Chicago Board of Education members searching for grammar lessons? ...between their so-called 'real facts' and the superlative superlative of smug arrogance, nothing changes despite the overwhelming vote for an elected school board in the current Chicago referendum

"I pay for my own lunch, and sometimes I have to buy for others, too," Mahlia Hines stated at the end of another meeting of the Board of Education of the nation's third largest school . . .

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Chicago Board of Education President David Vitale almost said 'Chuy Who?' when he was challenged by Chicago Teachers Union staff coordinator Jackson Potter to explain why Jesus Chuy Garcia (above left, at podium and on the screen that now dominates the Board of Education's meetings) had not been recognized to speak at the beginning of the meeting. For more than a dozen years (and possibly for decades), the Board members have always given public officials the right to get to the front of the line and speak to the Board -- until January 28, 2015. Not only did Board President David Vitale ignore the mayoral candidate and elected official who was seated dead center in front of him, but Vitale also had the Board secretary, Estela Beltran, set the two-minute timer on Garcia's remarks, an also unprecedented insult to an elected official (many of whom have been allowed by Vitale to go on for five minutes or longer). Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.

Steve Conn now president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers

A new era began in Detroit recently with the election of Steve Conn, a teacher at Detroit's Cass Tech High School, as President of the storied Detroit Federation of Teachers. The DFT for decades had . . .

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Steve Conn, new President of the Detroit Federation of Teachers.

Chuy Garcia's speech from the January 24 Grand Ballroom rally... 'the main thrust of my campaign is to marshal the power of the people of Chicago so the neighborhoods will be at the center of new government in this city...'

The rally for Jesus "Chuy" Garcia was held Saturday, January 24, 2015, at The Grand Ballroom on 63rd and Cottage Grove Ave in the heart of Chicago's South Side. More than 700 people attended,.The energy . . .

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Karen Lewis and Jesus

Labor Beat on Ukraine reality

A new Labor Beat video, Ukraine and NATO Expansion, is now available from Labor Beat on YouTube at:. http://youtu.be/fhILmIvBe6o. The video is also archived at:laborbeat.org. This important story is not getting enough factual attention in . . .

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John Mearsheimber of the University of Chicago. Labor Beat photo.

Rahm says voters who want an elected school board have been 'tricked'!

At the “Chicago Women Take Action” mayoral forum on January 24, 2015, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said people had been “tricked” into wanting an elected school board. With a referendum scheduled in the majority of . . .

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks on January 24, 2015, at the Chicago Women Take Action mayoral forum.

Whence and where the PARCC in Chicago? CPS will test all students at '66 schools' on the PARCC, but the names of the schools are still Top Secret! Details of testing plans show, again, how CPS administration is now clueless about grassroots realities in Chicago

The Chicago Board of Education last week denied a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the names of the schools that will be testing using the PARCC test this school year. The request was . . .

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Chicago Public Schools 'Chief Executive Officer' Barbara Byrd Bennett (above right) and legal chief James Bebley (above left) at the December 17, 2014 Board of Education meeting. Substance photo by David Vance.

CORE slate sweeps election for retiree delegates in the Chicago Teachers Union

The 34-person slate proposed by CORE (the Caucus Of Rank-and-file Educators) swept all 34 seats for retiree delegates to the 800-member Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates. The voting, which began in December, ended in . . .

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One of the 34 CORE candidates elected to the CTU House of Delegates for the three-year term beginning January 2015 is Theresa Daniels (above at the January 24 PUSH rally for Chuy). Like most of the CORE candidates, she served for decades as a union delegate from the school where she taught (Carver Area High School, before it became

Karen Lewis leads 'Jesus 'Chuy' Garcia for Mayor' election rally of 700 people at the Grand Ballroom on January 24

Surrounded by signs reading "Chuy," more than 700 people, many of them children, participated in a rally for Jesus "Chuy" Garcia at the Grand Ballroom on Cottage Grove Ave. on January 24, 2015. KOCO's (Kenwood . . .

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Surrounded by supporters and press people, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis (center right) and mayoral candidate Jesus

'Youth Dreamers' at United Opt Out

An enthusiastic group of three students, Jessica White, Iman Cuffe and Deja Joseph, accompanied teacher Kristina Berdan, gave a lunch time presentation on their organization "Youth Dreamers" at the United Opt Out conference in Florida. . . .

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Fioretti to host pre Super Bowl party at the West Side Billy Goat's with NFL player supporters

Following the announcement that former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka was supporting Bob Fioretti's candidacy for mayor, the Fioretti campaign on January 22, 2015 announced a party with former NFL Football Players for Bob Fioretti. . . .

