Lewis Makes Big Bucks - UNO Exits

Lewis Makes Big Bucks - UNO Exits

Lots of news today, at least of the political kind.  The Sun-Times is reporting that CTU president Karen Lewis owns all or part of three homes and makes more than $200,000 a year  — but at the same time a new Tribune poll says that she and Emanuel are close. Even bigger news (to me, at least), is that UNO is going to get out of the charter school management business. Nationally, Michelle Rhee is stepping down from StudentsFirst and UTLA beat big-money reformers in a school board election — again.  What else is going on? Let us know in comments. 


3 homes, over $200K in pay for CTU boss Lewis, who may challenge ‘Mayor 1%’ Sun TImes: Chicago Teachers Union boss and potential mayoral challenger Karen Lewis, who has railed against the influence of the wealthy and called Mayor Rahm Emanuel “Mayor 1%,” has three homes, including a condo in Hawaii, and is paid more than $200,000 a year in union salaries, records show.

Karen Lewis Salary, Vacation Homes Called Into Question By Sun-Times Chicagoist: The expose peeking at Lewis’ income and an ownership stake in three homes has critics of the Chicago Teachers Union president shouting, “well look who’s a member of the bourgeoisie!”

Did you read about Karen Lewis, Edward Snowden, and Cubs fans? Chicago Reader: That Karen Lewis has a Hawaii condo, and shares a vacation home in Union Pier with her sister, and has stakes in two time-share homes in Hawaii, and time-shares in New York, Mexico, and Colorado—but she doesn’t “live in luxury” or “hang out with

Chicago Tribune poll: Rahm Emanuel, Karen Lewis race could be close Chicago Tribune: Chicago voters have grown sharply dissatisfied with Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s job performance and have signaled a willingness to support his most prominent potential challenger, a new Chicago Tribune poll has found.


Ombudsman Chicago Set to Open First South Side High School DNAinfo: Ombudsman Chicago, which operates two alternative high schools, is again partnering with Chicago Public Schools to open its first South Side school.

Chicagoans concerned over closed down CPS buildings attracting trouble MyFox Chicago: They’ve got some incredible ideas about usage,” said CEO of CPS Barbara Byrd-Bennett. It’s been almost a year and half since CPS officials announced the closing of 50 schools as part of a plan to eliminate under-utilized schools and reduce a billion …

Chicago Free School preparing to open Hyde Park Herald: Chicago Free School founder Lauren Beitler speaks to an audience at the beginning of this year to promote the school. Her idea has grown from a conversation topic to a 50-student pre-enrolledschool, to be housed at Augustana Lutheran Church.

United Neighborhood Organization no longer managing its 16 charter schools Chicago Tribune: The embattled United Neighborhood Organization will no longer be managing its 16 charter schools at the end of the coming school year.


Teachers union-backed candidate George McKenna elected to Los Angeles Unified school board LA Daily News: The 35,000-member union threw its weight behind McKenna, who was outspent 3 to 1 by Alex Johnson and his supporters, which included a political action committee affiliated with charter schools.

Outspent by rival, McKenna drew on connections in school board victory LA TImes: In this week’s election for a seat on the Los Angeles Board of Education, one side had deep pockets and extensive political connections; the other side had people such as Orley Frost Jr.

McKenna victory gives appearance of a pro-teacher union board LA School Report: Since her upset win, board member Monica Ratliff has been held up as the epitome of the David and Goliath-style triumph over big money reform.

With Tueday’s school board loss, charter advocates recalculate KPCC: After Tuesday’s defeat of another of their candidates to the Los Angeles school board, charter school advocates are rethinking how to support local candidates.

Basic Training for Pre-K Teachers WNYC: Warley is a student in a new, tuition-free course at CUNY that churns out pre-kindergarten teachers in 14 months rather than the usual two years. Some 95 aspiring teachers were selected for the program out of about 1,200 applicants in May. Starting next month, they’ll lead pre-k classrooms while continuing classes at night toward a master’s degree.

Why Los Angeles sends failing students on to the next grade Hechinger: Tetention rates hovered around 2.7 percent from 1995 to 2005. After that, the number of students held back actually began to decline, hitting 1.5 percent in 2009.

