The May 2016 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.

BOARDWATCH: CTU official challenges CPS on privatization of custodial services...'The survey clearly shows the conditions in the schools are deplorable. It identifies that since Aramark was awarded the contract to clean the buildings the cleanliness has declined drastically...'

[Editor's Note. The following remarks were prepared for delivery to the Chicago Board of Education's May 25, 2016 meeting by Annette Rizzo, who is the coordinator for health and safety at the Chicago Teachers Union. . . .


Fraudulent LSC voting at Juarez High School challenged... 'We are challenging an election process that was tainted from the beginning in favor of candidates close to the principal and to Alderman [Danny] Solis...'

A hearing to rule on allegations of vote fraud and manipulation of the Local School Council (LSC) election for Juarez High School was held at Chicago Public School (CPS) headquarters at 42 W. Madison, on . . .


Some Gaps in 'Fixing the Achievement Gap'...

Ronald Brownstein published the same article in two major publications: On May 19, “The Challenge of Educational Inequality” appeared in the Atlantic and one day later “Fixing the achievement gaps” appeared in the Los Angeles . . .


MEDIA WATCH: Sun-Times and Sneed get the fact crooked from a crooked source on the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association (CPAA) memberships... CPAA is now increasing memberships as more see reasons to stand up and speak out...

Everyone knows that a gossip columnist who has been promoting the likes of Michael Pfleger for decades -- and never asking why "violence" has been increasing despite all the sermons and prattling -- can't be . . .


Alderman notes National Police Week and notes that Chicago's debt -- including odd 'instruments' -- is subject to greater scrutiny... What has CTU to say?

The alderman of the 45th Ward, John Arena, has noted in his latest bulletin, that this is National Police Week. Alderman Arena, one of the most consistent supporters of the Chicago Teachers Union, issued the . . .


Chicago Principals and Administrators Association (CPAA) membership declined as the organization surrendered power to CPS administrations since the 1990s...

The outgoing President of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association, Clarice Berry, may have told some reporters that she was embarrassed by the conflicts between her soon-to-be successor, Troy LaRaviere and schools and city administrators, . . .


Zopp's back... Rahm sustains the 'community leader' who helped close 50 schools and backed every corrupt move of Barbara Byrd Bennett while a Board of Education member from 2011 to 2015...

The City of Chicago may be broke, and the Chicago Board of Education may be more broke, but neither fact stopped Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel from appointing one of his most loyal cronies to the . . .


Teach for America booted out of San Francisco's real public schools... Corporate America's attack on veteran inner city teachers facing more and more close scrutiny despite TFA's media hype...

Despite heavy subsidies from America's billionaires, massive press coverage from the corporate media, and regular support from the President of the United States (and members of his Cabinet), the controversial Teach for America program is . . .


BOARDWATCH: CPS 'Sports Administration' department did a little perjury a few years back... 'In January 2009, CPS settled the case for $500,000...' after the Marshall High School boys basketball coach was fired for complaining that the girls team got more resources!...

It was the year 2008, during the last term of Marilyn Stewart as President of the Chicago Teachers Union, and Substance reported a story "CPS Sports Administration Retaliation Backfires and Administrator Charged with Perjury." Some . . .


Will the CTU finally begin supporting Chicago's outspoken principal and go factual against privatization?... LaRaviere, Arena and Ritter to speak at LSC 'rally' Thursday, May 12, at Schurz High School...

What looks like a simple meeting organized by the local alderman and featuring some of the best informed people in Chicago to discuss the current state of things in the city's public schools may turn . . .


Rauner loses... CPS is not 'bankrupt', reports ISBE investigation... CPS lies about those 'billion dollar deficit(s)' have been going on for the last five 'Chief Executive Officer(s)'...

Question: Who was the first "Chief Executive Officer" of the nation's third largest school system who proclaimed, with no evidence but some creatively arranged accounting, that CPS was facing a "billion dollar deficit"?

. . .


UNION NEWS: How many secret agendas and CPS financial talking points will the current leadership put out to the House of Delegates before someone asks more questions...

For the second month in a row, the most important information that was to be brought before the 800 elected members of the Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates (HOD) was not on the agenda . . .


CPAA growing in membership after long period of stagnation as important election looms... LaRaviere 'setup' rejected by administrators' organization's rank and file...

The attempt by the top administrators of Chicago's public schools, all of whom were appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, to silence Blaine Elementary School principal Troy La Raviere has failed. Despite the fact that "Chief . . .


May Day protests in Chicago continue struggle that began here...

Union and community activists rallied outside of the Trump Tower in downtown Chicago on Sunday, May 1, 2016, to push for changes in the corrupt capitalist system represented by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. The . . .


How much has the decades long policy of undermining neighborhood high schools hurt Chicago?... 'Chicago has a poor track record of delivering for its weakest students but this latest chapter, arguably an inevitable and predictable consequence of school choice, may be a new low...'

While the city waits to learn if the State of Illinois will finally increase revenues for the Chicago Board of Education through a progressive income tax and other means, longstanding policies are also receiving a . . .


Claypool's administration... Millions being spent for new bureaucrats, while the schools become more filthy and are threatened with additional cuts...

During the last ten months, since Mayor Rahm Emanuel dubbed him to be the fourth "Chief Executive Officer" for the nation's third largest school system since Rahm's first term inauguration in May 2011, Forrest Claypool . . .


BOARDWATCH: May 25 meeting of the Chicago Board of Eduction is business as usual despite the latest financial 'crisis'... Board expands expensive privatization of custodial and engineering work and many many expensive testing programs...

Sitting in the front of the small group of citizens allowed into the chambers of the Chicago Board of Education at the Board's May 25, 2016 meeting was a group of highly paid executives, almost . . .


