All articles by George Schmidt

BOOK REVIEW: Building Global Labor Solidarity in a Time of Accelerating Globalization (By Kim Scipes)...

During the time I've been studying Kim Scipes's latest book, Building Global Labor Solidarity in a Time of Accelerating Globalization, the biggest strike in human history took place. In India. There was at least one . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Bill Gates gets plaudits for his 'contributions' to education by uncritical media adulators... The Guardian is gulled by Gates's propaganda machine...

It's been said for as long as there have been economic classes in society that money buys influence, and today, in 2016, a billionaire who can't get good press is doing something almost Trumpian. And . . .

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BOOK REVIEW: If it's one election book you have the time to read, it must be 'The Making of Donald Trump' by David Cay Johnston...

The history of the publication of the book itself could be the subject of another book, maybe one to be called "Blindsided: How America's publishing leaders missed the onrushing of the Trump candidacy." A recent . . .

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TRUMPWACHT: Speaking about candidates' 'health,' Trump really is a fat cat... and anyone can get all the Trumpian trumpeting and other nonsense by doing the Mark of the Beast '666' solutions...

Who is the healthier candidate for President of the United States? With less than a week before the first of three presidential debates, the Donald Trump organizations have been escalating their feud with reality . . .

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Chicago Teachers Union gives 'another overwhelming Yes' in strike vote...

It was Monday, September 26, 2016, before the Chicago Teachers Union officially announced that the latest strike authorization vote was "Yes". Now the union's House of Delegates (of which this reporter is a member) will . . .

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RAHMWATCH 2016: Chicago's mayor is clueless on September 26, 2016, as Republican candidate slanders the city and teachers vote overwhelmingly for another strike...

In an episode that might be called "Clueless in Chicago," on the day that the Republican candidate for President of the United States declared that Chicago is a "war zone" (interesting, from a guy who . . .

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CTU House of Delegates sets October 11 strike date if no contract is reached...

The Chicago Teachers Union will lead the second strike in five years beginning October 11, 2016 if no acceptable contract is reached by that date. The strike date was set by a vote of the . . .

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TRUMPWACHT: Donald Trump surveys his 'supporters' but doesn't ask about his racism, sexism or overall creepiness... 20-question on-line email survey (published here) shows Trump plans to be even more obnoxious in attacking Hillary Clinton in next debates...

In an obvious panic after the disaster of his showing in the first debate, Donald Trump has actually taken to asking his supporters in a lengthy survey how he should play the second debate. Note . . .

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The talk is about 'accountability,' but at the bargaining table only a couple of CTU officers and the lawyers are really doing the bargaining as the contract stalling begins its second year...

It's now been more than a year since the Chicago Teachers Union's contract expired and a faction of the union leadership declared, through the words of union president Karen Lewis, that the union would continue . . .

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Chicago Public Schools releases 2016 - 2017 budget in 235 page PDF format, schedules hearings for August 17, August 18 and August 19...

The Chicago Board of Education has released its proposed budget for the 2016 - 2017 school year, six weeks into the fiscal year (which began July 1). Hearings are scheduled on August 17, 18, and . . .

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PFT denounces Claypool's budget attacks on Chicago teachers, CTU...

Parents 4 Teachers, the growing Chicago organization that has been one of the leaders in community organizing for better public schools, issued its latest manifesto on April 16, 2016, urging people to participate in the . . .

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Substance back 'up' after a week off the grid, and then technical difficulties caused by, of all things, a meteor shower and the Northern Lights...

By August 16, 2016, Substance was back on the Internet, after a week "off the grid" and an additional two days off the Internet, apparently because of the recent meteor shower and the Northern Lights . . .

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Board plays 'bait and switch' on timing of capital budget hearing at Chicago Teacher Academy, while also avoiding discussion of a real capital improvement plan

Despite public announcements that the Chicago Board of Education's August 17, 2016 budget hearings, the Board of Education's budget team began the actual hearings early. One result was that a number of reporters, including Substance . . .

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Outlining the failure of neoliberalism, Joseph Stiglitz now outlines how the dominant ideology of neo-capitalism since the 1980s is being abandoned in favor of a new socialism, and a 'neo-Keynesianism'...

The growing critique of monopoly capitalism that has swept the USA in recent years is part of an international understanding that so-called "neoliberalism" (actually, the latest jargon defending rapacious capitalism) is either dead or dying. . . .