Police Catch Alligator at Texas School NBC Neews: Law enforcement authorities corner, capture and haul away a large alligator from Rodger and Ellen Beck Junior High School in Katy, Texas. (NBC News)

LAUSD opens doors to young Central American immigrants LA Times: At the low-slung bungalow west of downtown, a youngster screams from a vaccination and a nurse records the height and weight of an older boy. Academic counselors stand by, because it is here that many children who recently crossed the southern border enroll in the Los Angeles Unified School…



Ex-Head of Washington Schools Steps Down at Advocacy Group NYT: Rhee said that it was “time for my next step in life” and that she would focus on her family and support her husband, Mayor Kevin Johnson of Sacramento, as “he continues to move forward with his career.”

Michelle Rhee drops out of school group Politico: As she prepares to step down as CEO, she leaves a trail of disappointment and disillusionment.

State Attorney General wants two teacher tenure lawsuits to become one Chalkbeat NY: The attorney general’s office writes in the filing that the request was made “to avoid the possibility of conflicting findings” and because the two suits “involve the same legal and factual issues and seek the same relief.” The attorney general’s did not provide further comment.

Obama Administration Unveils New Preschool Grant Program PK12: Thirty-five states and the District of Columbia, which have already won federal grants to bolster their early-learning systems—or have robust early-childhood programs in place—could tap into even more money to improve preschool programs, under a new, $250 million “preschool development” grant competition announced by the Obama administration Wednesday.

120 American Charter Schools and One Secretive Turkish Cleric The Atlantic Education: In Western countries such as the United States, Germany, and France, there isn’t any evidence whatsoever that the nearly 120 Gülen charter schools in America include Islamic indoctrination in their curriculum. The schools are so secular that singling out the Gülen schools as particularly nefarious, simply for being run predominantly by Muslims, smacks of xenophobia.


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  • fb_avatar

    So, Karen Lewis is getting paid an upper-middle class income, has a condo and a small vacation place in Hawaii. OMG! She's practically a billionaire!

    I guess Mihalopoulos is on Emanuel's payroll now, and the little guy is hearing footsteps.

    Is there anything indicating even the slightest bit of illegal activity here? Is there anything more than innuendo in this article?

    Most union members, like myself, think she is worth every penny WE PAY HER, and then some.

  • In reply to Ed Dziedzic:

    A few corrections Ed.

    1) The fact that Karen Lewis makes way more money than 99% of Chicagoans is important. She attacks those with money and it is truthful to point out the hypocrisy she touts as she is one of the rich. It is fair game. She is putting herself out there as a mayoral candidate. This is just the tip of the iceberg of what can be said about Karen Lewis.

    2) We all hear the thundering footsteps of Karen Lewis.

    3) You use MY TAX DOLLARS to pay Karen Lewis' huge salary. Union members are forced to pay their "fair share" so I as a taxpayer have no say in paying her salary. I do not agree with how she race baits and is tearing apart CPS at the expense of the students.

    Karen Lewis says whatever works for the moment. She race baits and panders to the heat of the moment. She would be a disaster as mayor. She self contradicts continually. Notice how she pro-rates the teacher salary as a defense for her huge salary to account for the fact that teachers do not work a full year. Usually teachers are outraged with that statement. Hmmmm.......

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    In reply to district299reader:

    200K does not come close to being in the 1% nameless hater.

  • In reply to Ed Dziedzic:

    Oh, so the elephant makes peanuts? Ok, the 3% is so much poorer than the 1%. Thanks for proving my point.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    The 3% is indeed nowhere near as wealthy as the .01% that Rham is a part of or the plutocrats in the .001% he works for.

    Look, Karen is a real, native Chicagoan who as a teacher and labor leader has credibility and a connection with ordinary Chicagoans. Emanuel as a North Shore elite has no credibility, and if you look at his donors his only connection is with millionaires, many of whom aren't from Chicago.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    ...............and the $230,000+ salary of Karen Lewis is nowhere near the poverty stricken Chicagoans. She is a hypocrite. She has no credibility with her contradictory statements. She race baits. I have no respect for Karen Lewis.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to district299reader:

    So the only people who can run for office and speak for the poor are poor? And how many poor people can actually get elected?

