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The race for City Hall

Jobs and schools promise to be top issues in next year’s city elections. The mayor’s education agenda faces its toughest test in the African-American communities that gave him strong support in 2011.

CPS, CTU prepare for fact-finding in contract negotiation

CPS and the Chicago Teachers Union, which had previously been in mediation since early February, have appointed members of a three-person fact-finding panel – one of the final steps of a lengthy, legally required pre-strike process set out in Illinois law.

According to a document provided by the Chicago Teachers Union, CPS and the union have agreed to appoint the arbitrator Edwin H. Benn as one member of the panel.

Chicago Teachers Union spokeswoman Stephanie Gadlin says that the CTU sent a letter requesting fact-finding on April 2 to CPS and the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board. However, CPS officials have not yet confirmed that plans for fact-finding are under way.

"It is unfortunate that the CTU is focusing their efforts outside the classroom with threats of a strike, rather than inside the classroom and focused on our children,” said Chicago Public Schools spokeswoman Becky Carroll.

(NOTE: This article has been updated to reflect the most recent statements about who asked for fact-finding, and when it was requested.)

CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey, who taught at Senn High School prior to being elected to union leadership, will represent the union on the panel, according to the document. Joseph Moriarty, the CPS deputy general counsel, will represent the district.

According to the CTU document, the process will begin May 1.

A strike cannot occur until after the fact-finding panel issues a report and publicizes both CTU and CPS’ most recent offers. The panel has a maximum of 75 days to do so. Once the report is issued, both parties have up to 15 days to reject the panel’s report. After that, the union is subject to a 30-day waiting period before it would be able to walk out.

Zulma Ortiz, a union member at Kennedy High School, says that no plans have been made so far to schedule a strike vote. However, Ortiz says, teachers are frustrated at what they see as a lack of respect from CPS—denying teachers their scheduled 4 percent raises this year; urging teachers to waive the contract and extend the school day at a small number of schools as part of a pilot program; and seeking to institute a merit pay system in its contract offer. That offer was for a 5-year contract with a 2 percent raise in the first year followed by a merit pay system.

“[Teachers] feel like they live in a Twilight Zone. They can't quite understand what is going on,” Ortiz says. “Do you know how long we work? Sometimes I am in school until 6 p.m. correcting papers, entering grades, meeting with students. Why are they treating us disrespectfully, like we are not important? One of the most important people society honors is educators.”

Robert Bruno, director of the University of Illinois’ pro-union Labor Education Program, co-authored a recent study that found most teachers’ work day is actually twice as long as the 5 hours and 45 minutes mandated in the union contract. 

Several other delegates reached by Catalyst Chicago have indicated that CTU may decide to hold a strike-authorization vote before the end of the current school year, in order to be able to include current members who are retiring.


Anonymous wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

Our principal was stunned at today's full school day webinar.

He was told that he should get teachers to volunteer to be with their students during the 20 minute recess. Even in a 3 or 4 day work week, the teachers still owe 75 minutes per week after school. That it can be combined so teachers stay 2.5 hours after students leave, so teachers stay in school until 6:00, 1 day every 2 weeks. He was told that teacher pd can be on Saturdays. Who will stay for after school programs? How can we have our sports program?
He shared he was demoralized--. This has to be beyond SB7.

Anonymous wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

please explain>

hey can you explain what you mean by this webinar? i am a little confused? thanks!

Anonymous wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

Attention Ms. Carroll

Our teaching efforts are focused on and in the classrooms, our designee or representative is focusing on what is in the best interest of our profession. Last time I checked, we still had that right!

George N. Schmidt wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

'Pro Union' professors, but what about the anti union ones

I was really please to see that Catalyst's editors have continued their anti-union bias in the article on fact finding. Your readers can learn (sourced from what) that Bob Bruno of the University of Illinois is "pro union." That's OK, I guess, because I have a hunch that Professor Bruno would say something like that.

