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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.

CTU marches against closings

Thousands of teachers, parents, students and supporters marched against school closings Wednesday, and more than 100 were arrested when they sat down on LaSalle Street in front of City Hall.

Valerie Nelson, who has two children at Lafayette Elementary in Humboldt Park, said she came to the rally because she is concerned closing the school will make her 6-year-old daughter who has autism "regress two years."

"Our school potty-trained her and she has started to talk," Nelson said. She is concerned that whatever school her daughter ends up at will not offer the same inclusive program that Lafayette does.

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis urged protesters to "show up at your real school" come fall, signaling that the uproar over closings could continue all summer. 

In a statement, schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said that "this is not easy for our communities. But as CEO of this district, I need to make decisions that put our children first. For too long, children at underutilized schools have been cheated of the resources they need to succeed."

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Northside wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago


One of the radio hosts said ( i'm quoting from memory so its a bit off)

"I don't get it...the city want's to send the students to a better school. But the teachers just want to obstruct it. they just want to protect their salaries."

my gosh the public and press has been fed so much propaganda. they talk as if there is such a simple solution. and cps has all the answers. just the greedy teachers are getting in the way. so much of the public says we are greedy. however, i think any teacher would have taken a 10% salary cut if the public were to give more to public education. it is so sad that teachers are in such low standings in the publics eye. they talk like CPS and the principals, parents, and students have NO responibility for this mess. I for one am about ready to quit this city soon. it is a mess and sad!!

Rosita Chatonda wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

I am not a supporter of

I am not a supporter of people because they have a title.Therefore, I do not blindly follow anyone. The truth is that there are lies and media spin in both camps. CPS and the CTU. The African American community is being being played like fools by CPS and the CTU.

Also, I could care less about the positions that people hold. It's the care that they have for others that impresses me. These people are ruthless uncaring individual who are using poor children to put dollars in their pockets. This is true of CPS and CTU officials. I have absolutely no respect for either one. The African American community must fight their own fight. This is a civil rights fight not one to amass union power for those who have no children, don't like children and don't want those who have any children to have a means of supporting those children. When I give respect to respect people , it's because I have watched them carefully. Those who have the ability to step on others, mistreat working mothers, attack those who are raising families, (while they have none), while pretending to look out for children, stabbing anyone who helped them in the back, and signing up all their former enemies to work for them, THAT"S A HYPOCRITE. Trust me there are plenty of hypocrites in both camps.
P.S. while the CTU is running around talking about poverty. (ALSO being responsible for creating poverty with the jobs that teachers are losing). It's NOT ABOUT POVERTY It's about parents having resources to provide so that unions won't have to demonstrate while losing thousands of jobs. WE NEED THE UNION TO HELP PREVENT POVERTY RATHER THAN CREATE IT!

Titus Branche wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Prepare for a loss and develop new strategies

Face it. Rahm will have his way so we must go another route. Understand that under mayoral control CPS has over time become an abysmal failure. So 1. --- TAKE THE POWER AWAY! We have to approach the state reps and pressure them to take back the power that Daley was given many years ago. Mayors (politicians) need to get out of the education business! 2. --- Rally and move to have a board that is elected and not appointed! 3. --- Split the district into elementary and HS districts. 4. --- Put the University of Chicago (and all colleges) out. They influence too much and use the students as guinea pigs. Many of the failed programs are headed by inexperienced academicians who have little experience in the classroom yet set policy.

Rosita Chatonda wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Great Ideas Titus

WE need solutions!

George N. Schmidt wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Bizarre version of reporting...

I've been in New York City and New Jersey for family the past couple of days, so my family (two current CPS sons; Sharon teaches at Steinmetz) and I missed the March 27 events. But because of my friends in the CTU leadership, in the community organizations that put together the rally and march, and Substance reporters it was only a few hours after the rally and march that anyone paying attention could know what had happened -- factually.

Of course, that is not the case with anyone reading this rendition of reporting from Catalyst. From the headline to the final word coming from Barbara Byrd Bennett, this piece of Catalyst's version of reality continues their long tradition of corporate hacksmanship. Next time, I'm going to ask our reporters and friends to be sure to know who the Catalyst "reporters" are so we can at least be sure they were at the same event on Earth that day.

