HITTING LEFT #104 w/ Jamie Kalven

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Burns Vietnam doc jarring our national amnesia


I've only seen bits and pieces of Ken Burns and Lynn Novick's 10-part, 18-hour-long documentary series on the war in Vietnam. I watched as much as I could last night, but had to leave the room when the part about the 1968 My Lai massacre came on. Although massacres of Vietnamese civilians like the one in My Lai were not uncommon, we in the anti-war movement didn't learn about it til a year later because of the press blackout. Still, it and the other earth-shaking events from '68 -- the King assassination, cities in flames, the Chicago Democratic Convention protests, and more -- are seared in my memory, along with so many of the images we are revisiting in the Burns/Novick film.

It was these very images, along with TV news reports of dogs and fire hoses used on civil rights marchers coming out of Mississippi and Alabama, that led so many of us to begin making connections and seeing the war as much more than just a mistaken policy of misguided liberals. In 1965, SDS organized the first mass anti-war demonstration in D.C. By 1968, with the war dragging on, the draft, the body counts mounting, the almost-daily images of napalmed villages coming across our screens, we moved beyond just anti-war, to opposition to global imperialism and systemic white supremacy.

I'm not ready yet to offer a full-blown critique of "Vietnam" without seeing more. Many of my friends from back in the day are already going at it, reviving the fierce debate that went on at the time over the nature of the war and how to end it. I think that's fine and I already credit the film with with jarring the national memory -- or maybe I should call it, national amnesia -- about the war, regardless of Burns' perspective. For us educators, it's a teachable moment. For organizers and activists, its a signal to get moving again.

I only wish the same heat, passion, analysis and organization, was taking shape over our current "eternal wars" in Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere in the absence of the kind of movement we built back 50 years ago. This, even as Trump, his generals and war profiteers bring us once again to the brink of nuclear war on the Korean peninsula. There are many reasons for this absence. But I'll save that for another post.

Barry Romo
On Friday's Hitting Left show, our in-studio guest will be Vietnam war vet, Barry Romo, a long-time organizer of Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW). Barry helped organize the protest in D.C. where decorated war vets introduced themselves one-by-one, each stating his name and rank, and then threw their medals over the fence, toward the Capital.

His story of how the war transformed him is a compelling one. Tune in Friday at 11-noon CDT, streaming live at Lumpenradio.com.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Latest poll: Chicago on the wrong track

This, from Capitol Fax...

* Normington, Petts & Associates poll, taken Sept. 11-13 of 500 registered Chicago voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percent…

Would you say things in Chicago are generally headed in the RIGHT DIRECTION or would you say things are pretty seriously off on the WRONG TRACK?

RIGHT DIRECTION 20%
WRONG TRACK 66
DON’T KNOW 14

Most blame Gov. Rauner, followed by Daley, Rahm, Legislature.

* Meanwhile, the poll found that 16 percent of Chicagoans had a favorable opinion of President Trump, while 75 percent had an unfavorable opinion. Gov. Rauner’s numbers were 19 favorable, 59 unfavorable. Mayor Emanuel’s were 33 favorable, 45 unfavorable. JB Pritzker’s were 29 favorable, 21 unfavorable [10 percent very unfavorable]. And Chris Kennedy’s were 19 favorable, 18 unfavorable [8 percent very unfavorable].

Monday, September 25, 2017

WEEKEND QUOTABLES

Columnist Mary Mitchell: "But the privileged class doesn’t get to tell the oppressed class how they should react to oppression." -- Sun-Times
Deborah Meier
If it’s such a wonderful idea, democracy, why don’t at least the adults who make up the school operate democratically? Why don’t we provide the time and space so students can witness it and over time can become more and more part of it as they grow older, so by the time they graduate at 18 and are full citizens with the right to vote, they’ve had a long apprenticeship in what it means to be a citizen. -- EdWeek interview 
CTU Pres. Karen Lewis 
 “We should not be surprised by this most recent ethics breach by Claypool and his CPS general counsel, Ronald Marmer. These are not people who care about our public schools or the public trust.” -- Sun-Times 
David Orr & Steve Valles on Hitting Left
Stevie Valles, Exec. Director of Chicago Votes
"We're the most progressive generation in the history of politics". -- Hitting Left
Donald Trump
“These are Alabama values — I understand the people of Alabama. I feel like I’m from Alabama, frankly." -- Washington Post 
Sports writer Rick Morrissey
Calling any player who kneels during the national anthem a “son of a bitch,’’ as Trump did, and doing it in Alabama, as Trump did, is beyond code for “African-American.’’ If he had said “uppity,’’ he wouldn’t have been any clearer. -- Sun-Times
Former NFLer Chris Kluwe 
“Well, I think that the players and the teams are saying that they are not going to be dictated to by a racist, fascist white supremacist who currently occupies the highest place in our government...this is not what America is.” -- CNN


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

It was Sarah (not Jennifer) Burke. Difference with no distinction.