But of course the issue isn't Bruno's position regarding unions, but the fact, that Catalyst never reports, that most of the professors quoted regularly are anti-union, and in some cases, affiliated with viciously anti-union institutions.

I hope the next time Catalyst quotes, for example, Timothy Knowles (University of Chicago) or Barbara Radner (DePaul) or any of the other out-of-town profs on every teacher bashing Rol A Dex that a bit of the same editorializing will be added to the "reporting." The only group more covert than the Rent A Preachers and Rent A Protesters (that I first exposed in Substance last August and September) are the Rent A Professors. They cost more, but for the past 150 years or so in the USA (and the past thousand years or more through the various iterations of class society in the "West") the "Rent A Professor" business has been booming. And in Chicago it's one of the reasons why corporate school reform has gotten away with so many lies, cheats, and steals since the 1980s (whether you date the origins from "A Nation at Risk" or "Chicago's Schools, Worst in America" is up to you as far as the biased narratives are concerned). Whether it's the profs at the Consortium slanting their "research" or the latest from De Paul, when was the last time Catalyst identified any of the pro-privatization and anti-union profs for their actual biases? Or, for that matter, when was the last time Catalyst asked the profs what union they belong to?

Rosita Chatonda wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

Thanks Catalyst

Thanks Catalyst for being an objective news outlet and not just a mouth piece for the CTU like "so called", NEWS? outlets.

xian wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

It is unfortunate that CPS is

It is unfortunate that CPS is focusing its resources on media spin and attacking teachers instead of providing vitally needed resources for students and educators at the classroom level.

Every dollar spent on circulating lies to the public hurts thousands of Chicago young people.

Rosita Chatonda wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

Media Spin?

You are right and there is absolutely No question a CPS and what they are willing to do. They have engaged in practices that are inhumane and are the catalyst for a complete assault on minority communities. The lack of respect for teachers who teach poor children and parents who are stripped of power on a daily basis is unparallelled.

However, I have witnessed that some of these same strategies in terms of Media Spin are used by the CTU as well. The CTU has been reluctant to be honest with the membership about Senate Bill 7 which has completely disarmed the union. This bill as you very well know Xian, is the most devastating thing that has happened to collective bargaining since the inception of the union. This was done under the Lewis administration with the CTU President signing off on this horrible legislation.

At a CORE meeting Karen screamed and ranted about how she "made a mistake". Asking ."Can we move on?" .The problem that we CAN"T move on until we fix the real problem and that is SB7. The CTU is trying to divert attention about this issue by doing a series of publicity stunts. I personally don't believe that the CTU can get 75% of the members to agree to a strike . That's why the threshold was so high. Before SB7 it was 51% of the voting members. Now it's 75% of the total membership.
How in the world did the CTU leadership let this happen ????? However, .even if t h e y can legally do it,what are they allowed to bargain for under the strict mandates of SB7 ?, SB7 basically limits bargaining for anything other than salary and wages . .CPS has already declared a financial deficit . So teachers will go out risk their jobs just to show solidarity to a union that has sold out in Springfield. and given up the power of the union in January 2010. The only recourse now is to ask teachers to risk everything to protect the union while the union has not protected them.

My greatest fear is that uninformed teachers who see the CTU on T.V. almost daily , will actually believe and trust the leadership. (Because of the media spin) I know that the CTU can only survive if the teachers go out on strike because they have lost all their power under SB7..This is a big gamble for teachers who don't understand the legislation. .I hope that if a strike ensues ,it isn't a gift horse to Rahm Emmauel and CPS who want to terminate every veteran teachers at CPS. Rod Estvan says, If CPS is crazy, they can fire everyone and DE-certify the union if all SB7 provisions and mandates are not met. IS CPS "crazy" I think the answer is YES! I hope and pray that individual teachers are not sacrificed for the sake of union solidarity and purged from the system as a result of the strike.