    Ohhh... I get it, no one should ever speak for the poor.

  • In reply to Ed Dziedzic:

    Wake up Ed. Karen Lewis is not speaking for the poor. Karen Lewis is race baiting. Karen Lewis says one thing today, another thing tomorrow. Karen Lewis is dishonest. Karen Lewis is not credible.

  • In reply to Ed Dziedzic:

    You're mistaking Emanuel for Karen. The mayor is a liar. The mayor has no credibility with the vast majority of Chicagoans.

    As far as saying one thing today and another tomorrow, hasn't Emanuel continuously claimed we don't need more police officers, but then gladly accepted help from the state police since CPD is to short-staffed to pursue warrants?

  • In reply to Ed Dziedzic:

    No mistake. Karen Lewis is the double talking race baiter. Sorry, the truth hurts.

  • In reply to Ed Dziedzic:

    Oh no. Lewis is the Great Unifier. The race baiting was at her old job.

    I'm quite certain her mayoral campaign will borrow heavily from the political rhetoric of Kim Jong-un.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    "Notice how she pro-rates the teacher salary as a defense for her huge salary to account for the fact that teachers do not work a full year."

    I noticed that too. But to the CTU true believer, like Ed, critical thinking is not part of the process. Look at CTUnet. They're off in their own self affirming little world.

    To see how the Lewis mayoral campaign will bring unity to Chicago through the politics of the demagogue will be just fascinating. Where can I contribute to help encourage her to run? To miss out on hearing her attempting to reconcile her mayoral platform with how she has conducted her public life would be one of the greatest disappointments of my life.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    FACT: Rahm Emanuel IS a disaster as mayor.

    When Karen notes the difference between her full year schedule and teachers 40 week schedule we aren't offended for two reasons- 1: She is a teacher. She taught at King before she was elected CTU president. 2- She is not speaking out of ignorance or disrespect when she says this.

    Karen is right about salary too. The current contract lists 40 week employees (teachers and some other staff) and 52 week employees (tech coordinators, some clerical staff). A teachers salary would not include summer school or coaching for example. Research Champion News- those are salaries, not total earnings. The highest paid teacher in Chicago might earn much, much more if they taught summer school. Still, that would only give them 46 weeks and it is not considered a full day.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Have to disagree with you on Emanuel. While I really do not like his personality, I am focus on results not drama. My kids now have recess and a day that is not pathetically short. This has made a world of difference with my adhd son who just needed to burn off energy during the school day. The teachers are not as rushed with a longer day meaning the students and teachers are able to focus on learning. My niece now has full day kindergarten. My colleague did have to switch schools due to closure, but guess what, it wasn't as bad as he thought it would be and his kids are doing better. The neighborhood high schools are getting better. Sure, everyone wants the drama but more good has been done in the past few years than during the long Daley administration.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    It really is funny how the teachers are lemmings running off a cliff after Karen Lewis. Now teachers are going to tout how much money they really do make to defend Karen Lewis' huge salary? Just like the teachers were lemmings over the cliff saying the strike is "for the kids". That CTU serves some good cool aid!

  • Wait a second here...Wasn't Karen Lewis blasting Marilyn Stewart prior to their election about her salary and her making more than Huberman? Read the last few paragraphs, especially where Stewart defends herself like Lewis is doing today:


  • In reply to district299reader:

    The difference here is that Karen Lewis works for her money. Stewart, a UPC figurehead, didn't even carry her school and then she appointed a close, scab friend to be the liaison with Springfield. Who in their right mind would bring up ownership in a time share-the people I know who bought them are desperately trying to dump them due to the monthly fees. Karen Lewis has no children and has a husband with a second income so Im not surprised she owns more than one home. It must be a very slow news day in Chicago.

  • Alex is shilling hard for the .001%

    Shouldn't the UNO story with Rangel's close relationship with Emanuel be a post unto itself? Russo admits UNO is a bigger story but frontloads his post with anti-Karen Lewis articles and even recycles that goofy poll from two weeks ago conducted by the Democrat-establishment's go-to pollster David Binder.

  • fb_avatar

    I'm not sure the UNO story is such a big deal either. Instead of UNO managing its charters UNO Charter School Network board will do it. That looks more like a corporate tax dodge or LLC trickery than a real change. That said, however, I think UNO is still on its way down the tubes.

