Bus Rides & B*tches

Bus Rides & B*tches

Today's news:  CTU took folks on a ride.  Mayor Emanuel defended Byrd-Bennett. Reform critics in DC (including CTU President Karen Lewis) held an event at which one speaker reportedly used a harsh racial term to describe former school superintendent Michelle Rhee.  


Bus tour shows 'collateral damage' from school closings WBEZ: This school closings tour has really become a tour of Chicago’s ghettos. A tour of disinvestment and unemployment and neglect… a tour of all kinds of issues the school district did not create, but issues that complicate shutting down 54 schools.

Teachers Union Bus Tour Puts Spotlight On Impact Of School Closings CBS2: The union packed a luxury coach with elected officials, religious and community leaders, and reporters; to give them a glimpse at some of the schools on the chopping block, and an earful about the impact of closing 53 schools.

U.S. Rep. Rush, Davis Lead School-Closing Walk in Tough Turf on West Side DNAinfo: Rush called for a moratorium on closings and said there'd be a political price to pay for Emanuel, who has called for the closings along with CPS Chief Executive Officer Barbara Byrd-Bennett.


Emanuel defends Byrd-Bennett on school closings Tribune:  Mayor Rahm Emanuel backed his public schools chief Thursday amid charges that the plan to close 54 schools is racist, and he leveled criticism at the Chicago Teachers Union for what he said was its inability to articulate an alternative to continuing with...

Mayor says he’s ‘100 percent hand-in-glove’ with schools chief’s views on closing schools Sun Times: Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Thursday he is “100 percent hand-in-glove” with Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett, who “spoke eloquently” in rejecting the notion that it’s racist to close 54 mostly-black elementary schools.

Rahm Emanuel on CPS School Closings: 'Status Quo is Unacceptable' DNAI:  The mayor voiced "100 percent" support of CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett Thursday.


Third Phase of Community Meetings Around CPS School Utilization Begins This Saturday CPS: CPS Will Hold Two Community Meetings on Each Consolidation Proposal for Underutilized Schools
Charter waiting list inflation CMW: Wednesday he was saying the real number was probably “around 65 percent” of 19,000, based on his own “spot checks.” Thursday he insisted that 19,000 is a “conservative estimate” — the real number probably higher than that, he now says — since it excludes non-reporting charters and new charters that are just ramping up.
Afternoon Shift: Do or die WBEZ: Together, they'll discuss Chicago Public Schools CEOBarbara Byrd Bennett's response to claims that school closings were racially motivated and recent crises in college sports.
Parents could face counseling for kids’ curfew violations Sun Times: Chicago is “in for a rough summer” with “children taking over” the streets unless something is done to hold parents accountable, a West Side alderman warned Thursday. Ald. Emma Mitts (37th) vented her frustrations before a City Council committee approved an ordinance that would refer parents of chronic curfew violators to counseling and empower administrative hearing officers to compel those parents to attend.
U.S. Dept. of Ed. Protesters Turn Fierce Rhetoric on 'Corporate' Reform Education Week: Standing in front of the Education Department's headquarters in downtown Washington, Miami-Dade County teacher Ceresta Smith referred to former District of Columbia Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee—founder and CEO of the advocacy group StudentsFirst—as an "Asian bitch."

Filed under: Daily News Roundup


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  • fb_avatar

    hey russo you still ignoring the fact that triple b liar is an ohio resident now illegally working a cps employee. guess that is not what your bosses want you to write about.

  • In reply to JohnKugler:

    BBB sure's spends a helluva lot time in Chicago for someone who lives in Ohio. Sure Ohio's a midwestern state but a few hundred miles of Indiana still separates it from Illinois . . . that must be one challenging commute every morning for BBB. . . I wonder how she does it? That's one resilient lady.

    I wonder if Ohio would trade one Kugler for one BBB? He seems more suited to Cleveland than she does.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Is Chicago still the only school system to have a residency requirement? Who cares? I don't, because even though I am grandfathered in I think the larger the hiring pool the better the candidate selection will be. I have seen too many mediocre teachers hired only because they live in Chicago. It makes one wonder why Chicago sticks to this when it certainly doesn't allow the hiring of the best and brightest. You can scream tax base all you want but no one can force you to shop in the city. What is happening is we are now a training grounds for teachers in shortage areas who learn how to teach in Chicago and then leave for the suburbs. Many sharp African-American and Hispanic teachers have been snapped up by the suburbs who offer many perks not found in CPS. Doesn't anyone find it interesting that other systems do not have a residency? I think Chicago is a great place to live but expensive on a teacher's salary.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Please don't miss Mr. Kugler's point. Whether you think the residency rule is a good idea or not, it is still the current rule and one that enforced fiercly and with great fidelity on teachers and administrators who break it. You don't have to like Mr. Kugler to agree that the two highest ranking administrators in CPS (Cawley and BBB) are breaking their own rule. Even if it weren't a cause for dismissal (which it is for everyone else), it is very poor leadership to ask others to do something they are not willing to do. Leadership 101 folks...a major leadership fail on their parts. They have also set themselves up for some legitimate legal challenges by former CPS employees who have been terminated for living outside of the district.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    But wouldn't Crawley and Byrd-Bennett stand as employees that deserve a special break just like teachers with specialties that are hard to fill who can live outside Chicago?

