Chicago Mayor invents all-day kindergarten says Chicago mayor's propaganda team while Chicago's mayor surrounds himself with cute children and sends the photos around the world -- without parents' permission?

Apparently nothing will stand in the way of another publicity stunt from Chicago's mayor now that he has let the world know that he wants to be the vice-presidential candidate on the slate headed by Hillary Clinton in 2016. So, on the last day of the regular school year of the 2013 - 2014 school year, Chicago's corporate media was summoned to a northwest side elementary school while the mayor's "team" was firing teachers at three all-black elementary schools on the city's west and south sides and closing two other schools (one middle school and one high school) as part of Rahm Emanuel's attacks on public education and on the Chicago Teachers Union.

Chicago taxpayers paid for the above photo, by the Mayor's Press Office photographer Brooke Collins, on June 13, 2014, as Rahm Emanuel used a kindergarten graduation at a northwest side elementary school to hype his version of history and reality. Photo by Brooke Collins, City of Chicago. But how much did the facts matter as the mayor performed his photo op at Mary Lyon Elementary School on the northwest side ("no media availability") proclaiming, except in the fine print, that he had produced all-day kindergarten since his May 2011 inauguration as if it had never existed before.

It was clearly a cute distraction, although the mayor missed one key aspect of his diversity program: He picked a kindergarten without one African American child on stage. "Rahm's Rainbow" was out of the picture, despite having a little extra standing in the background. And on a day when the mayor was busily destroying another five schools elsewhere in the city.

And what was the big deal? All-day kindergarten has been expanded, but not by much. Across the city, schools had all-day kindergartens long before Rahm tried to trademark the plan as he did on Friday the 13th.


-- one of my sons was completing third grade at an elementary school a mile from where the mayor pranced on the last day of school 2014...

-- while the other was preparing to go into eighth grade at the same northwest side elementary school where the mayor posed at taxpayer expenses on the final day of school 2014...

AND: Both of my younger sons had gotten a full-day kindergarten when they were in kindergarten. Which in both cases was before Rahm Emanuel returned to Chicago from his White House years to become the city's mayor, thanks to the endorsement of President Barack Obama, the millions of dollars that follows his political ambition, and the woeful state of his opposition in 2010 when he came back into Chicago to claim his "home" and take over City Hall's main office.

As usual in Rahm Emanuel's Chicago, historical accuracy wasn't the official version of reality on June 13, 2013. Rahm was ramming through another alternative reality, Chicago style. The "Mayor's Press Office", fully paid for by taxpayers, distributed a press release on June 13, 2014. The mayor's taxpayer subsidized publicists also provided the press with two photographs of Rahm with cute kids.

The press release showed Rahm Emanuel with kindergarten "graduates" at Mary Lyon Elementary School, taking credit for all-day kindergarten. And while principals and teachers regularly get in trouble for photographing children without parental permission, Rahm Emanuel didn't bother. As usual, Chicago's double standard was firmly in place.

The official City Hall press release follows:


CONTACT: Mayor’s Press Office. 312.744.3334.

Even Barbara Byrd Bennett was missing from the last day of school photographer used as propaganda by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel at Mary Lyon Elementary School on June 13, 2014. Rahm chose a school with almost no Black children and his Mayor's Press Office tried to divert reporters from the tragedies unfolding at five all-black public schools farther south. Three schools (Dvorak, McNair and Gresham) were having to face the firing of all their staffs thanks to a "turnaround" voted for by the mayor's Board of Education. And two other schools (Dyett High School and Canter Middle School) were closing as a result of earlier votes by Rahm Emanuel's hand-picked Board of Education, one member of which, Jesse Ruiz (second from right, back row), shared the stage with Rahm on June 13, 2014.Mayor Rahm Emanuel visited Mary Lyon Elementary School to attend an end-of-year celebration for the first class of full-day kindergarten students. In February 2013, Mayor Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett announced that for the first time all 30,700 CPS kindergarten students will have a full, high-quality start to their education. This $15 million investment builds on Mayor Emanuel and CEO Byrd-Bennett’s commitment to make full-day kindergarten a budget priority.

“Investing in high-quality early childhood education establishes a foundation for success later in life,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Every single child must have access to full-day kindergarten, ensuring they are prepared to transition into first grade. From cradle to college, the City of Chicago will continue to support our students’ bright futures.”

Full-day kindergarten is part of an overall strategy to increase to high-quality early childhood education. While Illinois school districts are not required to fund full-day kindergarten, Mayor Emanuel and CPS have increased access to full-day kindergarten by 50 percent since 2011.

In the March 2014 issue of The American Journal Children of Preventive Medicine, the Community Preventive Services Task Force recommended full-day kindergarten classes as an effective way to promote the health of low-income and minority students. Full-day kindergarten gives students early academic advantages, including more independent learning, classroom involvement and productivity.

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