Claypool pushes charter expansion despite evidence that Chicago charters, like all others across the USA, are cheating their kids through push outs and widespread manipulation of 'data'...

Despite the enormous body of evidence stretching back nearly two decades and into a dozen Chicago public high schools that the "Noble Network of Charter Schools" utilizes a cynical policy of forcing out students from the network's growing number of so-called "campuses," the latest Chicago Board of Education and the latest "Chief Executive Officer" of Chicago's public schools will recommend and vote at the Board's October 28, 2015 meeting to further expand the city's charter schools. The vote will come despite the glaring conflicts of interest at the Board, including the fact that the Board's President, Frank Clark, has been a major corporate supporter of Noble charter schools throughout the 21st Century (one of the Noble "campuses" is half-named for Clark, a retired corporate executive). The above is the first page of the multi-page Board Report on the public agenda for the October 28, 2015 Board meeting, further expanding the Noble charter schools.Despite a decline in the number of students in Chicago's public schools, community protests, and growing evidence that Chicago charter schools, like others across the USA, cheat a large number of their families by creating massive numbers of 'push outs' at the beginning of every school year, Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Forrest Claypool will propose that Chicago continue the expansion of its charter schools at the Board of Education's October 28, 2015, meeting.

The 172-page agenda for the Board of Education meeting became public on the morning of October 26, fulfilling in part the legal requirement (under the Illinois Open Meetings Act) that agendas for the meetings of public bodies be provided to the public 48 hours before the meeting. But in Chicago, such a fulfillment of the letter of the law usually is accompanied by a cynical manipulation of the spirit of the law, and this is the case with Chicago Public Schools in 2015.

Once again, the Board of Education will meet at its corrupt Loop offices. The latest downtown offices of CPS, at the old Sears store at 42 W. Madison, is just one small example of corporate subsidies paid for by Chicago's school children, teachers, and taxpayers. Despite the fact that CPS had a convenient headquarters at 1819 W. Pershing Road (with free parking and relatively easy access from public transportation), Paul Vallas moved the school system's central offices into the old Commonwealth Edison building, as 125 S. Clark St., during his time as CEO of CPS (Vallas served from 1995 through June 2001). The Vallas moved was described in propaganda statements as a way of trimming "bureaucracy." It was in fact an expensive maneuver to take an obsolete downtown building off the hands of corporate buddies of the mayor (then, Richard M. Daley). CPS then devoted tens of millions of dollars to upgrading the old Com Ed building at the corner of Clark and Adams.

Chicago Board of Education members Mahalia Hines (left) and Frank Clark (right) were both appointed to the seven-member Chicago Board of Education by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Hines and Clark both regularly chirp against the Board's critics, with Hines being the designated person on the Board to criticize anyone who becomes unusually angry with the Board's latest privatization and anti- public schools policies. Clark, who has a charter school named after him, is a former Commonwealth Edison executive who chaired the phony "commission" that recommended the largest school closings in American history (a policy that was adopted at the May 2013 meeting of the Board, two years before Clark became Rahm Emanuel's choice for Board President). Substance photo by David Vance.Once the building had been refitted for the 21st Century, CPS propagandists claimed that it was too big to house what they claimed was a diminished in size central office bureaucracy. By that time, Sears Holdings was desperately trying to revive its corporate fortunes by unloading one of its most valuable assets -- buildings. The downtown Sears store, like the Com Ed building before it, was a money loser. And so, under a different mayor, the public money that should go to the schools went to a corporation, and now the meeting of the Board of Education of America's third largest school system are held at the "garden level" in an old retail store!

If anything, the new Board headquarters is even more hostile to the public than its predecessor, much to the delight of the Board members (who routinely express their disdain for those who criticize them) and the Board's propagandists. Not only is it expensive for people to get downtown to meetings that could be held in the communities (CPS is still the largest landowner in Chicago, with publicly owned buildings stretching from the Indiana border to a mile from O'Hare airport).

Prior to the October 2015 Board meeting, the Board members added insult to injury on top of insulting injuries by further restricting the number of people who can sign up to speak during what is cynically called the "Public Participation" segment of the monthly meeting.


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