The March 2017 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.

Lois Weiner talked strategy at CTU delegate training... 'Confidence, creativity, and critique...'

The following is part of the speech given to Chicago Teachers Union delegates during the Delegates Training March 18, 2017 at the CTU headquarters by Lois Weiner, author, historian, and education activist. The speech was . . .


Republican loss on 'Trumpcare' can't be spun, and is now the opening for a civilized health system even for the United States of America...

Despite the feeble attempts by President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan to spin the major defeat they have suffered in their inability to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act (also know as . . .


Artist Thomas Lanigan Schmidt honored in New York by the American Academy of Arts and Letters...

While the Trump administration, aided and abetted in Illinois by Governor Bruce Rauner and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, continues to gut art and music programs in public schools, a lifelong artist (and brother of this . . .


BOOK REVIEW: Latest book on Chicago Teachers Union by two University of Illinois at Chicago professors contains noteworthy factual errors...

I received Bruno and Ashby’s book "The Fight for the Soul of Public Education" as part of a staff “Secret Santa” event at the school where I teach. A little of my background is probably . . .


President Donald Trump's 'wiretap' ... or 'tapp' ... charge against former President Barack Obama has now been rejected even by Republican leader House Speaker Paul Ryan...

On March 18, 2017, the America On Line (AOL) news service reported that Paul Ryan has become the highest ranking Republican leader to reject the claim by President Donald Trump that former President Barack Obama . . .


Trump's anti-Muslim travel ban blocked again by a federal court...

Hours before it was scheduled to go into effect, President Donald Trump's latest anti-Muslim travel ban was blocked by a federal court judge, this time in Hawaii. Once again the courts have held that Trump's . . .


Donald Trump paid minimum taxes in 2005, leaked tax return pages show...

Leaked pages from Donald Trump's 2005 federal income tax returns show that in that year he paid the minimum amount of federal income taxes on income of 150 million dollars. "The documents show Trump and . . .


Trumpcare will leave tens of thousands, including children, to suffer and die... Six ways Trumpcare makes healthcare worse... And one way to make It better...

Anyone who has been blessed to have had decent affordable health insurance during the past several years can easily point to the dozens of ways in which American medicine is very very good. But as . . .


MEDIA WATCH: The New York Times discovers that the University of Chicago's neighborhood of Hyde Park is really 'ghetto' and then spins a corporate school reform version of reality out of Kenwood High School...

Does anyone in Chicago seriously believe that the area around 51st and Lake Park is part of the "Englewood Ghetto"? Probably not, and that number would include any reporter who has covered Chicago for more . . .


Does the plan for a one-day CTU 'strike' on May 1 including a strike against the Special Olympics?... Or did somebody just fail to look at the calendar after the Polar Plunge was ended...

Is it possible that the leaders of the CTU did not look at the Special Olympics 2017 schedule when announcing a one-day "strike" for May 1, 2017? In the rush to have some sort of . . .


Former Byrd Bennett aide Tim Cawley named to top post in Chicago Catholic Schools...

While the city awaits the sentencing of former Chicago Public Schools "Chief Executive Officer" Barbara Byrd Bennett (who pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges in the SUPES case), another former administrator of CPS now has . . .


Catholic school teachers criticize Trump and DeVos for using a Catholic school for a publicity stunt...

The following communication was sent to President Donald Trump from Catholic school teachers who are part of the ACE program at Notre Dame University. The Catholic teachers object to the use of a Catholic school . . .


Parents expose breach of CPS data on special needs students

One of the most likely results of the privatization of key administrative work in any organization is that there will be leaks and further leaks available to anyone who wants to hack into the organization's . . .


NEWS ANALYSIS... Where's the 'accountability' now? Democratic Congressmen charge GOP consideration of Trump's lies and crimes is 'worse than Watergate'...

[Editor's Note: While we have tried to stick to local, Illinois, and national education news here at Substance, the recent revelations about Donald Trump's pre-election ties to Russia require a closer look at everything the . . .


