The April 2015 Issue of Substance

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We were forced to suspend subscriptions to our print edition a year ago, and after wishing we could get back into print have finally admitted that we can only continue as an online publication. Therefore, readers can no longer subscribe to Substance on paper, but those who wish to donate will be thanked.

LABOR BEAT EMERGENCY: Loyola trying to screw Labor Express in favor of 'contempoary music'!... 'WLUW's Station Manager Sam Israel explained that the reason was to make the station

Is Loyola University trying to silence Chicago's Labor Express show after years? Chicago's only English language labor-oriented radio show, Labor Express, has been on WLUW-FM for some twenty years, but has now been suddenly told . . .


Garza thanks supporters for victory in 10th Ward... 'WE DID IT TOGETHER!'

[Editor's Note: Sue Garza, our CTU and CORE sister, won one of the tightest aldermanic races in Chicago history by defeating incumbent alderman John Pope, a Rahm Emanuel loyalist, by ten votes in the April . . .


MEDIA WATCH: Jon Stewart takes on the privileges of Wall Street's corruptions versus the harsh punishments of corrupt teachers... Daily Show now needs to come to Chicago and take on the Corruption CPS stories along with Rahm's obsession with 'Chiraq'....

Even though Jon Stewart is leaving the Daily Show (which some of us began watching when the middle Bush was President of the United States), he hasn't lost his edge in the years since the . . .


AFT joins in reforming 'Reform'?... An ESEA only corporations should love... and a Quiz for those who want to know more....

The original Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 provided a huge financial carrot for Southern education apartheid states to finally desegregate their schools, which was to finally come over a decade after the . . .


CPS LIES: Another year, another 'billion dollar deficit',... And another bunch of 'Magic Numbers' from CPS (and, as usual, the Chicago Tribune)... But this time, they assure us, 'It's the truth... honest it is! Honest!'...

Heard the one about the 'Billion Dollar Deficit'? Right on schedule, nearly three months before the Board will even be presenting its Proposed Budget for public review, the Chicago Public Schools has presented the public . . .


Garza wins in 10th Ward by 20 votes out of 11,630... Board of Election Commissioners makes final announcement April 21... recount likely....

The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners announced on April 21, 2015 that Sue Sadlowski Garza had won the alderman's race in the 10th Ward against John Pope by 20 votes, in one of the closest . . .


REVIEWS: “There’s somethin’ happenin’ here, What it is ain’t exactly clear”... Reviews of 'Latin America’s Radical Left: Challenges and Complexities of Political Power in the Twenty-first Century' and 'We Created Chavez: A People’s History, A People's History of the Venezuelan Revolution'...

“There’s somethin’ happenin’ here, What it is ain’t exactly clear” (Stephen Stills): A Review of Latin America’s Radical Left: Challenges and Complexities of Political Power in the Twenty-first Century, edited by Steve Ellner (Rowman and . . .


RAHMWATCH: And will Amy change her name to 'Eleanor' as part of the Rahm makeover?.... Rahm to spend April 21, 2015 in Washington, D.C. to do a 'fireside chat' (with 'no media availability') while two out-of-town CPS officials go before Chicago's federal grand jury...

The Rahmnews today is that Rahm's doing a fireside chat in D.C. while two of the top education officials hired by his school board go before a federal grand jury... Those of us who love . . .


Randi Weingarten: sleight-of-hand-artist.... Randi continues collaboration with corporate America on Tavis Smiley's show...

On April 13, 2015 American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten appeared on the Tavis Smiley show to have a conversation about the state of public education in the United States.

In the course . . .


Who Loves Barbara Byrd-Bennett more -- the American Federation of Teachers, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Harcourt School Publishers, or Jean-Claude Brizard?

[Editor's Note: The following article was published by Susan Ohanian three years ago, at the time that Chicago was first hiring Barbara Byrd Bennett. There was no excuse for anyone in Chicago to miss the . . .


CTU and others sponsor 'Hands Up, Don't Test' event next Friday (April 24, 2015) after schools at SEIU Health

More Than A Score, Haymarket Books and the Chicago Teachers Union are sponsoring a forum on the resistance to standardized testing on Friday, April 24, 2015, beginning at five in the afternoon. The event will . . .


Illinois Opt Out bill will prevent schools from forcing Opt Out students from 'Sit and Stare'.... Raise Your Hand and other supporters are asking people to call their senators and reps to support HB 306...