Berrios & Burke
CORRECTION: Looks like I had the wrong Burke sib ogling Lisa Madigan's AG spot. Today, Sarah (not Jennifer) Burke, in one of the fastest turnarounds in the history of the sport, pulled out of the race, according to dad.

It was actually Democratic Party county boss Joe Berrios who misinformed me and others that Jennifer was the one. Berrios had claimed that Ald. Eddie Burke did not solicit his support for his daughter. He simply called “as a courtesy” to let Berrios know that his daughter was gathering signatures.

What's the difference between the two, you may ask? None really. Sarah has the same lack of credentials. Like Jennifer, she also worked in daddy's law firm as a corporate tax-fixer. Also had dad turn to Berrios for backing. Shall I go on?

Hope yesterday's blog post encouraged her to drop out. How about you next, Elaine Nekritz?

As I'm writing this, another sleezy AG candidate just announced. That would be another state rep pension thief, Scott Drury. Just yesterday he was running for guv. I guess it's cheaper to run for AG. Whatever. I'll let brother Fred deal with him. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

No Nekritz, No Burke, please

Fred Klonsky
It seems nobody is quite sure why Lisa Madigan has suddenly decided to step down from her attorney general post. It's especially bewildering since Madigan just sued the city of Chicago, asking a federal court to stop the city's police department from engaging in what the suit calls a "pattern of using excessive force" and other discriminatory misconduct against Chicago's African-American and Latino residents.

Did she find a horse head in her bed?

State Rep. Elaine Nekritz wants to replace Madigan as IL Attorney General. She tells POLITICO that the AG post is an even better fit for her and that she is seriously considering a run. "I think there is a path for someone like me. I want to keep this option open," she said.

But I say, no no no. No path.

We still remember that Nekritz was one of the architects of the pension-theft bill that was ruled unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court. Anyone with such disregard for the state's Constitution and disdain for the state's pensioners, shouldn't be trusted with it's top prosecutor's job.

The question is, what's wrong with POLITICO's Natasha Korecki? She calls Nekritz's pension theft debacle, the "crowning period" in her legislative career.

The AG candidate swamp gets even swampier...Next in a line of opportunists stepping forward for a chance at Madigan's job is Jennifer Burke (who?). Oh, that Burke. Yes, she's the daughter of the city's most powerful and most premier machine alderman (going back to the Harold Washington days), Eddie Burke, whose wife Anne already sits on the State Supreme Court. A win for little Burke would mean a hat trick for Eddie. I guess he figures, if Mike Madigan's kid can hold the job, why not his?

Burke and Trump
Jennifer's qualifications? A job at daddy's law firm and then an appointment by then-Gov. Pat Quinn to a post at the Illinois Pollution Control Board. You mean you didn't know, she was a "pollution expert"?

It's worth mentioning that prior to Jennifer's appointment, Eddie Burke lent $200,000 and gave an additional $52,000 to Quinn’s campaign.

The topper... According to Clout Street, daddy gave Cook Democratic Party Chairman, Joe Berrios, a "heads-up" over the weekend that his daughter was circulating petitions to run for attorney general.

Berrios is the county's tax assessor and a close ally of Cook County Board President, Toni Preckwinkle. Burke's law firm, Klafter and Burke, specializes in representing clients in property tax appeals before the Cook County Assessor's Office. Get it?

Burke's firm helped Donald Trump cut property taxes on his downtown Chicago hotel by nearly 40% over seven years, saving Trump and his investors $11.7 million at the expense of city tax payers. Yes, let's put Jennifer Burke in the AG post. You bet.

As you may recall, Berrios is also the state's master of nepotism. He's notorious for loading the bureaucracy with his family members. His daughter Toni was a state rep who lost her seat to progressive, Will Guzzardi.

Now we need a Guzzardi-type progressive (Kim Foxx?) to step up and defeat the likes of Burke and Nekritz and drain the swamp.

