The year 2013 was the year Chicago's mayor and school board declared that March was really April... the Chicago Board of Education postponed its March 2013 meeting from March 27 to April 3! Did that just coincidentally happen when word of the March 27 protest began?

The propaganda script for the ruling class always requires that they portray themselves as "tough guys" making all those "hard decisions" for the good of all. Courage. Heroics. All that. George W. Busn and Dick . . .

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IRAQ ANNIVERSARY: Rahm Emanuel's crude and criminal history... We today should neither forgive nor forget the liars and the lies that brought the world the Iraq War... And the Chicago congressman -- Rahm Emanuel -- who was one of those who brought us war -- and the terrible costs we still pay

Is Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel a war criminal? As a congressman, he was a viciously and crudely outspoken supporter of George W. Bush and the invasion of Iraq ten years ago. At that time, Emanuel . . .

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Thousands march, 127 arrested in massive March 27 Chicago Loop protests against school closings, Emanuel dictatorship

More than 3,000 teachers, parents, students and other citizens rallies and marched against school closings in Chicago on March 27, 2013, and 129 were arrested during civil disobedience to protest the largest number of public . . .

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More tax giveaways to big corporations... Rahm's agenda results in a self-parody on March 27, as mayor touts 'Coeur d'Alene' move to Chicago while protesters march against Emanuel's gutting of the city's public schools

It's an almost daily event in Chicago's media, the heavy breathing from City Hall the accompanies an announcement that yet another corporation is moving, relocating, or expanding its corporate footprint in Chicago -- all thanks . . .

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2 down, 20 to go? Former Atlanta schools chief, 35 others indicted for massive cheating scandal... 'The supposed transformation of Atlanta Public Schools overseen by former Superintendent Beverly Hall resulted from a criminal enterprise that victimized thousands of struggling students for years...'

With the March 29, 2013 indictment of former Atlanta schools superintendent Beverly L. Hall as being the lynchpin of a major test cheating scandal, one headline might be "Two down... ten or twenty to go...." . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Byrd Bennett's Harvey Keitel performance... Corporate media gets an 'F' on the facts, while CTU and community coverage of the March 27 events keep the 'first rough draft of history' fairly accurate

Even though I was reading about it (and editing Substance articles as they came in) from 800 miles away, the corporate media coverage of the protests against the Hit List of 2013 and the March . . .

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Rahm Emanuel, Eli Broad featured at Los Angeles schools conference pushing corporate 'school reform'

On the same day the Chicago Board of Education held its monthly meeting, filled with proteges of the Broad Foundation holding executive seats, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined Eli Broad and others in Los Angeles . . .

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CORE candidates, slate headed by CTU President Karen Lewis, prepare for election fundraiser at Second City

Following their January 28 nomination to run for office on the CORE slates, the 40 candidates for union offices and the officers of the Chicago Teachers Union are moving energetically forward on their campaign for . . .

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'... at some point, the status quo and the violence must end. I’m tired of hearing the narrative that parents don’t care about their children. The combination of poverty and violence is a dual punishment for us all... 'CTU President Karen Lewis responds to murders of Hadiya Pendleton ... and

On January 31, 2013, the Chicago Teachers Union issued a statement regarding the recent murder of King High School student Hadiya Pendleton. The entire statement appears below. One of its points: "... at some point, . . .

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EDITORIAL: Rahm's overpaid and undercompetant mercenaries from out of town... Decade of destabilization and 'outsider' rule in part to blame... Board of Education floundering in face of increased violence across Chicago

The guys with the guns are the most to blame for the rapacious violence that has been increasing across about half of Chicago since the election of Mayor Rahm Emanuel following a flurry of carefully . . .

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From Rent A Protesters to Hired Trolls? CPS flacks tried to use Substance comments attack parents and teachers who oppose school closings

In 2011 and 2012, it was paid protesters and rent-a-preachers deployed at the expense of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's supporters to push the "Longer School Day" until we caught up to them and even Chicago's corporate . . .

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Reward increased to $40,000... Chicago Police notice issued February 1, 2013

On February 2, 2013, Chicago police announced that the reward money for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the murderer of Hadiya Pendleton had been increased to $40,000. The CPD notice said: "Please . . .

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Rahm's Republican rantings, mercenary out-of-town hirelings, and B Movie Hollywood propaganda scripts leaving Chicago deadlier than ever

For all the talk of "accountability" the comes from the right wingers who push things like corporate "school reform," when the buck stops at their own door, conservatives like Rahm Emanuel try to push it . . .

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SECOND CITY PARTY ON FEBRUARY TENTH FOR CORE... CTU election to be held May 17 in all schools and for all groups in the nation's third largest K-12 teacher union... CORE candidates to have night of fun and fundraising at Second City on February 10

The current officers of the Chicago Teachers Union and the 40 other CORE candidates in the upcoming CTU election will be celebrating the 2013 election with a fundraiser at Chicago's world famous Second City comedy . . .

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HOW TO READ SUBSTANCENEWS.NET... New readers navigation guide

Our readers are increasing, and we are hearing from more and more people as people interested in the resistance to corporate "school reform" around the USA and especially in Chicago increase. We have a few . . .

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February 12 forum on TIF ripoffs of public schools to feature Ben Joravsky

A major forum on how Chicago's TIF (Tax Increment Financing) program deprives the schools and other public bodies of tax revenues and benefits private corporations is taking place on February 12. The forum will take . . .

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Task Force hearing Saturday even as CPS tries to ignore the law

Facilities Task Force... While CPS and the mayor received their extension to March 31, 2013 for announcing proposed school closings, the General Assembly's School Facilities Task Force is determined to get all stakeholders' input. Every . . .

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CTU begins 'Pencils Down' campaign... Petitions against high-stakes testing circulating February 6

Chicago teachers and parents are beginning to circulate petitions against high-stakes testing and in support of Seattle teachers who are boycotting the infamous MAP test. The national costs of testing both to education and in . . .

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CTU challenges high-stakes testing, issues new report, 'Debunking the myths of high-stakes testing'...

After years of organizing and discussion, the Chicago Teachers Union has released a major report -- "Debunking the Myths of Standardized Testing" -- which challenges the misuse of so-called "standardized" tests in Chicago. The press . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: RAHM TIMES highlights O'Hare toilets, latest CPS spin on principal training -- while ignoring massive protests against planned school closings

Anyone who might tell you that news coverage of Chicago is for shit would be taken literally on February 7, 2013, as an examination of one Chicago daily newspaper shows... What's "news" for the Chicago . . .

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'More than a Score' supported by unanimous vote of Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates... Chicago mounts largest protest in the USA against standardized tests

[Editor's Note: The following article appeared on February 6, 2013 at "Parents, union launch attack against testing" By: Rebecca Harris and Sarah Karp, February 06, 2013. The article was published before the February 6, 2013 . . .

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Rahm abandoning UNO? How far will accountability go against the most racist charter schools in Chicago -- and UNO's attack on the unions, from New Orleans to Chicago and beyond?

As the day dawned without a blizzard in Chicago on February 8, 2013, the Sun-Times was reporting that Mayor Rahm Emanuel was talking about hold UNO "accountable." If that be so, the first place would . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: 'BBB' vying for Orwell award... How can you say you are 'listening' when you are ignoring the hearings and everything that is being said (except by your own puppets)?... Byrd Bennett and the seven Board of Education members continue truancy from school closing hearings

Truancy in Chicago is a major topic of public discussion, thanks to the latest revelations (published in the Chicago Tribune) showing that absenteeism and truancy in Chicago continue to be a major problem, as Chicago . . .

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GROUNDHOG DAY AT CPS? 'This week...' begins February 2, CPS website reports on February 10

It's probably the right month for another example of Hollywood on Clark St. -- this time as "Groundhog Day" brought to you by Barbara Byrd Bennett and Rahm, Emanuel. One of the signal features of . . .

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CORE candidates have night of fun and fundraising at Second City to help launch 2013 election campaign

Nearly 300 members of the Chicago Teachers Union Caucus Of Rank and file Educators (CORE) and supporters gathered at Chicago's world famous Second City comedy theater on Sunday night, February 10, 2013, to celebrate CORE's . . .

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Jackson Potter faces illegal attempt to stop informational leafleting outside 'Rock Island Network' hearing... CPS rent-a-cops try to 'arrest' CTU leader for leafleting Rock Island Network hearing, February 9, 2013

Chicago Public Schools security, but not working CPS security, rather some privatized "rent a cops", threatened to arrest Chicago Teachers Union Staff Coordinator Jackson Potter outside the Saturday, February 9, hearing for the so-called "Rock . . .

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CPS community hearings continue during week of February 11, 2013, as attempts to manipulate consent by Barbara Byrd Bennett continue... Byrd Bennett and the seven members of the Chicago Board of Education continue to be truant from the hearings

Chicago Public Schools continued its so-called "community engagement hearings" during the week of February 11, 2013, even as growing community opposition to the school closings escalated and additional questions arose about the police state tactics . . .

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Chicago police charge two gang members in Hadiya Pendleton murder

Two days after the funeral of 15-year-old Hadiiya Pendleton, the sophomore from Chicago's King High School who was murdered while seeking shelter during a rainstorm during a half-day of school (final exams), Chicago police announced . . .

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Racism behind the national policies of Arne Duncan and the Obama administration's 'Race to the Top'? CTU notes Chicago closings are part of a national trend of attacking urban public schools and slandering the teachers who choose to work in the nation's most challenging public schools

As community battles against proposed school closings in Chicago continue, the Chicago Teachers Union has issued a press release noting that the pattern of attacks on urban public schools is showing up across the USA, . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Catalyst's sanctimonious McCarthyism... Or 'Are you now or have you ever been a supporter of the Chicago Teachers Union'?

One of the plagues of post-modern "journalism" has been the sanctimonious claims of neutrality, independence, and objectivity from reporters who have been spinning the news in the direction of the corporate agenda for decades while . . .

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Hit List pared down to 'only' 129 schools, says Barbara Byrd-Bennett... Latest 'Hit List' is almost exclusively composed of African American schools in poor communities

Chicago Public Schools officials, in carefully manipulate press briefings with selected TV reporters, released on February 13, 2013 what they called a pared down version of the 2013 list of schools to be considered for . . .

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All charter schools removed from Byrd Bennett's latest list

A comparison between the two lists of what she called "underutilized" schools — the first with 330 schools listed; the latest consisting of 129 schools — shows that every charter school that was considered by . . .

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Chicken Little 'Crisis' claims refuted daily by the facts... CPS CEO continues disinformation campaign in letters to principals and 'stakeholders'

On February 13, 2013, while she was also preparing for selective meetings with reporters to release her latest Power Point on why to close schools, CPS CEO Barbara Byrd Bennett also dispatched an email and . . .

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CTU challenges latest Hit List of 129 schools... 'Hit List of 129 Potential School Closings Creates a 'Hunger Games' Scenario for Chicago Families and Teachers'

[Editor's Note: The following is the press release issued by the Chicago Teachers Union on February 14, 2013 in response to the latest iteration of the CPS list of schools that may be closed because . . .

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Principals and 'Chiefs of Schools' challenged on attempts to abolish classroom failure by requiring massive additional paperwork before teachers can give students an 'F'

Less than a month after Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Barbara Byrd Bennett announced the most recent "school accountability framework" (at the January 23, 2013 Board meeting) for the school system's more than 600 . . .

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Hearings put in new locations... 'Rock Island' and 'Englewood' hearings to larger spaces.... Byrd Bennett and Board members continue to be truant from the hearings, while impassioned parents are misled into believing that the 'Board' is sitting in front of them

Late on Friday February 15, 2013, the CPS Office of Communications issued another revision of the schedule of "hearings" for the coming week, modifying (again) the schedule that CPS still has officially on the Board . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: 'Change-oriented leaders' change locations faster than Lili St. Cyr changed feathers... Zrike adds name to list of CPS mercenaries seeking jobs elsewhere... Rahm's mercs dumping Chicago faster than they can cash their last checks, while Rahm prattles 'OMG! Billion dollar deficit!'

No sooner had Chicago learned that Jennifer Cheatham was moving to Madison, Wisconsin, where she will become superintendent there, than the news began trickling out that other CPS administrators were also on the run -- . . .

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David Vitale and Barbara Byrd Bennet are not 'racists...' Their policies just have racist 'outcomes'... On Presidents' Day, the world saw more civic dysfunction from Chicago as CPS excluded hundreds from speaking at the next Board meeting

It's 8:28 a.m. on February 18, 2013, and I just went to the CPS website, Board of Education side (www.cpeboe.org) to check on the on line registration for the public meeting of the Chicago Board . . .

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BOARDWATCH: 'Tendentiousness' can serve a public purpose... CPS Houdini routine does a 'Now you don't see it... Now you do...' with 'Action' agendas

At the January 23, 2013 meeting of the Board of Education, I mentioned that CPS had eliminated the "Action Agenda" reports for 2000, 2001, and 2002 from the CPS website. That was one of several . . .

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Former union officials announce birth of 'Coalition To Save Our Union' and declare candidacy against Karen Lewis, CORE in May 17 Chicago Teachers Union election

Two former officials of the Chicago Teachers Union, Tanya Saunders-Wolffe and Mark Ochoa held a press conference on February 19, 2013, at the union's Merchandise Mart headquarters. The press conference was to announce their candidacy . . .

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Former union president claims 'CTU members won nothing from the strike....' Deborah Lynch Valentine's Day email foreshadowed creation of new CTU opposition 'coalition'

Five days before a group of Chicago Teachers Union members hosted a media event to declare their opposition to the current leadership of the union in the 2013 election (which will not take place until . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: 'Send in the Marines!' another Rahm Hollywood hype script on school closings

With everything that's been happening in a week on Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's crazy plan to gut communities and privatize more of public education via massive school closings, almost lost in the hearings (which has . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: One picture, or a thousand words... As 'Northwest Side News' scoops the FOR (Friends of Rahm) downtown corporate media hacks with an editorial cartoon that tells the truth about the 2013 Hit List plans

Anyone who believes that teachers, parents and children in the "O'Hare Network" (where the Schmidt family lives and where our two youngest sons attend CPS school) will just buy the lie ooozing out of the . . .

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CTU people challenge 'reckless' extension of UNO charter schools at charter hearing

Representatives of the Chicago Teachers Union and community activists took their message of prudence to the hearings at the Chicago Board of Education on February 21, 2013, and asked that the Board demand more accountability . . .

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Chicago teachers pension fund expands investigation of charter schools that refuse to pay pension contributions for their certified teachers into the fund

The trustees of the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund at their February 21, 2013 meeting expanded the scope of their investigation into the city's charter schools. As previously reported, preliminary audits of the charter schools showed . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: CPS continues Orwellian nonsense about 'high quality seats'

Given some of the destructive silliness of Chicago Public Schools jargon, a question arises this week: What is a "high quality seat"? Is it a throne? Or maybe a Louiv XVI chair (with a Marie . . .

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CORE launches re-election campaign with large meeting, extensive planning amid growing outrage that union opposition takes to the Chicago Tribune to circulate its message

Chicago's Caucus Of Rank-and-file Educators (CORE) began its re-election campaign with a large meeting of teachers and others at Chicago's Letter Carriers union hall of the city's South Side on February 25, 2013. The meeting, . . .

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BOARDWATCH: Does the ghost of Michael Scott still rattle through the halls of Clark St?... Corporate reform's official parents use Board meeting to trash real public schools following well worn scripts praising AUSL, turnaround

If the ghost of deceased Chicago Board of Education President Michael Scott continues to walk the halls of the Chicago Public Schools headquarters at 125 S. Clark St., as some believe, then the Board's February . . .

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Have you heard the one about 'underutilized seats' and the need to save money by 'right sizing'?... No -- not Chicago and Barbara Byrd-Bennett, but... Philadelphia -- and William Hite Jr. -- talking from same script about need to close schools

Maybe the reason Chicago's corporate media aren't reporting on the "right sizing" of the Philadelphia public schools by their latest out-of-town schools chief because of a "fiscal crisis" and massive "underutilized seats" is because the . . .

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Rahm remains out of town for the eighth straight day

Just as at the end of 2011, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel remains out of town on the first day of 2013, trekking like a millionaire somewhere else on the planet, while his minions at CPS . . .

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'The real hurdle to education reform is poverty' ??? Sun-Times gets it in end-of-2012 editorial?

For nearly two decades, the debate about "education reform" in the USA has been between those who claim that schools alone could do the job and those who know (including those of us at Substance) . . .

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Pope declares unregulated capitalism a sin in New Year's sermon

Reflecting a thousands year old tradition in religion the Pope on New Year's Day came out against the predations of unregulated capitalism. "In his full message for the peace day, the pope called for a . . .

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'Fiscal Cliff' nonsense shows again that Obama is no 'Lincoln'... Maybe Millard Filmore -- or even James Buchanan -- is more accurate historically?

Below I'm sharing Robert Reich's New Year's Day blog about the Obama approach to the "fiscal cliff." But before going there, I am hoping now that the New Year is upon us that at least . . .

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Sun-Times breaks the mold with a New Year's Eve editorial that poverty -- not 'bad teachers' -- is cause of children's school failure...

It was New Year's Eve, not exactly the time when most people are reading the editorials in Chicago's newspapers, but even before many people began drinking they had to read the editorial in the December . . .

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Murder Map in New York Times shows Chicago Teachers Union was right about tale of two cities

How is it possible that a map showing where Chicago's murders take place is uncannily similar to a map showing where the Chicago Board of Education has scapegoated and closed inner city public schools since . . .

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'Corporate welfare' to sports owner and charter school promoter Jerry Reinsdorf... Chicago Teachers Union study shows how tax breaks to United Center Bulls, White Sox drain money from schools

Ongoing research by the Chicago Teachers Union continues to expose the manipulation of tax breaks on behalf of the wealthiest people in Chicago. On January 4, 2013, the CTU released a report entitled "Nothing . . .

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Victor Jara's murderers finally indicted -- 30 years after September 11, 1973 coup d'etat against the elected socialist government of Chile began creating the so-called 'free market' military dictatorship in Chile

"The bodes of both men [Victor Jara and Littre Quiroga] and three other victims were later found dumped near a railroad track outside a cemetary; one of the victims remains unidentified. According to the autopsy . . .

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Costly coverups and churnings... CPS organization in chaos as Rahm Emanuel's second year as CPS overlord moves towards its end... Sicat departure continues churning of ridiculous CPS leadership cadre and organizational structure

Management Musical Chairs at Chicago Public Schools will continue into 2013, as the latest round of appointees by Mayor Rahm Emanuel takes over from the initial round of appointees by Mayor Rahm, Emanuel. But thin . . .

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In one word, what characterizes the CPS administration since Rahm arrived? Incompetence! For all the daily does of propaganda, a close look at the ways Rahm's minions and myrmidons have run the third largest public school system in the USA shows the greatest incompetence in CPS history

Another brief flurry of reportorial interest arose when WBEZ radio -- Chicago's "public" radio station -- did a small story about how Oliver Sicat, after serving less than two years in the oddly named "Department . . .

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CAFR is now in the 'NONE OF YOUR F%!#@_G BUSINESS' category for Rahm Emanuel's Board of Education... CPS officials 'erasing history' as part of Internet (and paper) coverup of the history and business of America's third-largest school system

Chicago Public Schools officials have been slowly and meticulously erasing the public record of the history of important CPS actions since Rahm Emanuel became Mayor of Chicago in May 2011. Among the documents that have . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Crain's Chicago Business picks up CTU report on United Center tax ripoffs

Crain's Chicago Business on January 7, 2013 picked up the recent Chicago Teachers Union research report on the price of tax breaks to the United Center owners Jerry Reinsdorf and Rocky Wirtx, giving a balanced . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: New York Times noticing what Chicago's 'reporters' keep missing... this time it's the mess at CPS in special education, although Emanuel's press flacks still get the last word

Chicago teachers and the union have been reporting for months that the rabid rush to privatize everything at CPS (before the privatizers get caught) has resulted in a greater than before mess in pre-kindergarten special . . .

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Seattle teachers boycott EPAS-type preparation tests... High school united against useless overtesting

[Editor's Note. The following article, "Garfield teachers refuse to give district-required test" was posted by Linda Shaw to the website of the Seattle Times. The equivalent in Chicago would be that high school teachers veto . . .

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Rush Limbaugh joins 'conservative' chorus attacking Karen Lewis following historically accurate comment on the class struggles in the USA

Conservative pundits are responding with characteristic sanctimonious ferocity to the latest candor form Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis. On the eve of Lewis's State of the Union address to the January 9, 2013 meeting . . .

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Karen Lewis delivers Chicago Teachers Union 'State of the Union' address to the January 9, 2013 House of Delegates... Vows continued battle for the soul of public education, militant opposition to looming school closings

Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis delivered her annual "State of the Union" address to the union's 800 delegates at the House of Delegates meeting at the Operating Engineers Union hall in Chicago on Wednesday, . . .

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Chicago Teaches Union rejects briefing by Byrd-Bennett's school closing 'Commission'... Union president against hits dishonesty in CPS claims of an 'underutilization crisis'

After receiving a briefing by the Commission on school utilization appointed by the most recent "Chief Executive Officer" of Chicago's public schools, Barbara Byrd Bennett, Chicago Teachers Union and its president Karen Lewis issued the . . .

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Chicago Education Facilities Task Force sets first hearing on ten-year Chicago Public Schools facilities master plan at ten a.m. on Saturday (January 12) at Pilgrim MB Church, 4301 W. Washington

Barely had the controversial report of the "underutilization" commission established by the latest CEO of Chicago Public Schools, Barbara Byrd Bennett, become public than the legal work of the Educational Facilities Task Force resumed. The . . .

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Walton Family Foundation put $3.8 million in Chicago charters in 2012 alone!... World's biggest union busters touts Chicago charter schools

Anyone who still wants to believe that the main purpose of Chicago's failing charter schools is to help inner city children learn should consider who is funding the ever expanding CPS privatization efforts via charter . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: 'Teacher in the Library' program highlights Mayor's hypocrisy... Rahm's propaganda minions tout 'homework' program after brutally cutting library hours and staff

Less than two years after instituting brutal cuts in Chicago's award-winning public library system and forcing out the former library commissioner, Mary Dempsey, Rahm Emanuel opened the New Year of 2013 with a typical publicity . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: HIT LIST 'HEARINGS' BEGIN JANUARY 28? CPS 'Communications' continues Middle School 'Mean Girls' treatment of Substance... Barbara Byrd Bennett press release goes to everyone in Chicago media -- Except one daily news service!... Becky Carroll to receive the first annual 'Leni' award

The New Year began and little changed at the Ministry of Propaganda in the nation's third-largest school system. On January 11, 2013, CPS "Chief Communications Officer" Becky Carroll ($165,000-per year; no teaching or education experience . . .

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CTU leads protest over Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend against school closings

The Chicago Teachers Union will be leading a coalition of groups protesting against Chicago's plans to close more public schools this year. The protests, to take place on Saturday January 19, 2013, are outlined in . . .

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2013 Chicago Hit List begins to emerge, and expansion of charter schools becomes more assured... Byrd Bennett announces no high schools to be closed in the face of her fictitious 'underutilization crisis'

Only three days after the first report from the "Commission..." she established refused to provide a list of those supposedly "underutilized" public schools to be closed, Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer has told the . . .

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King legacy discussed at breakfast as faith leaders and community join CTU officers to offer a contemporary look at what the civil rights leaders would do today

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis and the officers of the union joined community and faith leaders on January 15, 2013 in a breakfast discussion of the legacy of Dr. King and the current fight . . .

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'Entitlements' are human rights!... Corporate media attacking health care for the elderly, pensions as part of propaganda attack on so-called 'entitlements'

For more than a decade, the ruling class has been trying to take away the pensions people earned during their working lives, and Social Security, the modest dollars that keep many older people from abject . . .

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RAHM'S RUNNING: Million dollar fundraising at end of 2012 indicates Emanuel will run again in 2015

Anyone who believed that the long-term strategy of Mayor Rahm Emanuel was to get in and get out of Chicago's mayor's office in one term needs to begin planning now for the next Rahm Run. . . .

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Matt Damon and Nancy Carlsson-Paige support 'Scrap the MAP' teachers in Seattle

Thanks for Monty Neill of Fair Test for sending along the following confirmed support letter from Matt Damon and Nancy Carlson Paige to the teachers in Seattle who are boycotting the MAP test. Recent word . . .

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Statement by Garfield teachers against the MAP

The following is the statement by teachers at Garfield High School in Seattle explaining why they are refusing to give the MAP test.






December 21, 2012

To Whom . . .

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Chicago Teachers Pension Fund trustees vote to drop investments in firearms companies that produce and sell 'assault weapons'

Trustees of the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund (CTPF) vote unanimously at their January 17, 2013 meeting to stop investments in corporations that manufacture and sell dangerous firearms. The vote came a month after the trustees . . .

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CTU, GEM schedule seven community outreach activities for Saturday to protest CPS Hit List

The Chicago Teachers Union and GEM (Grassroots Education Movement) are scheduling seven activities across Chicago in protest agains the development of the 2013 CPS "Hit List" of schools to be closed.


. . .

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RAHMWATCH: Chicago's mayor does photo op with Polish leaders

[Editor's Note: Whether the "Mayor's Press Office" has ever been approved to produce daily doses of propaganda on behalf of the Mayor of Chicago while ignoring virtually every other bit of news in the city . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Russo enraptured with California's 'Parent Trigger' while ignoring massive community opposition to closings and turnarounds in Chicago

Experienced Chicago teachers know it's best not to venture towards the pretentious bloggings of Alexander Russo at "District299.com" on a full stomach. For a long long long time, the Tribune's version of edublogging has morphed . . .

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CTU President among 49 Chicago teachers to receive National Board certification

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis was among 49 Chicago public school teachers to be "pinned" upon receiving National Board certification as master teachers at a ceremony at the union's Merchandise Mart headquarters in Chicago . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: 'Chief of Schools' Harrison Peters continues arrogant ways while heading out the door? Are CPS COS illegally using ILTs to evaluate teachers?

Every month Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis reminds the union's 800 local school delegates that the ILTs ("Instructional Leadership Teams") are not legitimate groups, and that instructional and school-based leadership should be conducted by . . .

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'HANDS OFF OUR SCHOOLS!'... CTU schedules next round of meetings and protests against vicious planned closings and cuts

Following the successful mobilizations and canvassing on January 19, 2013, the Chicago Teachers Union and its community allies have scheduled continuing organizing against the proposed massive closing of schools. The closings, as reported in the . . .

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PURE calls for investigation into state funding of UNO construction

PURE, Parents United for Responsible Education, held a press conference at the State of Illinois building on Thursday, January 17, to demand that the Inspector General investigate the financing of UNO schools with public money . . .

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Seattle Superintendent orders principals to force teachers to give MAP test

The Superintendent of Seattle's public schools,Jose Banda, ignoring the fact that even the U.S.Department of Education has criticized the expensive MAP test, has ordered principals to force their staffs to administer the MAP tests as . . .

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BOARDWATCH JANUARY 2013: From the paid protesters to the plutocratically prompted 'parents'... The City Hall scripts provide the chorus cheering on the latest incubated innovations in corporate reform during the Reign of Rahm

From August 2011 until all the media whistles were blown on it in January 2012, one of the most persistent choruses in favor of Rahm Emanuel's "Longer School Day" push came from protesters who were . . .

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BOARDWATCH JANUARY 2013. Groundhog Day at CPS during RAHM 2.0... From Paradigm Shifting and Portofolioing with 'J.C.' to Innovatiioning and Incubationing with 'BBBB'...

Anyone who thought that a lot of what was being passed off as reality during the latest year of the Reign of Mayor Rahm Emanuel was being carefully scripted, Hollywood-style, would have had an interesting . . .

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FY 2012 CAFR now available on line from CPS

After a few weeks of questions, the Chicago Board of Education following its January 23, 2013 meeting, published the FY 2012 CAFR, the school system's "Comprehensive Annual Financial Report." The CAFR, which reflects the . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Eden Martin joins Bruce Rauner on the Sun-Times editorial pages... Plutocrats' preachments, pundits to proliferate as Sun-Times degenerates further into puerile propaganda for the plutocracy

Buried at the end of another pompous pronouncement by R. Eden Martin, who once head the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club and issued a report that claimed to prove that all Chicago public schools . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Crain's Chicago Business gets UNO story straight -- and sees the story ignored in both daily newspapers on the day of the January Board of Education meeting

For five years, since he announced at Marquette Elementary School that UNO would be building charter schools to "relieve overcrowding," UNO's Juan Rangal has profited, both personally and in his organization, from an unusual deal . . .

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The 'Four S's of Rahm's attack on public education -- Sabotage = Substitute shortage + Security shortage + Special Ed mismanagement...Memo to principals shows CPS administrators trying to sabotage the CTU contract, while incompetence at the top undermines already poor special ed services

If the real objective of the administration of Mayor Rahm Emanuel is to give away as many of the assets of the public schools as quickly as possible during his term in office, does it . . .

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Philadelphia calls for moratorium on school closings prior to D.C. hearings on Duncan's closing record while resistance grows in New York, Detroit, and Chicago

As the time draws near for what may be dramatic hearings at the U.S. Department of Education revealing the failure of the "Chicago Plan" for corporate school reform, the Philadelphia City Council has joined the . . .

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CORE, the leading CTU caucus, makes nominations for the 2013 union elections.... Lewis, Sharkey, Brunson and Mayle -- and CORE -- are running for second term on May 17... Nearly 200 candidates will be on the May 17 ballots from CORE

The Caucus Of Rank and file Educators (CORE) has nominated its candidates for the upcoming election in the Chicago Teachers Union. At a meeting held at Chicago's Letter Carriers union hall on January 28, 2013, . . .

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CTU criticizes lies in CPS budget claims... 'Billion Dollar Deficit' is bullshit, and the claims from Rahm's Board of Education in June 2011 were the lies that robbed teachers of the contractual four percent raise

Once again, the Chicago Board of Education has quietly released its audited financial report, called the "Comprehensive Annual Financial Report" (CAFR). The CAFR once again shows that the claims of the first year of the . . .

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How to do a democratic union election... Chicago Teachers Union election seasons begins with nominations in February and March and ends with the election on May 17 in all the schools

The 2013 Chicago Teachers Union election will be held on May 17, 2013, with most CTU members voting in their schools. If no candidate gets a majority of the vote in the May balloting (which . . .

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Huge protest shuts down first hearing on school closings on January 28

Huge protests are unfolding this week as parents, teachers, children and some political leaders are planning to turn out in force in opposition to the plans by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to shut down as many . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: HEAR YE! HEAR YE! Rahm and Barbara Byrd Bennett have, for the first time, invented CPS Arts Education! In the middle of the most tumultuous hearings in CPS history, Byrd Bennett takes principals to the opera to tout another Rahm fictional script

For nearly two years, close observers have been noting that the "communications" departments following the orders of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel have been as deft as Hollywood scriptwriters at creating fictions and then trying to . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: New York Times features Chicago gang killings three days in a row as politicians try to abstract the issue to 'gun control' or 'violence' (again) so they can ignore the largest drug gang problems in the USA

For three days in a tow at the end of January 2013, The New York Times, which generally sets a media agenda for the corporate media version of reality in the USA, has featured stories . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Good police work and good media work set an example that City Hall and CPS should follow (but don't)

Doubtless Chicago police are putting extra work into finding the shooter from the King HIgh School murder Monday afternoon. But let's not forget that the shooting took place blocks from the school and that there . . .

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CTU research challenges two decades of corporate lies... Current 'underutilization' claims refuted based on history and facts

The release on November 30, 2012 of the Chicago Teachers Union's 53-page research report — "The Black and White of Education in Chicago's Public Schools... Class,Charters, and Chaos" — not only challenges the current discussion . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Ruling class 'merit pay' propaganda continues in major media... Newark gets international and national praise for knuckling under to merit pay, while Los Angeles agrees to 'performance' in evaluations

Anyone who believed that one good Chicago strike would stop the ruling class agenda against the public schools would have been surprised at how completely the agenda is still being pushed. Within a couple of . . .

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'BLACK AND WHITE' IN PIECES. CTU Analysis of charter schools shows curriculum failure, test prep mania, and huge teacher turnover and lack of continuity

The massive Chicago Teachers Union study of Chicago's schools has been under-reported in all of the major media, and is likely to continue to be so. After examining the report in total, Substance has decided . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Major New York Times series agrees with Chicago Teachers Union and other critics of corporate giveaways, TIF abolition.... 'For many communities, the payouts add up to a substantial chunk of their overall spending, the analysis found.'

"The free flow of tax breaks and subsidies in Texas makes it particularly fertile ground to examine these economic development deals and the fundamental trade-off behind them: the more states give to businesses, the less . . .

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'Tax The Rich, an animated fairy tale', is really an animated reality tale, brings Ed Asner's narration to all of us for the holidays

Before our family begins the annual holiday film fest, especially the favorite "Elf" where union stalwart Ed Asner plays Santa, we're going to have a few showings of Asner's latest You Tube favorite, Tax . . .

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Sun-Times its CTU report it hasn't even bothered to read

On December 3, 2012, the Chicago Sun-Times editorialists got another "F" in reading by doing a defense of charter schools and a critique of the Chicago Teachers Union's latest reports — while obviously not having . . .

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Summit Saturday, December 8, 2012, to build organizing across the city for public schools and against closings and privatization... Begins at 10:00 a.m.

The Chicago Teachers Union is joining with others sponsoring an "Education Summit" on Saturday December 8, 2012, from 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. at Marshall High School, 3250 West Adams St. "Now that the Board of Education . . .

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Barbara Byrd-Bennett needs a viewing of her history — 'Cleveland. At Least We're Not Detroit!'

Now that Barbara Byrd Bennett is being hailed by Chicago's capitalists (and their loyal servants, such as the members of the City Club and the Commission set up to help do school closings) people might . . .

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CPS officials lie about decline in number of students

It's 2012, and once upon a time the Chicago Public Schools kept public information on its Website which was called "Racial Ethnic Survey -- Students." Every year, in that document, CPS listed every school in . . .

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Byrd-Bennett, CPS officials, providing false information to the public in claim that school system has dropped '145,000 students' since the year 2000

Although Chicago Public Schools officials have been selectively eliminating important student data, budget information, and many actions of the Board of Education from the Board's website (www.cps.edu) since Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed Barbara Byrd Bennett . . .

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MEIDA WATCH: Tribune's blogger Russo gets it wrong again -- pushing charters where none are wanted!

Substance generally ignores the Tribune's longest pontificating blogger, Alexander Russo of the always pretentious "District 299.com", but now and then it's worth stopping by to get a reminder of how irrelevant irrelevancies can be. Yesterday, . . .

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Orwell and Kafka combines at nation's third largest public school system... CPS officials are purging the CPS website of financial and other data so that lies like '145,000 fewer children...' may go unchallenged

Anyone from anywhere who goes to the Website of the third largest school system in the USA today (December 6, 2012) can no longer get the massive amounts of information that once were provided to . . .

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Bears player again promotes privatization and union busting via robo-calling for Saturday's 'New Schools Expo'

Once again this year, every parent of a CPS student is getting a robo-call from CPS featuring a pitch by Israel Idonoje of the Chicago Bears that we go to the "New Schools Expo" promoting . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Crain's Chicago Business getting the story about Chicago charters straight (slowly)

While the editorial writers at the Chicago Sun-Times remain starry eyed every time they are fed fatuous talking points by Andrew Broy, there are some unusual outposts of reporting springing up in Chicago, even in . . .

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'Just kidding'?!!!... UNO now says that Hit List is published was just a 'WTF we have nothing else to do...'.... 'a promotional tool'...

More than a month after UNO, one of Chicago's major charter school organizations and close ally of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, published a list of schools it claimed were "underutilized," a news report says that UNO . . .

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Chicago Teachers Union exposes hypocrisy of the 'underutilization' claims of Barbara Byrd-Bennett... Union demands moratorium on school closings as CPS plans to add charters while continuing to attack and close real public schools in the third largest school system in the USA

The Chicago Teachers Union continued its critique of Chicago Public Schools priorities on December 7, following the announcement by CPS that it would be opening more charter schools while claiming that it had to close . . .

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RTAC explains pension lawsuit settlement

On December 7, 2012, the Retired Teachers Association of Chicago (RTAC) issued an analysis by James Ward of the lawsuit that was recently settled between the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund (CTPF) and the Chicago Board . . .

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'Utilization Crisis' another Manufactured Crisis... CEO Barbara Byrd Bennett doubles down on the lie about 'Census Loss' in letter distributed to all CPS parents on December 6, 2012

As the latest "Chief Executive Officer" of the Chicago Public Schools enters the second half of the first year of her time in Chicago, Barbara Byrd Bennett is demonstrating over and over that she would . . .

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'Value-added' insanity in teacher evaluations begins to show in Florida case where a 'Teacher of the Year' is facing termination because her students scored low on the FCAT -- even though none of her student took the FCAT!

As Illinois moves closer to basing teacher evaluations on a variation on the "value added" method of evaluating teachers, more and more information is coming in (again) from other states indicating that the process is . . .

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CTU releases satiric video against the 'Fat Cats' who are trying to destroy public education... Rahm's team, Rauner go crazy after CTU video hits home... Becky Carroll, paid three times more than the average teacher as CPS Mistress of Propaganda, goes off!

'Fat Cats...'? Yes --- FAT CATS... is fast becoming the hottest video hit on You Tube since the Occupy Movement targeted the "one percent" as the source of the problems of the '99 percent' . . .

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EDITORIAL: Sun-Times version of Barbara Byrd-Bennett's 'Rebuilding Trust' — lies, hypocrisy, deceptions and cynical conflicts of interest?

It's been a little over a month since once again Chicago's corporate media proclaimed the latest version of the corporate school reform "miracle" following the abrupt (but golden parachuted) dumping of Jean-Claude Brizard and the . . .

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Meetings fill activists' calendars daily as CPS faces challenges to its charter schools expansion and closings

Rarely a day goes by now without another protest or community meeting against the school closings planned by the administration of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his latest schools "Chief Executive Officer," Barbara Byrd Bennett. On . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: 'Stop the insanity!'... Montgomery County Schools Supt. asks three-year moratorium on all standardized tests, teacher evaluation based on tests

I waited three days to see if Chicago media picked up the following story, which is as big as the stories out of Texas, where the majority of school superintendents are now demanding roughly the . . .

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Charters are hundreds of thousand of dollars in arrears in required payments... Chicago Teachers Pension Fund expands audit investigation into charter school irregularities in pension payments for eligible charter teachers

The Chicago Teachers Pension Fund (CTPF) is expanding an audit of Chicago's 108 charter schools and campuses following a preliminary report of widespread irregularities in the classification of charter school teachers who should be in . . .

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More than 500 parents, teachers and children forced into a space with only 200 seats provided!... Commission meeting insults parents, teachers and students during two-hour hearing on school closing 'Hit List'... 'TIME!' called during emotional speeches means 'Sit Down! Shut Up!'

More than 500 parents, teachers and children from dozens of Chicago public schools squeezed into the Horner Park field house gymnasium on Friday night, December 14, 2012, for another hearing by the "Commission" on Chicago . . .

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Names of the Dead from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut

Substance readers and staff are having many responses to the latest murders in a public school. Evil is the word that best describes what was done. We cannot be silent, but must choose our words . . .

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Pickets and press conference on eve of December Board meeting... Protests continue to escalate as Chicago Board of Education readies to approve new charter schools while threatening closing of up to 100 real public schools

Ptotests against the Chicago Board of Education continued to grow on December 18, 2012, as more than 80 people gathered in the cold outside Chicago Public Schools headquarters at 125 S. Clark St. in Chicago . . .

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EDITORIAL: 'Right sizing,' wrong sizing, and Rahmsizing

It was only an ironic coincidence that the date on the confidential CPS memo on school closings that was exposed in the December 19 Chicago Tribune was September 10, 2012 — which turned out to . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: RAUNER, PLUTOCRATS PURGE THE PRESS... Rosalind Rossi purged... Sun-Times owners purging newsroom of knowledge of CPS history and ruling class's decades-long school closing lies and dirty tricks

How many people in Chicago remember that in November 2004, four months after Mayor Richard M. Daley announced "Renaissance 2010", that the Chicago Board of Education promised a complete and transparent public review before schools . . .

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'Chicago teachers and dogs need not apply!'... Byrd Bennett and Board end 2012 in an orgy of out-of-town bureaucratic hirings

"Irish and dogs need not apply", "Don't worry your pretty little head about it" and "Colored only" are among those famous bits of American history that remind us that our present era of diversity was . . .

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'If it's good for Detroit, it's what we need in Chicago...' is new Rahm model as Byrd-Bennett adds two Detroit bureaucrats to CPS bureaucracy. 'Incubator' of innovation takes over above 'Portfolio' guy as one of Byrd Bennett's pillars of progress

Less than nine months after her arrival in Chicago from Detroit (then, as "Chief Eduction Officer"), Barbara Byrd Bennett, the second "Chief Executive Officer" for Chicago's public schools appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel during his . . .

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Byrd-Bennet and other executives implemented their version of school administration in almost bankrupt Detroit... Rahm Emanuel following Detroit model for Chicago Public Schools reform? Three top CPS officials now in place came from posts in Detroit!

By the end of 2012, Rahm Emanuel's model for what is being called the "reform" of Chicago's public schools can easily be identified: Detroit, Michigan. Following Emanuel's appointment of Barbara Byrd Bennett as "Chief Executive . . .

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Chicago teachers pension trustees to review investments in arms companies, beginning with Smith-Wesson

Trustees of the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund have begun a review of the fund's $10 billion investment portfolio with an eye towards divesting from corporations that manufacture and sell assault weapons and ammunition clips that . . .

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Using test scores to rank schools guarantees that school serving children in poverty will be 'bad schools' and their teachers will be axed... Chicago Teachers Union charges racial discrimination in school closings impact on African American teachers

The Chicago Teachers Union has filed another lawsuit in federal court charging that the layoffs of veteran teachers caused by the CPS policy of closing what the district calls "underperforming" schools has resulted in discrimination . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Chicago's 'Rauner Times' -- formerly the Chicago Sun-Times -- ends 2012 with another front page propaganda push for Rahm Emanuel.... News reporters continue to be replaced with opinionists and Op Eds by billionaire owners

The Chicago Sun-Times, which is now owned by a group of investors which includes billionaire Bruce Rauner, ended 2012 as it began. On December 28, 2012, the city's morning tabloid newspaper featured its 50th or . . .

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Board ignores budget 'crisis' when it comes to paying outside lawyers and hiring out-of-towners and paying 'relocation' expenses for top administrators

The seven Chicago Board of Education members may pretend that their supposed expertise in business qualifies them to lead the nation's third largest school system, but as another round of budget hearings approaches (budget hearings . . .

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REVIEW: Two 2012 books reveal the oligarchs' plans and practices against the workers of the USA

Anyone wonder why you can't buy a one-pound box of Cheerios today? Or why coffee no longer comes in one- and two-pound cans? Or why Chicago's Mayor can give away (on Halloween 2012) another $3 . . .

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RAHMWATCH November 1, 2012 Rahm to speak at 'Futures & Options Expo' to his day, then will pose with firefighters he continues to disrespect

For the first day of November, Chicago's corporate mayor Rahm Emanuel will be spending part of his day with corporate heavies and another part of the day with people whose union he disrespects and whose . . .

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CPS issues guidelines on closings

On schedule, Chicago Public Schools has published its guidelines on schools closings, consolidations, turnarounds and similar stuff. The material was posted on the the Board of Education's website on October 31, 2012. The Board is . . .

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School closing guidelines face skepticism from communities across the city

The Sun-Times article was brief, while the Tribune was filled with propagada, from the editorial pages through the news columns.






CPS issues draft guidelines for closing schools, BY LAUREN . . .

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Chicago Teachers Union demands moratorium on school closings, charter expansion

The Chicago Teachers Union voted unanimously at its October 31, 2012 House of Delegates meeting to demand that the Chicago Board of Education stop all school closings and charter expansions this year, and that a . . .

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Board launches campaign to avoid following the facilities law, refuses to issue 2013 Hit List by December 1 deadline

Less than 18 months after he began churning the top leadership of the nation's third largest school system, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, through the current iteration of his school leadership team, is attempting to evade . . .

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Video interviews give some clarity to motivations as protests begin against Hit List and charter expansion... Ten arrested at City Hall during sit-in demanding moratorium on school closings and charter expansion

Ten people were arrested at Chicago's City Hall on the night of November 2, 2012, according to Chicago teachers and others who were there. The arrests came following a sit-in led by community groups and . . .

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RAHMWATCH November 3, 2012. Rahm out of town until after Tuesday?

Since his CPS publicity stunts earlier in the final week of October 2012, Rahm Emanuel has been out of town, with his public schedule showing no activities. The week was devoted to several events pertaining . . .

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Reuters notes Hit List fight, while Chicago corporate media ignore many of the most important details...

While Chicago's corporate media continue to misreport or ignore the main issues facing the teachers in Chicago's public schools, international media are not missing some of the bigger stories. On November 4, 2012, The Chicago . . .