A major piece of legislation that may yet gather bi-partisan support in the Illinois General Assembly would establish a family's right to opt out their children from so-called "standardized" tests. The Opt Out bill, when . . .


LAWSUIT: Rousemary Vega and family want the lifetime 'ban' by the Board of Education lifted... Couple removed from CPS meeting, barred, sue claiming free speech rights have been violated by Vitale, Ruiz and the Board....

A Chicago couple who were dragged out of a Board of Education meetings on orders of Board President David Vitale and then barred from meetings for all eternity on Vitale's orders to Board security chief . . .


Michelle Smith wins re-election as alderman of the 43rd Ward after Vickery concedes ... After going ahead on the first day of counting of absentee ballots, Vickery fell behind in the count, which doesn't have to be completed until April 23...

Forty-third ward alderman Michelle Smith was declared the winner in one of the city's closest aldermanic races on April 14, 2015, after challenger Caroline Vickery conceded defeat. The announcement came following the beginning of the . . .


When did the Chicago Teachers Union vote to support a major speaker on 'standards' in support of the Common Core?.... April 14 event features an apologist for Common Core on the topic 'Equity and High Quality Education for Urban Students'....

Is the Chicago Teachers Union saying that those who oppose Common Core are racists who oppose educating "urban students"? That's at least one reading of an event being sponsored by the Chicago Teachers Union at . . .


MEDIA WATCH: Daily Show asks 'WTF Chicago?!' after Rahm buys another Chicago election victory despite the history of Rahm's first four years in power...

Anyone who may have stopped or slowed down watching The Daily Show the past couple of months (or years) needs to make one last stop there, as Jon Stewart brings us back to the good . . .


ELECTION LESSONS 2015... Electing Mayor Austerity... Both candidates accepted the 'austerity' narrative.... 'García has spent much of his time on the campaign trail lowering the expectations of working class voters...'

[We waited until after the April 7, 2015 voting for Chicago's mayor (and 18 aldermen) before we published the following. "Electing Mayor Austerity -- Lee Sustar explains why austerity will rule in Chicago, no matter . . .


OPT OUT NEWS: Obama and Emanuel children get the rich peoples' Opt Out privilege -- they go to schools that eschew standardized tests like Sidwell Friends and University of Chicago Lab School...

As Chicago moves towards the next rounds of confrontations over the Common Core, high stakes testing, and the rights of public school students and their families to Opt Out of so-called "standardized" tests, the body . . .


LESSONS OF CHICAGO'S 2015 ELECTION: Black Agenda Report exposes collaboration of Black political and community leaders with Emanuel...

[Editor's Note: Substance is once again reprinting a significant analysis by Bruce Dixon of Black Agenda Report. The analysis was published late on April 8, 2015, when the final results of the 2015 mayoral election . . .


LESSONS OF CHICAGO'S 2015 ELECTION: First lesson. Negative nonsense at a huge cost failed. The lesson of the 45th Ward...

By the time the votes were counted and the election results were in in the Chicago ward in which I live, my neighbor John Arena had won a decisive victory in his campaign for re-election . . .


Arena wins decisively in 45th Ward, thanks Chicago Teachers Union for its help... Rahm aldermen defeated in most races... Garza - Pope race still out with razor thin margin of fewer than ten votes....

While Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel won re-election by a decisive margin in the citywide elections, Emanuel's City Council opponents are still in power and promise to be even more active in the years ahead. In . . .


Atlanta test cheating, Lessons not yet learned... Test cheating inevitable result of high-stakes testing mania

[Editor's Note: The following was distributed by our friends at Fair Test as "Atlanta Test Cheating: Lessons not yet learned" By Robert A. Schaeffer, Public Education Director, National Center for Fair & Open Testing (Fair . . .


Philantropreneurs are really Plundrpreneurs... 'When the Feds bolster GatesBroadWalton handouts with RttT rules and CCSS tests and unions hold out their hands and grovel for a seat at the money table, kids suffer...'

[Editor's Note: Thanks to Susan Ohanian (www.susanohanian.org) for reminding us how propaganda often comes disguised as good works... With Chicago obsessed about Easter and Passover (and no one thinking about elections on this "Holy Saturday" . . .