But, then, if Catalyst wants to insult thousands of parents, community organizations and leaders, the members and leaders of two major unions (in addition to the Chicago Teachers Union) for their spin and spun version of reality, I guess they can continue doing it. After all, that apparently gets them immediate access to the latest lies spouting from Barbara Byrd Bennett or Becky Carroll.

But that's not Chicago reporting, any more than the work of Catalyst's ancestors back in the 20th Century was. Propaganda is propaganda, whether for Rahm Emanuel and his corporate buddies in 2013 or for other tyrants 80 years ago.

Northside wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Democracy Angle

Isn't rahm saying it is a "done deal" PROOF that Rahm controls the board. This is the angle CTU needs to take the Loss of DEMOCRACY in education. There is no way to argue this...Rahm is saying it is a done deal even before an election. WHY ARE THEY EVEN HAVING AN ELECTION...if it is a done deal?? This is the angle CTU needs to take...DICTATORSHIP.....maybe the TEABAG types would agree with this. Especially since CPS uses Federal and State money. How can a mayor have control of ALL

George N. Schmidt wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

'Done deals' from Edison -- Rufus and Rich to David and Rahm

The first time we heard that phrase and reported it, Rufus Williams and Barbara Eason-Watkins (remember that sanctimonious stooge of the ruling class?) used it when the Edison parents were organizing the protest against the racist relocation of Edison Gifted from the sliver over to that overcrowded corner in Albany Park. Rufus Williams huffily denied anything was a "done deal..." --- "We have hearings yaddita yaddita blah blah blah..." and Eason-Watkins claimed she had been "misquoted."

So the Edison parents and children took them seriously and filled three volumes (by my record which is now at CTU) of evidence against the move. The Board voted to do the move anyway.

What our rulers didn't anticipate with that particular lie was that the Edison family, like so many since, would provide so many people to the ranks of the protests that were growing then and have been growing more and more since. One of the reasons Rahm's lies and Barbara Byrd Bennett's Broad BS have no base anywhere in Chicago (except at the Civic Committee among the Fortune 500 CEOs, maybe) is that the lies were cumulative, and our side continued organizing, lie after lie, without giving up.

I remember the Edison parents staying for the Board of Education vote to screw their very successful school. As usual, the Board came out of executive session late in the afternoon, and some of them (in those days the cowards and craven quoted in Catalyst were Arne Duncan, Barbara Eason Watkins, Rufus Williams, and others) were visibly upset and surprised that the parents were all there, staring at them as the vote hit.

The parents turned their backs on the Board members when they voted, but they didn't turn their backs on the struggle. Many of them are still with us, five years later. Barbara Byrd Bennett has no credibility for her Broad scripted talking points because she walked into a cesspool of mendacity where we had learned and organized, year after year, bringing in men and women of integrity to fight men and women who can't spell the word, whether in Washington, D.C. or Chicago.

Northside wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago


I don't always agree with you! However, I am very grateful the way you never waiver in your fight against CPS hypocrisy. You are the antithesis of Duncan and Rahm....and you should be proud. You have taught us not to kowtow to their arrogance and pseudo "children first" rhetoric, and belligerence . With the Sun times and Tribune as our two major offer a a great service. Thanks for sticking up for the little man and doing it with Salt and Vinegar!! I would love to see you debate Rahm and Duncan on stage teleprompters AND OF COURSE NO POWEPOINTS for them! Ahh if only!!!! It would be better than seeing the Stones, Dylan, and McCartney!! Keep up the good work!

Rosita Chatonda wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago


I see very little difference in the controlling nature of CPS and the CTu. George is especially condescending to anyone that has a different opinion. If that is Democracy, I want nothing to do with it!

Tellin it like it is wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

George's greatest contradiction is

that he will blog on anyone's sight but is highly restrictive of letting people add comment to Substance's site. True democracy is about being open to all ideas, not GS musings.