    That's leadership, eh?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    "hiring of the best and brightest."

    What Chicago residents would be better in Crawley's and BBB's job? Any nominees?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    "But wouldn't Crawley and Byrd-Bennett stand as employees that deserve a special break just like teachers with specialties that are hard to fill who can live outside Chicago?"

    Actually, they would not be in compliance because, according to their own policy, a special needs waiver has to be made at the time of hiring and cannot be made later even if an employee's status changes to a special needs category. So ... it is still poor leadership and obvious breaking of the rules they so strictly enforce on others.

  • An Apology to Michelle Rhee | Diane Ravitch's blog http://ow.ly/jN8hR @dianeravitch Two down, at least one more to go @ctulocal1

  • MT @asherhuey: Ummm... @kenzoshibata was tweeting about it yesterday: http://t.co/RSCrRt5ThW http://t.co/kMyv5n5y9m @CTULocal1

  • One would think that the proper response to the bus rides would be for Streets and San, the CPD, and the Building Dept. to clean up the areas, instead of letting the neighborhoods go to pot (not weed), the population moving, and then the schools left underenrolled.

  • In relation to the Mayor's comments on Stacy Davis Gates response or lack thereof to a question from Ald. Anthony Beale that were referenced by both the Sun Times and Tribune. Wednesday at City Council Education Committee meeting when Beale asked what concessions the CTU would be willing to give in order for schools to remain open. I am not sure Stacy knew what in the world to say to that question since CPS has never asked to enter into discussions over the school closings.

    Under state law (Public Act 097-0008) the CTU has no legal right to request any form of bargaining over "class staffing and assignment" or " places of instruction." The decision to open bargaining over the closures legally are "within the sole discretion of the educational employer to decide to bargain." The CTU can only request impact discussions, not let's make a deal discussions to prevent the closures.

    So is Alderman Beale proposing to mediate bargaining over the closures and is he speaking for the Mayor and the school district when he posed his provocative question? I honestly don't think so. I think the Alderman was just trying to score some points. But the question of concessions for schools remaining open for the length of the existing CTU contract is one idea in relation to this closure mess. But it would also have to involve the principal's association, the lunch room workers, and others too. So how much money would CPS want to keep these 54 schools open, and would all the teachers, principals, and other staff at non-closing schools be willing to take a hair cut to save these schools for a time limited period?

    Firing principals by the way at the 54 schools is going to generate a lot of money. The average salary of a Chicago Public Schools principal back in 2010 was $133,000. So assuming it's still about the same just the 54 principals getting laid off will generate about $7.2 million in savings a year in salaries plus benefits. If we assume in the process of closings just 10 teachers at each of these schools lose their jobs with an average salary of $74,000 that's about 40 million a year right there plus benefits. Then there are the clerks, lunch room workers, engineers, etc. When you add all of these numbers up it looks like a lot of money. In fact its more money than CPS is talking about saving right now publicly.

    I don't know the answer to the question of how much CPS employees in non-closings schools would be willing to give up to save these schools if anything. I do think if CPS was serious about such an idea they would have raised it already. If Beale was in the least bit serious he would have been working to facilitate this type of bargaining between the Board, CTU, other unions, and the principals association. My guess is that since teachers, principals, and other staff logically believe many of the 54 schools would reappear again on a closure proposal after the current CTU contract expired even if they gave up money to keep them open that any concession proposal would fail to get a majority.

    Oh, by the way how much of a hair cut would Alderman Beale and his fellow aldermen be willing to take to help save these schools?

    Rod Estvan

  • Thank god Rod Estvan has a brain in his head and uses it.

  • Steve Rhodes blog fascinates:

    Rahm's Wrong
    "Mayor Rahm Emanuel backed his public schools chief Thursday amid charges that the plan to close 54 schools is racist, and leveled criticism at the Chicago Teachers Union for what he said was its inability to articulate an alternative to continuing with a failed status quo," the Tribune reports.

    That's just false.

    Just a year ago, for example, the CTU put forth "The Schools Chicago's Students Deserve," its own vision of reform subtitled "Research-based Proposals To Strengthen Elementary And Secondary Education In The Chicago Public Schools."

    And that's just one of a myriad of plans the CTU has devised, though it's not really their job to do so; plans such as the Bronzeville Global Achievers Village, "an aligned, community driven plan for Dyett High School and the following feeder elementary schools; Mollison, Price, Fuller, Reavis and Jackie Robinson."

    And so on.