  • Russo changes the headlines. Note his blog post reads:

    Chicago Tribune poll: Rahm Emanuel, Karen Lewis race could be close

    But the article is actually titled:

    Chicago Tribune poll: Support for Mayor Rahm Emanuel falling fast in Chicago

    This is the only link he retitled. He completely shifts the Trib's focus with his take. Changing it from a focus on Emanuel's rapid loss of support, to a "close race" shows obvious bias. I know blogsters are just wannabe journalists, but c'mon... more proof the Brooklyn Beardo is shilling hard for the .001%

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Alex, you know that you got a good topic going when you get attacked for living in Brooklyn. Desperation trying to get the focus off of the large Karen Lewis salary, vacation homes and real estate interests. When all else fails, shoot the messenger. LOL!

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to district299reader:

    Now I know I get in trouble when I ask questions here but I can't resist. What exactly is illegal or crooked here? Yes, I know, you hate, hate, hate Karen Lewis and she's black and all that, but how does this justify a front page story? And BTW, 200k is the top 5% not 3%.

    And finally, regarding your hilarious elephant reference, she has lost a bunch of weight, so you now have less of her to hate.

  • In reply to Ed Dziedzic:

    Far from being outraged by the Sun times article .I think it shows Ms Lewis to be a wise and prudent person who knows what she wants and invested accordingly. The article also strangely ignores her husband’s salary which was probably more than hers years ago.
    I am the same way myself. My wife, also a teacher, and I skipped weekends in Vegasand drove VW beetles when we were young in order to get what we felt was important out of life. We built a home and every penny we could scrape together was invested in
    real estate. In 1967 I purchased two residential lots in Palos Hills for $ 750.00 each, care to guess what they are worth today? I read Ms Lewis had no children so they had a lot of disposable income. Seems to me we should be saluting her investment prowess , instead of condemning her
    for being smart.

  • In reply to rbusch:

    The Sun Times writer didn't criticism Lewis for accumulating some wealth. He criticized her for being a hypocrite in regards to wealth.

    Adding her husbands earnings to the calculation simply makes her more of a hypocrite.

  • In reply to Donn:

    That is the spin they put on it for sure.

  • In reply to Donn:

    Karen was earning a teachers salary until 2010. Since then she has held two jobs, the grand total of which is a fraction of the 18 million Emanuel "earned" in 18 months. She has credibility amongst the poor of Chicago. They know teachers have a deeper understanding of poverty and inequality than plutocrats.

    Karen is nowhere near the millionaires and billionaires who are associated with Emanuel both socially or economically.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Karen Lewis makes so much more than the poor in Chicago. She too is a plutocrat. She makes so much more than ALMOST ALL Chicagoans. She is a hypocrite for misleading statements when she is one of the very very rich. The "degree" of richness is not the issue. She is rich and so is rahm, so she has no right to make income an issue.

    Her "second job" pays over $150 per hour! How can you say she understands poverty. Give me a break.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Look up the definition of plutocrat. A doctor, car dealer, or small business owner who pulls in $200,000 is not a plutocrat. Neither is a former public school teacher/union leader who is fighting a mayor, politicians, and school board made up of bankers, financiers, millionaires and billionaires.

    All Emanuel has is his wealth and his wealthy connections. His power is derived from money. Karen's power is derived from people. She'll never match Emanuel's oligarch dollars, but she trumps him every time with actual regular people.

    Emanuel works for Ken Griffin, Bill Gates, Bruce Rauner (his ally and former advisor), and Wall St. He could host a fundraiser tomorrow and collect millions from a handful of his millionaire friends. Karen couldn't do that, but she could host a rally and get thousands of actual humans to show up in support.

    Teachers in Chicago understand poverty because we see it every day in many of our students and in many of the communities we work in. While Emanuel does photo ops in impoverished communities, teachers like Karen who taught at King, deal with it every day.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Karen Lewis "power" does not come from people. Give me a break. It comes from union and union sympathizers.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    A union is composed of people you know... thousands of people who pay taxes. She also has the support of dozens of community organizations.

    Emanuel's minimal support is mere astroturf and comes from paid-protestors.