Monday, September 18, 2017

WEEKEND QUOTABLES


Chuck Schumer gives advice to Trump on how to be a good opportunist
"He likes us. He likes me anyway..Here's what I told him. I said, 'Mr. President, you're much better off if you can sometimes step right and sometimes step left. If you have to step just in one direction, you're boxed.'" -- CNN 
Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) on Dem's deal with Trump
"I love Nancy Pelosi. I don’t have any doubt of her authenticity and commitment. But how do I now have to accept border security? Do I now have to put up half a fence? Is it going to have electricity and barbed wire on it?" -- Politico 
Robert Jay Lifton, psychohistorian
The American president has particular power. This makes Trump the most dangerous man in the world. He’s equally dangerous because of his finger on the nuclear trigger and because of his mind ensconced in solipsistic reality. The two are a dreadful combination. -- Bill Moyers & Co. 
Atty. G. Flint Taylor
About half (of the $125 million in taxpayer money used to defend torturer Jon Burge) has gone to the survivors. The other half has gone to...pin-stripe patronage'. That's all your downtown law firms that are hired to fight us in court, about twenty-five to thirty million that has gone into the pockets of those lawyers defending Jon Burge and Richie Daley. -- Hitting Left
Diane Ravitch
Betsy DeVos is the first secretary of education in our history who is actually hostile to public education. We've never had this before. -- NPE 


Friday, September 15, 2017

John King's 'worries' about DeVos don't include "choice" or vouchers

Duncan & King
As N.Y.'s Education Commissioner, John King's top-down imposition of corporate-style reform policies, including Common Core testing mania, led to a revolt among parents and teachers.

As Arne Duncan's appointed successor to a short-lived stint as Pres. Obama's Ed Secretary, King continued Duncan's push for mass closings of public schools in black communities and replacing them with privately-run charters. In many ways, the Duncan/King failed Race to the Top program, set the table for Betsy DeVos' current school "choice" agenda which now threatens to decimate public schooling altogether.

As his reward for causing all this mayhem and division, King landed softly at the top of the Education Trust, which supposedly looks out for poor and minority children but instead has been a bulwark of destructive, top-down imposed testing madness going back to the now thoroughly-discredited No Child Left Behind law.

While King and Duncan have been critical of DeVos, they have steered clear of saying anything strongly critical about the bedrock of her "reform" strategy -- privatization, "choice" and vouchers.

In an interview with EdWeek's Alyson Klein, King reveals his and Ed Trust's affinity with Trump/DeVos on ed policy by omitting any criticism or even mention of their push for privatization and school vouchers. While King shares some of his legitimate "worries" about the DeVos administration's funding cuts to education and it's recent moves when it comes to civil rights enforcement, his concerns sound rather tepid.
"All of those things suggest that there's not a full commitment to civil rights protection," King said.
Not a full commitment? A duh statement if I ever heard one. Especially when you consider the lengths to which Trump/DeVos have already gone to turning the Office of Civil Rights into its opposite. 

And then there's the reality that King and Duncan's regimes also failed (by Duncan's own admission) on what Duncan called "forced integration", at times disparaging Obama's own Justice Department on civil rights enforcement.

But King's main concern isn't about the Trump regime's bent toward white supremacy. Rather it's that DeVos may not be tough enough on states and school districts when it comes to enforcing test-score accountability,

He tells Klein that he concerned that DeVos and even Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown aren't intervening severely enough in low-performing (high poverty) schools --"intervening" meaning labeling them as failures, closing them, and replacing them with charters.
"I am worried about the clarity for parents about school performance ... I'm very worried about the California dashboard," he said, referring to the state's proposed accountability model, which considers school performance on a host of factors, but doesn't come up with an overall rating. "I think it's very confusing."
While in previous interviews, King has called the voucher issue a "distraction", his list of current concerns expressed in the EdWeek interview include not even a mention of "choice" or school vouchers. This omission is most revealing. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Juking the stats on graduation rates


Bernard Gassaway is a former New York City public schools teacher, principal, and superintendent of alternative schools and programs of more than two decades. So he knows from where he speaks. In the Aug. 29 issue of EdWeek Gassaway shines a light ("Public School Officials Are Artificially Inflating Graduation Rates. I've Seen It Myself")  on the way school officials have used various tricks to juke the stats on graduation rates.
As a direct result of a public thirst for schools to show progress, boards of education pressure superintendents, superintendents squeeze principals, principals ride teachers, and teachers stress students. The ultimate measure of progress for schools nationwide is high school graduation rates.Public school officials use a variety of schemes to give the appearance of progress.
This is nothing new of course. Some of you will harken back to the so-called Texas Miracle, one of the great school reform frauds of all time, engineered by then Texas Gov. George W. Bush and his school chief Rod Paige. Together, they rode the myth of zero dropouts all the way to the White House.

