Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Last night at the Hideout

First Tuesday at the Hideout last night: Karen Lewis, Ben Joravsky, Troy LaRaviere, and Mick Dumke. 
It was the best First Tuesday yet at the Hideout. CTU Pres. Karen Lewis and Blaine Principal Troy LaRaviere were compelling, powerful and funny guests.

What came across was that the main focus of attention has to be new and equitable revenue streams to solve the city and state pension and debt crises. This ultimately means increased taxes for 1%ers like billionaire Ken Griffin, who makes $90,000 per hour even while he's sleeping, and who, as Lewis points out, "could solve the city's problems himself just by paying his fair share of taxes." LaRaviere described graphically the "parasitic" relationship the 1%ers have with the city. This includes several newly-appointed and former members of the school board, ie. outgoing Deborah Quazzo and incoming Mark Furlong.

The mayor is already working to strike a deal to skip another pension payment.

LaRaviere provided some data:
“Of the 50 highest-performing schools in Chicago, all 50 are public schools that were here before he [Rahm Emanuel] arrived,” he said in the four-and-a-half-minute video, referring to NWEA scores. “Of the 20 lowest-performing schools in Chicago, 13 of them – over half – are turnaround and charter schools, which are cornerstones of the Rahm Emanuel education reform agenda.”
--Fred Klonsky
But the main target of the evening was "sociopath" Gov. Rauner who somehow finds it politically advantageous to shutter prisons, close museums, cut funding for kids with epilepsy, and increase co-pays for parents using the Childcare Program, while preserving tax breaks for wealthy pals.

Lewis made it clear that there's lots riding on whether city Dems like Emanuel and Madigan are willing to go to war with the governor over his cuts -- including the outcome of contract negotiations with the CTU and other unions. While it's too early to talk strike, she made it clear that the union is doing the necessary educational work among its members and parents. She expressed fear that class size in city schools could go up to "50 students per class" under Rauner's budget plan. 

Best aha moment came when Lewis suggested, half-jokingly I suspect, that LaRaviere run for mayor. Some of us didn't take it as a joke and many were visibly moved by his personal narrative after Mick Dumke asked what led him to become a principal.


  1. What was Troy's answer when asked why he became a principal?

  2. You can see watch the whole thing here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSgEPw8cdgw#t=10


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