Thursday, February 12, 2009


She's in!

“Hilda Solis comes from a working family herself so she understands how the troubled economy is hurting average Americans,” said committee Chairman Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.). “American workers deserve to have her voice and her leadership as their Secretary of Labor, and I’m pleased that our committee approved her.” (Politico)

Bill Ayers on being blocked from speaking at Georgia-Southern

“It seems that they have bowed and caved into the will of a mob. And if they did that, they should be ashamed.” (The George-Anne Daily)

Nick Kristof’s "two-step" program

First, tar and feather America’s 100 leading bankers; and, second, take over insolvent banks and distribute shares to members of the public (without ever using the term “nat...” — oh, never mind)… America’s horror of “nationalization” could be defused by handing out shares to all American households. President Bush used to talk about building an “ownership society.” Well, giving shares in big banks to all American households would be a terrific way to do that. (NYT)

A look inside Renaissance 2010

CBS2 News investigator, Dave Savini on school life and culture as we head into the (hopefully) final year of Mayor Daley’s school “Renaissance.”

The 2 Investigators found reports of students beaten with broomsticks, whipped with belts, yard sticks, struck with staplers, choked, stomped on and pushed down stairs. One substitute teacher even fractured a student's neck. (The 6th Ward)


  1. I am confused as to what this has to do with Renaissance 2010. No schools are named in the investigation, or at least in this clip that you linked your blog entry to. While it is important to inform the public about these inexcusable behaviors and actions of the people we entrust with our children, it seems that you are disservicing your readers by misleading them to think that these abuses happened mostly at Renaissance 2010 schools. The fact stands that implicated schools were not mentioned in the clip.

    Besides, isn't it the duty of the unions (such as CTU) to defend teachers who are accused of misconduct? Renaissance 2010 schools would actually have some authority to immediately remove a teacher who had obviously committed a wrongdoing of this nature.

  2. Good questions, Anon.
    First, Renaissance 2010 is THE comprehensive school reform plan of Mayor Daley's and the Civic Committee. It's not simply about the handful of so-called Renaissance 2010 schools, but rather the plan for a complete "renaissance" within all CPS schools. Does this look or feel like a renaissance to you?

    After all, the Mayor has been in charge of the entire school system and has run it autocratically for the past 15 years. He appoints the board members who hire the CEO.

    Therefore, shouldn't he be held accountable for the deteriorating conditions and low morale within the entire system, as well as for the progress, or lack thereof, of his reform plan. When he closes dozens of schools and ships kids across town, thereby precipitating a jump in school violence, isn't that a Ren10 failure?

    If after years of top-down reform, measured exclusively by test scores--when test scores in the high schools don't improve 4 years in a row, isn't that a Ren10 failure? The same for continued high dropout rates, college completion and all the other indicators that the system uses to assess teachers, students and schools.

    Or is the mayor only accountable for a few dozen so-called "Ren10" schools?

    When more than 500 cases of reported violence against students are disregarded, that is the responsibility of the leadership. Don't you think?

    The union may also have responsibility in some cases. But there is no evidence of that.But when the culture in schools is to cover up, and even fire teachers who speak up, ie. the Aspira charter schools strip-search case, the union's role isn't a factor. Aspira teachers are prohibited from being CTU members.

    Both the union and CPS have an interest in getting rid of the comparatively small number of incompetent or student-bashing teachers and staff.

    But this apparent cover up reflects a policy, expressed or implied, that goes to the very top of the system and it's guiding and misguided reform policy--Renaissance 2010.


Agree? Disagree? Let me hear from you.