HITTING LEFT #21 with Pidgeon Pagonis

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Chicago's 'School Deserts'

Brandon Johnson is deputy political director of the Chicago Teachers Union, and heads its Black Caucus. He posts this solid piece on Labor Notes, "‘School Deserts’ Hit Chicago’s Black Neighborhoods".
Black students and Black educators have shouldered the weight of nearly 20 years of school closings, as many of our neighborhoods turn into “school deserts,” with no traditional neighborhood schools left. 
There are schools in Chicago whose student body is overwhelmingly Black but which have few to no Black teachers. This is because Black teachers are more likely to work in high-poverty schools with high percentages of Black students: exactly the schools most likely to be closed or “turned around” and to fire their staffs. Black teachers made up almost half of Chicago’s teaching force in 1995. But by 2011, Black teachers were down to 26 percent. That year they made up 65 percent of teachers in the schools that were closed and 40 percent of the tenured teachers who were laid off.
AND THE ASSHOLE OF THE YEAR AWARD GOES TO... Jon Stewart's take on the Rahm/Trump dust up.
“I gotta say, Chicago, this is on you. Did you not realize he was gonna put his name on a building you let him build?”
SPENDING TIME WITH HIS FAMILY...Rahm's bag man, Matt Hynes is bailing. According to S-T's Fran Spielman, Hynes is  "part of a powerful triumvirate of City Hall decision makers that includes Chief of Staff Lisa Schrader and senior adviser David Spielfogel".

He's also guy who put the great pension heist idea in Rahm's ear and got SEIU's sell-out leaders and others, to buy into it. Matt says he wants to spend more time with the fam. But it's his machine-stalwart family who got him his job in the first place. He's the son of former longtime Cook County Assessor, ward boss (19th) and big-time lobbyist Tom Hynes and brother of former state Comptroller Dan Hynes. Why you would want to spend more time with these guys is beyond me. I imagine you'd always have to sit with your back to the wall.

In Spielman's puffiest of interviews, Matt leaves Rahm with some great advice he took from his dad.
"To do this job, you don’t always have to be a jerk. You don’t have to be a tyrant."
Hear that, Rahm? Not always.

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