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RAHMWATCH November 5, 2012. Rahm has new 'labor news'

Rahm Emanuel will be in town the night before election day, and will be teaming up again with some of Chicago's "Labor Leaders" on Monday, November 5, 2012. The day before, the Mayor's Press Office . . .

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Norm Scott's Ed Notes is back up and on line, while Rockaway New York continues without power or heat

Ed Note Online is back up with Norm Scott's news from New York City (below, coming soon). As regular readers know, Norm has been covering New York with the verve that Substance tries to bring . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: National media heavyweights lied and preached against Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012

One of the things that some of us in Chicago missed during the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012 was how completely the heavyweights of the national media, including major TV personalities, weighed in against the . . .

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Teachers and parents testify critically on Board's latest 'Amended Budget'

More than a dozen teachers and parents, at two locations, testified critically of the Board of Education's latest "Amended Budget" at hearings held November 5, 2012, at Payton High School and King High School in . . .

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Next major election Friday, when Jay Rehak and Lois Ashford are up for re-election to Chicago Teachers Pension Fund

CORE and other major groups of Chicago teachers are urging active duty teachers to re-elect Lois Ashford and Jay Rehak to a second term as trustees in the election to be held this Friday, November . . .

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'CPS reneged on location...' Teachers for Social Justice Curriculum Fair changes location to Kenwood High School after CPS stops fair at King High School... Date is still November 17

TSJ, Teachers for Social Justice, has changed the location of its annual curriculum fair for this year. The event will be at Kenwood Academy High School on November 17 (next Saturday) all day.
. . .

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Eighty-seven percent vote 'Yes' in referendum! Elected School Board gets overwhelming voter support across Chicago as 35 wards and 327 precincts get to vote on reorganization

Ignored in the rush of news following the November 6, 2012, elections so far has been the fact that Chicago voters have voted overwhelmingly to support an elected school board, despite major efforts by Mayor . . .

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For-profit company 'Career Ed' facing turnaround

Despite all the claims being made on behalf of for-profit and private education companies, things are not going well in the area. The most recent problems have arisen at "Career Ed" of Schaumberg Illinois, which . . .

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'Landslide is an understatement!'... Jay Rehak and Lois Ashford win re-election to Chicago Teachers Pension Fund trustees... The two will remain President and Vice President of the $10 billion CTPF

Jay Rehak and Lois Ashford, classroom teachers whose election to the Board of the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund ignited what have become massive changes in the Chicago Teachers Union and the struggle for public schools . . .

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Class size violations routine… “76% of CPS elementary schools examined had entire grades above the recommended class size limit set by CPS in 2011…”

A major study released this week by the Raise Your Hand coalition demonstrates that Chicago Public Schools is chronically in violation of the class size limits that appear in print in the Chicago Teachers Union . . .

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Clarification of proposal -- alderman wants to move the 'Marine Academy' into Ames... Alderman Maldonado goes public with support for changing Ames into a 'military academy'

After weeks of rumors and some half truths, 26th Ward Alderman Roberto Maldonado went public on November 15, 2012, with his plans to support converting Ames Middle School into a "Military Academy." The plan, which . . .

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Reader story about Becky Carroll -- and Jean-Claude Brizard -- shows how CPS 'Communications' department has degenerated completely into a part of the propaganda team for Rahm Emanuel's 'Triumph of Rahm' saga

A recent Reader story by Michael Miner, the Reader's long time media writer, confirms what many of us have recognized about the devolution of the CPS information systems since the appointment of the current seven-member . . .

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CPS Chief Executive Officer snubs City Council hearing, while raft of rookie administrators looks ridiculous trying to defend Barbara Byrd Bennett's request to ignore the facilities laws in designing the next CPS Hit List

On November 20, 2012, during the same time that the president of the Chicago Teachers Union was delivering a major speech to the City Club (reported below, blasting corporate school reform), a dozen Chicago aldermen . . .

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EDITORIAL: Not all 'strikes' involving Chicago's public schools are 'illegal'... Rahm orders illegal bureaucrats' strike against the Facilities Law by former Detroit (and Cleveland) school official Barbara Byrd-Bennett and leading CPS bureaucrats

As the hearings before the City Council's committee on education made clear within an hour, the elected legislative leaders of Chicago are facing a strike by some of the highest-paid bureaucrats of the nation's third . . .

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Where was Jim Dispensa on November 20, 2012?... CPS sabotaging Facilities Task Force, hiding its own experts and then claiming it needs more time to do the job the law requires

There is a story, who cares if it's true, about a guy who murdered his Mom and Dad and then asked the trial court to show him mercy because he was an orphan. The same . . .

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Predatory charter marketing, sweetheart leasing deals for charter operators, decimated African American public schools now on Barbara Byrd Bennett's Hit List

A combination of outright lies, poor news reporting, and predatory charter school marketing schemes has created the latest "crisis" that Chicago Public Schools officials have manufactured in order to justify the largest mass public schools . . .

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'How many 'underutilized desks' are needed to park a wheel chair?... Tribune publication of CPS Hit List reveals illegalities and frauds in current push to close more schools

Despite the fact that Chicago Public Schools top officials, on orders of CEO Barbara Byrd Bennett, went on strike against the law by failing to hold hearings on the proposed school closings for the 2012 . . .

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CTU exposes 'Manufactured Crisis' of underutilization in CPS as the latest cover for segregation, privatization.... New Report Cites Deficiencies in City Plan for School Privatization Race, poverty and policy intersect in “The Black and White of Education in Chicago’s Public Schools”

Less than two days after the majority of members of the Illinois General Assembly voted once again to cater to the corporate school reform fantasies of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the corporate outsiders who . . .

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MEIDA WATCH: Chicago media can no longer hide behind fatuous reporting of CPS and City Hall talking points as CTU research challenges the 'He said, but she said' brand of 'news'.... CPS continues two year streak of avoiding press conferences, refusing to provide Substance with press announcements

The release of the latest Chicago Teachers Union research report on Chicago's public schools once again highlights the bankruptcy of corporate "news" reporting in a city that once prided itself on a hard-nosed approach to . . .

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BBBULLSHITTT... A daily reminder of how the CEO of CPS believes she can lie to everyone all the time and get away with it

Since Rahm Emanuel picked his second "Chief Executive Officer" for CPS in less than 18 months and installed out-of-towner Barbara Byrd Bennett (fresh from a stint in Detroit, helping bust the union and destroy the . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Broad Foundation mercenary Jean-Claude Brizard cons Second City out of a million dollars and gets praised by Chi-Town's sophisticated media mavens and mavettes for leaving his mess behind...

By the time he completes his packing and blows town, Jean-Claude Brizard, the undercompetent and overpaid (we said it a long time ago here, but it's worth repeating) will have taken Chicago for a million . . .

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READ ALL ABOUT IT AT SUBSTANCE FIRST! On September 8, 2012, Substance predicted Barbara Byrd Bennett would push out Brizard

Now and then, Substance takes the time to note how badly the people of Chicago are being served today by the city's craven corporate media, and how much context still matters when covering the news. . . .

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EDITORIAL: Why a 'Yes' vote is the only serious union vote on October 2 in Chicago

Between September 24, 2012 and September 28, 2012, the officers of the Chicago Teachers Union held five informational meetings after school regarding the proposed contract. During that same time, the union, on its Web site, . . .

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CORE membership urges 'Yes' vote on proposed CTU contract

After a lengthy discussion of what the strike and proposed contract mean both for the Chicago Teachers Union, for the public schools in general, and perhaps for the American labor movement, the largest CORE monthly . . .

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SCAB MOVIE OF THE YEAR MISREPRESENTS CHICAGO, TOO... 'Won't back down' gets panned, but the billionaires still can afford full-page ads misrepresenting the reviews and reception

I had barely begun trying to read the main section of the Sunday (September 30, 2012) New York Times when I bumped into Page 19 in the National Edition, and there it was — a . . .

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'Education Nation' strikes another blow for falsehoods... Obama continues doubletalk on education in major interview with NBC News, as relayed via the Washington Post

Anyone wanting an insight into how Barack Obama uses his considerable rhetorical gifts to obfuscate has an unprecedented example in the recent interview that was shared on October 1, 2012 by Washington Post blogger Valeria . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: The Billionaire Boys Club comes out of the closet and gets dissed! 'Karen, you go tell those mean teachers to stop picking on Bruce...'... Civic Committee's billionaire boss faces the wrath of democracy in Chicago

It's not every morning that a major "world class" city gets to hear one of those shadowy Plutocrats who used to run things by remote control (read, based on millions of dollars) remind the world . . .

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'Thank you, CTU'... Diane Ravitch comments on end of strike

Nice commentary from Diane Ravitch a week ago when the strike was suspended. Below from her blog:







You have heard the news by now that the strike is . . .

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Candidates for teacher trustee positions on Chicago Teachers Pension Fund are certified... Active duty teachers to elect two trustees in November 9, 2012 election. Four candidates are in the race.

There will be four candidates on the ballot at the November 9, 2012 election for two teacher trustees of the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund. Incumbents Jay Rehak and Lois Ashford, who currently are serving as . . .

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Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012 is officially over, as CTU 'Yes' vote is nearly four to one... CTU members voted in favor of new contract in October 2 voting. Chicago Board of Education must now vote to approve a new budget and the contract at its October 24 meeting

The members of the Chicago Teachers Union, voting in the schools in a referendum held on October 2, 2012, have voted overwhelmingly to ratify the proposed contract that was presented to them following the seven-day . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: '...staggeringly misinformed, condescending and inane...' is how one New York critic describes the pundits who pontificated against the Chicago Teachers Union in The New York Times. 'Ed Shyster' from New York takes on New York Times pundits to droll effect

With the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012 now officially off the picket lines and taking place in every real public school across the city, outside the charter schools where organizing will expand, and every night . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: 'This fight is for the very soul of public education, not only in Chicago but everywhere...' Karen Lewis is profiled in Chicago magazine less than a year after Chicago did its Rahm Emanuel union busting interview

It was only a year ago that the Rahm Emanuel propaganda machine was churning out articles in the nation's major magazines about Rahm's magic and how tough Rahm was and what a great mayor Rahm . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Obama fighting by Chicago rules, as 'Rope A Dope' catches Mitt... Just watch what happens next

Mitt sure won that one? Sure. One of the more interesting realities in American media this week (first week of October 2012, five weeks before the election) is that a lot of influential people really . . .

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MOVIE REVIEW: Let's call scab actors scabs when they do scab movies... 'Waiting for Superman II' — er, 'Won't Back Down' — is more Wall Street propaganda against public schools and unions... Wall Street privatization narrative that began in Chicago during the 1980s heading into its fourth decade

You know you're in the right place for a movie that bashes public school teachers and teacher unions when the pre-movie stuff on the screen includes disgraced former D.C. School Chancellor Michelle Rhee urging you . . .

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WTF... CPS — CPS covering up cost of Scab Centers while penalizing strikers in first paycheck... '...Depending on your deduction choices, you may in fact have a zero or a negative payroll advice...' Strikers' paychecks lower than expected as CPS shows it continues its scab ways

Hundreds — perhaps thousands — of Chicago Teachers Union members discovered that their October 5 paychecks were even lower than they had anticipated as a result of the strike received yet another lesson in how . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: $7 million to one law firm is not a 'budget buster' when CPS faces another 'deficit' according to the Sun-Times...And the winner is... Jim Franczek?

You'd think that when a public school system claims that it's broke and needs to steal from, among others, its honored retired veterans while closing schools even though it doesn't save any real money by . . .

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'Our future depends on teachers...' International Labor Organization urges more support for teachers against the attacks on universal public education for all children

The International Labor Organization, based in Switzerland and affiliated with the United Nations, has come out strongly in support of the teachers in real public schools across the planet — and of public education for . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Professor proves that higher class sizes are best for public schools! WAL MART buys University of Arkansas 'school reform' department to push propaganda scholarship into the pages of The Wall Street Journal and elsewhere as 'research'...

When the Walton family (that's Wal-Mart) invested an unprecedented amount of money to establish the so-called "Department of School Reform" at the University of Arkansas several years ago, the university's president, a few trustees, and . . .

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Don Moore memorial tribute November 3, 2012 in Hyde Park

The memorial service for Don Moore, who founded and led Designs for Change, will be held on Saturday, November 3, 2012, 3:00 pm at the Hyde Park Union Church, 5600 South Woodlawn Avenue, Chicago, Illinois . . .

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Failing charter schools declare war on Chicago Teachers Union in bid to grab more public dollars and land

The members of the Chicago Teachers Union had barely voted overwhelmingly to approve the new three-year contract that ended their first strike in a quarter century when the city's ruling class made it clear that . . .

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SUBSTANCE NEWS ANALYSIS: Brizard out, another outsider, Barbara Byrd Bennett, is in... The final wasted Brizard costs will be in the tens of millions of dollars. 'Broadie' Byrd-Bennett to slavishly push Emanuel's corporate agenda with closings, charters, and privatization

The still unconfirmed (but likely) reports that former Rochester Schools Superintendent Jean-Claude Brizard is out of his quarter million dollar a year job as "Chief Executive Officer" of Chicago's public schools are likely to be . . .

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Rally to support Evergreen Park teachers October 13 at 89th and Kedzie

There will be a rally to support striking Evergreen Park teachers on Saturday, October 13, 2012. According to a press release distributed by the Illinois Federation of teachers: HELP STOP UNION-BUSTING IN EVERGREEN PARK. JOIN . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: What do J.C., BBB and Jay Silverheels have in common? Answer tomorrow.

Before J.C. Brizard rides off into the sunset, we have to pay one more tribute to the kinds of Hollywood productions in which he has recently co-starred, with a nod to one of his illustrious . . .

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MEIDA WATCH: A 'crooked superintendent' who wound up paying herself $270,000 per year with bonuses! Byrd-Bennett's time as head of the Cleveland schools showed she did very well for herself while attacking teachers and letting the schools suffer

No sooner had Chicago awakened to discover that former Cleveland Schools Supt. Barbara Byrd-Bennett was the latest out-of-towner to be made "Chief Executive Officer" of Chicago's public schools than the latest media assault on the . . .

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Raise Your Hand clarifies its position on 'choice' and charters

The Raise Your Hand coalition recently got into a rather droll exchange with "Democrats for Education Reform" (DFER) over at Catalyst on, among other things, parental "choice" in Chicago. As usual, DFER's Rebecca Nieves Huffman . . .

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Matt Damon wears his CTU hat in New York City

We don't know yet if you will be able to read the story at the checkout counter in People or Us, but it was nice to see Matt Damon, who has long supported the teachers . . .

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Scab Hollywood star Viola Davis to face pickets during Chicago Film Festival for her role in the union busting movie 'Won't Back Down'

A number of individuals and groups have begun planning to picket the appearance of scab actress Viola Davis, who co-starred in the union busting movie "Won't Back Down," when Davis appears in Chicago for the . . .

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Michelle Rhee's group 'Students First' held its 'summit' in Chicago... Rhee and husband bash teachers for getting their masters degrees while Congressman Danny Davis shows support for Rhee's program

For those who were busy with other things, the news that Michelle Rhee's union busting group "Students First" held a one-day "summit" in Chicago came as a kind of surprise. The event, called the "National . . .

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Chicago Teachers Pension Fund (CTPF) meets Thursday, October 18, as the fund and public worker pensions come under more severe attack

The trustees of the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund will be meeting this Thursday, October 18, 2012, at the fund's office at 203 N. LaSalle St. (Suite 2600) in Chicago. Please Come to the Pension public . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Protests against censorship and blacklists at WTTW and WBEZ to grow after 'public' radio in Chicago dumps popular Tavis Smiley show... Substance and Substance reporter have been blacklisted by WTTW and WBEZ for decades

Right in the middle of their "Pledge Drive," officials at WBEZ radio, Chicago's public radio outlet, are again facing questions and challenges about their blacklisting and censorship policies, following the dumping of the popular "Smley . . .

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WEEKEND ENTERTAINMENT: Matt Farmer and the Blue State Cowboys at McClellan's

If prophetic political music is your style, then Saturday night October 20, 2012, is your night. One of Chicago's best entertainment values unfolds again this Saturday when Matt Farmer and the Blue State Cowboys play . . .

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UNO chief calls Ravtich comments on charter schools 'stupid'... During brief visit, Diane Ravitch reminds Chicago of things Chicago ignores

"Equal is not enough," historian and critic Diane Ravitch told a small press briefing at the Chicago Teachers Union on October 15, 2012, as she spoke to reporters seated beside CTU president Karen Lewis. "Equal . . .

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Pension trustees continue to deal with complex issues, while cleaning up some old problems

The trustees of the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund (CTPF) met for their monthly meeting on October 18, 2012, and worked through both complex problems facing Chicago teacher pensions in the face of corporate "pension reform," . . .

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School closings loom as major issues in Chicago and Springfield... Actions at October 24 Chicago Board of Education meeting?

The Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012 was successful, and the union has a contract that expands the power of teachers in the schools and forestalls the further expansion of the "Principal as Chief Executive Officer" . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Russo, from his blogtification pulpit in Brooklyn, knocks Diane Ravitch as the whining continues at 'District299.com'...

One of the secret pleasures of some Chicago teachers and reporters is regularly reading "District299.com" to see how off base Brooklyn's finest Chicago reporter can get. Alexander Russo might be the most self-important blogster to . . .

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Rauner for governor as hysterical conservatives target 'strike happy' Illinois and Chicago Teachers Union for nasty ads, pseudo-parent 'organizing'

Anyone who believed that the Chicago Teachers Union won more than a temporary victory with the contract that settled the seven day Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012 should pay close attention to what the right . . .

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School closing fraud, which began in Chicago, becomes national issue as Chicago mayor, corporate leadership push the lie that it is necessary and 'works'

Just as Chicago moves into the 11th year of targeted school closings, mostly in the city's African American community, a growing national outcry against the program, which began in Chicago and is backed by the . . .

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CTU plans presence at October 24 Board meeting... Challenges to school closing plans begin now

The Chicago Teachers Union is planning a presence at the October 24, 2012 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education. The Board's agenda, which was released on October 22 in conformity with the Illinois Open . . .

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Board continue insulting Chicago teachers and principals at October 24 meeting

Since nobody in the corporate media will report it, and Substance will be posting the stories over the next couple of days, it's important for everyone who was not present at the Board of Education's . . .

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Board schedules budget hearings November 5 simultaneously at King HS and Payton HS.... Board still keeps budget books from public, refusing to print copies to distribute to aldermen, libraries, and schools

As they stated at their October 24, 2012 meeting, the members of the Chicago Board of Education have re-scheduled their hearings on the "Amended Budget for Fiscal 2013" for November 5, 2012. The hearings will . . .

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LEAD Dinner almost sold out at last minute, Substance table has space

The annual Chicago Teachers Union LEAD dinner is being held tonight, October 26, 2012, at Chicago's Plumbers Hall at 1340 W. Washington, beginning at 5:00 p.m. The power of the CTU has been building up . . .

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Moratorium on charter expansion and school closings demanded... LEAD dinner largest in 75-year history of the revitalized Chicago Teachers Union

The Chicago Teachers Union hosted the largest LEAD dinner in its 75-year history at Plumbers Hall on Friday night, October 26, 2012, with more than 1,000 people, including dozens of local and state political leaders, . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Tribune's blogger Russo gets it wrong again in cheap shot against Karen Lewis and Jesse Sharkey on REACH, CPS kindergarten testing craziness

Since he began his career as an unabashed fan of corporate school reform about 15 years ago, Tribune blogger Alexander Russo (currently pontificating about CPS from his perch in Brooklyn, New York) has towed what . . .

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RAHMWATCH OCTOBER 30, 2012. Merit Pay for Parents Comes Cheaply... Mayor and Walgreen's CEO to help 'increase parental involvement' and 'incentive responsible parenting' with $25 Walgreens gift cards at selected schools... Rahm Emanuel and Barbara Byrd Bennett hold another corporate media event...

Mayor Rahm Emanuel was out doing another media event with Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Barbara Byrd Bennett on October 30, 2012. This time he was at Field Elementary School on Chicago's far north . . .

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Emanuel touts merit pay for principals with false claim about another Rahm 'first', dubious criteria... Full list of principals provided

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel called another major publicity stunt media event on October 29, 2012, to promote his merit pay plan for principals in the city's public and charter schools, unveil some dubious criteria for . . .

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RAHMWATCH HALLOWEEN: Another day, another publicity stunt

If the famous "American Pharoah", Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley, were to return to life to check out the life on the famous fifth floor at Chicago's City Hall, he wouldn't recognize the place. The . . .

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'Management musical chairs' has left budget department empty of experts... Board to hold budget hearings Monday, November 5, but who is going to be there to hear the hearings?

Hardly a day goes by in Chicago when the mayor doesn't hold some kind of media event featuring corporate leaders touting some plan of Rahm Emanuel. And at the Chicago Public Schools, the Board of . . .

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VIDEO HISTORY: CORE and Labor Beat team up to produce the half hour video 'CTU Strikes 1969 - 1987' where veteran teachers help a new generation understand the work of union militancy

The video produced by CORE (the Caucus of Rank and File Educators of the Chicago Teachers Union) and Chicago's Labor Beat during the summer of 2012 in conjunction with the four CORE "Successful Chicago Strikes" . . .

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Karen Lewis to speak at Labor Day rally in Chicago's Daley Plaza... September 3 at 10:30 in the morning

Karen Lewis, President of the Chicago Teachers Union, will be one of the featured speakers at the large Labor Day rally to be held on Monday September 3, 2012 at Chicago's Daley Plaza. The event, . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: 'If she can mention West Virginia and Ohio she can tell 1.5 million members to support Chicago now!'... Is AFT president Randi Weingarten Rahm's secret hope for the sellout?

One week after a controversial article in the Chicago Sun-Times declared that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel would intervene in contract negotiations between the Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union, a stunning "Labor Day . . .

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Brizard purging certain principals from 'Children First' leadership team

Within hours after more than 700 members of the House of Delegates of the Chicago Teachers Union voted unanimously to strike on September 10, 2012, if an acceptable contract was not reached, Chicago Public Schools . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Are crazy white guys worried they can't take over the world? The Clint Eastwood moment at the RNC and the Hollywood connection to reactionary propaganda from Ramsees to Eastwood

Back when I was teaching full time, I taught, among other things, classes in journalism (really — "reporting", which sounds much less pretentious) and we regularly got copies of the Chicago Tribune (free to kids . . .

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DEATH NOTICE: Don Moore, leader of Designs for Change and decades-long voice for parents, dies

Don Moore, who for most of his career served as Executive Director of Chicago's Designs for Change, has died, sources from his organization and long-time friends confirmed to Substance on September 1, 2012. A lengthier . . .

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REACH (and Common Core?) absurdities even reaching the pages of Education Week

The absurdities of REACH (and its brethren across the USA) and Common Core are even beginning to reach (pun intended) the propaganda pages of Education Week, which for two decades has been the official voice . . .

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'Won't Back Down' is this year's teacher bashing and union busting hit... again with the support of the Obama administration and top Democrats

It has been two years since some of the stars of the anti-union propaganda movie "Waiting for Superman" were feted at the White House by President Barack Obama, and four months since the First Lady . . .

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Archives available on old site back to 'The Paul Vallas Hoax' of 2002... Substance passes tenth anniversary on line, 38 years in print

With the publication of the September 2012 print edition of Substance (to be printed and mailed September 11; printing has been postponed so we reflect the opening day of the 2012 strike) Substance enters our . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Walter's perspective calls out one of Rahm's lies... Will corporate media follow up on all those Rahm's been circulating for the past 17 months?

First, the good news. Then the rest. The good news is that some of the personalities in Chicago's corporate media (especially the radio and TV personalities) are finally listening to what the teachers — and . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: From 'Rahm the Ruthless' through 'Rahm the Reluctant' to 'Rahm the Irrelevant'?... Rahm reiterates silly talking points as Chicago schools open and strike looms... City Hall provides a complete 'news' story and photo to make sure reporters get the story straight

If Rahm Emanuel were to take on a name from another culture (which in his ambitiousness is always possible if it gets him a wedge moment in the daily news cycle), as the regular school . . .

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Behind the happy talk about 'No Strike' CTU forced to file a lengthy Unfair Labor Practice complaint about recent CPS union busting nonsense

Even before they become adults, children learn whom to trust and not trust. And as adults, just about everyone learns that you can't have a contract with a liar and a thief. Part of the . . .

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CORE VIDEO: Labor history for Chicago reaches more than 600 hits in less than one week

The CORE - Labor Beat video "CTU Strikes 1969 - 1987" reached a small milestone as the CTU House of Delegates met on September 5, 2012. Despite the routine illegal and unconstitutional blockage of . . .

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Arne Duncan, too, spoke to the DNC... Ignoring the Obama administration's role in promoting union busting charter schools and 'turnaround' attacks on veteran teachers

It was easy enough to miss, Arne Duncan speaking briefly to the Democratic National Convention and ignoring all of the main pieces of the "Race To The Top" program that he has fired against teachers . . .

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STRIKEWATCH, CHICAGO MEDIA: Sun-Times editorial continues bashing the CTU on behalf of its new owners... 'News' coverage in print ignores the facts to preach wishful thinking

As the hours tick down for the beginning of the first strike by the Chicago Teachers Union in a quarter century, Substance will try and launch a regular feature, on top of all of our . . .

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Board, mayor force first public schools strike since 1987 on Chicago... Union leaders promise to continue negotiations through the weekend

The President of the 30,000-member Chicago Teachers Union and the members of the union's smaller bargaining team stood somberly before a packed room full of reporters at precisely six p.m. on Friday September 7, 2012. . . .

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STRIKE NEWS: CTU schedules ten p.m. press conference on night before scheduled strike

The Chicago Teachers Union, at about eight p.m. on September 9, 2012, announced that it will be holding a press conference at ten p.m. at the union's Merchandise Mart headquarters in Chicago. The union's negotiating . . .

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THE SCAB SCHOOLS PLAN OF 2012... Brizard's Scab Schools letter to parents draws more and more anger as it becomes clear that the Emanuel administration wants to force confrontations on the picket lines on September 10

The letter to parents, sent by CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard to all CPS parents (and some former parents that CPS hasn't bothered to remove from its email list) is drawing more and more hostility from . . .

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STRIKEWATCH: Feminist pioneer is 'proudly wearing red'... Gloria Steinem announces her support for Chicago teachers strike

At around the same time CTU President Karen Lewis was confronting more than 50 reporters from Chicago and around the USA about the Chicago strike, the CTU was hearing from one of the pioneers in . . .

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A new 'Chicago Symphony' is born on every street in the Second City... Massive support for teachers as the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012 begins

If one of the great symbols of America — cars, trucks, and other vehicles operated on internal combustion engines — could make music that became a symphony of democracy, on September 10, 2012, that was what . . .

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'It's not a boycott. They'll just never see our business again'... Teachers begin being choosey as Simone's restaurant sides with Rahm during the Strike of 2012

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel talks incessantly about "business," as if corporate America were the only way he can think about defining one of the world's greatest and most diverse cities. And because of the mayor's . . .

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History in the making... A medley of reports and analyses following Day One of the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012

[Editor's Note:Of the many compilations of articles and analyses of the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012, one of the most extensive as we began our coverage and work on September 11, 2012, the second day . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: 'All the news that fits [the ruling class version of reality] we print'...New York Times gets it wrong on first try at reporting the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012 as 'news'

One of the problems intelligent people face is when they let themselves be brainwashed by ideological versions of reality posing as fact. One of our favorite examples of this came when Substance exposed the Marva . . .

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Chicago Teachers Union officially contradicts CPS happy talk regarding contract negotiations... 'It is not accurate to say both sides are extremely close — this is misinformation on behalf of the Board and Mayor Emanuel.'

As picket lines dispersed during the second day of the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012, many teachers and supporters of the Chicago Teachers Union headed downtown for a second day of rallies outside the headquarters . . .

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Vitale sees Red and other tales of terror... CPS cuts teachers and other strikers off major email and other communications places... More proof that CPS is trying to bust not only the union, but the public schools?

One of the jokes at Substance is that anyone in the growing CPS Office of Communications who provides any information to Substance — even in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request — . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: New York Times catching up to Chicago strike story a little bit with today's front page profile of Karen Lewis, but still ignoring all of the year's context and history.... Are Obama and Duncan are letting Rahm 'pirouette in the wind'?...

The New York Times, which still sports the motto "All The News That's Fit To Print", was caught flat-footed when the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012 began on September 10, 2012, and the failure of . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Philandering old men preach 'virtue' to the young... A look at the editorial 'Tut Tut Tutting' from The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Chicago Sun-Times

It's like trying to listen to some morality lecture from a priest who had his hands under your skirt during First Communion practice. Or all that stuff about the sanctity of marriage from an aging . . .

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'SCAB FOR CHILDREN' is born... Scab 'Astroturf' group (Stand for Children) gets complete Robo-Call list of all parents...Scab for Children backs CPS and Mayor One Percent, attacks CTU in phony 'Tele Town Hall' on evening of Day Three

It was the evening of Day Three of the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012. I had made dinner (when your wife is a picket captain at a large real Chicago public high school, that's a . . .

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NEWS ANALYSIS: 'No Deal!'... Chicago Teachers Union gets more stalling and insults from CPS negotiators before fourth day of the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012 ends at midnight on September 13, 2012

In the second midnight moment of the week of the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012, negotiators for the Chicago Teachers Union left the massive Chicago Hilton Hotel at midnight on September 13, 2012, told the . . .

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STRIKEWATCH: Will Rahm try to put out this fire with gasoline? Prattle to corporate media about 'illegal' strike could create 30,000 lawbreakers among the city's best educated public servants

By the end of the first week of the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012, some in the corporate media were beginning to pick up the trivialization and nitpicking favored by Chicago Board of Education President . . .

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Rahm — to soon star in 'Runaway Brides' of Chicago?

For more than a year, other reporters and I had to be fed a steady diet of Rahmevents, carefully staged and scripted propaganda shows showing off OUR MAYOR in a variety of setting, always controlled. . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: FAIR begins critique of corporate media attacks on CTU by taking on The New York Times and Washington Post version of corporate 'reform'

FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting) has just come out with its first review of the corporate media attacks on the Chicago strike, and naturally they are taking on the big guys. One of the . . .

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No Deal?... 'This is what democracy looks like'... House of Delegates meeting at three in the afternoon on September 16, 2012.... The same democracy that transformed the Chicago Teachers Union and transfixed the nation calls a halt to media frenzy about ending the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012.

For weeks before the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012 began, the union's leaders have been warning the union's members not to believe anything they read, heard or saw in the corporate press. "Aren't the corporate . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: 'Teachers union to vote to end strike Sunday afternoon'... From 'Dewey Defeats Truman' to 'Rahm beats CTU' — and 'CPS is really broke this time, trust us...' History as propaganda from the front pages of the Chicago Tribune

Last week when I was talking with a Chicago Tribune reporter who was supposedly doing a profile on one of the Chicago Teachers Union leaders who also reported for Substance, I had to warn the . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: New York Times gets it right about the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012 — not in its 'news' or from its pundits, but it its one cartoon each week

By September 16, 2012, The New York Times was batting about .100 (if it were in a baseball league) for its tardy and inaccurate coverage of the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012. A front page . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: A little racism with 'District 299's' latest irrelevancy... Only someone covering Chicago from Brooklyn could not have heard from Michael Brunson, CTU Recording Secretary, and ask in a major pontification 'Does the guy on the left ever speak'?

Sometimes even Substance is capable of being surprised at the silliness of some of the pundits from the corporate media covering public education in Chicago. From time to time we've had fun with the pontifications . . .

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'I will not stand by while the children of Chicago are played as pawns in an internal dispute within a union...' Mayor orders CPS, City of Chicago lawyers to file for an injunction against the continuation of the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012

The news was barely breaking that the CTU House of Delegates had voted not to end the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012 when the Mayor's Press Office issued a statement attacking what Rahm Emanuel is . . .

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Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012 continues as CTU delegates vote to return to the picket lines while members and delegates study the contract provisions

After a lengthy report from all four of the union officers who had been in negotiations with the Board, numerous questions, and some confused but finally clear debate, the members of the Chicago Teachers Union . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: 'Strike six! Strike seven!' Rahm's press myrmidons change the rules of 'news' for mayor's Rookie Year... Corporate press reports and commentaries on the morning of September 17, 2012 as the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012 continues

Just so we don't lose the immediate responses of the corporate media to the continuation of the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012, Substance is going to stream a column every day with the "news" and . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Coverage of the end of the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012

There was a traffic jam on Grove Street, with more TV trucks than are seen outside some National Football League games. And more than 100 reporters waited on a cool sunny afternoon while inside the . . .

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CTU delegates vote to end srike

After receiving lengthy reports from each of the union's four officers and from the union's attorney, the members of the Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates voted by a large majority to suspend the seven-day-old . . .

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THE STRIKE IN SONG AND DANCE: Cultural explosion continues... 'When there's a contract, call me maybe' performed by striking Chicago teachers... and another link to 'Chicago Teacher' the rap performed by Rebel Diaz

One of the most pleasant experiences to come out of the strike and the picket lines is the explosion of creativity from CTU members and supporters. Several videos and the powerful Rebel Diaz rap song . . .

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CLOSING FAILING CHARTERS MIGHT BE A BEGINNING: How to help the CPS 'budget crisis'... By all means, Chicago should close 'failing' schools — starting with half the charters. And get full 'market' rent (finally) for all of them!

This part is going to be fun. Every ruling class lie we've protested from Substance the past decade and through CORE the past five years (and some of us have dealt with the past dozen . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Coverage of the end of the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012 immediately launches the two Big Lie narratives they will try to get to dominate public debate — CPS is 'broke' and the only way to get $$$ is to close schools!

America's corporate media, from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal to the cute hacks who plod the TV waves in Chicago, was ready once the Chicago Teachers Union defeated Rahm Emanuel's neoliberal . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Strike becomes deeply philosophical... A Cultural explosion comes bursting forth from Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012 includes metaphysical, epistemological and eschatological viewpoints in 'Hot Chicago Teachers'

One of the secret weapons Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis and the union's leadership launched against the Chicago Board of Education and the city's billionaire and millionaire dictatorship with the Chicago Teachers Strike of . . .

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Hey, kids! The Billionaires' Boys Clubs (sorry, Diane, but we had to) want Chicago teachers to play 'Good Teacher/Bad Teacher'... Rauner rants on... The plutocrats are coming out from under their gilded rocks after Rahm's defeat in the recent strike

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel may still think he "won" the recent strike, and may even believe that those Informercials some of his rich buddies are airing for him reflect the new reality in Chicago. But . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Corporate totalitarian propaganda in full throat... Education Week establishes new standard for corporate propaganda as with a 46-paragraph lead article without quoting one CTU officer

When you are subsidized by some of the richest corporations in the history of Earth to provide disinformation and misinformation to the general public, it takes more effort than usual to push corporate school reform . . .

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CTU officers to hold meetings all week — September 24 through September 28 — to discuss the proposed contract across the city... Voting on the deal set to begin October 2 in all real public schools

On Friday, September 21, 2012, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis announced that the union's four officers would be holding union meetings at schools across the city to discuss the proposed contract. The union's 26,000 . . .

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Chicago Board of Education to meet Tuesday, September 25, and prove that it was lying about its 'deficit' problems

The Chicago Board of Education meeting for September 2012 will take place on September 25, 2012 (a Tuesday, rather than the usual Wednesday) and consist of two meetings. The first meeting will be to authorize . . .

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Another music video from the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012 features some of the creative signs

Another music video produced out of the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012 includes an array of the signs teachers, children, and others carried during the pickets and rallies between September 10 and September 18, . . .

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Biggest privatization scam since the Parking Meter Deal looms... Chicago Board of Education to approve $56 million in no-bid 'Early Childhood Education' contracts for what are really baby sitting and day care services

The Chicago Board of Education, at its September 25, 2012 meeting, expects to approve a $56 million deal to privatize much of the Chicago Public Schools so-called "Early Childhood Education" programs to a large group . . .

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'Chicago Teacher' music video joins 'Solidarity Forever' as an anthem of union and working class struggles

It's not often that a piece of music joins the canon quickly, but it's possible that the music video Chicago Teacher will become that in 2012. Across Chicago after the picket lines came down . . .

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Overstuffed classrooms should be marked 'Colored Only' to highlight Chicago (and Chicago area) Jim Crow... Board President continues racist claim that Chicago faces a crisis of 'overcapacity' because school buildings have the space to allow classrooms with only 20 kids in them

Imagine a school board president in, say, Winnetka, telling parents that every classroom should be stuffed with 30 or 35 children, one teacher, no teacher aide, and that if they didn't do that, the system . . .

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CTU continues citywide discussion of proposed contract as referendum is scheduled for October 2 and preparations begin for citywide vote

Officers and members of the 30,000-member Chicago Teachers Union continued presentations and discussions of the proposed union contract at Kelly High School on the city's southwest side after school on Wednesday, September 26, 2012. About . . .

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Plutocracy's agendas are all coming out of the closet!... Rauner, Romney they are all the same — the Plutocrats want to gag teachers... Romney most anti-union candidates in history of presidential races

The following articles have come out during the days following the end of the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012 and provide readers with different views on how the American Plutocracy has now been forced out . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Why was a photo of Bill Daley illustrating a story about remarks by Michael Brunson?

Every now and then, the Chicago Sun-Times plunges its readers through the Looking Glass and into a world where the Mad Hatter would be right at home. Between the early editions (on line) of the . . .

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Voting to take place in all real Chicago public schools on Tuesday October 2... CTU leadership ends week of contract meetings on tired but upbeat note

The officers and staff of the Chicago Teachers Union ended a week of after-school meetings explaining the proposed contract (officially the "Tentative Agreement") to the union's members on Friday, September 28, 2012, at Roosevelt High . . .

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CPS announces calendar, with inconveniences for many

Chicago Public Schools on September 28 announced the new calendar, required because the Board agreed to make up the seven days missed because of the strike. As the following note from Jesse Sharkey, published on . . .

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Chicago's teachers have created a true 'paradigm shift'... National Education Association weights in with 'lessons' of the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012

During one of our discussions in Chicago about what we were doing, I told friends and comrades that we were really helping create a true "paradigm shift." One of the saddest things of the past . . .

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EDITORIAL: A YES vote is the only way to continue strengthening the Chicago Teachers Union and the movement for better public schools for all children... A lesson in recent history may help clarify why a 'Yes' vote by regular CTU members on October 2 is a very good idea

Between September 24, 2012 and September 28, 2012, the officers of the Chicago Teachers Union held five informational meetings after school regarding the proposed contract. During that same time, the union, on its Web site, . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Who defines a 'progressive' alderman? ... Joe Moore's technicalities against elected school board give the story a bigger lift.

By the end of the first day of August 2012, it was clear to anyone paying attention to the growing debate over whether Chicago should have an elected school board that Alderman Joe Moore made . . .

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AFT REPORTS: Chicago played major role in the American Federation of Teachers convention in 2012

The New York delegations to the 2012 convention of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) might have stretch seemingly to infinity as the huge United Federation of Teachers (New York City) and New York State . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: WTF??!! Sun-Times gives great reasons for an elected school board — then continues sucking up to their buddy, Mayor Rahm Emanuel

While most of the leaders of the Chicago Teachers Union were in Detroit for the annual convention of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the Chicago Sun-Times on Monday, July 30, 2012 provided its readers . . .

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STRIKEWATCH: On Wednesday, August 8, 2012, CORE will host its second forum on Chicago Teachers Union strikes featuring veteran teachers who built the union by walking the line

CORE is hosting the second forum of the summer on CTU strike history this Wednesday, August 8, 2012, at the Apostolic Faith Church, Southeast corner of Berteau and Laramie (4200 N, 5200 W) on Chicago's . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Tell us about 'The Irreplaceables...' and all those other self-promoting FNG teachers so we can write an editorial about your 'Study'... Novel (but not new) Astroturf group — the New Teacher Project — dumps its latest 'Study' in the corporate media, proving FNG teachers are THE BEST

As most people learned the hard way, millionaires, billionaires, and CEOs never practice what they preach unless they are facing indictment. In their blood, bones and DNA they know that more is better, most is . . .

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Phase One of Elected School Board campaign completed with nearly 10,000 signatures turned in

The first phase of getting an elected school board for Chicago was completed on August 7, 2012. Raise Your Hand, one of the groups participating in the campaign organized under the name CODE, announced in . . .

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Erasing a petition with 700,000 signatures with one Republican legal memo... Michigan Attorney General calls collective bargaining amendment to state constitution 'too complicated' and rules it off the ballot

Barely a week after Randi Weingarten, President of the 1.5 million member American Federation of Teachers, led a march in support of the Detroit Federation of Teachers and Detroit unions during the AFT convention (which . . .

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'We shall be free...' heading to a school strike near you... Not all celebrities joined Bill Gates and the teacher bashers of 'Waiting for Superman'... Garth Brooks and country stars to fete teachers August 17

While it's still not clear whether the corporate "school reform" propagandists will capture the scripting for the upcoming CBS back-to-school tribute to teachers, it's looking more and more like the corporate propaganda stranglehold on media . . .

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Hollywood continues teacher bashing traditions going back to 'Stand and Deliver' and 'Waiting for Superman'... 'Teachers Rock' (August 17 on CBS) is another propaganda attack on public schools, teachers, unions... this time pushing the 'Parent Trigger' charter school attack on real public schools

Sadly, for the latest year in row, Hollywood and other celebrities have been gathered together for a "Waiting for Superman" attack on public school teachers and teacher unions. Thanks to Julie Woestehoff of PURE and . . .

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'Won't back down...' is latest Hollywood addition to the 'Waiting for Superman' propaganda trail. Teacher bashing. Union busting. Privatization agenda again on display thanks to Hollywood moguls and brain-dead stars

Recently, the preliminary propaganda for the upcoming Hollywood movie "Won't Back Down" has caught the eye of many of us and sadly misled some of us (including this reporter). A closer look at the pre-release . . .

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'Wireless Generation...' and the latest outsourcing atrocities in Chicago... CPS testing craziness hitting home at Track E schools in the coming weeks, citywide after the September strike

In case Chicago missed it, Rupert Murdoch is now profiting from the testing craziness hitting Chicago's public schools. He owns an outfit called "Wireless Generation" that is now a contractor with CPS. Anyone who doesn't . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Education Week — 'American Education's Newspaper of Record' —makes sure the party line still rings out on coverage of AFT convention

Anyone who has been subscribing, as I have, to Education Week since its inception a quarter century (or so) ago appreciates the fact that its primary value is not as a source of actual news . . .

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August 17 – 18… CORE to hold fifth annual convention

CORE, the Caucus of Rank-And File Educators, will host its fifth annual convention on August 17 and August 18 2012 at The Arturo Velasquez West Side Technical Institute, 2800 S. Western Ave. in Chicago, beginning . . .

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Access Living CPS Budget Analysis critical of disability cuts... Report calls for restoration of funds and move toward Universal Design Access Living adds voice to critics of the proposed 2012 - 2013 CPS budget

The annual report by the disability rights group "Access Living" analyzing the annual CPS proposed budget (for the 2012 - 2013 school year) was released to the public on Wednesday, August 15, 2012. In doing . . .

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Wisconsin union supported Paul Ryan, Scott Walker and threatened union members who complained about it

As students of working class and union history know, one of the ironies of the past 35 years of labor history has been that from time to time unions and union leaders who should know . . .

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STRIKEWATCH: Chicago Teachers Union orders printing of 'ON STRIKE...' signs in preparation for possible September 4 strike

Five days before a special meeting of the 800-member Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates is scheduled to meet at Chicago's Lane Technical High School at which time the delegates from all of the city's . . .

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'Longer School Day' has already failed, as schools open in the midst of chaos, costing a full week for most ''Track E' students...CPS officials disrupt schools through incompetence, then push a cover up by ordering principals to 'rat out' teachers who object to constant crazy changes

The chaos caused by the incompetence and arrogance of Chicago Public Schools officials put into power since Rahm Emanuel took office in May 2011 was clear as crystal to thousands of parents, students and teachers . . .

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STRIKEWATCH: Picket signs printed and ready for use in August 'Informational' picketing and September strike

As camera crews from Chicago's major corporate media outlets arrived at the print shop of Progress Printing on S. Halsted St. during the afternoon of August 17, 2012, more than 5,000 picket signs were coming . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Wall Street Journal nails part of the silliness of Chicago's 'Track E'

Even before The Wall Street Journal sent a top reporter to spend two months learning about the Substance publication of the CASE tests in 2001, we had a hunch that the people who ran the . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: TIME gets it very very wrong on Rahm's Longer School Day lies

Anyone who thinks that Chicago's corporate media are the only ones who deliberately get it wrong on key facts about corporate "school reform" will be disappointed that Time magazine continues its long traditions as a . . .

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Board Agenda for August 22, 2012 meeting includes scab schools plan, despite illegality

During the past month, principals, lunchroom supervisors and other Board workers have been reporting to Substance and the Chicago Teachers Union that the Board of Education’s administrative officials have been planning something called either the . . .

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Brizard announces plans to open Scab Schools in August 20 letter to parents and teachers

No sooner had the Board of Education prepared the agenda for its August 22, 2012, meeting — including a secret agenda item that will reveal CPS plans to open between 100 and 150 schools under . . .

