BOARDWATCH: Chicago Board of Education's March 22, 2017 meeting

The Chicago Board of Education (BOE) held its regular monthly meeting on March 22, 2017, at its Chicago Public School (CPS) headquarters on Madison between State and Dearborn. A number of concerns expressed during Public . . .

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Lois Weiner talked strategy at CTU delegate training... 'Confidence, creativity, and critique...'

The following is part of the speech given to Chicago Teachers Union delegates during the Delegates Training March 18, 2017 at the CTU headquarters by Lois Weiner, author, historian, and education activist. The speech was . . .

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Historian and union activist Lois Weiner speaking from the stage of the Chicago Teachers Union headquarters during the March 2018 delegate and

Artist Thomas Lanigan Schmidt honored in New York by the American Academy of Arts and Letters...

While the Trump administration, aided and abetted in Illinois by Governor Bruce Rauner and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, continues to gut art and music programs in public schools, a lifelong artist (and brother of this . . .

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The artist Thomas Lanigan Schmidt in his New York

Republican loss on 'Trumpcare' can't be spun, and is now the opening for a civilized health system even for the United States of America...

Despite the feeble attempts by President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan to spin the major defeat they have suffered in their inability to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act (also know as . . .

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Most CTU clinicians are opposing the proposed one day 'strike' despite heavy push from union officers... Only two out of 109 who returned survey are supporting the one-day 'strike'...

Chicago Teachers Union clinician members had a rousing meeting on March 21, 2017, with Maria Moreno, a former clinician who is now CTU Financial Secretary, speaking the CTU sound bites getting an earful! There were . . .

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Chicago Public Schools clinicians have united against CPS cutbacks on these essential services and are not unified in opposition to another one-day so-called

BOOK REVIEW: Latest book on Chicago Teachers Union by two University of Illinois at Chicago professors contains noteworthy factual errors...

I received Bruno and Ashby’s book "The Fight for the Soul of Public Education" as part of a staff “Secret Santa” event at the school where I teach. A little of my background is probably . . .

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Sunny days helped the Chicago Teachers Strike of September 2012, which lasted for seven school days. Above, teachers stream around Buckingham Fountain for a strike rally after a march through Chicago's Loop during the strike.

Majority of Chicago Teachers Union rank-and-file are saying a loud 'No!' to leadership's proposal for another one-day so-called 'strike'...

As the time narrows before the April meeting of the Chicago Teachers Union's 800-member House of Delegates, it has become clear that the majority of the union's 27,000 members (about 24,000 of whom are active . . .

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By the time Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis led the union's 24,000 active duty members on a one-day

Trump's budget hit by The Guardian and many others as facts become more clear...'Trump doesn’t want an effective military; he wants a big, expensive, ostentatious one that he can march down Pennsylvania Avenue like a Soviet May Day parade...'

As the facts about Donald Trump's proposed federal budget become more clear, criticisms of the plans have come from a broad range of people and publications, with satires in The Washington Post and The Onion . . .

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While the first iteration of the federal budget being prepared by the Trump administration cuts human services (and funding for the arts, humanities, and education) drastically, President Trump has proposed that the military get a virtual blank check, despite the fact that the U.S. military budget presently is greater than the military budgets of the next eight nations in terms of total cost. Despite claims that Trump is forcing down costs for military hardware by

Elected school board bill for Chicago passes out of House committee by overwhelming bi-partisan vote... Will Cullerton and Rahm Emanuel continue to block it in the Illinois Senate?...

The 2017 version of the bill that when it becomes law will give Chicago its first elected school board in history passed easily out of the Illinois House of Representatives committee on March 15, 2017, . . .

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President Donald Trump's 'wiretap' ... or 'tapp' ... charge against former President Barack Obama has now been rejected even by Republican leader House Speaker Paul Ryan...

On March 18, 2017, the America On Line (AOL) news service reported that Paul Ryan has become the highest ranking Republican leader to reject the claim by President Donald Trump that former President Barack Obama . . .

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Trump's anti-Muslim travel ban blocked again by a federal court...

Hours before it was scheduled to go into effect, President Donald Trump's latest anti-Muslim travel ban was blocked by a federal court judge, this time in Hawaii. Once again the courts have held that Trump's . . .

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No sooner had the word gotten out that a court in Hawaii had blocked his latest travel ban against Muslims than Donald Trump issued another verbal attack on the federal courts and once again tried to claim that when the United States is

Donald Trump paid minimum taxes in 2005, leaked tax return pages show...

