Watch Emanuel Get Huffy

Here's the NBC video of Emanuel getting snippy over questions about where he's sending his kids to school:

The story has made national news including CNN, and is being compared to NJ governor Chris Christie's recent ranting response to an on-air question about where he sends his kids to school (parochial).


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  • Good for him. He did not lose his temper the way he has in the past and he's simply doing what he thinks is best for his kids. I just don't see the big deal with this interview.

  • I had not yet seen this video but had heard about it. The way it was being referred to in the media, I was expecting something rude, snippy, etc. It's not - I thought he was very calm and very clear that this was a choice he made as a parent - just as we all have the right to make - and the choices he makes as a parent are not open to public discussion. Just because he is a public servant doesn't mean he has to use public everything (school, transportation, health services...) or that he gives up the right to make choices for his children.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    We can question why Rahm would implement a plan for Chicago neighborhood schools that is set for failure using NO EVIDENCE based ideology over solid research. Compare the schools curriculums of Obama's or Rahm's children with the dumb downed curriculum and programs cruelly pushed down by CAO's onto schools. This is the dysfunctional nature of a leadership that does not trust teachers! This is the coercive nature of leadership that knows they don't have the skill set to really make new priorities based on solid research and not a privatization ideology. Teachers understand the lack of effective and solid leadership at the top because of their lack of experience and skill sets necessary, etc and Rahm and CPS big wigs understand that as well! So Rahm and his puppets only know how to give illogical mandates keep the dysfunctional train going.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    As a parent, he does reserve the right to make that decision for his kids. However, he is not a private citizen, nor is he just a public servant. He is the mayor. We citizens, public servants included, reserved the right to criticize the school system. We can't change it, so for us, the only option is to seek alternatives. The school system belongs to the mayor as it belongs to those executives who run the school system. If the mayor believes the schools are not good enough for his children, then perhaps they are not good enough for millions of Chicagoans' children, and so maybe he ought to improve it and make it good enough. This move is a political one whether he likes it or not. And here's the rub, as mayor, he doesn't get to make private decisions. That's just how the game works. The mayor showed he personally had no faith in public schools. It's akin to owning a restaurant, but openly refusing to eat there because you don't think the food's good enough for you.

    We might defend him and say, why should his children suffer for the political responsibilities of their father? But again, the mayor, unlike most of us, has the power to make the public school system a good environment for his kids.

  • On the mayor's decision to send his kids to Chicago Lab, a well-funded private school

    “We understand why he would choose a school with small class sizes, a broad, rich curriculum that offers world languages, the arts and physical education, a focus on critical thinking not test-taking, a teacher and an assistant in every elementary classroom and paid, high-quality professional development for their teachers. It’s wonderful that he has that option available to him.’’ -- CTU prez, Karen Lewis

  • In reply to cavallero10:

    As his chosen CPS board and budget continue to closeout teacher positions at our schools, as classroom enrollments grow to 33 plus with no aides, when we beg and plead for 2 counselors instead of 1 for 1100 elementary students, where we can only offer PE one 40 minute period per week, only offer art OR music 40 minutes per week and make students test in 1 quarter, more than what UCL students will test in for one year; principals too would love to have half of what UC Lab offers.

  • I understand your point and perhaps your pain, but the point regarding PE is misleading. State law still requires PE every day in public schools and short of receiving a waiver, which I doubt every school will, once per week for 40 minutes won't ever happen.

  • WHERE Rahm Emanuel’s children will go to school is NOT the issue in this video. That Emanuel (and his communications staff) were ill prepared to answer a benign question that Chicagoans might find interesting or newsworthy is what’s appalling. All Emanuel had to do was say his kids are going to Lab and give any reason: security issues for his children can best be handled by a private school, the kids missed the application deadline for magnet schools, he’s only just begun to improve schools, etc.

    Chicagoans who voted for Emanuel might have thought they were getting the mayoral equivalent of Bears quarterback Jim McMahon, someone who can be arrogant and profane, but a winner who is able to think on his feet and make adjustments accordingly. This mayor was unable to formulate an answer to an obvious question and hid behind his arrogance.

  • Didn't Obama send his kids to a public school when living in Chicago? Also, Rahmbo's honeymoon has come to and end. Notice the media uses unflattering photos of Rham and rarely compliments him. Chicago Tonight's conclusions on Rham were a bit cold.

  • In reply to FrontRow:

    The Obama girls never went to public school. They were enrolled at Lab School.

  • In reply to FrontRow:

    no - Pres. Obama's kids went to the same school Rahm is sending his kids.

  • What bothers me about Rahm using his rights as a parent in choosing to send his children to Lab is that most other public servants in Chicago do not have that privilege, and I mean privilege.

    If a Chicago public servant wants to send their child to Naperville High because that is best for their child they cannot because of the residency requirements.