The strike will be a huge boost for the CTU and if teachers are fired the new younger recruits will just pay the union dues that the veterans pay. With organizing charter schools and getting dues from new members, the CTU will be fine.

I worry about the individual teachers and their families. What I have learned is that just because the union wins, it doesn't necessarily mean teachers win. Ask the 1359 tenured teachers fired in July 2010 . The lawsuit was won for the union but teachers did not get put back to work. The union did not even ask for their jobs back but bragged about the WIN!.

Xian, you know my work. I am not going to sell teachers a bill of bad goods to save anyone's hide. OPEN UP YOUR EYES TEACHERS,
GET THE WHOLE TRUTH BEFORE YOU GO OUT ON A LIMB. I pray daily for our teachers. I love the CORE people but this is NOT what I envisioned Core leadership to look like. God help us all!


Anonymous wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

Shrewd SB7 Law


I agree I think the authors of SB7 used the help of labor economic statisticians. Look at this little chart I have made. It show if a certain amount of members vote, what percentage will need to vote yes for a strike. So just a 2-5% no show at a vote and we are toast

if this
show up then this amount of voters must vote YES
to get strike authorization
100% 75%
95 79
93 81
91 82
89 84
87 86
85 88
83 90
81 93
79 95
77 97
75 100

This doesn't even take into account voters who will of course vote against the strike. I find it almost impossible for a strike authorization. I know I am being negative. However, what voting regulations ever require this type of standard???? We are up against a tough battle. I am not blaming anyone but the lawmakers who sold us down the river and our fellow "Illinois Union Brothers and Sisters" and democrats who we "endorse" who sold us down the river.

xian wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

Keeping it positive

I agree that the 75% threshold is more than fairly high and more than highly unfair.

However, I believe that we can do it, and I believe that in working to make each other's voices heard, we build more than a strike, we build a force to improve education in the city of Chicago.

Finally, I would remind people not to blame the legislators too hard--some of them voted for SB7 because it was an agreed bill. I would hold organizations like Stand for Children, Advanced Illinois and the Business Roundtable for refusing to consider sections of the bill that would actually help children.

For example, they were highly opposed to the idea that every child would be required to have a teacher in their classroom from day one. This would end CPS' standard practice of late assignments of teachers--often waiting for the 20th day to even BEGIN the process of giving students any instructor.

I don't want to be rude, but I wonder how people can fight against something that would save kids from a civil rights atrocity that they would never allow their own children to suffer...

George N. Schmidt wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

Rosita and Rahm spinning the stories...?

I'm glad I spent a couple of minutes back on this thread.

CTU is going to get the 75 percent strike authorization vote. During the next six weeks, agents (both paid and volunteer) of Rahm and CPS will be out there circulating disinformation, sometimes in whispers and sometimes screamingly. It's how these things work. But just as we first blew the whistle on the "Rent A Preacher" and "Rent A Protester" thingies back in August and September (and watched as our brothers and sisters in the rest of the media caught up in January and February to what became a major story), so now we're having fun tracking who shoots out disinformation and union-busting propaganda for Rahm and the rest of that crowd.

The number of schools that have taken a strike poll is now in excess of 200. The percentages are increasing every day, with more and more schools coming in at 98, 99 and 100 percent for a strike.

There are going to be people outside CTU sidling up to the mayor and his minions and trashing CTU and the leadership, like is happening on this thread. But it's no longer possible to repeat the same union busting talking points that were being cycled through here and elsewhere as it was a year ago.

The fact is, CTU members at nearly 600 schools are drawing together as never since the late 1980s, and all the hundreds of millions of dollars being wasted by CPS and CPS's billionaire supporters isn't changing that.

To compare CPS and ruling class spin with the communications coming out from the Chicago Teachers Union is annoyingly dishonest, but more just silly. Back in the days when we were striking (and winning) throughout the 1980s, I used to tell people that any teacher or "teacher," parent or "parent" who wanted to get on TV could trash the union (and our strikes) and would be hailed as a hero or heroine, at least briefly in the pages of the Chicago Tribune. So it was written then, and so now. What was heartening than (and now) is how few people played that silly game on behalf of the boss.

