March Board Meeting Shenanigans

Here's an unconfirmed email from a reader about CPS employees holding spots in line for parents (and cutting!), a hilariously awful practice that is described below as a "concierge service" for 7.5 hour supporters:

"When I got there a little before 6:30am, I notice my FACEmanager in the line before me, thought it was a little weird that CPS employees had to get there so early to get in line and then I noticed he was in line behind me.  I started talking to a young woman in front of me, she happens to be the FACE manager for the Pilsen area.   And then a older Chinese man comes to stand next to her, I was a little irritated by the cut in line but didn’t say anything.  I heard them whispering about security, vandalism, etc.   Another CPS employee kept popping up and telling the Pilsen FACE manager that her other parents were not going to make it.  I started texting other parents I know in line and asked them to look around and see if they noticed any other FACE managers in line, sure enough a few other FACE managers were holding spots for parents that showed up much later than the rest of us.  That would have been bad enough that they were holding spots for other people but come to find out these parents were all supporters of a longer 7.5 hr day.  Basically the parents who question the longer day had to get there early and without any assistance but if you support a 7.5 hour day CPS will provide concierge service. This is another reason we do not believe CPS is truly trying to engage parents.  I do not blame the FACE managers, this not something they would have initiated themselves.  In fact my FACE manager lives nearby and is a pretty nice guy."

Did this happen?  Has it happened before?   I've never heard of it happening in CPS before, though in Washington lobbyists hire homeless people and college kids to hold their places in line until meetings start.

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  • according to CPS: "A few members of the FACE team were downstairs answering questions from parents who were waiting in line. There were many parents in line today who were participating for the first time in the board process and were unfamiliar with how it worked."

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Jamiko Rose, while she was still working at CPS had instructed members of her FACE team to hold places in the line for speakers who would speak in favor of CPS's postions.

  • roz rossi has the line-holding story (and CPS denial) in her coverage of today's board meeting:

    "Angry parents Wednesday accused Chicago Public Schools of playing favorites on the longer school day issue and paying staff to hold spaces in a very long ling to ensure pro-longer day speakers would be able to address board members.

    “You guys had people standing in line [for others], planted,” an angry Sonia Quon of Raise Your Hand told one manager of the district’s Family and Community Engagement Office outside board chambers.

    Both the manager and a CPS spokeswoman insisted no employee held spots but Quon and at least two other people insisted they saw a FAC employee hand over his spot in line to Wah Go, who later spoke in favor of a longer school day."

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/education/11578422-418/parents-tell-chicago-public-schools-board-75-hour-day-too-long.html

  • CPS has CPS administrators sitting in the Board audience chambers at 125--so that regular people-tax payers- could not sit; they get housed like cattle upstairs. And why do these administrors get to sit instead of work? This is on Rahm--controlling protests, my way or no way, now controlling a basic right-freedom of speech for 2 lousy minutes at a monthly board meeting. And every black ward, but one, voted for him for mayor--we elected TRUMP--you're fired!

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I spoke to a newspaper reporter yesterday about Rahm and all the groups unhappy with him. He thought that his approval rating today would be under 50%. Then I asked "So where would you put his odds at being reelected"? His answer was "100%".

  • Comcast and other corporate king pins, have paid bums to sit in FCC meetings regarding internet policy. Rahm and Brizard have no problem copying that kind of behavior. Monkey see Monkey do?

  • from a reader via email:

    "I also witnessed the FaCE managers in line for the School Board meeting on Wednesday, which was the first time in 11 years as a CPS parent that I had ever attended a Board meeting.

    I took the Metra at 5:18am and got to 125 S. Clark at about 5:40am and was about 7th in line. At about 6:15 am I moved back in the line to be with a friend. At that place in the line (about 18 - 20 back) there were at least three CPS FaCE managers holding places in front and behind me; there weren't any parents with them. The FaCE managers were very nice. The parents showed up much later with a FaCE staffer (Andrea Hall) checking them off on a list. At that point the FaCE managers left (maybe they answered questions first).

    At first I thought it was nice that all of these FaCE managers were out there at about 6am to hold places for parents who maybe needed to get kids to school or travel far -- but when two parents were brought to one of the spots in front of me and I talked to them and found out they were supporting the longer school day, it all got a little suspicious.

    I was a first time attendee and no-one offered to hold a place for me. It turned out that all of the parents who had CPS place holders for them were supporters of the longer school day. The parents who eventually showed up (maybe around 7:00 or 7:30) were very nice and we talked about our schools and wanting a quality day for the kids. When you look at the list of speakers there were a LOT who had obviously been brought in by FaCE managers -- many reference what network they are from. I don't know how many other placeholders there may have been, just know about the three right around me."

  • charter school finances are still in the
    'none of your business' category, at

    http://www.substancenews.net/articles.php?page=3170&section=Article

  • Headache 299
    From Chicago Tonight at
    http://chicagotonight.wttw.com/2012/03/28/fireworks-school-board-meeting

    A quote from a mother of a child at Skinner North on the subject of Longer School Day:

    “My daughter is in second grade at Skinner North…my daughter’s school implemented the 7.5 hours school day in September…my daughter, who’s always been very enthusiastic about school; always loves school, always loves learning…is now exhausted; complains about going to school; my husband literally has to drag her out of bed almost every morning to get her to go to school”

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