The May 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.

Don't take that pay cut, parents urge teachers at forum as union's rank-and-file outline how CPS is currently stalling on contract negotiations and 'Broke on Purpose'...

A community forum to discuss the upcoming contract between the Chicago Teachers Union and the Chicago Public Schools took place on May 19, 2015, evening at Luther Memorial Church, 2500 W. Wilson. The forum was . . .


Engineer chosen by the ruling class as a scapegoat... A neoliberal train wreck... Every Idustrial accident is different in its details, but depressingly similar in the cover-up.

[Editor's Note: Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter is one of the nation's most nasty supporters of corporate "school reform," charter expansion, and union busting privatization of public education in the "City of Brotherly Love." And so, . . .


Barack Obama, the Trojan Horse President...

[Editor's Note: The following article came to us on May 18, 2015, via Truthout. We are reprinting it here so that our readers can continue to share information regarding the hypocrisy and odiousness of the . . .


Payback time in Chicago?... State audit of Chicago community group a 'Political Witch Hunt,' critics say... Another look at the controversy surrounding a recently approved state audit of the Chicago-based Kenwood Oakland Community Organization. (KOCO)...

[Editor's note: Generally, Substance does not publish articles that have no byline. However, the article below is well-sourced and we have been asked by several readers to note this issue. The following article is worth . . .


RAHM WATCH: Chicago has six of the top high schools in Illinois as part of our real public schools... So why did Rahm Emanuel go to a charter school to tout some questionable numbers claiming school success and ignore the state's best high schools?...

It's only been three days since U.S. News and World Report listed its top high schools in the USA, and once again several Chicago selective enrollment public high schools made the lists. Citizens are unlikely . . .


Even The New York Times realized that Bill Gates had been completely wrong about 'small schools'... but then, when you are one of the world's richest men, you can simply buy into your next big -- even bigger -- mistake...

By the late 1990s, the gospel of corporate "school reform" promoted the notion of so-called "Small Schools." The claim was that the problem with America's high schools was singular -- they were too big. At . . .


Chicago's 49th Ward people reject Alderman Joe Moore's attempt to foist another charter school on the ward...

[Editor's Note: Most of those who've been following Chicago politics remember how Alderman Joe Moore, once known as a "progressive", double crossed the City Council's progressives back in the early days of the Progressive Caucus . . .


What Should Illinois Legislators Do Now Since They Cannot Break a Constitutional Contract with Retirees and Public Employees?

[Editor's Note: The following article was posted on his website by Glen Brown on TUESDAY, MAY 12, 2015, early. The title is "What Should Illinois Legislators Do Now Since They Cannot Break a Constitutional Contract . . .


MEDIA WATCH: Education Week misses Michelle Rhee's role in 'Students First' as ruling class panic spreads at expansion of Opt Out...

Following the decision by The New York Times to blame "teacher unions" for the massive Opt Out movement currently sweeping the USA against corporate school reform, personified by high-stakes testing, Education Week, which is completely . . .


RAUNER BEAT: Rauner's 'Right to Work' push aimed at public worker unions... Unions that have created programs to benefit all working people...

[Editor's Note: The following article came to us from Portside. We are sharing it to add perspective to that of our brothers and sisters in Chicago and Illinois on the plans of Bruce Rauner and . . .


Who is Dr. Sheri Miller-Williams, Chicago's 'deputy chief' for 'leadership development...'? Just another BBB Crony Creating Chaos... 'This next group of privatizers, are far more reactionary; they seek to completely dismantle public education as we know it...'

Dr. Sheri Miller-Williams, Chicago Public Schools 'Deputy Chief of Leadership and Teacher Professional Learning', has so far been what is best called a hidden crony privatizer. Her hiring was not subjected to a Board Report . . .


Adjuncts Fight for 15K at Loyola University Rally... 'Normally people think of faculty at universities as people who are in a different class than Walmart workers or fast food workers. But, actually, the workplace at universities is in a sense devolving...'

On April 15, 2015, the same day of the big nationwide "Fight for 15" rallies, a related event took place at the Loyola University campus in Chicago. But it wasn't about fast food workers. It . . .


MEDIA WATCH: Crain's Chicago Business finally notices how bad David Vitale's version of education management is (sort of)... and then tries to resurrect even worse by using Paul Vallas as a legitimate source instead of a discredited has-been...

Crain's Chicago Business seems to have noticed the members of the Chicago Board of Educaiton and is now paying a little more attention to them and their works. Although in general the approach has been . . .