BOARDWATCH: Veterans for Peace continues to criticize CPS militarization, planning Memorial Day work...'we attended the [2013] Memorial Day Parade expecting to see a somber tribute to those killed in wars. We were shocked to see that the majority of the parade was youth in military uniforms...'

[Editor's Note: The following remarks were prepared for delivery to the Chicago Board of Education's May 25, 2016 meeting by Arny Stieber, of Veterans for Peace. They were provided to us by the speaker and . . .


BOARDWATCH: Bowen HS co-location scheme erased Bowen's name from its own marquee...!

[Editor's Note. The following remarks were prepared for delivery to the Chicago Board of Education's May 25, 2016 meeting by David Vance, who does photography for Substance and Labor Beat and is also an LSC . . .


BOARDWATCH: Absurdities of continuing failed retention policy and destructive early childhood standardized testing challenged again...

[Editor's Note: The following remarks were prepared for delivery to the Chicago Board of Education's May 25, 2016 meeting. They were provided to us by the speaker and are reprinted here as she provided them . . .


Privatization continues and pension attack is coming... Chicago Board of Education's May 25, 2016 Agenda shows that even when it cries 'broke!' the Chicago Board of Education continues the massive and expensive expansion of privatization...

A detailed analysis of the Agenda for the meeting of the Chicago Board of Education scheduled for May 25, 2016 makes it clear that even when the Board cries it is broke it continues to . . .


Chicago Board of Education to renew Aramark contract, further expand privatization on May 25... Aramark deal will cost CPS $260 millon (!) while Claypool will take buses to Springfield claiming that CPS will be facing huge school budget cuts without another $500 million from Illinois...

The Chicago Board of Education is preparing to approve a continuation of the controversial contract for school custodial services with Aramark corporation, and to expand or add other privatization deals as the nation's third largest . . .


LaRaviere statement on his election...

The following statement was distributed to the members of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association (CPAA) by president-elect Troy LaRaviere following the announcement that he had been elected the organization's president. On May 19, 2016, . . .


LaRaviere's decisive victory adds to challenges facing the Emanuel administration... And will raise questions about the Chicago Teachers Union's research and political activities...

The decisive victory of Blaine Elementary School Principal Troy LaRaviere in the election to head the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association (CPAA) not only comes as a stunning blow against the reactionary education policies of . . .


A reminder of the crime against public education and democracy that took place three years ago... The May 2013 closing of 50 Chicago public schools was not anything Rahm Emanuel is showing 'contrition' about in 2016...

The Chicago Tribune may have decided, for reasons unclear to most people in Chicago, that an interview with Mayor Rahm Emanuel was appropriate, and that the public should be told that Rahm was trying "contrition" . . .


If the boss is one (of those), you can call him that and not be fired!... 'Employee’s profane and insubordinate conduct shielded by protected activity...' National Labor Board upholds a worker's right to call his boss a M_____F______ and an A______!

Can you be fired for calling an asshole and asshole? And should a union rep be barred from the schools because some bosses claim they are too sensitive to be confronted with a union official's . . .


New York court decision throws out use of 'VAM' for teacher evaluations... New York's highest court notes that the VAM system is bogus...

In a case that has huge implications for Chicago teachers, Sheri Lederman, desecribed as "a beloved fourth-grade teacher from Great Neck, New York," just won a lawsuit to have her 2013-14 VAM score of “ineffective” . . .


First Amendment rights of Board of Education workers are being violated again, despite previous federal court decisions and injunctions... CPS tries to ban union business again... six years after court ordered them to stop...

Six years ago, the Chicago Board of Education banned union business in schools. The First Amendment rights of teachers and others who work in the schools were being violated. A group of unionists, led by . . .


Chicago Public Schools continues to waste money to ban parents from public meetings: CPS using legal costs and stalling court tactics to deny parents entry and due process rights...

Why is the Chicago Board of Education still on a vendetta against parent Rousemary Vega and her husband? Simple answer: raw unaccountable power. In a clear abuse of power and restrictions on free speech in . . .


BOARDWATCH: How many millions did the Chicago Board of Education waste on new and renewed privatization schemes at its April 27, 2016 meeting, while the Board was claiming that its problems would be solved by getting more money not from Chicago, but from Springfield?...

How many hundreds of millions was it? While the "Better Government Association" and most of Chicago's corporate media were ignoring expenses -- and a massive 250-plus page Chicago Board of Education agenda -- how many . . .


Blaine Principal Troy LaRaviere is not the only one banned from Chicago schools... Board of Education continues spending legal dollars to keep parents out of meetings, as the case of Rousemary Vega shows...

Although the banning of Blaine Elementary School principal Troy LaRaviere has been in the news, the problems caused by the anti-democratic forces inside Chicago - and leading Chicago's Board of Education -- include parents and . . .


Chicago Teachers Union pushes local revenue improvements as part of plan to improve money for the city's public schools... Two major themes ignored -- 'toxic swap' recoupment and local property tax improvements...

The Chicago Teachers Union issued a press release just prior to the union's May 4, 2016, House of Delegates meeting, calling on Mayor Rahm Emanuel to assist in improving local revenue for the city's public . . .


MEDIA WATCH: Researcher Mercedes Schneider exposes latest charter school propaganda, published in the Wall Street Journal on May Day, from Nina Rees...

The paid propagandists of the corporate "school reform" movement usually are paid very well, and their works have to be known to the general public before people are gulled into believing what they write, preach, . . .


BOARDWATCH: Board of Education members approve lengthy agenda featuring massive increase in privatization and charters...

While proclaiming, for the sixth or seventh year in a row, that it is facing a "billion dollar deficit," the Chicago Board of Education continued to push for expensive privatization schemes (charter school expansion; elimination . . .


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)