LETTER: Obama and reading tests... 'With the proposed reductions, there will still be plenty of tests, and they will still be administered online, a huge and ever-growing boondoggle that bleeds money from schools...'

In my e-mail today I received a note from President Obama which included this statement: "We need a better education plan -- one that cuts standardized testing to a bare minimum ...". Of course I . . .

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Despite the fact that Barack Obama and Arne Duncan began promoting the massive increase in testing even before they went to Washington following Obama's election in 2008, by 2015 they were talking as if over-testing was not the direct result of their neoliberal corporate

LETTERS: Senator Alexander is wrong -- the issue is not 'feds v states'

Is the issue Feds vs. States? Lamar Alexander says: "Most of the controversy that exists today is the result of Washington getting involved [in state education policy] over the last six or seven years." (http://time.com/3681776/lamar-alexander-no-child-left-behind/) . . .

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Stephen Krashen has written some of the most important books and studies about how children learn to read and love reading -- and it's not by devoting their time to so-called

LETTERS: UNO gets millions while schools are starved

[Editor's Note. The following letter was sent to the Chicago Tribune on February 5, 2013]

Dear Editor:

Let me understand this. There's no money for public schools; so . . .

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LETTER: Why I strike — It's time to challenge apartheid and two nations, separate and unequal

“Let's concede that we have decided to let our children grow up in two separate nations, and lead two separate kinds of lives. If, on the other hand, we have the courage to rise to . . .

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Striking teachers picket outside Hefferan Elementary School on Chicago's West Side before seven in the morning on September 12, 2012, some carrying CTU signs, others with their own clear messages. Substance photo by Kati Gilson.

LETTER: If 'ex physics teacher' Brizard loves STEM so much, where was he during the recent CPS Science Fair?

[Editor's Note: The following letter was sent to the Chicago Sun-Times on June 19, 2012 and has not as of this date (June 20, 2012) been published there. It is reprinted here with the permission . . .

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LETTER: 'Dying to teach'... Video about suburban Chicago teacher suicide now available

My name is Myra Richardson. I am the director/producer of the documentary, DYING TO TEACH: The Killing of Mary Eve Thorson, "Educators Who Bully." I was honored to have spent several days with Mary Thorson's . . .

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Teacher Mary Eve Thorson before the suicide caused by persecution by officials of suburban Chicago District 169.

LETTER FORM OAKLAND: Will this be the break from Democratic Party politics?

Yes, Oakland officially began its Occupy Oakland process today, Monday, October 10, 2011. It is in solidarity with now over 1,600 OccupyTogether locations, spin-offs from Occupy Wall street. We met in front of City Hall . . .

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One of the Occupy Oakland posters.

California teacher warns Obama: Dump Duncan and stop attacking teachers or lose in 2012

[Editor's note. The following letter (and bibliography) was forwarded to Substance from a number of lists by one of our friends, California teacher Claudia Ayers. It has already generated a good deal of response, and . . .

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Arne Duncan arriving at Chicago's Carl Schurz High School on September 9, 2011. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.

LETTER: Nancy Carlsson Paige responds to the trivialization of the SOS rally and march in the Boston Globe

[Editor's Note: The following letter appeared on line at the Boston Globe on August 4, 2011, following the Globe's coverage of the SOS rally and march in Washington D.C. on July 30. The letter . . .

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LETTER: Tests and poverty are main correlation, so why does Illinois need more tests?

October 2, 2010 Substance: I recently heard on WBBM radio that Illinois is now is going to give three standardized tests to students a year in order to evaluate teachers. They may be unaware that . . .

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Response to Sun-Times editorial

My immediate response to the Sun Times editorial is that Tom Mamee, Kate Grossman, Thomas Frisbie, and Mary Mitchell who form the Chicago Sun Times editorial board must either be mathematically challenged or intellectually dishonest. . . .

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LETTER: Track (i.e. year-round) schools' payroll screwup at central office penalizes teachers... 'I don't do my own payroll'

Did Substance hear about the nice payroll letter that some of us at Track Schools [year-round] received on Friday ? It did not affect everyone, but some of us got letters saying that there was . . .

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LETTER: Since when does a retired Army Colonel qualify to be a district superintendent running a bunch of Chicago high schools?

April 13, 2010. We Need to Beat Back New Attacks on the Schools, and here is one example of what I mean. The Chicago Public School System (CPS), with orders coming down from the top . . .

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Retired Army Colonel Rick Mills (above, center) was part of the group that dedicated the

LETTER: I teach at the 'Central Falls High School' of Miami, Florida, and we won't let you scapegoat us for your problems

I teach at a school just like Central Falls High School in Rhode Island. I am a teacher just like those summarily fired at Central Falls. Speaking to the US Chamber of Commerce this week, . . .

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LETTER: Grotesque Hypocrisy in D.C., Times Square... Obama, Duncan and The New York Times demand firing of teachers at schools with low scores on biased so-called 'standardized' tests!

So yesterday the New York Times featured another teacher bashing story on its front page. Since they featured Arne Duncan and Barack Obama at one of those Chicago "turnaround" schools back in December 2008, this . . .

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Former Chicago Schools Chief Executive Officer Arne Duncan (above right, at Chicago's Bud Billiken Day Parade on August 12, 2006) has now established the Chicago Plan to fire teachers from inner city schools as a national program thanks to President Barack Obama. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.

LETTER: Josef Cannon adds his support to Guggenheim

[Editor's note: The following letter was sent to Substance and arrived on February 10, 2010].
Dear Kristine Mayle: I'm Josef Cannon former student of Guggenheim and supporter of keeping the school from closing. I read . . .

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LETTER: Criticizing AFT position on Race To The Top

[Editor's Note: The following letter was sent to the American Federation of Teachers regarding an article on Race To The Top that appeared in "American Teacher." The writer forwarded it to us for publication at . . .

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LETTER: 'Pride is sometimes all we have...'... CPS should not destroy the Guggenheim family... An open letter to the Englewood community

The Closing of Guggenheim... This letter is meant to address all those who stay in the Englewood area on the south side of Chicago, IL. Specifically in the 60621 ZIP Code range. If you are . . .

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When one of the students who testified against the closing of Guggenheim Elmentary School broke down in tears during the January 29, 2010 hearing, teachers Jacqueline Jones and Earnest Jones brought tissues and comfort to him. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.

LETTER: NY Times gets most of it in story about decline in high school exit exams

January 13, 2010. The New York Times article (below), by a reporter who does not normally cover education (his most recent stories were about executions in Ohio and cab meters in DC), does a fairly . . .

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LETTER: A death in the family

[Readers: The following letter was sent to Substance on New Year's Day 2010. I feel it is appropriate to publish it here as a Letter. Paul Moore has been writing about public schools in Miami . . .

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