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TRUMPWACHT: Donald Trump... Trump's 'empire' a confusing maze of debts and 'opaque ties'... New York Times reports

The New York Times is reporting (on line on August 20 and on the front page of the print edition, to which we subscribe, on August 21) on what it calls the 'maze' of Donald . . .

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Access Living challenges CPS Proposed Budget, elaborating on CPS's attacks on the rights of students with disabilities under so-called 'Student Based Budgeting'...

Despite the refusal of the current leaders of the Chicago Teachers Union to utilize the union's vast resources to do a comprehensive analysis of the Chicago Board of Education's "Proposed Budget 2016 - 2017," other . . .

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Chicago Teachers Union details impact of outsourcing on schools in new report issued August 22, 2016...

Two days before the Chicago Board of Eduction is scheduled to meet (and approve its Proposed Budget for 2016 - 2017), the Chicago Teachers Union issued a detailed research report criticizing the outsourcing of major . . .

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Union busting charter management company receiving special treatment from Detroit leaders, Michigan governor... Charter school closes in Detroit two weeks before school year begins...

Another more-hype-than-reality charter school just closed in Detroit (which among other things gave Chicago Public Schools Barbara Byrd Bennett and some other educational leaders) two weeks before school is scheduled to begin. "New Paradigm" charter . . .

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Will Hillary Clinton also be at the AFT convention?

As July 2016 began and the National Education Association (NEA) announced that the presumptive Democratic Party nominee for President of the United States, Hillary Clinton, would be speaking to the national convention of the National . . .

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Will an organized opposition to the so-called 'Progressive Caucus' finally emerge at this month's AFT convention?

As the critique of the policies of the leadership of the 1.6 million member American Federation of Teachers (AFT) continues to grow across the USA, a question arises on the eve of the union's national . . .

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Substance back issues search shows how the NEA 'RA' was pushing reactionary union-busting corporate 'school reform' during Year One of the Obama administration

As another convention of the Democratic Party looms and another reactionary "reformer" is poised to get the Democratic Party nomination for President of the United States, it's worth re-reading how Substance reported on the July . . .

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Hillary booed at NEA convention over favorable reference to charter schools...

Hillary Clinton was booed at the National Education Association (NEA) convention on July 5, 2016 when she tried to make a favorable reference to charter schools. The booing, which has not been widely reported, came . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Now that the PARCC is being replaced by the SAT and the ACT (and EPAS) by the SAT, how many reporters are reporting how many sure-fire testing programs have been utilized by CPS since corporate reform began with Paul Vallas nearly 30 years ago?

It's actually an old story -- unless Chicago's corporate press is afflicted with amnesia. Which is apparently is, even though the Tribune reporter covering this particular story knows better of the history. But, here we . . .

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Lead total in CPS schools is now up to 99 schools, and high schools haven't even been tested...

[Editor's Note: We are reprinting the following article published on July 25, 2016 by DNA Info Chicago. Some officials at the Chicago Teachers Union are discouraging others from researching these topics. George N. Schmidt, Editor, . . .

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Bernie Sanders's convention speech endorsing Hillary Clinton... 'Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding president and I am proud to stand with her here tonight...'

[Editor's Note: The following is the exact text of the speech delivered to the Democratic National Convention on July 25, 2016 by Senator Bernie Sanders. We are publishing it in full here at Substance for . . .

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Latest Latin King indictment raises questions about why Chicago is now in its fourth generation of the 'new' Chicago street gangs -- and the gangs have grown more powerful than ever...

It's not fashionable in 2016 to talk from the 'Left,' as I am about to do, about the fact that Chicago's massive street gangs are now in their fourth or fifth generation since they consolidated . . .

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Union leaders begin plans to end Bruce Rauner's time as Illinois governor ... and it won't be by supporting an anti-union duo like 'Quinn - Vallas'...

While the political news nationally was from the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia, in Illinois union leaders were planning to make billionaire Bruce Rauner a one-term governor. And it won't be by repeating the . . .

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Donald Trump and Bruce Rauner, both billionaires, both philosophical soul brothers... Rauner's hypocrisy exposed when reporters ask him what 'crumbling prison' Chicago schools he had visited -- the answer: Two...

While Donald Trump's racist hypocrisy has dominated the national discussion about the state of the Republican Party, Illinois has been getting a dose of the same level of racism, ideological monstrosity, and hypocrisy through the . . .

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'Atlas Shrugged' free books and essay contest, plus other inducements, still used to lure schools into the Ayn Rand web especially when teachers can't get real books for the kids in austerity-plagued public school districts...

