Friday, October 9, 2015

This goes way beyond Byrd-Bennett

The Sun-Times lays it out perfectly:
Consider this sequence of events:
In October 2012, Byrd-Bennett was hand-picked by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to be CEO of the public schools. Byrd-Bennett’s appointment was approved by Mayor Emanuel’s hand-picked school board. 
On the same day the mayor’s hand-picked board signed off on his hand-picked CEO, the board also awarded a $2 million [later $20M] no-bid contract to Byrd-Bennett’s hand-picked education consulting firm, SUPES Academy. 
Did the board have reason to question that no-bid contract? You bet. The board has reason to question every no-bid contract. But more specifically, just weeks earlier a nonprofit group, the Chicago Public Education Fund, had declined to fund SUPES for that very same purpose — to train school managers — despite entreaties from Byrd-Bennett. The Fund was not convinced it would be money well spent. 
Unfortunately, hand-picked boards do not challenge hand-picked CEO’s. That’s the point of picking by hand.
You couldn't ask for a better argument for doing away with mayoral control of the public schools and for a democratically-elected school board. Funny, but as I recall, the S-T editorial board has always been opposed to an elected board. Back in February, they mustered up enough courage to call for a “hybrid” board -- with a majority of members still Rahm's hand-picked cronies. Yes, they're okay with elections, so long as they're only cosmetic with no shift in power. 

The other newspaper in town is more explicit. Their call is for the school system run by an all-out fascist -- a "Mussolini-type" dictator -- if you will. 

"Don't look at me."
Rahm: "Don't look at me."

Rahm Emanuel on the other hand, wants to retain autocratic rule over the schools. He just doesn't want to be held accountable and probably won't be. Asked by a reporter whether he felt any responsibility for appointing Byrd-Bennett, the mayor did a "no comment". But then he commented anyway:
“The U.S. attorney said this himself . . . [this] is about Barbara Byrd-Bennett, it’s about the executives at SUPES, and both the actions they’ve taken and the attempts to deceive others.” 
Burns fiddles, Rome burns

Rahm's puppy-dog Ald. Will Burns (4th), who runs the City Council’s Education Committee, calls BBB a "role model for inner-city kids". He claims the scandal is no big deal.
So, in the grand scheme of things, I don’t think Barbara’s indictment is hurtful. Part of the reason why is there is new leadership at CPS,” he said.
Yes, new leadership will fix things. Except Forrest  "The Fixer" Claypool is the 4th CEO under Rahm in 4 years. Changes without a difference.

My take is that the SUPES scandal goes way beyond BBB and her crew. Mayoral control of the schools has created a culture of corruption that goes all the way up to the top of the system. Turning CPS into a wing of City Hall -- one of the most disreputable institutions in history -- with an autocratic mayor in charge, was a mistake for which we all now will pay a tremendous price.


  1. I agree with what you wrote but if rahm has such fine control over his hand picked board and ceo then what does he gain from allowing the corruption? Presumably he was aware of the kick backs.

  2. I think you should continue with your account of the sequence of events on this debacle. Why stop there? It only gets more compelling. Gary Solomon and Rahm Emanuel have the Town of Wilmette in common..I'm sure there are some strands to join

    The fact that Solomon's history as a sexual predator in the Niles school system was available at the click of a mouse suggests an EXTREME lack of due diligence on everyone's part..including Barbara Byrd Bennett, but of course..Rahm Emanuel's 'people' didn't even think to go there...amateur hour, basically...

    I mean seriously, in this day and age nobody thought to take 6 seconds to Google this parasite?

    There is so much here it's mind boggling and I hope the fact this involves a huge sum of money that came from our children's school system weighs heavy in the scale of justice here..these people should pay a big price for this and be forced to return every fucking dime they stole from OUR pocketbooks.

  3. The reason Rahm needed SUPES was that JC Bizzard was so inept. He hired B-3 to aid his first with handling the press and the brewing strike. His first Chief Educational Officer was so inept that she never spoke in the public. Rahm needs to be held accountable for this debacle. There needs to be an elected school board and remove City Hall from running CPS


Agree? Disagree? Let me hear from you.