BOARDWATCH: February 26, 2014 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education continues Vitale's policy of suppressing democratic speech against CPS policies with escalating viciousness...

At the regular monthly meeting of the Chicago Board of Education at 125 S. Clark Street on February 26, 2014, more parents of children at traditional neighborhood schools finally got a chance to speak during . . .

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Accompanied by Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis (half obscured behind the speaker) and CTU Quest Center and NBCT coordinator Lynn Cherkasky-Davis (above right),one of the more than 100 new NBCT teachers told the the Chicago Board of Education about her work and the program. After praising the program, the Board then went into its meeting, where teachers were again disregarded and major Power Point presentations on educational issues were delivered by highly paid CPS executives who had never taught in Chicago schools and whose main qualifications for their current administrative offices are the fact that they hold MBA degrees and are willing to deliver carefully scripted Power Point presentations in support of usually destructive corporate school reform programs. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.

OPT OUT NEWS: Great video 'Ain't Gonna Teach To The Test No More' needed to begin every class today... Few corporate media news reports from the February 26 Board meeting get to the truth about what was said during the long meeting

A new You Tube video "Ain't Gonna Teach To The Test No More" to the tune of "Gonna Lay Down My Sword And Shield..." is going viral on You tube, thanks to the talented . . .

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One of many students who have been analyzing and criticizing the standardized testing fetish of Chicago's mayor and his hand-picked public schools leadership was Audobon school student Eleanor Griffith, who spoke with precision to the February 26, 2014 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education. Ms.Griffith told the Board that she had critically analyzed the NWEA MAP test and that the test was offensive: it didn't test what the children had been taught, often demanded that they know subjects above their grade level (e.g. high school math), and created a poisonous reality in the classroom (by forcing children to view one another as numbers that indicated that some were

BOARDWATCH: More Than A Score versus CPS on testing... 'we call on you to change the culture of fear and paranoia that feeds this misinformation by lowering the quantity and stakes of standardized testing and increasing the value placed on high quality learning.'

[Substance Editor's Note: The following statement was delivered at the February 26, 2014 meeting of the Chicago Board of Educatoin by Cassie Crestwell of More Than A Score. The members of the Board of Education . . .

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Cassie Creswell of More than a Score presenting to the February 24, 2014 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.

CONGRESSMAN DAVIS BETRAYS UNIONS... Final meeting of the Chicago Board of Education for 2013 continues Board's assault on the city's real public schools while eliminating more and more of the public from the 'public participation' in the lone public meeting of the month

The December meeting of the Chicago Board of Education on Wednesday, December 18, 2013, at 125 S. Clark Street began with festive holiday performances by Kenwood Academy and Lane Tech High School. Kenwood Academy guys . . .

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For thousands, the most shocking moment during the December 18, 2013 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education came when Congressman Danny Davis took the podium to betray decades of friendships and political allies by announcing that he was supporting the production of another union-busting charters school on Chicago's West Side. In a rambling five-minute orgation, Davis told the Board that he had always supported the public schools and that he loved the Chicago Teachers Union and that he had been a union member -- but instead of fixing the real public schools of the Aistin community he would prefer that a local community center be rewarded with a charter school charter and millions of dollars in public money for additional privatization. Before the meeting was over, many of Davis's former allies were branding him a traitor and preparing for the future. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.

BOARDWATCH: 'This was a deceptive backroom deal with no transparency, no public input, and no community meetings!...' Michelle Villegas' statement to the Board of Education exposing the hypocrisy of the Lincoln Elementary School addition

[Editor's Note: The following statement was read to the five members of the Chicago Board of Education during public participation at the November 20, 2013 meeting of the Board. Board members Andrea Zopp and Mahalia . . .

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Michelle Villegas reading her statement to the Chicago Board of Education on November 20, 2013. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.

Why Ames? Follow the Money!... Ames is not for sale!

[Editor's Note: The following statement was read to the five members of the Chicago Board of Education during public participation at the November 20, 2013 meeting of the Board. Board members Andrea Zopp and Mahalia . . .

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As Elizabeth Koutny continued to charge corruption on the part of Alderman Roberto Maldonado, the Board secretary screamed

BOARDWATCH: November 20, 2013 Board meeting sees fist fight, protests against overcrowding, and denunciations for past year's hypocrisy about 'underutilization'

Before the regular monthly meeting of the Chicago Board of Education began on Wednesday, November 20, 2013, both sides of the arcade next to the Board lobby at 125 S. Clark Street were filled with . . .

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Students from the South Shore Fine Arts Academy performing at the November 21, 2013 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.

BOARDWATCH: Chicago Board of Education continues Kafkaesque Power Point attacks on common sense as CPS presents a 'Facilities Plan' that is not a real facilities plan at its September 25, 2013 meeting

When is a 'plan' not a plan? When it's a school "facilities plan" in Chicago a few months after the massive school closings of 2013. And when it's a plan that can be ignored by . . .

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Chicago Public Schools 'Chief Transformation Officer' Todd Babbitz presented the Power Point version of the CPS 'Facilities Plan' to the Board's September 25, 2013 meeting. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.