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UNO's Juan Rangal to be at City Club of Chicago August 29. Pickets planned?

The City Clubs of Chicago has announced that Juan Rangel, CEO of United Neighborhood Organization (UNO) will be at the City Club public policy luncheon on Wednesday August 29, 2012 for the noon luncheon. The . . .

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Huge meeting planned downtown next Wednesday in solidarity with CTU

The Chicago Teachers Solidarity Committee is inviting everyone to a major rally and meeting next Wednesday, August 29, 2012, at the Chicago Temple. It's called a "Town Hall Meeting" - Reunión de la Comunidad, Wednesday, . . .

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North Side rally follows second day of informational pickets across Chicago

A rally of more than 150 people on Chicago's north side completed the second day of informational pickets across Chicago on August 21, 2012, the day before the Chicago Board of Education meeting is scheduled . . .

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CORE to host two major forums on CTU history — Winning CTU Strikes

CORE, the Caucus of Rank and File Educators, is sponsoring two forums on the history of Chicago Teachers Union strikes featuring veteran Chicago teachers who will provide people with information about the history of Chicago . . .

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STRIKEWATCH: THE SCAB. An Introduction to Scabology, the philosophical and scientific study of Scabs... Scabs and rats from ancient times to 2012

As the Chicago teachers strike of 2012 draws nearer, and as the Chicago Teachers Union begins a weekend of strike training for delegates on Saturday, August 25, and Sunday, August 26, one of the most . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Euphemisms like 'Recess Facilitation Services' cannot camouflage Board's union-busting work as Rahm Emanuel's Board of Education approves spending tens of millions of dollars to break the upcoming Chicago Teachers Union strike

At least the main motion was honest (although it was passed in violation of the Open Meetings Act) and mentioned that the Chicago Board of Education planned some strike breaking and union busting. That resolution . . .

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Typical Rahm version of 'choice' for working people... Failing to 'choose' corporate wellness costs each family at least $600 per year... Rahm trying for Guinness Book of World Records with fascist 'wellness' program

Instead of challenging corporate malfeasance from sugar cereals to tobacco products, the plutocracy's favorite fascist, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, pushes "wellness," which is just another forced "choice" that veils the corporate horrors behind it. Imagine . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Sun-Times stays in the tank adoringly for Rahm as teacher strike looms... A closer look at that front page story 'The Closer'

The press pen in the Chicago City Council chambers, unlike the press room, does not have assigned seats. But any reporter who dares to sit in the first chair is quietly warned by one of . . .

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STRIKEWATCH: Phillip Jackson's 'Black Star Project' trashes CTU right on schedule prior to Chicago schools strike... Questions for the latest Astroturf reformer on his own work for Richard M. Daley and Paul Vallas (among others)

As the first strike of Chicago school workers looms, every Astroturf and paid-protester group in the city (and many from out of town) will be weighing in against the teachers and following the lead of . . .

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Arne Duncan's 'proletarian' roots are another fabrication... U.S. Secretary of Education becoming a working class wannabe

It's almost adding injury to insult. For eight years when I was a kid I delivered the Newark Star Ledger before dawn throughout Linden, New Jersey, a working class town "in the shadow of the . . .

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CTU President Karen Lewis to commemorate 'I Have a Dream' speech on anniversary of King speech — and the Emancipation Proclamation — as CTU prepares for a strike to stop the attacks on unions, democracy, and the nation's public schools

The Chicago Teachers Union has announced that CTU President Karen Lewis is to Commemorate the Historic Martin Luther King Jr. "I have a dream" speech at an August 28, 2012, "Town Hall Meeting; Fight . . .

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Mayor orders CPS to block access to Substance from inside Chicago Public Schools... Corporate media can still be read and accessed from inside nation's third largest school system's 660 schools and other offices

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, through his hand-picked "Chief Executive Officer" Jean-Claude Brizard, has ordered the Chicago Public Schools to block access by teachers, students and others to the Substance website — www.substancenews.net — from inside . . .

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CORE hosts third of four 'Successful Strikes' forum August 28

The Caucus of Rank and File Educators (CORE) hosted its third "Successful Strikes" forum at the Sulzer Library in Chicago on August 28, 2012. I chaired the event, which featured retired teachers Carlen ("Lotty") Blumenthal, . . .

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Chicago Teachers Union files notice of intent to strike... Earliest strike could begin is Monday September 10

On August 29, 2012, the Chicago Teachers Union completed the second-to-last legal requirement prior to beginning the first Chicago teachers strike in a quarter century when the union filed the "Notice of Intent to Strike" . . .

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CORE hosts final 'Successful Chicago Strikes' forum following CTU notice of intent to strike.... Veteran teachers describe how CTU overcame racism and thwarted the CPS attempts to 'play the race card'

CORE, the Caucus of Rank and File Educators that is currently helping to lead the 30,000-member Chicago Teachers Union, hosted its fourth and final forum on the history of teacher strikes in Chicago at Chicago's . . .

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WBEZ reporter finally gets Chicago's quarter million dollar schools 'Chief Executive Officer' to admit he has never been at the bargaining table!... Brizard to outline strike breaking plans to principals via 'Webinar' August 30

After finally admitting during a radio talk show (WBEZ radio "The Afternoon Shift" on August 29, 2012) that he had not been attending even one of the collective bargaining sessions with the Chicago Teachers Union . . .

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CORE video 'Successful Chicago Strikes' is now available on You Tube

The video produced by CORE (the Caucus of Rank and File Educators of the Chicago Teachers Union) and Chicago's Labor Beat during the summer of 2012 in conjunction with the four CORE "Successful Chicago Strikes" . . .

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Another masterpiece of Orwell in Chicago — Scab Centers are part of the 'Children First' plan... CPS to challenge union strike by opening 145 scab centers... 'Hungry children' and 'needy seniors' ploys go back to the 1960s

By the end of the day on August 30, 2012, the Chicago Board of Education had announced the outlines of both its propaganda attack on the striking Chicago Teachers Union and its hopes of opening . . .

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STRIKE! Largest Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates meeting of the century votes unanimously to strike Chicago's public schools beginning September 10

The largest meeting of the Chicago Teachers Union of the 21st Century (and perhaps in history) voted unanimously on August 30, 2012, to strike Chicago's public schools unless an acceptable contract is reached during the . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: CTU vote had barely been taken when Sun-Times and others began covering scab centers as biggest part of the 'news'

The overwhelming vote of the CTU House of Delegates to strike September 10 had barely been taken before the Chicago Sun-Times and other corporate media picked up their cues from the talking points distributed by . . .

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Reluctant principals faced another SNAFU at Brizard-Gering Scab Schools — er, 'Children First' — meeting August 30, 2012

Most of the teachers who had voted for the first Chicago Teachers Union strike in a quarter century were still driving home from the CTU House of Delegates meeting on August 30, 2012, when many . . .

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'Vitale Stall' continues to insult parents, teachers and community leaders as the June 27 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education

"Bankers hours and bankers' arrogance because, well, they are bankers and the bankers' stooges..." might be the best way to view the way in which the seven members of the Chicago Board of Education handle . . .

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Stand for Children continues disinformation campaign aimed at media at June 27 Board meeting

While Stand for Children was facing challenges with its disinformation campaign (see the Jen Johnson report below), Stand for Children was shamelessly moving forward. The day before the June 2012 meeting of the Chicago Board . . .

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Illinois Federation of Teachers praises CTU leader Jen Johnson for clarifying Stand for Children petition while Stand for Children whines about the result

Just prior to the June 27, 2012 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education, Stand for Children issued an email to its group complaining, while not telling its readers the real reason. The Stand for . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Chicago Teachers Union Vice President survives 'Attack of the Astroturf Spores...'

"Nobody here gives a damn about your story here," says one of the characters during the monumental first season of "The Wire". The couple, a drug dealer and his wife, are eating for the first . . .

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CTU contract with Chicago Public Schools expires... Board continues demanding massive givebacks, while both sides agree to negotiate under terms of the old contract

The five-year contract between the 30,000-member Chicago Teachers Union and the Chicago Board of Education expired at midnight on June 30, 2012, with both sides apparently agreeing to continue negotiations under the terms of the . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Tribune only notices 'ethics breach' after NPR exposes use of outsourcing so-called 'content'

'Old media' versus 'new media' is still being debated far and wide, but another example of the perils of downsizing came on July 2, 2012, when the Chicago Tribune, once a newspaper that could be . . .

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Moody's escalates plutocracy's attack on public worker pension plans

The latest move by the American ruling class to push public worker pension plans out of defined benefit plans and into the woes of casino capitalism of defined contribution plans and 401k type plans came . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: How many ways does 'Journatic' spell FRAUD? More about the 'Select Alias' button that helped feed stories to Chicago's dailies...Phony 'news' and fictional bylines lead to a scandal in Chicago's corporate media

Hopefully, everyone reading Substance was also spending July 4 enjoying all of the mea culpas from the corporate media about using fraudulent stories and fictional byline on their outsourced news "content." As of yesterday (July . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Catalyst becomes an official front group for Astrotufers... Catalyst is anti-union, and its workers don't have a union, but should Substance readers add it to the SCAB List?

Journalism lesson below. After reading the Catalyst article on "Democrats for Education Reform" answer the following questions about the reporting. (1) Where does the Catalyst version of reality end and the straight DFER propaganda begin? . . .

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George Will on the CTU... Leading conservative pundit takes on the Chicago schools issues, and doesn't teacher bash or union bust... Is the true conservative narrative changing from 'Waiting for Superman' and other nonsense to the realities of the hard work of urban teaching?

When a "conservative" writes, the question always has to be whether that person is a true conservative (there are good arguments for many of their points going back the Edmund Burke and the Federalist Papers) . . .

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CPS releases 2012 - 2013 budget, schedules hearings all on one day

The Chicago Board of Education on the morning of July 6, 2012 released its proposed budget for the 2012 - 2013 school year, The budget (for operations) is said to be nearly $5.2 billion. Operations . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: From Ernie Pyle to Marie Colvin... Why we report the news we see, and reasons to be enraged at scribes who simply recycle official lies

It's almost a given in Chicago today that there are a half dozen propaganda hacks plying the official narrative of a story for every reporter who is trying to dig the facts out from under . . .

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BUDGET WATCH: CPS degenerates completely into the Orwellian world of 'MBA speak' in its budget narratives, and forgets to talk about schools, students or teachers

During the previous century, it became clear to anyone paying attention to "history" that most so-called "revolutionaries" were seriously on the side of reaction, and the latest revolution in public education being proposed by the . . .

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BUDGET WATCH: Who needs a 'Budget Book' to read before the 'hearings' in this second year of the REIGN OF RAHM?

The hearings on Chicago's public education budget, a $5.2 billion affair, are all being held Wednesday, July 11, 2012. Those who wish to testify should get there between 5:30 and 6:30 and ask for a . . .

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No hearings at all scheduled for the North Side of Chicago... Mayor, CPS officials evade law in scheduling 'hearings' on the 2012 - 2013 school budget

After telling the public that they would be holding the hearings on their proposed budget in June, as required by law, and then simply ignoring the June deadline, CPS officials announced on Friday, July 7, . . .

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CPS budget hearings don't include the budget

More than 200 people showed up at Chicago's Malcolm X College on the evening of July 11, 2012, for one of three public hearings on the massive ($5.2 or $5.7 billion) proposed budget for Chicago's . . .

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CPS BUDGET ANALYSIS: The annual 'We cut bureaucracy' and other lies of recent CPS administrations — from Duncan to Huberman to Brizard (and from Daley to Emanuel)... How the new budget adds central office departments and expands others while the official story says the opposite

As the only CPS budget hearings for 2012 loom on July 11, 2012, anyone reading the daily newspapers of following the electronic media pundits knows a couple of things about the latest budget. First, it's . . .

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CPS BUDGET ANALYSIS: Access Living requests missing budget information

Following his budget presentation at the CPS budget hearings on July 11, 2012 at Malcolm X College, Rodney Estvan of Access Living Chicago, one of the people who has been analyzing CPS budgets for years, . . .

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SCAB TEACHERS NOT WELCOME: Rahm's Scab Army will be a debacle... Rahm's disinformation campaigns will lead to chaos for a couple of days in scab classrooms until the last TFA or New Teacher Project mercenaries are driven out of our classrooms

By summer’s end, there will be thousands of bumper stickets waiting for use across Chicago that read “I scabbed for Rahn… (and all I got was this noisome bumper sticker!)”. Whether they will wind up . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: The 'Janet Cooke' and Jayson Blair moment marches on... Tribune publication of plagiarized and falsely bylined 'news' during Journatic outsourcing binge is really the tip of a much bigger iceberg of reportorial corruption today

While the latest Chicago Tribune scandal is nowhere near as interesting as the one the Tribune could have uncovered had it bothered to check the "high government officials" quoted by their one-time anti-terrorism ace reporter . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: CPS shuts down website in the middle of budget questions, free lunch scandals

Suddenly, on the morning of July 14, 2012, anyone who tried to visit the Website of Chicago Public Schools received the following message: "All CPS web sites are unavailable on Saturday, July 14th due to . . .

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Andrea Saenz and Robert Boik, both outsiders, now sit in the office of the 'Chief of Staff'... CPS cutting teachers, but can always use a couple of $165,000-per-year 'Chief of Staff' persons

CPS may be cutting teachers in the city's real public schools (and adding $76 million to the city's unreal charter schools), but there is no limit to how many underqualified and overpaid executives Jean-Claude Brizard . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: 'All the news that fits...' as The New York Times profiles Penny Pritzker and leaves out the teacher bashing, privatization juggernaut of Rahm Emanuel's Board of Education

For generations, critics have parodied the slogan of The New York Times, which is "All the news that's fit to print." It's the news itself, critics have pointed out, where the propaganda is most slick. . . .

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The quarter million dollar question: Why did Chicago get stuck with Jean-Claude Brizard (and why has he been truant from the bargaining table)?

A little over a year ago, Chicago's rookie mayor Rahm Emanuel held a press conference at Kelly High School and announced his new schools "team." Flanked by Rochester New York Schools Supt. Jean-Claude Brizard (whom . . .

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Mayor's version of CPS budget is the one 'not tethered to reality...'

Earlier today, on July 17, 2012, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, whose minions had declared as late as a month ago that everyone should wait for the results of the fact finding on the current contract . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: As Rahm and CPS meltdown in front of the world a history lesson. How did that foul-mouthed little punk get this much power? A lesson in the results of a "low dishonest decade..."

The following was originally posted to my Facebook page, too, but wasn't allowed up. It's time for the historical retrospective on Rahm Emanuel and the 20 years since Rahm first began weaseling into power at . . .

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EDITORIAL: Spin, Spin, Spin... CPS announces 'Tele Town Hall' on a budget nobody can find after hearings where CPS has left the transcripts in the covered up folder

As the lies of Chicago Public Schools top officials during the Reign of Rahm continue to escalate, CPS robo called every CPS parent on July 17 to announce that on July 18 the school system . . .

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ASTROTURFERS on the lam? The Big Lie with all the little lies inside continue in Chicago, but... Chicago's 'Multi-Million Dollar Quartet' abandons Board of Education as its expensive chickens come roosting at home

"And where are they?" one of the angry teachers seated behind me during the brief July 18, 2012 "Special Meeting" of the Chicago Board of Education asked me at one point, as the six members . . .

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STRIKEWATCH: SCAB is anyone who crosses a picket line of a union authorized strike

What is a scab? For decades, the question for most Chicagoans has been an abstraction, something to try and learn about by going to Wikipedia. While some of us who had watched the attacks on . . .

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Stephen Krashen brings Common Core debate to pages of the Sunday New York Times in time for the testing debate at the AFT convention

Our friends and fellow critic of high-stakes testing and Common Core, retired UCLA professor Stephen Krashan, brought the debate over both high-stakes testing and "Common Core" to the pages of the Sunday New York Times . . .

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Scaled back SOS event scheduled for first weekend of August

Following the major conference, rally and march of July 2011, the SOS events scheduled for 2012 are scaled back. On July 19, Fair Test's Bob Schaeffer, who also does publicity for SOS, issued the following . . .

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BUDGET BUSTERS: If Brizard is 'scrubbing' expenses, how did Chicago wind up with former Cleveland schools chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett at a cost of more than $200,000 a year (plus moving expenses) for the post of 'Interim Chief Education Officer'?

The CPS website, like much else at CPS, is collapsing as the leadership vacuum grows. On July 21, 2012, anyone who goes to the Website will be invited to the "Tele Townhall" with Jean-Claude — . . .

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BOARDWATCH: All of those who spoke on July 18 during the Board's half hour 'public participation' disagreed with the Board

After months of trying to reduce public participation to next to nothing, on the one hand, or stack it with their various Astroturf friends, on the other, the members of the Chicago Board of Education . . .

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Fact finder, complete report

Anyone reading the complete report of the fact-finder (hereafter referred to as the arbitrator) in the dispute between the Chicago Teachers Union and the Chicago Board of Education would first be struck by the losses . . .

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The destruction and purging of institutional knowledge and memory... CPS can't propose a legitimate budget because nobody at the 'top' knows anything about Chicago's public schools or is a certified Illinois school administrator

When Tim Cawley, the "Chief Administrative Officer" of Chicago's public schools, stood before the Chicago Board of Education on June 15, 2011, and told the Board, following a dubious Power Point presentation, that CPS could . . .

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Revolt in Cyberspace has principals screaming 'WTF???!' at CPS's most overpaid and incompetent executives during Webinar on implementation of latest Longer School Day deal

One of the most famous tag lines from Hollywood came during the introduction of the movie "Alien" — "In space, no one can hear you scream." But in Chicago in 2012, it was almost possible . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Chicago charter school frauds begin coming into public eye... CTU researcher Sarah Hainds takes on INCS Andrew Broy on WTTW

With the debates over the Chicago Public Schools budget and major policies now coming to the forefront in Chicago, a recent WTTW Chicago Tonight show on charter schools shows the huge gap between the . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Three white guys and a Tribune reporter show WTTW's Chicago Week in Review colors

Anyone who wanted to know about what was really happening in the Chicago public schools or in the contract negotiations between the Chicago Teachers Union and the Chicago Public Schools certainly wouldn't have learned much . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: All these 'Beckies' — some of them named 'Sarah' and 'Joel' — prove Brizard's investment in the Ministry of Propaganda was worth it (at least form a mendacity viewpoint)

Why hold press conferences and provide the public with actual facts, when you can just issue media statements and feed your talking points into the mouths of waiting reporters like a Mama Bird dropping pre-digested . . .

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Prizker, Obama make up aboard Air Force One the day before Penny returns to Chicago for another round of union busting, teacher bashing, and sulking

There has got to be a video in this story, to the tune of "Hitchin' a Ride..." Less than ten days after The New York Times reported breathlessly in a front page story that Penny . . .

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AFT REPORTS: Randi Weingarten keynotes AFT convention urging 'solutions-driven' unionism' in the fact of growing member skepticism

The 2012 convention of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) began in Detroit on July 27, 2012, with the keynote speech by national union president Randi Weingarten. Although Weingarten received applause at most of her . . .

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AFT REPORTS: Chicago's Karen Lewis, other panelists, help AFT Peace and Justice Caucus understand how Chicago has been changed

On Friday, July 27, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Peace and Justice Caucus hosted a forum featuring teachers from California, Illinois, New York and Wisconsin on the topic "Standing up to the national assault . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Tests are '...more sensitive to how [they] rank students than to measuring what they have learned...' New York Times article adds to challenges to performance based teacher evaluations

A major article in the July 29, 2012 New York Times challenges the tests being promoted by the U.S. Department of Education and most states (including Illinois, which has "Performance Counts") about the reliability . . .

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AFT REPORTS: Diane Ravitch gets standing ovation after rousing speech to AFT convention

Historian Diane Ravitch was introduced to the delegates to the American Federation of Teachers convention by union president Randi Weingarten as a long-time friend of public education and the uinon, and from the opening of . . .

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AFT REPORTS: AFT delegates unanimously pass watered-down resolution protesting abuses of high-stakes testing

After years of growing internal protests from teachers, parents, students and scholars against the abuses of high-stakes testing across the USA — and almost immediately following a stirring speech during which historian Diane Ravitch blasted . . .

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AFT REPORTS: AFT delegates unanimously pass resolutions aimed at correcting economic and political imbalances

Resolutions being passed at the convention of the American Federation of Teachers this weekend show the sift in the union's strategies under the pressure of corporate "school reform" attacks across the USA and the economic . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: 'Randi and Ravitch versus Russo and Rhee'? No contest, but Chicago's Scab blogger continues strange priorities, giving Michelle Rhee prime time as 'news' a week after Meet The Press appearance

After a great week of reality, it's always possible in 2012 to go somewhere to find what we might want to call an "Unreality Check." One of those places for Chicagoans is the Chicago Tribune's . . .

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AFT REPORTS: AFT delegates unanimously approve resolution supporting locals, including Chicago, under direct attack from corporate 'school reform' government officials

The national convention of the American Federation of Teachers on July 29, 2012 unanimously passed a major resolution pledging solidarity with locals and state unions facing unprecedented attacks from government. One of the locals mentioned . . .

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What budget deficit? Chicago Public Schools continues expanding the bureaucracy it said it cut by adding a new department and another outside consultant as a top administrator

Most teachers from Chicago may have disagreed with Vice President Joe Biden about the Obama administration's Race to the Top program (and the continued work of former Chicago schools chief Arne Duncan as U.S. Secretary . . .

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It's Jean-Claude who 'walked away from the table'... Astroturf Four steer away from criticisms of Chicago's quarter million dollar schools 'CEO'

Although there will certainly be others who join the chorus of attacks on Chicago's teachers on behalf of the nation's billionaires and millionaires as the 2012 strike draws closer because of the intransigence of the . . .

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Assassins facing challenges when they apply for principalships

A number of the top administrators of the previous decades — including those who participated in the assassination of real public schools through "turnaround" show trials or in the massive privatization of Chicago's public schools . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Test fixing scandals are as big as Wall Street banks crookedness, but Michelle Rhee and the rest will never be indicted for their crimes

As the number of test "cheating" scandals continues to grow across the USA, it's becoming more and more clear to the attentive reader that the executives who have been running America's large urban public schools . . .

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BOARDWATCH: The first anniversary of 'Rahm's Board'... Board of Education members ducking public, chanting cliches and repeating from scripts

Ultimately, for a public lie to be legal, and expensive, it has to be approved by a vote of someone somewhere. What came to be "SB7" in the Illinois General Assembly had to begin with . . .

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Thousands singing 'Solidarity Forever' again, so here are the words... The Battle Cry of Freedom and the Battle Hymn of the Republic updated

As thousands of voices rang out inside Chicago's iconic Auditorium Theater on May 23, 2012, singing "Solidarity Forever," I was reminded of the recessional song that was sung as they took Jacqueline Vaughn away . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Astroturfers trying to insult teachers and union while being caught with their plutocratic pants down

No sooner had the Chicago Teachers Union announced that it would be taking its strike authorization vote beginning on June 6, 2012, than the best-funded Astroturfers in Chicago and Illinois tried to drum up the . . .

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Wigler's latest distortions of reality... CPS spy against Chicago Teachers Union distributes email supporting Brizard's drive for a 'No' vote on strike authorization this week... Union faction shares views on authorization vote with Tribune editors

Marc Wigler — the former Chicago Teachers Union official (he worked at the CTU Quest Center during the presidency of Marilyn Stewart) who was expelled from the union after it was discovered that he had . . .

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The Pritzkers and Crowns don't hold bake sales to put the fix in on Chicago's public schools... First anniversary of the 'Aspen Ideas Festival' requires Chicago teachers read the Stand for Children version of SB7 and Chicago 'negotiations'

A few blocks down the street from Lincoln Park High School, on Orchard Street is what was once a "gritty" Chicago neighborhood (Latin Kings, etc., etc. with Cabrini Green adjacent) stand two mansions that do . . .

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Raise Your Hand coalition explains why the CTU strike authorization vote is happening today

In the middle of all the cacaphony about the strike authorization voting being done on June 6 - June 8, 2012 by members of the Chicago Teachers Union, parent groups have been explaining how they . . .

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Catalyst censoring teacher comments during CTU strike authorization vote

Catalyst, which for decades has claimed against the weight of the facts, to be reporting "independently" on Chicago public schools, has apparently shut down all current comments on its website, but failed to shut down . . .

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SABOTAGE? Substance website crippled, cyberattack suspected

Since late on June 10, 2012, the majority of Substance readers have been unable to get directly to the Substance website, www.substancenews.net, and we are unable to figure out what has been done to us. . . .

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'Engineers not in local schools budgets'... but principals are told not to worry

The lack of planning and experience at the very top of the nation's third largest school system became visible again on June 12, 2012, when Chicago principals were told "not to worry" even though the . . .

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EDITORIAL: Brizard should have resigned in shame, but character is not on the list of qualities Rahm Emanuel wants in his 'CEO' for CPS

Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Jean-Claude Brizard has just gotten the second massive "no confidence" vote in less than two years, yet instead of resigning in shame and apologizing for taking more than a . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: First Substance monthly 'Media Scab of the Month' award goes to Alexander Russo of the Tribune's 'District 299.com' blog

During the past two weeks, no other media person tried more pantingly to undermine the Chicago Teachers Union's strike authorization vote than Alexander Russo of the Tribune's blog, District299.com. Russo's thread on the strike authorization . . .

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Which kind of 'choice' will destroy more public schools?... Corporate 'Reform' raising the Big Bad Wolf of vouchers now that Romney is the Republican candidate for President of the USA

Right on schedule, we are supposed to ignore the fact that Barack Obama through the U.S. Department of Education's "Race To The Top" program has pushed privatization, union busting, and the destruction or real public . . .

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Substance returns to cyberspace after week-long ordeal of cybersabotage

Thanks to the patience of Substance staff and readers and the technical expertise of Dan Schmidt, Substance finally returned to its presence in cyberspace on the morning of June 18, 2012. Over the coming six . . .

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Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed adds her name to scab reporters with PATCO suggestion to Rahm

It was supposed to be a quiet Sunday during another violent weekend in Chicago, so naturally Chicago Sun-Times gossip columnist Michael Sneed ignored both reportorial courtesy and historical accuracy to push out into public another . . .

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Fair Test compilation of news about resistance to high-stakes testing brings regular view of the massive resistance to high-stakes testing... One example — the recent Washington Post blog endorsing various forms of resistance

Less than one year after they helped organize the SOS conference, rally, and march in Washington, D.C., the leaders of Fair Test (the National Center for Fair and Open Testing) has begun a service, providing . . .

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ASTROTURF WARS: Ed Reform Now continues radio ads attacking CTU long after the strike authorization vote

I had thought that by more than a week after the announcement of the Chicago Teachers Union vote on June 11, 2012, that the group calling itself "Education Reform Now" would stop spending its money . . .

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Crain's promotes libertarian group's lurid pension exaggeration

Crain's reported the following on Greg Hinz's blog on June 20, 2012.






Illinois taxpayers owe $203 billion in unfunded retirement debt, report says
June 20, 2012
Print | . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Brizard 'disappears' those public meetings. Brizard and Rahm ignore budget hearing deadlines... If Chicago had real newspapers and reporters, these jokes wouldn't be on us.... Instead, we get the Rahm fan club at the Sun-Times and Tribune, with Rahmadulation from the misnomered BGA

It's now the first anniversary of the Reign of Rahm at CPS, and the evidence is piling up that it combines corruption and incompetence to a level never before seen in Chicago public schools history. . . .

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Labor Beat show highlights campaign for an elected school board in Chicago

A newly released fifteen-minute video from Chicago's Labor Beat, which came out on June 21, 2012, shows the beginnings of the campaign for an elected school board in Chicago. Featuring parents, teachers, community leaders . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Washington Post continues to (slowly) give space to the truth about Race To The Top and the policies of the corporate reformers

For the past several years, those who follow national trends in the struggle for the future of public education in the USA have noticed a subtle, still less than majority, change in the reporting in . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: DFER links to Indiana blog attacking CPS, praising Rahm

The arrival of "Democrats for Education Reform" (DFER) in Chicago last winter signaled that some of the most well funded corporate "reform" outfits would be arriving to supplement the work of groups like Stand for . . .

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BOARDWATCH: Chicago Board of Education to meet Wednesday, June 27, continuing to violate the law and common decency

The Chicago Board of Education (I like instead Board of Plutocracy and Privatization, but maybe that's just me) meets this Wednesday (June 27, 2012) and its complete agenda should be out by noon tomorrow (Monday, . . .

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RAHMWATCH: When in doubt, do another publicity stunt... Chicago's mayor creates another 'outreach office' — this time called 'The Office of Public Engagement' —as the city's drug gangs laugh all the way to their next COMPSTAT CPS meeting

As the Chicago murder rate for the first full year of the Reign of Rahm continues to escalate weekend by weekend with the city's drug gang violence spiraling even further out of control, at least . . .

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MEIDA WATCH: Alexander the Scab is no Alexander the Great. Standing with 'Stand' another iteration of District299's scabiness

We searched in vain for any reporting (outside of Substance) a year and a half ago about how the infamous Illinois "Stand for Children" managed to raise nearly three million dollars between September and December . . .

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Rahm pushes virtual learning with no oversight... DeVry OnLine featured in mayoral publicity stunt which Emanuel provided to the media in a one-stop shopping PR package

Wrapped completely in mayoral prose and even including an official mayoral press photograph, courtesy of the mayor's official press photographer, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on June 25, 2012, did an informercial for virtual learning at . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: New York Times puts Rahm's failure against the drug gangs on its front page despite all the Chicago spin

America's newspaper of record ("All The News That's Fit To Print..." and all that) has been assiduously ignoring the massive organizing by the Chicago Teachers Union for the past several months. The last serious coverage . . .

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EDITORIAL: 'Quick! Monetize that Asset Before We Get Caught...' While 'progressives' fume about the religious right, the real heretics come from the cult of monetizing every human activity

Happy May Day. Six years ago, Chicago saw the largest May Day march in the history of May Day (which, as history buffs know, began in Chicago). May Day is celebrated the world over in . . .

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Does the sign over CPS read 'Chicago teachers, principals, and dogs need not apply'?... Donoso purge shows push to purge all remaining teachers from top ranks of Chicago Public Schools administration... Rahm's minions add to the ranks of outsiders at CPS vetted by the Broad Foundation

One of the brittle memories of every immigrant or minority group member who ever suffered discrimination in the USA is how that discrimination was expressed. The most notorious examples from the history of the USA, . . .

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Charter schools push false claims for more money while CPS quietly provides staff paid for by CPS budget

One of the more serious legislative challenges to Chicago's remaining real public schools during the current session of the Illinois General Assembly is the attempt by the city's charter schools to increase the amount of . . .

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'Odious Outsiders' List? Substance is considering a Brizard era contest for the most odious of the mercenary FNGs imported by Rahm since a year ago

We know the competition is going to be fierce, but Substance is considering an "Odious Outsiders" contest to document the expensive antics of the most odious and obnoxious of the Broad-vetted outside FNGs currently soaking . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: 'If your mother says she loves you, be anonymous...' A sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek, but serious response to District 299's slander mill

At first I told my editor I was not going to add anything to the "Dewey Defeats Truman" discussion that's been going on here and on District299.com, the anonymous blogging machine that tries to be . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Catalyst surpasses the tops in toadyism with Crain's adulation of Rahm

Chicago's corporate media didn't always specialize so completely as Catalyst in extreme sports like Extreme Toadyism and Power Pontificating, but the 21st Century has brought much of Chicago's once daunted press corps low. Done are . . .

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WTF?! (and WTF??!) is Bob Boik — and where did those crazy ideas come from? Brizard's Longest School Day edicts for high schools aimed at destroying the city's remaining sports and extra-curricular programs

"What the f*** is this?" and "Who is Bob Boik?" were two questions echoing across Chicago on May 2, 2012, as teachers and principals, especially at the city's remaining real general public high schools — . . .

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Cubs win World Series! Bigfoot Found! Common Core Math Standards are a success even before they've been tested in real schools in the real USA!

It wasn't a "May Fool's Day" joke from those perennial corporate school reform touts at Achieve and their allies: Chiefs for Change and the Excellence people. The groups did present a media event at the . . .

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Control of information in Chicago reaches laughable Orwellian levels... Swelling 'Phalanx of Flacks' shields Brizard from reporters' questions

When Chicago Public Schools "Chief Executive Officer" Jean-Claude Brizard once again went outside Chicago (at some cost for "relocation expenses," as yet unknown) to pick two replacement executives for two women his administration had driven . . .

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Schmidt letter the Sun-Times wouldn't print

On May 4 I sent the following letter by email to the Chicago Sun-Times after I read the silly Op Ed that the Sun-Times printed on behalf of the subsidized groups that oppose the union. . . .

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'Union bosses like Karen Lewis seem intent on thuggery and intimidation to get their way... ' Plutocrats deploy proxies as CTU and CPS reach impasse on contract negotiations

Less than one year after Substance first reported that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was establishing what became known as the notorious Rent A Preacher and Rent A Protester actions, what should become knows as the . . .

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CPS continues rapid — and illegal — expansion of 'Communications' staff, while assuring public it's broke and 'transparent'

We doubt it will ever compete with Spone Bob Square Pants, Bozo's Circus or other Chicago inspired classics, but we at Substance are meditating this morning on the wonderful new media opportunity Chicago teachers, parents . . .

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Has CPS privatized teacher evaluations without telling anyone? Who or What is 'Batelle for Kids' and when did Chicago agree to put it in charge of teacher evaluations? CPS has already privatized and outsourced 'value added' teacher evaluation work to an Ohio corporation!

While CPS Chief Executive Officer Jean-Claude Brizard continues to repeat his carefully rehearsed platitudes and talking points whenever he is forced into a public appearance (which CPS has been trying to control), behind the scenes . . .

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CORE sets militant tone for May in Chicago Teachers Union

Less than two years after it mounted a successful campaign to unseat the incumbent leadership of the Chicago Teachers Union, the Caucus of Rank and File Educators (CORE) is setting a militant tone for May . . .

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Boss's spy ordered to leave CTU House of Delegates meeting

Less than one month after he was convicted in a union court of spying for the boss, former Chicago Teachers Union member Marc Wigler attempted to enter the union's May 9, 2012 House of Delegates . . .

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FROM THE BOSS'S MOUTH INTO YOUR EAR: Chicago's Big Lie gets even bigger... Brizard begins to bring 'The Truth' about negotiations directly to THE PEOPLE on the CPS propaganda website

The new Chicago Public Schools website on "collective bargaining" was barely one week old when Chicago Schools "Chief Executive Officer" Jean-Claude Brizard sent a memo to the entire CPS universe warning principals, teachers, and everyone . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Why is one equal to all then in Rahmland? Public radio takes the bait and hypes AUSL on 'Golden Apple' day

WBEZ radio wasn't the only corporate media in Chicago that took the bait offered by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and utilized the annual awarding of the "Golden Apple" awards administered by the Foundation for Excellence in . . .

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Poll of more than 25,000 Chicago teachers and other CTU members shows overwhelming support for a strike if necessary, constitutes another 'no confidence' vote in administration of Jean-Claude Brizard

The Chicago Teachers Union has completed and compiled the results of an unprecedented polling of the union's more than 25,000 active duty members (the union also has retiree member who do not participate in voting . . .

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'No to NATO' student video says it all on even of protests

A newly released "No to NATO" video, less than two minutes long and produced by Chicago public school students and their supporters has been released by the American Friends Service Committee. The refrain "Chicago . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Hypocrites at the Sun-Times continue push to lynch Monique Davis while swooning over every lie from Rahm and his lap dogs at CPS

For all the strutting and fretting and gym ratting, Rahm’s really one of those guys who makes too much noise during a workout and whom you don’t want to get caught with in the shower . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: A Substance deconstruction, New Age style... Brizard’s Op Ed ‘appreciating’ teachers was like sending your mother a “F___ You!” Mother’s Day card and thinking it was really nifty cool

Did anyone notice the obscenity of Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Jean-Claude Brizard's Mother's Day Weekend Op Ed in the May 11, 2012, Sun-Times, especially coming a day after he once again proved himself . . .

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Common Core capitalism propaganda as 'curriculum'? CPS touting banks and credit card agencies as avatars of 'financial literacy'

There probably isn't a decent teacher left in the USA who doesn't already realize that the "Common Core" is another straight jacket of nonsense to tighten around teachers and students in the nation's real public . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: RAHM STAGES A 'GANG TAKEDOWN!' (Honest, you can't make this stuff up...). Rahm struts, gangsters smirk, and preachers fill the till... Rahm joins Gerry McCarthy in Pullman publicity stunt that could have been scripted in 'The Wire'

In Chicago, on May 15, 2012, on the eve of the NATO debacle that is being staged to display the law enforcement talents of the city's Rookie Mayor, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel did what he . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Wigler story went public because Wigler and UPC decided to challenge the union's decision

There has been some speculation in the Chicago public schools and elsewhere, including on some blogs operated by scab corporations like the Chicago Tribune, that there was some deviousness behind the breaking of the story . . .

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Charter schools, testing to evaluate teachers, and privatization... Stand for Children called out for pushing corporate agenda in Massachusetts

Shades of Illinois, Colorado, and Oregon, now the Massachusetts "Stand for Children" rank and filers are challenging the group's corporate agenda, following a move by the Stand for Children leadership in Massachusetts to break from . . .

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CTU marks anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education by challenging racism of CPS school closing policies

The Chicago Teachers Union marked the most recent anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education by noting that Chicago is still the most segregated large city in the USA . . .

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First Lady Michelle Obama snubbed CPS alma maters to tout privatization and Rahm Emanuel's favorite 'Noble Network' charter schools during Chicago NATO visit

Although America's First Lady, Michelle Obama, benefited from a public school education during the 13 years she was a child and teenager in Chicago, she chose to tout Mayor Rahm Emanuel's favorite charter schools — . . .

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'A historic beginning in the battle for the soul of public education...' Huge crowds rally and march unions and public schools in Chicago. 'Mayor One Percent' tries a publicity stunt Sox Park, while mayor's puppet school board runs away in the face of democracy

By the time Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis rose and took the microphone in front of more than 4,000 of her union's 30,000 members at Chicago's iconic Auditorium Theater on May 23, 2012, the . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Tribune editors find the last 'teacher' in Chicago who opposes union's strike vote plans! Archeological dig turns up millionaire heiress posing as 'teacher' after two years of slumming (and failed attempts at classroom teaching) at Sullivan High School

If the Chicago Tribune's editors had any entrepreneurial energy — or reportorial integrity — left, they surely could have dug up one or two relics of former union caucuses to talk their talk (and perhaps . . .

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When more than 4,000 CTU members booed Rahm and Arne... Chicago Teachers Union posts first of several videos outlining history of hypocrisy on corporate school reform

Less than one day after the massive rally and march that will precede the strike vote of the 30,000-member Chicago Teachers Union, the Chicago Teachers Union has released the first of several videos showing . . .

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CTU President cites 'one of the proudest days of my life,' while Astroturf groups try to regain footing

By the end of the day on May 24, 2012, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis had sent an email message to the membership, thanking them and also urging them to mobilize against the latest . . .

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EDITORIAL: 'ACCOUNTABILITY' TIME? When does Chicago hold its pundits and plutocratic party line preachers accountable for the simplest facts?... How is a 'strike authorization' different from a strike?

So once again, the Tribune's editors and the Sun-Times owners get an "F" on school news. No teacher in Chicago is surprised, since teacher bashing and union busting has been the official version of reality . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Is Phillip Jackson's 'Black Star Project' joining Stand for Children, Advance Illinois, and DFER in Astro Turf attack on CTU and public schools?

Ever since he completed his stints as "Chief of Staff" for Chicago Schools CEO Paul Vallas (1995 - 1997) and then was put in charge of the early phases of "housing reform" (as head of . . .

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Ashford and Rehak to run for re-election... Chicago teachers pension fund to elect two teacher trustees November 9

The Chicago Teachers Pension Fund has announced that it will hold an election for two trustees to the CTPF board of trustees. The election will be held on November 9, 2012. Two incumbent teacher trustees, . . .

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'This is what democracy looks like!...' Karen Lewis's speech from May 23 Chicago rally is now available through CTU on You Tube

The final speech of the massive May 23, 2012 rally at the Auditorium Theater in Chicago (and outside in Grant Park) was given by Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis to the overflow crowd . . .

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Arne Duncan says 'this is very concerning...' Atlanta Journal Constitution continues to lead the nation in exposing flaw in testing mania

The Atlanta Journal Constitution continues along with USA Today and a couple of other major newspapers (none in Chicago) to expose not only the widespread cheating on standardized tests but the underlying rot caused by . . .

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Substance mailed again to all schools facing closing... If you are at one of those 17 schools and do not receive a copy of the May 2012 Substance, please let us know!

The May 2012 Substance, like the previous two issues, has been mailed to every teacher and other staff at each of the ten schools facing the professional death sentence called "Turnaround" and to the teachers . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Mayor Macho Makes War on Teachers While Drug Gangs Manufacture More Menace

Rahm may be letting Chicago's massive drug gangs get away with murder, but he's sure going to win his little war against the remaining public school teachers in Chicago, that's for sure. And in the . . .

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Union busting continues at Chicago charter schools... Youth Connections Charter School 'closes' a 'campus' the day after its teachers vote to unionize

One month after its chiefs spoke at the Board of Education meeting and the Board voted to continue its charter, the administrators of "Youth Connections Charter School", an archipelago of what used to be a . . .

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Obama administration continues pushing and shoveling the plutocratic 'bottom line' approach to children and public schools... National Resistance to High-Stakes Testing Growing

A movement that began in Chicago and a couple of other places more than a decade ago is now spreading like a prairie fire across the USA, as parents, teachers, and children grow in their . . .

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'Shaking up the status quo' is turning the streets over to organized crime... Chicago's gangs on rampage after Rahm's version of reality clashes with real police work

Less than a year after Mayor Rahm Emanuel purchased the fifth floor office at Chicago's City Hall and doubled the number of public relations specialists working to constantly burnish his image and pour out his . . .

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March Chicago Board of Education meeting continues attacks on city's teachers, parents, and public education

Three Power Point presentations were the actual highlights of the March 28, 2012 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education, each presenting the city and its public schools with another piece in the destruction of . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Sun-Times pushed Rahm's agenda in a droll 'Bob The Builder' moment

While most parents who have had small children during the last decade are aware of the popularity of "Bob the Builder," few adults in Chicago would have expected that the Chicago Sun-Times, which once was . . .

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CPS 'officers' testifying before the Board meeting all have zero Chicago teaching experience and less than one year at central office

Back in the day when a teacher had to work six years, get a master's degree, and pass some stringent examinations to work in the central office of the Chicago Public Schools, the one thing . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Tribune doubling down on dishonest, hyping 'Urban Prep' again and tut tut tutting about the Longest School Day

It's a rare week that the Chicago Tribune shows all of its biases so completely, but during the days leading up to April Fool's Day 2012, the editors of one of the most reactionary newspapers . . .

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CPS forces unions closer to strike by forcing PERA changes on all teachers now

Not one official from Chicago Public Schools could explain in a rational and sane way (preferably under oath and subject to cross examination) how a "performance evaluation" of Chicago teachers will work in any way . . .

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STRIKEWATCH: Bond rating lowering came in November 1979, as Wall Street moved to eliminate the Illinois usury law and reap enormous profits from CPS bonds, other borrowings

There has been so much comment traffic following the publication here at substancenews.net of John Kugler's brief video history of the February 1980 strike that some background became necessary. The following is offered as part . . .

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'Teacher Incentive Fund' is fundamentally flawed... Research-based testimony of Fair Test, others showed 'value-added' was a bad — and expensive — idea

The Chicago rush to put a "value-added" component into teacher evaluations is not supported by any evidence, despite repeated political claims from ruling class (the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club) and astro-turf (Advance Illinois; . . .

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BOARDWATCH: Board resumes secret closed sessions, beings process of withholding 'Action Agendas' for more than a week after Board votes

Despite claims that under the administration of Mayor Rahm Emanuel (and a recent award to City Hall for it), the Chicago Public Schools continues to refuse so-called "transparency" in its public dealings. As of the . . .

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SEATTLE: Rebellion against mindless high-stakes testing expands in Bill Gates's own backyard

The national rebellion against mindless high-stakes testing is growing among parents, teachers, students and even school administrators and school boards as the national elections approach and President Barack Obama has to justify his expansion of . . .

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'With a heavy heart' Donald Fraynd is leaving as CPS 'turnaround' guy, being replaced by an MBA who went through the Broad program

Less than two weeks after he took part in a presentation at the Education Writers Conference in Chicago touting the work of CPS in its "turnarounds", Donald Fraynd announced on April 4, 2012 that he . . .

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Angry union president announces teachers ready to strike because of CPS and Emanuel hypocrisy, bullying

A visibly angry Karen Lewis, President of the Chicago Teachers Union, held a press conference on April 5, 2012, to announce that straw polls of teachers and other union members at at least 150 real . . .