Leaked pages from Donald Trump's 2005 federal income tax returns show that in that year he paid the minimum amount of federal income taxes on income of 150 million dollars. "The documents show Trump and . . .

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David Cay Johnston's The Making of Donald Trump was again available to the public prior to the 2016 election, but the facts mattered less to the public than the inability of the Democratic Party to articulate a coherent alternative prior to Trump's electoral college victory as a result of the November 7, 2016 election. Johnston stays on the investigative trail into 2017, most recently after he received some federal income tax materials (from 2005) about Trump.

Elected school board bill begins another journey through the Illinois House of Representatives...

The bill that would give Chicago its first truly elected school board in history will begin its latest journey through the Illinois legislative process on March 15, when the bill, proposed by State Rep. Rob . . .

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Illinois State Rep. Rob Martwick (D Chicago) speaks with constituents. Martwick is once again sponsoring legislation to create an elected school board for Chicago. Photo from Martwick office.

Trumpcare will leave tens of thousands, including children, to suffer and die... Six ways Trumpcare makes healthcare worse... And one way to make It better...

Anyone who has been blessed to have had decent affordable health insurance during the past several years can easily point to the dozens of ways in which American medicine is very very good. But as . . .

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Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price began his attack on the analysis of Trumpcare by the Congressional Budget Office even before he had read the CBO report. Like all of the other Trump Cabinet appointees, Price is a reactionary ideolog (please distinguish those from true conservatives, who are also opposing Trumpcare) who went from Congress to the Cabinet as part of the sweeping attacks on government benefits that has come to characterize the administration of Donald Trump even as many people are still distracted by Trump's ability to distract many with his outrageous Tweets and some of his public claims.

MEDIA WATCH: The New York Times discovers that the University of Chicago's neighborhood of Hyde Park is really 'ghetto' and then spins a corporate school reform version of reality out of Kenwood High School...

Does anyone in Chicago seriously believe that the area around 51st and Lake Park is part of the "Englewood Ghetto"? Probably not, and that number would include any reporter who has covered Chicago for more . . .

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Kenwood High School in Chicago serves the University of Chicago's Hyde Park community and is not a part of Chicago's vast South Side poverty ghetto. Photo from the Hyde Park Herald.

Despite what the Trump administration is claiming, human-caused Climate Change is real and a real danger... Kim Scipes speaking at Open University of the Left in Lincoln Park on March 18...

Anyone near DePaul University's Lincoln Park campus who wishes to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in a very interesting way should make sure to be at the Lincoln Park library next Saturday, March 18, 2017, for . . .

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Few people in the country were as much against environmental protection as Scott Pruitt. As a result, President Trump appointed Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency. NPR photo.

Despite officers' claims and manipulative pre-House of Delegates press conference, majority of CTU members are opposing another one day so-called 'strike'...

Despite claims by the officers of the Chicago Teachers Union that the one-day so-called "strike" on April 1, 2016 won great victories for the city's public schools and the union's members, calls by the union's . . .

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The Tribune photograph from the May 8 CTU press conference, the one that took place before the union's House of Delegates meeting. Photo Chicago Tribune.

Former Byrd Bennett aide Tim Cawley named to top post in Chicago Catholic Schools...

While the city awaits the sentencing of former Chicago Public Schools "Chief Executive Officer" Barbara Byrd Bennett (who pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges in the SUPES case), another former administrator of CPS now has . . .

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Tim Cawley (right) at a meeting of the Chicago Board of Education. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.

Does the plan for a one-day CTU 'strike' on May 1 including a strike against the Special Olympics?... Or did somebody just fail to look at the calendar after the Polar Plunge was ended...

Is it possible that the leaders of the CTU did not look at the Special Olympics 2017 schedule when announcing a one-day "strike" for May 1, 2017? In the rush to have some sort of . . .

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Opening of the 2016 Special Olympics in Chicago.

BOARDWATCH: Since Arne Duncan left CPS in 2009, the administrations have been reduced by more than 200 percent!... Alternative facts are not just the spoutings of the Trumps... Latest CAFR shows that additional money to CPS has not been going to school teachers or PSRPs...

The main result of the decision by the leaders of the Chicago Teachers Union to eliminate their own independent analysis of the finances of Chicago Public Schools is that the most ridiculous stuff gets said . . .

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The most detailed and accurate financial report from CPS is the annual CAFR. The FY 2016 CAFR was released to the public in January 2017, but as of March 2017 the leadership of the Chicago Teachers Union, while complaining about the latest pay cuts being imposed on the union's members (via