Babrara Byrd Bennett's 2012 resume was filled with 'red flags'... Should CPS have hired Byrd Bennett with all these conflicts of interest? Didn't the Board of Education ask her to get out of these conflicts?

Chicago's public schools "Chief Executive Offier" Barbara Byrd-Bennett is now under federal investigation for improprieties because of her recommendation of a no bid $20 Million dollar contract with SUPES Training Academy. The no-bid contract was . . .

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The resume provided to the Chicago Board of Education by Barbara Byrd Bennett when she was hired in May 2012 (as a consultant) disclosed not only the SUPES Academy involvement, but also her interests in other corporations and organizations doing business with CPS. Whatever Byrd Bennett may be accused of in April 2015 as CPS attorneys and officials are testifying before a federal grand jury, she can't be accused of failing to disclose her potential conflicts at the time CPS hired her.

Who Loves Barbara Byrd-Bennett more--the American Federation of Teachers, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Harcourt School Publishers, or Juan-Claude Blizard?

[Editor's Note: The following article was published by Susan Ohanian three years ago, at the time that Chicago was first hiring Barbara Byrd Bennett. There was no excuse for anyone in Chicago to miss the . . .

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Chicago schools 'Chief Executive Officer' Barbara Byrd Bennett huddled with her

Better late than never?... Federal 'investigation' of Chicago schools 'Chief Executive Officer' Barbara Byrd Bennett revealed... Years of conflicts of interest, cronyism and corruption by the CEO have been ignored by Chicago's corporate media while regularly reported in Substance...

Chicago Public Schools "Chief Executive Officer" Barbara Byrd-Bennett (BBB) is now under federal investigation for a $20 million dollar no bid contract to SUPES academy, according to reliable sources. The suburban-based "SUPES Academy" at the . . .

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During the June 26, 2013 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education, Board member Deborah Quazzo (above left) was one of the Board members who voted to approve the SUPES Academy executive training program at a cost of $20 million. Neither Quazzo nor any other member of the Board asked CEO Barbara Byrd Bennett, who signed the recommendation to pay SUPES the $20 million, whether there were any potential conflicts. Of course, Quazzo would be the last person at CPS to worry about conflicts. Investigations later showed that companies in which she had a financial interest received millions of dollars in contracts from CPS following her appointment to the Board by Mayor Rahm Emanuel after the departure of Penny Pritzker. Substance photo from the June 26, 2013 Board meeting by George N. Schmidt.

CORRUPTION CPS: Barbara Byrd Bennett gathered buddies from other states, many (but not all) vetted by the Broad Foundation, for executive jobs at CPS, with the approval of the 'Chicago' Board of Education... Most had no Illinois credentials, but the Board members did not care or bother to check...

This part of Substance's current series of stories on CORRUPTION CPS will feature the cronyism that brought dozens of "educators" to Chicago from out of state during the years since Rahm Emanuel appointed his Board . . .

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Above, Sherry Ulery, _____, and Tim Cawley at the October 23, 2013 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education. Ulery was given a

BBB IS OUT! Barbara Byrd Bennett goes on 'leave' after desperate try to fend off corruption charges or get public legal support... Jesse Ruiz to head CPS during interim...

The 'Chief Executive Officer' of the nation's third largest school system, Chicago's Barbara Byrd Bennett, has taken a leave of absence from the Chicago Public Schools, according to informed sources. Board of Eduction Vice President . . .

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Chicago Public Schools 'Chief Executive Officer' Barbara Byrd Bennett stepped aside into a leave of absence on April 17, 2015, following three days of public revelations that a federal grand jury is hearing testimony against her on corruption charges. Above, Byrd Bennett eyed a Substance photographer during the March 2014 meeting of the Board. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.

Illinois Opt Out bill will prevent schools from forcing Opt Out students from 'Sit and Stare'.... Raise Your Hand and other supporters are asking people to call their senators and reps to support HB 306...

A major piece of legislation that may yet gather bi-partisan support in the Illinois General Assembly would establish a family's right to opt out their children from so-called "standardized" tests. The Opt Out bill, when . . .

