George Schmidt's life of love and service

[This article was originally published on Oct. 6, 2018.]
George Neil Schmidt's life was filled with his deep love of family and friends and an intense calling to serve humanity. He was born in Elizabeth, . . .


Visiting Linden Park in his New Jersey hometown.

George's almost superhuman energy and brilliance

[This article was originally published on October 6, 2018.]
I will miss my friend and mentor. Without his support my long and rewarding career would have ended after eight years. When there was nowhere for . . .


Reporter Miriam Socoloff on her 30th birthday with a Substance cake and Substance staff members in the late 1970s.

Saying goodbye to George – visitations, funeral, graveside

[This article was first published on Oct. 10, 2018.]
We held two visitations at Mt. Olive Church in Chicago on Sept. 20 and Sept. 22. Many friends came to pay their respects and comfort us. . . .


Funeral bulletin cover

Thank you for your kind words

[This article was first published on Oct. 16, 2018.] In the few weeks since George has died, Dan, Sam Josh and I have been helped in our sorrow by the love and support shown to . . .


Facebook post

Chicago Tribune obituary: George Schmidt, passionate Chicago Public Schools teacher, dies at 71

[This article was published online at the Chicago Tribune on Oct. 21, 2018, and in print on Monday, Oct. 22, 2018.]

George N. Schmidt was passionate about education and fighting injustice wherever he saw . . .


George Schmidt, pictured on April 14, 1998. Photo by Sharon Schmidt

Substance News to honor founder George Schmidt (1946-2018)

After Substance founder George Schmidt died in September 2018, many of us felt it was very important to keep Substance News alive and to continue George's work of advocating for economic justice, professional respect for . . .


Sam, Josh, Dan, Sharon, and George Schmidt in 2018, two months prior to George's death. George founded Substance in 1975. Sharon is a teacher at Steinmetz High School, and Sam is a CPS social work intern.

Many additional articles about George Schmidt

In the weeks following George's death, many of our friends wrote articles about him. We published most of these October 2018. Each tells a different story about him as a teacher, union organizer, journalist, and . . .


George Schmidt teaches his Amundsen students using Macintosh computers in the late 1980s. The photo and a story about George appeared in the Macintosh Writing Resource Guide, K-12. The 56-page book was published by Apple Computer, Inc. in 1990.

Oral history interview of George Schmidt

Chicago Public School teacher and union activist, George Schmidt discusses his work as editor of Substance a newspaper covering public education that he helped found in 1975. A two and a half hour recording . . .


While many of us have written our memories and biographical sketches of George, his own words are so much better.

Readers may contact George Schmidt's widow with questions, concerns

As the owner of the Substance site and widow of Substance founder and long-time editor George N. Schmidt, I am maintaining Substance News as a way to keep our database of articles alive. Most of . . .


George Schmid and family, September 2016

July Substance stories moved to August

I'm posting articles about George on the monthly homepage of Substance now. I moved all the stories displayed on the July 2023 to August. . . .


The Long War on Black Studies: It would be a mistake to think of the current wave of attacks on “critical race theory” as a culture war. This is a political battle.

We fell under the leadership of those who would compromise with truth in the past in order to make peace in the present and guide policy in the future.
—W. E. B. Du Bois, Black . . .


Cliff Joseph: Blackboard, 1969

Sparks fly at Chicago Board of Education between presidents

[This article was originally published on June 11 on Jim Vail's site, Second City Teachers. We're also publishing a comment posted on the article by Troy LaRaviere.]
Sparks were flying at the May . . .


Troy LaRaviere, WTTW photo

How Illinois cut teacher and public worker pensions without a fight

[This article was originally published on May 23 at Second City Teachers.]

The typical deal that screws working people and benefits the rich in Springfield gets done behind closed doors.

Former Illinois . . .


Former Speaker Mike Madigan helped to destroy teachers’ pensions.

CTU beginning Tier Two pension fight that divides teachers union

[This article was originally published in Second City Teachers.]

I was in Springfield on April 27 for a lobbying day organized by the CTU. The main thrust of our visit was to contact . . .


Reporter George Milkowski attended a CTU lobby day on April 27.

CTU communications regarding Tier Two pension history

[The following article was published by CTU Communications on Sept. 16, 2022, and titled "You deserve your retirement. Let’s fix Tier Two and anti-teacher social security provisions."]

Everyone deserves a secure retirement, especially those . . .


Avoiding Deenan's crap

I often read the other side and thank Szalai for helping me avoid Deneen's crap. I live 25 miles from the Middlebury College he so decries – in a rural village, where, I'd tell him, . . .


Patrick Deneen

Substance News editorship returns to Schmidt family

Steinmetz High School teacher Sharon Schmidt, the widow of Substance founder and long-time editor George Schmidt, has returned to edit Substance beginning May 1, 2023. She had previously served as editor from October 2018 through . . .


Sharon and George Schmidt, July 2018

A tale of two teachers unions: Comparing the influence of progressive CTU with tepid UFT

I was asked to write an article for New York monthly The Indypendent on the differences between the left wing teacher unions in Chicago and Los Angeles compared to the UFT. I didn't have the . . .


Norm Scott's analysis was published at Norm Scott is a retired New York City public-school teacher who taught for 35 years and was involved in three UFT strikes. He has participated in many UFT opposition caucuses since 1970 and is the editor of Ed Notes ( since 2006. He is currently active with Retiree Advocate, a retiree caucus challenging Unity Caucus for control of the 60,000-member UFT’s retiree chapter.

Substance News

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Substance News

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