Teachers, parents and others with a current reality stake in Chicago's public schools (in my family, we're all of the above: one active duty teacher; one retired teacher; two current CPS students; one graduate...) can see through both the lies of CPS and the screaming distortions of the supporters of CPS and the "one percent."

But, then, for thousands of years, the "one percent" have always been able to round up a few friends and allies to preach their sermons for them and repeat their talking points. It's as true this year in Chicago as it was back in the days of the pharaohs or the days of slavery in the USA. When the pyramids were being built by the back breaking labor of the 99 percent of those days there were voices cheering on the boss, and the same before 1965 in the 13 states that had to be subdued to end that particular form of atrocity against human work and democracy.

Rosita Chatonda wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

George ?

Any association between me and Rahm Emmanuel is ludicrous. But George many of the things you say are ludicrous. I love the union and I agree, in the 1980's we had one of the BEST unions in the country. I am NOT a union buster but a "TRUTH SEEKER' .Under the Vaughn leadership,no one could deny our union power. That is the kind of experienced leadership we need at the union. Inexperienced novice union workers trying to defend veteran teachers will NOT work.

What teachers should be concerned about is their jobs. That is my concern. Not the "Billionaires Campaign and focus on the banks while thousands are being fired. In the African American community alone under the Lewis Administration we lost 33% of our teachers. Next year the number will drop to 50% . Senate Bill 7 is a travesty and will make teachers lives impossible next year. The time to fight this and strike was BEFORE the Illinois unions GAVE UP their power. At least the IFT had an official apology on their web-site for their involvement in this fiasco.

Senate Bill 7 was a huge tactical error on the part of the Illinois unions. Instead of using your time to attack me George, (which by the way you are an expert at) The real problem is the horrible legislation that was passed with the CTU sleeping at table. Now what you can do with your energy is to partner with legislators who understand that the bill should not have been passed and get the CTU to develop a campaign to rescind aspects of the bill. Llike rescinding 75% threshold to strike and getting some of our collective bar ginning rights back. As far as striking, I personally was ready to do it when they fired the 1359 coaches many of whom I've worked very closely with in 2010. Why we're calling for it after giving away everything but the kitchen sink, I don't know.

Because of the refusal of the CTU other opinions from it's disenfranchised members, my organization CAUSE, (Chicago Alliance of Urban School n Educators) was formed to help teachers who are working, displaced and those who have also been told by the CTU that they are NO LONGER union members. Would you like me to post the letters the CTU has sent out? Teachers who have been disenfranchised by CPS and the CTU will NOT go away! George, get used to it, we're here to stay!

CAUSE MEETS EVERY TUESDAY @ 6:00p.m.Operation PUSH Headquarters 950 East Drexel BLVD.

Rosita Chatonda wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

OOPs I Forgot!

Teachers, I will support any decision that you make in regards to whether you strike or not. Basically, we just want you to have ALL the information before you go out on limb! When you are fired helping union solidarity. you may end without the support of the union you are supporting. The union leadership has to be comprised of people who have loyalty to their members and those who have pledged their allegiance to union solidarity. Once the leadership breaks that solidarity, we have none!

Anonymous wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago


I just gave the stats for percentages needed because I think in any political fight (Union vs Governemnt or Corporation)...we can never be happy when we are asked to fight for our rights with one hand tied behind out back. Look at Rahm...they guy became mayor on about 20% of the citizenship....but he was able to be become mayor because he got the most votes of those who voted! i just think it's insane a union it cant' stirke even if a majority want to? If Lets say 70% want to strike....the other 30% are going to defeat us?? It's insane!!! I dont know that law took away Tenure and other rights? I dont really see it as anything to great for teachers....did it ask to reduce class size or increase funding for kids???????/nOOOOOO i think it was more anti teahcer than pro child if you ask me! Please prove me wrong

Rosita Chatonda wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

Senate Bill 7 is the Law that Took Away Our Rights

You're right! Before this bill , signed off by all the Illinois unions 51% was the threshold. We that threshold again for any of this to make sense. Also, Performance counts over seniority . The longer school day implemented,
and much more!!!!!!

