Emanuel's Campaign Committee

Emanuel's Campaign Committee

The big Board meeting is coming next week.  Meantime, CTU is holding an election and planning marches. Emanuel has set up a campaign committee to oust City Council opponents.  Joravsky is talking about the Lincoln Park HS dismissals/student walkout.  What else?  It's cold!


3 days of marches against school closings announced Tribune: With just over a week before the Chicago Board of Education votes on a proposal to close 54 schools, the Chicago Teachers Union and other activist groups said Monday they would hold marches over three days to protest the plan.

CTU plans 'old-style civil rights march' before vote on closing schools Chicago Sun-Times: In its final push before the Board of Education votes on whether to shutter 54 schools and 61 school buildings, the Chicago Teachers Union will lead a weekend protest march in hardest-hit neighborhoods, the CTU announced Monday.

We’re Going to Have to Fight Rahm Again CPS Chatter:  With the union election this Friday, teachers need to decide who they feel most comfortable with to do the organizing and fighting that will be necessary to counter Mayor Emanuel and hopefully help remove him from office.   For me, it’s definitely CORE.   For you, it may be somebody else, but I really hope not.


Black Caucus chair wants mayor to follow hearing officers school closings ... Chicago Sun-Times: The chairman of the City Council's Black Caucus is demanding that Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his handpicked school board follow hearing officers recommendations to keep open 13 of 54 Chicago Public Schools targeted for closing.

Closing schools, cutting resources CMW: Independent hearing officer Paddy McNamara has recommended against closing Manierre, but CPS general counsel James Bebley filed a response arguing that in doing so, she “exceeded the scope of her authority” by considering information beond what CPS submitted.


Can anyone beat Rahm? Continued Eric Zorn Political consultant Will Caskey in the Illinois Observer: In the meantime, he’s going to take his OTHER campaign committee and possibly set up an independent expenditure that can take unlimited contributions, and then he will steamroll CTU’s allies on the City Council. All nine of them (speaking generously).

Rahm Emanuel Bill Clinton Impersonation: Chicago Mayor Gives Graduation ... Huffington Post: Newly appointed Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett speaks, accompanied by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel at a news conference, Friday, Oct. 12, 2012, in Chicago.

Rahm Emanuel: a midterm mayoral recap Time Out Chicago (blog): ... Zeke, who apparently never got the top bunk. Rahm is currently running unopposed for mayor of Chicago in 2015. For democracy's sake, here's hoping anyone eyeing a bid to challenge him—Karen Lewis? Toni Preckwinkle?—doesn't heed Zeke's warning.

Why won't Emanuel talk about Mayor He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named? John Kass: One subject that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel never touches involves a legendary political figure.


The fix is in! Chicago gaming and school funding - ChicagoNow ChicagoNow: Let's look at what that's meant for Chicago Public Schools since this connection was established. Here's what the Illinois Lottery website ("Anything's possible!") has to tell us about how much has gone to schools. It's pretty impressive!

Where UNO charter schools' money comes from Chicago Sun-Times: The Chicago Public Schools, which gives UNO tens of millions of dollars a year to educate children whose families choose to send them to charter schools. The schools are privately run and have won the backing of politicians pressed to give people an option ...

To the Class of 2013: Resist simplicity Tribune (Stephen L. Carter): Your great challenge is to regain the high ground my generation once championed: the freedom to think for yourselves.

If only the students at Lincoln Park High were on the school board Ben Joravsky: For the record, my official stance on students skipping school to participate in political protest is no, no, no! They should spend every waking minute of every day dutifully doing whatever it is that they're told to do so that they can go on to become something really important—like mayor or school board member. In which case they can randomly close schools, fire teachers, and impose harebrained curriculum on unsuspecting students.…


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  • Nationally Recognized Tutoring Program [Match] Expands to Chicago Impact Will Be Rigorously Evaluated by Crime Lab http://ow.ly/l1f5Y @uchicagouei

  • http://bit.ly/14k7sa0 CFD will also be assisting with "Safe Passage" next year. Unreal.

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    Dear Teachers, Parents and Students,

    This will probably be the last time I have an opportunity to write about the impending crisis in education here in Chicago before the CTU election on May 17, 2013. As an education organizer, teacher in Chicago for 25 years at both private and public schools, we have seen a demise in ethical practices on behalf of the Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union.