Here in Chicago, where the mayor runs the schools and his political success depends in large part on showing miraculous gains in standardized test schools and grad rate bumps, there a long history of juking the stats. In 2015, CPS was forced to lower four years of inflated high school graduation rates to account for a "higher-than-advertised" dropout rate, another blow to a district beset by financial and professional turmoil. The accuracy of the district's numbers had been called into question in a report by CPS' inspector general. But CPS officials did not announce the revised graduation rates until months after Mayor Rahm Emanuel won re-election.

Gassaway brings us up to date on the stats-juking process in New York City where incremental bumps in grad rates have been induced through the misuse of credit recovery, virtual learning, or reclassifying students with disabilities to lower the graduation standards bar.

But the real kicker comes next. It's all about getting rid of low-scoring or other problem students as a way to produce statistical gains in measurable student achievement.

Gassaway writes:
...when education officials cannot use any of the aforementioned tactics to get struggling students through high school, they transfer or push out students who are off-track for graduation—dropping the dead weight that is dragging down graduation statistics. Pushing students out is the most efficient way to increase a school's graduation rate. Principals transfer overage and under-credited students to alternative schools.
He could well have included the statistical impact produced by the mass out-migration of poor, African-American and their families from cities like Chicago in recent years. As urban public school populations shrink, and the poorest kids leave, schools in the black community are shuttered and resources are redirected towards selective-enrollment schools and charters, average test scores and graduation rates tend to rise.

Gassaway's expose may ring truest for those educators in urban districts who have toiled so long and hard, without adequate resources or support, to bring about academic success for students most at risk for dropping out, only to hear politicians like Rahm taking credit for supposed test score and grad rate gains. 

This is not to say that some of those gains aren't real. But the mayor's boasting about rising grad rates at CPS makes no sense unless he can point to some dramatic changes, either in the classroom (beyond the tracking of freshman students) or in the community that would keep kids from dropping out. So far neither he nor CEO Claypool have. Which leads me to believe that it's more about the whitenizing of the city. 

My last point on this, which I've made several times this week is: If the mayor really believed his own claims about dramatic improvements at CPS under his leadership, why would he be supporting school vouchers as an "escape route" from "failing schools"?

Monday, September 11, 2017

WEEKEND QUOTABLES

Azalia Martinez

NEIU student Azalia Martinez 
I’m not scared anymore. I’m not accepting it. I’m ready to fight, because you know, contrary to popular opinion, this is my country. The only country I’ve ever known.” -- Sun-Times 
Jacques Charbonnier, a 63-year-old resident of St. Martin 
“All the food is gone now. People are fighting in the streets for what is left.” -- New York Times 
Miami-Dade Principal Bernie Osborn
 "We are a Title 1 [high poverty] school. My students don't have a lot as it is. I am worried that their resources will be drained. We have a great staff at JFK Middle, and whatever we have to do to assist our families, we are going to do it." -- EdWeek 
Columnist Charles Blow
You could stay in hell for a little while if you knew that you were going to get out. -- New York Times 
Kurt Andersen
Donald Trump is a grifter driven by resentment of the establishment. He doesn’t like experts, because they interfere with his right as an American to believe or pretend that fictions are facts, to feel the truth. -- The Atlantic
Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg
Let me assure you; Chicagoans are not all like Rahm Emanuel — in fact, it’s just him. -- Memo to Amazon's Founder 

Saturday, September 9, 2017

These Schools Belong to You and Me

My old and dear friend Deb Meier and her former Mission Hill School colleague and co-writer, Emily Gasoi have a new book out and it's well worth the read. These Schools Belong to You and Me is an elegantly-written call to defend and preserve the public or democratic part of what's left of public education itself.

They cover a lot of ground in 180 pages, including a biting critique of Trump's Ed Sec. Betsy DeVos, privately-run charter schools, the misnamed "accountability" wave, and Deb's reflection on the cooptation/disembowelment of the small schools movement which she helped launch at Central Park Elementary School in East Harlem more than 40 years ago.

