Rahm's propagandists cost millions, trying to divert public attention from the attacks on public schools and programs... Destruction of vocational and career programs in Chicago continues behind 'STEM' and other silly smokescreens

The regular propaganda events unfurled by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel have almost become as predictable as the appearance of smiling Black people surrounding the mayor of Chicagoland in the story of the same name. Today is will be another "STEM" announcement, featuring the usual cast. The following week perhaps a carefully staged congratulatory moment, rehearsed for the cameras, with the winners of a national something or other.

The photo above was distributed to reporters after Mayor Rahm Emanuel's carefully staged media event at Lindblom High School. Reporters and news photographers were actually barred from the event, which was covered solely by public workers employed by the "Mayor's Press Office." During a month when Chicago reporters were told they could not talk with students or teachers except when guarded by CPS "Communications" staff, Rahm's propagandists didn't even bother to give the names of the students in the photo above, since the entire purpose of the photo and the event was to show a smiling Chicagoland mayor surrounded by minority people.Meanwhile, the gag orders against teachers and other school staff are issued regularly, and the tightening of the information stranglehold on reporting the truth about Chicago's more than 600 public schools continues.

At the same time, the mayor of the nation's third largest city continues to stage completely controlled media events at which taxpayer dollars are spent to enhance the image of the mayor as the friend of the city's minority children and especially the Black Community. They are unprecedented, so it has taken most reporters some time to get used to them since they began shortly after Emanuel's May 2011 inauguration. But they all follow roughly the same script. The Emanuel media entourage rushes off to a pre-arranged site where the mayor will have his photograph taken with smiling minorities. Often, the city's media are not even informed that the event will be taking place, despite the fact that the "Mayor's Press Office" issues as many as a half dozen press releases a day.

At the end of April 2014, a typical Rahm Emanuel staged in a school media event was staged at Chicago's Lindblom High School. The distribution list used for mayoral press releases, including a document called the "Public Schedule" of the mayor, did not mention it. But on April 28, 2014, the press received a Chicagolanded version of the story, including two photographs taken at taxpayer expense by one of Rahm Emanuel's propaganda aides.

Generations of Chicago families know Lindblom High School as the lone time "Lane Tech" of the city's South Side. After Chicago's segregationists moved most of the shops out of Tilden following the entry of large numbers of Black students into Tilden, Vocational education was still available across the South Side at a large number of schools, the most famous of which were Chicago vocational, Dunbar, Lindblom and Simeon. Lindblom was especially important because, like Lane Tech, it offered energetic students the opportunity to get both a vocational and a "college prep" education at the same time. Most of the shops were stripped out of both Lindblom, like Lane Tech, beginning under mayoral control (which was instituted with the Amendatory Act of 1995).

So... While Rahm Emanuel uses Lindblom as one of many stages for a "Rahm-With-Minority-Children" publicity stunt, nobody in the press is allowed to ask questions about why Chicago privatized and stripped away the opportunities for the city's high schoolers to become "career ready" as they would have had in the days before corporate school reform began in the 1990s.


MAYOR EMANUEL CONGRATULATES LINDBLOM ACADEMY STUDENTS ON WORLD DEBATE PERFORMANCE. Lindblom Math and Science Academy students represent Chicago at Qatar Debate World Championship

In a typical "Chicagoland's Heroic Mayor" propaganda photograph, Rahm Emanuel on April 28, 2014, staged a publicity stunt at Lindblom High School on Chicago's South Side. Most reporters were not informed of the event so that the ensuring publicity could be spun, "Chicagoland-style," complete by the mayor. The photograph above, which didn't bother to identify the extras in the shot despite the fact that they were national debate champions, is typical of a Rahm Emanuel staging: smiling minority people surrounding Chicago's "heroic" mayor. The official caption to the photo not only leaves out the names of the students, but also fails to explain why the debate sashes worn by the children are in English and Arabic. Photo courtesy of Mayor's Press Office, paid for by the taxpayers of Chicago.Today, Mayor Rahm Emanuel visited with students from Lindblom Math and Science Academy to celebrate their recent participation in the Qatar Debate World Championship, an all Arabic language debate competition, and their involvement with the new Center for Arabic Language and Culture at Lindblom. Lindblom was the only school representing the United States at the debate competition a competition comprised of almost entirely native Arabic speakers.

I congratulate and applaud the students at Lindblom Academy for their incredible accomplishments in learning Arabic and representing the City of Chicago and the United States in Doha, said Mayor Emanuel. The Center for Arabic Language and Culture at Lindblom is an excellent example of the innovative educational opportunities provided to Chicagos students, efforts that are preparing students to extend their education beyond the classroom and across the world to build global connections and skillsets.

Through a partnership with Chicago Public Schools and the Qatar Foundation International, the Center for Arabic Language and Culture at Lindblom Academy has become a premier resource for K-12 Arabic language and culture programs in Chicago. Lindblom Academy was the first high school in the city to offer a for-credit Arabic program and has grown to be the largest non-heritage for-credit programs in the U.S.

In addition to improving their Arabic language skills, the Qatar Debate World Championship allowed students to develop meaningful connections with students from Tunisia, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and other countries.

The Center for Arabic Language and Culture has facilitated numerous opportunities for connecting Chicago students to Arabic speaking students around the globe. These projects include an annual online education chemistry project between CPS students and students in Qatar and a 12-week theater project between CPS students and students in Egypt.

Robert Lindblom Math and Science Academy is located in West Englewood on Chicagos South Side and draws students from all areas of Chicago, with a student body that is approximately 97% minority and approximately 80% low-income. Lindblom offers a demanding college preparatory curriculum where all core courses are honors and Advanced Placement.

Photo Credit: Patrick Pyszka // City of Chicago

Photo Caption 1 - 2: Mayor Emanuel meets and congratulates students from Lindblom Math and Science Academy on their recent participation in the Qatar Debate World Championship


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