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Huge number of New York professors challenge use of high-stakes tests

A huge number of New York State professors of education and related subjects signed and dstributed an open letter to state education officials on March 30, 2012 demanding that the state stop relying on high-stakes . . .

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Parents for Quality Education skeptical of mayor's pirouette on Longest School Day

While Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Jean-Claude Brizard managed to get a few hours' relief from the ongoing critique of their plan to push all Chicago public schools into . . .

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Rahm pirouettes around Longest School Day controversy announcing a change while changing almost nothing

Although the April 10, 2012 media event staged by the leaders of Chicago's Public Schools and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was billed as an announcement that was supposedly changing the push by the mayor regarding . . .

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Lewis, CTU respond to Emanuel's continued slanders against Chicago teachers with new study showing how long teachers actually work

Less than two hours after Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel did his pirouette around the question of how long the CPS school day would be (without having gotten his appointed Board of Education to even change . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: A parody of pretentious 'paradigm shifting' overREACHing bullshit spews forth in Chicago from the highest-paid group of mercenary MBAs ever to steal public funds in the service of the Broad Foundation and corporate school reform nonsense

UNICORN STUDIES. That's what it is. What happens to teaching and learning for 400,000 children and 25,000 teachers if the leadership of the third-largest school system in the USA degenerates into mindless and pretentious babbling, . . .

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Joravsky returns to Rahm and the Longest School Day

Ben Joravsky of the Reader is hitting his Mike Royko stride not that Rahm Emanuel continues to trip over his lesser parts. Following Rahm's minor backdown on the Longest School Day — from 7.5 hours . . .

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Contract talks move to 'fact finding'

Contract talks between the Chicago Teachers Union (and other unions representing CPS workers) and the Chicago Board of Education moved into "fact finding" as part of the mandated collective bargaining process. On April 16, 2012, . . .

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SUBSCRIPT. BUREAUCRACY WATCH. How many 'press secretaries' does one CPS need?

Barely a news cycle goes by without Chicago being treated to a comment from someone in the CPS Communications Department (usually Press Secretary Becky Carroll) bemoaning the fact that these are tough times, we're all . . .

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BOOK REVIEW AND STRIKEWATCH: It's time for a long critical look at the ruling class's PATCO Parable... New book brings the PATCO struggle of 1981 back into a reality check

Considering how many of Chicago's current teachers weren't even born in August 1981, when the President of the United States busted the air traffic controllers' union (PATCO, for Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization), the PATCO . . .

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STRIKEWATCH: Chicago's ruling class escalates disinformation with arrival of the "Joe the Plumber" of retired teachers

By April 2012, still less than one year after the arrival of Mayor Rahm Emanuel on the Fifth Floor of Chicago's City Hall, the disinformation and false flagging that was characterized dramatically by the "Rent . . .

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CPS Special Education screwups are increasing as 'Full School Day' nonsense shows what happens when the schools are completely under the control of FNG outsiders who don't know WTF they are doing or anything about Chicago's complex public school realities

As the Longest School Day juggernaut continues across Chicago's more than 600 real public schools, the antics of Chicago Schools Chief Executive Officer Jean-Claude Brizard and the administrative team put into power in the nation's . . .

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How CPS and City of Chicago schools planning screwed everyone from Carpenter to Ogden... Ogden Elementary School once has a nice playground

As parents begin assembling for a unique Chicago event — a planned protest by Gold Coast families against Chicago Public Schools on April 20, 2012 — the latest controversies over the facilities planning surrounding public . . .

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REVIEW: Rothstein review of Brill's 'Class Warfare' deserves a reading now by those who need to hear all the teacher bashing talking points in one place

When Steven Brill's lengthy book "Class Warfare" — really, a book length sequel to the movie "Waiting for Superman" — came out last summer and fall, most teachers were too busy to read another teacher . . .

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Parents Across America challenge absuridites and insults of the Duncan administration at Washington D.C. meeting

"Parents Across America," the truly grass roots organization of parents from around the country went to Washington, D.C. on April 20 to challenge the absurd claims and policies of the U.S. Department of Education under . . .

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'Summit 2012' continues privatization attack on public schools... Rahm Emanuel to keynote New School Venture Fund Aspen Institute event, while Tim Cawley will discuss how 'Life's a pitch'...

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools Chief Administrative Officer Tim Cawley will be two of the featured people at the Aspen Institute's May 1 - May 2 New Schools Venture Fund summit on . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: After all that goofy prattle about Business Models and Accountability, Rahm's favorite game is 'Management Musical Chairs'

If you read Chicago magazine, the Atlantic, or even the Economist (which often knows better), you’d think that Rahm the Magnificent has already saved Chicago during his rookie year as mayor of America’s third largest . . .

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CTU support grows, poll shows... Brizard already heading towards another vote of 'No Confidence' like he had in Rochester, while Rahm's relentless media control craziness is crashing daily into the reality of Chicago's streets and schools

Less than a year after he left Rochester, New York, in disgrace, with federal age discrimination cases still trailing him, Rahm Emanuel's pick to become "Chief Executive Officer" of Chicago's public schools is once again . . .

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New York teachers launch new caucus to oppose UPC leadership, Mulgrew

From Lee Sustar




Less than a year after he left Rochester, New York, following a vote of "no confidence" by the city's teachers and widespread anger at his superintendency from Rochester's . . .

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SUBSTANCE ANALYSIS: April Chicago Board of Education meeting showed complete disconnect between current leadership of Chicago's schools and Chicago reality

The latest empty chair at a meeting of the Chicago Board of Education may simply have been symbolic, but it was telling. Another example of the great unravelling of all the myths being pushed relentlessly . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Corporate 'reform' groups to declare Common Core a success before there is even a Common Core record to measure

The eyes of some of the nation should be on the National Press Club on Thursday, May 3, 2012, to see just how gullible the members of the elite Washington press corps are. Why? Because . . .

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Brizard, Carroll continue censorship of CPS public information with secret 'briefing call' on newly released local school budgets to selected reporters on Friday, April 27

Once again, on Friday, April 27, 2012, Chicago Public Schools officials and communications staff (the largest, by the way, in history; see below) censored most media reports on the latest budget activities of CPS by . . .

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'Chaos' and 'Management Musical Chairs' at the top of Chicago Public Schools... Has America’s third largest school system become a reality TV show based on ‘Survivor’?... CPS purges continue, Donoso latest woman forced off CPS administrative peak

Less than one years after he announced that he would be appointing a completely new Board of Education and administrative hierarchy for Chicago’s public schools, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has continued to encourage massive purges . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Another 'Dewey Defeats Truman' moment at the Chicago Tribune... District 299 blunder on Donoso removal another example of why you can't cover Chicago from Brooklyn

One of those "Dewey Defeats Truman" moments in Chicago journalism happened over the weekend of April 27 to April 29, 2012, and it needs to be discussed by everyone covering the explosive news coming out . . .

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Amy Rule to join NATO delegation from Chicago to plan May events

Crain's Chicago Business and NBC Chicago reported exclusively on March 7, 2012, that Amy Rule, wife of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, will be part of the delegation from Chicago to Brussels to help plan and . . .

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'StudentsFirst' raised $225 million between 2010 and 2012... The big bucks behind Michelle Rhee's union busting includes major Obama donors

[Editor's Note: The following appeared at the Washington Post on February 24, 2012 and is shared here. Most recently, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan took the stage at a major Washington, D.C. event and . . .

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Rahm's corporate fascism becoming more clear to the average working class person in Chicago... Protests against attacks on living wage for workers at Chicago airports grow as Rahm pushes crony capitalist contracts of the kind that made him a multi-millionaire

As Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel makes more and more clear that his version of government owes more to Benito Mussolini and fascism (the merging of corporations and government) than to anything in the USA tradition . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: How long will Chicago and Illinois political leaders continue to be insulted by CPS FNGs?

Leap Year Day was barely over when Subscripts heard the latest from Springfield — CPS had sent the most fatuous of its FNG bureaucrats, Adam Anderson of the newly created "Portfolio Office", to testify before . . .

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NEWS ANALYSIS: WHERE DID LAS CASAS GO? School closing chickens coming home to roost, but CPS privatization policies can't be indicted for murder... March 1 murder at a CPS 'alternative' school reveals some ugly facts and a history CPS has been trying to bury along with other bodies

Four years ago, CPS announced that it was going to close La Casas Occupational High School, but after a major protest, CPS backed down — for one year. Three years ago, they did close down . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: 'Pioneer' parents now opposing Rahm's Longest School Day

Less than half a year after their schools and teachers accepted the highly publicized bribes to become "pioneers" of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's plan to push the Longest School Day on Chicago's public elementary schools, . . .

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Rahm takes Chicago's Big Lie version of history and reality on the road to a Washington D.C. forum featuring Arne Duncan and the mayors of Los Angeles and New York City

While most of Chicago was reeling from the news that a student had been shanked and killed while waiting to enter a South Side "alternative" high school and others in the city were contemplating how . . .

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Parents continue push against Rahm's 'Longest School Day'

Despite being rudely snubbed by the seven appointed members of the Chicago Board of Education at the Board's February 22, 2012, meeting, parents across Chicago who have been organizing in opposition to what many are . . .

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STRIKEWATCH: The first Chicago strikes were 'illegal...' How Chicago teachers make a strike.... The first thing it's about is no longer working on the boss's terms for the boss's offer and taking the boss's insults

Since Substance published the first installment of our new feature STRIKEWATCH in the February print edition and on line, more and more younger teachers have been asking veterans about a strike. It's time for a . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Does anyone know what Obama said to Emanuel when he told him G8 was stiffing Chicago?

For several months, Chicago has been in the middle of a major debate as the city prepared for the May 2012 meetings of both the "G8" (the largest economic power countries on earth) and the . . .

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Hundreds of thousands of dollars and hours spent promoting the 'New Schools Expo' while Brizard worked to sabotage the local school councils... Groups demand CPS extend deadline for LSC nominations and promote LSCs, while growing evidence shows that Brizard administration is sabotaging the LSC elect

Less than two months after every parent in Chicago's public schools, including this writer, received at least one robocall from CPS (and from Chicago Bears star Israel Idonije) promoting the so-called "New Schools Expo" at . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: You can't call it a failure if you ignore it... QUESTION. When is 'Merit Pay' not news in Chicago? ANSWER. When the scores didn't go up during the $26 million 'TAP' program

Clearly, one of the mottos of the Emanuel administration must be: "If at first you fail, keep doing it over and over." Or perhaps there is something there going all the way back to the . . .

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CTU wins major grievance on layoffs of eight Audiometric & Vision Screening Technicians following 2010 layoffs... Arbitrator orders reinstatement with full back pay

The Chicago Teachers Union late in the day on March 9, 2012, announced a major victory in one of the grievances stemming from the layoffs brought by CPS during the summer of 2010. The grievance, . . .

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Despite defeat in state court, activists to rally Monday, March 12, against school turnarounds, closings

Despite a defeat in the Circuit Court of Cook County, public school activists will rally on Monday, March 12, at 4:00 p.m. at Chicago Public Schools headquarters at 125 S. Clark St. in Chicago against . . .

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Parents challenge CPS talking points with Power Point refutation

Parents from schools in Chicago's 19th Ward have issued a 24-page Power Point presentation refuting point-by-point the claims and talking points developed by officials of Chicago Public Schools defending the rush to force a 7.5 . . .

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'We who believe in freedom will not rest until it comes...' New Labor Beat video captures movement against latest attacks on Chicago's public schools, with video of the march and rally at Rahm Emanuel's home and narrative from the February 22 school board meeting

A new 26-minute video from Chicago's Labor Beat, entitled "The Shell Game", captures a great deal of the militancy and unit that has characterized the opposition to the attacks on public education by Chicago . . .

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STRIKEWATCH: What's worse — a boss's spy in the union's ranks — or a scab?

"Don't scab for the bosses, don't listen to their lies. Us poor folks haven't go a chance unless we organize..." goes the lyrics to one of the classic songs of the union movement, "Which . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: In These Times spouts nonsense about Chicago's drug gangs... Suckers for gang marketing from

Every ten years or so, since the 1960s, someone has come along and told me, with a straight face, that down is really up and that Chicago's notorious street gangs are really nice. The first . . .

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Dodging the press and afraid of real questions... CPS tells Substance about major media events sponsored by CPS -- a day after they happen!

One of the nice things about dealing with the new administration at Chicago Public Schools is that they remind members of the Substance staff of the meaning of words like "sophomoric" and the good old . . .

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Substance and Occupied Chicago Tribune on CAN TV Chicago Newsroom Show

It was fun on March 15, 2012 to do the Chicago Newsroom show on CAN TV with Ken Davis and Joe Macare from Occupied Chicago Tribune and Truthout. The show will be airing this . . .

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Jamiko Rose resigns as 'Chief Officer of Family and Community Engagement' at CPS

CPS sources have confirmed that Jamiko Rose, who was hired in August 2011 for the newly created position of "Chief Officer for Family and Community Engagement" at Chicago Public Schools, will resign effective May 31, . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Silly interpretation of Rahm's 'split' with Arne Duncan airs at Politico

Although most people are still digesting the April 2012 Atlantic monthly magazine article in which Jonathan Alter adds to the hagiographic corporate media narratives about Chicago's Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a few odds and ends from . . .

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Bill will ban Noble Street Charter's fines for 'misconduct'

PURE reported this week that the work they have been doing (with VOYCE) to expose the fines imposed by Noble Street Charter Schools on students for disciplinary infractions are going to be made illegal if . . .

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Unions to protest Rahm at Milwaukee fundraiser Wednesday for right wing Democrat candidate

Union members from Illinois and Wisconsin will be protesting in Milwaukee on Monday, March 28, 2012, against the appearance in Milwaukee of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel at an expensive fundraising event on behalf of mayoral . . .

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High-stakes tests are 'strangling public education...' More than 100 Texas school districts in revolt against high-stakes 'standardized' tests

For more than a month, since the Texas State Superintendent of School questioned the use of standardized tests in the state, a growing revolt against high-stakes so-called standardized tests has been spreading in the state. . . .

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Rahm declares 'war' on drug gangs, continues war on teachers

Fresh from a skiing vacation in Colorado with his children, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel took time out from his war on the city's public school teachers and the Chicago Teachers Union to declare "war" . . .

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Parents from across Chicago challenge CPS attacks on democracy, parents... longer school day thrust, attacks on LSCs

Seven parents and community activists — representing thousands of other parents across Chicago and decades of experience in local school council and other public education work — gathered in the lobby of Chicago Public Schools . . .

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Professors challenge CPS push to evaluate Chicago teachers based on 'growth' models

One hundred local academics representing virtually every major college and university in Chicago and the Chicago area came together on March 26, 2012 at a press conference. The purpose was to oppose CPS teacher evaluation . . .

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BOARDWATCH: 'Hearing' on Columbus and Pulaski days 'waiver' at 9:00 a.m. Transparency promise kept. CPS posts complete meeting agenda on line for first time in keeping with the Illinois Open Meetings Act

For the first time in history, the Chicago Board of Education has published its complete agenda on line on the CPS website prior to the monthly meeting of the Chicago Board of Education. Prior to . . .

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Chicago school board continues phony 'accountability' and 'transparency' on charter schools

The talk was all about how the latest CPS "Portfolio" plans would add both "accountability" and "transparency" to the city's growing number of charter schools and so-called "campuses," but when it came time to walk . . .

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You Tube video shows press conference for an elected school board

Even before the Chicago Board of Education began its monthly meeting on March 22, 2012, at its downtown office headquarters at 125 S. Clark St., a spirited demonstration of more than 100 people had been . . .

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Bates has been hosting CPS Show Trials since 1997 (Englewood 'Reconstitution')... Outrage at conduct of Casals hearing grows

For many of those trying to get the facts across to the Chicago Board of Education at the January 30, 2012 hearings on the proposed turnaround of Casals Elementary School, the behavior of hearing officer . . .

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STRIKE WATCH: The importance of 'NO!'

One of the things that union leaders were taught at the beginning of our training for years, perhaps decades, was the simple importance of the word "No." If the boss wants it, it's probably not . . .

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Texas schools chief says testing has gone 'too far'

The head of public schools in Texas has come out publicly against the expansion of testing under the Obama administration's "Race to the Top" program, causing some thunder across the nation as the testing season . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Hollywood Rahm continues to duck the media now that he can't script reality for all reporters

What better opportunity to ring out with praise for Chicago's (unionized) police officers and to discuss the realities of crime in Chicago than an appearance by Chicago's mayor at Chicago Police headquarters? Well, not on . . .

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STRIKEWATCH: 'Matewan' may be the best union movie ever made...

As Chicago teachers prepare to take their places in the long history of the struggles of American working women and men for our rights, there will be a lot of need for people to understand . . .

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CTU endorses primary candidates after exhausting reviews and some heated debates.... Union also highlights new legislation that will help public schools of Chicago

The Chicago Teachers Union voted overwhelmingly on February 1, 2012 at its monthly House of Delegates meeting to endorse 52 candidates for local and state office in the upcoming elections. The endorsement came after extensive . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Lies my newspaper told me... How the Chicago Sun-Times and corporate 'Better Government Association' lie about teachers and CPS sicks days

On February 3, 2012, when I opened up my Chicago Sun-Times and saw that they were blasting the right of teachers and other CPS workers to accumulate sick days and cash them out at the . . .

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HOORAY FOR HOLLYWOOD? Now Chicago can get INSTY NEWS from Rahm Inc. (just add a headline and a byline)... Rahm hypes 'Howe [AUSL] School of Excellence' with 'Cabinet Meeting'... but real reporters are not invited

Here is a question for Chicago in this era when "corruption" seems to be defined only as things that poor, working class, and unionized middle class people can engage in. What would have been the . . .

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AND THEY CALL THIS 'ETHICS'!?: The city's chief fraudster gives a lecture on 'ethics'... A memo from Chicago's quarter million dollar schools CEO... While Rahm's cuddling up to Thyssen Krupp brings flashbacks to some of Rahm's own neighbors...

Less than two months after the Chicago Board of Education's release of the CAFR for FT 2011 showed that all the tall tales he's telling about "tough times" and tight budgets are lies, Chicago Public . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Just another Sun-Times teacher bashing hatchet job... How many ways did the BGA/ 'Sun-Times' get the sick pay story wrong? Too many to count...

Although the Chicago Sun-Times has long been the source of hatchet jobs on CPS teachers and the Chicago Teachers Union for decades (Substance had a long-term run-in with Ray Coffey years ago, because he was . . .

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'DONE DEAL' ALREADY DONE... Brizard to move entire Hit List at February 22 Board of Education meeting... All the hearings were a Show Trial, as suspected, as the CPS 'Done Deal' lurches forward after Brizard tells February 7 meeting that he will push for the full list

Chicago schools Chief Executive Officer Jane Claude Brizard confirmed at a meeting with the Bronzville CAC on February 7, 2012, that CPS administration intends to push forward the closing, phase out, or "turnaround" of every . . .

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Duncan attacking 'status quo' in Harvard speech ignores the fact that he represents the status quo

In a recent speech at Harvard University, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan attacked those who defend the "status quo" and drawing from the same script used in Chicago by Mayor Rahm Emanuel claimed that the . . .

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Chicago Teachers Union rejects Consortium study on 'turnarounds'

In a strongly worded statement issued on January 8, 2012, the Chicago Teachers Union challenged a report to be released on January 9, 2012, by the University of Chicago's Consortium on Chicago School Research that . . .

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According to 'Public Agenda,' poor parents are too dumb to understand that their schools are 'failing'... Studies and critiques call into question the latest statistical mumbo-jumbo from the University of Chicago and the U.S. Department of Education

While Chicago's corporate media were either hailing or reporting uncritically on the latest statistical justification for Chicago's corporate "school reform" out of the University of Chicago's Consortium on School Research, two critics were raising their . . .

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BRIZARD 'TELE TOWN HALL' for February 16 continues arrogant and lopsided 'Communications' nonsense... Principals ordered to send home Brizard nonsense on 'Full School Day' even as parent, teachers and students organize against it across the city

Chicago's public school principals, already choking on mandates from the Brizard administration and buffeted by attacks that include a mayoral and media threat to take away their accumulated sick days and vacation days, had injury . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Sun-Times propagandists for corporate 'school reform' ignore another critical letter from Substance reporter

During the late 1990s, it became clear that the editors of the Chicago Sun-Times had sold out their "news" columns to corporate school reform, and that critical voices regarding the claims of Paul G. Vallas . . .

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Chicago Tonight (February 9) shows shallowness of CPS defense of turnaround, while Brizard again ducks out of facing his critics

For those who didn't get the chance to see it when it was on WTTW Channel 11 on Chicago Tonight on February 9, 2012, the discussion between CPS's Noemi Donoso ("Chief Education Officer") and . . .

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'It isn't Noble to push out students...' PURE, other groups challenge Noble Street charter schools calling the 'Noble' discipline policy 'predatory'

Three groups — Voices of Youth in Chicago Education (VOYCE) www.voyceproject.org., Parents United for Responsible Education (PURE) www.pureparents.org, and the Advancement Project www.advancementproject.org — held a major press conference at the headquarters of Chicago Public . . .

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Fair Test's Monty Neill and CTU Testing Committee Chair (and Substance editor) Sharon Schmidt at University of Illinois February 15, 2012, in testing forum

Monty Neill, the nationally recognized authority on testing (Fair Test, www.fairtest.org) will discuss testing misuse in a forum on February 15, 2012 at the University of Illinois building at 701 S. Halsted from 6:00 p.m. . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Emanuel teams up with Goldman Sachs for high profile publicity for the predatory investment bank

The event wasn't on Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's public calendar on Monday, February 13, 2012, but as sure as Goldman Sachs is the 2012 poster corporation for the international financial plutocracy, Rahm touted Wall Street . . .

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Big rally planned against 2012 Hit List for Thursday, February 16, on South Side

A large number of public officials, community groups, and the Chicago Teachers Union will be holding a rally on Thursday, February 16, 2012 beginning at 6:00 p.m. to oppose the Hit List which is going . . .

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Will CPS steal $30 million from principals and assistant principals? Brizard announces attack on right of school workers to accumulate sick days, continues Big Lie about $400 million 'savings' from last summer, while refusing to hold press conferences where he has to actually answer factual question

Can Jean-Claude Brizard get away with stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from Chicago's veteran administrators, assistant principals, and principals? It looks like that's what he's going to try, based on a press release that . . .

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Texas parents organize 'Opt Out' for their children... 'We believe high stakes testing is immoral'

As the U.S. Department of Education and the Obama administration move to expand high-stakes secret testing of children in public schools across the USA, a growing number of parents and students are organizing for children . . .

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Brizard memo to administrators outlines his plan to eliminate sick day carry over benefit

A day after he publicly announced that he was going to propose that the Chicago Board of Education eliminate the right of non-union CPS workers to accumulate sick days and cash them out upon retirement, . . .

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CTU releases 'The Schools Chicago's Students Deserve', a 45-page report challenging the 'failed status quo' of Chicago's corporate school reform

The Chicago Teachers Union on February 16, 2012 released and discussed at major report on how to truly improve Chicago’s public schools at a press conference that last for more than one hour and from . . .

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Reform reporters resort to poetry rather than reading CPS financial reports... Catalyst clueless on CPS budget realities

On February 15, and 16, 2012, Catalyst magazine, which once billed itself as "voice of Chicago school reform," unleashed two stories about Chicago's schools, both of which displayed the magazine's unwillingness or inability to grapple . . .

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Valerie Strauss's 'The Answer Sheet' blog hits Duncan after Daily Show

Hardly had 'The Daily Show' gone off the air on February 16, 2012, than the blogs and education web sites began lighting up with commentary about how inane the U.S. Secretary of Education is. Despite . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Shut down of Chicago News Cooperative to reduce education coverage in Chicago

The shut down of the two-year-old Chicago News Cooperative, which provided Chicago news to The New York Times twice a week, will take place on Sunday, February 26, 2012, according to reports in the Reader . . .

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Rahm, 'J.C.', and Garry might as well be shouting 'King Love' at the corner of Montrose and Kedzie or Fullerton and Kedzie... This is not Hollywood nonsense but as real as a Chicago emergency room on a Saturday or Sunday night

There is nothing more dangerous on Chicago's streets that a tough guy "cop", clueless about the nuanced reality of the city's drug gangs, playing Hollywood and out there to prove he's not only the "smartest . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Sun-Times winds up with best coverage, Tribune gets it partly right (then kills story in its print edition) other reporters doing some good work... Everyone should call out Becky Carroll and the $3 million CPS Propaganda Department, following huge rally and march to Mayor Emanuel's nort

Reporting is about being on the ground at the scene, whether the reporting is from Syria (where a New York Times reporter recently died trying to get the stories of the violence against protesters there) . . .

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Emanuel to hold morning media event on 'after school programs'

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will be appearing at the Metropolitan Family Services offices at 3249 N. Central Ave. on Chicago's northwest side at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, February 23, 2012.



. . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Defunding of Chicago News Coop follows typical Chicago corporate model... If someone doesn't bring you the news you want, you screw them

When the "Chicago News Cooperative" began operations in 2009, we were rightly skeptical. Despite the reputations of many of its veteran reporters, the Co-op was being funded by some of Chicago's most famous philanthropies, outfits . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Corporate media coverage of the February 22, 2012 Chicago Board of Education meeting

With more than 1,000 people scattered at and around the headquarters of Chicago Public Schools and 83 signed up to speak, the regular monthly meeting of the Chicago Board of Education would have proved a . . .

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The word 'turnaround' wasn't even on the public's agenda... Chicago Board of Education votes to close or turnaround 17 schools

Among the most uniquely Orwellian Chicago realities on February 22, 2012, at the Chicago Board of Education was that the city's public schools had been in turmoil for three months, mostly about a program widely . . .

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CTU to join forces with PUSH on Saturday, February 25, at PUSH

The Chicago Teachers Union is expanding its cooperative work with the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Operation PUSH. On Thursday, February 23, 2012, the day after the Chicago Board of Education votes against the 17 schools, . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Another AUSL fraud exposed?... Anonymous Orr teachers blast AUSL hypocrisy, incompetence in 'turnaround'

The day before the Chicago Board of Education's seven members voted unanimously to do "turnaround" to ten more Chicago public schools (and to pay at least $1,800,000 to the Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL), . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: And the Judith Miller award for bad reporting goes to... Cowards on both sides of Orr High School dispute remind us why sources have to stand up and speak in their own names, not hide behind 'anonymous'

I'm nominating Orr High School's teachers and staff, along with the "Occupy Chicago Tribune," for this week's "Judith Miller Award" for silly and self-serving reporting. (They are now in the running, this awards season, for . . .

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Rahm insults tens of thousands, calls protests against turnarounds, closings and phase outs 'noise'...

By the time Operation PUSH met on Saturday morning, February 23, 2012, just about everyone who had been protesting against Mayor Rahm Emanuel's hypocritical attack on the city's real public schools and the launching of . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Arne Duncan whines when New York Times reporter catches him touting Michelle Rhee's nonsense — and helping cover up the D.C. testing scandal?

Things are moving so fast out there it's almost impossible to catch up and keep up, which is a good thing. No sooner had The New York Times ended the "Chicago News Coop" (and gotten . . .

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Pritzkers dodge all their taxes — not just the federal ones... Unite - HERE and Crain's Chicago Business report how Penny dodges local property taxes (and tries to hide it) while serving on the Board of Education

One of the delightful things about having ten or eleven billionaires named Pritzker in Chicago is that they are even more convoluted than a Russian novel in their permutations and machinations. One part of the . . .

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More than 1,000 teachers, other staff, face Chicago Hit List

More than 1,000 Chicago teachers and other school staff are facing firing during 2012 as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and novice Chicago Schools Chief Executive Officer Jean-Claude Brizard continue the failed policy of "turnaround" into . . .

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Gang problems are also political problems, but gangs are ignored while Chicago school teachers and other school workers are slated to be fired during upcoming orgy of 'turnaround' because of inner city troubles

Gangs may be a major problem in more than 100 Chicago public schools, but CPS officials will continue to blame teachers when violence breaks out. The relationship between the city's major street gangs and the . . .

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CPS Facilities Plan and so-called 'Transparency' are both nonsense, as a close look at dozens of schools shows

As usual at year's end, Chicago Public Schools issued an important document and some very important information by press release, avoiding having Chief Executive Officer Jean-Claude Brizard and members of his "team" try and explain . . .

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Young people prefer socialism to capitalism in latest poll

Not surprisingly to anyone who has been following both the news and recent policy debates, young people who four years ago went for Barack Obama's finance capitalist version of audacious hope have turned to socialism . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Will Chicago's 'CompstatCPS' follow New York's lead in killing crime by 'juking' the stats?

Amid an enormous amount of fanfare, and with a cast of nearly hundreds (mostly police officers), Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Schools Chief Executive Officer Jean-Claude Brizard, and Police Supt. Gerry McCarthy hosted a December . . .

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New York building cleaners' contract averts nationwide picketing against major building owners

Thanks to a threat of solidarity from around the country and a strong stand against a dual pay system and givebacks on health insurance, the union representing thousands of New York City private building janitorial . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: New York Times, Sam Dillon, launch New Year with another union bashing version of corporate school reform propaganda as 'news'

A little more than three years after he made his Page One debut as one of the most effective propagandists for corporate "school reform," New York Times pundit Sam Dillon began the New Year with . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Brizard's bureaucrats must be fluent in Ptydepe... The secret is out. To work in the 'new' CPS administration you have to master pdydepe and pass a test on it administered by Jean-Claude Brizard...

We've finally discovered the secret to getting a top level (and highly paid) job in public education in Rahm Emanuel's Chicago in 2011 and 2012. You have to be bilingual — in Ptydepe. Rahm's been . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Brizard to hold a love in with KOCO?... Fox News Chicago gives Brizard a half hour to spread his questionable version of reality

One New Year's Day gift to Chicago came from Fox News, which gave Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Jean-Claude Brizard a half hour show to spread his strange version of reality to the . . .

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Teacher suicide blamed on bullying by local school administrators in Ford Heights Illinois

Workplace bullying and fear prevalent in Ford Heights south of Chicago? Teachers think so, and are finally speaking out — too late for one teacher. The story, typical of many that could be told, reminded . . .

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Another video on hypocrisy, corporate agenda of 'Stand for Children'

Another good You Tube video, this one mostly narrative and text, provided readers and viewers with updates on Stand for Children's corporate funding and corporate agenda. Worth watching if you are still in the market . . .

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Chicago closing hearings begin Friday, January 6, and continue from now until February

Hearings regarding the proposals from the Brizard administration that nine schools be subjected to various kinds of closings (from "co-location" to closure) and ten schools to "turnaround" begin in Chicago on Friday January 7 and . . .

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CHICAGO CITY HALL SIT-IN DAY ONE: Community, teachers begin sit-in outside Mayor Emanuel's City Hall office demanding an end to threatened school closings, turnarounds, phase outs and other attacks on public schools

More than 200 people ranging in age from infants to senior citizens in their 70s began a sit-in outside the fifth floor City Hall office of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel at noon on January 4, . . .

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CTU calls on members to join and support Chicago City Hall Sit-In

Leaders of the 30,000-member Chicago Teachers Union have issued a call for the union's members to begin joining the sit-in outside the offices of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on the fifth floor of Chicago's City . . .

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CHICAGO CITY HALL SIT-IN DAY TWO: Sit-in resumes for second day after arrest threats force protesters out on night of January 4... police remove chairs forcing protesters to stand or sit on marble floor

The sit-in outside the office of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel resumed shortly after 8:00 a.m. on January 5, 2012, following the end of the event by 6:00 p.m. the previous night. According to participants, Chicago . . .

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CHICAGO CITY HALL SIT-IN DAY TWO: Mayor harasses KOCO, sit-in, by removing chairs and forcing senior citizens to sit on the floor, and continues to refuse to meet with protesters as sit-in goes into second day on January 5, 2012

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanule on January 5, 2012, continued to refuse to meet with protesters who have tried to conduct a peaceful and non-violent sit-in outside his fifth floor offices at Chicago's City Hall, adding . . .

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Rahm's 'Rent-A-Protest' fails to disrupt Crane closing hearing... Fraynd and CPS turnaround hacks run away escorted by CPS security at precisely 8 p.m. following their attempt to slander Crane High School

One of the most impressive points during the hearings on the proposed closing of Crane High School, held at Malcolm X College on the evening of January 6, 2012, was that Crane's supporters were able . . .

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Grim reminder about guns and schools... In the real world of real guns, the margin of errors is very very slim... Texas middle school student was killed by police when he refused to drop a lookalike airsoft pistol when ordered to

It's been 13 years since my career as a teacher, and as school security and safety coordinator at one of America's most dangerous high schools, was abruptly ended by Paul G. Vallas and Richard M. . . .

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CEOs say the dumbest things when they are teacher bashing and union busting... Jean-Clause Brizard on Fox News with Robin Robinson prattling on through his talking points and babbling nonsense

Substance just published the January 2012 print issue of Substance, which keeps us on schedule during our 36th year of publication. The majority of stories are focusing on the struggles against the lies of CPS, . . .

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CATALYST: Stand for Children Illinois says (without evidence) that 'Turnarounds' are 'proven...', but they don't support Rent A Protests and Rent A Preachers

[Editor's Note: It's always interesting to us when a lawyer repeats some marketing claim and deliberately leaves out the evidence. But that's what's happening in Illinois right now, now that the new executives at "Stand . . .

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Teachers, union to commemorate Dr. King with march against turnaround at Marquette Elementary School

Led by the Chicago Teachers Union and CTU President Karen Lewis, teachers, parents, students and community leaders plan to commemorate the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Monday, January 16, 2012, with a march . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: 'All The News That Fits, They'll Print...' Board of Directors of Chicago News Coop are union-busting pro-turnaround privatizers led by Martin Koldyke... Why has The New York Times outsourced Chicago news reporting to this biased bunch

More than a dozen years ago, I stood up against multi-millionaire Martin Koldyke, now the emeritus chief of the Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL), back when he was trying to force Bowen High School, . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Rahm Photo Op King holiday publicity stunt doesn't even need reporters! — and you don't even have to send out a photographer!

It came out as a press release, part of the onslaught of them (on average, more then one per day) from Rahm Emanuel's personal publicity machine since Mayor One Percent was sworn in in May . . .

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A.R.T. / CORE candidates sweep Chicago Teachers Union retiree delegate elections

All 32 candidates endorsed by the Alliance of Retired Teachers, CORE, and the Chicago Teachers Union leadership won the recent election for delegates to represent the 3,700 retired members of the CTU. The vote count, . . .

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Wiasconsin Governor Scott Walker facing serious recall challenge one year after launching his well-financed Koch Brothers attack on unions

Less than a full year after the massive protests in Madison Wisconsin foreshadowed the "Occupy" movements across the USA, union activists and thousands of others have successfully gathered a massive number of signatures to recall . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Last Stand for Children First lampoons turnaround with three new videos

The wonderful website "Last Stand for Children First" has released three new brief videos on CPS "turnaround" (with music) that prepare Chicago for the next round of "turnaround." As the month moves towards an . . .

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Bronzeville CAC rejects Brizard plans to close or 'turnaround' four Bronzeville schools, challenges illegal CPS closing activities and paid protesters who disrupted Bronzeville hearings on January 6

In a dramatic move, the "Community Action Council" (CAC) for Chicago's Bronzeville community has rejected CPS proposals for changes in four schools located in the community, and additionally challenged the manner in which the current . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Cold weather in Chicago in January... Who knew street crime would go down? Rahm, McCarthy take full credit for... An act of God!?

There used to be wisdom among police officers that said something like this: Don't take credit for things when they are good unless you are ready to take the blame when things go bad. In . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Delightful website takes on most of the bigger lies of Michelle Rhee and her supporters

A delightful website about Michelle Rhee and her supporters — Rhee First — takes on most of the lies that have been told by and about Michelle Rhee since she began her union-busting and . . .

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Firing inner city teachers is still the Chicago fetish, even as (Another) study proves (again) that student socio-economic status provides most of what becomes test scores as a measure of school 'achievement'... Further 'research based' evidence of hypocrisy and cruelty of Chicago's 'turnaround' stu

Another study, published this week by the Teachers College Record of Columbia University's graduate school of education in the Teachers College Record, proves that SES (Socio Economic Status) is the primary factor in how schools . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Maybe is should be called 'Charter Schools Hypespo'... New Schools Expo is really featuring the anti-public school privatization schools and their supporters

The "New Schools Expo" scheduled for Saturday, January 28, 2012 (9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.), at Soldier Field has been receiving a great deal of uncritical support (including a Robocall from a Chicago Bear to . . .

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Steve Jobs: Born in the USA but finally a traitor to his country, not a hero... The New York Times helps expose How Apple Computer joined a long line of American corporations who made a profit off union busting, slave labor, state capitalism, and, often, fascism

There were probably few teachers anywhere, and certainly in Chicago, when more than 20 years ago, Apple Computer featured my classroom and my students in one of their promotional booklets describing the "Macintosh Classroom" we . . .

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Rent A Protest stories getting into Chicago's corporate media

As the final barrage of hearings on the schools closings and turnarounds begins taking place during the week of January 23, 2012 (with a major emphasis on the Board of Education's January 25 meeting at . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: 'Network' maps — and the whole 'Network' and 'Chiefs of Schools' notion — shows the absolute incompetence of Jean-Claude Brizard and his 'team' of overpaid and undercompetent MBAs and other mercenary bureacurats

As those who following the expensive, mercenary and Byrantine meanderings of management at America's third largest school system know, this year "Chicago Public Schools" got a new name for its subdistricts and a new kind . . .

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Hearings to dominate CPS agenda through early February

Hearings on the 2012 Hit List will dominate the agenda at CPS headquarters at 125 S. Clark St. in Chicago during the last week of January and through the first week of February 2012. Although . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Is Hollywood Rahm ducking the media? Few 'media availabilities' since Rahm's rent-a-preacher program became a public issue (and scandal) following January 20 revelations at hearings on snowy night. Last official event was following dramatic loss of Chicago Library Commissioner

By Saturday, January 28, 2012, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel had, for the first time since his May 2011 inauguration, avoided public media events, and maintained a blackout for most of the press from his headquarters . . .

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Rahm Emanuel puts union busting, privatization and teacher bashing to the front as... Fox News airs half hour infomercial for Noble Street Charter Schools as part of propaganda for 'School Choice Week'

Busy with final grades for the semester and working against the usual pressures of teaching the children of America's poorest families, many Chicago public school teachers could be forgiven if they somehow missed "School Choice . . .

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Ten 'Turnaround' Hearings between January 30 and February 3 as CPS continues Show Trials on 2012 'Hit List'

By the time the final hearing of the last full week of January 2012 was over at CPS headquarters at 125 S. Clark St. in Chicago, it was clear to most observers that the hearings, . . .

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Credibility of CPS challenged at Guggenheim hearing... FOIA request required for information which was provided on the night of each hearing... CPS officials refuse to provide Substance reporters with hearing briefing books after more than ten years of 'transparency' during the school closing and tu

For the first time since Paul Vallas was "Chief Executive Officer" of Chicago's Public Schools, CPS officials are refusing to provide this reporter and other Substance reporters with copies of the printed "briefing books" that . . .

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TURNAROUND HEARINGS BEGIN JANUARY 30: CPS FNGs read from scripts, and could not stand up under cross examination during the latest round of Rahm's Show Trials

The biggest week of the school year for Rahm Emanuel's hand-picked and tightly scripted Board of Education begins on the evening of January 30, 2012 (tonight) as Rahm's minions roll out their slanders against the . . .

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STRIKEWATCH: The lessons hard earned from our own history... A new regular feature at substancenews and in the print editions of Substance

By the early 1980s, the Chicago Teachers Union had helped organize everyone who worked in a Chicago public school into the unions that represented the people who actually did the daily work of educating Chicago's . . .

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Chicago Teachers Union schedules December 2 meetings in schools across Chicago against latest Hit List of 'Turnarounds'

At the end of a calm but determined meeting of more than 600 local school delegates and other Chicago Teachers Union members at the union hall of Local 399 of the Operating Engineers union, the . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: 'Fortune' smiles again on Rahm... Corporate America continues puffing up Chicago mayor's ego with puff piece 'interview' in Fortune magazine

Corporate America continued to promote the brief but mediagenic and autocratic mayoral career of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel with a puff-piece five-page interview in the December 12, 2011 issue of Fortune magazine. The interview included . . .

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SUBSCRIPTS: Was December Chicago Teachers Union meeting the dying gasp of the company union called the United Progressive Caucus?

It was interesting to watch, especially given the context of the years, as more than 600 members of the Chicago Teachers Union walked into the Operating Engineers union hall adjacent to the South Branch of . . .

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The 'CHAINSAW' Fraud of the 1990s and the 'TURNAROUN' Fraud of today... Memories of two decades of corporate fraud from 'Chainsaw Al Dunlap' and 'Chainsaw Paul Vallas' to Rahm Emanuel and 'J.C,' Brizard... Teach-In to fill Saturday December 3 for more than a thousands teachers and activists as lates

A major Teach-In on the current state of Chicago's public schools and against the continued privatization of the schools under Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his hand-picked foreign leadership "team" at the Chicago Board of Education . . .

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The Great Giveaway... Brizard to propose confused list of 'co-locations,' 'phase outs' and closings as attacks on real Chicago public schools continue under Rahm Emanuel's regime

As the statutory deadline required under the new Illinois Chicago School Facilities law was reached on December 1, 2011, Chicago Schools Chief Executive Officer Jean-Claude Brizard quietly released the list of additional public schools that . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: First round of reports on turnarounds and closings shows corporate media ape Rahm Emanuel's party line...

The first round of media reports on the proposed closings, turnarounds, and other continuing attacks on Chicago public schools continues to show that the lines and routines first pioneered by Arne Duncan ten years ago . . .

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Blackout on saying the 'S' word in the City of Broad Shoulders?... Biggest Strike in 30 years hits Great Britain, ignored in Chicago press

While the small number of videos and photos from Greece finally made it through to Chicago, the largest strike in more than a generation in England received the customary blackout in Chicago's corporate media on . . .

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Karen Lewis on WBBM will make the puffery shows and WBEZ's Jean-Clude platitudes sound like the nonsense they are

Word is that Sunday's "At Issue" program on WBBM radio will prove that the attacks on the Chicago Teachers Union being promoted by WBEZ (Chicago's ridiculous "Public Radio") are really leaving out most of the . . .

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Strong Union Voice Finally Returns to 'Chicago Tonight'

Every active Chicago teacher and parent should take the time to view (and review) the entire 12 minutes of the December 1, 2011, Chicago Tonight show on WTTW (Channel 11) Chicago. For years, Chicago . . .

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'Transparency'? For City Hall, maybe, but not for CPS... Rahm brags about City Hall budget information availability, while he encourages massive coverups from Jean-Claude Brizard and CPS

It was a typical Rahm Emanuel City Hall press release and publicity stunt — but with a twist or two. Considering it is touted as the Next Big Thing from Chicago’s energetic media-soaked mayor, even . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Courtesans of corporate 'school reform' do it again... Catalyst sources its Task Force story from CPS, while Sun-Times 'Screamers' editorial leaves out the fact that the Sun-Times missed more than 80 hearings over the past nine years

While most Substance readers have been too busy with teaching to notice, and Substance reporters have been too busy reporting to care, it's worth noting as the huge protests against corporate school reform loom in . . .

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Video on Occupy Oakland November 2 General Strike now available... West Coast Occupy calls for December 12 shut down of all West Coast ports in support of truckers, longshore workers

A video of the Occupy Oakland general strike is now available and the call for a strike to shut down all West Coast ports on December 12 is now available. The URL is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGqncu3wlEI. . . .

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HOW CATALYST LIES... Catalyst school closing list is more fiction than fact, with oversimplifications, out of context claims, and simple mistakes... How do you spell anachronism?

PART ONE: A look at how Chicago distorts its history, courtesy of media subsidized by the corporations behind Chicago "school reform." This week, Catalyst magazine teamed up with WBEZ radio to purportedly provide Chicago and . . .

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Candidates in running for largest number of retiree delegate spots in Chicago Teachers Union history

Seventy-five candidates are currently in the running for the largest number of retiree delegate slots in the history of the Chicago Teachers Union. During the current election cycle to fill all vacancies in the CTU . . .

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After trashing union leadership in November 30 leaflet, UPC tries to get back into power in heated retiree delegate fight, running 25 candidates, half of whom are collecting pensions above $90,000 per year because UPC looted the union treasury during reign of Marilyn Stewart

UPC is trying to get back into power in the Chicago Teachers Union by waging a heated battle for delegates for the retiree group. UPC candidates, Retiree election December 2011 – January 2012
Twenty-seven candidates. . . .

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CPS schedules hearings on school 'turnaround,' closings and other 2012 Hit List actions... Protests begin with vigil December 13 at 6 p.m. and continue on December 14 at Board of Education meeting

In accordance with the Facilities Law, CPS has scheduled hearings in January and February on the schools that are on the 2012 Hit List to be subjected to turnaround or closed in other ways. The . . .