George N. Schmidt wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

Exhibit A right here

This is an example. Rosita is using her real name here, so anyone can agree or disagree with her. "Tellin' it..." is just another troll. No point in listening at all. Anyone who wants to comment and take responsibility for the comment is free to comment. Cowards can fantasize with whatever toys they find stimulating.

Rosita Chatonda wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

George, doesn't get it.

George in case you didn't know it, you are supposed to be a man. Please stop bullying women, shoving and pushing them at the House of Delegates meeting. Also and snatching mikes out of the hands of women 1/3 your size so they won't be able to raise any opposition to you and CORE. . I have a suggestion maybe new delegates should be 350lb men. I wonder if you'd shove them? Now that's a coward George, a man that bullies women but is afraid of men 1/2 your size. In case you didn't know.

Rosita Chatonda wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

Now George!

Now George will begin singing Solidarity Forever and farting up a storm! LOL

Trollin' Big Time wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

So, according to George's logic...........

Hamilton, Jay and Madison were trolls in an 18th century way by using a pen name to publish the Federalist papers.

lobewiper wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

George Schmidt's comments logic

What is at issue here for me is what folks really think and feel about the issues, not whether they post under their real names. Real names can get people into trouble, especially when criticising CPS. George of all people I would have expected to understand this.
Most blogs including all the ones I respect (Catalyst, Foreign Policy, Washington Post, etc.) permit use of pseudonyms, and guess what? George is the only person who has ever posted against using pseudonyms on any of the numerous blogs I've read over the years. Tell us, George, Why seems this so particular with thee? (To paraphrase Shakespeare)
Yes, Hamilton, Jay and Madison were trolls according to George's definition, as well as a lot of other famous people who wanted to say things that wouldn't come back and bite them.
George needs to drop his policy of ignoring the comments posted by "trolls" and instead focus on the facts and arguments being made, then respond as a mature adult without insults and innuendo (if he is capable of same). George has many good things to say, but the way he says them could and should be a great deal more respectful and tactful.

George N. Schmidt wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

Forget the Federalist... Imagine the Declaration of Independence

This is kind of fun, but largely silly and, as I've said, cowardly.

Forget the Founder arguments and please don't quote the Federalists unless you are willing to answer the following question: What would have been the impact had the Declaration of Independence been signed "Name Withheld by Request" or "Lowewiper" or "Tellin' it like it is..." etc. Rosita may be of of it, but at least she stands behind her own opinions and pseudo "facts."

The integrity of the argument is partly based on the source. The Washington Post may allow anonymous blogging, but when they allowed anonymous sourcing of key "facts," they have regularly gotten into trouble. The infamous "Jimmy's World" is just the most famous example I can remember while writing this.

Sorry, heroes. As Jackie Vaughn used to say, "It's time to stand up and be counted -- or roll over an be mounted." And with thousands of people marching in the streets every day, getting arrested, and taking a stand, it's even more interesting to watch the cowards hiding out in 2013 than it was in 1999 when CPS went after me for publishing the CASE tests.

Rosita Chatonda wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

You have the nerve to Quote Jackie!

As Jackie Vaughn used to say, "It's time to stand up and be counted -- or roll over an be mounted."

Your ideas are so far away from anything Jackie would approve of.

Trollin Big Time wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago


I like how George tries to control the argument about what evidence can be used and when: truly undemocratic. I have no problems with people using names for cover because in this vengeful society, it may be too dangerous for some to uncover corruption alone. The police have hotlines for anonymous tips, journalists protect their sources, and even the CPS General Inspector will allow people to give information privately. It's a shame George values winning an argument over using logic and reason to have a rationale dialogue. Although Mr. Schmidt advocates for the same objectives that many of us support, it his intolerant and belligerent behavior that causes many to bristle and actually undermines the progress that we all long to achieve.

Rosita Chatonda wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

Trollin Big Time

I agree wholeheartedly. I thought his attacks on me were personal. However, I realize that he has issues. I had a case with CPS and wrote under another name. Since that's over, I take pleasure in posting in my own name.

rakhaa wrote 8 weeks 5 days ago

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