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Illinois State Rep Will Guzzardi (left) with State Senator Willie Delgado on the campaign trail. Guzzardi's Opt Out bill, HB 306, is gaining support in the Illinois General Assembly.

CTU and others sponsor 'Hands Up, Don't Test' event next Friday (April 24, 2015) after schools at SEIU Health

More Than A Score, Haymarket Books and the Chicago Teachers Union are sponsoring a forum on the resistance to standardized testing on Friday, April 24, 2015, beginning at five in the afternoon. The event will . . .

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Opting Out of so-called standardized tests has become a national movement.

Feds reportedly investigating Barbara Byrd Bennett over controversial no-bid 'SUPES' contract to train principals....

It was only a week after Rahm Emanuel won re-election and suddenly Chicago's news media were filling up with stories that the federal government is investigating Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Barbara Byrd Bennett, . . .

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While Chicago Public Schools General Counsel James Bebley (left) looks on, Barbara Byrd Bennett, Chief Executive Officer of the nation's third largest school system, speaks during the March 25, 2015 meeting of the Board of Education. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.

Turning 'Collaboration' Into a bad word... The American Federation of Teachers and the American Enterprise Institute...'evaluating teachers by scores may actually reduce quality...'

[Editor’s Note: This post focuses on the collaboration of Randi Weingarten with corporate education reform. One basis of this charge can be found from a conference of the American Enterprise Institute held on February 5, . . .

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American Federation of Teachers (AFT) president Randi Weingarten came to Chicago on April 1, 2015, to speak to the City Club and answer questions. Later that day, she spoke to the Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates (above) but didn't have time to honor or answer questions. Substance photo by Sharon Schmidt.

When did the Chicago Teachers Union vote to support a major speaker on 'standards' in support of the Common Core?.... April 14 event features an apologist for Common Core on the topic 'Equity and High Quality Education for Urban Students'....

Is the Chicago Teachers Union saying that those who oppose Common Core are racists who oppose educating "urban students"? That's at least one reading of an event being sponsored by the Chicago Teachers Union at . . .

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The questions isn't whether Pedro Noguera will sound like those who opposed the CTU on Common Core at the July 2014 AFT convention, but how much he will continue his slick support for the Common Core,

Rousemary Vega and family want the lifetime 'ban' by the Board of Education lifted... Couple removed from CPS meeting, barred, sue claiming free speech rights have been violated

A Chicago couple who were dragged out of a Board of Education meetings on orders of Board President David Vitale and then barred from meetings for all eternity on Vitale's orders to Board security chief . . .

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Parent activist Rousemary Vega (above, pointing) was swarmed by five security people at the May 28, 2014 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.

Michelle Smith wins re-election as alderman of the 43rd Ward after Vickery concedes ... After going ahead on the first day of counting of absentee ballots, Vickery fell behind in the count, which doesn't have to be completed until April 23...

Forty-third ward alderman Michelle Smith was declared the winner in one of the city's closest aldermanic races on April 14, 2015, after challenger Caroline Vickery conceded defeat. The announcement came following the beginning of the . . .

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Michelle Smith, alderman of the 43rd Ward (Lincoln Park and that area) on Chicago's north side, stood at the November 20, 2013 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education to claim that Lincoln Elementary School needed an annex because it was

'Students First' right wing lawsuit against agency fees hits LA teachers union, AFT and NEA... Rhee's 'Students First' continues union busting push, and the law firm handling the litigation is the same firm that did the Vergara lawsuit...

A major lawsuit has been filed against the United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) by a small group of teachers who claim that their union dues are going . . .

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Michelle Rhee's

MEDIA WATCH: Daily Show asks 'WTF Chicago?!' after Rahm buys another Chicago election victory despite the history of Rahm's first four years in power...

Anyone who may have stopped or slowed down watching The Daily Show the past couple of months (or years) needs to make one last stop there, as Jon Stewart brings us back to the good . . .

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Comedy Central notes America's fourth most famous

LESSONS OF CHICAGO'S 2015 ELECTION: Black Agenda Report exposes collaboration of Black political and community leaders with Emanuel...

