HITTING LEFT #21 with Pidgeon Pagonis

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Chicago candidates forum #2 on education

"Mayor Richard M. Daley should hang his head in shame," writes Catalyst's Sara Karp. On Wednesday night, the candidates who want to replace him gave the school system he spent 20 years reforming, somewhere between a C-minus and a D. "But that's politics, right?"

Rahm Emanuel was a no-show once again at this, the second candidates' forum in two days. Ironically even candidate Gery Chico, who served as Daley's hand picked school board prez, joined in the searing condemnation, giving the system under Daley low marks. But Chico was the only candidate who would not commit to hiring an educator to run the school district. In fact, he said he would bring back Paul Vallas, the CEO of CPS during the time Chico was school board president.

Once again it was Miguel del Valle staking out more progressive territory on school reform and offering strong critiques of the current mayor's corporate reform strategy. Progressive Danny Davis was a no-show. Carole Mosely Braun bumped heads with del Valle when she came out against  tax increases to help pay for public education and chastised schools for not "living within their means." Rev. James Meeks openly pushed for school vouchers.

A look back at Tuesday's Forum #1
Del Valle told the crowd, "The future development of the city has to be an agenda that is a neighborhood agenda -- not a downtown agenda, not a business agenda." (Progress Illinois)

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