    In 1995 the Amendatory Act was passed in Springfield giving mayoral control of the Board of Education to the mayor at that time, Richard J. Daley. The corporate reform model which basically consisted of young novice non-educators taking control of the Board of Education to privatize it's assets.

    The result of this action has been catastrophic for students, parents and teachers. In the late 90's Reconstitution was initiated and schools were selected to go through the process of targeting and firing teachers in African American communities rather than invest in the schools. Reconstitution as defeated in the courts when the once rock solid Chicago Teachers Union filed appropriate lawsuits and fired teachers were put back to work or compensated for this injustice. City lawyers had to go back to the table and develop another plan to gentrify communities. This plan called Renaissance 2010 was unveiled in 2001-2002 with the closings and turn-around of three schools in the African American community. Daniel Hale Williams, Dodge and Terrell. Terrell was closed and Williams and Dodge received Turn_Arounds. Meaning that the entire staff was fired and students were uprooted from their home schools. (since 2001-2 most inner city students are purged slowly from schools), For over 15 years teachers and students in the African American community have been the scapegoat for policies that are rooted in racism and bigotry.

    Simultaneously we began to see the erosion of the Chicago Teachers Union and it's inability to defend it's members. The powerful and beloved Chicago Teachers Union President Jackie Vaughn had left a union rock solid before her death. However, Supernumerary rights were lost that grossly effected veteran teacher seniority and bumping rights. The unraveling of the Chicago Teachers Union ethical practices, give-away of hard fought rights began in 2001.

    However, nothing and no other union president has given away so much as Karen Lewis. The give-all way legislation called Senate Bill 7 that forced the CTU into a strike after Lewis signed teachers up for a Longer School Day with no pay. The loss of seniority in economic layoffs, the erosion of union collective bargaining and striking rights; making performance the primary criterion for teacher retention instead of seniority; streamlining the process to fire teachers with unsatisfactory ratings and granting CPS the authority to extend the length of the school day without agreement from the teacher’s union.

    The legislation, developed in part to avoid teacher strikes, includes a provision for the Chicago Teachers Union to have approval from 75 percent of its membership to authorize a strike. Before the legislation was passed, CTU only needed 51 percent of voting members before proceeding to the next step to authorize a strike. The State Legislature requires a simple majority of members present to advance legislation, and 60 percent to override a gubernatorial veto.

    Lewis on the signing of Senate Bill 7

    “We are proud that we were successful in making sure experience and performance are respected. We have made the process for teacher dismissal more efficient and fair. We also have made certain there will be more accountability for everyone involved in the education of our students; not just teachers, but administrators and school board members as well,” said CTU President Karen Lewis.

    To sum it up Teachers , on May 17, 2013 , you have an opportunity to restore dignity to the Chicago Public Schools . To stop the fighting, name calling and personal vendettas between Lewis and the mayor. You have a responsibility to teachers who are paying an incredible price for mistakes made by Karen Lewis and CORE. With 5,000 African American teachers and countless of veterans of all ethnic backgrounds, Give Lewis a chance to do what she really want and that is to run for mayor. Let her finance it and not off the backs of teachers.


    In Genuine Solidarity,

    Rosita Chatonda
    Founding President of CAUSE, The Chicago Alliance of Urban School Educators
    SS NAACP Displaced Teacher Chair
    South Shore CAC Community Outreach Chair

  • In reply to Rosita Chatonda:

    Stop! You have at least 13 grammatical errors in this one posting. Please be professional and proof read your work or at least ask a colleague for assistance.

  • In reply to Rosita Chatonda:

    No doubt that Amendatory Act hurt the CTU badly....So that's why we need...to reelect the people who were in charge when it was passed? You really are wasting your talents. I think CPS administration is the place for your logical skills.

  • Ben Joravsky's article that Alexander linked today makes it sound like the concept of wall to wall International Baccalaureate programs in CPS high schools was an idea that Mayor Emanuel came up with. It wasn't really his idea. The idea was an outgrowth of the University of Chicago's Consortium on Chicago School Research in particular from a report titled "Working to my Potential" http://ccsr.uchicago.edu/publications/working-my-potential-postsecondary-experiences-cps-students-international-baccalaureate .