Anonymous wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago


They used buzzed words like performance of seniority! However, a veteran teacher with 10 years of excellent and one year of satisfactory could lose his job to a politically connected NEW teacher with one year of exclellent. Even, if the new teacher was they say "one good year a good teacher does not make"!! Having one good year or bad year means nothing. At least this bill could have summarized a 3 to 5 year average or something? Let's face it ....teacher are now "At Will Employees"....peoplel argue for or against it! BUT teachers are not at will employees should not have residency requirements!!!

George N. Schmidt wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

Moving towards a strike

The current CTU leadership has the support of the overwhelming majority of CTU members, both active duty and retiree. (I'm one of 36 retiree delegates elected in January). During the coming months, a lot of people will be spreading disinformation about the union and the contract fights. One of those great learning moments ("teachable moments"?) is fast approaching all of us. And the only way we're going to be learning what it's like to strike for a decent contract in the 21st Century is to be doing it. It's sort of like a Honeymoon or the first child, the kind of thing you only learn by doing no matter how much others share and tell you.

We just published, as, the 1980 Substance report on how the banks and other corporate leaders sabotaged CPS finances during the 1970s leading to the "bankruptcy" in 1979 and the destruction of 8,000 of our jobs under the axe of the School Finance Authority between 1980 and 1982. (Austerity of the kind Greece and Spain are now facing... and from the same people...). As we are pointing out in John Kugler's article at, in those days, even substitute teachers (I was an FTB) had seniority based recall rights, so even though I was "laid off" in February 1980, September 1980, September 1981 and September 1982 I was eventually hired back (to teach English, which was my certificate) based on clear, public seniority rules which had been negotiated by the CTU and enforced honorably by everyone.

By 2010, when the new CTU leadership came into office at the CTU, our seniority rehire rights had been surrendered. One of the reasons for the confusion among some people (not all; some of people are deliberately sowing disinformation) is that much of the history has either been wiped out or distorted. So, we're also taping the strike and union histories that have been left out, with the help of dozens of retired teachers whose memories and materials are now being utilized for the first time in a quarter century.

A union contract is always going to be imperfect. With each of our strikes (I began teaching a month after the 1969 strike so missed it; my first was that cold January 1971 one, when I was at the old Forrestville UGC), we made gains -- in every one of them. None of those gains was perfect, but give what CPS was trying to do (or had been getting away with, as with the blatant racism of the "standards" enforced in teacher hiring until the union broke that between 1968 and 1973) to us and the schools, with each gain we learned that what we had when we had a tough union and an enforceable contract was worth (a) fighting for and (b) defending in every school every day.

Two memorable expressions of that feeling.

"Collective bargaining, not individual begging..." (unattributed, going way back).

"It's time to stand up and be counted or roll over and be mounted..." (Jackie Vaughn, 1987 and later).

In Chicago's public schools, everything else has been worse.

Time of War wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

agent provocateur

in time war when you talk against your general you are guilty of treason. The exception to treason is unless your are no longer part of the army that is fighting in the war. Then your are considered an collaborator, spy or agent provocateur. Pick your fights wisely when you become a public blogger.

Rosita Chatonda wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

Truth or Consequences

One of the things that my organization believes in is truth. We are not anti- union we were once the union! We are not a media spin organization for the CTU like some who write on the blog. We are not intimidated by the "CTU Education Police Department". Our goal is to advocate for real community voice in what's left of our communities. We have not been properly defended by the CTU over the past years. No one can deny that. At the same time, we have been completely assaulted by the CPS administration and the casualties are 12,000 African American teachers purged since the late 90"s and 50,000 students gone. We have no choice, we are not waiting for the CTU to defend us. Many of us are no longer members of the CTU, however, we are member's of OUR communities and we will advocate for what we would like to see happen in the school communities where we live. We are not in this to save the unions hide. They are doing a good job twisting the truth and intimidating anyone that tries to bring transparency and honesty to the table.