Among the other complaints voiced by protesting Chicago high school students in June 2016 was about books: A Curie High School student told the crowd locked out outside the Thompson Center on June 9 that . . .

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Swaps to cost Illinois another huge amount...

The cost of so-called "toxic swaps" continues to hurt both Chicago and Illinois, while the growing grassroots movement to end the damage caused by the swaps (actually, variable interest rate bond) to Chicago and Illinois. . . .

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AFT delegates face serious challenges, as 'New Democrats' continue their thrusts behind Hillary Clinton, while Bernie Sanders continues to demand a truly new party of the people...

Despite the triumphalist claims by supporters of Hillary Clinton that the results of the Democratic Party primaries and the upcoming Democratic Convention are decided, every teacher (including this reporter) who will be a delegate to . . .

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Top CPS officials trying to use principal resignations to spin latest attack on Chicago teacher pensions... 'Our principals and teachers are leaving for jobs where their district doesn't have to take hundreds of millions of dollars out of the classroom to fund their pensions...' Jackson claimed...

The "Chief Education Officer" of the nation's third largest school system continues trying to use the school system's financial problems to attack the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund and the city's more than 25,000 retired teachers . . .

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'Broke on Purpose or Flat contract on purpose...'? Part One... Maybe that should be the theme of the Chicago Teachers Union's June 22 theatricals... A factual study of CPS finances resumes on June 23 beginning at four in the afternoon...

Once again, this time without calling it a "strike," the leaders of the Chicago Teachers Union are preparing another spectacle, a kind of theatrical event. A few weeks earlier, once again, the president of the . . .

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Scab 'chess coach' expelled from Chicago Teachers Union despite publicity from Chicago's corporate media -- and possible support from Obama...

Question: How many teachers, coaches, and sponsors of extra curricular activities in Chicago's more than 500 public schools honored picket lines and participated in the April 1, 2016 one-day strike and day of action? Answer: . . .

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Hillary Clinton to speak at the NEA convention. Will she also speak at the AFT convention later in the month?

The prospective presidential nominee of the Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton, will speak at the "Representative Assembly" ("RA"), the convention of the National Education Association, next week. The NEA announced the Clinton speech in a press . . .

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UNION NEWS: Will CTU leaders really be 'transparent' at the union's monthly House of Delegates meeting... In addition to the CTU budget, members have been waiting more than a year for all the details on PAC and 'Foundation' spending...

As more and more delegates and members of the Chicago Teachers Union ask how the union is spending their dues money, which has now reached more than $1,100 per year for teacher members (and the . . .

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Continued push for 'financial transaction tax'... with hearing having been held in Springfield and scheduled for June 7 in Chicago!

While the news reports once again told the Chicago Teachers Union's 28,000 members and the public that CTU President Karen Lewis was again preparing to accept a losing contract with the Chicago Board of Education, . . .

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Lines drawn as unions and communities challenge the priorities of the ruling class with Chicago teachers' strike and dozens of actions across the city...

As April 1, 2016 dawned across Chicago and Illinois, the latest challenge to the austerity version of economics in the world's wealthiest nation was beginning. Since the 1970s, when Substance first began documenting it, and . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Zorn aptly characterizes Bruce Rauner as the 'foundering ideologue...' he is, but misses one piece of the context -- the 'education policy' nonsense (and Paul Vallas) that led to Pat Quinn's political suicide...

Bruce Rauner: Donald Trump without the bombastic Tweets? Paul Ryan -- but with the Aryn Rand nonsense hidden from most of the public? It's rare that the Chicago Tribune editorial and Op Ed pages give . . .

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Chicago Teachers Union and thousands of supporters heading to Springfield in support of progressive income tax and additional funding for schools... Teachers across the city laugh at the biased report of the 'Fact Finder' and the nonsense being preached by CPS's two 'EduChiefs'...

As thousands of Chicago Teachers Union members and supporters prepare for a day in the Illinois state capital, even normally conservative pundits were beginning to realize that both city and state solutions are necessary to . . .

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Troy LaRaviere still eligible to run for president of Chicago Principals and Administrators Association (CPAA) despite attacks... 'We need to stay focused on the corrupt fiscal management and incompetent education policy of our district and our city' LaRaviere told supporters...

Blaine Elementary School principal Troy LaRavier is still eligible to be elected President of the influential (and potenially powerful) Chicago Principals and Administrators Association (CPAA) despite efforts by the current administration of Chicago Public Schools . . .