Final Four Duke University player Jahlil Okafor gives shout out to Whitney Young on his way to the NBA...

Rahm Emanuel may have devoted his four years as Chicago's mayor to teacher bashing, union busting, and an unprecedented all-out attack privatization on the city's public schools, but at least some Chicago celebrities respect their . . .


AFT President comes to Chicago Teachers Union and explains growing movement against punitive 'school reform' as Washington D.C. continues to discuss the continuation of the ESEA law... earlier she had Tweeted in support of the PARCC Opt Out...

Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers, came to Chicago on April 1, 2015, to speak to the City Club at noon. Later in the afternoon, she arrived at the April meeting of . . .


Thompson Center Rally for Education Justice in Chicago takes place on the day the CTU and Board of Eduction began contract negotiations...

A significant public schools coalition rally took place on March 26, 2015, the day after the March meeting of the Chicago Board of Education. The rally was on the day the Chicago Teachers Union began . . .


Defender WVON poll shows Rahm in much closer race in African American community, but Rahm is still ahead...

A recent poll of African American voters commissioned by the Chicago Defender and WVON radio shows that Rahm Emanuel's standing in the Black Community has slipped a great deal from 2011, when he won overwhelmingly . . .


MEDIA WATCH: New York Times does another front page pitch for Rahm Emanuel under the guise of a 'news' story...

How many times has "America's Newspaper of Record" featured one candidate in a local mayoral race (outside of New York City) on its front page? Well, on March 31, The New York Times did it . . .


Big Get Out The Vote Rally at West Side church on Saturday

[Editor's Note: We received this and we are passing it along. George Schmidt, Editor, Substance].








Join Hundreds Of People From Around The City As We Honor The . . .


Randi Weingarten: Sleight of Hand Artist – Part 2...

“The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI) is one of the oldest and most influential of the pro-business right-wing think tanks. It promotes the advancement of free enterprise capitalism, and has been extremely . . .


BOARDWATCH: Chicago Board of Education meeting of April 22, 2015 highlighted by Board's continued support for its failed policies and people... Ruiz becomes 'Interim CEO' of CPS....Critics cut off after two minutes and then told 'Sit down and shut up!' by Vitale (as usual)....

Surprisingly, there were no protesters outside the new headquarters of the Chicago Board of Education at 42 West Madison Street before the regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, April 22, 2014. Nobody protested the excessive standardized . . .


BOARDWATCH: 'No Remorse' is how parents saw the Board members at the April 22, 2015 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education... Public Tells CPS: 'No Remorse and No Credibility'....Board members tell the public 'Sit down and shut up!' as usual....

“No Remorse” is how Ronald Jackson described the Board of Education on April 22, 2015. Jackson, who had been banned from the Board meetings for several months, had broken through the blacklist and spoke to . . .


OPT OUT Chicago: Leafletting continues about PARCC Opt Out at North River Elementary... 'many stopped to share their view that the tests they did take in March were unfair and too hard, and that they didn't see any point in taking them and didn't like it...'

A four-person team from Albany Park, North Park, and Mayfair Neighbors for Peace and Justice had a good time distributing leaflets in English and Spanish against the Common Core PARCC tests on April 23, 2015 . . .


CPS CORRUPTION: 'Single source' contracts (for some things) are no longer cool with Jesse and David... How the Board discover the 'Talented Ms. Saegert' (and about 60 other executives) since May and June 2011?... Not one of them was ever advertised in Education Week or the Sunday New York Times...

As Rahm Emanuel and his ilk have known and practices since his days as a fundraiser for Richard M. Daley (and then Bill Clinton), one of the tricks is to set the media agenda. And . . .


LABOR BEAT: Rally for education justice... '... the working class needed to prepare for the long haul...' also, the new IVAW art video...

"Jump Your Butt In! Rally for Education Justice" is the latest Labor Beat video. Now that we know we've got Rahm 2.0 back at City Hall, we can take a look at some of the . . .


CORRUPTION CPS: When the federal grand jury questions Sherry Ulery and Tracy Martin Thompson on April 21, 2015, the questions that won't be asked -- like why are they in Chicago -- will be as important to Chicago's public schools' future as the ones that will probably be asked...

The perp walks for criminal "educators" now move from Atlanta to Chicago. Two of the highest-paid officials in Chicago's public school system go before a federal grand jury on April 21, 2015, the public must . . .