Deb and Emily are among the few practitioners still writing about democracy and education. John Dewey lives.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Chris Kennedy discovers his inner-left

Oliwia Pac
“This raise means that I can finally afford my rent, get groceries, not have a hassle trying to pay off my student loans,” Oliwia Pac, who helps passengers in wheelchairs, escorts children traveling alone onto flights and works security at O’Hare Airport, tells the Sun-Times. 
“It could be better. But this is a very big step that has occurred for us as airport workers. I’m just beyond ecstatic. We’re slowly but surely winning.”
Born-of-the-manor Chris Kennedy could have at least shown the decency to congratulate the airport workers and SEIU Local 1 on their strike victory before bashing the settlement. Instead guv candidate Kennedy, appearing on Ben Joravsky's show on WCPT, in an otherwise fine interview, attacked the victory celebration claiming the hard-won raise of the minimum wage to "no less than" $13.45 wasn't high enough for him.
He asks Ben, "Is the city council proud of the fact that they're paying somebody $13.45 and hour? Does somebody think that's a good idea? Does anyone think that that's a living wage?
No, Mr. Kennedy. I doubt that anyone thinks that? But if you're making ten bucks an hour and you raise the minimum wage 30%, that's something to cheer about.

The workers also won the right for baggage handlers, cabin cleaners, aircraft maintenance workers, security guards and other contract employees to organize without interference, for the first time. To win this, they had to agree to a "no strike" clause. But agreements like this have never stopped workers from using an array of tactics beyond the legal strike to win their demands.

Kennedy, who like the rest of the IL Dem primary candidates, has suddenly discovered his inner leftism, at least up until election day, has never had a real job himself and obviously has never walked a picket line. Of course $13.45 is not a living wage. Neither is $15 as in "Fight For 15". But buy raising the floor, the SEIU-led victory lifted up all the airport workers. The struggle for a living wage and for full union rights continues.

BTW, Kennedy was not a big fan of workers rights when he chaired the U of I Board of Trustees and had faculty members fired or discredited for their political views.

Danny Rodriguez on Hitting Left.
Tune into Hitting Left today at 11 CDT on Lumpen Radio to hear our Labor Day interview with O'Hare airport striking worker Danny Rodriguez. Chris Kennedy should listen in as well. He might learn something.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Lawmakers above the law on vouchers

IL legislature violates the Constitution.
I doubt that Rahm Emanuel, Cardinal Cupich, nor any of those legislators in Springfield who voted for the school funding/voucher bill -- not to mention the governor who signed it into law -- have ever read the State Constitution. If they had read it, they sure didn't give a rat's ass about its content or meaning when they gave giant tax breaks for the state's wealthiest in order to unlawfully fund so-called "scholarships" to pay for private, Catholic, and religious school tuition.

ARTICLE X -- EDUCATION
SECTION 3. PUBLIC FUNDS FOR SECTARIAN PURPOSES FORBIDDEN
    Neither the General Assembly nor any county, city, town,
township, school district, or other public corporation, shall
ever make any appropriation or pay from any public fund
whatever, anything in aid of any church or sectarian purpose,
or to help support or sustain any school, academy, seminary,
college, university, or other literary or scientific
institution, controlled by any church or sectarian
denomination whatever; nor shall any grant or donation of
land, money, or other personal property ever be made by the
State, or any such public corporation, to any church, or for
any sectarian purpose.
(Source: Illinois Constitution.)
Could it be any clearer?

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Question for the Mayor

CPAA Pres. Troy LaRaviere on Hitting Left says Rahm forced CPS principals to lobby for school funding/vouchers bill. 
If public schools aren't "failing", why are you pushing vouchers?

Let's accept for a moment, the mayor's latest claim that CPS' graduation rate jumped 4 percentage points from 2015-16 to 2016-17. I know it's not an easy thing to do, given CPS' propensity for juking the stats.

And let's accept as fact for a moment, that this bump wasn't mainly the result of the district switching metrics to measure dropouts or the result of the CPS steadily losing thousands of its poorest, underserved, and most dropout-prone students over the past two decades.

And let's for a moment at least, give all the credit for this bump to the administration and to current CPS leaders.

If we can accept all this, then one obvious question remains. Why in the hell did Rahm and fellow Democratic Party leaders push so hard to drive the inclusion of Betsy DeVos' vouchers (tax-credit "scholarships), meant to allow students to escape the city's  "failing schools", into the school funding bill?

And when I say, "push so hard", I refer to the illegal forcing of CPS principals, on school time, to lobby pols for the bill's passage.

For more on this last point, listen to our interview with Chicago Principals and Administrators Assoc. President Troy LaRaviere on this week's Hitting Left. 


Sunday, September 3, 2017

How vouchers came to IL. Cardinal Cupich lets cat out of the bag.