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Bob Fioretti's ad for the Billy Goat

ALDERMANIC RACES: 33rd Ward race heating up... Meegan gets endorsements from United Working Families and Cook County College Teachers Union, plans events all week

Tim Meegan, the Roosevelt High School history teacher running for alderman of the 33rd Ward against Deb Mell, announced on January 22, 2015 that his candidacy has received the endorsements of the Cook County College . . .

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Tim Meegan, Roosevelt High School social studies teacher, spoke to the CORE meeting on January 12, 2015. Meegan's candidacy is one of the best races for City Council. Substance photo by Bob Simpson.

“US, Ukraine and Russia: What Went Wrong?” A talk by John Mearsheimer and Rick Rozoff, Evanston, Illinois, January 10, 2015

Two widely recognized authorities on big power politics and NATO recently gave a public talk on the current situation in the Ukraine at the Evanston (Illinois) Public Library. Organized by the Evanston Neighbors for Peace, . . .

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Speakers at the forum on Ukraine. Substance photo by Kim Scipes.

Reader profile explains Chuy Garcia's decision to run for mayor... "Garcia offers voters a compelling personal history..."

A lengthy article in the January 22, 2015 edition of the Reader gives many Chicagoans the first in depth look at how Jesus "Chuy" Garcia decided to run for mayor of Chicago and a great . . .

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Chicago first learned that Jesus

Colorado Opt Out movement expands billboards... Four highway billboards now up as testing season looms

The test resistance in Colorado has expanded the billboards our coalition has put up urging parents to exercise their rights and exempt their children from the fraud of high stakes standardized tests. Our campaign resulted . . .

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Opt Out billboard currently over Route 85 in Colorado. Substance photo by Don Perl.

Democracy nixed on the West Side... Jason Ervin has a hundred percent rating supporting Emanuel, but managed to eliminate opponents... Teacher Tammie Vinson was knocked off the ballot even though she had more than double the necessary signatures!

In Chicago elections, circulating nominating petitions and talking with your neighbors about the upcoming election is only the beginning of the fight to (a) get on the ballot and (b) win the election. Everyone familiar . . .

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Chicago teacher Tammie Vinson (above) has been a community activist and resident. Above, she testified during the November 19, 2014 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education about how the Board was neglecting her community. The November 19 Board meeting was the only Board meeting in a decade held in the community -- and the Board never did it again following the fierce turnout in opposition to the policies of the Emanuel administration. Substance photo by Nate Goldbaum.

Chicago Teachers Union begins to encourage ward canvasses for those candidates supported by the union.... Election activities increase dramatically during the 'Final Four' weeks before the February 24 voting for mayor and aldermen

By the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on January 19, 2015, dozens (perhaps hundreds) of rank-and-file members of the Chicago Teachers Union began signing up to support the 23 aldermanic candidates backed by the CTU. . . .

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Zerlina Smith smiles while her daughter Cherish holds up the sign indicating the extent of the 19th Ward where Zerlina is running for alderman with the support of the Chicago Teachers Union. Zerlina has been a parent activist at Saucedo Elementary School and was one of the leaders of the 2014 Opt Out and test Boycott movements. Substance photo by Bob Simpson.

'Solidarity Forever', the classic union song, was written 100 years ago

"Solidarity Forever," the classic union song that is sung at the beginning of every meeting of CORE (the Caucus Of Rank-and-file Educators) is now 100 years old, while CORE members and other union activists still . . .

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By the 2015 anniversary of the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a new generation was ready to learn that Dr. King's last crusade was on behalf of the striking sanitation workers in Memphis. The strike created the iconic picket signs proclaiming

ALDERMANIC UPDATES: Tara Stamps and United Working Families to host forum on violence on Wednesday, January 21 at West Side church

Tara Stamps, who is running for alderman of the 37th Ward against incumbent Emma Mitts, has announced that she will be sponsoring a public forum on violence this WEDNESDAY, January 21, 2015.... "37th Ward Community . . .

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Teacher Tara Stamps and Cook County Commissioner Jesus

Stephen Krashen delivers major address to United Opt Out... America is doing fine on international tests... our 'low' scores are due to poverty

The world renowned researcher Stephen Krashen delivered a major address to the recent United Opt Out conference. In his remarks, Krashen continues his campaign to provide all children with the "print rich" environment that all . . .

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Stephen Krashen. Substance photo by Kati Gilson.

MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY: 'Dr. King Left Behind'... Would Dr. King agree with the ruling class's version of 'No Child Left Behind'?

As Washington's corporate jet is filling up on both sides of the aisle in preparation for a new flight of educational fancy, it seems appropriate to suggest a name for the new flight plan for . . .

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Martin Luther King Jr.