  • In reply to rbusch:

    Yes, to follow your logic, perhaps Karen Lewis should be, "saluting (Rahm) for his investment prowess, instead of condemning him for being smart." That is the point of the article. Karen Lewis is a hypocrite.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Lewis saved money on a teacher's salary and recently as a union leader.

    Emanuel "made" $18 million in 2 1/2 years as a self-described "relationship banker" right after he left the Clinton White House. No experience in banking, but plenty of connections to political donors.

    Karen should be lauded for fiscal wisdom, Emanuel should be investigated by the Feds.

    By the way, the CTU is a financially sound organization. Emanuel is spending our money on pet projects while the city continues to go broke.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    You're welcome for the CTU being fiscally sound. Yeah, it is me a taxpayer who pays for your union dues which you are forced to pay your "fair share"which pays for Karen Lewis' huge salary. Must be a lot of tax dollars because the CTU sure does pump a lot of money into political coffers. Yep it all comes down to the union influence.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    The CTU PAC is a fraction of Emanuel's which targets billionaires for donations.

    Teachers are tax payers... they all are. Most have to live within the Chicago city limits, so they actually pay in more to the city than suburban commentors.

    You may or may not be a tax payer. How do I know you are not some plutocrat off shoring your money like Emanuel's buddy Bruce Rauner. You could also be a welfare recipient. Times are hard, but if you are indeed a welfare recipient you shouldn't be a hypocrite about it.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    CTU pumps a lot of money onto political coffers. Fact is fact. You are right, I do not know if you are in the PR department of the CTU or if you are on welfare or if you are a hypocrite like Karen Lewis.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Unions, who are made up of thousands of individuals, have far less money in their PACs than plutocrats like Emanuel. His Super PAC took in $1 million from fellow oligarchs in just a few days.


  • In reply to rbusch:

    Karen Lewis has no children? Is that true? How can she relate to parents? Karen Lewis has no idea what it is like to be a parent and the responsibility to raise a child. If you don't have kids, you cannot possibly truly understand. The more I learn about Karen Lewis, the more I wonder why she even thinks she should be mayor.

    So Karen Lewis is sipping Hawaiian coconut drinks in one of her vacation homes with no kid responsibilities. Saying she represents poor people trying to scrape together a living and feed their children? It is pretty arrogant on her part to think she should be mayor.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Arrogance is Emanuel's domain.

    His extravagant vacations to Indonesia and elsewhere make Karen's condo a block from the beach in Hawaii look thrifty.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Karen Lewis' Hawaiian vacation home looks like luxury to the poor in Chicago who do not take vacation. Maybe the kids make it to the lakefront on their own.............. The degree of richness is not the issue. Rich is rich is rich and Karen Lewis is RICH RICH RICH. She cannot slam others for being rich, unless Karen Lewis is a hypocrite.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    $200,000 isn't rich- even by the IRS standards. Emanuel's $18 million and Rauner's billions are. Degree is indeed an issue. IF you think a person earning $200,000 has the same power and political influence as a billionaire like Ken Griffin or Penny Pritzker you are a fool.

    If you think $200,000 is RICH RICH RICH, than what is someone who earns $100,000? Is that just RICH? Is a billionaire who can buy politicians RICH x 100.

    The Karen Lewis is rich thing will gain no traction. All it does is draw more focus on the obscene wealth of Emanuel and his hedge fund/banker buddies he works for.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    To a parent working 3 jobs making below the poverty line, $200,000++ or millions are all rich rich rich. You are looking at it from the rich standpoint. What are you talking about "traction" for? Part of the Karen Lewis political machine?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Parents who work three jobs and earn very little have continuously come out in support of CTU and Karen Lewis and against Emanuel.

    Emanuel's keyboard army and the "Lewis is rich" meme won't catch on- impoverished parents aren't stupid, they understand the difference between a school teacher like Karen and the mega-wealthy who control city, state, and national politics.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    From the Trib's bio of Karen Lewis:

    Grew up in Hyde Park, the daughter of teachers. Married to a retired CPS teacher; stepmother to two grown children. The couple have six grandchildren and a great-grandchild, who is 2.

