The September 2014 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.

Planning for mayoral race against Rahm Emanuel... 'Conversations with Karen' move across Chicago as school year begins

The 'Conversations with Karen' featuring Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis's conversations with people across Chicago continued as school began in September. A major event is scheduled in the city's Uptown community September 30. Lewis . . .


Massive expansion of charter schools pushed out all the teachers the children needed most!... New Orleans' 'miracle' is really a story of racism and hypocrisy

It's been a full nine years since the world was shocked as the most powerful hurricane ever to hit the Gulf Coast of the United States created a terrifying disaster for much of the region . . .


CPS begins demolition of Lincoln Playground

The demolition of Lincoln Elementary School’s playground began today, Friday, September 5, 2014, destroying 11 trees thus far and dismantling the playground equipment. Neighbors assume they will tear down the last three established -- nearly . . .


COMMON CORE... Follow the money to the Common Core's 'policy entrepreneurs...' With the Help of the US DOE, Policy Entrepreneurs Used Business Roundtable Toolkit Tactic to Hornswaggle the States on Common Core

The old saying goes that school curriculum is the only thing harder to move than a graveyard. The implementation of the Common Core seems to disprove this point. The politics involved is outlined below. The . . .


RAHMWATCH, BASEBALL... Rahm tries another publicity stunt on Park District baseball while park playing fields remain mud puddles and public school fields are locked to keep kids from 'damaging' the surfaces

While the majority of the baseball fields in Chicago Park District parks remain mud puddles even after a heavy dew overnight, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel continued on September 4, 2014 to try and milk what . . .


LABOR BEAT: Union leader warns against single person crews on trains

During the Pullman Labor Day events in Chicago, peopled learned about the danger of single person train crews. You can now access a video On YouTube at: http://youtu.be/dLZ-PNJ9nVs. There is a proposal currently being pushed . . .


MEDIA WATCH: The Sun-Times never actually printed the LaRaviere analysis showing Chicago's turnarounds and charters were underperforming... Just left it on the Website

This morning (September 4, 2014), the blogger Diane Ravitch noted that the Chicago Tribune has not published Troy LaRaviere's analysis showing that Chicago's charter and turnarounds schools have failed when compared with the city's real . . .


'New' Labor Beat video... '... dissects the way mainstream politicians (Rudolph Giuliani, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, George Bush Sr.), conservative intellectuals and the corporate media conspired to demonize inner city neighborhoods and their residents. ..'

"Demonizing the Inner City: Ideology and the Urban Poor" in now available in a restored format On YouTube at: http://youtu.be/m8pz4xyAhAI and from Labor Beat. In light of current events and recent history, the story is . . .


Absurdities of computer-graded 'writing' exposed by BABEL

[While a great deal of blogging is kin to the selfie -- all opinion and no reporting with little fact. That is not true, however, about several blogs devoted to education, and one of the . . .


National Writers Union 'Read-in' on September 6 at Powell's on Halsted

Next Saturday, September 6, 2014, the Chicago Chapter of the National Writers Union will hold a “Read In” (something like a “Teach In”) at the Powell’s Book Store on Halsted, just south of Roosevelt Road . . .


Know your enemies department... Resistance has grown enormously since the Septembers of 'Waiting for Superman' and 'Won't Back Down.' But the attacks on public education continue behind a phalanx of plutocratic billions of dollars and sanctimonious astroturf groups and some Hollywood propaganda

As the 2014 - 2015 school year begins, the spread of the Resistance to the reign of corporate school reform (of which high-stakes corporate testings and single-measure "metrics" of schools' and children's success reign) has . . .


MEDIA WATCH: Is America finally learning to reject Chicago's 'education' experts? Connecticut rids itself of AUSL's Terrence Carter a few months after ejecting Paul G. Vallas

Before we review the final chapter in the fraudulent career of "doctor" Terrence Carter, who almost got to be the superintendent of the New London, Connecticut public schools, people in Chicago should ask themselves why . . .


Crazy Cawley quote sums up CPS executives' cluelessness -- 'Let’s not focus on the number of custodians you get; let’s focus on the work that needs to be done...' Principals document Aramark thefts, incompetence, and confusion as CPS continues to push expensive re-privatization contract

As the extent of the scandals involving the massive (more than $300 million) "re-privatization" contracts with Aramark and Sodexo-MAGIC continue to become public across Chicago, the Board of Education members who voted without discussion or . . .


'A school that could start out clean on Monday by Friday, if things haven’t been done, is really almost a pig sty.'... Piss on the floors and poo on the walls dramatize the lies of Tim Cawley's Aaramark Power Point

It's less than six months since David Vitale and the members of the Chicago Board of Education sat smiling benignly while "Chief Administrative Officer Tim Cawley presented the Board will his $300 million proposal . . .


New Orleans schools have not become a 'model for the nation.' Instead, New Orleans stands as an example of brutal corporate attacks on public education and the deep racist roots of corporate 'school reform' since the days when Paul Vallas was overseer of the New Orleans plantation

Between the Illinois race for governor and some national reporting on the opening of school, the brutal destruction of the public schools of New Orleans following the August 2005 assault on the city by Hurricane . . .


Logan Square parties for neighborhood schools, withstands downpour, and celebrates Karen Lewis’ anticipated run for Mayor of Chicago

Everyone “knows” that Latinos don’t care about education. Yet anyone who thinks that Latinos don’t care about education hasn’t met LSNA (Logan Square Neighborhood Association) and its’ supporters in the Logan Square neighborhood on the . . .


Voting for Patrick Quinn or Bruce Rauner in Illinois: A Lose-Lose Scenario

Are we going to continue our connivance with the corrupt political system of Illinois where public employee unions can endorse a governor who does not care about breaking a constitutional contract with retirees and public . . .


What do the data really show? Charter schools have failed in Chicago!... Chicago's 'underperforming' charter schools

[Editor's Note: The article below picks up the essay published on line -- but NOT in print -- in the Chicago Sun-Times by Troy M. LaRaviere, principal of Blaine Elementary School in Chicago. Although the . . .


Karen Lewis to speak in Logan Square this Friday...'a rally calling for an investment in neighborhood schools and an elected school board...'

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis will join Northwest Side residents to mark the opening of school on Friday, September 5, 2014. The event on Friday begins from four to five p.m. at the Logan . . .


A final 'Labor Day' reminder... from 'The Ballad of Pretty Boy Floyd'-- 'some will rob you with a six-gun, and some with a fountain pen...'

I wasn't able to make the Labor Day activities in Chicago's historic Pullman district on Labor Day 2014, but it wasn't for not wanting to. Some things I can do, and some I can't. But . . .


MEDIA WATCH: A Once-Respected Education Journal Goes Rah Rah for Whatever Bill Wants... How Eli Broad and Bill Gates compromised the integrity of the Phi Delta Kappan

Whatever Bill Gates wants,
Bill Gates gets.
And America,
Bill Gates wants your kid.

Recline yourself, resign yourself,
you're through.
He always gets what he pays for.
And kids' heart'n . . .


'What are called a 'public schools' in many of America’s wealthy communities aren’t really 'public' at all. In effect, they’re private schools, whose tuition is hidden in the purchase price of upscale homes, and in the corresponding property taxes....' Inequality welcomes children and teachers back

[Editor's Note: The following was posted as "Back to School, and to Widening Inequality" by Robert Reich, August 25, 2014 on Robert Reich's blog. Reich served as Labor Secretary under Bill Clinton but has been . . .


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)