More than the pending strike happening in Chicago: Theater in the Parks festival on Oct. 14

My group Generations from the Goodman is participating in the Theater in Our Parks Festival. We our doing a performance on Gun Violence. There will be workshops starting at 10 a.m. at The Theater on . . .



Report on the meeting of the CTU House of Delegates on October 2, 2019

The pre-meeting Question and Answer period began at 4:15 p.m A delegate said that classes were overfull, especially Special Ed classes. He has gone through the school’s PPC and gotten nowhere and has subsequently filed . . .


Missing George with many

On the one-year anniversary of George’s death this year, I didn’t cry. I was too busy teaching freshmen and juniors at Steinmetz High School, interviewing people for my story about the Chicago student climate strike . . .



CTU sets strike date – Oct. 17

RESOLVED, a strike by members of the Chicago Teachers Union shall commence at 12:01 a.m. on October 17, 2019, if no tentative agreement has then been achieved. The strike shall be limited to all unresolved . . .


Steinmetz High School CTU members on strike in 2012. In late Sept. 2019, at Steinmetz and throughout Chicago, active union members voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike.

Stories about Substance editor George N. Schmidt on Oct. 2018 Substance homepage

Dozens of stories about editor George N. Schmidt, who died on Sept. 17, 2018, are published on the October 2018 Substance News homepage. Stories about George’s personal life appear on the left column of . . .



Teacher preps threat a ploy to get us nothing?

[Jim's report was originally published at his blog, Second City Teachers.]

Several teachers have been wondering if the city´s demand that principals direct two of the four teacher-directed prep periods - to plan . . .


CTU delegates urge members to vote yes on strike authorization

In hopes for a strong "yes" vote on Sept. 24 - Sept. 26, I sent the following email to the union members, following our afterschool meeting on Sept. 11.

CTU Brothers and Sisters,
. . .


CTU delegate Gina Szulkowski (left) on the picket line in 2012 at Steinmetz High School.

Students to strike over climate crisis on Friday, Sept. 20; protest rally begins at 11 a.m. in Grant Park

Hundreds of Chicago public school students will join an international school strike to raise awareness of the climate crisis on Friday, Sept. 20. They'll meet at Grant Park at 11 a.m. at the intersection of . . .


Facebook graphic from Loyola University student Violet Gomez' page. She is gathering a small group at Columbia College, 600 S. Michigan, at 10 a.m., prior to joining the larger Grant Park rally at 11.
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Strike authorization vote set at September meeting of the CTU House of Delegates

While many topics were addressed at the Sept. 4, Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) House of Delegates meeting, the strike authorization vote was most important. In his report, President Jesse Sharkey stressed the need for a . . .


CTU officers, active members and retirees rallied at an Aug. 20 meeting. Photo by Howard Heath

Parents 4 Teachers expresses solidarity with CTU in contract fight

I spoke at the CTU members meeting and rally on August 20 on behalf of ParentsFor Teachers to express solidarity with teachers in their contract fight. Here is what I said:

My name is . . .


Julie Dworkin speaks at the Aug. 20, 2019, CTU meeting. Community organizer Jay Travis and CTU Recording Secretary Christl Hayes also spoke at the meeting.

Media Watch: Uncool PR-style puff piece by Chicago Sun-Times

The Chicago Sun-Times ignored the facts of an unnecessary, $100 million building – that furthers segregation on the northwest side of Chicago, and will cause additional damage in lost enrollment to several existing schools, purportedly . . .


How the Chicago Sun-Times handles CPS inequity, racism and its ever increasing capital spending debt added to by an unnecessary building.

Songs about working class and unions

[The following piece by George Schmidt was originally published on Labor Day, 2011.]

Thanks to The Nation magazine and YouTube, there is now a chance to get a complete medley of some of . . .


Woody Guthrie

A 'Labor Day' reminder... from 'The Ballad of Pretty Boy Floyd'-- 'some will rob you with a six-gun, and some with a fountain pen...'

[Published on Labor Day, 2014.]

I wasn't able to make the Labor Day activities in Chicago's historic Pullman district on Labor Day 2014. But throughout the day while doing other things (including the last . . .


WBEZ News: 5 Things To Know About Chicago Public Schools’ Budget

The following piece was published on August 19, 2019. The link is here:

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and CPS CEO Janice Jackson heralded the new mayor’s first proposed budget for the school . . .


Getting the last laugh on impeachment

From the time he gave his second grade music teacher a black eye to “make his opinion known,” to lying about his academic standing at the University of Pennsylvania, to overall campaign outrage and Oval . . .


Donald J. Trump, 45th president of the United States

Substance News
Educators in Chicago are currently working towards getting a new contract that will truly improve our schools for our students. But this past week the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board wrote a piece telling us . . .


A shorter, sexier Mueller Report: Review of Susan Ohanian's 'Trump, Trump, Trump: The March of Folly'

On the heels of the Mueller Report, the potential impeachment of President Donald Trump is a hot topic. But Vermont author Susan Ohanian has been banging that drum longer than most. At a Charlotte town . . .


Susan Ohanian's new book available at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes & Noble.

Substance staffer shows work in the Oak Park Art League's "The Aesthetic of our National Identity"

Retired teacher Jo-Anne Cairo is among several artists showing work at the Oak Park Art League's exhibition "The Aesthetic of our National Identity," which opened July 7 and runs through August 3 at 720 Chicago . . .


Put TIF windfall where it belongs: in public school communities

Lightfoot must end previous mayor’s pattern of sweeping promises that failed to deliver, by embedding verbal commitment for improved staffing in collective bargaining agreement.

In wake of news that the city has amassed hundreds . . .


Time for mayor to put promises into action in enforceable contract

Dear CTU Members: By now you may have heard—or even received an email from CPS—about Mayor Lightfoot’s July 30 promise to improve staffing in our public schools. Let’s be clear. Chicagoans voted for a candidate . . .