    Also, in over 20 years of a teacher Karen has taught probably 2500 students.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Before I engaged keyboard I looked up Karen's biography
    and it said she had no kids.I do not know why and it is none of my business.However it might explain a few things.Having raised and educated two children i know the price of braces.If we were not blessed with kids i can assure you we would have a lot more money invested.
    My point is that the Sun Times article was misleading because it ignored Mr Lewis and his salary.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    The Trib changed that headline. I have been noticing headline changes since they went to the new format. Change the headline, call it updated, make people click on the link.

  • In reply to ladyfair:

    Nope. I don't buy it. Russo runs this blog. He is silent on this manipulation.

    It wasn't an update. The link came out virtually at the same time the article.

    If you click on the link the discrepancy still is there.

    Very suspicious that the only headline changed was that one. The real headline is damining for Emanuel.

  • Speaking of shifting the focus, what do you think about Russo altering the headline in his link about the polls. Changing "Support for Mayor Rahm Emanuel falling fast in Chicago" to "Rahm Emanuel, Karen Lewis race could be close" sure looks like he is biased towards Emanuel.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    d299 blog has always been slanted, you just found proof

  • In reply to district299reader:

    no surprise this blog is manipulating headlines

  • In reply to district299reader:

    If you do not like this blog why are you here?
    Karen is much worst than Stewart.
    She lost all and any benefits teachers were able to gain during the last 60 years.
    The CTU is a destruction .You feed incompetent,unwilling to represent you people without any accountability .
    Only the RTW legislation could stop our leaders from taking our money by force and implement the supply and demand system.
    Stupid teachers work longer day and Karen showing them a middle finger from Hawaii like Stewart and Dallas did in the past.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    With Lewis as mayor she would eliminate the "unfunded longer day", right? She would force families back into neighborhood schools which they do not want to attend, right?

    So I'm not sure why your complaining. The good old days of the CTU working the absolute minimum allowed by law, and the requirement of almost all poor families to have their children finish their public education in ghetto high schools may return.

    The CTU and Karen Lewis - it's all about the caring.

  • In reply to Donn:

    She would use TIF funds or the LaSalle Street Tax to FUND the lnger day. She would use the same funds to support neighborhood schools and some of those beautiful palaces given away to charters would become real public schools.

    She would also invest in the entire city. Your "ghetto" would start to become a solid working class neighborhood given proper support.

    Karen taught for over 20 years. By all accounts she was a very good teacher. Most teachers, then and now, do much more than the minimum.

    Your exposure to Karen is probably limited to media-manipulated sound bites. Caring? C'mon, Emanuel is the most phony, insincere person in Chicago. Can you honestly defend his pandering photo shoots? He is an arrogant fake.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    So what if Rahm is an awkward public figure. He is smart and can manage not only the number of city workers but also the fiscal and political baggage that Karen Lewis has no clue about.

    Karen Lewis is masterful at race baiting and getting a vulnerable population to show up with signs. She may not pay them to be there, but she baits them with hypocritical half-truths. Not what I want in a leader.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Emanuel isn't very smart. His greatest asset is his access to his donor's assets. The city's bond rating has plummeted under his "leadership." His tiny hands can no longer the political baggage he has created for himself.

    Your misrepresentation and misunderstanding of Karen Lewis and her supporters as being "vulnerable" and somehow easily manipulated is exactly the kind of arrogant, condescending, and ignorant viewpoint that will result in Emanuel's loss at the polls.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Bond rating issue is because of pensions pensions pensions and pensions. Not Rahm Emauel's fault there. Fault lies with Springfield's Mike Madigan and the CTU on the pension front.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I didn't say Emanuel is awkward, I said he is arrogant, phony, and insincere. He lies too.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    .....and Karen Lewis is a race baiting hypocrite. She is a true typical Illinois politician. Nothing different with Karen Lewis, except no ability to manage fiscal budget.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    CTU is in a much better fiscal situation than Emanuel's Chicago.