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CTU and community partners to hold vigil at Chicago Board of Education on the night of December 13, 2011

Continuing a tradition that can be said to have been initiated by many of those who are currently in the leadership of the Chicago Teachers Union during the coldest nights of January and February 2009, . . .

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Rahm Emanuel, Jean-Claude Brizard, and Garry McCarthy announce 'COMPSTAT' for Chicago schools

Flanked by Chicago Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard and Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, announced on December 13, 2011 that the city, CPS and the police department are instituting a program called . . .

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BRIZARDBULLSCHIDT... Casals parents catch the CEO in a half dozen outright lies... A new Substance regular feature will monitor the lies of the man Rahm Emanuel calls 'J.C.' during this holiday season

As everyone who has followed the media tsunami that came in the wake of Rahm Emanuel's election as Mayor of Chicago knows, for several months, Rahm kept the man he affectionately calls "J.C." on a . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Chicago's corporate reporters would ignore a fart in a crowded elevator if their masters ordered them to... Why was the December 13 CPS vigil non-news to the dailies and the TV stations while Rahm could waste hundreds of reporters' hours staging 'CompStat CPS'?

It's getting almost tiring to go to a carefully staged Rahm Emanuel media event on one side of town and then go to an actual news event later and see the story ignored by the . . .

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VIDEO: 'Whose schools!? Our schools!' Angry public 'Mic Checks' Chicago Board of Education meeting. First You Tube video of the most momentous event to challenge corporate school board power in Chicago in 35 years

With a chant of "Whose schools? Our schools!" hundreds of protesters forced the six members of the Chicago Board of Education, including billionaire Penny Pritzker, to beat a hasty retreat from the Board's monthly meeting . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: With protesters 'screaming' even the Sun-Times can hear... Even the Chicago Sun-Times can't miss news when it's screaming in their reporters' faces

Although the Chicago Sun-Times missed the protests by more than 500 teachers, parents, students, and community activists camped out in front of the Board of Education on the night of December 13, 2011, and even . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Tribune edits headlines to help Board of Education after the turnaround scurry

When the story first went on line at the Tribune's website, the headline accurately reflected what had happened. Five members of the Chicago Board of Education and a couple of dozen of the highest paid . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Chicago Mayor to host charter school publicity stunt at Noble Street charter 'Pritzker Campus,' a school which routinely dumps dozens of kids from its rolls in January, while keeping the dollars it has been allocated in October

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel plans to stage another publicity stunt in a school on the morning of December 16, 2011. Following a vote by his hand-picked Board of Education to continue expanding the city's charter . . .

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Rahm Emanuel, Jean-Claude Brizard stage media infomercial for Noble Street Charter Schools

Two days after the Chicago Board of Education voted to add 12 more charter schools to what it is currently calling its "Portfolio" of schools, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Schools Chief Executive Officer staged . . .

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Does CTU's 'United Progressive Caucus' really want the union to continue following the editorial policies of the Chicago Tribune?

Although there were no fist fights or threats of fist fights at the November 30 meeting of the Chicago Teachers Union's House of Delegates, there were a number of major provocations from a group of . . .

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RETIREE AND PENSION NEWS: 'The death spiral of American pensions and benefits'... How corporate America is plundering the pensions of ordinary workers and throwing the aged into deeper poverty

[Editor's Note: Just to make sure that Substance readers don't think our problems with Illinois public worker pensions are unique, we are reprinting the following article here (and probably in our print edition) so that . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: 'Stand for Children — or Stand for Profit?'... Radio investigation exposes Stand for Children's well-funded campaign to bust the unions and privatize public schools in the USA

As we pass the first anniversary of the infamous appearances of "Stand for Children" before the Illinois House "School Reform Committee" (which was held in Aurora on December 16 and 17, 2011), it's nice to . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: 'Turnarounding' every turnaround... Obama administration official brags on 'The Daily Show', 'We're turned the schools around...'

Thanks to Valerie Strauss of The Washington Post and her wonderful blog, we now have access both to the December 16, 2011 episode of "The Daily Show," but also to the hedging of the . . .

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Vote buying in Chicago, 21st Century style... Rahm Emanuel's millions, the 'New Chicago Committee' (PAC), and the corporate millionaires and billionaires behind them

[Editor's Note: The story of the millionaires and billionaires behind Rahm Emanuel has been told, but never with the intensity and thoroughness it's being told as 2011 ends and the first full year of Rahm . . .

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How to waste another $2 million... Despite protests, at its December 14, 2011 meeting, the Chicago Board of Education approved wasting another $2 million on 'virtual' schools even after two months of investigative exposes, including a major story on the front page of The New York Times

When all was said and done after the protests that postponed the business of the Chicago Board of Education at its December 14, 2011 meeting, the Board voted to waste several million dollars of the . . .

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Group gave $3.1 million to union busting via the 'Renaissance Schools Fund'... CME says 'Thank You, Chicago' by reducing charitable giving, cutting off charter schools

[Editor's Note: Less than a week after CME Group (that's the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and related betting parlors) got a major tax break from the State of Illinois (which is claiming it can't afford to . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: CPS 'Communications' Chief Warned About More Federal First Amendment Litigation If Discrimination Against Substance Continues

On December 19, 2011, I wrote to Becky Carroll, the "Chief Communications Officer" for CPS, warning that CPS would be facing litigation if she did not begin providing Substance, by email and fax, with every . . .

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MEDIA WATCH. But can readers handle satire?... New York Times takes on claims for 'evaluation' systems that exclude human experts like principals

While it's still not clear whether The New York Times will cease and desist from its habit of touting every twist and turn of the Obama administration's Race To The Top debacle, for years the . . .

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VIDEO: 'It's poverty, not 'bad' schools or 'bad' teachers... Stephen Krashen spoke to Chicago Teachers Union staff on December 8, 2011.

Internationally known professor and researcher Stephen Krashen spoke to the staff of the Chicago Teachers Union during a luncheon on December 8, 2011. A video of Krashen's remarks is now available on the CTU . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Substance still waiting for response from CPS 'Communications' Chief Becky Carroll

Now that we're hearing from readers on the sophomoric attempts by the Chicago Public Schools Department of Communications to refuse to provide Substance with its daily press updates, Jean-Claude Brizard's public calendar, and announcements of . . .

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SUBSCRIPTS: When the 'District 299' blog is totally full of ____ (as opposed to just partly, as usual), it's clear you can't cover Chicago schools from Brooklyn

How can you really learn anything about Sayre or Burbank elementary schools from 800 miles away? Shape shifting? Morphatious mutations? Magic? Although I haven't blogged to District 299 since five years ago, they went over . . .

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Union urges participation in Longer School Day committees

Chicago Teachers Union leadership has urged the union's 30,000 members to participate in the committees about the "Longer School Day" being established across the city by the Chicago Board of Education. On December 23, 2011, . . .

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Access Living, ACLU win major victory on rights of disabled people... Landmark consent decree expands opportunities for nursing home residents with disabilities

On December 20, 2011, in the U.S. District Court in Chicago, Judge Joan Lefkow approved a landmark agreement that will offer thousands of people with disabilities in nursing homes the opportunity to choose to live . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Of course the Hit List is a 'Done Deal' — at least if you believe the Rahm Fan Club at the Sun-Times... No sooner was Sun-Times bought by Rahm's buddies than Sun-Times cheap shots the CTU and Hit List protests in a major editorial

Anyone following the news from Chicago's schools to also follow the news from the "business community." The two are linked, and recently the Chicago Sun-Times joined the bankrupt Chicago Tribune under ownership that is anti-union . . .

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Randi Weingarten, pick of the Oligarchs... Randi was part of the Broad Academy back in 2002

Thanks to our friends elsewhere for this bit of research. Anyone wondering why AFT President Randi Weingarten could rise to the top of the national union without ever having really taught a semester in a . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: 'This story isn't where government agents tell the press it is, but where the action is unfolding!'... Reporters can break free from the 'pens' during Board of Education meetings... If they really want to

…One of the reasons why news coverage of the activities of December 14, 2011 at the Chicago Board of Education became closer than usual to accuracy — despite all the spin put into things by . . .

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First ('Turnaround') phase of 2012 school closing 'Hit List' released, while Rahm and Brizard hold dog and pony show to tout AUSL's marketing claims to corporate media

The first iteration of the infamous Chicago "Hit List" of schools to be closed, phased out, transitioned, or tunraounded (yes, that's a verb in Chicago) was released on November 29, 2011, with the remainder of . . .

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Chicago Teachers Union declares four-point program for school improvement

Halloween was just another day for Chicago's public schools "Chief Executive Officer" Jean-Claude Brizard, pushing with rather maniacal single-mindedness the one policy he had: the so-called 'Longer School Day." But as more and more information . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: While Tribune editors carry out dishonest campaign against state worker pension plans, Tribune executives give themselves another 'bonus' windfall

While the Chicago Tribune beats the drum daily on behalf of the campaign sponsored by Tribune and the Civic Committee of Chicago's Commercial Club to destroy the pension plans of public workers in Chicago and . . .

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Substance Web traffic showing huge gains for 2011 with two months to go

When the Substance "Site Stats" compiled by our Web host were completed at the end of October 2011, the data for all measurable areas on the Web showed dramatic increases in Web traffic during 2011. . . .

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Chicago to march November 2 in solidarity with Occupy Oakland

Support for Occupy Oakland. A November 1, 2011, email message from the Chicago Teachers Union headlined "Solidarity with Occupy Oakland" announced a rally in Chicago on the evening of November 2, 2011, in solidarity with . . .

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CTU challenges crazed 'Teacher Fit' robotics with ULP complaint

The Chicago Teachers Union has filed a complaint with the Illinois Education Labor Relations Board charging that a computerized screening system used this school year against prospective teachers is illegal. The CTU press release of . . .

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Protests to greet Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker this morning in Chicago

Protesters plan to meet at Chicago's Union League Club (Jackson, between Clark and Dearborn) at 7:00 a.m. today, November 3, 2011, to protest a breakfast speech being given inside the club by Wisconsin Governor Scott . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Full (two--part) Chicago Magazine Interview with Karen Lewis (along with recent Chicago magazine coverage of Rahm Emanuel, Jean-Claude Brizard, and — remember this guy? — Ron Huberman)... How the one percent and one percent wannabes report reality

Chicago magazine has published an interview with Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis that deserves to be read (and responded to) by teachers, parents, students, and other union members. Take the introductory paragraphs as . . .

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Occupy Oakland shuts down Port of Oakland, fifth largest in USA... General strike sees 10,000 marching in Oakland while protests escalate across the USA

At the end of a day of generally peaceful protests, demonstrators in Oakland California drew up a picket line at the Port of Oakland, and the port was shut down by union members arriving for . . .

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Pension elections Friday, November 4, 2011 for teachers... Mail balloting going on now for retirees (due November 9)

ON November 3, 2011, the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund (CTPF) distribute a reminder about the elections currently taking place to elect five of the 12 trustees of the Fund. By email, the CTPF said:
Elections . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Sun-Times 'Longer school day' claims are biased against Chicago

As usual, the publication of the test scores by the Illinois State Board of Education gave the newspapers a chance to get the story either wrong, very wrong, of absurdly wrong. The "wrong" at this . . .

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'Union busting is disgusting...' Protesters interrupt speech by union-busting Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin at Chicago's Union League Club

From Huffington Post: A group of "covert protesters" attended a breakfast at Chicago's Union League Club Thursday morning, where Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was giving a speech on budget reforms and the sometimes unpopular changes . . .

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Danny Glover speech inspires Occupy Oakland... 'We have to take back the world!'

While a growing number of celebrities are sharing their time and energy with the resistance (think: Matt Damon at the SOS rally and march in Washington D.C. last summer), few have been as committed, long . . .

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Negativity still was a problem in the schools on Friday before the CTU announced the victory in the fight against the illegal CPS waives

There was no greater evidence of the disconnect between the reality of what the Chicago Teachers Union had accomplished and the mood of fear in Chicago's schools than the response on Friday morning, November 4, . . .

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Delightful Oakland General Strike You Tube sings and dances it all... 'I will survive...' capitalism

Larry Duncan of Labor Beat just forwarded a You Tube video from the Oakland General Strike that is, in this reporter's opinion, delightful. But rather than narrative the new version of "I will survive" . . .

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'Issue 2'! Reactionary governor in trouble?... Ohio voters reject union-busting law

In a major defeat for the reactionary policies that have been sweeping the Midwest since the November 2010 election of Republican governors like Wisconsin's Scott Walker, Ohio governor Republican John Kasich suffered a major defeat . . .

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CTU elects delegates for citywide posts

The votes were counted by the Chicago Teachers Union Rules-Elections Committee on Monday, November 7, 2011, and the certified results have been posted now on the CTU Website (www.ctunet.com). (Full disclosure: This reporter is a . . .

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Merit Pay has failed, so Chicago's mayor orders merit pay for all principals

Merit Pay (currently called "performance pay") has failed in every complex human activity from the War in Vietnam (where the "Body Count" perverted soldiering into slaughter) to Wall Street (where the quarter-to-quarter short-term evaluations of . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Let's take another look at the sex criminals' cover ups and the victim selection... Sandusky, Moffat... Powerful guys who carefully screen their victims can get away with this stuff and have their crimes covered up by even more powerful people for years, even decades...

While the State of Pennsylvania is still being rocked by the outpouring of revelations about the criminal misconduct of some of its most powerful officials (including Penn State football coach Joe Paterno and Penn State's . . .

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Busy week ahead for Chicago school activists

As the new Chicago Board of Education prepares another privatization attack on the city's public schools (the 2012 Hit List of schools facing closing is due out December 1 thanks to the new school facilities . . .

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Two, three many Penn States in Chicago's charter schools 'portfolio'?... As CPS moves again to expand unregulated charter schools, it's time to take another long look at Josef Nurek, the sex criminal who was principal of Chicago International Charter School's 'Belden Campus'

One of the reasons why public schools have to remain strictly regulated is that public school teachers and other workers are in control of children of all ages, and in an enormous position of trust . . .

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CALENDAR: What in store for Chicago's schools during the week ahead (November 13 - November 19, 2011).... See the 'one percent' in action at the Wednesday meeting of the Chicago Board of Education

This calendar will be posted every week beginning in November 2011 at www.substancenews.net and will try to list the most important meetings and other activities taking place in Chicago during that week. The Calendar will . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Back Issues of Substance show history of fight against schools closings, charter expansions

Although Substance has only been on line for ten years (our tenth anniversary on line will come in March 2012), back issues of Substance have helped document the struggles against school closings and the predations . . .

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SCHOOL CLOSINGS: Labor Beat video from 2008 shows hypocrisy of school closings that year, when Gladstone and other buildings were flipped into charter school hands under Arne Duncan

As the Chicago Board of Eduction moves into a new generation of obfuscations and lies about why and how to close schools and privatize and union bust, a Labor Beat video made in February 2008 . . .

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Final results posted in Chicago Teachers Pension Fund elections... Pilditch, Reilly and Ward win new terms

The final tallies of votes for three trustees of the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund (CTPF) were posted on November 10, 2011. The winners in seven-candidate race were (in order of vote totals): James Ward, Walter . . .

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SUBSCRIPT... CORPORATE MALFEASANCE: Bank of America and Chicago's 'Teacher Appreciation' days at Sox Park

For those who remember, during the World Series winning 2005 White Sox season, tickets to Sox games on "Teacher Appreciation Day" were less than $10 per seat for the lower deck box seats that some . . .

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'World Class' Chicago doubletalk in a library without a librarian... Latest Chicago publicity stunt touts controversial 'standards' and new 'Report Card' in a library the children can't use!

The library certainly looked pretty, albeit much smaller than the library a few miles away at the expensive private school where Chicago's mayor sends his children. And the books in the library were certainly the . . .

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Lewis video barely notices Arne Duncan in riff that has right wing going crazy

When the word first spread that Karen Lewis was being criticized for remarks she made about Arne Duncan during a speech, some thought the thing had to really be nasty. Actually, it's well worth . . .

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Chicago Teachers Pension Fund to Organize Itself at November 17 meeting

Following the resignation of teacher trustee Maria Rodriguez (she retired in June 2011 and was no longer eligible to serve as a teacher trustee, also, she was not elected as a retiree trustee although she . . .

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CORRECTION: Illinois Democratic Senate President clarifies roles in the current debate over SB 512 and the orchestrated ruling class attack on teacher pensions... Illinois Senate Dems oppose SB 512

Substance stands corrected. Illinois Senator John Cullerton, a Chicago Democrat, has clarified his role in the current debate over Senate Bill 512 and the debates over "pension reform" in Illinois. According to a spokesman for . . .

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Illinois Senate leadership provided enormous amount of research on public worker pensions

From the President of the Illinois Senate, the following:






George,

Thanks again for your swift action on this. I understand the importance of this topic to your readers. . . .

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Karen Lewis's statement on recent kerfuffle following Lewis's Seattle speech

A November 16 press conference at the Chicago Teachers Union took place during the same time the Chicago Board of Education was meeting a mile away, and Substance couldn't be at two places at once. . . .

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Chicago Teachers Pension Fund gets new leadership... Rehak and Ashford now officers of the CTPF

At its first meeting since the November 4, 2011, election of two teacher trustees that shifted the balance on the $10 billion Board of Trustees of the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund (CTPF), the fund's trustees, . . .

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Schmidt Simeon speech part of WBEZ coverage of school closing hearings

I spoke at Simeon High School Wednesday night (November 16, 2011) during the latest hearings on the proposed school closings for 2012, and spoke forcefully against the closings and against the structure that CPS has . . .

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Chicago Teachers Union opposes school closings this school year

In a major move, the Chicago Teachers Union announced on November 17, 2011 that it opposes all proposed school closings during the 2011 - 2012 school year. The union's position, outlined in a lengthy press . . .

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CALENDAR (TWO WEEKS, BECAUSE OF THANKSGIVING): What in store for Chicago's schools during the two weeks ahead (November 20 - December 4, 2011)....

Thanksgiving Week is not going to begin or end quietly for Chicago and Chicago Teachers Union activists. On Monday, November 21, 2011, there are two significant events, the CORE meeting at Letter Carriers Hall and . . .

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'Miracle' school in Texas raised test scores by teaching only 'reading' and 'math'

A massive report by the Dallas school district revealed by the Dallas Morning News has debunked another "Texas Miracle," this one involving one elementary school in the Dallas district. Add it to your Atlanta, Philadelphia, . . .

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Two hospitalized at University of California at Davis... Video shows latest police use of 'pepper spray' against non-violent protest

A dramatic photograph and video from the University of California at Davis (November 19, 2011) showing a police officer walking down a line of seated students and spraying them with pepper spray (ultimately sending two . . .

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SUBSCRIPT. HOW RAHM EMANUEL'S CHICAGO FIGHTS 'CORRUPTION'... Rahm and Rahm's One Percenters Come in All Colors of Diversity, but their only real color is the green of dollars and the vomitacious smell of hypiocrisy

…While just about everyone across the USA is focusing on the predations and crimes of the “one percent”, in Chicago, Mayor One Percent (Rahm, remember, “earned” a mere $18 million as a “Relationship Banker” in . . .

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English Prof writes demanding resignation of UC Davis chief

Few news stories grew as quickly and dramatically as the story out of the University of California at Davis, where police were photographed and videographed deliberately and sadistically using pepper spray against students who were . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Crain's notes scandal at privatization outfit 'Career Ed'

Despite a general bias against Chicago's public schools (except the corporate "school reform" nonsense) and unions, Crain's Chicago Business, like the handful of serious and accurate business publications, gets the facts straight, even when those . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: From Richie's 'Renaissance' We Now Go Back To 'Rahm's Dark Ages'

…Richie Daley had his “Renaissance 2010” plan for privatizing public schools, and now it’s clear that Rahm Emanuel’s plan has the same object, but as yet no current name. So we’re giving it one: “Rahm’s . . .

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Grinch time in Chicago as the hungry get corporate propaganda instead of tons of food? Did the mayor order CPS to refuse cooperation with teachers in the annual food drive (for the first time in more than a hundred years)?... Hypocrisy, corporate branding and Rahm Emanuel's holiday wishes...

Ironies were heaping upon hypocrisies in Chicago on the day before Thanksgiving as the city's publicity hungry mayor announced his corporate partnered brand of hunger relief downstairs from the offices of the Chicago Teachers Union. . . .

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Rahm's Revolution... By November, the Broad Foundation and the corporate model had completely taken over executive leadership at America's third-largest school system

Someone must have said it before, but if no one did, it's time to say it now: When you don't know the streets, you're stuck with spreadsheets. During the past 15 or 16 years, Chicago . . .

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Rahm's Rainbow... Putting in place a Board of Education representing the 'one percent' is easy if you follow the Diversity Fools 'Em All The Time rule

Anyone who has been to a few Rahm Emanuel publicity stunts is familiar with "Rahm's Rainbow." The set up is like an old style classroom (a walk through would rate it low for pedagogy), carefully . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: WTF is this 'Jennifer Davis' that Catalyst dragged in to hype Rahm's Longer School Day union busting teacher bashing nonsense? (And why Subscripts won't insult happy puppies and working ladies by making inappropriate comparisons to Chicago school reform media touts)...

Just in case you missed it, Catalyst thinks “Jennifer Davis” is a better expert on the length of the Chicago school day than any of the 40 teachers and former teachers reporting here at Substance . . .

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SUBSCRIPTS: How quickly did Elizabeth Kirby defraud the Golden Apple people?

It's nice to know that most duplicity has a long record. Take Elizabeth Kirby, currently on the way from the principalship of Kenwood High School to a "Network" chieftanship (er, her job title will be . . .

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2012 Hit List to be released December 1 thanks to Facilities Law... Chicago Teachers Union, major community groups to host teach-in against the 2012 Hit List of school closings at King High School December 3, 2011

If Rahm Emanuel and his corporate one percent sponsors have their way, by the time Emanuel’s four-year term as Mayor of Chicago is over in 2015, the Chicago public schools will be a memory. Emanuel . . .

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Huge victory for the '99 percent' or just a lull in the corporate blackmail game?... Legislature goes home without approving more corporate welfare for Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Sears

Is corporate blackmail in Illinois finally being challenged? In a move that surprised anyone who had believed reports from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's media team or Chicago's corporate press, the Illinois General Assembly ended the . . .

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Tell Mr. Brizard 'Business as usual is unacceptable...' Facilities Task Force to Meet December 1, 2011, at 10 a.m. to review Hit List and other things

This just in from Andrea Lee of the Grand Boulevard Federation. "The Chicago Educational Facilities Task Force (SB 630), co-chaired by State Representative Cynthia Soto, will hold a meeting on Thursday, December 1st at 10:00 . . .

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CTU President cites conflict of interest in giving more turnaround schools and dollars to AUSL

Among the many criticisms of the naming of ten Chicago public schools for so-called "turnaround" on November 29, 2011, one that needs to be investigated in a major way is the conflict of interest between . . .

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University of Chicago report ends myths of mayoral control... Sixteen years after Daley took over city's public schools, elementary test scores have remained flat, while 'achievement' gap has increased!

A massive and detailed report (running to more than 110 pages in its full version) issued on September 30, 2011 by the Consortium on Chicago School Research of the University of Chicago has charged that . . .

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Brizard ends month as he began it... Another attempt at 'Management by publicity stunt' in the great non-issue regarding the 'Longer School Day'

The controversial "Chief Executive Officer" of the third largest school system in the USA ended the first month of the regular school year as he had begun it: with a cheap shot at the Chicago . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Another MBA joins the Brizard '$100,000 club' as 'Chief of Staff' to the 'Chief Education Officer'

We couldn’t make this stuff up. In her September 30, 2011 “Chief Education Officer" bulletin (dated October 3, 2011), CEO Noemi Donoso (not to be confused with CEO Jean-Claude Brizard; not to be confused with . . .

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During the Era of Emanuel, Brizard is expanding the bureaucracy... 'Chiefs' at CPS are doing very well, while the 'Indians' are being slaughtered...

Since June 15, 2011, when the Chicago Board of Education voted unanimously to refuse to honor the fifth year of the contractual raises of unionized CPS workers because the Board claimed it had a "fiscal . . .

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This Thursday, another CPS scam straight out of the Duncan Days... Charter schools' 'forums' at CPS October 6, 2011 are not 'hearings' and will not listen to public criticism... Three more charter schools rushed ahead by CPS administration

The Chicago Board of Education, almost in secret, has scheduled hearings on three new charter schools to be established by next school year. The hearings, which were noted on the CPS website (www.cps.edu) mark the . . .

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'We're not going to tolerate this Robber Baron behavior...' Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis says on ten-minute video of the massive October 10 Chicago protest

October 2011 will be marked in history as one of those turning points. By the time Chicago turned out more than 10,000 people against the billionaires and their government, Occupy Wall Street and others had . . .

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'Vacant Property Safe Passages Ordinance' will force banks to protect people at property after foreclosures... Aldermen propose ordinance forcing banks to protect foreclosure sites that have become a danger near schools

Two Chicago aldermen, Deborah Graham (29) and Robert Fioretti (2), have announced that they will introduce an ordinance in Chicago’s City Council that will require banks that have foreclosed on homes across Chicago to provide . . .

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BIG BROTHER DEPARTMENT. Why teachers can feel good about boycotting the WBEZ pledge drive

Anyone who has been paying close attention to the so-called "news" coverage around Chicago knows that no corporate media outlet is more sanctimonious (and almost in-your-face) about the preciousness of its coverage than WBEZ radio, . . .

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New York's union bus drivers protest being forced to haul prisoners after Brooklyn Bridge arrests

[Editor's note: The following came in from Portside Labor late on October 3, 2011. The story originally appeared in the New York Daily News on October 3, 2011. One of the thing we hope will . . .

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CTU and allies to push 'Responsible Budget Ordinance' to recoup TIF dollars for schools, parks, libraries and communities...

The Chicago Teachers Union has announced that it and its community allies will help arrange for the passage of the "Responsible Budget Ordinance" by the Chicago City Council. The ordinance provides that surplus TIF funds . . .

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Substance Site Stats continue increasing... Over 5 million hits since January 1, 2011

After a few months' without reporting, Substance is again up to date on our "Site Stats" for the month and year. The total number of hits so far for 2011 has gone over five million, . . .

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Did Chicago already have a privatized Longer School Day called 'After School Matters' during the Daley years... After School Matters scandal helps explain why Arne Duncan didn't push for longer school day during 2003 and 2007 contract negotiations

It's easy to dismiss a lot of what Chicago Inspector General Joseph Ferguson proclaims about budgetary matters, since he has been going way beyond the scope of his office during the past four or five . . .

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Rahm announces 'No More Free Rides' in program to collect what he claims is more than $30 million owed to City of Chicago

Repeating a refrain that began years ago when the Vallas administration at Chicago Public Schools announced that the City and the Board of Education were teaming up to collect unpaid water bills and parking fines . . .

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Corporate attack on Chicago public workers, defined benefit pension plans escalates in Illinois... Mayor, Republicans propose legislation to destroy Chicago Teachers Pension Fund Board of Trustees and replace it with mayoral appointees

After at least six secret meetings, another of which was held during the first week of October, Illinois politicians have quietly introduced legislation that would destroy the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund Board of Trustees as . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Chicago censors Board of Education TV tape to cover up for the pseudo 'teacher' who claimed she came from STEM to promote Emanuel's Longer School Day â„¢

For the past couple of months we've been wondering why after more than 150 years, Chicago's public schools needed a "Chief Communications Officer" (at an annual salary of $165,000 per year) with all the supposed . . .

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Madigan ready to support next attack on public workers through so-called 'pension reform' in Veto Session? Crain's Chicago Business and the Civic Committee think so, as another version of the SB7 attack gains ground to take place before the holidays

Are Illinois corporations preparing another attack on public workers like the one they pulled off in 2010 - 2011 with the infamous SB7 legislation? The answer is "Yes." The issue this time is not their . . .

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Mayor Emanuel announces program to stop city from 'leaving money on the table' in grants

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, in another policy change that indicates a growing criticism of the administration of former Mayor Richard M. Daley, announced today that the city will carefully monitor grants to ensure that money . . .

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FAIR's 'Miseducation Nation' takes on hypocrisy and lies of NBCs 'Education Nation'

[Editor's Note: On October 5, 2011, FAIR circulated a link to an important video along with the following press statement for distribution. Substance readers should view the video, which is a very good response to . . .

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Republicans begin attacking Occupy Wall Street and growing protests, warning of a return to the Sixties and 'Mob Rule'

The Republicans are lining up to denounce the "Occupy" movement and warn of the dire consequences of returning to the "Sixties" and "Mob Rule." So it's worth a minute, before we move forward to turn . . .

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Brizard continues ducking press conferences while staging media events with right-wing politicians

As October 2011 began, Chicago Schools Chief Executive Officer Jean-Claude Brizard and his expensive "Communications" team had established a dubious record: The longest any Chicago public schools leader had gone without holding an actual press . . .

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SUBSCRIPTS: Reasons to just say 'No!' when those phone callers ask you to return to the drunken days of audacious hope for 2012. Barack Obama has repeatedly betrayed the people who put him in the White House... and worse

One of the things that makes several of us in Chicago able to talk about why we probably won't be voting for Barack Obama in 2012 comes from the facts, not abstractions or nut case . . .

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Heated races for all open seats on Chicago Teachers Pension Fund board of trustees

With the certification of eligible candidates in both groups completed, the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund has announced that there will be elections in the next three weeks to elect two teachers and three retired teachers . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: 'High Flyers' report from right wing Fordham Foundation crashes and burns

I have to admit that every time I see a crash coming from Chester Finn, it's a happy moment for Chicago. Long before he became a national reactionary pundit, Finn was hard at work in . . .

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Mayor announces he will declare a partial TIF 'surplus'... How much will go to the Board of Education and what the Board will do with it is unclear, although Rahm wants it to go for pensions for non-teacher CPS workers

Buried in more than 30 pages of various documents sent out by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's press office is a short note indicating that the mayor will declare a partial TIF surplus in response to . . .

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Brizard a lawbreaker... Illinois Labor Board rules Chicago Public Schools committed unfair labor practices during the 'Longer School Day' waiver voting at 13 schools

The Illinois Education Labor Relations Board (IELRB) issued a ruling on October 13, 2011, that the Chicago Public Schools had violated Illinois labor law in the way in which CPS officials and local school principals . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Mercenaries — or just promoting those 'affairs'? Some notes on the bizarre Brizard bureacuracy's expansion or How To Spend A Half Million Dollars on Bureaucracy While You're 'Cutting Bureaucracy' — And 'Broke'

Anyone who believes anything that comes out of CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard (or his doubly expensive "Office of Communications") probably purchased some CDOs from those nice young men who went around selling sure-fire investment opportunities . . .

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Paul Vallas gets a half million dollars to help 'reform' schools in Chile... Students, workers in Chile battle to restore free public education decades after the 'free market' Chicago Boys joined with a brutal dictator to install the 'Atlas Shrugged' version of reality

While the news of mass movements in the USA and in some (not all) parts of Europe is dominating the news, a very significant struggle — with direct roots today and throughout history in Chicago's most . . .

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Leftist group reports on New York moves...New York unions call for massive Occupy Wall Street march and rally November 5

New York's unions have endorsed a plan to lead a massive march and rally on Wall Street on November 5. According to news reports beginning to come out on October 20, 2011, the Central Labor . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Rahm won't like this either, but the 'Pink Paper' gets it right on student debt

One of the lesser notes about the ways in which Rahm Emanuel pushed a conservative agenda while serving as White House Chief of Staff involves Rham's notoriously macho version of reality, some of it dangerously . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Chicago media all received Access Living report. Only Catalyst and Substance covered the complex and important story

On October 19, 2011, Chicago's media outlets all received copies of the Access Living study of the future impact of the Illinois performance evaluation system on children with disabilities. Only Substance and Catalyst had covered . . .

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Who is CPS's 'Million Dollar Man'?... Rahm Emanuel and Jean-Claude Brizard vow to continue breaking Illinois law... Of course they do, we're paying for their lawyers to the tune of more than $1 million since January 1, 2011!

The arrogant response of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Jean-Claude Brizard to the unanimous decision of the Illinois Education Labor Relations Board (IELRB) that the Chicago Board of Education . . .

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Substance 'Site Stats' show steady growth from year-to-year, and large growth in 2011

Substance Web traffic continues to show steady growth from quarter to quarter, and significant growth from year to year since Substance (the monthly print edition) went on line with www.substancenews.net in 2008. When January 2012 . . .

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Crain's and BGA takes a closer looks at everyone's pension deals... Rahm aide quietly qualifies for major pension boost while Tribune, other media focus only on 'corrupt' union officials

While the Chicago Tribune and the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club are trying to focus public attention on the supposedly "corrupt" pensions of a handful of union officials in Chicago, attention is not being . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Recalling SOS march with the help of an MSNBC defense of teachers and against teacher bashing

As the monthaversary of the SOS march on Washington (October 30) approaches, it's nice to be reminded of the impact the march is still having. Although the teacher bashers from Barack Obama and Arne Duncan . . .

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Nurses to picket Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on October 24, 2011, following Emanuel's destruction of First Aid station at Occupy Chicago

Members of National Nurses United announced on October 23 that they would be picketing Chicago's City Hall on Monday, October 24, 2011, to protest Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's continued refusal to allow peaceful protesters to . . .

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Unions, Jobs with Justice to join Occupy Chicago Friday, October 28, for another encampment in Chicago's Grant Park

In what may grow into an even bigger confrontation, Occupy Chicago has gained allies in its struggle to establish an encampment in Chicago's Grant Park, following a second round of weekend arrests by Chicago police . . .

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Rahm's Pension Raid Bill — HB 3827 — goes for a committee hearing October 25 in Springfield

A bill that would allow Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to destroy all of the pension funds for city workers is currently working its way through committee in the Illinois General Assembly, under the guise of . . .

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Nurses protest at City Hall, Emanuel continues to refuse to allow Grant Park protests, camping after 11 p.m.

Nurses joined others from "Occupy Chicago" in a morning protest outside and inside Chicago's City Hall on October 24, 2011. The protest, which was widely reported, came about after Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel ordered Chicago . . .

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October 25 Forum on extended school day to include CTU officer and Raise Your Hand

Organizers for a community forum on the extended school day in Chicago have sent out invitations for upcoming events. For the October 25, 2011 event (to take place at Bethel Lutheran Church, 130 N. Keeler . . .

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Rahm's Rent-A-Protest pickets outside CPS, then at Merchandise Mart against Chicago Teachers Union and in support of the 'Longer School Day' (Rahm Emanuel version)

For at least the third time in two months, the groups many union members are now calling "Rahm's Rent-A-Protest" picketed outside the Chicago Board of Education headquarters at 125 S. Clark St., and then went . . .

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'The public is welcome to attend, but it [the Board of Education meeting] is not their meeting'... Chicago Teachers Union to picket Board of Education October 26

Members of the Chicago Teachers Union, some of whom will be taking off work to speak to the Chicago Board of Education meeting, will picket the Board (located at 125 S. Clark St. in Chicago) . . .

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CTU study shows class sizes in CPS among the highest in Illinois... CTU President Karen Lewis criticizes CPS over huge Chicago class sizes at Board of Education meeting

A few minutes after the latest iteration of corporate school reform had monopolized the beginning of the October 26, 2011 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education, the reality of children, teachers and classrooms returned . . .

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Brizard continued attack on Chicago Teachers Union four days after his 'Longer School Day' program was declared illegal by the Illinois Education Labor Relations Board

Anyone who thought that the Chicago Board of Education, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, or Schools Chief Executive Officer Jean Claude Brizard would stop wasting time and money on their push for waivers to the CTU contract . . .

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'The Million Dollar Man'... Testimony on budget lies at CPS from the October 26, 2011 Board of Education meeting

On October 26, 2011, I signed up to testify at the Chicago Board of Education as part of our continuing public testimony on how CPS officials lied about the "fiscal crisis" they claimed they had . . .

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CTU protests proposed NW side charter school... Christopher House is back for another charter school grab

Chicago Teachers Union organizers jointed parents, community residents, and students to protest another attempt by Christopher House to grab a charter school contract from the Chicago Public Schools and continue to raid northwest side public . . .

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Huge turnout for Chicago Teachers Union LEAD dinner shows growing power of CTU, honors legislators and aldermen who supported the union and public schools

Considering it was not an election year, the turnout of nearly 1,000 teachers, politicians and their friends and families for the annual LEAD (Legislators Educators Appreciation Dinner) was considered by most as a triumph for . . .

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Bloomberg Business Week's biggest story this week... Capitalist print media begins to clarify the facts about 'Occupy' for its readers

[Editor's Note by George N. Schmidt. From the time that Karl Marx was writing "Capital" based on research he was able to do at the British Museum through the materials that Lenin drew on to . . .

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Occupy movements face repression at various locations, with worst in Oakland California. Most arrests have been in Chicago. Police removed generators in New York before snow hit.

A wrap up of news reports from various places around the country shows that politicians and police are coordinating and escalating their attack on the "Occupy..." protests and protesters around the country, while the corporate . . .

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Substance News emerging as major news service, and not a blog...

As October 2011 ended on Halloween, the expansion of Substance at the daily news and analysis service (www.substancenews.net) could be quantified. During October 2011, Substance published 109 articles on the Web site, along with more . . .

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Beware 'reform'... Pension fund director takes aim at lies about teacher pensions

With attention generally focused elsewhere as the remainder of Chicago's public schools set to open the day after Labor Day, many people might have missed an important Op Ed published in the Chicago Sun-Times on . . .

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Rahm pulls the 'Detroit Trigger' at budget hearing

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel tread where his predecessor had refused to go — pulling the "Detroit Trigger." On Wednesday, August 31, 2011, Rahm reminded his listeners that teachers in Detroit had taken what he construed . . .

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CTU reacts angrily to 'Management by Publicity Stunt' in waiver vote

Officers of the Chicago Teachers Union reacted with fury on the Friday before the Labor Day weekend began, upon learning that Jean-Claude Brizard, the controversial Chief Executive Officer of Chicago's public schools, had announced by . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Should the rat begin a permanent stay outside Rahm Emanuel's City Hall offices?

Shouldn't a union-busting, teacher-bashing, privatizing enemy of working people get a dose of the rat for all his scabby ways? Is it true that in order to work for Rahm Emanule or Barack Obama you . . .

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Huffington Post via AOL adds to attack on Chicago Teachers Union

By Sunday morning, September 4, 2011, the Huffington Post had added its voice to the attack on the Chicago Teachers Union being orchestrated by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Public Schools media spin . . .

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Barack, this isn't 2008. You betrayed the teachers, betrayed the unions, and betrayed those who believed you... And it's too late to retrace all those betrayals....

&utmOnce again while the craziest of the Republican candidates for President produce some of the most ridiculous sounds bites this side of Saturday Night Live or the main stage at Second City, the national re-election . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Sun-Times 'in the tank' for Rahm's union busting education agenda... Page One on Labor Day 'New Era for Chicago Schools' leaves out facts and history

The Labor Day edition of the once interesting Chicago Sun-Times should be saved and savored by students of civics and journalism as an example of one of the purest forms of teacher bashing, union busting, . . .

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Medley of ten songs about working class and unions compiled by The Nation

Thanks to The Nation magazine and the magic of You Tube, there is now a chance to get a complete medley of some of the best songs about working people and unions on line. . . .

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Rahm Emanuel continues attack on Chicago Teachers Union with publicity stunt on first day of school at the expensive new 'STEM' elementary magnet school

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel continued his attack on collective bargaining for Chicago school workers and on the Chicago Teachers Union by taking part in what amounted to a publicity stunt at the newly-organized STEM (Science . . .

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Wisconsin public workers face huge wage cut after Scott Walker, GOP attacks land in paychecks

[Editor's Note: The following article appeared first on Daily Kos as "$500 a month less ..." (Daily Kos, Sept. 4, 2011, http://www.dailykos.com /story/2011/09/04/1011002 /-$500-a-month-less- and is reprinted here after we received it via Portside. Thanks . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Poll shows New Yorkers skeptical of mayoral control

[Editor's Note: In the following article, published September 6, 2011 in The New York Times, a recent poll shows that only one-third of those responding consider that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's handling of education . . .

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Duncan's back-to-school bus tour to include stop at Schurz HS auto shop, ignoring dozens of shops Duncan decimated while CEO of CPS

By September 6, 2011, the U.S. Department of Education's propaganda machine was revving up for the Midwest bus tour of U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who promises to end this week's tour at lunch . . .

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RAHM'S ROVINGS to begin at Substance September 9 since Rahm has cut Substance off from regular media calendars... Was it something we said, or something we photographed? RAHM's spin team cuts off Substance from Mayor's Daily Calendar

Almost immediately after Mayor Rahm Emanuel's inauguration on May 16, 2011, Substance requested and began receiving the daily media availability calendar of the mayor. It is entitled "The Public Schedule for Mayor Rahm Emanuel" and . . .

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City Council approves Rahm Emanuel's resolution on extended school day

Following months of carefully orchestrated attacks on the Chicago Teachers Union, the Chicago City Council at its September 8, 2011 meeting voted in favor of a resolution (which was not on the Council's public agenda) . . .

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RAHM'S ROVINGS AND RAVINGS: How many people in Rahm's September 8 longer school day demonstration were paid to protest?

On September 8, 2011, Chicago's mayor bullied some of the members of the Chicago City Council into speaking and voting in favor of a resolution supporting a "longer school day." He even took the time . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Chicago Public Schools lawyer refers to substancenews.net as an 'affiliate' website of the Chicago Teachers Union

One of the more interesting things to come out of the current battle between the Chicago Teachers Union and the Chicago Public Schools regarding the attempt by CPS to force teachers into signing off on . . .

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How to create a big deal where once there wasn't any? Arne Duncan gave up on longer school day twice in Chicago contract bargaining between 2001 and 2009... Now in 2011, Duncan is pushing Emanuel's Shock Doctrine attack on Chicago Teachers Union

The day after national news reports carried Arne Duncan's remarks in support of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's push for early "waivers" of the Chicago Teachers Union contract to begin the so-called "longer school day" for . . .

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Reader reporter Ben Joravsky throws a compliment to Substance and a plug for Chicago Newsroom, the cable TV show

A week after I appeared on Chicago Newsroom on Cable TV (with only one other person; apparently The New York Times won't allow its reporters to show up for the same talk shows as Substance), . . .

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RAHM'S ROVINGS ENDS: City Hall resumes providing Substance with the mayor's public schedule

The special feature of Substance we called "Rahm's Rovings" officially ends on September 11, 2011, with the resumption, for at least two days in a row, of the e-mail provision of the public document called . . .

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U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan ignored Chicago Teachers Union at finish line of 'Midwest' opening of school bus tour

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan met with teachers and teacher union leaders from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, during his carefully scripted tour of the Great Lakes region during the opening week of school . . .

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'Transparency' at City Hall. Financial cover up down the street at CPS... Mayor orders audit of City of Chicago travel reimbursement expenses, but continues to allow massive financial corruption at Chicago Public Schools administration, budget

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced on the morning of September 12, 2011, that he was ordering the complete review of reimbursement of expenses for travel. A City of Chicago press release, which was embargoed until . . .

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Poll shows widespread support for Chicago public school teachers and CTU, while public mistrusts CPS and Jean-Claude Brizard

Even after months of political and propaganda warfare waged against Chicago's teachers by City Hall and most of the city's corporate media, a recent poll shows that the majority of Chicagoans favor Chicago teachers and . . .

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CPS administrators directing 'Longer School Day Pioneer Project' while claiming it's all just a spontaneous movement from the grass roots

While Chicago Public Schools officials and CPS spokesman Becky Carroll continue to tell the city's corporate media that there is some kind of grass roots groundswell behind the waiver votes for a longer school day . . .

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Tribune blogger and teacher attacks CTU during Tribune forum

A blogger for the Chicago Tribune currently teaching at Hancock High School in Chicago took up more time than any of the other essay contest winners during the question period at the education forum sponsored . . .

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Robert Runcie leaving Chicago to become chief of Broward County Florida schools

Less than three months after he was demoted and then laterally moved at part of Chief Executive Officer Jean-Claude Brizard's shakeup of the Chicago Public Schools central administration, Robert Runcie will be leaving Chicago to . . .

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Karen Lewis and Jean-Claude Brizard discuss public schools at Tribune forum at University of Illinois at Chicago

If it had been a debate, and the audience of more than 700 had voted a winner, the clear winner on the evening of September 13, 2011, would have been Karen Lewis, President of the . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: WBEZ radio report includes complete audio tape of the September 13 Tribune Forum with Karen Lewis and Jean-Claude Brizard

Linda Lutton, one of the few reporters covering Chicago's public schools who isn't chained to some version of spin nowadays, got her report on the September 13 forum up at WBEZ radio, and the . . .

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Newark Star-Ledger warns against New Jersey plan to use 'value added'

A column run on September 15, 2011, in the Newark Star-Ledger challenges plans by New Jersey governor Chris Christie to use so-called "value added" measurements to determine how well teachers in New Jersey's public schools . . .

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Business groups hostile to public worker defined benefit pension plans have major 'seat at the table'... 'Working groups' discussing public worker pensions in Illinois

A series of "working groups" consisting of Illinois state legislators and representatives of various groups (including the unions) impacted by public worker pensions in Illinois completed its latest meeting at around 3:00 p.m. on Friday, . . .