Philadelphia -- Divide and Conquer 2015...'The splintering of Philadelphia’s labor movement is in contrast to 1973 when PFT struck for 7 ½ weeks, the union leadership was jailed for contempt without bail, but the strike was won when the city's unions readied a general strike!...'

Everyone concerned about corporate education reform and the influence of various venture “philanthropists” in their drive to privatize public schools should be following the Democratic primary on May 19th for the next mayor of Philadelphia. . . .


MEDIA WATCH: Chicago magazine raises key questions about the integrity of the members of the Chicago Board of Education while catching up on the SUPES - CELA - SYNESI - CPEF etc., etc., etc. scandal

At least most reports on the corruption scandals involving Barbara Byrd Bennett and members of her inner circle of six-figure bureaucrats are noting that the seven members of the Chicago Board of Education voted in . . .


AFL-CIO Report: The High Toll of Job Injuries and Deaths... After eight years of neglect and inaction under the Bush administration, progress in issuing new needed protections under the Obama administration has been slow and disappointing...'

In its expansive report, the AFL-CIO reports 4,585 U.S. workers were killed on the job and 50,000 died from occupational diseases in 2013. U.S. workers suffer from 7.6 million to 11.4 million injuries each year. . . .


How to Turn a Nightmare into a Fairy Tale - 40 Years Later... The Forgotten Power of the Vietnam Protest, 1965-1975...

[Editor's Note: The following article is one of hundreds that have been published on the anniversary of the final U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam (and the rest of "Indochina") this month. One of the legacies of . . .


Some critical notes on the NPE... NPE and the coalition of dissemblers...

[Editor's Note: The editors of Substance were not invited to make any presentations or participate in the recent conference of the "Network for Public Education" (NPE) in Chicago. This is despite the fact that long . . .


Fire the liar?... Should BBB be fired for falsification of a Sworn Residency Statement she filled out in November 2012 after the Board members voted to hire her as 'Chief Executive Officer'?

In October 2012, the Chicago Board of Education voted to hire Barbara Byrd Bennett as the school system's "Chief Executive Officer" following the dumping of Jean-Claude Brizard. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the . . .


Illinois House passes Opt Out bill by wide margin... '...a real grassroots win for parents around the state who have spent months calling and visiting legislators and going to Springfield...' The legislation now goes to the Senate before facing a threatened veto by Governor Rauner...

The Illinois House passed HB 306, the parent Opt Out bill sponsored by State Rep. Will Guzzardi and odzens of others, on May 19, 2015 by a decisive vote of 64 – 47. The bill . . .


Barbara Byrd Bennett claimed a 'homeowner-resident' tax break in Ohio for her Ohio home, while firing teachers and others for violating CPS 'Residency' rule... Board members routinely fire teachers exposed for 'residency fraud', but never asked whether their CEO was lying about her real home!...

Tax records from Ohio show that Chicago Public Schools "Chief Executive Officer" Barbara Byrd Bennett claimed a local tax reduction on her Ohio residence while enforcing rules against Chicago teachers and other CPS workers who . . .


Michelle Rhee's 'Students First' outfit is bankrolling a scab teacher 'free speech' lawsuit against California teachers unions...

Even as she tries to ignore the latest scandal opening up beneath her highly publicized alliance with Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, Michelle Rhee continues to push her privatization and anti-union agenda in California. Rhee's "Students . . .


Major push to restore Chicago teachers pension tax levy

As the official day for the close of the Illinois General Assembly approaches, the Chicago Teachers Union and other major organizations in Chicago are calling for a vote in favor of legislation that would restore . . .


RAHMWATCH: 'Steelworkers Park' dedication on May 9 had everything Rahm could want -- except actual steelworkers up font...

Chicago's mayor, fresh from his electoral victory, was dedicating an entity called "Steelworkers Park," while anubbing the most powerful steelworkers in the area -- including the woman who had just been elected alderman of the . . .


Rahm versus CTU again... '...The CTU, meanwhile, will be mobilizing its members for what already seems to be an inevitable second strike against Emanuel...'

[The following article originally appeared at Socialist Worker as ANALYSIS: LEE SUSTAR, Chicago teachers vs. Rahm: Round two... Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is demanding cutbacks and concessions, but teachers are pushing back amid a wider . . .


Shades of 1979 as another 'School Finance Authority' play begins?... Moody's drops Chicago's credit rating to 'junk', claiming it's the pensions' fault....

