John Oliver gives a brief explanation of how ALEC works

For those of us who began watching The Daily Show during the dark days of George W, Bush's invasion of Iraq, it was difficult to believe that other shows could even improve on the model. . . .

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John Oliver's show is skewering stupidity from Ayn Rand to ALEC regularly.

BOARDWATCH: Ed Hershey

[Editor's Note: Substance's BOARDWATCH is publishing the remarks prepared and delivered by the speakers at the monthly meeting of the Chicago Board of Education. The meeting of November 19, 2014, held in the wonderful auditorium . . .

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Above, Lindblom High School physics and robotics teacher Ed Hershey confronts the Board over the waste caused by the Aramark contract, which was touted at the January 2014 Board meeting by

LABOR BEAT: Can Chicago Teachers Union activists and their allies build 'independent politics' -- let alone a socialist alternative -- inside the Democratic Party?... 'The CTU and the 2015 Chicago City Hall Election...' a new Labor Beat video

A new 25-minute video from Labor Beat explores the issues facing members of the Chicago Teachers Union and by implication the broader groups of union and community activists in light of the controversial decision of . . .

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Chicago Teachers Unioni President Karen Lewis made an

SUBSCRIPT: Executives get a tub and shower at the new Board offices

Barely have the executive offices of Chicago's public schools been moved into the old Sears property at Madison and Dearborn than we learn from reliable sources that the "CEO Suite" has a shower and bath . . .

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Ignoring the fact that she has just had her new office remodeled so as to include a bath and shower, Barbara Byrd Bennett,

Of course, the most dangerous AUSL fraud is still Chicago Board of Education President... One among many Chicago frauds, 'Doctor' Terrence Carter gets back into the news by suing New London because it fired him when his frauds were revealed

Thanks to Fred Klonsky for staying on top of this story, which we had stopped reporting (because, to be honest, we thought it was over when the New London school board dumped Carter following the . . .

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Terrence Carter (above right) never apologized for his numerous frauds in his resume and records as they were disclosed by investigative reporters for the Hartford Courant.

More Than A Score schedules December meeting to organize the 2015 Opt Out of PARCC

With the PARCC tests more controversial than ever, and the Opt Out movement in Chicago growing larger than ever, "More Than A Score" will host a meeting to organize the 2015 Opt Out against the . . .

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While Saucedo teacher Sarah Chambers described the absurdity of the REACH tests, Zerlina Smith held up a sign showing the

BOARDWATCH '...The loss of school librarians is especially alarming in CPS high schools, where there are now only 38 high schools with librarians...' Librarians continue challenge to Chicago Public Schools obliteration of school libraries

[Editor's Note: Once again, Substance's BOARDWATCH feature is publishing the remarks prepared and delivered by the speakers at the monthly meeting of the Chicago Board of Education. The meeting of November 19, 2014 saw more . . .

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Chicago Public Schools librarian Nora Wiltse speaking to the Board at its November 19, 2014 meeting. Substance photo by Nate Goldbaum.

MEDIA WATCH: No Tears for loss of the 'Tiers' -- but the rating policy is still nonsense... How much does the Sun-Times cover from each Board of Education meeting... and major financial challenges are ignored...

Back in the boring days before social media became the rage, the meetings of major public bodies were a regular feature in the newspapers. In Chicago, the City Council and the Board of Education were . . .

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Confrontations during the November 19, 2014 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education interrupted the meeting for more than ten minutes. Above, parents and students from Mollison Elementary School demanded to know why the administration had taken away teachers in the middle of the semester and were shut down by CPS security on orders of Board President David Vitale. Security also tried to prevent press photogaphers from getting photographs during the meeting. Substance photo by Nate Goldbaum.

BOARDWATCH: Speaker notes the risks created by Board's cutbacks in nurses

[Editor's Note: Once again, Substance's BOARDWATCH feature is publishing the remarks prepared and delivered by the speakers at the monthly meeting of the Chicago Board of Education. The meeting of November 19, 2014 may have . . .

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Georgia Waller speaking to the November 19, 2014 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education about the health crisis (and dangers) facing the schools because the Board denies each school a nurse. Substance photo by Nate Goldbaum.