    With his net worth of 15 Million plus Rahm can afford to send his children to lab but most Chicago public servents cannot afford that on the salary they get.

    Then we don't get the little raises we should to help pay for our children.

    Yeah, right Rahm. You say we all have to put some skin in but where is yours. How about taking a $1 salary and donating your salary that you don't need to CPS?

  • In reply to sunsjine:

    The mayor's salary of $216K isn't that much for a job that is essentially 24/7. (And he isn't even the highest paid official in the city. Even Brizzard makes more.) I certainly don't bedgrudge him his salary.

    Further, in America we have the freedom to decide how to spend our money. I bet Rahm doesn't give a fig about your advice on how to spend his.

  • In reply to sunsjine:

    You're comparing apples and oranges. The mayor is chosing to send his children to a private school that, presumably, accepts all students whose tuition can be paid, regardless of where their parents reside. Don't conflate public school residency requirements with the lack thereof in private schools.

    However, your point about being able to afford private school IS valid. While I might empathize with having to send children to a less-than-stellar public school, I don't feel bad for public workers in Chicago who enjoy both pension and healthcare benefits in excess of those provided by the private sector and who pay, as a portion of income, substantially less towards those benefits.

  • Just an interesting tidbit...

    Emanuel's annual bill for U of C Lab Schools, over $71,000, is more than the average salary for a CPS teacher.

    The $320,000 Rahm earned in a single year for a total of six meetings after being appointed to the Board of Freddie Mac by President Clinton will cover this cost for more than 4 years.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    53 K per meeting for the institutional equivalent of the Hindenburg?! Wow Rhambo, nice job! I'm sure you had so much vast wisdom to impart on this "failure of an operation", that it justified that you would get compensated more for one meeting than most folks in this city make in one year! Who voted for this clown?:(

  • I can't help but wonder what is going on behind-the-scene while we are all distracted by discussing where Emanuel sends his kids to school. School starts on 8/3 for Track E schools and we're still waiting to find out about all these hinted at changes.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    ...behind the scenes or behind the yellow curtain...has the 8th district been notified that on August 1, 2012 teachers have been asked/ordered/requested to conduct home visits? Yes, it is a doorbell ringing campaign by a new principal. Obviously, he does not study the crime data for the area. Do the parents want this? What is CTU's position on this?

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    oops! Mea culpa! I meant 2011-the absurdity of it caused my usually calm demeanor to become quite rattled...

  • We thought the University of Chicago Lab Schools had a waiting list a mile long. And yet Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s kids get right in.
    Clout and connections still rule the day. Let them eat cake. Do as I say, not as I do.
    Or should we quote George Orwell’s Animal Farm: “Some animals are more equal than others”?
    People do not realize that America, despite its image of equality for all, operates on a caste system. The schools reinforce that. Once in a specific caste, you will for the most part never rise up out of it. And it starts with the schools.
    A kid who goes to Fenger or DuSable or Phillips will never catch up with a kid who goes to the Lab Schools or Latin or Francis Parker.
    Especially the Lab Schools. The doctors, professors, lawyers and business people who work at the university enjoy priority admissions (and get a 50 percent tuition discount), but not the nurses, clerks or maintenance people. That’s the way it is and always will be in this great country of ours.
    People also have to realize that where one’s kids go to school is about the parents as much as the kid. Meaning, does the parent want to have to associate with public school parents at school plays, sporting events, parent nights and assemblies? Do they want to have to do “play dates” or “sleepovers” with riffraff? A child’s school is as much as a reflection on the parent as on the child.
    All of the Obama inner circle, having also worked at the University of Chicago, go or have gone the Lab School route for their kids. This includes businessman friend Marty Nesbitt and advisers and aides Valerie Jarrett, Desiree Rogers and Eric Whitaker.
    They and many more are part of the Hyde Park/Lab Schools inner circle. Limousine liberals talk a good game for people to live by, but live by a different game.
    Daley’s kids went to Lab Schools while he was state’s attorney, but he pulled them out when he became mayor because of the image it would present and sent them to Catholic schools. It was easier to explain spurning the Chicago Public Schools for religious reasons.

    Will and Darryl Mitchell, Englewood

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    Let them eat cake.
    In the cold fall of 1967 four of us were sent to observe the Lab School.
    The journey from 69th st to Hyde Park was eye opening even then.
    Arriving at the school a dean treated us like road kill. Snide comments and
    Giggles were freely hurled our way. It reminded me of a pig party where the
    Greeks got together and invited the unwashed .
    Two of us observed a US History class. Personally the class I took at good old
    Sandburg was just as good .Then we went into the Montessori Pre School
    Class. Scrubbed kids in a room straight out of Eaton lay before us. The Beautiful
    Teacher was with it, they even had live rabbits hopping around. I did notice
    The cherubs were roaming around, poking each other and harassing the poor
    rabbits. During the whole hour nothing poured from her lips except the wonders
    of Montessori. Finally I raised my hand and pointed at one of the kids who was chewing
    she said “ Snakes are good for children we let them eat raisins”
    Then as the janitors got ready to disinfect everything we touched the day ended.
    I only got about five steps from the door when I couldn’t hold it in any more.
    The laughter I let out startled my fellow Chicago Teachers College companions .
    You see the kid was eating rabbit shit right off the floor.
    Ever since that day the Lab School failed to impress me. Forty Two years later
    I still know the difference between Raisins and Rabbit shit .