[Editor's Note: Substance is once again reprinting a significant analysis by Bruce Dixon of Black Agenda Report. The analysis was published late on April 8, 2015, when the final results of the 2015 mayoral election . . .

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In both 2011 and 2015, Rahm Emanuel received public support from President Barack Obama. Even though Obama's support for Emanuel failed to bring Emanuel over the required majority vote in the February 24 voting, the word continued to be hammered home, especially in Chicago's African American wards, that Chicago's favorite son President of the United States wanted people to vote for Emanuel.

OPT OUT NEWS: Obama and Emanuel children get the rich peoples' Opt Out privilege -- they go to schools that eschew standardized tests like Sidwell Friends and University of Chicago Lab School...

As Chicago moves towards the next rounds of confrontations over the Common Core, high stakes testing, and the rights of public school students and their families to Opt Out of so-called "standardized" tests, the body . . .

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Barack and Michelle Obama continued avoiding public schools for their daughters when they moved to Washington D.C. in 2009. In Chicago they had sent Sasha and Malia to the University of Chicago Lab Schools. In D.C., the first daughters attend Sidwell Friends. Neither school required the children to do massive amounts of test prep or endure high-stakes so-called

Sue Sadlowski Garza declares victory in 10th Ward aldermanic race against Rahm Emanuel's loyalist incumbent John Pope...

Jane Addams Elementary School counselor Sue Sadlowski Garza declared victory with all the votes counted after a long day and night on the evening of April 8, 2015. Garza told supporters she has an 89 . . .

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Surrounded by family and supporters, Jane Addams Elementary School counselor Sue Sadlowski Garza declared victory in the 10th Ward aldermanic race on April 8, 2015. Substance photo by David Vance.

ELECTION LESSONS 2015... Electing Mayor Austerity... Both candidates accepted the 'austerity' narrative.... 'García has spent much of his time on the campaign trail lowering the expectations of working class voters...'

[We waited until after the April 7, 2015 voting for Chicago's mayor (and 18 aldermen) before we published the following. "Electing Mayor Austerity -- Lee Sustar explains why austerity will rule in Chicago, no matter . . .

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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (left, with the bright shoe shine) was re-elected by a majority of 56 percent to 44 percent on April 7, 2015, against Jesus

The Southeast Side's 10th Ward Unites with Sue Garza and Dumps Incumbent Rahm Emanuel lapdog John Pope... Pope refused to concede, but Garza is still ahead after a day of counting the absentee and provisional ballots from the 10th Ward at Langdon Neal's 'Board of Election Commissioners'...

The last thing Rahm Emanuel wants is Sue Sadlowski Garza on the Chicago City Council. But for all his millions of dollars, Rahm Emanuel doesn't live or vote in Chicago's gritty 10th Ward. And despite . . .

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Friends and supporters of Sue Sadlowski Garza kept a careful watch on the counting of the absentee and provisional ballots from the 10th Ward aldermanic runoff on April 9, 2015. Because incumbent alderman John Pope refused to concede after the results showed Garza ahead by more than 80 votes, the decision went to the counting of the absentee and provisional ballots (which are not counted unless the results are very close and neither side concedes). Above, Garza supporters Sarah Chambers (left) and Miriam Socoloff (fourth from left) watch as the envelopes are opened and the remaining vote tallied. Substance photo by David Vance.

LESSONS OF CHICAGO'S 2015 ELECTION: First lesson. Negative nonsense at a huge cost failed. The lesson of the 45th Ward...

By the time the votes were counted and the election results were in in the Chicago ward in which I live, my neighbor John Arena had won a decisive victory in his campaign for re-election . . .

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Chicago's 45th Ward Alderman John Arena (above left) celebrated his re-election on election night, April 7, 2015, with his wife Jill and supporters at the La Pena restaurant. Arena was targeted for numerous attacks by various PACs backing Rahm Emanuel because he had voted against Emanuel's policies more than any other member of the City Council during Emanuel's four years in office.