Chicago Teachers Union adds to lawsuit against AUSL, elaborating charges of racism against the 'national model' for Obama administration 'turnarounds'... Action comes after most AUSL people have been eliminated from CPS power...

David Vitale was appointed President of the Chicago Board of Education in May 2011 by newly elected Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Emanuel purged the former members of the Board of Education and using the powers under mayoral control, Emanuel appointed the seven members of the Board of Education and the Board's "Chief Executive Officer" (CEO), the first of which was Jean-Claude Brizard. Above, Vitale at the Board of Education with billionaire Penny Pritzker, who was appointed to the Board by Rahm Emanuel in 2011. Pritzker was later appointed Secretary of Commerce in 2013, joining Chicagoan Arne Duncan in the cabinet of Barack Obama. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.On September 16, 2015, the Chicago Teachers Union added to lawsuits against the Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL) charging that the organization systematically eliminated Black teachers whenever AUSL was hired by Chicago Public Schools to do "turnaround." During the years AUSL was receiving the lucrative contracts from Chicago Public Schools, two AUSL leaders, David Vitale, and Tim Cawley, held powerful positions at the Chicago Board of Education. Vitale, a former AUSL Board member, served as President of the Board from 2011 through July 2015. Cawley was the "Chief Administrative Officer" of CPS from June 2011 through September 18, 2015, when the Board announced that he was leaving CPS (although he remains supposedly to assure a "transition").

AUSL not only received dozens of lucrative "turnaround" contracts over the years, but after 2009, AUSL became the model for "turnaround" on a national scale. Following the appointment of Chicago's Arne Duncan as U.S. Secretary of Education by President Barack Obama, the supposed "turnaround model" provided by AUSL. The Obama administration immediately began promoting "turnaround" for supposedly failing public schools, and the AUSL fortunes soared.

On September 18, 2015, the Chicago Teachers Union announced that attorney Robin Potter was adding to a CTU lawsuit:

Many of the most controversial privatization schemes coming out of Chicago Public Schools after 2011 were presented by "Chief Administrative Officer" Tim Cawley (above right). By the summer of 2015, Cawley's tenure was in question, following the federal investigations of Rahm Emanuel's second CPS CEO, Barbara Byrd Bennett. Byrd Bennett, in addition to pushing the controversial no-bid contract with SUPES Academy, appointed a number of associates from out-of-town, including Sherry Ulery, who was "Chief of Staff" for two years before leaving abruptly during the grand jury investigation. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt."Wednesday [September 16, 2015], on behalf of the CTU and our members, another class action lawsuit was filed challenging the five turnarounds in 2013 and the ones from 2011 forward, including what is covered in a pending class action law suit.

"'There are overlaps and we are going to move to join the two suits and to certify this class as well. We are seeking relief from 2011 forward and are looking back to the turnarounds from inception to prove they are discriminatory on the basis of race. Both cases are assigned to Judge Ellis,' Chicago Teachers Union attorney Robin Potter said.

"We used new data and incorporated the allegations and data from our pending suit challenging the 2012 turnarounds," Potter continued. "These show the ongoing pattern and practice of systemic race discrimination. Check out the allegations regarding Chalmers [Elementary School]. Criminals they are. Also, we link up privatization AUSL wanted these schools and so it went. They would not have done this in white neighborhoods." said Potter

One of the charts submitted as part of the CTU lawsuit showed how the majority of schools selected for AUSL "turnaround" had faculties the majority of whom were African Americans. The AUSL claimed to have a secret formula for producing teachers who were "turnaround specialists," but when examined it turned out that the majority of the specialists were actually young, white beginning teachers who became part of AUSL in part because they would receive a master degree as part of the work. AUSL and the Obama administration claimed to be able to engineer corporate-style "turnarounds" in public schools that had been labeled, based on standardized test scores, as "failing."The percentage of African American teachers that were displaced is 59 to 81 percent or an average of 73% is much higher than the 25% rates of African Americans in in the tenured teacher or teacher population across CPS.

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