    The report looks at the effect of the IB DP program in 12 neighborhood high schools. It did not study the IB program at Lincoln Park High School because it is highly selective and serves a different population than the IB DPs at other neighborhood high schools.

    The report found that, "when compared to a matched comparison group, students in the IB DP are 40 percent more likely to attend four-year colleges and 50 percent more likely to attend more selective colleges. In addition, these students are significantly more likely to persist in four-year colleges for two years. When in college, IB DP students report feeling prepared to succeed and indeed excel in their coursework, often stating explicitly that their experiences in the IB DP taught the specific skills and behaviors demanded of them in college."

    There is no evidence provided by Mr. Joravsky that any of the eight teachers who are not being retained opposed Lincoln Park going wall to wall IB. Deborah Ditkowsky , a chemistry teacher with more than 20 years in the system was one of the 8 teachers who were at first accepted to teach IB and then had the offer rescinded who was discussed in Joravsky article. I can find no evidence that Ms Ditkowsky or any of the other teachers who reapplied for their jobs under the wall to wall IB program opposed it publicly.

    I think almost every teacher at LP reapplied to keep their jobs at a wall to wall IB high school because these positions are in fact great jobs in a good school located in a high income community.

    As I said in a May 5, 2013 post on the Substance website Lincoln Park HS has a big problem and that problem is the consistent failure of that high school to effectively educate its African American students.

    In 2012 using PSAE scores we can see only 35% of LP's black students were reading at state standards, but 89% of white students were testing at or above standards in reading and 66% of Hispanic students were reading at that level. This performance gap is the highest among any Chicago high schools that has a significant number of white students.

    The solution up to now appears to have been to contain the number of lower performing African American students in the school, in 2000 the school was 39.9% black and by 2012 it was only 27.4% black. The largest increase at the school has been for Hispanic students over the same period.

    By comparison if we look at W Young High School in 2012 using PSAE scores we find that there is only a 3 point gap between the percentage of black and white students reading at state standards. But since W Young is all selective maybe that is not a good reference point. So let's look at Von Stuben where we see 66% of white students reading at or above standards and 40% of black students a gap of 26 points, or Lake View where 45% of white student are reading at or above standards and 32% of black student are meeting/exceeding standards, a gap of 13 points, or even Taft where 46% of white students are reading at or above standards and 31% of black students are reading at a similar level, a gap of 15 points. Let's even look at Noble charter where in 2012 73% of white students (there were only 15 white juniors) and 39% of black student were reading at or above standards, a gap of 34 points. But at LP we have a black/white gap of 54 points in reading.

    Now I don't think going wall to wall IB will necessarily solve the racial performance problem at LP, but if one extrapolates from the U of C report in theory some believe it might help. I suspect it might actually further reduce the number of black students at LP, but only time will give us that answer. But Ben is confused in his article, this theory wasn't the Mayor's idea it was a radical application of a research finding. The U of C never proposed such a radical application of the IB program in its report to be fair to the Consortium, but they haven't exactly opposed it either. It should be noted that the U of C charter high school has not gone wall to wall IB whatever that means. CPS I think may be grasping at straws with the wall to wall IB concept but Mayor Emanuel did not cook this idea up out of thin air.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    I do hope Rod's not calling out LPHS for poor performance just based on this gap in test scores.
    To even begin to consider using just that metric would require homogeneous ethic groups. Even "meeting standards" is problematic, as it's a threshold event. How close were the students to the threshold when entering the comparison schools?
    The gap seems like a good starting place to start asking questions, not as evidence of insufficiency.

  • In reply to Donn:

    NCLB does not require the gap to be measured by any type of homogeneous racial groups. Therefore, data is not publicly available comparing low income white students to low income black students or white and black students above the poverty line at LP or any other public school. This data could be extracted but it would require a formal request for raw data for the school from ISBE and Northern Illinois University which runs the data capture operation for the Illinois Interactive Report Card.

    But we do know this much about LP from the existing easily avaiable data. If we examine PSAE reading scores for 2012 60% of LP low income students were at or above state standards and 76% of students above the poverty line were at or above standards. That is a 16 point gap, its massively less than the racial gap for whites and blacks at the school.