Challenging Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's claim that he was the leader best qualified to deal with the city's financial affairs, Moody's Investors Services, one of three rating agencies, downgraded the bond rating of the City . . .


CTU charge that Chicago Public Schools is 'Broke on Purpose' details challenge to official lies... Once again, CPS officials make 'billion dollar deficit' claims without providing any budget details to the public...

Every year since Rahm Emanuel announced that he was returning to Chicago to run for mayor (the announcement was made in October 2010), the Chicago Board of Education has claimed before its fiscal year began . . .


APEDUNG? Well, you know what we really mean... As John Oliver would put it, THEY WENT APESHIT! Peter Cunningham and his well financed blog, 'Education Post' now scramble unsuccessfully to blunt the hilarious demolition of corporate school reform and high-stakes testing on John Oliver's show...

While tens of thousands of people are tuning in to the brilliant refutation against the Testocracy by John Oliver every day since it was first aired on Oliver's popular show, Arne Duncan's corporate apologists have . . .


Supreme Court pension decision affirms Chicago Teachers Union charge that Chicago Public Schools became 'Broke on Purpose'... Years of bizarre waste on privatization schemes, TIF giveaways, and toxic swaps now land on the eve of the union contract expiration...

A close reading of the 35-page Illinois Supreme Court decision in the public worker pension case (announced on May 8, 2015) shows that the court agrees with the major charge made by the Chicago Teachers . . .


Illinois Supreme Court unanimously supports public worker pensions rights... Major defeat for Rauner's 'turnaround' plans and Pat Quinn's duplicity... Court notes that the problem is a 'manufactured crisis'...

The Illinois Supreme Court on May 8, 2015 unanimously upheld teacher and other public worker pension rights under the Illinois Constitution. The ruling was expected but still widely cheered by public workers and the unions. . . .


Beth Swanson and how CPS and City Hall manufactured the Chicago teachers 'pension crisis'... and have gotten away with the Big Lie about the 'billion dollar deficit' for seven or eight years despite every audit proving the deficit claim was a lie...

By the April 22, 2015 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education, the narrative about the so-called "crisis" facing Chicago Public Schools because of teacher pension obligations was virtually a matter of faith for most . . .


How Rahm Emanuel, the Pritzkers, and other ruling class movers and shakers worked behind-the-scenes with Beth Swanson to manufacture the 'pension crisis', push massive privatization (including SUPES), and bring Jean-Claude Brizard and Barbara Byrd Bennett to Chicago at taxpayers's expense....

One of the many mysteries of recent years in the nation's third largest school system is how and why the members of the Board of Education located two out-of-town school administrators, hired them to lead . . .


OPT OUT NEWS: John Oliver brings 18 minutes of fun to the testing debate this month...

Since my two elementary-age sons began elementary school, they have been opting out of the tests. This scanned the years of the DIBELS, ISAT, and PARCC tests. During recent months, both Sam (now in eight . . .


Seventh outside Job for Barbara Byrd-Bennett: How many 'strikes' before she's 'Out!'? ERDI is another conflict of interest and 'Ethics' violation... but the Board members who voted in favor of all those expensive deals continue paying Byrd Bennett while claiming that 'billion dollar deficit'

Anyone who has ever faced "justice" according to the Chicago Board of Education knows that the Board is more than willing to suspend and fire teachers and others quickly. Many teachers and a handful of . . .


REACH grief! REACH grief: Was CPS’S REACH Students anti-demoralization PD misinterpreted …?

SATIRE: trenchant wit, irony, or sarcasm used for the purpose of exposing and discrediting vice or folly. BACKGROUND Substance has (finally) obtained copies of both documents (below) related to a Chicago Public Schools (CPS) 2013-2014 . . .


CORRUPTION CPS: Why is the CPS 'Chief Administrative Officer' Tim Cawley still in power? Why was the former Motorola executive ever a major city school administrator? A closer look at how the seven members of the Chicago Board of Education script and implement their corruption...

Since 2011, the so-called "Chief Administrative Officer" of the nation's third largest school system, Tim Cawley, has been behind many -- if not most -- of the most egregious attacks on public education in Chicago. . . .


President Obama is pushing charter schools... 'Overall, Congress has spent $3,352,841,281 to create and expand charter schools...' Who is watching their 'performance'...

While most attention to the federal government's education plans has focused on the renewal of the Elementary Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and the reduction, according to some, of the penalties of "No Child Left Behind," . . .


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)