If you are really sincere, The CTU will PUSH back on legislation that has destroyed the union and made it a powerless dues collecting, charter school organizing entity. Do I need to divulge more? We are not necessarily opposed to the CTU if their actions in fact our organization consist of several unionist who helped build the union into what the leadership enjoys today . The question is will the union exist after the implementation of Senate Bill 7 in September or will it still exist after the strike?

Another truth, we are going to wake up our entire school communities
and educate them to promote THEIR Agenda and NOT anyone else.

Reality Check wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

The large number of veteran

The large number of veteran (and largely African American) teachers you cite were terminated because the contract negotiated over the years by prior CTU administrations did not protect those teachers. For many years - since the early 90s, really - the CTU was a company union and did nothing to oppose horrible CPS policies and decisions.

The only reason the CTU is still standing today is because the Union has been transformed from a simple (poorly operated, deficit spending) service organization to one with an active, united membership and partnerships with important parent and community allies throughout the city.

Sorry, but your attempts to pin these problems on the current leadership are misguided, misleading, and plainly inaccurate. If you are still bitter about losing your job, it's definitely time to let that mess go.

You're entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts. The Union will be stronger than ever come September and stronger than ever after a strike in September despite your attempts to drag unionists through the mud with your destructive (though entertaining) stories. God bless!

Rosita Chatonda wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

Speaking Truth Again !

Last year alone under the Lewis administration,African American Veteran teachers dropped from 29% to 19% loosing 33% of our teaching force. The largest drop in the history of the union. Before that we were only losing 1.7 to 2.0 annually. We predict that next year we will lose 40 % to 50% of our population with 16 schools closing in our neighborhoods. This data was well known and the severity of the problem as well. The day before the CTU election CORE filed an EEOC Charge related to this matter. However, for two years literally begged the union to do something and was told that It was not " their mission". I even told to do this under the NAACP , which is what I decided to do. !After constant urging and countless of fliers and HOD meetings they finally filed an EEOC Charge. When I told CTU officials that the brunt of REN 2010 was balanced off of the backs of African American teachers, they said it wasn't so.

bitterness wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

nasty pill

why not explain why you lost your job, both times: cps and ctu.

George N. Schmidt wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

Nonsense is nonsense, and dangerous as scabbing

The most recent comment above is ridiculous: "When I told CTU officials that the brunt of REN 2010 was balanced off the backs of African-American teachers, they said it wasn't so..." This is simply not true. Those of us who have lead the struggle against these policies in Chicago have been doing so for a lot longer than some of the current attempts at historical distortion and revisionism, and the fact is that the current leadership of the Chicago Teachers Union is leading the most consistent struggle against those policies ever. To say otherwise is not only false, but odiously so, especially in the face of the struggles now looming. That is the fact in April 2012, the Who, What, When and Where. I'll leave the "Why", as I often do, to those who specialize in the realms of faith and beliefs.

In fact, as early as June 2009, the (soon to be) leadership of the Chicago Teachers Union (CORE) was picketing the newly installed U.S. Secretary of Education (Arne Duncan) at the Regency Hyatt Hotel in Chicago (the "Advance Illinois" breakfast) noting that Arne Duncan's "Renaissance 2010" policies had predominantly (not exclusively) resulted in the firing of African-American teachers.

