BOARDWATCH: Henry Bienen and the other six smug self-important hypocrites from the Chicago Board of Education

One of the droll features of the monthly meetings of the Chicago Board of Education arrives according to the script just before the Board meeting goes into executive session. The administrators' reports are completed. The ever more greatly strangled public participation has ended, and then comes the section we need to have a name for -- for now it's the "Self-Important, Self-Serving Sermonettes" for me. At that point, Board President David Vitale usually makes some inane remarks, and then asks whether his "fellow Board members" have anything to say.

Henry Bienen, May 22, 2013. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.And one-by-one they say it, roughly the same each year. Board members pontificate (Bienen), prevaricate, or simply oooze verbiage to justify the plunder of the public they are proposing and voting for.

Henry Bienen harrumphs and reminds everyone how smart he is, then plays a bait-and-switch with the facts to answer someone he was afraid to face when the person was actually standing facing him.

After reminding people, for the thirtieth or fiftieth time, that she understands her "African American Community," Mahalia Hines then moves forward to insult someone who had called out the Board for racism, while, like Bienen, distorting what the person had said.

As so it goes, with each of the seven members of the Board making sure that the TV audience knows that the Last Word is from each of them.


July 1, 2013 at 12:24 PM

By: Susan Zupan

Checklist assignment for readers

Assignment: Review the checklist below. Assess whether or not any of the following 15 traits fit the mayor, the CPS CEO, and the members of the Chicago Board of Education, as well as Arne Duncan and Penny Pritzker who have been elevated out of such Chicago positions to positions of national impact:

1) glibness/superficial charm

2) grandiose sense of self-worth

3) pathological lying

4) cunning/manipulative

5) lack of remorse or guilt

6) emotionally shallow

7) callous/lack of empathy

8) failure to accept responsiblity for own actions

9) need for stimulation/proneness to boredom

10) parasitic lifestyle

11) lack of realistic, long-term goals

12) impulsiveness

13) irresponsibility

14) poor behavioral controls

15) criminal versatility

Does this "team" score close to if not 100%/A+ or what!? At least for their behavior toward and decisions that impact the riffraff public beneath them!!?

FYI: This is a list of 15 out of 20 traits from the "Psychopathy Checklist-Revised."

(Note: The other 5 traits are based on intimate, personal information not readily available and/or criminal background information that seldom if ever becomes an issue for members of this class.)

Add your own comment (all fields are necessary)

Substance readers:

You must give your first name and last name under "Name" when you post a comment at We are not operating a blog and do not allow anonymous or pseudonymous comments. Our readers deserve to know who is commenting, just as they deserve to know the source of our news reports and analysis.

Please respect this, and also provide us with an accurate e-mail address.

Thank you,

The Editors of Substance

Your Name

Your Email

What's your comment about?

Your Comment

Please answer this to prove you're not a robot:

1 + 3 =