Emanuel Skirts, Fans Controversy

The paid protesters story is finally approaching City Hall — as is the Mayor’s appearance in a pro-charter video.  Check out all the education coverage here.  Scroll down to the previous post for coverage of the Casals and Piccolo hearings.

Mayor skirts sticky patronage questions Tribune:  Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Monday declined to say whether it’s appropriate for faith-based groups that have become vocal public supporters of his controversial education agenda to receive millions of dollars in contracts from his administration.

Emanuel’s Appearance in Pro-Charter School Video Irks Teachers Union CNC:  Kyle Olson, the founder and CEO of the Education Action Group Foundation, said he decided to focus the video on Emanuel’s education agenda, including his support for charter schools, partly because of the vocal opposition those efforts elicited from the union. ALSO:  Devoted parents seek top schools Sun Times.

Public tells Quinn to halt speed-enforcement cameras Sun Times:  Mayor Rahm Emanuel has spent months lobbying Quinn to sign the bill authorizing speed cameras near city schools and parks.It turns out the public has been doing its own lobbying. ALSO:  Quinn Targeting Teacher Retirement Costs Fox.

New website gives details on arts education Catalyst: Among its findings: Schools with an art teacher on staff – which make up 88 percent of the district’s schools – are 12 times more likely than other schools to have ties with outside arts organizations, according to Paul Sznewajs, the group’s executive director.

Chicago Public Schools plan causes a stir on Southeast Side Tribune:  Chicago Public Schools’ plan to build an elementary school on polluted property in the shadow of the Chicago Skyway and an expiring coal-fired power plant near the Indiana border is raising the ire of parents in the working-class East Side neighborhood.

Filed under: Daily News Roundup


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  • I saw "paid protesters" identified in reporting at Substancenews.net months ago. Mainstream press seems to have now caught the wave. This is just one instance where Substance mentioned this practice:


    They also reported that young school children (from a non-public school?) were bussed in to protest in support of the longer school day back in fall, if I recall correctly.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    Anonymous, yes you are right!

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    Oh yes... George dish it out but can't take it sure reported on another story early. It's extremists like him working with our union that will cause a strike next fall because these people have no interest in compromising they just want more reasons to march.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    An axe to the grind against George, have you?
    I'm not sure what your point is supposed to be, but let me assure you that if there is a strike next year, it will be because the teaching and education support force are sick and tired of the disrespect being showed them by the Emmanuel administration, including the weakening of contract rights and loss of compensation and benefits for time worked.
    And none of that's "extremist"--just basic fairness.

  • In reply to Danaidh:

    Agreed! Teachers are tired of the the "flavor of the Year" expectations that change constantly! Let us also put into context. Rahm being beholden to his patrons. Charters are telling these poltiicians that they can fill their campaign coffers and provide cheap teachers to "fix" their political problem. At the same time, Charters are telling folks they can offer investors over ten percent in profit. This is scene that will end ugly.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    It seems Substance get a lot of the facts before the mainstream media. Yes, Substance is an advocacy media effort, but you can't just rely on what you see in the mainstream.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    I'm a big fan of Substance, but the 25-word article titles have got to go. I'm not saying "dumb it down", just try to be a bit more succinct. Revolutionary Communists ( http://www.plp.org/ ) AND even stupid FOX News ( http://www.foxnews.com/ ) both do it right.

  • Hunter Clauss's CNC report linked by Alexander was interesting but I think it did not dig into the story of the making of the Education Action Group Foundation's (EAGF) video “A Tale of Two Missions” as much as I would have liked to have seen. While I have no doubt that Mayor Emanuel's spokeswoman Tarrah Cooper was correct when she stated that the Mayor was not in agreement with the perspective the video projected of the CTU, after the Mayor's staff saw the finished product and said OMG. But I also have no doubt that friends of the Mayor urged him to work with Kyle Olson on the making of the video. These same friends no doubt also convinced Noble Street Charter Schools to work with EAGF.

    There have been several stories about who gets access to Mayor Emanuel (http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/10/27/big-money-helps-get-access-to-mayor-schedule-suggests/ and http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/who-has-access-to-mayor-rahm-emanuels/Content?oid=4887900) so some of the treads can be drawn together.

    Who were these friends of the Mayor that paved the way for EAGF getting such exclusive access to both him and a CPS charter school? I doubt it was Stand for Children because they were still in disarray last summer when the Mayor agreed to participate in the making of the video. I suspect these friends who suggested Kyle Olson was worthy an interview are also supporters of the New Schools for Chicago organization. Bruce Rauner, a venture capitalist and charter school advocate who was a supporter of the SB7 legislation that passed Springfield, and who is a Republican with ties to Mayor Emanuel might have been one of those friends.