That was reported (exclusively by me at Substance) with pictures in June 2009. And the pictures also show who was not protesting Duncan and the hypocrisies of "Renaissance 2010" and "Advance Illinois." In fact, several of the leaders of the protests outside the Hyatt that morning (it was a breakfast meeting, organized by the plutocracy) were threatened with arrest when they tried to enter the hotel and confront Duncan. There were more teachers outside the Hyatt protesting Advance Illinois and Duncan that morning than there were inside having breakfast with him and listening to the nonsense of Robin Steans, Bill Daley, Jim Edgar and Arne Duncan (the featured speakers for that breakfast).

The reality, in 2009 and since, was a bit more complex. By targeting "failing schools" and basing the judgment of "failure" on standardized test scores, CPS (and now the USA) guarantees that the majority of those schools in large urban areas will be those schools serving poor children (who are concentrated in ghettos). The majority of teachers in those schools by the 21st Century were African Americans -- but not all of the teachers. So the victims of "turnaround" and other teacher bashing policies were not exclusively African Americans. And all the shouting and distortions of reality in the world won't change those facts.

As a result, the leadership of the union has to recognize the nuances of reality, not the oversimplifications of a handful of opportunists. To try and bring a policy (or litigation) on the basis of a distorted version of the facts is a costly mistake, and it has been made more than once in this struggle.

But on February 22, 2012, again, the President of the Chicago Teachers Union (Karen Lewis) and the head of Operation PUSH (Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr.) pointed out in remarks to the Board of Education that Chicago was facing educational apartheid. They also asked the Board not to "turnaround" ten schools (the majority of the staffs of which were not white, although two of the schools were not majority "African American" either). They asked the Board not to close of phase out six others.

The Board voted to do those things anyway.

But the facts of those latest 16 tragedies show that while the majority of the teachers (and other staff) at those hugely challenged so-called "underperforming" schools are not white, the simple fact of reality in 2012 is that there are white teachers and staff in every one of those schools, and to reduce this discussion to the silliness of some comments here is to trivialize reality in a way that's not going to produce any serious resistance to these policies. Not in 2012 against the turnarounds of Marquette (and another seven schools that are mostly African American) or Casals (which is not). Nor in 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 — when these teacher bashing "Renaissance" policies were also being done to teachers and schools. I know, because I covered most of those hearings and those tragedies year after year, and always observed and reported the facts, not the dangerous fantasies of some people.

The challenge now is to fight the real problems after identifying them. We are no longer facing "Renaissance 2010," which did its damage and is now the policy of the government of the United States of America under Arne Duncan and Barack Obama's lewd "Race To The Top." By failing to stop the spread of that evil here in Chicago (could it be by failing to identify the problem as the claim that a school with low test scores is "underperforming"...), all of us have to now face the fact that the worst of Chicago has now been exported across the USA.

And as reality sets in, it has to be made clear that the majority of the teachers in those real public schools, like Central Falls High School in Rhode Island, are not African Americans. A false obsession, no matter how hysterically repeated, does not become fact.

Rosita Chatonda wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

Here is the actual data for

Here is the actual data for the State of Illinois on teachers demographics. I hope intelligent readers will not believe anything written on this blog without verifying it. Please see for yourself.


Like many African American and Veteran Teachers I was destined to be #1 Turned Around ( due to the inability of the union to defend it's members)
#2 E'3rd ( I've heard the CTU can't win those cases)
#3 brought upon bogas charges. ( You lose because inexperienced CTU attorneys forget to call primary witnesses) At the time I had two kids in college and could not afford a decent attorney. I had to use the CTU inexperienced and lazy attorneys who didn't even bother to call any of the 12 witnesses that could have exonerated me!
#4 I am not young and white
#5 During the course of my employment. I ran into rotten people who are like you!
# 6 was organizing with CORE to help the leadership win when Stewart was in office, I got horrible representation from the CTU because of this.

#7 The CTU believed everything CPS said and told me they didn't want to hire a teacher with a case. They didn't want to be associated with a "BAD TEACHER"!

