Thursday, June 19, 2014


Thanks to S-T's Dan Mihalopoulos for stating the obvious.
When it comes to some of the most important issues in education today, Quinn’s running mate in the November election — the former Chicago Public Schools chief executive Paul Vallas — appears to have plenty in common with Rauner.
 Effective or not, what Vallas did during the many years between leaving CPS and returning home to run for Illinois lieutenant governor seems very much in line with what Rauner says he would love to see more of here.
While Rauner continues to be portrayed by state union leaders as the worst of two evils in the upcoming governor's race (and he may well be), it's hard for me to imagine him doing anything worse than what Vallas has already done, including the post-Katrina charterizing and privatizing the entire school district of New Orleans, busting the teachers union and firing each and every teacher in the district. Black teachers made up 73% of the workforce in New Orleans, and Vallas' mass firings further devastated the city's black community after the hurricane. Vallas went on to replace them with mostly-white, lower-paid, non-union, 5-week wonders from TFA.

Mihalopoulos writes:
But a spokeswoman for the Quinn-Vallas campaign declined repeated requests for an interview about his time in New Orleans, Philadelphia and elsewhere.
That’s too bad. Teachers at least should demand to know why Quinn, who claims to be so different from Rauner, would chose a running mate with a track record featuring so much that Rauner heartily embraces.

A SMALLTALK SALUTE goes out to Coalition to Revitalize Dyett High School members who camped out for three days and nights in front of Ald. Will Burns' 4th Ward office until finally forcing a commitment from Burns to host a meeting on the future of the school. Burns claims he wants to keep Dyett open as a neighborhood public school, but still refuses to sign on to the coalition's plan to keep the school open as an open-enrollment high school focused on urban agriculture and green technology.

Burns is also backing Byrd-Bennett's scheme to stick selective-enrollment schools and charters into some of the 50 neighborhood schools she closed last year, despite promises BBB made not to do so.

If Rahm and Byrd-Bennett carry out their plan to close Dyett and turn it over to private operators, they will leave Bronzeville, Oakland and Kenwood without a neighborhood public high school.

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