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Michigan legislature, governor moving to stop automatic payroll deduction dues payment for teacher unions

The Republican attack on teacher unions continued, with the Michigan House of Representatives voting this week to approve a resolution that will deprive teacher unions of the right to deduct union dues from teacher paychecks. . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Bloomberg Business Week magazine recommends the ruling class read Karl Marx

One of the facts that the classical economists knew from the beginning (Adam Smith) was that somewhere the ruling class, at every stage in history, kept the information it needed to rule and profit. The . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Common Core of Corruption? New York Times expose of state school chiefs enjoying Pearson junkets includes Christopher Koch of Illinois

If there is one testing company that has gained a reputation for shoddy work and aggressive marketing in a world full of some of the shoddiest and most aggressive racing to the top, it's Pearson. . . .

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'Common Core' craziness begins in Chicago... Brizard administration ordering everyone out for unproved projects

Anyone who thinks that Chicago's schools will be getting less bureaucratic and less jargon crazy under the administration of Chief Executive Officer Jean-Claude Brizard just because Brizard once upon a time was a teacher and . . .

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CPS website on Longer School Day starts off with phony 'facts'

Considering that it had barely been launched into Cybperspace when the first of its phony "facts" turned out wrong, the new Chicago Public Schools web page on the "Longer School Day" will certainly have its . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Another flawed 'study' that got major media play... 'Middle Class' being deprived study debunked

Hardly a day goes by without someone somewhere trying to field a supposed "study" showing whatever they want to prove. Recently, a study supposedly showing that "middle class" schools were deprived made the rounds. Examples . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: 'They put me in a closet...' Bloomberg Business Week exposes hypocrisy of Oprah charter school... Special needs kids excluded in investigation that shows broader pattern of charter schools' disrimination

Once again, Bloomberg Business Week is providing some of the most interesting reporting in the USA, with the following story (posted September 23, 2011 on line). According to the story, the New Orleans charter school . . .

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Tacoma teachers' strike ends in victory... Classes resume Friday, September 23, 2011

The strike of teachers in Tacoma, Washington, ended in victory for the teachers and their union when the teachers voted overwhelmingly to end their ten-day strike on Thursday, September 22, 2011. According to the Tacoma . . .

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Emanuel's media Blitzkreig against Chicago Teachers Union fails as only 13 schools go with 'Longer School Day'... Brizard team gets an 'F' on 'Longer School Day' campaign... As schools enter fourth week, Brizard's 'team' sports a Won-Lost record that makes Cubs hundreds-year World Champs

Despite enormous pressure on many Chicago Public Schools principals and teachers from the administration of Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Jean-Claude Brizard and a media blitz that ignored the massive problems — from oversized . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Defender editorial calls out Brizard and Emanuel for union busting

Although it may have gone unnoticed in some parts of town, on September 21, 2011, the Chicago Defender, although a shadow of its former self, came out with an editorial that placed the issue in . . .

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FAIR asks rapid response to corporate media blackout of Wall Street protests, TRUTHOUT offers long narrative of what's happening there

FAIR is asking everyone to contact four major news organizations to protest the corporate blackout on the ongoing protests on Wall Street. Contrasting the lack of coverage of the current round of Wall Street protests . . .

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Colorado group rejecting merit pay — now dubbed 'performance pay' — even as Colorado teachers accept money from Gates to promote it

While Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard tout the plan in Colorado to establish a form of merit pay (called "performance pay" right now) for teachers in Denver and elsewhere (following . . .

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Duncan, Daley policies, 'Renaissance 2010' partly to blame... CTU charges Chicago Public Schools cuts have hit African American teachers disproportionately hard and destabilized large parts of Chicago's African American communities

The Chicago Teachers Union has charged that the Chicago Public Schools has been reducing teachers in a manner that has disproportionately hurt African American teachers, and that school closings during the years of the "Renaissance . . .

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BRIZARD'S BUREAUCRACY: Veteran real public school teachers and principals are not welcome as charter school princesses and princes rule new 'Networks'... Donoso touts Lynda Williams in latest bulletin

As the size, shape, and biases of the new "team" running Chicago's public schools comes into focus between today (September 25, 2011) and the final unveiling at the Board of Education meeting on Wednesday (September . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Fairy tales can come true, if they're in the Sun-Times... Brizard's latest media fraud gets a big lift from the owners, editors and reporters of the Chicago Sun-Times

The photograph of course didn't tell any of the story. It showed Chicago Schools Chief Executive Officer Jean-Claude Brizard at a carefully orchestrated visit to Harper High School to open schools earlier this month. And . . .

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Board plans to borrow half billion dollars three months after claiming it was soo, soooo broke

Three months after the Chicago Board of Education voted that it did not have the money to fund the fifth year of the five-year contract with the school system's unions, the Board is planning to . . .

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Chicago Teachers Union continues to point out silliness of Rahm Emanuel's push for 'Longer School Day' without thought or planning

As Chicago's corporate media continued their promotion of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's talking points and the carefully staged media events of the Chicago Public Schools administration under Chief Executive Officer Jean-Claude Brizard, the Chicago Teachers Union . . .

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French Socialists win majority in France's Senate for first time in 50 years

While the American left is still wondering whether to characterize itself as "green," "progressive," or something else, the developed capitalist countries are moving to the left and firmly announcing that the objective is socialism. The . . .

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From Houston's 'four more years' to Houston's 'three more years' to hours and .... CPS and Rahm's lies about 'Longer School Day' have evolved since they were first spouted last Spring

For those who follow cheap Hollywood scripts and the talking points of the newest CPS officials, there has been an amazing evolution in the version of reality being coordinated by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his . . .

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BOARDWATCH: Rahm Emanuel's BIG LIE about CPS budget 'cuts'... Brizard, Emanuel and CPS said they were cutting 'bureaucracy,' when in fact they were cutting security as gang threats at schools were growing

Since the beginning of the summer of 2011, following the Board of Education's claim at its June 15, 2011 meeting, that it didn't have the roughly $100 million needed to pay the raises to unionized . . .

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AFL-CIO chief to speak at Chicago-Kent College of Law October 6

Richard Trumka, former coal miner and currently President of the AFL-CIO, will deliver a lecture in Chicago on the afternoon of October 6, 2011. September 07, 2011. According to the press release from the Chicago . . .

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SOS conference adds ideas to planning for the July 30, 2011 SOS march

The two-day conference held at American University in Washington, D.C. prepared many of the people who were in town for the hot but spirited July 30 SOS march for the planning that was to come . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Ed Week continues preaching party line on corporate school reform, low balls estimate of SOS rally and march to comfort Arne Duncan

When Education Week made its debut more than 20 years ago, I was one of the first to subscribe to what promised it would become "American Education's Newspaper of Record." Since then, I've maintained my . . .

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READER article exposed lack of transparency and accountability in Chicago charter schools

While many people in Chicago were trying to enjoy part of the summer, Ben Jarovsky and Mick Dumke at the Reader were busy gathering information under the Freedom of Information Act to tell the public . . .

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Emanuel, Brizard choose St. Sabina's parochial school as location to promote the opening of Chicago's public schools

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Jean-Claude Brizard ignored hundreds of Chicago public schools and chose St. Sabina's church and school for the location of a major media event on . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Matt Damon took on silly right-wing TV crew on stage at SOS event

ActorMatt Damon had it out with a right wing reporter during interviews at the SOS rally and march on July 30, 2011. The question, from a reporter for a conservative video blog, tried to . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Rahm touts his version of 'transparency' while allowing Chicago Public Schools financial information to get murkier and murkier

Hardly a day goes by in Chicago when the media do not receive another announcement from Mayor Rahm Emanuel's enormous press team that another example of what they call "transparency" has just happened. The latest . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: All you need to 'close the achievement gap' are a bunch of upper middle class white boys and girls, a few weeks of TFA 'Boot Camp', and lots of belief... Teach for America gets plugs from Fox news, Jean-Claude Brizard and CPS, while displaced veteran teachers are dumped

The promotion of shake-and-bake amateur teachers in Chicago continued in August 2011, as Fox News's Robin Robinson teamed up with Teach for America to promote the latest group of amateur teachers who have been trained . . .

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The Broad Leadership Academy is already screwing up Chicago's public schools under Brizard's bizarre version of an 'organization' chart... Is Brizard's bizarre reorganization plan increasing dropouts without the boss even realizing it?

It's been two weeks since WBEZ ran a story about a student who was allegedly pushed out of "Chicago Academy High School" (the AUSL main location) and having trouble getting into an alternative setting in . . .

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Brizard leading budget disinformation campaign? August 4, 2011, came and went without CPS distributing a Proposed Budget for 2011 - 2012

Nine days after he presented the seven-member Chicago Board of Education with the most bizarre organization plan in Chicago history (at the July 27, 2011 Board meeting), Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Jean-Claude Brizard . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: CNN does a nice job covering the SOS rally, march and issues

While the Substance MEDIA WATCH generally tracks the predations of corporate media in the USA (what could be more corporate propaganda than the facts (a) that The New York Times ignored the SOS conference, rally . . .

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Chicago Board of Education refuses to publish proposed budget in print for public review... First time in history CPS budget hearings will be held without budget being available to millions of people

Chicago Public Schools officials announced on the morning of August 5, 2011, that the Chicago Board of Education will not publish any print editions of the "Proposed Budget for 2011 - 2012", and that only . . .

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Does Chicago's 'Mayor Transparency' even know how much financial fog is oozing out of his public schools team? CPS Chief Executive Officer Jean-Claude Brizard burying huge cost increases in hidden budget documents... 'Office of Autonomy' to increase 'Contractual Services' from $97,987 to $3,049,879!

Not only has the newly appointed Chicago Board of Education and the administration of Jean-Claude Brizard refused to make the Proposed Budget for the 2011 - 2012 school year available to the public in book . . .

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GET THAT THNING OUT OF HERE BEFORE IT EXPLODES! CPS 'Draft' Budget CD almost crashes main Substance computer

There has to be some fold wisdom about a bad joke getting worse, and if there is we'll report it following this brief report on the latest wrinkle in the latest iteration in Chicago's Public . . .

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Brizard Rochester legacy one of 'failure' as measured by standardized tests

While Chicago schools Chief Executive Officer Jean-Claude Brizard is trying to fire as many veteran Chicago teachers, principals and other educators as possible and bring in dozens of people who know nothing about Chicago, he . . .

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CPS budget hearings begin August 10 as Board's inaccuracies grow

The annual hearings on the Proposed Budget 2011 - 2012 for Chicago's public schools are scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 10, 2011, at Lane Technical High School, the address of which . . .

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Budget hearings begin at Lane Tech on August 10

Despite major errors in the information provided by the Chicago Board of Education to the public and an unprecedented decision by Chicago Public Schools officials not to provide the public with copies of the Proposed . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: MOO AND OINK HEADING INTO HISTORY? Last chance for an important field trip for CPS teachers, those who promote nonsense like the

With the recent news that Chicago's famous Moo and Oink food stores might be heading into bankruptcy, there is one last chance for suburban teachers, TFA types, and those who prattle on and on about . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: NPR criticized for bias against SOS rally and march

Class Size Matters (Leonie Haimson) has issued a challenge to NPR, criticizing the NPR coverage of the SOS rally and march as biased, and the choice of two conservative "school reform" groups to comment on . . .

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Chicago teacher pension trustees vote to keep teacher trustee seat 'open' after Rodriguez finally vacates seat as teacher trustee following June 30 retirement

The August 18, 2011, meeting of the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund (CTPF) lasted nearly six hours. There were many important economic issues that were confronted during the lengthy discussions and presentations. But before either the . . .

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Chicago school facilities bill becomes law... Struggle now to force Chicago Board of Education to follow the law in school building and repair decisions

Surrounded by political leaders, community organizations, parents, students, and union representatives who worked for nearly three years to create a law telling Chicago's public school officials how to make decisions on school closings, consolidations, repairs, . . .

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Is the Chicago Board of Education already in violation of the new Chicago School Facilities law? Complete text of the new law

The facilities law signed by Governor Pat Quinn of Illinois on August 20, 2011, has a number of provisions, most of which go into effect by January 1, 2012, and are very specific about how . . .

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CPS spent $1 million on outside lawyers at its July 27 meeting alone... Emanuel press release touting 'savings' at City Hall ignores mess in CPS budget presentation and distortion of CPS finances down the street at 125 S. Clark

It's only about a ten-minute walk (or a three-minute limousine drive) from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's City Hall offices on the fifth floor of 121 N. LaSalle St. to the downtown headquarters of the Chicago . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: 'Waiting for Superman' star turns into the Wicked Witch from the Whiz... Rhee plays 'Don't nobody bring me no bad news' in avoiding questions about her D.C. testing scandals

As the various stars of the corporate school reform movement are exposed over and over for the frauds they are, some are having a harder time than others keeping the positive media spotlight focused on . . .

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'Reinvention' adds expensive new posts... Board approves controversial budget, increases bureaucracy after proclaiming it's reducing bureaucracy...

Less than three weeks after the Chicago Board of Education produced the most controversial Proposed Budget in its history and refused to provide the public with actual copies of the budget for review prior to . . .

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Duncan tried to meet with Matt Damon before SOS march... Damon's criticisms of Race To The Top are worrying the Obama administration

Thanks to Leonie Haimson of Parents Across America and Class Size Matters, we now have learned that Arne Duncan tried to meet with actor Matt Damon before Damon addressed the SOS rally in Washington D.C. . . .

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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Public Schools sponsor Christian breakfast to promote CPS push for longer school day and year in Chicago



Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel continued his push to force Chicago public school teachers to work longer hours without receiving prevailing pay at a breakfast media event with more than . . .

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel to hold two 'Town Hall Meetings' week of August 29, 2011

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will hold two "Town Hall Meetings" during the last week of August 2011, according to a August 25 announcement. According to the announcement, the meetings will be held on August 29 . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: 'Some things to keep in mind,' indeed... Know your enemy department. James Warren and the Chicago News Coop's propaganda placement in The New York Times

Readers who have a dwindling bit of respect for The New York Times are always puzzled when it comes out with a completely biased story against teachers and teacher unions. After all, a citation from . . .

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Chicago Teachers Union warns teachers (and other union members) to be wary of pressure to grant a contract waiver for Brizard's latest publicity stunt

As Chicago's corporate elites continue to try and organize pressure against the Chicago Teachers Union behind Mayor Rahm Emanuel's demand that elementary teachers work a longer school day without receiving regular pay, pressure has begun . . .

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Mayor Emanuel to hold 'Town Hall Meeting' on City of Chicago budget after ramming through public schools budget in virtual secrecy

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has scheduled what his press office is calling the first of two "Town Hall Meetings" to discuss the City of Chicago budget, less than three weeks after the seven members of . . .

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Emanuel continues teacher bashing, false claims about schools during TIF reform media event

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel took time out from a media event to promote his TIF reform to take another shot at the 30,000-member Chicago Teachers Union at noon on August 29, 2011, when he stated . . .

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Study shows companies paid CEOs more last year than they paid in federal taxes!

A new study by the Institute of Policy Studies shows that last year more than two dozen corporations paid a single individual — their CEOs — more than they paid in federal income taxes. Because . . .

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Like Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, his ideological counterpart, Chicago's mayor is attacking public worker unions... Public education workers have become the new mayor's scapegoat... Rahm Emanuel continues his two Big Lies about Chicago teachers and school workers during Town Hall Meeting

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel continued his attack on public school teacher unions — and other unions representing Chicago city workers — during his second "Town Hall Meeting" on the City of Chicago's budget by repeating . . .

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Cable TV 'Chicago Newsroom' show to include Substance reporter

The cable TV show "Chicago Newsroom" this week will include a Substance reporter (yours truly) and is scheduled to tape on Thursday, September 1 at 10:30 AM in the CAN TV studios, 322 S. Green. . . .

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CFL launches new website

Just in time for the Labor Day weekend, the Chicago Federation of Labor has announced that it has completely revamped its website and is taking on other new media approaches to its work. In an . . .

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Teachers at Skinner North and Melody showed 'courage' in voting for longer school day, Chicago's mayor proclaims... Emanuel, Brizard continue 'Management by Publicity Stunt' announcing supposed contract 'waivers' on a Friday afternoon before a long holiday weekend

Officers of the Chicago Teachers Union reacted with fury on the Friday before the Labor Day weekend began, upon learning that Jean-Claude Brizard, the controversial Chief Executive Officer of Chicago's public schools, had announced by . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Piecing together a major story, Chicago's youngest reporters try their best on Labor Day weekend in the face of spin factory originally practiced at the White House by Rahm Emanuel and his huge public relations operation

At many points during his career from City Hall in Chicago through Congress (he served as Congressman for the district that includes Substance for three terms) to his days as Chief of Staff in the . . .

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AFT REPORTS: Chicago played major role in 2012

By the final day of the convention of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the main news reports outside the convention told the story of the speech by Vice President Joe Biden and the warm . . .

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CORE's unusual 'auction' raises money for upcoming June 6 international conference in Chicago

After a tumultuous year that saw CORE, the rank and file Chicago Teachers Union caucus, unexpectedly elected to lead the 28,000 member union, CORE seemed to find some of its original spirit in what some . . .

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People's City Council to be held July 7 at University of Illinois at Chicago

The 28,000-member Chicago Teachers Union is co-hosting what is being called a "People's City Council" meeting at the University of Illinois at Chicago on Thursday evening, July 7, 2011. According to the Chicago Teachers Union . . .

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EDITORIAL: Chicago's traditional McCarthyism roars back as Tribune's makeover leaves more 'news' space for teacher bashing, red baiting, union busting attacks on public schools

The "news" story that appeared in the June 30, 2011, editions of the Chicago Tribune was amazing, even by the corporate standards of Chicago Tribune's propaganda departments. The story, a half page long, was a . . .

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Duncan's paranoia about Diane Ravitch reaches to The New York Times and David Brooks

When an Op Ed column touting charter school myths by conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks was scheduled to go live, first on line and then in the Times's June 30 editions, Brooks had . . .

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MOVIE REVIEW, 'BAD TEACHER' = Satire worthy of Chicago's Second City: Commie leftist pinko Hollywood Hoar Cameron Diaz makes a mockery of high-stakes testing... And some teachers don't get the joke!

Would any serious Illinois teacher miss a movie that proved the hypocrisy of the Illinois Standards Achievement Tests (ISAT)*, debunked high-stakes testing and merit pay to loads of laughs, took on Illinois State Board of . . .

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Atlanta 'scandal' just the latest in a series caused by Obama administration's (and corporate America's) massive testing policies

The day after the three million member National Education Association (NEA) voted to endorse Barack Obama for re-election as President of the United States, another one of Obama's pet projects crashed into scandal because of . . .

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ASPEN INSTITUTE DELETES STAND FOR CHILDREN VIDEO FROM WEB ACCESS... How the Ruling Class works against public schools and teacher unions... Aspen Institute Session on SB7, Stand for Children, narrates the ruling class's triumph in Illinois

If there was ever and example of the ruling class dictating educational policy and then crowing about it, the recent Aspen Institute session on SB 7 and the work of Stand for Children during . . .

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ASPEN INSTITUTE: An Hour with Arne Duncan in July 2009

One of the best things about recent months is that Substance readers and thousands of teachers across the USA have taken the time and interest to begin understanding the relationship between the billionaire plutocrats who . . .

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Stand for Children (even in Oregon) exposed as it has evolved into billionaires' corporate front group

Everyone who regularly reads Substance should be thanking Parents Across America for many things, but this week (July 8, 2011 is the time of this writing) because they are helping bring out the hypocrisy . . .

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'Stand for Children' leader insists he's not a union busting kind of guy... Jonah Edelman 'apologizes' to just about everybody for Aspen Institute remarks

Less than a week after holding forth at the Aspen Institute about how Stand for Children's strategy in the Illinois General Assembly resulted in a sweeping victory for "Stand," Stand for Children's Chief Executive Officer . . .

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Rahm Emanuel's TIF task force to meet — under military guard? — on July 28

According to a July 9, 2011 press release from the Office of the Mayor, Rahm Emanuel's "TIF Task Force" will be holding a public meeting at the end of July at the Bronzeville Military Academy . . .

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The union-busting billionaires behind phony 'grass roots' groups like Stand for Children and Advance Illinois have emerged from the shadows... Complete transcript of the remarks of Ross Wiener, James Crown and Jonah Edelman at the Aspen Institute

Before going into the full transcript of the Aspen Institute session with James Crown and Jonah Edelmen, one of the things that Substance staff and readers noted was that a mere two years after the . . .

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Chicago 'Stand for Children' changes Chicago leadership... Did 'Stand' force out its chief African American spokeswoman less than nine months after Aurora hearings?

Less than nine months after she became prominent in testimony before the Illinois House of Representatives "School Reform Committee", Etoy Ridgnal, who at one point was listed as Stand for Children's Illinois director, has not . . .

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'Billionaires Boys [and Girls] Club' lands with a SPLAT!#$ in the middle of Illinois politics... Illinois Education Association take on the Stand for Children/Jonah Edelman scandal

One day before both the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune carried major stories about the unfolding story prompted by Stand for Children's Jonah Edelman through his remarks at the Aspen Institute, the Illinois Education Association . . .

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Lawyer now chief of Illinois Stand for Children

Substance just learned that Stand for Children Illinois announced last week that it had a new executive director, a lawyer named Mary Anderson. Anderson, according to an e-mail from Stand for Children's Jessica Handy, will . . .

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Protests grow in Chile as Vallas's 'Chicago Boys' bring USA corporate reforms to S. America four decades after the first round of free market fascism under Vallas predecessor Augusto Pinochet

Dramatic student protests increased in the streets of Chilean cities as the Race To The Top style reforms increasingly tighten corporate control over Chile's public schools less than a generation after the South American nation . . .

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National Union of Health Care Workers denounces FBI raids, asks Obama administration to cease persecution of anti-war activists

The following story was circulated on July 17, 2011, by Fight Back News, which has been providing the most complete and comprehensive coverage of the attacks on anti-war activists by the Obama administration since the . . .

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Deb Meier and USA Today debate Atlanta test scandals

USA Today and noted educator Deb Meier have had a spirited debate over the testing scandal in Atlanta. It began with the following USA Today editorial, then went on. Although similar debates have been taking . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Obama hosted July 18 'Education Roundtable' at the White House — without educators or teachers

According to Valeria Strauss, President Barack Obama hosted what was called an "Education Summit" at the White House on Monday, July 18, 2011, but left out the teachers and educators. Less than four weeks after . . .

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New York State Education Officials Uphold 'Co-Location'

While thousands of New York City teachers, parents and students continue to organize against the so-called "co-location" of charter schools within existing public school buildings, opponents of co-location suffered a blow on July 21, 2011, . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: You won't see this kind of reporting in Chicago... Atlanta Journal Constitution exposes how business leaders in Atlanta covered up test cheating scandal, to protect 'The Atlanta Brand'

As the dimensions of the test cheating scandal in Atlanta unfold, the newspaper whose investigative reporting forced the state to create the investigation that led to the shocking 800-page expose by a government investigation into . . .

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Chicago Teachers Union protests planned for July 27 Chicago Board of Education meeting and July 28 TIF hearings

The 30,000-member Chicago Teachers Union is calling on its members to join in protests at the July 27 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education and at the July 28 hearing on TIFs. The Board . . .

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Pension trustees vote to allow Maria Rodriguez to remain as a 'teacher rep' despite her retirement

After an hour of discussion, the trustees of the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund (CTPF) voted in a tie vote not to declare that the seat on the Board of Trustees was open and that Rodriguez . . .

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CTU, community groups sue CPS over improper selection of additional LSC members representing non-teaching staff

The Chicago Teachers Union and a number of Chicago activists and community organizations filed a lawsuit on July 21, 2011, to stop the Chicago Board of Education from continuing to sabotage the local school councils . . .

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Did crazy on-line profiling arise from a robotic approach to human beings in the CPS 'Office of Human Capital'?... Crazy 'Teacher Fit' psychological test dumped by Brizard as soon as the media makes it a big issue

No sooner head the early editions of the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune come out than Chicago's latest public schools "Chief Executive Officer," Jean-Claude Brizard, was dumping the crazy psychological profiling device that had been . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Portland Tribune takes a closer look at hometown group 'Stand for Children'... 'Stand' defense includes revealing it got grants from Gates and Walton foundations, but the group claims the funders don't dictate the group's policies

Less than two weeks after the video of Stand for Children Chief Executive Officer Jonah Edelman bragged about how he managed to manipulate Illinois politicians and union leaders thanks to a more than $3 million . . .

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CPS adds cameras to schools in effort to boost 'security'... Rahm Emanuel commits to ignoring massive problem of city's drug gangs just like his predecessor did

While continuing to ignore the massive gang problems in Chicago (evidenced most recently by the increase in police-involved shootings, as reported in the news on July 24, 2011), the Chicago Public Schools has again come . . .

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From IMPACT to CPS@Google... CPS plans to waste another $20 or $30 million on the latest surefire can't miss technological solution

For the fifth or sixth time in the 21st Century, Chicago Public Schools officials are moving forward to waste more money on a new, much hyped, technological solution to various communications and data management problems . . .

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Dartmouth lecture adds teacher pensions to the list of 'threats' on the corporate agenda... Klein continues corporate school reform propaganda campaign while working full-time for Rupert Murdoch

Former New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein continued his attack on public education in July 2011, despite the fact that his new boss, New Corp head Rupert Murdoch, has assigned Klein the job of . . .

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Conference precedes SOS march in Washington

The two-day conference sponsored by the recently formed SOS (Save Our Schools) coalition was held at Washington, D.C.'s American University and was attended by at least 400 people. The conference, which was thought by many . . .

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New York City principal wants 'turnaround' or nothing at all... Demands Chicago-style power for Boys and Girls High School in Brooklyn

A New York City public school principal with a long history of self-promotion had declared that he would rather not take extra funding for his school than miss the chance to do a "turnaround" and . . .

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One year later... Three caucuses still around as Chicago Teachers Union continues its robust brand of democracy

One year ago, thousands of members of the (then) 30,000-member Chicago Teachers Union were mulling over who (and what) to elect to lead the largest union in Illinois. The incumbent Marilyn Stewart and her United . . .

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Duncan picketed at Harvard… ‘Arne, get out of our lives and get out of education…’

The following story was brought in by the Cambridge Chronicle From WickedLocal Cambridge, Massachusetts and forwarded to Substance by Jim Horn, whose blog “Schools Matter” is one of the best in education today. The original . . .

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Ruling class hagiography... Harvard touts Duncan without mentioning he never taught a day in his life and his firing of 'bad teachers' — almost all of them black — make him the 'Mr. Jim Crow' of the 21st Century

Harvard University has published on its website a hagiographic article about U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan emphasizing Duncan's personality and basketball skills — and ignoring the fact that Duncan rivals former Birmingham Alabama Police . . .

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Wal-Mart 'scholars' at the University of Arkansas prove, once again (again!), that the Walton family's voucher and pro-'choice' ideologies are beautiful good and true...

The University of Arkansas "Education Reform" department, funded by the Walton family which owns Wal-Mart, continues the tradition that many of its professors established before they became an academic department at a major state university: . . .

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Macho mayor's 'Skin in the game' Wall Street metaphor leaves teachers scratching heads... Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announces 'cuts in bureaucracy' while cutting busing for children and cleaning of schools as corporate media survivors dutifully take notes

Chicago teachers, parents and students who thought that trying to decipher the rambling musings of former Mayor Richard M. Daley and his various "Chief Executive Officer" mumblings about what was good for the schools got . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: New series on Arne Duncan, the Chicago guy who cost Barack Obama and the Democrats the 2012 election

There used to be a saying at Substance: "That's like giving a monkey a hand grenade." We don't know what murky 20th Century war the notion was born in, but it's got to be updated . . .

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NAACP fights against 'separate and unequal' charter schools — then faces attack from right wing pundits, corporate reformers, and Arne Duncan

In a struggle that has been brewing for more than two years, New York City has become the battleground against the charter schools' takeover of public school buildings in the latest iteration of the massive . . .

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Emanuel goes after city, agency credit cards to rein in problems first exposed in CPS

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, keeping his promise to rein in even the smallest scams and costs of city agencies, announced that he is having the city's controller review all City of Chicago credit cards, and the . . .

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'Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman' showing at Lane Tech Wednesday, June 8

The hit New York movie "The Inconvenient Truth Behind 'Waiting for Superman'" will be showing at Lane Technical High School in Chicago at 3:15 p.m. on June 8, 2011. The showing will be in the . . .

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Hedge fund front group and charter school touts don't like Illinois law... Attacks on seniority in Illinois not as sharp as depicted by critics of union work on legislation... Right wing corporate reform group 'Democrats for Education Reform' criticizes SB7

After nearly four months of fulminations by some critics within the Chicago Teachers Union regarding the union's work in Springfield on SB7, the "school reform" legislation that was supposed to eliminate tenure and seniority and . . .

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New York teachers fight against property tax cap

A campaign has been launched by New York teachers and other labor allies to fight against a proposed property tax cap being promoted by New York Governor Mario Cuumo and his allies from both the . . .

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Mayor Emanuel closes a beach because of 'heat danger' but ignores dangerous heat levels in thousands of Chicago public school classrooms affecting hundreds of thousands of children and thousands of teachers and other staff... Chicago teachers and Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) take action against unsa

By the middle of the first full week of schools in June 2011, dozens of Chicago teachers were trying to contact Substance, the Chicago Teachers Union, and others about the dangerous levels of heat in . . .

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OSHA limits work to 25 percent of each hour after heat tops 90 degrees... But CPS has no health guidelines for students and teachers

A quick check with the U.S. Department of Safety and Health (OSHA) shows that workers are supposed to be given reduced work loads as the heat and heat indices increase, but Chicago Public Schools (CPS) . . .

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CORE backs CTU in June 14 protest against corporate greed

Members of CORE (Caucus of Rank and File Educators) are calling on all members of the Chicago Teachers Union to turn out for the June 14 coalition protest against corporate greed. The protest is to . . .

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Orwell at the U.S. Department of Education: The lies Arne Duncan previewed while CEO of Chicago's schools are now going viral and national... Arne Duncan claims he speaks for the 'great silent majority' of American teachers... But he's lying again as usual, just as he did in Chicago for eight years

In a strange echo of another reactionary, Arne Duncan has been claiming, through spokesmen, that he is actually speaking for some kind of great silent majority of American teachers when he continues the teacher bashing . . .

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Rumored June 14 Chicago Board of Education meeting would be illegal... CPS misses 48 hour notice Open Meetings Act requirement for publication of the agenda for the meeting

Rumors abounded in Chicago between June 7, when the heat wave began taking its toll on the schools, and Friday, June 10, when things cooled off for a time, that the newly appointed Chicago Board . . .

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One down, 25 to go from Huberman/Duncan 'area officers'... CAO Rick Mills resigns... To take Minnesota jobs as schools chief?

Confirming rumors that have been swirling for the past few days, Substance confirmed on June 11, 2011, that Chief Area Office (CAO) Rick Mills has resigned from the Chicago Public Schools and will be taking . . .

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'I don't know about you, but I've had a snootful of that shit!'... Trumka, unions warning Obama, Democrats to stop selling out to banks, Wall Street

For the second time in a week, leaders of the nation's largest labor unions — and the AFL-CIO itself — warned conservative Democrats (and by implication the Obama administration) that the time of compromise with . . .

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Illinois Governor Pat Quinn Signs 'School Reform' Law (SB7) At Huge Media Event

Surrounded by state and local officials, along with suburban Chicago teachers, students and parents, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed "Senate Bill 7," the lengthy Illinois school reform law on June 13, 2011, at Livingston Elementary . . .

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EDITORIAL: How millionaire heiresses and the toadies of billionaires become the only Chicago 'stakeholders' in the Orwellian world of Chicago's corporate school reform... Brizard announces process lengthening school day by ignoring the law and thousands of elected parents and teachers (the LSCs)

Although he was not a visible presence at the media event that accompanied the signing of SB 7 in Maywood on June 13, 2011, Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Jean Claude Brizard was looming . . .

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Media Watch: Joravsky's latest (on Marshall High School 'turnaround') shows there is still some reporting going on in Chicago

Ben Jarovsky's latest article in the Reader came in at about the same time as the Chicago Tribune published a full-page advertisement for Stand for Children (the billionaires' favorite 'school reform' group) and the TV . . .

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CORRECTION: Contrary to rumors, Colonel Rick Mills may not be leaving Chicago Public Schools after more than a decade in various administrative positions, CPS officials tell Substance

Contrary to rumors which began circulating on Friday, June 10, retired U.S. Army Colonel Rick Mills may not be leaving the Chicago Public Schools this summer, after a career than spanned more than a decade . . .

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Agenda for June 15 special meeting of the Chicago Board of Education says that the Board can afford to pay for the raises for all CPS unions... Special June 15, 2011, Chicago Board meeting to begin 9:30 a.m (earlier than usual)

Contrary to rumors across the city, the official agenda for the special meeting of the Chicago Board of Education scheduled for June 15, 2011, includes an agenda item that specifically states "The Board of Education . . .

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'Stand Up Chicago' June 14, 2011... Thousands march against corporate greed in Chicago

More than 4,000 people, led by labor unions — including the Chicago Teachers Union and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU — and dozens of community organizations and leaders marched on Chicago's Regency Hyatt Hotel . . .

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Chicago Board of Education votes to break contract with Chicago Teachers Union and other unions

The newly appointed Chicago Board of Education voted unanimously at its first meeting to break the contract it has with the Chicago Teachers Union and the other unions representing organized CPS workers. The vote came . . .

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The 'unprecedented budget crisis' that isn't.... Vitale and Brizard immediately go on propaganda offensive to principals and teachers

The chambers of the Chicago Board of Education had been cleared for only a few hours following the Board's dramatic unanimous vote to break the union contracts for the eight unions on June 15, 2011. . . .

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Rumor of Mills's departure from Chicago proved to be true... Rick Mills to become a deputy superintendent in Minneapolis, Minneapolis superintendent announces

Less than three days after the Chicago Board of Education denied that Chief Area Officer (Area 26) Rick Mills (Area 26) was leaving Chicago to take a post in the Minneapolis school system, the Minneapolis . . .

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Is Mayor Emanuel forcing CPS to pay $70 million for high school police protection?... Board budget Power Points show how big the Big Lie about this year's 'deficit' really is part of a corporate media synergy with CPS to provide fictions rather than budget facts to the public

On June 15, 2011, the Chicago Board of Education's seven members heard a Power Point presentation from the Board's new "Chief Administrative Officer," Tim Cawley. The presentation was supplemented by comments from the Board's new . . .

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Whittier parents to hold Friday June 17 press conference to push demand that La Casita house the Whittier library

Parents and community leaders from Whittier Elementary School on Chicago's southwest side are holding a press conference on Friday, June 17, 2011, to demand that the Whittier library be housed inside the La Casita building . . .

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More and more studies challenging test-based corporate 'school reform' claims — and 'value-added' attacks on teachers

As the March on Washington continues to gain momentum, one of the important things almost obscured in the glut of instant news and media nonsense (more than 200 reporters and photographers were covering the resignation . . .

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MEDIA GUIDE: New 'Who's Who' at the top of Chicago's Public Schools... Rahm's Chicago Board of Education showed corporate America's true colors at Board meeting on June 15... 'Rahm's Rainbow' will dazzle as long as Chicago media follow Hollywood scripts and ignore brutal Chicago realities...

When Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced his education team and the people he was going to name to the seven-member Chicago Board of Education, many Chicagoans were curious. For the first time since mayoral control . . .

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Chicago Teachers Union to have float in June 26 Pride Parade

The Chicago Teachers Union will be marching this summer, and not just outside the Board of Education or in Washington, D.C. at the SOS march on July 30 (which the CTU sponsors). CTU is also . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Former Rhee ally confirming cheating charges against Rhee? Jay Mathews of the Washington Post on 'cheating'

For the fifteen years I've tried to follow the sorry history of the so-called "standards and accountability" movement across the USA, there have been several constants. You could always count on groups like the "Education . . .

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Chicago's mayor packs public schools executive ranks and Board of Education with charter school zealots... Cleveland's main daily newspaper exposes Ohio charter school corruption while Chicago's dailies churn out charter school propaganda as 'news'

At a time when charter school supporters in Chicago now occupy the mayor's office and the Chicago Board of Education, as well as lobbying extensively in Springfield to ensure that their schools are not held . . .

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CTU attorney goes two-for-two in Op Ed pages... New York Times and Wall Street Journal on same day

The day after the Chicago Tribune published an op ed by Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, CTU attorney Tom Geoghegan went two-for-two with Op Ed pieces published in both The New York Times and . . .

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New York exposing frauds that Chicago would be covering up

Anyone who reads the New York City newspapers and pays attention to our larger urban neighbor (albeit a neighbor 800 miles away) knows that (a) New York has a more democratic and professional media, with . . .

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Diane Ravitch... Why I'm marching on Washington on July 30 (and taking part in the conference on July 28 and 29)

Now that the regular school year has ended for almost all American teachers and students (Chicago's teachers were held hostage by the Board of another two days on June 20 and June 21, but most . . .

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Teachers march, protest against greedy banks, Board of Education taking back pay raises in final year of five-year contract

Enraged by the vote of the Chicago Board of Education to take back the four percent pay raises in the final year of the unions' five-year contract, more than 1,200 Chicago teachers, other school workers, . . .

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HACKED, ATTACKED, OR JUST 'DOWN'? Substance website faced problems overnight June 23 - 24, 2011

Please write this down if you are a regular here. f you can't get to www.substancenews.net, please send us an e-mail message to Csubstance@aol.com or Gnschmidt@aol.com or Smgschmidt1@aol.com. For about ten hours between the evening . . .

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LA CASITA! Whittier Elementary School, June 24, 2011… People Power holds back Rahm’s raiders

The morning after Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his newly handpicked public schools “Chief Executive Officer” staged their latest carefully scripted publicity stunt at an anti-union charter school run by the lavishly funded UNO organization, . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Phillip Jackson's Black Star Project is supporting the 'Parent Trigger' — Emanuel's charter school attack on public schools

To the surprise of no one, the Chicago "Black Star Project," headed by former Daley administration (and Paul Vallas Chief of Staff) Phillip Jackson is supporting the controversial "Parent Trigger" program to turn real public . . .

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LABOR BEAT: Video story of the June 14 marches to the Hyatt now available, 20 minutes long

Chicago's famous Labor Beat labor video collective has just released its video report on the huge June 14 marches in Chicago that ended with the arrests of more than a dozen people outside the . . .

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Labour against labor unions in Britain? Former PM Tony Blair — George W. Bush's Iraq invasion lap dog — now opposes teachers' strike

A major controversy with possible impact on the United States has broken out in Great Britain as a result of a threatened teachers' strike, which is scheduled to begin Thursday (June 30, 2011). Like the . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Emanuel uses segregated anti-union charter UNO school as model? Call for home visits, longer school year

In a June 23, 2011, media event, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel wasted no time in adding to his public support for the anti-union and segregated (few or no black allowed) UNO charter school system. On . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Crain's Chicago Business notes growing arrogance of Brizard, Rahm's Board of Education

From the Chicago locker room to the Capitol cloak room to the corporate Board room, Rahm Emanuel's testosterone-juiced arrogance has always known few boundaries. Rahm's recent success (with not so subtle White House backing) in . . .

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Momentum building for July 30 SOS march on Washington

From Chicago and elsewhere, it's becoming clear that thousands of teachers, students and parents will be taking part in the SOS March on Washington, D.C. on July 30. With the endorsement of the Chicago Teachers . . .

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Last Stand for Children First hits Brizard's nail on the head with riff on 'consumers' just as corporate Chicago revs up the Power Point with 'consumer' versions of reality

June 2011 was a signal month for those who want to update the "Devil's Dictionary" with the locutions, circumlocutions, and mendacities of the corporate schools reform crowd. At both the June 15 and June 22 . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Merrow again shows shallow, mindless cheerleading for celebrity corporate 'school reform'

Once again, with so much on the line and with Bad Teacher doing best at the Box Office, trivialist John Merror launches another attack on public education in the USA by proposing a Celebrity Popularity . . .

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Even with network glitches April Substance traffic was the second highest in history

Despite problems for the second year in a row during the month of April, traffic at the Substance Website, www.substancenews.net, was the second highest month in the history of Substance during April 2011. Final Site . . .

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Speeches from Board meetings will be posted at Substance when provided by the speakers

Speeches given by individuals who take the time to speak out at meetings of the Chicago Board of Education will be published by Substance if the text of those speeches is provided to Substance by . . .

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Michigan Governor replaced Robert Bobb with another corporate 'manager' as overseer of Detroit Schools

Robert Bobb, the controversial Broad Foundation pick to oversee Detroit's public schools as its "Emergency Financial Manager", is leaving after a little more than two years on the job. Bobb has been replaced with another . . .

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KIPP lies, contradictions now only showing in Chicago

The lies, half-truths and contradictions stemming from the KIPP charter schools are not only becoming public in Chicago (where the KIPP school that has infested Penn Elementary School on Chicago's west side has been a . . .

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Pedro Martinez resurrected as 'instructional' guru... Broad Foundation places former Chicago finance chief in Las Vegas administration

The Las Vegas Sun and other news media in Las Vegas are questioning why the Clark County (Nevada) Board of Education has hired former Chicago Public Schools Chief Financial Officer Pedro Martinez to be the . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Tribune, as usual, using front page 'news' stories to promote its political agenda behind an Oprah-esque personal biography version of the life and career of Jean-Claude Brizard

The photograph on the front page of the home delivery edition of the Chicago Tribune on May 9, 2011, told the whole story of Rahm Emanuel's clout and the political agenda Chicago's ruling class is . . .

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'Mathematical models have limitations...' Mathematician debunks 'value added'

[Editor's Note. The following articles has been making the rounds, being first brought to light by the Washington Post's Valerie Strauss and forwarded recently to the Chicago CORE list by Stacey Davis Gates. Substance will . . .

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Teachers plan to turn CA state capitol into 'another Madison'... Teachers arrested in protest in California state capitol... 65 taken into custody by California State Police for refusing to leave at closing time

News has just come into Substance from a number of sources that at least 65 teachers — who were protesting cuts in education and the refusal of California lawmakers to raise taxes on the rich . . .

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Behind smokescreen of 'Republicans did it!'... Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan renews attack on teacher pension funds... Democrats' Wall Street agenda working to replace all defined benefit pension plans with defined contribution plans to enrich financial oligarchs

For the second year in a row, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, ostensibly a Chicago Democrat, is encouraging legislation to undermine the defined benefit pension plans of Illinois teachers, with the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund . . .

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'Make the bankers pay!'... More than 20,000 protest against education cuts, Mayor Bloomberg's hypocrisy, on Wall Street

More than 20,000 people, many of them teachers organized by New York City's United Federation of Teachers, jammed Wall Street on May 12, 2011, to protest proposed cuts from the city's public school. One of . . .

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CTU to host 'Tele Town Hall' on Monday, May 16 to answer questions on SB7

On Saturday, May 14, 2011, the Chicago Teachers Union announced that it will be holding a 'Tele Town Hall' for union members to answer questions about Senate Bill 7 and other issues facing the 28,000-member . . .

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Duncan's 'teacher appreciation' BS backfires... Race To The Top is worse than No Child Left Behind... Duncan's silly 'appreciation' of teachers backfires, and even CNN notices

The rest of the USA is still learning what Chicago teachers learned the hard way (and what the leaders of the National Education Association are still trying desperate to ignore) — Arne Duncan is the . . .

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Another serving of recycled Obama blather about neoliberal 'change'... Rahm Emanuel inauguration speech shows how attack on teachers, CTU will unfold

Despite all of the Hollywood hype and celebrity work that went into the May 16, 2011, inauguration of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel at Chicago's Millennium Park, Emanuel's actual delivery of the carefully prepared remarks showed . . .

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'Reds at the Blackboard: Communism, Civil Rights, and the New York City Teachers Union'... New book will open up an important chapter in teacher union history

A new book released this month by the Columbia University Press will open up an entire new field of Cold War studies within the American Federation of Teachers broadly and specifically in local unions such . . .

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Going all the way... Former D.C. union chief George Parker hooks up with Michelle Rhee to continue lucrative attacks on public schools, teacher unions

When they were challenging him for the leadership of the Washington, D.C. teachers union (Local 6 of the American Federation of Teachers) union activists in the opposition were publicly dissatisfied with the concessions George Parker . . .

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Huberman continues teacher bashing, union busting from the private sector now

Former Chicago schools chief executive officer Ron Huberman emerged from his brief period of isolation from the media on May 20 to continue his union-busting and privatization propaganda, including a promotion of the controversial expansion . . .

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Obama still trying to 'have it both ways' by talking 'bottom up' reforms while pushing top-down 'Race To The Top' in recent school visits and radio address

Once again, as Fair Test's Bob Schaeffer pointed out in an e-mail sharing the Associated Press article below, President Barack Obama is trying to have it both ways on 'education reform." On the one hand, . . .