#8 When the CORE Leadership got in they stabbed many CORE people in the back an hired or rehire all of Marilyn's cronies
#9 When contracts were not renewd, it was mainly CORE people who were let go!
# 10 Haven't you heard , the CTU is firing a lot of veteran and black teachers TOOOOOOOOO!

Rosita Chatonda wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

Don't let the Bloggers Fool You!

I gonna end this now! I've really enjoyed it! I want everyone to know, I am very happy. I've raised 4 beautiful children. I'm on my way to my daughters college graduation. I just bought a house, and whenever you see me, I'll be smiling. God has been good! I am not bitter but BLESSED!


Anonymous wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago


Is it a bad thing to be white? I am getting a little tired of this! Life aint all roses for the young and white either. I have seen reverse racism too! Please quite using white as if we are a tribe of horrible's getting insulting to be honest! ALL CPS teachers are under attack...I saw a group of some awesome "white" teachers let go by a principal of another race...I'm sure someone has seen vice versa....this current war on teachers was started by Bush and Obama (who is half white half black)! It's a war on the middle class and teachers who are being given the job of fixing the problems of the rich who rather not fund education but somehow force and shame teachers into fixing the social ills of their students!! In the case of student I think you can make a case that it may be a race issue...but teachers...we are all scum in the eye of Obama and Rahm!!!

Rosita Chatonda wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

If you think you're tired of

If you think you're tired of this, you can imagine how I feel after 10 years of REN 2010. The problem is not white or black teachers. The problem is CPS and their policies. Historically and honestly , 97of the 100 schools closed were in the African American Community. Just recently, in the past 2-3 years CPS started firing veteran white teachers I worked with many of these teachers last year. Many have been unjustifiably fired also.

However , if you check the link above, you will see that the data reflects a statistically insignificant effect in terms of teacher demographics for white teachers. The population is stable. This is because although many veteran white teachers were terminated..CPS hired young white teachers to replace the veterans. Teachers need to analyze the data in order to understand what is really going on. No one is saying that white is "BAD" we are simply talking about data and what has happened in terms of the purge in Black teachers. The data also reveals that the Hispanic population increased significantly and every other minority group had an increase of about 1/3 annually.

If we look at the data, we see that African American teachers were 29.5% in 2010 . In 2011 under the Lewis administration they dropped to 19.5%. Next year we expect a loss of 40% of that population. Also the data reveals that when black teachers leave the system, young blacks are not replacing hem. In 1998 there were 16,000 African American teachers, Today it's 4,630 with 16 schools in the AA community closing. THIS IS THE POINT I AM TRYING TO MAKE!
For all the veteran and young teachers fired, and I know many, their plight is just as important as any teachers. I personally have dedicated myself to studying the data of how this phenomenon has effected my community. However, I am only one person and would love to have others write about the impact on other school communities.
Because of my interest in this subject, I am constantly under attack by those who want to silence my voice and minimize the data. The response that I made, was an answer to an attack on me personally that was made on the blog. In retrospect, it certainly is not how I feel about people.

If you ask around to teachers, especially displaced teachers of all races, li they will tell you that I have embraced their struggle as if it was my own. White, Black, Hispanic , Asian, Arabs and Indian and other teachers have come to my forum at Operation PUSH and received encouragement and help.
If the statement above has made anyone uncomfortable, I apologize. I was trying to accentuate the inequity that exist in the system in regards to my own personal struggle. For someone to try to minimize and demonize you on a public blog is insensitive and unfair. To mis- characterize the injustice and try to paint you and an "Angry Black Woman' is extremely annoying. I may have hastily responded but trust me I recognize the struggle of All teachers. The only difference is REN 2010 started in 2001 with the closing of 3 schools in the African American community, Williams, Dodge and Terrel. I worked at Williams and have watched for ten years the complete decimation of school communities on the South and West sides.

You and others are welcome to attend our community organizing efforts every Tuesday at Operation PUSH 6:00 p.m. ( The home of the Displaced teacher) You will find strong teacher advocates of all races there.
God Bless!

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