OPT OUT 2015: Chicago school and principal make the pages of The Washington Post

Even the nation's major newspapers are finally noting that the PARCC tests are nonsense, and as more and more reporters (and even some editors, although not at the Chicago Tribune or Sun-Times) actually go on . . .

| Article |

On March 5, 2015, the Chicago Teachers Union challenged everyone who is supporting PARCC to take the on line sample test and see for themselves how ridiculous PARCC is.

Parents still being told the lie that they can't Opt Out their children

[Editor's Note: Chicago is in the middle of several major upheavals, only one of which is the municipal election that will unseat the tyrannical mayor Rahm Emanuel on April 7. Right now, parents across the . . .

| Article |

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel continues to make false claims about ow much the city's public schools have improved during the four years since he became mayor in 2011. By March 2015, his supporters in school administrations across Chicago were trying to tell parents and children they did not have the right to Opt Out of the PARCC tests.

MEDIA WATCH: Rahm touted Walmart on March 4 while the media showcased him at the fire house

If you listened to or watched the news on March 4, 2015, you'd have learned that Rahm Emanuel may have once drunk expensive wine with his buddy Bruce Rauner, but now he was opposed -- . . .

| Article |

ALDERMANIC UPDATES: Tara Stamps demands a debate with Emma Mitts in the 37th Ward

Now that Chicago is in the home stretch in the 2015 municipal elections and most media attention will be focused on the mayoral race, it's still important to report the news from the aldermanic runoffs. . . .

| Article |

Chicago Teachers Union challenges CPS 'security' form as PARCC testing program begins against the opposition of hundreds of teachers and thousands of students and families

In the wake of the last minute decision by Chicago Public Schools officials to administer the PARCC test in all of the city's elementary schools, the Chicago Teachers Union has taken the dramatic step of . . .

| Article |

Speaking at the February 25, 2015 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education (above), Chicago Teachers Union vice president Jesse Sharkey told the Board members and administrators that the union did not support the administration of the controversial PARCC tests to the city's elementary school children. The union officer's family has opted out his own two sons from the city's ever expanding testing and test prep programs where the two Sharkey sons attend public school, at Pritzker Elementary School. Substance photo by David Vance.

Edison principal, others in frantic attempt to stop families from getting Opt Out information... A report on the efforts of administrators to block the right of students to refuse to take the PARCC tests...

A frantic attempt to stop opt-out leafleting was made on March 4, 2015 and failed because those distribution the opt out materials knew the law and held our ground. Here is a first hand report . . .

| Article |

Edison Regional Gifted Center on Chicago's Northwest Side got a lesson in the First Amendment on March 4, 2015 when school officials tried to block community activists distributing Opt Out materials and were told by the police that the activity on the sidewalk in front of the school was legal under American law.

RAHMWATCH: Rahm's whole career has been an attack on working people and unions... Salon analysis takes Rahm's arrogance back a quarter century.... 'On April 7 pay-to-play politics goes on trial in Chicago. The voters will be the judges...'

[Editor's Note: During the week before February 24, 2015, every ruling class media mouthpiece assured their readers that Rahm Emanuel would win the municipal election, despite the organizations arrayed against him. Among others, The New . . .

| Article |

Anyone who doubted that Barack Obama was a

RAHMWATCH: 'That sludgy sea of mendacity...' since Rahm started at City Hall more than 20 years ago... The lies shift as the months pass, but Rahm's 'Mendacious Scripts' began in June 2011 -- the new 'Rahm Board of Education' began lying about its budget and stealing a raise from CPS workers...

Looking back on it after four years, it's clear that the lies of the Emanuel administration began as soon as Rahm had installed his "new" Board of Education and executive team in May and June . . .

| Article |

Almost everyone with power at the nation's third largest school system was replaced after Rahm Emanuel became mayor in May 2011, and by the time of the June 15, 2011 Board of Education meeting (above) the Emanuel Team consisted of Board members committed to privatization and union busting and bureaucrats from out of town who knew nothing about Chicago's schools and could have cared less, since their jobs were to read the scripts produced by Rahm Emanuel's scriptwriters. Above, during the June 15, 2011 Board meeting are (read, left to right, Penny Pritzker, Rodrigo Sierra, and Andrea Zopp). Foreground,

RAHMWATCH: Year old expose on Rahm's corruption shows how he pushes money to his campaign donors

[Editor's Note: With the reprint of the article below (which originally appeared almost a year ago) we are beginning a daily RAHMWATCH feature at substancenews.net. This feature will consist of original reporting by our staff . . .

| Article |

Rahm Emanuel's con man smile faded after the votes were counted in Chicago's municipal election on February 24, 2015. Rahm now faces a runoff for mayor against Chuy Garcia on April 7, 2015.

ED WRITERS: Substance story from 2003 shows that the hypocrisy of 'Ed Writers' was nothing new in 2015...'the EWA conference room had plenty of wattage; what it lacked was intellectual illumination....' (Susan Ohanian).

[Editor's Note: We were happy to be reminded that our friend Susan Ohanian was in Chicago for the 'Ed Writers" meeting back in 2003, and that little has really changed since then. The Ed Writers . . .

| Article |

It has now been 16 years since Susan Ohanian published

'Non Partisan' Chicago elections were contrived after Harold Washington's 1983 and 1987 election victories

For decades, Chicago held its municipal elections in two parts: a party primary in February and the general election in April. Following the surprise (to some) election of Harold Washington as Mayor of Chicago in . . .

| Article |

America Federation of Teachers joins reactionary panel in support of Common Core at Ed Writers Association... 'Opt Out Movement' viewed as the enemy of so-called 'standards'! while Ed Writers broadens its blacklist of who is a 'journalist'...