    As far as race baiting goes, give it a rest. Your words are as arrogant as Emanuel's. You must really think Chicago's African-Americans who strongly support Karen Lewis are gullible and ignorant to be cowed by such base race baiting as you call it.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    LOL! I am black and I know Karen Lewis is race baiting. It pisses me off every time. She portrays to my people that everything is race driven. Look back at just about every rant from Karen Lewis. Clear race baiting and it does not help my community rise. It keeps us down. Karen Lewis is arrogant and not a true part of the black community.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    CTU is in ok fiscal health because the TAXPAYERS are FORCED to fund the CTU because members have to pay dues through the "fair share" legislation that CTU pushed through by funding corrupt politicians in Springfield. Any fiscal benefit to CTU is not because of Karen Lewis. What a joke!

    If Karen Lewis is so into democracy, then she should fully support Illinois changing to a right to work state. Let members decide if they want to pay dues to the CTU instead of forcing payment with my tax dollars.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Teachers are taxpayers. Most of us live in the city as well.

    The fact that you are griping about the tax dollars paid to teachers who then pay into the union is silly. You think you should have say into how every cent of your tax dollars is spent? That is a never ending argument. The things I like my taxes to fund you dislike and vice versa. Using your illogic, you should be able to have a say in how government contractors and government vendors spend their money.

    Teachers who do not want to be a member of the union benefit greatly from the contract. It establishes everything from a pay scale to due process to work rules. Can you imagine what the TFA kids would get paid if they had to negotiate their own contracts? TFA wouldn't exist because they would get $20,000 and no benefits.

    RTW is a anti-democratic scam pushed by oligarchs. The poorest states- Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, South Carolina are all "Right To Poverty" states.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    24 states are Right to Work states. You can cherry pick your examples, but almost half the country is RTW. Arguably, employment levels increase in RTW states. Why be afraid of democracy? Let people choose if they want to pay union dues.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Generally, the poorer half of the country is RTW.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Michigan and Indiana are RTW states and are more comparable to Illinois than the southern state. Michigan has strong unions. Let the workers choose if they want to pay union dues. It is a democratic process with RTW.

  • In reply to Donn:

    Donn- Easy on the Glen Beck-esque hyperbole.

    Lewis wouldn't do any of this. CPS would have a superintendent, not a CEO that is a mere puppet like JCB/BBB.

    She supports an elected school board. These issues would be decided in a democratic fashion, much like how CTU operates. Go to a CTU delegates meeting as a visitor. Delegates vote. It works like a democracy. I know that is a foreign concept to Emanuel supporters, but get used to it with Mayor Lewis.

  • In reply to district299reader:


    Should I not take CTU press releases as the position of that organizations leader? How about the public statements Lewis has made?

    Perhaps the CTU will release a 'just kidding' list of past press releases that are to now be ignored. It's easy to sling the b.s. It's hard to govern fairly and effectively with not much money and many problems.

  • In reply to Donn:

    So sayeth Donn- "Should I not take CTU press releases as the position of that organizations leader? How about the public statements Lewis has made?"

    Find that evidence where Karen Lewis says she would force families into schools they do not want their children to attend.

    I say it doesn't exist. You're pulling a Glen Beck freak-out. Deal with reality.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    The latest news:according to sources ,so far unverified ,so it may be true or not Karen was reading this blog and she was very disappointed because of so many negative comments.
    She decided to deposit 100K a year in South Side credit union in order to provide no interest loans to local community.
    She will deposit 50K into the displaced teachers fund to help people who lost their jobs because of her.
    They are making per year less than her monthly pay.
    She said that the 50K left will be enough for her because she was making such amount as a teacher and was able to buy her Hawaii condo without any problem(No mention her Michigan and Chicago properties).
    She is a woman with a big heart not only a big ...ss.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Karen Lewis now supports school choice?

    Her policy positions are so untenable in the real world you can't even defend her.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Donn- The "school choice" talking point is a red herring. Real public schools aren't supported by CPS, and charters are a scam. Parents "choose" charters because they are "safe"- the bad kids get sent to the neighborhood school. Many parents choose real public schools because they are staffed with real educators.

    Karen supports the full funding and support of public schools. She is also opposed to the double-standard and shady dealings that charters benefit from. Rectifying that rigged system would give parents a real choice.

  • In reply to Donn:

    Donn, the CTU would just need to "copy all" press releases to retract what Karen Lewis stands for.

