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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.

In the News: Byrd-Bennett on Broad Academy payroll

Substance News has obtained a document through a Freedom of Information Act request that shows CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett has "secondary employment" with The Broad Superintendent Academy as an Executive Coach, a contract she entered into before assuming her appointment as CPS chief.

CPS Board president David Vitale approved Byrd-Bennett's request in November to fulfill her Broad obligation, which ends April 30. Also, according to Substance, the Broad website had a copy of its "Handbook on School Closings" available.

CLOSINGS AND SECURITY: As Chicago Public Schools gets ready to close an unknown number of schools across the city this year, officials acknowledge it's possible that more neighborhood schools could wind up sharing space with privately run charters, which in most cases have greater resources—and that could pose a security challenge, according to the Tribune.

MILITARY MOVE: Ald. Roberto Maldonado (26th), who wants the Marine Math and Science Academy to move into the spacious newish building constructed for the Ames Middle School, approached CPS with the plan to give Logan Square a military school from grades seven to 12. (Sun-Times)

WELL BELOW AVERAGE: Texas has dropped closer to the bottom in spending per pupil in the U.S. and is now more than $3,000 below the national average – about $66,000 less per elementary classroom – according to new comparisons by the National Education Association. (Dallas Morning News)

CURSIVE CURRICULUM: A bill introduced in the North Carolina House this week would once again make cursive handwriting a part of the curriculum in state elementary schools. The “Back to Basics” bill also would require elementary students to memorize multiplication tables, though state education officials say that’s already part of the curriculum. (News & Observer)

FUNDING DISPARITY: California Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing to give all public school districts a base grant, then add an extra 35 percent of that for each student who is low-income, struggling with English or in foster care. If such students make up more than 50 percent of a district's population, another 35 percent supplement would be given. (Los Angeles Times)

1 comment

George N. Schmidt wrote 1 year 46 weeks ago

Broad School Closing Handbook a script for today in Chicago

The 83-page Broad "School Closing Handbook" is the script for what Chicago has been enduring since this charade began in November, when the corporate media went along with Barbara Byrd Bennett's silly claim that there wasn't enough time for her administration to compile guidelines and make recommendations on the closings. Ignoring the fact that one year earlier, Jamiko Rose (and the then FACE) managed to do it according to the law, my brothers and sisters in the Headline Club simply ignored the facts, repeated the CPS propaganda talking points, and went along with the change in the law demanded by the Emanuel administration.

Not only was the December 1 Hit List deadline put back (to March 31), but the January 1 deadline for a comprehensive Facilities Plan also shirked. Part of the scandal is that Senator Iris Martinez again did a double back flip and betray the people who had created the facilities law (and the facilities task force on which she serves).

The real reason for the stall, as now becomes clear, is that the Emanuel administration (Barbara Byrd Bennett is just the latest in that string of expensive mercenaries dispatched to Chicago; remember "J.C." -- er., Jean-Claude Brizard; or Oliver Sicat; or Noemi Donoso... Gosh that list is long, isn't it?...) was planning to implement, chapter and verse, that nonsense in the Broad Closing Handbook. Of course, the subsidy of the anti-democratic focus groups by the Wal Mart people was a nice Rahm Emanuel touch. But overall, a reading of that 2009 Broad Foundation document shows that the manipulation of the public -- and of "consent" -- is being followed today.

But it was only possible because Rahm has been leading most of Chicago's reporters around by the nose through his various propaganda departments, the ignoble "Mayor's Press Office" at City Hall (doesn't Chicago deserve a "Chicago Press Office"?) and that team playing "Becky Carroll's Mean Girls of Middle School" down at CPS (er., the ever expanding multi-million dollar CPS "Office of Communications").

Some reporters are getting a day off from reporting the Rahm Emanuel hagiography.

Rahm is in Los Angeles with two like-minded traitors to democracy, the mayors of LA and Newark. So the TV cameras aren't ordered by their owners to line up an take dictation from Rahm and his entourage.

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