Continuing its rear-guard action defending the Common Core and corporate education "reform", the American Federation of Teachers sent one of its most prominent personalities to the annual Education Writers Association conference to be on a . . .

| Article |

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) continued its support for corporate

Traced back to Rahm Emanuel's NATO security frenzy... Protesters Target Chicago Police Department 'Black Site' at Homan Square; Demand that City 'Shut it Down!'

About 200 protesters rallied on February 28, 2015, at the Chicago Police Department’s “black site” at Homan Square, 3379 W. Fillmore (next to Homan Avenue) on a cold, but sunny day. The racially mixed but . . .

| Article |

Protesters at the police 'dark site.' Substance photo by Kim Scipes.

BOARDWATCH: Milkie's frauds at Noble charter schools have been exposed long ago, and still the Board and Rahm push the Milkie myths...

Mayors come and mayors go, but as long as Chicago has a school board appointed by its mayor, fraudulent outfits like the "Noble Network of Charter Schools" will be receiving preferential treatment from the Board . . .

| Article |

Michael Milkie crossing a picket line at Bowen High School protesting the takeover of part of the building by

Bringing the War Back Home, Courtesy of the Chicago Police Department: “Black Site” Used in Chicago; Local Press 'Uninterested'

An explosive article about CPD’s use of a “black site” to hide, isolate and sometimes torture people in Chicago has just been published by Stuart Ackerman of “The Guardian” newspaper. (The full article is at . . .

| Article |

BOARDWATCH: 'The Board’s pro-business policy of moving essential health services to the private sector is not in the best interests of Chicago’s school children...' Nurses' testimony highlights dangers of privatization obsession of Rahm's appointed Board of Education.

[Editor's Note: Below is the written testimony prepared for presentation at the February 25, 2015 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education by veteran CPS nurse Helen Ramirez Odell. Not only did the Board members . . .

| Article |

Retired school nurse and Chicago Teachers Union leader Helen Ramirez Odell (at podium) was one of two speakers who challenged the Board's decimation of school health services during the February 25, 2015 Board meeting. Standing with Ramirez Odell is Joan Lipschutz, who is currently working as a school nurse and who took a personal day to try and bring the crisis situation to the Board members, who ignored both nurses. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.

BOARDWATCH: Veterans for Peace continues to remind Rahm's Board of Education of the obscenity of CPS militarism

[Editor's Note: The following statement was delivered to the February 25, 2015 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education by Arny Stieber, a Vietnam veteran, who has repeatedly spoken at Board meetings in opposition to . . .

| Article |

Veterans for Peace spokesman Arny Stieber, right at microphone, returned to the Board of Education for the group's monthly reminder to the Board that Chicago should cease the militarization of Chicago Public Schools, which is the most militarized school system in the USA. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.

Barack Obama's hypocrisy -- and ignorance of Chicago and union history -- was fully exposed as Rahm Emanuel is defeated. Even with the massive support -- and even a 'Bro Hug' from Obama -- Rahm was forced into a runoff scheduled for April 7.

In no local election in American history has the President of the United States come down from his throne to tout the candidacy of one candidates as did Barack Obama during the month before the . . .

| Article |

Rarely in the long history of the United States of America has a sitting President of the United States devoted time to campaigning for a local mayor. But in January and February 2015, Barack Obama came to Chicago on behalf of the desperate campaign of incumbent Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Obama's first service to Emanuel saw Obama doing a radio ad that ran throughout the campaign up to the February 24 election day. Then, less than a week before the voting, Obama came to Chicago for a publicity stunt on behalf of Emanuel. Despite the White House support, at taxpayers' expense, Emanuel received only 45 percent of the vote on February 24 and as a result faces a runoff against Jesus

BOARDWATCH: Chicago Board of Education meeting of February 25, 2015 continued the Board's privatization and charter school policies despite the verdicts of the February 24 municipal election against Rahm Emanuel and the massive vote for an elected school board!

The Chicago Board of Education held its monthly meeting on Wednesday, February 25, 2015, at 42 West Madison Street, the old Sears Loop Store, at the "Garden Level", which is now the small Board Meeting . . .

| Article |

Chicago Teachers Union Vice President Jesse Sharkey reminded the Board of Education that the schools were all receiving PARCC materials, confusing administrators and teachers, while the Board was unwilling to make it clear to the Illinois State Board of Education the Board's position. Sharkey also reminded the Board that the citizens of Chicago had voted nine to one for an elected school board. After he spoke, Sharkey held a press conference which was attended by all the reporters and camera people there for the Board meeting, leaving few media people inside the Board meeting to listen to the five Board members who had dared to show up following the February 24, 2015 referendum demanding an end to the appointed school board. Substance photo by David Vance.

RAHMWATCH: Mayor saves city from minor snowfall, orders all out effort to make sure every side street is plowed this time -- while making sure the TV cameras are watching him at Snow Command...

Not wanting to have the news reports once again showing that Chicago's side streets were left unplowed while the mayor's block and those of powerful city officials were cleared, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel stood on . . .

| Article |

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel at Snow Command. When the big snow buried Chicago in January, Emanuel suffered a