BOARDWATCH: Report on the September 25, 2013 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education... Facilities plan generates most comment, but Board's inconsistencies are exposed again

Approval of the Educational Facilities Master Plan (EFMP) and adoption of a new Information Security Policy were the main items on the agenda at the regular monthly meeting of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Board . . .

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Todd Babbitz, Chicago Public Schools

Vets for Peace asks Chicago Board of Education to 'de-militarize' CPS

[Editor's Note: At the September 25, 2013 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education, Vets for Peace asked the Board during public presentation to "demilitarize itself." Substance practice is to ask selected speakers at public . . .

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Arny Stieber of Veterans for Peace asked the Chicago Board of Education to

BOARDWATCH: Chicago Board of Education approves controversial budget and 'performance' policy while forcing the public out of the meeting

The FY14 (Fiscal Year 14) Budget Proposal and the SY14-15 (School Year 2014-2015) "School Quality Rating Policy" were the the two main items on the agenda at the Chicago Board of Education (BOE) monthly meeting . . .

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Chicago Public Schools

CPS had massively -- and ludicrously -- censored the official video of critical student testimony on July 24 , 2013 and cut all those who were dragged out of the meeting -- AGAIN

As the David Vitale Board of Education, appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, continues to try and cover up all of the opposition to its policies, a dramatic example of CPS censorship became available on the . . .

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The official version of the Chicago Board of Education meeting of July 24, 2013 left out the protest by more than 15 CPS students who assembled along the wall, above, and demanded

Plaintiff's case presented from July 16 through July 17 in federal lawsuit against closings affecting special ed students

Three days of detailed testimony about the Chicago Board of Education's plans to close more than 50 of the city's real elementary schools took place in federal court in Chicago between July 16 and July . . .

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Chicago Teachers Union Financial Secretary Kristine Mayle spoke to reporters (above in the lobby of the federal courts building in Chicago) following her July 16 testimony in the lawsuit on behalf of children with disabilities facing the school closings. Substance photo by Susan Zupan.

Defense case: How the Board of Education explained itself in federal court -- or didn't

The case presented by the Chicago Board of Education in defense of its actions took nearly two days July 17 and July 18, 2013. Although as of early August Judge Lee had not yet rendered . . .

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Markay Winston, who is currently the Officer of

BOOK REVIEWS: Propagandists for corporate 'school reform' publishing books regularly touting their versions of reality

In a way, the writers don't matter, because what is important is to overstuff the libraries with so-called "studies" and other tomes all depicting the same version of reality: The USA needs corporate reform to . . .

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BOARDWATCH: Student testimony at CPS meeting... 'We are the children. We are the future....'

[Editor's Note: A large number of CPS students showed up to speak at the July 24, 2013 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education. The following are the remarks made by one of those students . . .

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Beatrice Ebijimi speaking to the Chicago Board of Education on July 24, 2013. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.

BOARDWATCH: Almost another 'Blow by blow' as the Chicago Board of Education continues to strangle democracy using the powers of the appointed school board, mayoral control, and Kafkaesque rules at its July 24, 2013 meeting

The Fiscal Year (FY) 14 Proposed Operating Budget was the main topic at the monthly Chicago Board of Education (BOE) on Wednesday, July 24, 2014, at 125 S. Clark Street in the fifth floor chambers . . .

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Following the speeches by a dozen students from Lincoln Park, Whitney Young and other high schools, the students lined the wall during the meeting, linked arms, and chanted against school closings and cuts. The signs read

CPS censorship of Board meeting broadcasts becoming a major public policy issue... Repeat publication of the Substance report on the May 22 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education

[Editor's Note: Even those who are used to the media machinations of the Chicago Board of Education were somewhat surprised at the childish censorship of the Cable TV broadcast of the May 22, 2013 meeting . . .

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Shannon Bennett of the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO) was the first protester to be grabbed and dragged away from the microphones during the tumultuous meeting of the Chicago Board of Education on May 22, 2013. Bennett was not the last, but at each point where Board President David Vitale ordered security to suppress dissent, the TV cameras which record the meeting were turned away from the podium and turned on to the face of the Board secretary Estela Beltran (next photograph). When the Board meeting video was broadcast beginning on Saturday, May 25, the TV audience would not learn that there had been any use of security against protesters during the meeting. Substance photo by Kati Gilson.

BOARDWATCH: Chicago Board of Education holds historic vote to close schools at the end of tumultuous May 22, 2013 meeting

Cries and shouts of protest from parents, teachers, and community members filled the air in the fifth floor chamber during the monthly Chicago Board of Education meeting on May 22, 2013. The meeting, held at . . .

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More than an hour before the May 22, 2013 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education began, more than a thousand people had gathered in the

BOARDWATCH: April 24, 2013 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education

Student protesters, followed by charter school supporters, filled the sidewalk in front of the Chicago Board of Education headquarters at 125 S. Clark Street before the the regularly scheduled monthly meeting in the fifth floor . . .

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Board Chief Executive Officer Barbara Byrd Bennett (left) and Alderman Carrie Austin (right) spoke before the Board meeting on April 24, 2013. Substance photo by David Vance.