    Given what a hatchet job this video turned out to be the Mayor might be wise to question the ideological intent of video makers recommended to him by some of his friends. By the way given the shots inside a Noble Street Charter School one has to also wonder if the parents of any of these students were aware their children were being used a props for an ideological attack on the CTU? Do you think if the parent of one of these students happened to be a CTU member they would be happy? What would happen if the CTU made a video inside a CPS school attacking charter schools and using students in a traditional school as props for the attack? I bet we would see some people fired.

    Noble Street Charter Schools does many things right for the subgroup of students enrolled in its schools. The charter school did not do its self a favor by participating in the video made by the Education Action Group Foundation.

    Rod Estvan

  • Surprised no one is talking about the "lesson" that Brizard is teaching via Safari Live for Digital Learning Day. I have 5th graders participating (supposed to be 6-8 grade) They sent the prompt today stating that we should talk about it with students because it might be challenging. If we had fifth grade it would be a "stretch." My students worked it out in a matter of minutes using background knowledge from previous science units. If this is the level that we are shooting for I am seriously worried....

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    good point -- anyone else going to do digital learning day?

    here's the description from JCB's weekly newsletter: "Tomorrow, Feb. 1, CPS will be participating in the first ever national Digital Learning Day, a celebration of innovative teaching and learning through the use of digital media and technology. The intent of Digital Learning Day is to expand the use of technology in the classroom by encouraging teachers to try something new, kick off project-based learning, and learn how digital tools can help improve student outcomes. More than one million students in school districts nationwide will be participating.

    We encourage our teachers and principals to get involved by participating in one or more of the activities highlighted by the CPS Education Technology team.

    To review these activities, click here.

    To learn more about Digital Learning Day, click here.

    "For my part on Wednesday, I will be teaching a science lesson on gravity and the solar system to middle school students using iPad technology. Our iPad Initiative, which has provided iPads to 62 schools and 8,700 students, is just one of the ways in which we are seeking to equip our schools with innovative learning options in order to increase student time on task, boost academic achievement, and prepare our students for 21st century careers. As a former science teacher, I’m excited to engage our students on such an interactive level.

    In addition to the upcoming Digital Learning Day, last Friday, our Information Technology Services and Education Technology teams held its annual “Tech Talk” technology conference, focused on the use of digital technology to improve teaching and learning. More than 1,000 CPS teachers, principals and staff attended the conference and participated in a variety of sessions on key digital learning opportunities, such as ways to curate educational content via online video resources, effective technology practices for iPads, and the integration of digital content into the classroom through applications such Safari Montage. To learn more about CPS teachers honored at this event, be sure to read “Teachers honored at Tech Talk Conference” article below.

    We look forward to sharing with you other exciting digital and technology initiatives and announcements in the coming days and weeks!"

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Our large school did not know a thing about it. Typical CPS lack of-communication.

  • I see what he was trying to do. But the lesson is so easy, I agree. I like the idea of a digital learning day and the tech conference was very good. (I never say anything by cps is good ). There are some great teachers in the district, hopefully we can keep them. Brizard needs to step it up though. Pretty sure most kids have a basic understanding of solar system and gravity by third grade. Maybe he didn't want his lesson to flop? I guess he gets points for making an effort. At least 1 point. Maybe half a point.

  • STRIKEWATCH: The lessons hard earned from our own history... Chicago Teachers Union President Jacqueline Vaughn addresses one of the massive picket lines during the 1987 strike, in the shadow of one of Chicago's housing projects. The 1987 strike lasted 19 days, but headed off a lengthy list of cuts that CPS was trying to impose on everyone who worked in the city's schools. Contrary to some later myths and lies, Chicago teachers — and Chicago schools — won out from every strike that was ever held. From lower class sizes to preparation time for teachers to better pay and benefits to seniority rights for veteran teachers following layoffs — contracts were the key. Every strike the sign read: ON STRIKE FOR OUR CONTRACT.

  • Strike watch: I just bowled and knocked down all the pins.

  • Rahm's NO EVIDENCE SCHOOL POLICY says it all about Rahm and Brizard. You can't hide incompetence. What is the third largest school district in the nation doing with such incompetence running the show!

  • Knocked down all the pins? That is not what I saw. 90% of the pins are standing and all we need is 75%. Besides, you can't bowl in ballerina slippers.

  • We give Rahm and Brizard too much credit when we call them

  • The fight against the inferiority of charters wages out in Washington State.


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