    On a city wide basis the gap between students above the poverty line CPS students and students below the poverty line on the PSAE reading standards in 2012 was 36 points. So I think its fair to say LP can educate low income students reasonably well, but the key indicator here seems to be race as far as I can tell.

    The gap at LP isn't isolated to just one year its a historic trend. But as I said the data is imperfect because of the way NCLB requires it to be collected by school districts and schools.

    Rod Estvan

  • Rod - When the U of C research was done were the IB vocational tracks in play? Have you heard if these tracks will be part of the LP IB implementation or at the other new IB programs? It may make the implementation less "radical". Personally I don't think the standard IB diploma track is suitable for kids who are in the below 25 ACT range.

  • In reply to CPS Parent:

    The program or track you are referencing the IBO calls IB Career-related Certificate (IBCC) did not exist at any of the high schools the U of C studied. Linda Lutton did a WBEZ story on the proposed IBCC option in June (see http://www.wbez.org/news/education/emanuel-promises-new-ib-schools-will-get-kids-college-many-could-end-vocational-track). The IBO itself has a document on the program(see http://www.bbis.de/fileadmin/content/Learning/Curriculum/IBCC_Overview.pdf).

    The IBO has signed Memoranda of Understanding with four major providers of career-related programs, that will be collaborating with the IB to support schools who wish to offer IBCC. These providers are listed as Pearson, ifs School of Finance, Project Lead The Way, and the National Academies Foundation. Because LP has no vocational facilities it is totally unclear to me how such a track could be implemented at that school.

    I am familiar with the concept that the IBO is trying to implement and it reflects the European vocational tracking system. In some nations like Germany this system have produced high quality workers and in other nations it has been a failure. I am most familiar with the failure in Hungry because I read and speak Hungarian.

    Hungary’s vocational education and training (VET) programs have resulted in nothing except for more hoops for young adults to jump through. In 2009 only 55.4% of the population aged 15-64 were employed (61.1% males and 49.9% females), lagging far behind the EU average rate of 64.6%. Hungary’s inactivity rate is one of the highest in the European Union. In March of the 2013 Hungary's formal unemployment rate was 11.8%.

    The high number of drop-outs is a serious problem in vocational schools (szakiskola, SZI). There is a reason for this the Institute for Economic and Enterprise Research (Gazdaság- és Vállalkozáselemzési Intézete,GVI) of the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Magyar kereskedelmi és iparkamara MKIK) registered a higher share of young people unemployed nine months after obtaining their qualifications in shortage-jobs in 2010 (24.1%) than in 2009 (19.9%).

    Hungry and its vocational program are unfortunately moving towards fascism. The country is now under the control of the Prime Minster Orban and the anti-Semitic Jobbik Party. It has instituted a forced labor program for the unemployed which include thousands of young graduates of vocational technical programs.

    We are seeing similar collapses of the vocational systems in Spain, Italy, and Greece. Where systems similar to what the IBO is discussing are still working are in countries like Germany, Switzerland, and the Nordic countries.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    Rod - regarding facilities, I don't think we are talking about car repair or similar tracks which would require specialized support. My understanding is that the IB voc tracks would be business admin, hospitality and other similar white collar career paths. is that your understanding as well?

  • In reply to CPS Parent:

    There are under the IBCC options for both what we would normally call white collar and blue collar tracks. But really in Europe now some of the standards are actually higher for what we would call blue collar industrial jobs than for white collar non-university degree jobs. In Hungry all such graduates currently face a very bad job market so students are dropping out of both programs at high rates.

    The IBO will be charging CPS for this new IBCC program and the major providers of career-related programs they will be using. We will not know for years whether it was worth it in terms of employment outcomes. I suspect if IBO can produce a cheap workforce using the IBCC the employment outcomes will look ok assuming our economy expands. I also have to wonder as the fiscal crisis of CPS gets deeper if the district will want to keep paying for this program in the future.

    Rod Estvan

  • I'm still confused about what the advantage is to LP's wall to wall IB program. It's only wall to wall for the middle year program 9th and 10th grade. It's my neighborhood school, but we can't do the diploma program. Only the top 100 or so kids will be allowed to do it. If I understood the research it said it was the diploma program that improved college success, so what improvement do we have? Why can't a B student do the diploma program?

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