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THE INCONVENIENT TRUTH BEHIND WAITING FOR SUPERMAN... Major film debuts in New York City, refuting the lies of 'Waiting for Superman' and calling out the liars behind those lies

More than 800 people attended the world premier of the important film "The Inconvenient Truth: Behind 'Waiting for Superman'" on Thursday, May 19, 2011, at the famous Riverside Church in New York City. The crowd . . .

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Chicago teachers continue legislative lobbying as Illinois General Assembly nears the end of its regular session... CTU continues campaign to remove worst sections of SB7, also supports school facilities bill

As the 97th session of the Illinois General Assembly draws to a close (adjournment is supposed to be May 31, 2011), the Chicago Teachers Union on May 23, 2011 reiterated a call to its 28,000 . . .

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'Teach Plus' Chicago began sucking up to Brizard from first moments

More than a month before Jean-Claude Brizard was to become the CEO of Chicago's public schools, Teach Plus, the astroturf organization exposed in The New York Times (May 22, 2011) as a front for the . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: 'New breed of principals' or corporate publicity hounds? Tribune slanders Marshall High School's veteran staff in touting 'turnaround'

Although it's nothing new for the Chicago Tribune, the May 24, 2011 story praising the "turnaround" of Marshall High School and the "turnaround" principal Kenyatta Stansberry is a good example for any journalism class in . . .

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MAY 25 CHICAGO BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING... Not with a bang, but with a long, drawn out, nasty whimper... Last Richard M. Daley Chicago Board of Education holds its final meeting, continuing rude treatment of teachers, students and parents — and self-congratulatory back patting and scratching

The big question from the press at the end of the May 25, 2011 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education was what Jean Claude Brizard's contract said. The Board of Education wouldn't answer that . . .

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'Now he's pouring billions into the hunt for bad teachers'... Diane Ravitch elaborates on growing Gates funding scandal

Two days after a front page story in The New York Times exposed how Bill Gates is manipulating the debate over so-called "teacher accountability" (based on test scores), historian Diane Ravitch has weighed in with . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Washington Post and New York Times force a significant factual correction from Teach Plus propaganda

Although, as Susan Ohanian points out in her analysis of the May 22, 2011, New York Times expose of the Gates money behind dozens of organizations, including "Teach Plus," the corporate media of the USA . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: New You Tube rap video deserves wider circulation

Memorial Day should always be a day for a reality check, and if possible, with part reality and part humor. For teachers this year, times are more difficult than usual as the U.S. Department of . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Does top spot begin with the Zygote or Blastocyst when you're a Pritzker? Substance discovers earliest winners of Race To The Top (and how everyone else is being played for suckers)

…Question: Why did the sperm cross the canal? Answer: To win Race To The Top. One of the many benefits of No Child Left Behind and its higher stakes monstrous successor, Race To The Top, . . .

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Another opportunity for Duncanism... Satire targets Arne Duncan's praise of the opportunities Hurricane Katrina gave privatization in New Orleans

New York City satirists have unleashed another round of fun at U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, with a satire following the destruction of Joplin, Missouri, by a tornado. Some readers didn't get it, so . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Budget mumbo jumbo not limited to Chicago's public schools, as adulation for Paul Ryan in national media shows

This is basically a quick and dirty look at Chicago's school budget "deficit" claims in the context of the recent media swooning over Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan. Last week, in the context of the debate . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Substance site statistics increasing rapidly as more readers go to substancenews.net

The amount of traffic at the main Substance website (this site, www.substancenews.net) is increasing at a rapid rate, even with more than a year of steady growth. Many longtime members of the Substance staff and . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: How many times does the Chicago Board of Education get to violate the Constitution before the corporate media notices million dollar legal costs? Coverage of CTU lawsuit victory shows spin used in most corporate media today

For the second time in less than a year, a federal court in Chicago has ruled that the Chicago Board of Education, in violation of the U.S. Constitution, violated the rights of Chicago teachers. Not . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: The superrich may be greedy, but they aren't stupid... 'Responsible Wealth' organizing the superrich to raise taxes on the superrich

If you, like most Americans, are wrestling this week and next with a federal (and state) tax return that you can't afford to have done by your accountant — and with earnings that are almost . . .

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Oakland teachers plan sit-in at Wells Fargo banks demanding economic justice

Oakland California teachers plan to sit-in at Wells Fargo bank on Monday, April 4, 2011, citing the failure of Wells Fargo to give back to the community after receiving on of the largest bailouts of . . .

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The Stevens Point faculty voted 283-15 for the union... Wisconsin professors vote to join union following governor's union busting proposal

Inspired by recent protests and in defiance of Governor Scott Walker, professors at four campuses of the University of Wisconsin have voted to join the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) since Walker introduced his legislative . . .

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Boycott Koch Brothers products... An April 2011 update

The boycott that began when Wisconsin discovered that Governor Scott Walker was being subsidized by some of the most reactionary billionaires in history (the Koch brothers) has been widening as more and more information becomes . . .

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Stand for Children, the Chicago billionaires' answer to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, loses all credibility at west side forum April 1

Stand for Children, the organization that raised more than $3 million from Chicago billionaires and tried to buy the Illinois General Assembly in order to pass a union busting law called "Performance Counts," hit another . . .

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Creating 'Stand for Children' proves that the only thing green about certain 'grass roots' groups is the money they get from billionaires... Chicago doesn't need the Koch brothers when Chicago has Pritzkers, Crowns, Griffins, Finnegans, Zells — and Emanuels

"Follow the money," was the advice the character (and news source) "Deep Throat" gave to the Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein during the Washington Post's history-making investigation of the Watergate break in . . .

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CPS schedules last minute 'hearings' on proposed school closings... Community based hearings are supposed to happen, too

In a last-minute press release issued on the morning of April 4, 2011, Chicago Public Schools Office of Communications has scheduled additional hearings in communities for some of the schools that will be up for . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Mazany 'hiring freeze' memo was not an April Fool's joke but simply part of the ongoing cover up of the expansion of patronage in the CPS central and area offices

When Substance first received from a usually reliable source a memo signed by Terry Mazany outlining supposedly new procedures for central and area office hirings, we thought it had to be an April Fool's joke. . . .

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CORE supporting Chicago May Day march 2011... May Day 2006 set the standard for Chicago's working class events

This coming Saturday, April 9, 2011, will not be the only major labor action that the members of the Chicago Teachers Union and CORE take part in in the next six weeks. The national events . . .

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Walton family investment in University of Arkansas 'school reform' department paying off as professors produce studies to affirm vouchers and charters in Wisconsin

No sooner had the latest results come out showing that the 21-year-old experiment in vouchers in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, failed than the professors who are paid by the Wal-Mart people release a blizzard of studies showing . . .

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Welcome to 1936... Republican budget cutting, the Obama administration's Wall Street waffling, and the demand for a working class alternative

[Editor's Note: As the federal government moves to a shut down because of the right-wing Republican attack on deficit spending and the Obama's administration's ongoing capitulation to the right-wing of its own Democratic Party, we're . . .

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'We are one' with Wisconsin workers is one of the main themes... More than 10,000 march and rally in Chicago for union and workers' rights

More than 10,000 people, most of them union members and their families, filled the Daley Plaza in Chicago and adjacent sidewalks and open spaces by 1:00 on April 9, 2011, for a major workers' rights . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Duncan continues obfuscations and outright lies in pushing corporate 'reforms' in Newark

[Thanks for Susan Ohanian for brining this to our attention here in Chicago. Former Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Arne Duncan, now U.S. Secretary of Education, continued his program of pushing half truths and . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Harvard posts Ravitch's suggestions for reporters covering 'miracle' school stories

The Harvard University Neiman Fellowship is one of the most prestigious in journalism, and "Nieman Fellow" on a mainstream media reporter's resume is almost as good a a Pulitzer Prize (maybe even better since "The . . .

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CTU members — save your money now... Mayor Emanuel and his millionaire and billionaire backers want to force a CTU strike even before the current union contract expires on June 30, 2012

By the middle of the 1980s, when I was Chicago Teachers Union delegates from Amundsen High School, and later during the 1990s, when I was delegate from Bowen High School, if prospects for a teachers' . . .

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Substance comments must be signed and provide accurate and current e-mail addresses

Since April 15, the Substance website has received numerous comments, most of them in response to the beginning discussion of SB7 and the legislation in Illinois pertaining to the future of the rights of teacher . . .

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SB7... Major modifications of the 1995 Amendatory Act or another union busting attack on CTU and CCCTU?... Complete text of SB 7 (Illinois Senate Bill 7)

Below is the complete text of Senate Bill 7 (a new amendatory act for Illinois) that was reported as of April 14, 2011. ON that day, it was approved by a unanimous vote of the . . .

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Illinois House of Representatives must still deal with 'SB7' before it goes to Governor Quinn

A fierce internal debate among Chicago teachers regarding the contents of Illinois Senate Bill 7 (SB7, printed immediately below this article) may be premature, given the fact that in order to become law, the Senate . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Chicago's corporate media reporters will stay in the tank for corporate 'school reform' Chicago-style... J.C. Brizard is escaping tough media coverage and massive protests against his corruptions and discriminations as he prepares to leave Rochester

The day before Chicago's mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel announced that he was selecting Rochester New York schools superintendent Jean Claude Brizard to be the next "Chief Executive Officer" of Chicago's public schools, Brizard was facing the . . .

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Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel announces new CPS leadership team... A complete housecleaning planned for nation's third largest school system

Chicago's mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel on April 18, 2011, announced the appointments he will make to head the nation's third largest school system on May 16, the day he is inaugurated as mayor. Emanuel's list of . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: How the Wall Street Journal spun its Brizard coverage by leaving out context in an important graph

The April 19, 2011 article in the Wall Street Journal reporting the decision by Chicago mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel to appoint Jean Claude Brizard as Chief Executive Officer of Chicago's public schools includes a graph that . . .

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BRIZARDWATCH: Channel 7 News Chicago does its job exposing first wave of Jean Claude Brizard's lies

Rarely in Chicago politics and never in Chicago schools politics has a piece of news taken on a life of its own so quickly as Mayor-Elect Rahm Emanuel's controversial choice of Rochester Schools Superintendent Jean . . .

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BRIZARDWATCH: Tribune columnist Eric Zorn gets Brizard story straight on Tribune Op Ed page

An Op Ed column published in the Chicago Tribune by long-time Tribune columnist Eric Zorn about the selection of Jean-Claude Brizard to head Chicago's schools needs to be read by everyone concerned about Chicago's . . .

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BRIZARDWATCH: Why is Chicago's best education news reporter working in a city 500 miles east of here? Stunning news reporting on Brizard in Rochester, as Chicago reporting remains as lame as ever in the face of Emanuel's depraved choice for CPS CEO

Teachers, students, parents, and Chicago citizens who have been trying to figure out how and why Chicago's mayor-elect Rahm Emaneul picked controversial Rochester (New York) Schools Superintendent Jean-Claude Brizard to be the next "Chief Executive . . .

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Wal-Mart funds latest 'progressive' charter school propaganda... Latest charter school 'study' is just another fatuous marketing ploy, says academic review of the supposed evidence

It seems that just about every week or two another group comes out with another so-called "study" supposedly proving that charter schools — or at least "the best" among them — are the only viable . . .

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BRIZARDWATCH: Which is 'false'? Brizard's history or Fox's News's 'news'? Fox News keeps its reputation for anti-union and teacher bashing bias in coverage of Brizard controversy

Anyone who bothers to continue to track examples of bias in the "news" reporting of Chicago's media can have a good time monitoring the way Fox News is covering both corporate school reform and the . . .

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BRIZARDWATCH: Channel 7 investigation questions whether Brizard discriminates against African American women and older workers

While some in Chicago's corporate media remain in the tank for Rahm Emanuel, a second investigative story from Channel 7 ABC Chicago on April 21 broke a story that had been previously reported in Rochester, . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: The Orr High School stories... Turning around the turned around which had already been overturned after being turned around, interventioned, reengineered, reconstituted and probationed (among other things)

Only in a city that has a municipal and media version of dementia could the latest Orr High School story be a form of "news" with most of the context left out. During Spring Cleaning . . .

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SOLIDARITY FOREVER: How the Amway De Vos family is taking aim at unions and public education... Teamsters tracking union busting, teacher bashing billionaires

The explosion of state-by-state facts about those who are trying to destroy public education and eradicate unions — both public and private — gathers momentum as different groups expose the machinations of their own local . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Obama unveils his plan for continued political suicide

This is the first of what will become monthly reports on how the administration and re-election campaign of Chicago's Barack Obama is being organized to ensure that Barack Obama loses the 2012 presidential election by . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Closing schools, adding lawyers — it's business as usual as Daley's Board of Education leaves, but chief of legal patronage Patrick Rocks remains

...There is nothing like getting prepared for the inevitable, and Rahm Emanuel knows that better than most — especially when he's spending other people's money. Everyone who has followed the Rahm's dubious career knows that . . .

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Traffic at www.substance news.net again hits record in February 2011

Web traffic continues to increase at www.substancenews.net. During February 2011, the site had more than 12,000 unique visitors (12,703 to be precise) for the second month in a row, and more than 500,000 total hits . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Americans oppose weakening bargaining rights of public workers by a two-to-one margin... Mainstream media polls show unions favored, Scott Walker not

After decades of poll propaganda, March 1, 2011, dawned over the USA with a surprise in The New York Times and CBS. A current poll showed most Americans view unions favorably — especially public employee . . .

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MADISON WISCONSIN, 2011... A medley of songs and videos from the workers' struggle for the right to organize and have unions

The following article was originally posted at www.substancenews.net on February 24, 2011. At the time, Substance was unable to post graphics because of a bug in our software that had been caused by the failure . . .

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CORE's Earl Silbar to speak on Wisconsin struggles Saturday, March 5, at AUL

Earl Silbar, an active member of CORE (Caucus of Rank and File Educators) is speaking on the situation in Wisconsin at the Open University of the Left (AUL) on Saturday, March 5, 2011. The event . . .

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Why do corporate media repeat the lie that public pensions are a burden on taxpayers?

[Editor's Note: One of the many Big Lies currently being wrapped into right wing talking points in Illinois and across the USA is that public employee pensions are a major cause of future deficits, with . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Beware the union busting and teacher bashing New Yorker magazine 'analysis' and 'investigative reporting'... Koch Industries issues major defense of its owners, policies, and praxis in response to a New Yorker hatchet job

Anyone who believes that American's billionaire class of 21st Century capitalists is not sensitive to public opinion should check out the Website of Koch Industries, the privately owned corporate entity (it's many privately held companies, . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: It's time for public school teachers and teacher unions to balance against the biases by boycotting both the conservative Koch Industries and the hypocritical 'progressives' teacher bashing and union busting at The New Yorker

…A lot of people who think of themselves as "progressives" are getting all lathered up about boycotting products and services provided by the billionaire Koch brothers and Koch Industries, and far be it from Substance . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Right wing NewsMax 'poll' shows support for public workers, not for Scott Walker!

One of the hundreds of right wing outfits on the Internet, News Max.com, recently stuck a "poll" into many Web sites that were covering the events in Madison, Wisconsin. Because it was actually a poll . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: WTF?! NPR (National Propaganda Radio) continues its long tradition of racist teacher bashing and union busting with 'seniority is a bad baad BAAAAD thing' story

…Was anyone who reads Substance surprised when NPR (which likes to call itself “National Public Radio” but actually should change its name to “National Propaganda Radio”) opined on March 6 that teacher seniority should be . . .

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ANOTHER BIG LIE FROM CORPORATE MEDIA DEBUNKED... Public pensions do not threaten state and local finances, major studies are showing

Despite the drumbeat of claims from corporate media (including in Chicago the Chicago Tribune properties and the Chicago Sun-Times), there is no evidence that public worker pensions are threatening state and local finances, as the . . .

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'Class War' in American Midwest as Republican legislators and governors in several states strip away democratic rights while hundreds of thousands protest

Within a few hours after what they thought was a clever way of getting around the stalemate in the Wisconsin state legislature by passing a bill stripping collective bargaining rights from public worker unions, the . . .

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Matt Taibbi and Woody Guthrie remind Americans who the real criminals are

The recent publication of some comments on Wall Street at SubstanceNews along with a classic recording of Woody Guthrie's song "Pretty Boy Floyd" prompted a large number of reader comments, many reminding us that there . . .

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'We know where the money is. It's not in grandma's pension...' Bank of America occupations begin in Obama's back yard in Washington, D.C.

While most of the attention of militant organizers across the USA was focused on the Midwest and the struggles to stop the Republican Party's attacks on public employee unions, National Peoples Action and others have . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: New Orleans charter school 'cages' discipline problems, Times Picayune reports

On March 16, 2011, the newspaper The Times Picayune (New Orleans) reported that a New Orleans charter school was "caging" students who were discipline problems. The background to the story is that after Hurricane Katrina, . . .

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Stand for Children promoting March 30 charter school lobby day

Stand for Children may claim at times that it is not promoting privatization and union busting, but when you watch closely their behavior... They are promoting privatization and union busting. The latest came to our . . .

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'Millionaires and billionaires to pay more'... U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky proposes return to graduated income tax for the rich

U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky (an Illinois Congressman from Chicago) on March 16, 2011, issued a press release saying that she has introduced legislation in the U.S. Congress that would effectively begin to return to federal . . .

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New Website presents truth about Michelle Rhee's career

A delightful new website is providing a growing audience with the truth about Michelle Rhee's dismal but corporate-friendly career as a teacher, New Teacher Project leader, and school administrator. The following was just sent to . . .

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BOARDWATCH: Teacher hits CPS over bilingual discrimination

The following remarks were prepared to be delivered at the March 23, 2011 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education.






Regarding Bi-lingual services

Buenos Días! mi nombre es . . .

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CTU President calls on teachers to speak out at March 28 facilities hearing

Karen Lewis, President of the Chicago Teachers Union, took issue with the announcement by the Chicago Board of Education on March 23 that it would be "consolidating" more schools, and asked teachers, parents and others . . .

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Led by unions who organized more than 800 buses... Nearly half million protest in London against British 'austerity' and public sector cutbacks

More than 400,000 people filled central London on March 26, 2011, protesting the austerity budget and proposed cuts to public services and public sector workers that are hitting Great Britain under the new Conservative government . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Former Chicago Democrat sounds more and more like the President of the Chamber of Commerce... Obama joins corporate America in attacking Illinois... Caterpillar continues fight to avoid taxes with blessings of the President of the United States

It what at another time would have been a one-two punch against a solid program to improve the finances of the State of Illinois, President Barack Obama joined one of the nation's largest manufacturing companies . . .

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CTU delegates continue intense training at March 26 sessions

Three hundred Chicago Teachers Union delegates, joined for the first time at a union training by Local School Council teacher reps, spent their Saturday at Whitney Young High School on March 26, 2011. They had . . .

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Scab mayor booed at union memorial... Union crowd boos NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg at Triangle Shirtwaist memorial

For the first time in memory, a large crowd gathered for a memorial to the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire and tragedy booed New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg for his union busting . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Lies, damned lies, and the career of Michelle Rhee... USA Today investigation calls Michelle Rhee's D.C. 'miracle' into question

A lengthy investigative article in USA Today on March 28, 2011, calls Michelle Rhee's supposed "miracle" of raised test scores into question, adding another factual nail in the reputation coffin of the teacher bashing union . . .

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Bowen small schools; Carpenter; Beidler; Andersen; Schneider and Tilton to end by September 2011? Avondale and Logandale in strange new mixture... Chicago Board of Education schedules hearings on school closings from April 6 through April 11

Masking the realities as much as possible, the Chicago Board of Education on March 28 announced on its website that it would be holding hearings on the proposed closings ("consolidations") of several elementary and high . . .

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LEGAL VICTORY FOR TEACHERS' RIGHTS IN CHICAGO... Seventh Circuit affirms Chicago teachers' tenure rights as property rights ... but CPS press release claims the decision vindicates the Board's side!

CHICAGO. MARCH 29, 2011. The Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision on March 29, 2011, affirming the contention by the Chicago Teachers Union that teachers who were laid off by the Board . . .

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'...there is only one way to raise more taxes: Tax the top...' Stiglitz denounces corporate tax cheats, refuses to sign on to 'deficit reduction' manifesto

Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz announced his refusal to sign an economists' manifesto supporting the current "deficit reduction" moves by the right wing consensus in Congress and the White House. Joseph E. Stiglitz served . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Substance Web site continues record growth with more than 12,000 Unique Visitors and more than 600,000 Hits in January 2011

January 2011 statistics for traffic at www.substancenews.net reached record numbers in virtually all categories measured by the "Site Stats" provided with the Substance web hosting program. January 2011 saw substancenews.net reaching a total of 12,389 . . .

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CPS student video calls out Rahm Emanuel for a liar... Charter school claims by corporate America and its candidate for Chicago mayor are all privatization propaganda against real public schools

Chicago awakened on the morning of the big blizzard to find that three of the city's general high school students have challenged the claim by Rahm Emanuel, corporate America's choice to succeed Richard M. Daley . . .

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CTU poised to endorse mayoral candidate (if the blizzard doesn't close schools and the House of Delegates meeting)

After the lengthiest process in its history and for only the second time in more than 30 years, the Chicago Teachers Union is poised to endorse one of the four remaining major candidates for mayor . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Crowns and Pritzkers aren't the only members of the Chicago Billionaire Boys and Girls Club adding to union busting war chest of Stand for Children

Although their families gathered more than $1 million towards the creation of the $3.4 million Stand for Children PAC that was reported earlier in Substance and elsewhere, the Pritzker and Crown families of Chicago (and . . .

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Leave it to The Wall Street Journal to expose bosses' lies... 'Performance Counts' didn't work at BP, and it won't work in Illinois

While a small group of America's ruling class is trying to subordinate every working person to the gospel of a socially perverted version of 'Race to the Top,' some of the cooler heads in the . . .

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Substance urges readers to back Miguel Del Valle for Mayor of Chicago

For the second time in 30 years, the monthly newspaper Substance has endorsed a candidate for Mayor of Chicago. In an editorial in the February 2011 print edition of Substance that went to press on . . .

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'Too Big to Fail' satirizes Rahm Emanuel's mayoral bid with You Tube music video

In a move reminiscent of the campaign against having Olympics 2016 come to Chicago, a local Chicago band has posted on You Tube a song named "Too Big to Fail" dedicated to the . . .

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CPS forcing South Shore students to learn under intolerable conditions

Despite the claim that the situation at Chicago's South Shore High School has been resolved by the vote at the January 26, 2011, meeting of the Chicago Board of Education to open the "new" South . . .

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Susan Neuman's true confessions.. Rigor rather than resources became her mantra after she went to work for the Bush administration

No Child Left Behind has been educational disaster, according to Susan Neuman, who helped make it happen. Jim Horn discussed this very matter on Schools Matter blog. Good for Robert Morrow getting it into mass . . .

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Best Chicago political satire song blocked by CPS computers... Hit song 'Too Big to Fail' going You Tube platinum as Chicago questions Rahm's $18 million for less than three years of hard work as an 'investment banker'

The song 'Too Big to Fail' composed in honor of Chicago mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel has gone to the top of the non-Oprah list You Tube charts in less than a week, hitting more . . .

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Every Race to the Top leaves some at the bottom. A recent New York story takes a long look at the bottom -- the very bottom... 'The Lords of Rikers' describes how the New York City juvenile prison operates... Is Chicago becoming the same because of budget cuts?

A well reported story recently appeared in New York magazine. It told about how the Rikers Island juvenile prison, which also houses a school just as the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center does, has been . . .

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CTU fails to endorse mayoral candidate, targets aldermanic races in 25 of 50 Chicago wards, endorses Susana Mendoza for City Clerk

After more than two hours of intense discussion and a series of motions and votes, the members of the Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates left their postponed February 2011 meeting on February 14, 2011, . . .

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SOLIDARITY FOREVER: Phony CTU staff pay claims are still on caucus's website... Anyone who thinks Chicago's United Progressive Caucus (UPC) has reformed following its defeat last May and June should go to their website and see how many of their lies they've retracted

Apparently some people in the Chicago Teachers Union are more hopeful about the possibility of salvation than many of us at Substance. We try to keep track of the doings in the Chicago Teachers Union . . .

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Parents and teachers completely ignored in new round of hearings... U.S. House of Representatives lists witnesses on 'education' who promote privatization, market driven 'reforms'

Now that Republicans have taken control of the U.S. House of Representatives, it hasn't taken long for the bias to show in every committee that is now functioning. The most recent example comes from the . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Tribune polling as dishonest as its news reporting... Why are people taking anything from Tribune / WGN seriously?

Governor Brady, meet Mayor Rahm? It's nice to know that Chicago's voters have already crowned Rahm Emanuel the next imperial mayor of our Global City, and as we all know on what used to be . . .

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Wisconsin governor to call out national guard to bust public worker unions

This weekend, the news began coming out of Wisconsin that the newly elected Republican Governor Scott Walker has declared that he is willing to mobilize the Wisconsin National Guard to bust the state's public worker . . .

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New York blogger covers TFA convention... Sounds like a charter school summit, complete with Chicago's Noble Network all decked out

Thanks to New York's Norm Scott and ICE, the convention of Teach for America taking place this weekend in New York City is being covered firsthand by a TFA alum who is also a blogger . . .

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Problem with website stops posting of graphics to www.substancenews.net

A problem with the Substance website (www.substancenews.net) has prevented Substance editors and staff from posting graphics of any kind since February 10, 2011, when the photograph of Miguel Del Valle was posted on the story . . .

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MADISON WISCONSIN: First video from the struggle

The first video from the struggle currently taking place in Wisconsin against fascism is now available and can be found at You Tube. What we will try to do at Substance is cover as . . .

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MADISON WISCONSIN: 'Plan your trip to Madison...' AFL CIO establishes on line support for the struggle

By February 18, 2011, workers across the USA were being called upon to show support for and join the largest working class demonstration in recent American labor history. The AFL-CIO sent out the following message . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Last Stand for Children covers Teach for America's Nuremberg rally in New York, Arne Duncan featured

The always informative website Last Stand for Children has been ignored by many people for the past few months, since their debut at the end of 2010. That might end now that they are . . .

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FROM MADISON IN STRUGGLE... The words and music to 'Solidarity Forever' and some other classic songs of the struggle

Although there are and have been dozens of recordings of the union song "Solidarity Forever," the classic version has to be the one sung numerous times and on hundreds of picket lines led by . . .

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FROM MADISON IN THE STRUGGLE: Video links to lengthy interviews from Madison

Larry Duncan from Labor Beat sent us a link to a video that devotes almost an hour to interviews from Madison Wisconsin on the second day of the struggle there. The videos can . . .

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Chomsky puts current events in historical perspective

In a recent Democracy Now show, Noam Chomsky put the recent events in Washington, D.C., Wisconsin, Cairo and elsewhere into a historical perspective that can prove useful to our readers. Her is the transcript of . . .

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Ward wins CTU retiree vice president election decisively by a two-to-one margin over Reilly

James Ward was elected Chicago Teachers Union Retiree Functional Vice President by a decisive margin in the runoff for the post against incumbent Mary Sharon Reilly. The final vote certified by the CTU Rules Elections . . .

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VIDEOS AND SONGS FROM MADISON AND OUR HISTORY OF STRUGGLE: As Wisconsin protests move into second week, and a video from MSNBC explaining what's going on...

Be inspired and also be smart. We can be both. With hundreds of hours of videos and audios now being shared across the Internet, it's almost impossible to begin to cite any one. But the . . .

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SUBSTANCE COMMENTS MUST BE SIGNED... Please sign your First Name and Last Name in the 'Name' filed when posting a Substance comment... This is not a blog

With the amazing amount of stories coming in from Wisconsin, Chicago, and elsewhere (Colorado, anyone), Substance has fallen behind on our policing of Comments to the Substance web site. This morning, we got back to . . .

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FROM WISCONSIN STRUGGLE: 'It's class warfare' in Hip Hop

The following new video from Jasiri X (American Workers Vs. Multi - Billionaires") was forwarded to us and is just one more example of the creativity that is growing as the struggle against the . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: 'We Are All Wisconsin!' rings out as more than 100,000 end second week of sit-in

One of the chants that rang out in Madison, Wisconsin, on February 27, 2011, is "We are all Wisconsin!" And it's been echoing around the USA as the billionaire right wing of American politics tries . . .

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MADISON WISCONSIN: The drums are still playing as Walker's eviction threat is thwarted

The last day of February 2011 dawned over the American Midwest and the protests that have filled the state capitol building in Madison Wisconsin continued, as the threat by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to use . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: National Propaganda Radio touts Michelle Rhee's brand of union busting

Anyone who was cheerleading National "Public" Radio (NPR), which most of us now know to be National Propaganda Radio, should consider the fact that over the weekend of February 26, 2011, while most of the . . .

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'Inappropriate tone at the top' from the IG report is an understatement... Mazany has to demand further investigations of expenses before talking 'deficit'

According to the now famous Fiscal 2010 (July, 2009 through June 30, 2010) report of the Inspector General of Chicago's public schools, the financial antics of members of the Chicago Board of Education and . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Friends don't let friends quote teacher bashing phony 'data'...

…While we at Substance would be first to agree that many of the “Coalition Partners” cultivated by the new leadership of the Chicago Teachers Union can help out, we hope the union leadership will remember . . .

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Mazany sneaks out last-minute list of the dubious achievements of CPS during 2010... No press conference on this one

You've got to wonder whether anyone showed the CPS list of "achievements" for 2010 to the new (one dollar a year) Chief Executive Officer of CPS before he allowed the CPS Communications Department (i.e., Monique . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Substancenews.net ends 2010 stronger than ever... More than 5 million hits for the year

After completing its second full year of operation and its third year on the Web, the "new" Substance website — www.substancenews.net — continues to gain visitors and hits over time. With the totals for the . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Goeffrey Canada's union busting, teacher bashing hypocrisy on display on Colbert Report

If they decided one day to give an Academy Award for teacher bashing, corporate shilings, and sheer mendacity, it will have to go to "Waiting for Superman" star Goeffrey Canada, who has ridden his . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Who is stalking CTU's Karen Lewis?

…EGADS! Karen Lewis has a stalker or two! One of the most interesting things about covering news events is that you get to pay attention to the people in the back row who are trying . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: The Dickensian aspect — from 21st Century corporate 'school reform' to 19th Century child abuse, capitalism is always the same

Thanks to Anne Pritchett and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Peace and Justice caucus for reminding us, that the stuff we're facing from Finance Capital today is not very much different from what was . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Amazing duality at Washington Post as Valerie Strauss's blog fights teacher bashing while the editorial Party Line stays corporate

At least The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal are consistent. They bash teachers, praise the busting of unions, give a thousand times more ink to non-teaching teacher bashers (and union busters) like . . .

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JIM CROW, 21ST CENTURY VERSION: If poverty doesn't matter, why don't public schools in wealthy areas 'fail'? A California teacher's study confirms what we already learned in Chicago and Illinois

Virtually all of the public schools that have faced the vicious "turnaround" policies of the Duncan administration — first in Chicago and now across the USA — are schools that served a population that was . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Yo! Rahm! It's not Chicago's children who have the 'empty eyes'...

In a session with the Chicago Sun-Times editorial board, multi-millionaire mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel offered an amazing observation about Chicago children that he blamed on Chicago's schools. According to Rahm, while he was shaking hands . . .

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Arne Duncan's bizarre interview on CNN

As the New Year dawned, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan continued his assault on reason, fact, and public education with an appearance on The Situation Room on CNN. So that our readers are not . . .

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'Performance Counts' is dead (for now)... Largest unified mobilization in Illinois teacher union history defeats billionaires' teacher bashing plans for Illinois

The largest unified political mobilization in the history of teacher unionism in Illinois not only defeated the "Performance Counts" legislation proposed by a cohort of front groups for what historian Diane Ravitch has called "the . . .

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More snake oil 'research' from Billionaire Bill... 'Only slightly better than a coin toss'... Gates's 'value added' study debunked just as states, districts, and Duncan promote it...

Just at a time when school districts and states across the USA are being told that they can safely use so-called "value-added" ways of measuring student "performance" as a measure of teacher effectiveness, a review . . .

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Whittier update

Whittier parents update below





Dear Allies and devoted supporters,

Happy New Year! We hope all is well and everyone has a prosperous year. We just want to . . .

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DISSENT magazine exposes role of 'venture philanthropy' in attack on public education

The Winter 2011 edition of Dissent magazine has exposed what Chicago and Illinois has been learning the hard way: the foundations controlled by Bill and Melinda Gates, Eli and Edyth Broad, and the Walton family . . .

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HONORING DR. KING'S MEMORY: Will Chicago's corporate media continue depicting Black History Month through frauds like Marva Collins while ignoring leaders of labor struggles from Charlie Hayes, Jacqueline Vaughn and Adie Wyatt to Karen Lewis

If Martin Luther King Jr. day is here, can Black History Month be far behind? The question is relevant now, because for the past decade or more, the revisionists in the history departments of Chicago's . . .

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Aim is to thwart union and working class power in Chicago... New PAC formed with $1 million seed money to push union busting agenda in 2011 municipal elections

A new Political Action Committee (PAC) has been formed in Chicago to push the union-busintg agenda of outgoing Mayor Richard M. Daley and to support candidates in the upcoming municipal elections. The group is called . . .

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Detroit Federation of Teachers history leaves out the entire 21st Century

One of the ironies of the current dispute over who will lead the legendary Detroit Federation of Teachers is the fact that along with Chicago and a few other locals, the DFT has been one . . .

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Bill Daley's old employer engineered theft of hundreds of millions from cities, other government entities... So now he's working in Rahm Emanuel's old job while Rahm gets corporate America's nod to get the other Daley job -- mayor of Chicago

Within the next few years, the Chicago Board of Education stands to lose hundreds of millions of dollars because of derivatives investments the should never have been made, and the City of Chicago is losing . . .

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Detroit vote count challenged, recount scheduled for Wednesday as numbers become more clear

The demand for a recount of the votes in the Detroit runoff election between incumbent Detroit Federation of Teachers (DFT) president Keith Johnson and dissident Steve Conn has resulted in a recount being called for . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Not all reactionary media are in Chicago. Fresno Bee newspaper touts Rhee's attack on public schools, teachers and unions

There may be a sucker born every minute, as an American entrepreneur once wrote, but the number in editorial board rooms of America's corporate media in 2011 is more dense: maybe a sucker born every . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: New York Schools CEO Cathie Black makes a 'joke' suggesting school overcrowding can be solved by birth control... and doesn't know that New York high schools began distributing condoms in the 1990s

Less than two months after she was forced on the school children and teachers of New York City as the latest "Chief Executive Officer" from outside education, New York Schools Chancellor Cathie Black, who came . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Another Chicago Tribune hatchet job... Tribune chooses Martin Luther King Jr. holiday to attack Monique Davis, a state legislator who has always supported public schools and the teachers' union

It's no surprise that the news columns of the Chicago Tribune are devoted to propaganda on behalf of the pet projects of Chicago's ruling class. During the past five years, the Tribune has devoted ten . . .

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Union busting Chicago-style, as majority of featured 'New Schools' are anti-union... CPS 'New Schools Expo' January 29 to tout charter schools and AUSL 'turnarounds' while ignoring true public schools

The 2011 "New Schools Expo" sponsored by the Chicago Board of Education and others will once again exclude Chicago's real public schools while touting the city's ever-expanding charter schools. The event will take place at . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Board adding injury to insult atop injury in 'Certified Substitute Teacher Selection Event' event at UIC

How about “Sing for your supper and beg for your job” as sung by the famous duo of Terry Mazany and Alicia Winckler? The Chicago Board of Education's massive bureaucracy still has a sense of . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: GQ gets it, Chicago's 'news' organizations don't... How charter schools kick out feisty kids, leaving the families to send the kids back to public schools or home school

By the end of February, 2011, as the second semester of the 2010 - 2011 Chicago Public Schools school year begins, one of Chicago's dirtiest little secrets, covered up by Chicago's corporate media, will be . . .

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RETIREE AND PENSION NEWS: Obama's neoliberal attacks on Social Security are generating anger across the USA while pleasing Beltway elites

As President Barack Obama continues to follow his neoliberal course to the far right, one of the places he has indicated his willingness to repeat right wing falsehoods has been in his critique of Social . . .

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CHARTER SCHOOL NEWS: National Education Policy Center (NEPC) challenges Brookings Institution Report praising charter schools

Once again, the Brookings Institution, the favored neoliberal Think Tank of neoliberal Democrats (and the Pritzker family, among others) has issued a report that is more propaganda than fact. This time, they are supporting the . . .

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RETIREE AND PENSION NEWS: New York's Joel Klein, ever the hypocrite, draws a $34 k annual 'teacher' pension while slamming teacher pensions

Following his retirement after eight years as the appointed chancellor of New York's public school system, Joel Klein, who is now working for Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, signed up for a teacher pension, and began . . .

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Crowns, Pritzkers, and Sam Zell pour money into groups that pushed union-busting legislation... Chicago Plutocrats back 'Stand for Children', union busting legislation with $3.2 million in contributions in December 2010

Two of the world's wealthiest families, both from Chicago (the Crowns and the Pritzkers), and several of Chicago's wealthiest individuals (including Kenneth Griffin and Sam Zell), poured more than $3.4 million into the newest Political . . .

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Emanuel's billionaire donors also bankrolling 'Stand for Children', pushing union-busting organizations in Illinois

Rahm Emanuel's major donors include some of the same people who recently tried to get the Illinois General Assembly to approve a legislation called "Performance Counts." The same big money people who are bankrolling the . . .

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Reilly, Ward in runoff for Chicago Teachers Union retiree vice president post

Retired Chicago Teachers Union members Mary Sharon Reilly and James Ward will face off against one another in a runoff to determine who will be the "Retiree Functional Vice President" and sit on the CTU . . .

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Mazany false flagged charter school issue at December 2010 Chicago Board of Education meeting... Charters to be expanded on January 26 at Chicago Board meeting

One month after he surprised many close observers of the Chicago Public Schools by withdrawing Board Reports that would have expanded, once again, Chicago's charter schools and so-called "campuses," Chief Executive Officer Terry Mazany is . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Mary Richardson Lowry's Police State treatment is an equal opportunity employer as most charter parents get herded, pushed around, insulted and bullied same as everyone else at the Chicago school board's January 2011 meeting

If you were paying close attention to the swirls of human activity taking place during the January 26, 2011 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education, you would have noticed that all of the parents . . .

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Michelle Rhee's been lying for years... A closer look at her Baltimore 'miracle'

It's only a coincidence that Michelle Rhee claimed a kind of 'miracle' in her performance during her latter years of teaching through Teach for American in Baltimore's public schools that those were the same years . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: A blog worth a visit or two... 'Mr. Teachbad'

As the teacher resistance to nonsense grows across the USA (and beyond), one of the vehicles for it is the satiric teacher blog, and one of the best of those nowadays is "Mr. Teachbads . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: The 'Great Vampire Squid' of finance capital sticks its 'passionate' blood funnel into New York's public schools... Passion for 'education' is enough to get banker top schools job in NYC

Anyone who said satire is dead after September 11, 2001, underestimated the ability of our ruling class to create parody of itself. The following notice was sent out from New York City last week, celebrating . . .

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CTU begins delegate training at King High School December 4

In what will be a lengthy process, the new leadership of the Chicago Teachers Union begins training for union delegates this Saturday, December 4, 2010, at King High School (4445 S. Drexel Blvd) in Chicago. . . .

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Another repudiation of sellouts and 'CEO' rule... Washington D.C. teachers union ousts incumbent president who supported merit pay, other Rhee 'reforms'

The Washington, D.C. teachers union, Local 6 of the American Federation of Teachers, voted by a decisive margin on Tuesday, November 30, to repudiate the policies of its former president and elect a new leadership, . . .

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Union busting in the USA is capitalists' strategic objective... NFL players' union warns players of lockout beginning March 2011

For those who think the plans of the ruling class to bust unions is somehow limited to teacher unions (and what's left of unions representing private sector workers), consider the current situation facing some of . . .

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More 'creative financing' in Illinois to dodge the revenue challenge... The Wall Street Journal reports state to sell bills to hedge funds as an investment to pay vendors owed billions

Usually, the weekend edition of The Wall Street Journal is distinguished more for its personal sections than its financial news, but a close reader of the December 11, 2010 edition would see that a major . . .

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Barack Obama's teacher bashing and union busting neoliberal 'school reform' programs take an ironic turn following the November 2, 2010 elections... Will it take Republicans to ignite the flames to finally cinderize Race To The Top?

For the past two years, many so-called "Progressive Democrats" have been silence by their support for the Obama administration despite the fact that one of the three biggest issues over which Obama betrayed many of . . .

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Emanuel supports controversial 'Parent Trigger' based on California model

Chicago mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel has already told the media that he supports the introduction in Chicago of a controversial "Parent Trigger" law like the one that is causing upheaval in December 2010 in Compton . . .

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'Worse than the Gangster Disciples...' Transcript of Rev. Sen. Meeks's Operation PUSH remarks comparing the Chicago Teachers Union to Chicago's most murderous street gangs

By December 2010, James Meeks, a Chicago pastor and state senator, was running for mayor of Chicago. And he was saying that he wanted to work with Chicago teachers and the Chicago Teachers Union. But . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: CASE flashbacks and shades of Chicago Christmases past... WIKILEAKS, Michael Moore posting bail for Assange, supporting Wikileaks, and reminded of Chicago's CASE test scandals

For the past several days, the news services have been filled with stories about the Wikileaks publication of hundreds of thousands of "confidential" U.S. diplomatic messages. Now that Wikileaks editor Julian Assange will be raising . . .

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Diane Ravitch takes on Obama and Duncan based on latest PISA scores

[Former Editor's Note from George N. Schmidt. The Tuesday, December 14, 2010 Education Week blog between Diane Ravitch and Deborah Meier has an interesting analysis of the recent PISA scores, seeing them as a challenge . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Panama City school board gunman was angry over teacher firing

Clay Duke, the lone gunman who fired during a meeting of the Panama City and then committed suicide, Florida Board of Education on December 14, 2010, had issued an Internet manifesto and was angry at . . .

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'Teach Plus' group that sponsored Michelle Rhee in Chicago is just another well financed front for the Gates foundation, Teach for America, and 'venture philanthropy'

After the group that sponsored Michelle Rhee's brief foray into Chicago on December 8 made the effort to exclude me (and, if seems, veteran teachers who disagree with them), I wrote protesting their decision (but . . .

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Michelle Rhee's mess being cleaned up in D.C. ... Washington D.C. is just beginning to analyze the mess Michelle Rhee left behind, while Chicago's Rahm Emmanuel would make her Chicago's schools 'Chief Executive Officer'

While careful observers of the public education scene in Washington, D.C. are just beginning to analyze the wreckage left behind by Michelle Rhee during her time as D.C. schools "chancellor" (courtesy of the corporate "school . . .

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Mazany knocks down charter expansions at first Board of Education meeting

Terry Mazany might be the fourth non-educator in a row to be picked by Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley to be "Chief Executive Officer" of Chicago's public schools, but by the end of his first . . .

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Class Size Matters no matter what the billionaires say... Refutation of latest Bill Gates teacher bashing from Alter Net

Since he keynoted the national governors' forum on education reform more than five years ago, Bill Gates has become the leading expert on public schools in the USA even though just about every programs he's . . .

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Class Size Matters... California study shows program to reduce class size since 2006 has had a major impact on 'academic performance'

With the chorus of corporate funded pundits continuing to claim that teachers can be laid off at will and that schools will improve no matter how few teachers are left and how little we are . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Was Michael Scott's death only related to his failed restaurant investments and real estate speculation on the Olympics 2016 sites in Chicago?

SUBSCRIPT: …The death of Chicago Board of Education President Michael Scott last November — reportedly a suicide on November 16, 2009 on the banks of the Chicago River just west of the Merchandise Mart and . . .

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Opposes 'scapegoating' Chicago teachers... Miguel Del Valle becomes first Chicago mayoral candidate to oppose the 'Performance Counts' legislation funded in Illinois by the 'Billionaire Boys Club'

Chicago City Clerk and mayoral candidate Miguel DelValle has become the first Chicago mayoral candidate to firmly oppose the so-called 'Performance Counts Act.' The proposed legislation was pushed into the lame duck legislative session in . . .

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Testimony by Julie Woestehoff of PURE on December 16, 2010 to the Illinois House School Reform Committee

After being excluded from the section of the agenda supposedly for groups promoting "school reform," PURE and others were forced to testify before the Illinois House Committee on School Reform under 'Miscellaneous.' Below are the . . .

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Will the murderers of Victor Jara finally be brought to justice? A Washington Post article brings the issue back to light

Thirty-seven years ago, the first "September 11" that is burned into the memories of millions across the world took place. On September 11, 1973, the elected government of Chile, headed by Salvador Allende, was overthrown . . .

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Robert Reich joins the attack on American public education while documenting the attack on American public education

Just before Christmas, on December 23, University of California (Berkeley) economics professor and pundit Robert Reich published an analysis totaling up some of the costs of the recent attacks on public education across the USA. . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Atlanta 'miracle' under fire as several investigations point to 'juking the stats' in Atlanta's public schools for most of the time its 'miracle' was being hailed from Harvard to Washington, D.C.

