Listen to Hitting Left with guest Matt Farmer

Friday, September 19, 2014

Name dropping

The throat-slash sign? Really?  It's a 15-yard penalty in the NFL.
“It’s one more desperate attempt at trying to be relevant in places where he’s not relevant. You can’t look at a list of insults to certain parts of town — closing police stations, closing mental health clinics, closing schools — and make it seem like this one act is gonna change something right before an election. People are not so easily fooled.” -- Karen Lewis
 “I’m not gonna put words in his mouth. But, he [Pres. Obama] knows about it and he’s excited about it. That’s all I can say.” -- Rahm Emanuel
No matter what they call it or don't call it, one thing is clear. We don't need another selective-enrollment high school on the north side.

Now we read, first in the N.Y. Daily News of all places, that Rahm has dropped plans to name his expensive new Lincoln Park school — bankrolled by $60 million in tax-increment financing (TIF) money — after his former boss. Rahm had hoped that calling the new school, Obama College Prep, would help mend his fences, both with Obama's people who dislike him and with black voters still irate over his notorious mass school closings devastated their communities, leaving the mayor's polling numbers on the south and west sides in single digits.

He was wrong.

Fran Spielman writes:
The about-face came after Emanuel did what he, too often, fails to do before unveiling his grand plans: listen to the community and build consensus from the ground up... To potential and current mayoral challengers, it was one more stop in Emanuel’s rehabilitation tour—a pre-election effort to rebuild bridges burned over the last four years with alienated interest groups. But they argued that it won’t work with African-American voters because, while the name of the school will change, the location of the showcase high school will not.
Questions still remain: 1) Did the change come as a result of a phone call from Obama's people who may not want the president associated with Rahm's crumbling political fortunes? 2) If there's a rule against naming Chicago public schools after living people, why the exception for charters, allowing billionaires to buy naming rights? Aren't charters supposed to be public schools? Does allowing naming rights improve measurable learning outcomes?

The White House did not respond to Tribune's request for comment.

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