EDITORIAL: It's time for a critical look at the way the leadership of the Chicago Teachers Union handled the contract negotiations and the last minute settlement that resulted in the worst contract since the CTU began collective bargaining in the late 1960s...

Since the leadership of the Chicago Teachers Union successfully pushed through a contract settlement within hours of the beginning of a planned strike (which would have begun the day after Columbus Day in October 2016), . . .


BOARDWATCH: March 2017 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education hears many complaints...

The Chicago Board of Education (BOE) held its regular monthly meeting on March 22, 2017, at its Chicago Public School (CPS) headquarters on Madison between State and Dearborn. A number of concerns expressed during Public . . .


Most CTU clinicians are opposing the proposed one day 'strike' despite heavy push from union officers... Only two out of 109 who returned survey are supporting the one-day 'strike'...

Chicago Teachers Union clinician members had a rousing meeting on March 21, 2017, with Maria Moreno, a former clinician who is now CTU Financial Secretary, speaking the CTU sound bites getting an earful! There were . . .


Majority of Chicago Teachers Union rank-and-file are saying a loud 'No!' to leadership's proposal for another one-day so-called 'strike'...

As the time narrows before the April meeting of the Chicago Teachers Union's 800-member House of Delegates, it has become clear that the majority of the union's 27,000 members (about 24,000 of whom are active . . .


Elected school board bill for Chicago passes out of House committee by overwhelming bi-partisan vote... Will Cullerton and Rahm Emanuel continue to block it in the Illinois Senate?...

The 2017 version of the bill that when it becomes law will give Chicago its first elected school board in history passed easily out of the Illinois House of Representatives committee on March 15, 2017, . . .


Elected school board bill begins another journey through the Illinois House of Representatives...

The bill that would give Chicago its first truly elected school board in history will begin its latest journey through the Illinois legislative process on March 15, when the bill, proposed by State Rep. Rob . . .


Despite what the Trump administration is claiming, human-caused Climate Change is real and a real danger... Kim Scipes speaking at Open University of the Left in Lincoln Park on March 18...

Anyone near DePaul University's Lincoln Park campus who wishes to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in a very interesting way should make sure to be at the Lincoln Park library next Saturday, March 18, 2017, for . . .


Despite officers' claims and manipulative pre-House of Delegates press conference, majority of CTU members are opposing another one day so-called 'strike'...

Despite claims by the officers of the Chicago Teachers Union that the one-day so-called "strike" on April 1, 2016 won great victories for the city's public schools and the union's members, calls by the union's . . .


BOARDWATCH: Since Arne Duncan left CPS in 2009, the administrations have been reduced by more than 200 percent!... Alternative facts are not just the spoutings of the Trumps... Latest CAFR shows that additional money to CPS has not been going to school teachers or PSRPs...

The main result of the decision by the leaders of the Chicago Teachers Union to eliminate their own independent analysis of the finances of Chicago Public Schools is that the most ridiculous stuff gets said . . .


Chicago Metro Retirees meeting hears from younger workers about local struggles and the need for progressive revenue solutions for Illinois...

The membership of the Chicago Metro Retirees section of the Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans, is increasing with more space needed for all the Intergenerational people attending meetings. Chairs were added at the February 27, . . .


Are schools getting enough substitute teachers every day?... Chicago Teachers Union staff ignores meeting of the union's Substitute Teacher committee?

Last week at the CTU retiree meeting, Pat Gerard made an announcement that there was going to be a meeting for Substitutes and someone from CPS Human Resource was coming to the meeting. As readers . . .


BOARDWATCH: The February 22, 2017 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education saw major criticisms of the leadership of Forrest Claypool...

Controversies were clear as the Chicago Board of Eduction met on February 22, 2017, for its monthly public meeting. As a result of the latest round of school-level cuts, the Board was criticized for making . . .


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)