CORRUPTION CPS: How the Board wasted more than a billion dollars -- and proved once again that the 'deficit' is a lie... Chicago schools vendor spending has gone wild -- a 122% Increase since 2004... so now the missing $1.4 billion budget deficit found...

In a page out of "Bizarro World", where everything is opposite of what it seems, Substance News research into Chicago Public Schools vendor spending has uncovered 1.4 billion dollars of increased spending. During the recent . . .


CORRUPTION CPS: SUPES deal was just one of many corrupt actions by the Board of Education as we protested on June 26, 2013... How much did the public know about the SUPES deal at the time of the June 2013 Chicago Board of Education meeting?

Like hundreds of others, I was at the June 26, 2013 Chicago Board of Education meeting where the $20 million SUPES contract was voted on. There was a protest that morning, but we did not . . .


CORRUPTION CPS: Why is CPS's cloying 'Mister Cover Up,' Jesse Ruiz, now 'Interim CEO'?... A look behind the eternal smiles of the Board's Vice President... and a closer look at how CPS voted, legally, to keep the public record secret despite Freedom of Information and Open Meetings laws...

"You lie!" The words, which broke out during a meeting of the Chicago Board of Education, were clear enough: "Jesse Ruiz! You lie!" They were spoken by a mother of four who came from the . . .


CORRUPTION CPS! Babrara Byrd Bennett's 2012 resume was filled with 'red flags'... Should CPS have hired Byrd Bennett with all these conflicts of interest? Didn't the Board of Education ask her to get out of these conflicts?

Chicago's public schools "Chief Executive Offier" Barbara Byrd-Bennett is now under federal investigation for improprieties because of her recommendation of a no bid $20 Million dollar contract with SUPES Training Academy. The no-bid contract was . . .


BBB IS OUT! Barbara Byrd Bennett goes on 'leave' after desperate try to fend off corruption charges or get public legal support... Jesse Ruiz to head CPS during interim...

The 'Chief Executive Officer' of the nation's third largest school system, Chicago's Barbara Byrd Bennett, has taken a leave of absence from the Chicago Public Schools, according to informed sources. Board of Eduction Vice President . . .


CORRUPTION CPS: Barbara Byrd Bennett gathered buddies from other states, many (but not all) vetted by the Broad Foundation, for executive jobs at CPS, with the approval of the 'Chicago' Board of Education... Most had no Illinois credentials, but the Board members did not care or bother to check...

This part of Substance's current series of stories on CORRUPTION CPS will feature the cronyism that brought dozens of "educators" to Chicago from out of state during the years since Rahm Emanuel appointed his Board . . .


Better late than never?... Federal 'investigation' of Chicago schools 'Chief Executive Officer' Barbara Byrd Bennett revealed... Years of conflicts of interest, cronyism and corruption by the CEO have been ignored by Chicago's corporate media while regularly reported in Substance...

Chicago Public Schools "Chief Executive Officer" Barbara Byrd-Bennett (BBB) is now under federal investigation for a $20 million dollar no bid contract to SUPES academy, according to reliable sources. The suburban-based "SUPES Academy" at the . . .


Feds reportedly investigating Barbara Byrd Bennett over controversial no-bid 'SUPES' contract to train principals....

It was only a week after Rahm Emanuel won re-election and suddenly Chicago's news media were filling up with stories that the federal government is investigating Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Barbara Byrd Bennett, . . .


MEDIA WATCH: Does Tribune story on school newspapers distort and oversimplify a reality?.. Why should students 'fundraise' to have a newspaper? Steinmetz Alumnus Hugh Hefner 'added that he hoped alumni of other high school papers across the country would be inspired to help their former schools...'

It was a pleasant surprise to turn to the front page of the April 14, 2015 Chicago Tribune and discover not only that the Tribune was covering the Steinmetz Star newspaper (of which I am . . .


Turning 'Collaboration' Into a bad word... The American Federation of Teachers and the American Enterprise Institute...'evaluating teachers by scores may actually reduce quality...'

[Editor’s Note: This post focuses on the collaboration of Randi Weingarten with corporate education reform. One basis of this charge can be found from a conference of the American Enterprise Institute held on February 5, . . .


'Students First' right wing lawsuit against agency fees hits LA teachers union, AFT and NEA... Rhee's 'Students First' continues union busting push, and the law firm handling the litigation is the same firm that did the Vergara lawsuit...