  • In reply to rbusch:

    This might be one of the most hilarious things I have ever read in a chat thread!? You should really publish this somewhere.:)

  • Let's face it, Rahm is a multimillionaire, not some stinky Chicago geek. He will send his kids where rich kids get sent. He wouldn't send his DOG to a Chicago Public School.

  • great points -- and there's lots more commentary about the emanuel outburst, and how it's different from NJ gov christie or daley or vallas or obama here:

  • The last time a Chicago mayor sent his children to a public school was over 50 years ago. He has the right to do what he chooses, but he cannot remove the obvious implications of doing so. He says he's doing this "as a father", but what does that say about fathers who send their children to public school? Are they somehow not being as a good a father? The explanation is part of the problem here. Wonder where Mary Ann Ahern sent her children to school? (If she has any)

  • What and who's business is it where his children go to school? In these crazy times, it is good to keep their lives as private as possible, and not be victims of their father's career and live in the public eye.

    As Ram said, his children are not goventment employees.


  • So like the person who writes the headlines on columns. Snippy? I don't think so and no one else will either when they view the video. The Mayor was polite, but firm and it was the reporter who just would not quit and was trying to get him into an argument. Well done, Mr. Mayor. Your family is not in office, as you said, and no reporter has the right to inject your children into the news story. Butt Out!!

  • A false assumption underlies the logic pf the argument against Rahm Emanuel's choice. Emanuel is Mayor of all of Chicago including public, private, parochial and religious non-Catholic schools. There is no basis for the argument that as Mayor he has a responsibility to send his children to tax-based public schools.

    Secondly, there is a bias in the argument against his choice. Those who espouse it- including reporter Mary Ann Ahern who asked the questions with the intention of embarrassing Emanuel and creating a public controversy of a story out of an ordinary private family decision- the argument suggests that private individual success and the privileges it buys (including Ahern's $150-$200 facial and hair makeovers) are not legitimate choices. As such, the argument is very destructive of a pluralist democracy. Come on Ahern grow up and mature or call your shrink.

  • Well mr. Mayor is no different than all those CPS teachers who went to catholic schools and send their children to catholic schools. Those teachers haven't any empathy with those of us who have been publicly schooled and choose to send our kids to public schools. They are the ones who are always quick to blame the parents, the community, the administration, the over testing for the failures of a public education. And while all those things do play a role so does a short day, no recess, and the subtle arrogance of teachers who refuse to take responsibility to demand changes that are best for their students because after all "they're only public school students anyway." Just like the response to the church regarding priests who molested "It was the time they lived in."

  • I don't give a fig where he sends his kids. My issues have been asking others to take hits he doesn't ask of his favored ones. Teachers lose their salary bump, but he gave one to his new schools chief. Schools lose their art/gym/music only if they are neighborhood, not the magnets. It is the blatant inequity that gets many of us.

  • If the kids in CPS schools, are the same LOUD-MOUTHED, IGNORANT, VULGAR, CURSING ANIMALS who spew out of schools onto CTA buses and 'L's to terrorize innocent CTA riders - I DON'T BLAME RAHM.

    I would send my kids by commute to school in Wyoming before I would send them to CPS.

  • Being afraid doesn't help. I'm not saying that false bravado would stop violence but people not getting involved or speaking up because they're too afraid to assess the danger of a situation, is not going to guide kids away from causing trouble. Private school kids are violent in a different way: arrogant, manipulative under the pretentions of compassion, disrespectful. Oh let's not forget the hypocrisy of the parochial school: everyone belongs just as long as you are already part of the clan.

  • As is the case in many other districts in many other cities and in many other states, the healthcare benefits enjoyed by public-sector retirees haven't been paid for by setting money aside. These funds are paid out of the city's general fund and ultimately create a larger and larger pool of unfunded liabilities.

    Additionally, though required to meet funding levels, pensions have been borrowed against.

    The level of unfunded liabilities is the true financial problem faced by CPS. The promises made to teachers are unaffordable if not funded. Those not qualifying for medicare benefits need to pay for the healthcare benefits they will enjoy in perpetuity post-retirement at a level commensurate with that of private sector employees.

    Without billions of dollars in unfunded liabilities (of which the state of Illinois is projected to have the most of ALL states), teacher salaries could likely rise to be more in-line with the responsibility of the job (which is considerable) and to make the profession of being a teacher more desirable and competitive.

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