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Massive turn outs in protest against CPS removal of Troy LaRaviere, both inside and outside Blaine Elementary School, on April 25... CPS CEO Forrest Claypool ducks the hearing, and Mayor Emanuel denies he had anything to do with the attack on Chicago's most outspoken principal...

More than 500 people filled the auditorium at Chicago's Blaine Elementary School on the evening of April 25, 2016 to protest against the removal of the school's principal, Troy LaRaviere, by the administration of Chicago . . .

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LaRaviere still on CPAA ballot, now confirmed by Catalyst... Speculation that Emanuel wanted LaRaviere out of the race still denied... Tribune publishes Op Ed by a 'parent' against LaRaviere...

When the Board of Education announced during Spring vacation that Blaine Elementary School principal Troy LaRaviere was being moved out of the school -- no explanation -- many speculated that the reason was that Forrest . . .

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Elected School Board legislation for Chicago moving overwhelmingly through the General Assembly with a veto-proof majority if Gov. Rauner continues to try his 'bankruptcy' ploy...'This has nothing to do with Rahm Emanuel,' Rep. Rob Martwick said. 'This is a movement.'....

The overwhelming vote in the Illinois House of Representtatives on March 3, 2016, indicates that supporters of Chicago's elected school board have both the momentum and the votes to pass the legislation and to override . . .

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Chicago Teachers Union donated more than $90,000 to the Jay Travis election campaign... No record of most of those donations ever being submitted to the House of Delegates for approval...

According to the most recent contributions listings from the Illinois elections board, the Chicago Teachers Union PAC (Political Action Committee) gave at least $90,000 to the election campaign of Jay Travis. Travis lost to incumbent . . .

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MATEWAN and other movies we should be studying... Union movies for review and viewing during the latest class struggles in Chicago... Matewan, Salt of the Earth, Norma Ray and The Harlan County Wars...

Union organizing movies are as old as Hollywood and as new as April 1, 2016, in Chicago. As Chicago teachers and other school workers face their first "furlough" day as Mayor Rahm Emanuel's "Happy Easter" . . .

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BOARDWATCH: Parents, teachers and children demand that CPS kick McDonald's and other junk food out of the public schools...

Organized by staff of the Chicago Teachers Union and "Corporate Accountability International," a group protested the massive presence of the McDonald's fast food chain in Chicago's public schools. Notes and the group's press release are . . .

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OPT OUT NEWS: One picture a day to show what a thousand words can't do

Every day for the next three weeks, Substance will be publishing the one picture that seems to us to be telling the Chicago Opt Out story better than anyone's "thousand words." So here is the . . .

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MEDIA WATCH: Chicago BULLSHIT -- not 'Chicago BULL' -- should be the headline on the Time magazine cover hyping the propaganda piece on Rahm Emanuel

The cover of the "current" (June 10, 2013) issue of Time magazine shows Mayor Rahm Emanuel standing at an "L" stop looking cool and claims that Rahm is in trouble for fighting the city's twin . . .

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How many 'waiting lists' can one sophist dance on the head of a fictional pen?... Charter's Big Lies debunked at Catalyst debate

It's been really a pleasure to re-read and watch, thanks to Catalyst, the "debate" over charter schools held last week. The participants -- Jackson Potter from the CTU, Charles Payne, from the University of Chicago, . . .

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LABOR DAY SINGALONG: Solidarity Forever... The words of the song for those who need to learn all of them in 2012

[Below are the four ‘main’ verses of the union song “Solidarity Forever”. Two other verses from the “original” have been deleted. These are the ones usually sung. The original was first published in the IWW . . .

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Chicago strike begins

After a quarter century, it was finally scheduled to begin at midnight, and it did with a handful of pickets in front of the headquarters of the nation's third largest school district four blocks south . . .

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NOTICE: Substance's Web Editions will be 'Gone Fishing' until August 19

And as we go to meditate on the joys and pleasures of the 21st Century, we're reminded of something George once taught our students back in the 20th Century, before he was blacklisted by CPS . . .

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Pinkney article needs approval

What Will it Take To Bring Obama Home?
Bringing Obama 'Home'? Get REAL!
Moving Left – Part 5
By Larry Pinkney
BlackCommentator.com Editorial Board





"In America, anyone . . .

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'BOOM!' That wasn't a bomb, that was a highly audible unauthorized science experiment (and therefore you can't make us evacuate this building)...

When some teachers at the huge Chicago Vocational Career Academy (CVCA) heard what they thought was an explosion at the school, they prepared to evacuate the building. CPS security procedures require a building's evacuation when . . .

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