RAHMWATCH: The Economist touts Rahm's 'school reforms' as part of Rahm's Rose Garden Strategy... 'Some of the toughest decisions Mr Emanuel had to make in his first term concerned schools. ..' while the Sun-Times exposes more Rahmcorruptions

As the February 24, 2015 election day draws near, Rahm Emanuel's re-election strategy becomes more and more clear - what has been called a "Rose Garden Strategy." Sit carefully while your propaganda machine portrays you as the man who gets things done with cool efficiency. Rahm's strategy was scripted in "Chicagoland," the laughable CNN hagiography that bombed in Chicago because it was so silly.

The January 17, 2015 puff piece touting Rahm Emanuel in the Economist cites an edited version of Rahm's educational accomplishments, featuring work on City Colleges and charter high schools. But the Reuters photograph accompanying the story (above) depicts Rahm in a cuddly pose with a carefully selected diverse group of little children.It came to Chicago straight out of Hollywood, but we will see it unfold both locally and internationally in the next four weeks. A good script is always being revised during production. And so... this week, the international hagiography comes from the highly respected weekly magazine The Economist (one of the best indicators of the views of the world ruling class). But at the same time the Economist is promoting a longer view of Rahm's work, another closer look from the streets of Chicago, done surprisingly by the Chicago Sun-Times, is again exposing the doubletalk and corruption underlying the Emanuel administration and Rahm's cozy relationships with the wealthy at the expense of everyone else.

The front page of the January 19, 2015 edition of the Chicago Sun-Times featured Rahm, rather than Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., which may have been questionable, but it announced an inside story that didn't do Rahm any favors. According to the story inside, Rahm's promotion of a wealthy suburban studio owner (whose studio was the site of the December announcement that Rahm was running for re-election) has cost the city and state taxpayers millions of dollars.

The Economist is the journal of serious ruling class propaganda (often under the cover of "analysis" and including special reports that are detailed). The Sun-Times is simply has a closer view.

And so as Rahm's "Rose Garden" strategy unfolds (that means he's going to sit quietly and pose as the calm willing to make the tough decisions cool executive...

Below is the latest tribute to Rahm Emanuel:

Hard Work Rewarded

Rahm Emanuels school reforms are working (The Economist, January 17, 2015)

NO FAMILY should go to the poorhouse because they are giving their kid a crack at the American dream, said Rahm Emanuel on January 9th. Chicagos mayor was presenting his plans for education at Kenwood Academy, a high school on the citys South Side.

On the same day in Tennessee, President Barack Obama announced plans to exempt qualified students from tuition fees at community colleges. The White House had taken a leaf out of Chicagos book, said Mr Emanuel, who last October introduced the Chicago STAR Scholarship, which pays the community-college tuition fees of the best graduates from Chicagos public-school system.

Mr Emanuel wants more students to enroll in a college and take courses (and, if they pass, get credits) while still in their last year of high school, which helps to reduce their tuition costs later. With the help of a donation of $500,000 over three years from General Electric, the programme will grow from almost 2,500 students to more than 6,000 next year. Kenwood Academy has more students in the programme than any other high school in Chicago.

Some of the toughest decisions Mr Emanuel had to make in his first term concerned schools. He demanded merit pay for teachers and a longer school day (Chicagos was only 5 hours 45 minutes) and earmarked for closure 50 half-empty schools in poor districts. Teachers went on strike for the first time in 25 years, but Mr Emanuel got the longer day and the closures went ahead in 2013. The teachers kept their seniority-based pay system.

Mr Emanuel ploughed some of the money saved by closures into charter schools, which made him even more unpopular with the teachers unions. But charter schools have worked well in Chicago. The Noble Network, which already runs 16 charter high schools with 10,000 pupils and plans to have 20,000 by 2020, has an attendance rate of 94% (compared with 73% for Chicago public schools) and a drop-out rate of only 0.4% (compared with 4.7%). It also gets better results on the ACT, a college-readiness test. It has an even higher percentage of minority students (98% compared with 92% at Chicago public schools), and slightly less public funding.

Rosa Alanis, the principal of Golder College Prep, one of the Noble network schools, says all her pupils have a teacher as a designated adviser, whom they see twice every school day. Attendance and performance are the advisers responsibility, so they go to great lengths to ensure their charges show up, dress properly in their uniform of grey trousers and blue sweaters, and work hard. Ms Alanis herself looked after a group of 13 challenging boys. In one case she even drove to a pupils house to get him to come to school. He was still in his pyjamas, but obeyed.

Mr Emanuel is keen on charter schools, but he didnt mention them when he presented his second-term plans for education. Instead he promised to put Wi-Fi in all classrooms, and to ensure that every family would be within three miles of a high school offering some special focus, such as science or the International Baccalaureate. Presumably, he did not want to annoy those who think that charter schools leave public schools in the dumps. In fact, competition has prodded public schools to shape up a bit. The drop-out rate has gone down and ACT scores have slightly improved, albeit from a very low level.

From the print edition: United States


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