    In fact, the union has done nothing but present alternative visions for the district for the last 20 years - and they aren't the only ones. Where the hell have you been, Rahm?


    "Emanuel also said Thursday he 'won't accept when people are asked What's your alternative, what's your idea? and there's silence. The status quo cannot handle silence."

    No wonder people feel like they aren't being heard. All Rahm hears is silence.


    "We must continue to challenge the status quo."
    - Karen Lewis, March 27, Rally To Save Our Schools


    The fact is that Rahm has put the status quo on steroids. His plan is merely an extension of the Daley plan before him, with an extra dose of his trademark aggression.

    Bus Tour Blues
    "The CTU says people do not understand how disruptive and possibly dangerous the plan to close 54 under-performing CPS schools is," ABC7 Chicago reports.

    "They filled up a bus with their supporters, as well as elected officials, who joined them in their call for a moratorium on school closings in Chicago."

    Unfortunately, ABC7's idea of "balance" is also to repeat falsities instead of vetting them.

    "But, nearby a non-profit says there's little vitriol on the footsteps where they're explaining block-by-block how the school consolidation will unfold."

    Right. The parental anger at community events, this week's school board meeting, this week's city council hearing and in the mediasphere is just an illusion.

    "What they're most pleased about is that their school that their child is now leaving a failing school and going to a school that's either a Level 2 or a Level 1," said Stand for Children's Donna Hardy.

    Patently not true

    "Late Thursday afternoon, CPS put out a statement, saying, the school-closing plan is about getting kids out of the trap of bad schools."

    Patently not true, besides the fact that Barbara Byrd-Bennett said repeatedly over the last year that no schools would be closed because of performance but only "utilization."

    "They stressed, any kid who has to move is going to be going to a better school."

    Again, total media malfeasance to let this statement stand.


    Meanwhile, Fran Spielman objectively "reports" that Byrd-Bennett "turned the tables on Lewis by saying what's racist is to refuse to challenge a status quo that's failing African-American students."

    Spielman didn't ask Byrd-Bennett if she was therefore calling U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan racist since he was in charge of the status quo when it was failing black kids. Or Ron Huberman, who is black, and therefore, in Byrd-Bennett's estimation, cannot participate in policies with racist effects. Or Richard M. Daley, a close friend of her boss, the current mayor.


    "The mayor also ridiculed Stacy Davis Gates, political activities director for the Chicago Teachers Union, for being dead silent when an aldermen asked her what concessions the union was willing to make in order to keep some of the 54 schools open."

    Maybe Gates was confused by the question. I am.

    In other words, the mayor suggested the status quo could be maintained if only the union would make concessions.


    One concession the union supports is the mayor giving up his TIF slush fund and returning that money to the schools.


  • Rod Estvan already pointed out the bogus nature of this alderman's question:

    Regarding (from Beachwood Reporter):

    "The mayor also ridiculed Stacy Davis Gates, political activities director for the Chicago Teachers Union, for being dead silent when an aldermen asked her what concessions the union was willing to make in order to keep some of the 54 schools open."

    Maybe Gates was confused by the question. I am.

    In other words, the mayor suggested the status quo could be maintained if only the union would make concessions.

  • fb_avatar

    Illinois Agencies Confirm Chicago Schools CEO Breaking the Law

  • CPS launches 27-day series of 180 public hearings on school closings on Saturday - Chicago Sun-Times http://ow.ly/jOyku

  • Attorney Robert Howard worked tirelessly to advance civil rights - chicagotribune.com http://ow.ly/jOynm

  • fb_avatar

    Hearings are scams. Are any held in a school being closed or at a time when all parents, staff and students can attend. Ans. No.

  • fb_avatar

    trible B replacement coming to Chicago. In what looks the like the end game for the ohio resident running the Chicago schools, Substance News has gotten word that Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) Superintendent Tony Smith is moving to Chicago to take care of his ailing father. this guy is a master of parent messaging and union busting.

  • Was bbb given moving expenses by taxpayers of Chicago? If so, then why does she not live here? One can see no Illinois license; she gets a car and driver at taxpayer expense, At least pay some taxes here like we do, for the large salary we pay you. Rahm=destruction of the city poor and minority middle class by any means necessary.

  • fb_avatar

    rumor has it that she lives in a $4000/month luxury hotel suite

  • Worth the read-CPS out-of-towners care nothing-during these death of schools hearings--right call 311! You have to read it to beleive it.

  • fb_avatar

    the LSC chairperson [Songhai] shouted out that these CPS “mother f*****s were sitting there laughing at us. (closing hearing 4/6/13)

  • Plenty apartment rentals/house sales in Englewood Ms.BB for a great price tha tyou can well then afford. And you say what you are doing this isn't racism? Classism is racist by nature.

  • Story on Friends of Ray School? (principal-ap removed) Is OIG looking into it? Substitute principal relationship w/ this org?

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