A major lawsuit has been filed against the United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) by a small group of teachers who claim that their union dues are going . . .


The Southeast Side's 10th Ward Unites with Sue Garza and Dumps Incumbent Rahm Emanuel lapdog John Pope... Pope refused to concede, but Garza is still ahead after a day of counting the absentee and provisional ballots from the 10th Ward at Langdon Neal's 'Board of Election Commissioners'...

The last thing Rahm Emanuel wants is Sue Sadlowski Garza on the Chicago City Council. But for all his millions of dollars, Rahm Emanuel doesn't live or vote in Chicago's gritty 10th Ward. And despite . . .


Sue Sadlowski Garza declares victory in 10th Ward aldermanic race against Rahm Emanuel's loyalist incumbent John Pope...

Jane Addams Elementary School counselor Sue Sadlowski Garza declared victory with all the votes counted after a long day and night on the evening of April 8, 2015. Garza told supporters she has an 89 . . .


Rahm Emanuel wins re-election as Mayor of Chicago with 56 percent of the vote in April 7, 2015 runoff

After an enormous six-week campaign in which he spent more than $10 million, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel won re-election on April 7, 2015, by a comfortable margin. At midnight on election night, Emanuel's challenger, Cook . . .


How corrupt is Rahm?... Call him 'Mayor One Percent', 'Mayor Coverup', or 'Mayor Privatization'... note the racism and corruption of Emanuel... Activists demand that Rahm disclose secret emails with millionaire donors... Election day in Chicago and 'The whole world is (again) watching!'...

[Editor's Note: As Chicago voters and activists began turning out for a very busy day on April 7, 2015 (election day in Chicago), the scandals involving the corruptions of incumbent Mayor Rahm Emanuel continue pouring . . .


Total paid to Neal & Leroy since Rahm's Board took office in May 2011 is at least $2.5 million... Chicago Election Commission Chief Langdon Neal's law firm received millions for vaguely defined 'legal work' from the Chicago Board of Education since Rahm Emanuel took office in May 2011....

If, as some expect, the vote totals for the April 7 mayoral election in Chicago are razor thin, the the question will arise who decides on the final vote count. As some know and many . . .


Standing room only for Sue Sadlowski Garza, Karen Lewis, Chuy Garcia, and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders... Jammed Steelworkers union hall as the 10th Ward turns out in celebration, determination to elect Garza alderman on April 7....

An announced rally in Chicago’s 10th Ward — in the Southeast corner of the city — filled to standing room only as people of the 10th Ward strongly turned out to support the aldermanic campaign . . .


MEDIA WATCH: ABC refuses to run a conservative group's ad that reports Rahm made $18 million on Wall Street for 'little or no work' in 'relationship banking'... Ad also notes Über links to Rahm's brother Ari...'Rahm makes money. Rahm's family makes money. Chicago gets screwed!'...

ABC News has taken upon itself to triple "fact check" an ad to run during the next four days about the corruption of Rahm Emanuel. Despite the fact that Rahm cashed in on his government . . .


Eleven Atlanta teachers and administrators have been found guilty in the major test cheating scandal... Former 'Superintendent of the Year' Beverly Hall died before the trial of her subordinates began....

Eleven of twelve Atlanta educators were convicted of racketeering after a lengthy trial following a state investigation that exposed massive cheating in Atlanta Public Schools under the administration of Beverly Hall. One of the defendants . . .


Chuy Garcia speaks to the Chicago City Club... 'Trickle down is actually not a new policy at City Hall. They’ve been at it for a quarter of a century...'

One week before the Chicago municipal election, mayoral candidate Jesus "Chuy" Garcia gave a significant speech to the City Club of Chicago. The speech outlined the major issues facing Chicago's voters between now and April . . .


Better Government Association sues Intrinsic charter schools under Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

Chicago's Better Government Association (BGA) has sued Intrinsic charter schools after the schools denied a BGA Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for information about the operations of the school. Below are, first, the BGA . . .


We were forced to suspend subscriptions to our print edition a year ago, and after wishing we could get back into print have finally admitted that we can only continue as an online publication. Therefore, readers can no longer subscribe to Substance on paper, but those who wish to donate will be thanked.

Contact Substance | Suggestions (email)