Listen to Hitting Left with guest Matt Farmer

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Want to get your unqualified kid a teaching certificate? You know who to call...

If you're a powerful suburban billionaire like Bruce Rauner and you want to get your daughter into one of Chicago's elite selective-enrollment high schools like Walter Payton, you give a call to Arne Duncan or to his wife, Karen. They each carry clout lists and with a phone call or two, they can and usually will make it rain. Likewise, if you want to get your child into a good college internship program or a paid summer job. Only there you need to call Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford and tell him how big a contributor you are.

And in the same vein, if you're a campaign contributor to any one of a number of powerful IL pols and you want your kid to become a teacher or principal, without going through that bothersome qualification process, simply make a call to Mike Madigan's office and voilĂ , your child will likely be fast-tracked on the road to certification. Backdoor admission to the U. of I. is also one of Madigan's fortes.

This according to a Tribune investigation report.
State lawmakers have intervened repeatedly in Illinois' teacher licensing process, going to bat in some cases for candidates who did not meet state requirements and applicants with criminal pasts as well as for relatives, donors and constituents...
The newspaper found nearly 100 cases in the past five years in which lawmakers got involved in the system that determines who can work as classroom aides, teachers and school administrators or hold other jobs.
The cases are outlined in hundreds of pages of documents and email exchanges obtained by the newspaper, dating to 2009, when House Speaker Michael Madigan's office helped push a young woman's licensing case to the head of the line.
It shouldn't surprise anyone to learn that these very same pols and corporate reformers are the ones screaming the loudest about how teacher unions are defending bad teachers and who are supporting bills to take away teacher tenure and to void union contracts and teacher collective bargaining rights.

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