Chicago is as close as a sibling to Atlanta insofar as claiming that its public schools are providing a model for the USA and leadership in closing the so-called "achievement gap" between more affluent (usually . . .

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SUBSCRIPTS: Time to take a third look at Black Star and other opportunists

…Anyone who is still waiting for Phillip Jackson (we almost wrote “Hackson”) of The Black Star Project to tell the world how he earned his pay working on Mayor Richard M. Daley’s diversity friendly plantation . . .

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'Performance Counts' and other billionaires' bullshit... Even The New York Times has found that so-called 'value-added' teacher rankings are based on what amounts to voodoo science

After the State of Illinois was treated to a couple of virtually secret hearings on December 16 and December 17, 2010, to rush the so-called "Performance Counts" legislation through the Illinois General Assembly by January . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Last Stand for Children to achieve educational reform forever forever starting in the Vaterland of EDREFORM — Illinois!

A new organization and website dubbed "Last Stand for Children" has launched out of Chicago. Following in the footsteps of other notable Chicago stands, standings, and stand-ins for children, including the Civic Committee of . . .

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Led by Chicago Teachers Union, push to end mayoral control... Groups call for elected Chicago Board of Education

Joined by a group of community organizations dubbed their "community partners," leaders of the Chicago Teachers Union announced on Wednesday, December 29, 2010, that they were calling for an elected school board for Chicago to . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: FAIR shows that now all corporate propaganda reporting is on the education beat

As 2010 draws to a close, Substance readers will be glad to know that not all the dangerous bias in "news" reporting by America's corporate media hacks (er, reporters) has words like "Michelle Rhee", "Arne . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Continuing to avoid hard questions and a reality check, CPS lists 2010 'achievements' on the last day without a press conference

When he was 'Chief Executive Officer' of Chicago Public Schools, Ron Huberman touted himself as a tough guy and hero, making sure that the controlled media narrative he had cultivated among a small circle of . . .

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Part One: AERA... Huberman, CPS in violation of every guideline on testing by every professional organization

A review of the guidelines on testing from every professional organization shows that Chicago has been in violation of the professional guidelines on the appropriate use of tests since the beginning of the 21st Century. . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: New York Times is searching for a different kind of Superman in 'An Oligarch of our own'

The New York Times's editors have finally figured out that they can't fill their news, Style, and 'Business' pages with the kind of CEO worship that was the mainstay of their brands of economic journalism . . .

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Huberman resigns as 'Chief Executive Officer' of Chicago's public schools, leaving behind a legacy of lies and cronyism

Unlike many of its media events, the Chicago Board of Education's press release that came out mid-afternoon on November 3, 2010, was stunning in its brevity: "FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 3, 2010, Chicago Public Schools . . .

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CLASS SIZE MATTERS (at least in Florida)... Florida voters continue to support reduced class sizes in public schools

For more than 20 years, Chicago teachers have known that in Florida, by law, class sizes in public schools are capped at a certain level, as are the total student loads (for high school teachers). . . .

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EDITORIAL: 'Superman' was a fraud... Obama betrayed teachers even before Election Day with Arne Duncan and charter school agenda

You might call this an Open Letter to Barack Obama. But if that's too pretentious, just consider it an alternative viewpoint to the plutocratic nonsense that's being peddled by the right wing media following the . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Plutocracy sets up 'education' front groups... From Democrats for Education Reform and Stand Up For Children to the latest charter school touts

Former Chicago Tribune reporter Stephanien Banchero, now with the Wall Street Journal, continued propaganda for corporate and plutocratic "school reform" in the news columns of the Journal during the recent Election Day reporting with a . . .

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Chicago Board of Education Audit and Finance Committee to meet for the first time in nearly two decades on November 9, 2010!

Without a press release from the expensive CPS Office of Communications, the Chicago Board of Education quietly announced, at the end of the work day on Friday, November 5, 2010, that the Board’s newly created . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: How Chicago's 'Superman' cheats poorest kids! WBEZ and Catalyst expose hypocrisy of Chicago charter schools -- Raising test scores and making their numbers by kicking out 'bad' students

As the propaganda for the national expansion of charter schools reaches its peak, thanks to a combination of an endorsement by the President of the United States, the U.S. Department of Education, and Hollywood, two . . .

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BOARDWATCH: Lies. Damned Lies. And CPS 'Deficits' ... As usual, CPS promised to publish its budget information and then refused to do so

From about 4:30 p.m. until after 5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 8, 2010, I sat outside the Chicago Board of Education chambers on the 5th floor at 125 S. Clark St., waiting for the Board's . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: NPR brings Chicago library scandal to national audience, but allows CPS to repeat ongoing lies

The November 12, 2010, news report on National Public Radio (NPR) highlighting the fact that Chicago has (at least) 160 public schools without school libraries is, perhaps, a beginning. But by continuing to report the . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: New York Times Business writer published simplistic propaganda for mayoral control and charter schools models

Everyone in Chicago knows that the city's two main daily newspapers — the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune — are basically propaganda organs for capitalist propaganda against unions and public education. The evidence is . . .

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Service and memorial for Bill Buchanan

Substance and others have been informed that those who wish to commemorate the memory of Bill Buchanan can do so in several ways. We will stream a story here at www.substancenews.net every two days from . . .

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New York Chancellor pick may face uphill battle since she has no experience or credentials in education

[Editor's Note: When the news came out last week that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was accepting the resignation of schools Chancellor Joel Klein and appointing Cathie Black, CEO of Hearst publications, to be the . . .

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New Teacher Project again offers puerile solution to 'problem' of teacher evaluation

As many in Chicago and elsewhere know, the so-called "New Teacher Project," one of the many many corporate fronts staffed by veterans of programs like "Teach for America," has been pontificating on how to reform . . .

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Broad coalition forming in New York to oppose Bloomberg's appointment of Cathie Black as Chancellor of New York public schools

Less than one week after the surprise announcement by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg that he was appointing Hearst Publishing CEO Cathie Black as the next Chancellor of the 1.1 million student New York City . . .

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Daley, Emmanuel and Rangal seated together at head table… UNO hosts major event for more than 800 people to celebrate 25th Anniversary

More than 800 people, most of them from corporate Chicago and Chicago's political class (which often overlap), filled the main waiting room of Chicago’s historic Union Station on the night of November 16 to celebrate . . .

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Unprecedented exposé of CPS mendacity... CTU leadership warns members against management deceptions, lists current problems with administration's praxis as Huberman's brief reign ends

In an unprecedented letter to members of the Chicago Teachers Union, CTU President Karen Lewis on November 17, the day of the Board of Education meeting, warned teachers not to cooperate with management in a . . .

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CTPF director says: Tribune article shows 'the challenges we face'

The executive director of the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund responded almost immediately to the article in the Chicago Tribune outlining the problems facing pension funds across Illinois. In a letter posted on the CTPF Web . . .

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The Huberman disinformation campaign revisited... Even as Huberman was halfway out the door, Board refused to provide list of all the schools and each of the areas despite a $58 million increase in area office budgets this year... Try and find it at Board's website(s)

A few good questions as the semester drones on. Who are this year's CAOs. Where are this year's CAOs? What schools are in each area under each CAO? That should be public "transparent" information, especially . . .

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Old guard continues factionalism at Chicago Teachers Pension Fund... Pension Fund re-elects John O'Brill as president, Maria Rodriguez remains as officer

Despite two successive defeats in citywide elections for teacher trustees to the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund (CTPF), the "old guard" at the fund, including the remaining two teacher trustees who had affiliation with the "United . . .

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Charters defense? School district is 'biased' against charter schools... New York charter school under fire for abusive policies

As the charter school movement expands across the USA thanks to the Obama administration's support for charter schools and the coercive "Race To The Top" guidelines forcing states to embrace charter schools as part of . . .

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Bloomberg gets his way with Cathie Black appointment by agreeing to 'Chicago Model'

After a public struggle that once again brought out growing public dissatisfaction with the mayoral control 'model' or urban public school governance, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg finally got his way and was able . . .

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Whitney Young High School to show film 'Race to Nowhere'

The Whitney Young High School community and the Whitney Young local school council are sponsoring a showing of the highly acclaimed film "Race to Nowhere" on Tuesday, December 7, at 6:30 p.m. at the school, . . .

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CPS routinely violating Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

Despite recent changes in the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that require more disclosure of documents produced by public bodies to the public upon request, since Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Ron Huberman . . .

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Whittier Library Holds Out... Chicago Teachers Union officers to donate books

Officers of the Chicago Teachers Union will be at Chicago's Whittier Elementary School Field House at 1930 (or so) W. 23rd St. on Friday morning, October 1, 2010, at 10:00 a.m. to donate 500 books . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: While firing hundreds of teachers, Huberman advertises to hire a 'School Culture Coordinator' — and we're not talking about Miss Manners

While the Huberman administration at the Chicago Public Schools has fired hundreds of veteran teachers since the latest purge began in early June 2010, the same administration has been busily expanding the ranks of its . . .

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Did Chicago Board of Education give away the Byrd school building to a Catholic school for $1 a year?

While the Illinois Facilities Task Force is trying to figure out how to make Chicago Public Schools more "transparent" in its facilities planning, less than two miles from the State of Illinois building where the . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Tribune Corporation murders a teacher... How criminal 'journalism' and 'Value-Addded' charlatanism led to a Los Angeles teacher's suicide

For the past few weeks, some of the discussion of politics and public schools has been dominated by another brand of pseudo-scientific snake oil, so-called "Value Added" assessments of teachers. At just about every meeting . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Independent media giving best coverage of Whittier while The New York Times continues to provide corporate spin and lies

The most recent story to show the bankruptcy of the new New York Times approach to covering Chicago news became dramatically clear by Sunday, October 3, 2010, when the Times continued ignoring the major struggle . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Chicago Tribune's bankruptcy goes far beyond dollars and cents

The bankruptcy of the Chicago Tribune, which includes Tribune Corporation media properties ranging from WGN to the Los Angeles Times and other newspapers, has gone far beyond dollars and cents since Sam Zell, the billionaire . . .

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'A victory for the rights of all teachers!'... Judge grants injunction for Chicago Teachers Union in layoffs case, ordering CPS to restore more than 1,000 tenured teachers to working status

U.S. District Judge David Coar has ruled in favor of the Chicago Teachers Union and against the Chicago Board of Education in the case the union filed on behalf of the teachers who were laid . . .

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LA CASITA... CPS officials turn off gas in attempt to freeze out sit in on coldest night in Chicago in six months

Officials of the Chicago Public Schools continued their offensive against the sit-in demanding a library at "La Casita" (the Little House) adjacent to Whittier Elementary School at 1900 W. 23rd St. in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood. . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Teacher bashers and union busters at Catalyst and WBEZ team up to preach Huberman's 'bad teacher' propaganda while ignoring all the facts in Judge Coar's decision

When Chicago Public Radio (WBEZ) and Catalyst magazine join up with Ron Huberman for a morning of teacher bashing — let's get rid of all those "bad teachers" everyone knows are ruining everything — it's . . .

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SUBSTANCE ANNOUNCEMENT: Bug means few photographs at www.substancenews.net from October 6 through October 14.

After six months of relative calm (but never a "culture of calm") on the cyberfront, the Substance News website has hit a major bug (or cyberattack) which is making it difficult (practically impossible) for us . . .

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What went 'down' but sort of didn't go 'down' when Fitch lowered the CPS bond rating

In October 2010, as reported in the article above by John Kugler, Fitch Ratings reportedly lowered the CPS bond rating on some bonds from "AA-" to "A+." The narrative attached to the lowering of the . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: 'Looking for Mr. Goodtest'... New York Times continues cover up of the real testing scandal in the USA while exposing flaws in New York tests

Those with long memories for teacher movies will recall the 1977 classic "Looking for Mr. Goodbar" and its dark warnings about cruising for the wrong partner. But more than 30 years after Diane Keaton's classic . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Satiric 'CRAP' video mocking corporate 'school reform' hits the mark nicely as a new school week begins

Who gives a crap? Well, the maker of the satirical video, CRAP, does. Thanks to satirist Sabrina, Norm Scott and New York City's Ed Notes, readers across the USA can enjoy one of the more . . .

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Loop bedbugs fight infestation of lawyers at CPS

Chicago Public Schools officials confirmed today that Chicago bedbugs comfortably housed on the seventh floor offices at the headquarters of the nation's third largest school system have become upset because of an infestation of lawyers . . .

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Baltimore teachers reject contract supported by AFT's Randi Weingarten

The proposed contract for Baltimore City teachers was defeated on Thursday, October 14, 2010, by a vote of 1540 to 1107, according to sources in the American Federation of Teachers Peace and Justice caucus. The . . .

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Philadelphia Schools Superintendent removes herself from 'Rhee - Klein Manifesto'

By less than one week after the publication of the "Manifesto" of Joel Klein (New York City Schools Chancellor) and Michelle Rhee (lame duck D.C. Schools Chancellor) in the Washington Post, at least one big . . .

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SEIU in bed with billionaires? Andy Stern's lucrative 'retirement' package from corporate America is just a continuation of his brand of unionism

By the time I heard a local SEIU official in Chicago declare that Chicago's public schools were a disaster and that only charter schools could end the racist neglect of black children's education, I had . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Corporate Chicago spins the 'news'... Chicago newspapers and Catalyst ignore three congressmen, black out dramatic and detailed CTU press conference

A powerful, hour-long press conference hosted by the Chicago Teachers Union at CTU headquarters in Chicago on October 20, 2010, was blacked out by the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times in its October 21 editions, . . .

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While CPS continues to defy Open Meetings and Freedom of Information Act, CTU publishes complete Board Agenda again... AUSL to get more than $3 million in 'management' fees through turnaround scams

For the second month in a row, the Chicago Teachers Union has given the lie to the claims of the administration of Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Ron Huberman by publishing the entire 187-page . . .

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Largest turnout in years for CTU LEAD dinner energizes last days of Campaign 2010

With nearly 1,000 people filling the cavernous hall of Operating Engineers Local 399 on Friday night, October 29, 2010, the Chicago Teachers Union's annual LEAD (Legislators Educators Appreciation Dinner) dinner energized campaign workers, union members, . . .

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'Turnaround' job descriptions are straight out of Orwell's 1984... Chicago schools CEO Ron Huberman adds bureaucratic jobs while continuing to eliminate hundreds of veteran teachers

By September 1, 2010, Chicago and its public schools administrators had created an Orwellian masterpiece. Since June 1, 2010, Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Ron Huberman has eliminated the jobs of more than 1,500 . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: New York Times continues as propagandist for Arne Duncan, joins 'value-added' campaign

Ever since President Barack Obama announced the appointment of former Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Arne Duncan as U.S. Secretary of Education in December 2008, one of Duncan's main cheerleaders has been The New . . .

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Substance Web traffic was highest in history in most categories in August 2010

Traffic at www.substancenews.net reached the highest levels in history in three of the four main statistical categories covered by the independent "Site Stats" that are compiled as the site is running by our Web host, . . .

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August 17, 2010. Lane Tech Budget hearing transcript shows unprecedented critique of CPS priorities

The transcripts of the annual budget hearings conducted by officials of the Chicago Board of Education on August 17, 18, and 19, 2010 have now become available at the Board of Education's official public website . . .

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Famous building houses office of the Chicago Teachers Union... Merchandise Mart up for sale for more than $1 billion, says Crain's Chicago Business

Crain's Chicago Business reported on line over the Labor Day weekend that Chicago's Merchandise Mart, which houses the offices of the Chicago Teachers Union via a long-term lease, is for sale for the asking price . . .

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Huberman's First Amendment violation cost CPS $54,000 in attorney's fees and costs

The failed attempt by Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Rob Huberman to restrict teachers' rights under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution by banning political campaigning for union office in the city's . . .

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'Democracy Now' features Karen Lewis and Lois Weiner in back-to-school show

The radio show 'Democracy Now!' featured Karen Lewis and Lois Weiner in its September 3, 2010 show. 'Democracy Now! is broadcast regularly and features reports now usually given time in the corporate media. Readers can . . .

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Chicago finally changes policy on official press credentials... Restrictions have been eased for free lancers, part - timers

Nearly two years after most of the press credentials issued to Chicago reporters (including most of the members of the Substance staff) officially "expired," the Chicago City Council has decided to make the policy more . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Reader reporter continues to expose Huberman's lies and doubletalk with article on displaced teacher while Chicago's corporate media ignores increasing waste in executive ranks at CPS

[Editor's Note: Ben Joravsky of the Chicago Reader continues this week to expose the doubletalk and lies of the Chicago Board of Education and CPS Chief Executive Officer Ron Huberman with a lengthy story about . . .

| Article |

August 18, 2010. Westinghouse High School Budget hearing transcript shows continuation of unprecedented critique of CPS priorities

[Editor's Note: The following is the complete transcript of the budget hearing held on the Proposed Budget 2010 - 2011 for the Chicago Public Schools held at Chicago's Westinghouse High School on August 18, 2010. . . .

| Article |

Huberman's City Club speech on September 2 was filled with data driven drivel and rehashed cliches

Editor's Note: On September 2, 2010, Chicago Schools CEO Ron Huberman delivered what can best be described as the annual "State of the Schools" speech to the City Club. The prepared text of the speech . . .

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August 18, 2010. Corliss High School Budget hearing transcript shows continuation of unprecedented critique of CPS priorities

[Editor's Note: What follows is the complete transcript of the hearings on the Chicago Board of Education's Proposed Budget 2010 - 2011 held at Corliss High School on the evening of August 19, 2010. This . . .

| Article |

'Nothing's colder than dead clout...' (classic Chicago political reminder)... Who's Ron Huberman's clout now that Richard M. Daley is dethroning himself?

The abrupt announcement by Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley that he was not going to run for re-election next year caught even sophisticated observers by surprise. But by the end of the afternoon on September . . .

| Article |

Wall Street Journal promoting scab teacher organization 'Educators 4 Excellence'

In case anyone needed to be reminded, The Wall Street Journal hates teacher seniority and wants to promote teacher "accountability" based on test scores. Recently, they ran a puff piece about a group of teachers . . .

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CTU to take major resolutions to the Illinois Federation of Teachers

The delegation from the Chicago Teachers Union to the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) convention in St. Louis from October 15 to October 17 will be bringing some major resolutions in opposition to current corporate . . .

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Community breaks police blockade, 'Camp Whittier' gets a third night to demand a library for the children

It could have been a scene from the blacklisted movie "Salt of the Earth," or from any of a dozen other films that depict the struggles of working people. But it was happening in real . . .

| Article |

Huberman escalates violations of Freedom of Information Act

Despite recent changes in the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that require more disclosure of documents produced by public bodies to the public upon request, since Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Ron Huberman . . .

| Article |

True transparency... CTU posts complete agenda for Board of Education meeting

While the administration of Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Ron Huberman continues to talk about "transparency" while covering up or drastically changing the most important activities of the Chicago Board of Education, the leadership . . .

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Chicago Teachers Union leads Daley Plaza rally

Hundreds of Chicago teachers, parents, students, and community leaders organized by the Chicago Teachers Union rallied in Chicago's downtown Daley Plaza across from City Hall after school on Tuesday, September 21, 2010. The rally, which . . .

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A Chicago lexicon based on the verbal sludge from Chicago Public Schools... Huberman's Orwellian abuse of language central to purge of educators from public education in Chicago

During the 20 months since Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley appointed the President of the Chicago Transit Authority, Daley minion Ron Huberman, to be the third white guy to be "Chief Executive Officer" of Chicago's . . .

| Article |

New book debunks Obama education policy... Another 'triumph of rhetoric over sound research...'

A new book published on September 29, 2010, takes on the research foundations of the education policies of the Obama administration and finds that they are as flawed as the Bush administration's "No Child Left . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Taking the pre-test of the previous test to prepare for the pre- pre- pre- test? Chicago's testing mania begins early in each school year

While Chicago preens itself because it has given the world of corporate education reform the Chicago Plan, a toxic mixture of tests, "data driven management, union busting, privatization, political cronyism, and mayoral control, Chicagoans are . . .

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Fair Test offers 'Waiting for Superman' correctives... Many weighing in against corporate propaganda

Fair Test has offered a factsheet to counter the teacher bashing and union busting propaganda of the new movie 'Waiting for Superman.'




The Real Facts About Waiting for Superman
Posted September . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Why would an area instructional office plan an expensive Lake Geneva 'retreat' when teachers are being fired?

Next time you run into Ron Huberman and he's telling you about how we all have to share in the sacrifices — like the characters in "Animal Farm"? — ask him about the Grand Geneva . . .

| Article |

Ravitch in Huffington Post renews critique of Obama and Duncan's 'Race to the Top'

Historian and critic Diane Ravitch continued her scathing critique of President Obama's Race to the Top education program in an August 1 article published first at Huffington Post. One of the most delightful things about . . .

| Article |

Chicago Teachers Union files lawsuit against CPS in federal court charging CPS firing of more than 850 tenured teachers and other school workers this summer is a violation of their civil rights

The Chicago Teachers Union has filed a major lawsuit in the United States District Court charging the Chicago Board of Education with numerous violations of federal law during the recent months of cutbacks and threatened . . .

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Huberman press release responds to CTU lawsuit

Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Ron Huberman responded after the end of business on Tuesday, August 3, 2010, to the Chicago Teachers Union lawsuit filed against the Board of Education the day before in . . .

| Article |

CORE convention set for August 20 and August 21

The 2010 convention of CORE (Caucus Of Rank-and-file Educators) will be held in Chicago on August 20 and August 21. According to an announcement posted to the CORE ListServe on August 4: for CORE members..... . . .

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Union accuses Chicago Math Science Academy (CMSA) charter school of firing teacher for union organizing

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) group (Chicago ACTS, for Chicago Alliance of Charter Teachers and Staff) that is organizing Chicago charter schools issued a press release on August 4, 2010, charging that the administration . . .

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Chicago Teachers Union to hold House of Delegates meeting August 11 at Local 399 center

The Chicago Teachers Union's House of Delegates will be meeting on Wednesday, August 11, 2010, at the usual location, the center of Local 399 of the International Union of Operating Engineers on Grove St. in . . .

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'Going Green...' is administration's pretext for not distributing Proposed Budget for public review... Huberman stalling annual budget hearings, apparently refusing to provide 'Proposed Budget' to citizens for review

Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Ron Huberman has apparently ordered CPS officials to hold back copies of the Board of Education's "Proposed Budget" for as long as possible — and to make sure that . . .

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First time for CTU float in six years!... Chicago Teachers Union to have float in Bud Billiken Day parade August 14

For the first time since 2003, the Chicago Teachers Union will have a float and participate in a big way in the annual Bud Billiken Day Parade on Chicago's South Side. The 2010 parade will . . .

| Article |

Lies, damned lies, and Huberman's lies... How 'consultants' were 'cut' but really weren't and Chicago's corporate media went along with the scam

There must have been a rush of pride in the offices of Monique Bond, chief propagandist for Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Ron Huberman, and Jacqueline Heard, who carries the title "Press Secretary" up . . .

| Article |

Board of Education sets budget hearings for August 17, 18 and 19... Continues to refuse to provide budget to the public

The Chicago Board of Education released a "Proposed Budget 2010 - 2011" to the public on Tuesday, August 10, 2010, and scheduled the legally required budget hearings for August 17, 18, and 19. But the . . .

| Article |

CTU expects hearing on temporary restraining order this week

Two weeks after the Chicago Teachers Union filed a federal lawsuit charging that the huge firings and layoffs of tenured teachers were violations of the teachers' constitutional and contractual rights, the union is requesting a . . .

| Article |

New Organization Chart for CPS Shows that Educators Are No Longer Welcome in Huberman's Executive Ranks

One of the many major political changes in Chicago revealed in Ron Huberman's 2010 - 2011 proposed budget for Chicago's public schools is that trained professional educators are definitely not welcome in the executive ranks . . .

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Ontario Teachers Union calls for moratorium on high-stakes tests

While the debate over Chicago's public school budget grows more heated and Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis points out that the Chicago Board of Education is wasting more than $60 million per year on . . .

| Article |

Huberman and Daley priorities blasted by dozens of witnesses... More than 200 people attend first of three CPS budget hearings at Lane Tech on August 17, 2010

More than 200 teachers, parents, students, and community leaders turned out on the evening of August 17, 2010, for the first of three hearings on the Chicago Public Schools 2010-2011 budget at Lane Technical High . . .

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CTU federal lawsuit 'fast tracked' to September 15

The federal lawsuit filed by the Chicago Teachers Union has been 'fast tracked' to a September 15 hearing on a preliminary injunction, according to a press release issued by the CTU on August 18, 2010. . . .

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Large turnout at final hearing on 2010-2011 budget at Corliss High School August 19, 2010

By 7:15 p.m. on August 19, 2010, there were more than 150 people in the auditorium of Corliss High School, at 103rd and Cottage on Chicago's far South Side, as the testimony began in the . . .

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Substance Web traffic continues to increase with no limits in sight... 3,348,586 Total Hits between January 1, 2010 and August 19, 2010

Surpassing all previous highs, Web traffic to www.substancenews.new continued to increase in the summer of 2010 despite some who felt there would be a summer drop off from previous highs following the exciting Chicago Teachers . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Stoning failing teachers

Thanks to Ed Notes (New York City) and Jim Vail for the following:






[[from The Onion]] Who Will Cast the First Stone?, from Education Notes Online

. . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Civic Federation much more critical of CPS budget process than Sun-Times, Tribune report

After blacking out news of the greatest outpouring of testimony during the annual hearings on the Chicago Board of Education's $6.5 billion "Proposed Budget, 2010 - 2011," the Chicago Sun-Times finally got around to mentioning . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Giannoulias among major supporters of controversial Chicago charter school... Urban Prep's celebrity supporters to do another

Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias (candidate for Senate) and a handful of other celebrities will be helping raise additional cash for Chicago's controversial Urban Prep charter schools. According to the most recent issue of the . . .

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CPS continues to restrict public access to Board of Education agendas...

The Chicago Board of Education continued in August 2010 to restrict public access to the agendas for the monthly Board meetings. The Board continues to make a brief summary agenda available to the public and . . .

| Article |

Another corporate 'civic leader' joins the attack on teacher pensions... Civic Federation attacks Chicago Teachers Pension Fund and proves it's far from neutral 'non-partisan' by joining Civic Committee in ruling class targeting of defined benefit pension plans

The Civic Federation, which has long posed as a "non partisan" group that simply performs neutral budget analysis, showed its true corporate Chicago colors in August 2010, when it joined the rest of Chicago's corporate . . .

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CTU leads balloon-filled protest against CPS cuts in schools, teachers

Joined by parents, children, community leaders, and a very vocal group of high school students from Paul Robeson High School, the Chicago Teachers Union led a spirited protest against the Board of Education's cuts in . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: More 'deficit' fictionalizing by the 'Numbers Man' who was always really the English major writing stories... Ron Huberman without a Power Point is like a baby without a diaper

For the second time in less than two years, the seven members of the Chicago Board of Education (with only six present; Norman Bobins, the multi-millionaire banker and conservative ideologue, was absent) allowed themselves to . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: 50 foot women, giant ants in the Los Angeles sewers, and Arne Duncan's ridiculous approach to reality — The 'scaling up' fallacy.

Just about every mother knows that a family will rarely have to shop for elementary children's shoes at adult size 17 or 21, so most people who have actually taught in real classrooms with real . . .

| Article |

Chicago Board of Education continues to hold back 'Agenda of Action' following Board meetings

Despite repeated promises to make information more "transparent," the Chicago Board of Education and the administration of Chief Executive Officer Ron Huberman continue to hold back from the public information about actions that have been . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: June 2010 Substance website traffic breaks a previous record, despite five days of cyberscrewups

Traffic at www.substancenews.net during June 2010 was the highest in history (by the measure of "unique visitors") and near the highest levels in history — despite seriously reduced traffic to the site during the five . . .

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All Huberman's CTA and Police Department cronies are still in $100,000-per-year plus jobs following what corporate media reported as central office cuts

Virtually all of the more than 100 people that Ron Huberman hired into non-teaching and executive positions at the Chicago Public Schools central offices between January 2009, when he was appointed CEO by Mayor Daley, . . .

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CTU communications chief under Marilyn Stewart issues farewell to the media

CTU communications chief Rosemaria Genova issued a farewell statement to the media on June 30, 2010, the day before she left CTU and the newly elected leaders moved in. Genova's statement appears below exactly as . . .

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CTU President Karen Lewis responds to Governor Quinn's budget decisions

In a press release issued on the afternoon of July 1, 2010, newly elected Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis responded to the budget signed by Governor Patrick Quinn of Illinois. The CTU statement issued . . .

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EDITORIAL: Huberman's body count of veteran teachers rising, while media hypocrisy and ignorance in Chicago seem to know no limits

During the final week of June 2010 and the opening of July, the body count of veteran teachers who were being dumped from their jobs in Chicago — usually after decades, repeat DECADES — of . . .

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MEDIA WATCH ANALYSIS: NEA denounces Duncan, 'Race to the Top,' and Obama education 'reform' while New York Times continues propaganda for Obama, Duncan corporate 'school reform' programs

Less than a week before the smaller American Federation of Teachers (AFT) convenes for its bi-annual convention in Seattle, the larger (three million member) National Education Association (NEA) broke with recent tradition, denounced the Obama . . .

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AFT convention opens with critical words for Obama administration from national president Randi Weingarten

The national convention of the American Federation of Teachers began in Seattle during an unprecedented heat wave on July 8, 2010, with several convention openers and a lengthy speech from AFT national president Randi Weingarten . . .

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Diane Ravitch spoke to the NEA while the AFT was waiting for Bill Gates to shower millions on it

One of the most delightful chapters in Diane Ravitch's book is entitled "The Billionaire Boys Club." It details how Bill Gates (through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation), Eli Broad (through the Broad Foundation), and . . .

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Heated debate on charter school organizing punctures routines on second day of American Federation of Teachers convention

A heated and lengthy debate over how to organize the nation's charter schools and on the general approach of the 1.5 member American Federation of Teachers to the proliferation of charter schools interrupted what was . . .

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'Just because you're rich doesn't mean you're smart...' (Gerald Bracey)... How Bill Gates received a totalitarians' welcome to the AFT national convention on July 10, 2010 and the complete text of the speech he delivered

Despite the enormous efforts of national and local leaders of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) to prevent any protest against the speech by billionaire Bill Gates at the union's national convention, a significant protest . . .

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'There's a lot you don't know about this administration,' Obey said.... Obama and his White House staff view teacher bashing, privatization and union busting, as a political tactic that will pay off for Obama

Almost two years ago (precisely), at the national convention of the American Federation of Teachers at Chicago's Navy Pier in July 2008, then Democratic Party presidential candidate Barack Obama lied to America's teachers by telling . . .

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HISTORY AND THE SEATTLE GENERAL STRIKE OF 1919... AFT listens to a billionaire and ignores the history of Seattle's militant labor movement and the broader struggles of unions and workers in the Pacific Northwest

One of the most dramatic things about the decision of the leadership of the American Federation of Teachers under Randi Weingarten to invite billionaire privatizer and union-buster Bill Gates to address the convention of the . . .

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AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka hits hard on working class issues at AFT convention, while AFT leaders ignore Gates's exploitation of his own workers at Microsoft and at the Gates Foundation

While there was an intense focus among the delegates to the 2010 American Federation of Teachers convention on the appearance of billionaire Bill Gates, the majority of the speakers to the convention addressed the issues . . .

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Ed Notes brings '1984' appreciation to AFT Bill Gates event

New York's Ed Note Online said is best this morning: "Bill Gates at the AFT - 1984 The brilliant idea to use the famous 1984 Apple Super Bowl commercial, an intro to the Macintosh and . . .

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Retired Oakland principal and long-time Substance writer and friend Susan Harman roughed up by police during Oakland protest

Retired Oakland California public school principal and long-time Substance friend Susan Harman was roughed up and injured by Oakland police recently during a protest against police brutality following the conviction of an Oakland police officer . . .

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Arne Duncan's speech to the charter schools meeting in Chicago July 1, 2010

Below is the text of Arne Duncan's speech to the Chicago charter schools meeting on July 1, 2010.




Remarks by Secretary Arne Duncan to the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools, . . .

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IMPORTANT MEETINGS: 'Education Summit' Saturday (July 24). CORE meeting Monday (July 26). Chicago Board of Education meeting Wednesday (July 28).

The Chicago Teachers Union has announced a meeting to be held on Saturday (July 24) that is supposed to be what the union is calling a 'Save Our Schools Summit.' The 'Summit' is to be . . .

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Who is the new $154,000 'Chief Officer External Affairs and Partnerships' at CPS?... Huberman touts early 'opening of schools' while showcasing political cronyism at July 19 media event

Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Ron Huberman for the second year in a row staged a media event in July to feature the "opening" of schools in August — for the so-called "year-round" schools. . . .

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CTU President calls on Chicago Public Schools chief Ron Huberman to freeze new hires until all fired teachers are back to work

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis on Wednesday, July 21, 2010, called on Ron Huberman, Chief Executive Officer of Chicago's Public Schools, to freeze all new hiring until every veteran teacher currently out of work . . .

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VIDEO LINK HERE: AFT convention video by New York's Ed Notes shows how AFT leadership (Randi Weingarten) and Chicago came to agreement on school closings resolution

A video made by New York's Norm Scott for Ed Notes has been released, showing the working agreement between New York's United Federation of Teachers and the new leadership of the Chicago Teachers Union that . . .

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Chicago Teachers Union to hold major media briefing at 1:30 p.m. July 23, 2010

According to a press release put out by the Chicago Teachers Union on July 22, 2010, the CTU officers, attorneys, and others will hold a major media briefing at the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza adjacent . . .

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CTU leadership sits down for 'discussions' about this year's CPS cuts — bringing along a team of 40 teachers and other union members

Nearly 40 teachers and other members of the Chicago Teachers Union marched the short distance from the Merchandise Mart office of the CTU to the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza on the hot afternoon of July . . .

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Chicago Board of Education officials, lawyers tell union 'None of your business' when CTU leaders propose finding budget waste to offset firing of teachers and increase in high school class sizes

Representatives of the Chicago Board of Education and the Board's outside labor relations counsel, attorney James Franczek, basically told Chicago Teachers Union representatives to "buzz off" when union leaders offered to find waste and fraud . . .

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California protest leader Steve Miller to speak in Chicago Saturday, July 31, 2010

Steve Miller, a Bay Area activist who helped organize the one-day strike of Oakland California teachers in April, will be speaking in Chicago on Saturday, July 31, 2010, at the University of Illinois at Chicago. . . .

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CORE meeting develops array of projects, plans protest at Board of Education's July 28 meeting

Attended by more than 100 teachers, PSRPs, and supporters of CORE (Caucus of Rank and File Educators), the July 26, 2010 meeting of the political caucus that had just (July 1) won power in the . . .

| Article |

Daley, Huberman hold press conference to announce that high school test scores have gone 'up' again even though they haven't moved since the 21st Century began

If Chicago's schools were an intensive care ward, the nurses and other professionals would be watching a machine showing a patient had been flat lining while Big Nurse proclaimed — and everyone agreed — that the . . .

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Chicago Teachers Union President warns Board of Education to stop business-as-usual... Board continues business-as-usual at July 28, 2010 meeting

Behind the smiles, it was, to use a metaphor, knives out as Chicago Board of Education President Mary Richardson Lowry and Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Ron Huberman tried to smile while the newly . . .

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Runoff... How the votes finally tallied up from the May 21 Chicago Teachers Union election

LEAD STORY FROM PAGE ONE OF THE JUNE 2010 PRINT EDITION OF SUBSTANCE. At about 9:00 p.m. on May 24, 2010, officials of the American Arbitration Association distributed a three-page “Certification of Results” to canvassers . . .

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Substance ends May 2010 with 620,666 hits at website in one month!

The final "Site Stats" for the Substance website, www.substancenews.net, reached a total of 620,666 hits for the month of May 2010. The May 2010 Site Stats, which are compiled by Network Solutons, the Web hosting . . .

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Lewis and Stewart to debate at PUSH Saturday, June 5, at 10:00 a.m.

The two candidates for President of the Chicago Teachers Union, King High School Chemistry teacher Karen Lewis, of CORE, and incumbent Marilyn Stewart, of the UPC, will debate this Saturday, June 5, 2010, at Operation . . .

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UPC-STORY: After being caught lying to 27,000 CTU members in a May 19 mailing, Stewart faction slightly modifies its claim about Lisa Madigan's supposed Stewart endorsement

By June 1, 2010, the official version of history had once again been changed by Chicago Teachers Union President Marilyn Stewart's United Progressive Caucus. Whereas prior to the May 21 CTU election, Stewart claimed, in . . .

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June 2010 Print Edition of Substance will be sold June 2 at CTU House of Delegates meeting, Editorial endorses CORE in June 11 runoff

The June issue will be available for sale by the time of the CTU House of Delegates meeting at the headquarters of Local 399 of the Operating Engineers union beginning at 3:00 on June 2, . . .

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Huge CORE turnout June 2 at Connie's includes all three presidential candidates in support of Lewis, CORE

A huge turnout that ultimately included more than 150 people filled a large portion of Connie's Pizza on Archer Ave. following the June 2, 2010, meeting of the Chicago Teachers Union as CORE moved into . . .

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MARILYN STEWART'S UPC LIES CONTINUE: Disinformation leaflet distributed anonymously by UPC people June 2 and June 3... UPC continues disinformation campaign with exclusive focus now on CORE, Karen Lewis

Marilyn Stewart's United Progressive Caucus (UPC), which currently controls all of the elected offices and all but one or two of the seats on the Chicago Teachers Union executive board, has continued a disinformation policy . . .

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Citing 'Negotiations', Marilyn Stewart dodges PUSH debate scheduled for June 5 (this Saturday)

Citing what she called "negotiations," Chicago Teachers Union President Marilyn Stewart told the Rev. Jesse Jackson Jr. that she would not be attending a scheduled pre-election debate against her opponent in the June 11 runoff, . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Tribune blogger covers CPS from Brooklyn

In the middle of the hottest union election campaign and a rumor that the Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Board of Education are "renegotiating" the current CTU contract (which doesn't officially expire until 2012), the . . .

| Article |

MCCARTHYISM 2010 AS MARILYN STEWART'S UPC LIES CONTINUE: UPC adds a dose of addled McCarthyism as it continues its Race To The Bottom in campaign slanders, lies, and fabrications

With only five days to go before the most important union election in recent Chicago memory, Marilyn Stewart's United Progressive Caucus (UPC) added another piece of nonsense to its Hall of Shame by trying to . . .

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THE FINAL PUBLICITY STUNT? Marilyn Stewart assembles Chicago media on June 7 for a media event announcing a lawsuit that might be filed on June 8 on a legal theory that is, at best, controversial

At 1:10 p.m. on Monday, June 7, 2010, after sending out a press release to all Chicago media touting a major announcement about the union's response to Chicago Public Schools CEO Ron Huberman's proposed changes . . .

| Article |

June Substance still available for school sales, distribution… Contains complete May 21 school-by-school vote totals and major coverage of other issues

Approximately 4,000 copies of the June 2010 edition of Substance are still available for pick up at Substance and distribution of sale in Chicago’s public schools during the final three days before 27,000 Chicago Teachers . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Sun-Times owner is a union buster and privatization fan

So the Chicago Sun-Times decides that a publicity stunt with little prospect as a serious lawsuit and challenge to CPS policy is Page One "news" three days before the Chicago Teachers Union's runoff election? And . . .

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Marilyn's Merdy Mess... The UPC ends itself with the dirtiest campaign in the history of the Chicago Teachers Union

By the end of the day on June 11, 2010, the Chicago Teachers Union will have survived the nastiest election campaign in its history. Having been the recipient of some of the nastiness in one . . .

| Article |

CORE, led by Karen Lewis, wins CTU election in landslide, with Lewis defeating Marilyn Stewart 12,080 to 8,326

Karen Lewis has been elected president of the Chicago Teachers Union, and CORE has won the leadership of the 30,000-member CTU by a landslide. Lewis, a Martin Luther King Jr. High School Chemistry teacher, headed . . .

| Article |

Substance website faced another cyberattack on night of June 12 - 13, 2010...

The SubstanceNews website, www.substancenews.net, was faced with another cyberattack on the night of June 12 - June 13, 2010, but had cleaned up the mess by 8:00 a.m. on June 13. Visitors going to www.substancenews.net . . .

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UPC plays hardball to the end of vote count… Members don’t get school-by-school election results because of partisan vote on 'canvassing committee'

By the final hours of the vote count at the American Arbitration Association (225 N. Michigan Ave, Chicago), there was no doubt about who was winning the June 11 Chicago Teachers Union runoff election. The . . .

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Substance website back 'up' by dawn on June 15? Latest cyberattack lasted more than two days

By the early morning of June 15, 2010, a few hours before the demonstration against the special meeting of the Chicago Board of Education was scheduled to begin, www.substancenews.net was back up and running. Beginning . . .

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Will teachers picket UNO chief at City Club September 1?

On June 17, 2010, the City Club of Chicago announced that UNO chief Juan Rangal, who has been operating the non-union UNO charter schools in competition with both Chicago public schools and nearby Catholic schools . . .

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Will Arne Duncan blame teaches for all those dead whales and sea turtles too? A letter to the U.S. Department of Education

[Editor's note: The following was e-mailed to our old friend Peter Cunningham, who is now chief propagandists for the U.S. Department of Education and Arne Duncan, who is still U.S. Secretary of Education.]
. . .

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MEDIA WATCH: New York Times propaganda again spews out of 'Chicago News Cooperative' like sludge into the Gulf of Mexico

The New York Times continued its shoddy approach to Chicago reporting on June 18, 2010, when, three days after the special meeting of the Chicago Board of Education, it reported on the June 15, 2010, . . .

| Article |

California charter school operators indicted for stealing public funds

A June 10, 2010, press release from the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced the indictment of two charter school operators in the San Fernando Valley for with Embezzling Public Funds. As long as . . .

| Article |

June 19 Nettlehorst event highlights hypocrisy of Huberman's patronage administration... When CPS cuts your school's staff, just set up a not-for-profit and raise private money!

Less than five days after he assured the Chicago Board of Education and the public that he had trimmed central office administration at CPS to the bone and had been forced to borrow $800 million . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Joravsky's got the story right... Huberman masked central office patronage claiming cuts he never made

Somewhere the German philosopher Friederich Nietzsche wrote about the "eternal recurrance", and somebody else talked about "Plus ca change, plus la meme chose..." It seems the same be true about central office cuts in Chicago's . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: District 299 does it again... From soft pore cornography to Wal-Mart ads

A few weeks ago, some of us at Substance chortled when District 299, a blog sponsored by the Chicago Tribune, supposedly covering Chicago's public schools, carried an ad for some orgies — or something like it . . .

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Why test score dog and pony show today?... Daley, Huberman try to draw major media away from June 23 Chicago Board of Education meeting amid growing protests

Why would the Miracle Mayor who pioneered mayoral control and gave the USA Arne Duncan, now the U.S. Secretary of Education, want to distract the media from a meeting of his own hand-picked and carefully . . .

| Article |

Security obsessions become ridiculous at June 23, 2010 Board meeting

As CPS intensitifes the unwelcome mat to the public during its public meetings of its Board, the jokes grow. . . .

| Article |

Consultants and clout still costing Board millions while teachers are being cut

Every meeting of the Chicago Board of Education, members of the public (and the newly elected leaders of the Chicago Teachers Union) call on the Board to eliminate expensive consultants and patronage. Every meeting, Board . . .

| Article |

Board 'Withdrew' Huberman proposals to purchase $80 million in computers, hire Arne Duncan's sister (through the University of Chicago) to train principals... Spending could sneak back at a future Board meeting

While it was not unprecedented, it was unusual. When the members of the Chicago Board of Education resumed their recessed meeting on June 23, 2010, they noted that several items had been "withdrawn" from the . . .

| Article |

Gates ignores own history in keynoting charter schools meeting in Chicago

Less than four years after he abruptly abandoned what had been called the "small schools model" for urban school reform, Microsoft founder and billionaire Bill Gates touted charter schools as the next way to save . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: How many CTAs will it take before the rest of Chicago screams, too? Why is Chicago paying a former CTA underling of Ron Huberman $165,000 this year while teachers and others are facing massive cuts?

The question is not, any longer, whether Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley will expand the patronage for Ron Huberman, but how far he will let Huberman go — and why. Every week, while Huberman cynically . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: Performance Management chief can't get her own performances to start on time

The Chicago Board of Education didn't know it needed a $150,000-per-year “Chief Performance Management Officer” until it hired Ron Huberman from the Chicago Transit Authority, and then Huberman began hiring dozens of his old City . . .

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STRIKE! Oakland teachers shut down school system for one day April 29, despite scab substitute teachers who were paid $300 per day

Teachers in Oakland, California, organized by the Oakland Education Association, shut down the city's schools on April 29, despite the fact that the Oakland school board insisted the schools were "open" after advertising widely for . . .

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MAY DAY HISTORY: Chicago public school student walkouts helped galvanize March 10, 2006 immigrant rights march in