SUBSCRIPT: HEAR YE! HEAR YE! Rahm and Barbara Byrd Bennett have, for the first time, invented CPS Arts Education! In the middle of the most tumultuous hearings in CPS history, Byrd Bennett takes principals to the opera to tout another Rahm fictional script

For nearly two years, close observers have been noting that the "communications" departments following the orders of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel have been as deft as Hollywood scriptwriters at creating fictions and then trying to push them into the public mainstream as fact. Barely had Emanuel been inaugurated than he proclaimed, in a barrage of lies that lasted months, that Chicago's public schools had the shortest school day in the USA, that Houston students got four more years of school during their public school years, and that the community was rising up on behalf of his "Longer School Day" thrusts.

Within a few months, the Chicago Teachers Union had debunked the lies about the Longer School Day, but they kept coming from the mayor's mouth for months after the debunking. And Substance, then the rest of the media, noted that the "community" and "parent" support for the Longer School Day was coming from protesters who were paid, indirectly from the mayor's own campaign funds. Alongside the paid protesters and pseudo-parents supporting Rahm came the Rent A Preacher movement, mostly Christian preachers who showed up on call to declare their support for the latest script from City Hall and CPS.

By the 2012 - 2013 school year, the "Longer School Day" lie had been replaced by two new ones: The "Underutilization Crisis" and the "Billion Dollar Deficit." The protagonist of the Long School Day show, Jean Claude Brizard, was replaced by a new player to strut and fret on Chicago's stage following Emanuel's scriptwriters, and Barbara Byrd Bennett arrived from Detroit to become "Rahm 2.0" and read the lines assigned to her about underutilized schools and huge deficits.

In the middle, the script apparently called for some distractions, so Rahm and CPS have announced that they have invented Arts Education for Chicago. That will be introduced with an Opera, as the memo below indicates.

During the more than 35 years of the history of Substance, we have published Subscripts on some unusual events in Chicago's public schools. We have published the fact that a principal had been raping students in his office over and over, that the budget each year was manipulated to create a phony "deficit" and hundreds of other notes about mendacity and comedy, some simultaneous. But in the middle of the hearings taking place today, and at the time when art teachers have still been kept from classrooms at dozens of schools, Barbara Byrd Bennett sent the city's principals the memo below. We have gotten used to lies spewing like sludge out of the Communications Department at CPS, but the claim below, that this is the "first ever" arts education plan, is more than ridiculous. And yet they say it, and apparently the city's principals are supposed to confirm it and nod in agreement...


February 7, 2013: A Special Evening of the Arts with Renée Fleming for CPS Principals and Chiefs

Dear Colleague,

On behalf of the District, President Vitale, and the Board of Education, I am so excited to invite you to the second of two events celebrating the recent Board approval of the first-ever Chicago Public Schools Arts Education Plan.

This Plan sets the standards for Arts Education across the District and aims to provide greater coordination, alignment and resources in order to ensure that every student at every CPS school has access to a robust arts education experience. See for more information.

Please join the CPS Department of Arts Education in collaboration with the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Ingenuity Incorporated as we unveil our first big initiative from the Arts Education Plan, An Arts Liaison in Every School.

This evening for District Leadership will be co-hosted by Lyric Opera of Chicago's Creative Consultant and celebrated soprano, Renée Fleming, along with special guests:

When: Thursday evening, February 7, 2013

Reception: 4:30-5:45 p.m. at the Lyric Civic Opera House, Rice Grand Foyer, 20 North Wacker Drive. Program: 6:00-7:00 p.m. at the UBS Ballroom, 1 North Wacker Drive (immediately across the street from the Lyric).

Who: Principals, Assistant Principals, Chiefs of Schools, Central Office Officers & Directors and special guests (each invitee is welcome to bring a plus-one)

Why: Celebration of Arts Education in CPS and Arts Liaison Announcement

Please RSVP by Monday, February 4th for the February 7th event at the following link:

Following the Reception and Program, guests may choose to attend a 7:30 p.m. performance of the opera, La Bohème, by purchasing tickets in advance at a special discounted rate of $39/ticket. Please use promotion code, Mimi, which should be entered in the box in the upper right corner before ordering at the following link: or via phone, 312.332.2244.*

Please reach out to Mario Rossero, CPS Director of Arts, with any questions at mrrossero

Sincerely, Dr. Barbara Byrd-Bennett, CEO, Chicago Public Schools

* Discount ticket offers and promotions do not apply to previous purchases, are non-transferable, and cannot be combined with any other offer or redeemed for cash. Offers and promotions are subject to change.


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