'Lies, damned lies, and the 'true facts' as brought to the public by the Chicago Board of Education... Has CPS begun double censoring the 'video' of the Board meetings? Two days' look at the video of the July 22 Board meeting show that more than usual is missing...

Retired Commonwealth Edison executive Frank Clark began his term as President of the Chicago Board of Education in late July 2015 by adding to the censorship of the video version of the Board of Education meetings. Clark was no stranger to the dishonesty with which CPS presents its official narrative to the world. After chairing the many hearings on the proposed school closings in 2012 and 2013, Clark reported as if there were a balanced version of speakers against and for the closing policies. In fact, there were almost no speakers in favor of closing schools, but such facts did not matter to Clark and the others who were serving Mayor Rahm Emanuel's versions of reality. Substance photo during the July 22, 2015 Board meeting by David Vance.As early as the late 1990s, Substance exposed the fact that the Chicago Board of Education was censoring video accounts of the Board meetings that were posted later each month at the CPS website. Substance did an audio recording of each meeting, and comparing the number of minutes on the tape we made at the meeting with the time the Board's "official" video lasted, we discovered that some of the meetings were shortened by between 20 minutes and a half hour. A month later, after checking themselves, reporters for the Chicago Tribune reported the same face, and the Board began noting at the beginning of each video that the video was not the official version of the meeting.

What was cut out? Almost any criticism of the Board, and definitely many of the confrontations between angry parents and Board security, was likely to be abbreviated or eliminated entirely. Since then, the same has been the case, month after month, year after year.

Some of the most dramatic examples of CPS censorship took place after the policies of Rahm Emanuel's appointed Board took power. By the time the Board met in May 2013, there had been dozens of public hearings on the Board's proposals to close schools, and between 20,000 and 30,000 people had testified at the public hearings on the closings. Most of those speakers spoke in opposition to the Board's plan to close schools, and many were extremely critical of the commission that held the hearings. The chairman of the commission was Frank Clark, who began his time as President of the Board of Education on July 27, 2015, following his appointment by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

When Clark's report was brought to the Board at its May 2013 meeting, however, there was little mention of the fact that virtually all citizens who spoke from across the city on the closings opposed the closings. And on the agenda was a Board Report, proposing to close 50 schools.


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