Another Round Of Lewis-Emanuel Bickering

Chicago's bickering duo -- Rahm Emanuel and Karen Lewis -- are at it again.  Last time, the dispute focused on swear words and who used them.  This time, it's about whether Emanuel said something politically incorrect about some students' life chances.  Lewis is using this for all it's worth, just like she did the first time.  But I'm not sure anyone should be paying much attention.  These two shouldn't be allowed to meet alone, or at least their conversations should be recorded so we don't have to endure repeated flare-ups like this.  Next time -- and there will be one -- Lewis or Emanuel will accuse each other of using racial slurs.  This is ridiculous.  Meanwhile, Emanuel is headed to DC to join other mayors who are at the forefront of education reform.

CTU chief: Rahm gives up on many Chicago kids Sun Times: Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said Tuesday that Mayor Rahm Emanuel told her a quarter of the city’s public school students “are never going to amount to anything’’ and he won’t “throw resources at them” — comments Emanuel quickly denied through a spokeswoman.

Emanuel calls teachers union chief’s account of private chat ‘totally false’ Sun Times: Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday denounced as “totally false” Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis’ explosive claim that Emanuel once told her 25 percent of Chicago’s Public School students “are never going to amount to anything,” so he “won’t throw resources at them.” The mayor didn’t come right out and call Lewis a liar, but he might as well have. He portrayed her version of a conversation between the two during a get-to-know-you dinner during the transition as pure fiction. “It’s totally false. Furthermore, the sentiments around that statement do not reflect or square with the actions I’ve taken to …


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  • As I indicated a couple of days ago, I don't know why the press prostitutes itself to Lewis, JJSr, or on the nonschool beat, Potti, Pfleger, Beavers, or Loren-Maltese's daughter. All of them are highly delusional, there has been some tangible proof that some of them don't tell the truth to the public,* and, in Lewis's case, that she has no intention of negotiating a contract for her members, but just wants to antagonize the rest of us.

    *At least Beavers said to Bill Cameron "I didn't use the f-word, and that was off the record." So, I guess he used it. Lewis didn't have that clown show on the stage that made it to the news on Nov. 15, 2011, either, I guess.

  • In reply to jack:

    Jack, baby... c'mon, the Chicago press is no better than TASS, but it isn't a mouthpiece for unions, rather it regurgitates Emanuel and the establishment's press releases.

    Everything you said about Lewis could easily be said about Emanuel, Brizard, Vitale, et. al. with a little tweaking. Watch-

    All of them are highly delusional, there has been some tangible proof that some of them don't tell the truth to the public,* and, in Emanuel's (Brizard and Vitale by proxy) case, that he has no intention of negotiating a contract that improves education, but just wants to antagonize the people who spend each and every day working with the children of Chicago.

  • “Valerie Strauss asks the billion dollar question and the emperor is buck naked. Why don’t top private schools adopt corporate-driven reforms?”

  • Why is it hard to believe Rahm said that said? After all there is this quote from the Trib article from December:

    "If we think there's a chance that a building is going to be closed in the next five to 10 years, if we think it's unlikely it's going to continue to be a school, we're not going to invest in that building," Chief Operating Officer Tim Cawley said.

    Can you imagine ten years of underfunding a school? A child can go from pre-k through 8th grade at a school and never receive the resources they deserve. I have no doubt that Rahm said that and sadly I think he believes it.

  • If Rahm is correct, why doesn't he sue Lewis for slander?

    This is one time where Crimaneul's haughtiness has come back to haunt him.

  • 1 student dead, 1 seriously hurt in stabbing at Far South Side school -

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    'contract' school

  • Rahm can't hide from this arrogant small man tirades that he is famous for. Rahm is a cad that when caught in his lies and his schemes exposed, reverts to acting like a bully.

  • Emperor Rahm Emanual is not telling the truth!

  • Headache299
    If he didn’t say it in words, he said it in action; either way, he still said it!

  • Wouldn't 25% of CPS students be about the amount that will drop out? Can anyone argue that the vast majority of those who drop out aren't ever going to amount to anything?

    If he said it, it was impolitic. But not necessarily untrue.

  • In reply to cermakRd:

    Headache 299
    Whichever way you like to calculate the ‘dropout rate’, the ‘graduation’ rate for Chicago is lathed around 50%. About the same when Paul Vallas implemented his CEO magic; about the same when Arne Duncan took his education magic national; about the same when Ron Huberman packed his bag of tricks and ran like hellfire; they all use the same Svengali Deck of cards– cut the deck and all the cards are different; cut the deck again and all the cards are the same. The deck is mechanical and works all by itself; the magicians have changed a bit so the real magic is in the misdirection, the patter and the sleight of hand.

  • In reply to cermakRd:

    What does it mean to amount to something? Being successful in life involves putting together many pieces of your upbringing, one of which is schooling. Such a broad, vague "goal" has no place in serious discussions of education.

    Educators need to narrow their mission and accomplish it well. Everytime people want to slam schools, they dishonestly broaden our mission, to have a convenient scapegoat for every social ill that exists. Everytime we play this game, we lose...

    How absurd is this conversation? Well, what metrics do you suggest we use to predict amounting to something?

    In a longitudinal study, how long should we give people to amount to something? Five years after high school? Ten years? Should we check-in at 65?

    Before you settle on a truth, think about it a bit more...

  • cermak- If Emanuel was a leader his goal would be to support teachers in reducing that 25% dropout rate, not further segregating schools along lines of income, ability, and yes, even race. The mayor simply doesn't have the heart or head to tackle real problems.

  • Mr. Russo,

    I know Karen Lewis well. She is a woman of great honesty and integrity. When she comes out of a room, claiming that Emanuel said a quarter of the students won't amount to anything, BELIEVE her.

    I think it's sad that you characterize them a couple of knuckleheads. It reminds me of people who cynically describe politicians as "all a bunch of crooks." There are stark differences between Lewis and Emanuel. Lewis is a dedicated educator who knows her field well from the vantage point of theory and practice. Emanuel, on the other hand, is an opportunistic politician who made his bones a telemarketer who borrowed his brother's Rolodex to raise campaign funds.

    Who do you trust?

    Reducing a woman of Lewis' stature and accomplishments to the level of Emmanuel's childish, rude, conflict-baiting antics is a disservice to your readers, who have come to expect thoughtful insight and analysis from your blog.

    Let's support Karen Lewis in her work, exposing Emmanuel's goal of realizing his own privatized kleptocracy in Chicago. We deserve better.

  • Triage is ethical.
    25% failed students is unrealistically optimistic. Glad to hear Rahm's thinking positive, however.
    I find Lewis to be a ineffective public speaker. That's the only way most of us know her. I was told she was better in long form interviews. I listened to a recent Lewis interview on Youtube and all I heard was a bunch of self supporting anecdotes. I won't listen again.
    For me it's too soon to tell with Rahm.
    Both have almost impossible jobs.

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