Union official to keynote TSJ conference... CORE to have table

Jackson Potter of the Chicago Teachers Union will deliver on of the two keynotes to the annual Teachers for Social Justice curriculum fair on Saturday, November 22, 2014. The fair will last all day. . . .

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Jackson Potter, above, speaking at the September 2014 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education, was scheduled to be one of the keynote speakers at the annual Teachers for Social Justice Curriculum Fair. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.

Looking back on the union and the Democratic Party... October 2013, a year ago, what were union activists saying about the Democratic Party and Bruce Rauner? About Rahm and the aldermen in City Council? Does the nature of the discussion then help us understand the predicament the unions are in now?

Done with the Democrats... A year ago, what were union activists saying about Quinn/Vallas and Bruce Rauner, about Rahm and the aldermen in City Council? Does the nature of the discussion then help us understand . . .

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One year before his defeat by Bruce Rauner in the 2014 election, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn arrived late for the " width=200>

Pennsylvania school funding to be greeted with protests

[Editor's Note: The following is reprinted with permission from the Notebook, Philadelphia. As this story goes up, we are resuming a great deal of coverage of information from the struggles across the USA that we . . .

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Members of the committee.

FAIR TEST's weekly summary of news shows how the Resistance is exploding across the USA

[Editor's Note: Anyone who wants more proof that the assessment reform movement -- what for more than 15 years Substance has called 'The Resistance" -- is exploding across the nation? Check out every week's stories . . .

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SUBSCRIPT: 'Who's on First?' (without Abbot and Consello) as Chicago moves from Governor's election to municipal voting in February... Dueling pollings show proof that the only poll that matters takes place on election day

In the town that gave the world the famous "Dewey defeats Truman" headline in 1948 and other examples of wishful partisan thinking since, you'd think that supposedly sophisticated political operatives and their sub-operatives would not . . .

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Results of the Hamilston Campaign poll commissioned by Bob Fioretti's campaign the week before Halloween. The results of the poll above were made known to all of the major decision makers prior to the night of October 31, 2014.

UNION NEWS: CTU poll claims 'Chuy' can beat Rahm. Press release states ...'New Poll Shows Mayor Emanuel Headed to Runoff with Jesus Chuy Garcia...'

Less than three weeks after the surprising announcement by leaders of the Chicago Teachers Union that Karen Lewis supported Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, who had served on Lewis's "exploratory committee" prior to her withdrawal from the . . .

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Cook County Commissioner Jesus

Crime in Chicago... Chicago Murders Up 50 percent in November as measured by mid-month... Last official media reports on crime were in August, ignoring trends since... A Murder Rate Cover-Up

Chicago Murders in November 2014 are up 50 percent in the same time last November and there are still 14 days left in the month. In November 2013 there were 28 total murders. In November . . .

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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

CHARTER SCHOOL NEWS: KIPP puts 'problem' student in dungeon while guests tour their school

KIPP Puts Up to 30 Problem Students in Empty Basement When Visitors Are in the Building
You have heard about KIPP's padded cells for kindergartners and KIPP school leaders putting garbage cans on children's heads . . .

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Chicago lawmakers call for SEC investigation into allegedly illegal campaign donors to Rahm Emanuel's mayoral campaign.... Rahm being charged with 'pay to play' on billions of pension investments

Chicago lawmakers, including Second Ward Alderman Bob Fioretti, are calling on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to investigate illegal campaign contributions to the campaign funds of Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The contributions, amounting to at . . .

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Second Ward Alderman Bob Fioretti and Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

SUBSCRIPT: Arne, as usual, was full of it when attacking another straw enemy... Research on the relative 'failure' of education training programs questioned

As every veteran Chicago teacher knows, Arne Duncan's career as an "educational leader" (with no qualifications) began with the rigging of data and various trickeries using so-called "research" to prove his political biases. The most . . .

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Union singers march on, as CORE remembers 'John Brown's Body'

While every meeting of CORE begins with the singing of "Solidarity Forever", at the October CORE meeting Chicago Teachers Union vice president Jesse Sharkey reminded the singers that the origins of the song went into . . .

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One of the many early versions of