First, let me thank the good Cardinal for setting things straight. There was no arm-twisting necessary when it came to getting Democrats to vote for the school funding bill that brought vouchers to IL Most came along willingly with Gov. Rauner and the Republican caucus, following the lead of Madigan, Cullerton, Rahm Emanuel and the rest of the state's Democratic leadership down the school privatization path.

The bill, which will divert millions of taxpayer dollars from cash-strapped public school classrooms into private, religious, and charter schools, also offers massive tax breaks for the state's wealthiest. It's what the CTU calls, "a reverse Robin Hood scheme." They're right.

Cupich tells Crain's how he turned out to be a timely lobbyist for a school funding bill containing controversial tax credits for Catholic and other private school donors.
But he says he twisted no arms to help win passage earlier this week. Nor did he travel to Springfield. Instead, he spoke with legislative leaders by telephone amid ongoing deliberations over changes to the state school aid formula and more money for Chicago Public Schools.
"I don't like to go into the boiler room," he tells Crain's. "What leverage do I have?"
The bill demolishes the long-standing principle of church/state separation and throws a gold-plated lifeline to private and religious school operators who are free to teach the Church doctrines, ie. anti-contraception, "intelligent design", anti-LGBTQ, etc.. free from public accountability.

I'm not in any way, connecting this to the giant campaign donors who accompanied Rahm and financed the mayor's massive delegation to Rome last year, to witness Cupich's elevation by the Vatican to Cardinal. That just wouldn't be fair of me.

White flight...
Chicago's archdiocese began closing most of the city's Catholic schools in response to white flight back in the '70s, when many white parishioners fled from the inner city to the suburbs and school seats became filled with the children of mainly-poor immigrants from Mexico and Central America. More recently, it's school population dwindled as many black Catholics joined the great black out-migration from the city and state.

According to Crain's:
A year ago the Chicago Archdiocese had 76,475 students at 217 schools; that compares with 365,000 students at 524 schools in 1965. Some 40 schools have been closed or consolidated since 2010. 
In the last 30 years, the number of full-time teachers and administrators has dropped to 5,105 from 8,441, while the share of higher-paid lay teachers has soared. Only 87 teachers are in a religious order, compared with 1,529 three decades ago. The archdiocese says per-pupil spending is a median $5,745, a figure that is slightly higher for Chicago-only schools.
With the wealthiest being given a massive tax break for investing in the so-called "Scholarship Fund", taxpayers will have to make up the loss of revenue with massive increases in their property and other regressive taxes.

The whole scheme was hatched months ago by Rahm and Cupich, evidenced by recently revealed exchanges of emails between the two. The emails showed that the lobbying cardinal had an inside direct line to the mayor and that Rahm expressed an openness to the voucher idea months ago.

According to the Sun-Times:
Cardinal Blasé Cupich emailed the mayor in mid-April after learning that U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was scheduling meetings with big-city mayors on Trump administration education priorities.
“I am personally interested in the proposal to fund a $20 billion federal education tax credit as part of the federal tax reform. I am convinced that this could be an enormous boost to the Chicago schools and the thousands of parents who use our [Catholic] schools,” Cupich wrote. “I am grateful that you understand the importance of school choice for poor families who see this as a viable way for the family to move out of poverty.”
Then, Rahm's closed door meeting last April, with Betsy DeVos, appears to have put the plan into motion. Who would have thought that blue state Illinois would become the showpiece for DeVos' "school choice" agenda?

Cardinal knowledge...
Cupich lays out the rationale that moved Rahm and the Democrats to support the bill. He claims that by enticing students and families out of CPS, he saves taxpayers $1 billion a year through lower public school enrollment.

By extension, one can only imagine how much money taxpayers would save by getting rid of public education entirely. Zero students, zero cost per/student to taxpayers.

It's like a thief stealing your wallet while on you're on your way to the grocery store, and then telling you how much money he saved you on your food bill.

Friday, September 1, 2017

More Rahm double-talk on school funding

Rahm Emanuel on Thursday after the school funding bill, supposedly giving CPS $450M more than last year, was signed into law by Gov. Rauner:
The bill gives Chicago Public Schools "everything and more... Chicago students will no longer be treated as second-class citizens. That clear benchmark has been met."
By Thursday night... 
Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Thursday he signed off on yet another massive property tax increase for teacher pensions to avoid a “train wreck” at the Chicago Public Schools after years of pension neglect.

duplicity

play
noun  du·plic·i·ty \du̇-ˈpli-sə-tē also dyu̇-\
contradictory doubleness of thought, speech, or action