    Given her past positions she certainly would make the school day shorter, eliminate all charters, eliminate all selective enrollment schools, eliminate all magnet schools, eliminate the PE requirement, eliminate all teacher accountability measures, eliminate principal reviews of teachers, eliminate recess, etc. etc. etc.

    Of course Karen Lewis would pay the teacher pensions instead of fixing the problem by taking the city fiscally down the tubes.

    You bring up a good point Donn. Since the CTU has said no no no no to anything and everything that CPS has done, then anything good in the system would be taken away by Karen Lewis. That is a dangerous situation for students and families all over Chicago.

    The hypocrisy continues well beyond her huge salary.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    ...you forgot to mention she would also eliminate inequality, eliminate corruption, and eliminate dishonesty. I would add about 10 more "eliminates" but you used them all.

    Seriously though, she would do nothing that you mentioned. She wouldn't have that power. Karen supports an ELECTED school board who would decide these matters. Furthermore, CPS would have a superintendent who would have autonomy unlike the puppets JCB and BBB.

    Emanuel is the one who dictates, micromanages, and appoints flunkies to positions that should be held be elected officials. I know it is hard to grasp, but Mayor Lewis will reintroduce democracy to Chicago- a concept lost under Daley and Emanuel.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    OMG drinking the cool aid big time. If there was an elected school board there would NOT be a longer school day, the students would NOT have recess, there would NOT be full day kindergarten, there would NOT me more selective enrollment seats, there would NOT be more IB programs.........................it would be gridlock. Students can't wait for gridlock or the next election cycle to try and get something approved!

    An elected school board would eliminate the power of the current local school councils. It would take away the parent voice and legal power at each individual school and ship it to the downtown "elected board" who will strive for doing nothing with gridlock or making every single school exactly the same. Given the budget and pension crisis, the "same" would not benefit students.

    Karen Lewis must want an elected school board so she can not be blamed for nothing getting done. And it would take away the power of parents at each school. She sure is clever at hiding her real intentions.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    You can't make those wild prognostications because you have no idea who would be elected to the school board. The people would decide. Don't be afraid of democracy.

    By the way, LSCs are a farce. Many schools are not even allowed to select their principals. The important decisions are all made by the mayor through his proxy m/billionaire board appointees.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Of course Lewis would want an elected school board.

    Otherwise she would have to implement what she has asserted are the best policies and practices for the district. Or otherwise be a hypocrite.

    An elected school board is the answer. It deadlocks the district, the maximum number of her clan don't have their jobs threatened, and the lack of needed change isn't her fault.

    It's all about the caring.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    By changing the title in such a fashion, you are misrepresenting the author and editors intent. How dare you. This is unethical.

  • Hey, isn't that Russo's go-to line when commenters mention he is out-of-touch? Hmmmm... are you Russo? Pretty quick to defend the bearded one.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Clearly the problem with CPS is Russo. I'm pretty sure Jack has a solution involving the Hudson........

  • I am a member of the "anybody but Rahm" voting sector. That does not thrill me as I would prefer to cast my precious ballot *for* a candidate rather than against one, but that's the way it is. His autocratic style and governance by managed message irritates me to the core. I prefer democracy and someone who is not afraid to talk to citizens. And that would be just about anyone else.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I think fair and effective leadership are more important attributes than the ability to create a feel good media moment.

    Neither Rahm or Richie Daley are good at off-the-cuff media moments in front of the camera. So what? Rahm stopped talking 18 months ago because every single utterance was used against him. He doesn't have the "in the moment" verbal skills to constantly re-explain himself.

    I take people at their word, unless by action they prove themselves a liar. I take Karen Lewis at her word.

  • In reply to Donn:

    Most "fair and effective" leaders are also naturally good listeners. That is not Rahm. He actually looks terrified if he is caught in without his message managers and/or body guards in close proximity. Makes me feel sorry for him in a way. Must be awful to be so afraid of people.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    In a city of millions of people, on any given issue, some will feel you listened, some will feel you did not. The slick politicians can make people feel they were listened to despite not getting their way. Rahm is not slick enough I guess.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    According to the Trib article, every singe demographic group apparently feels unheard. His approval numbers have crashed in every category. So I'm not sure who has felt heard.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Yes, he needs to go to "politician listen school". He is not good at appearing to listen. Under Daley, no one dared ask questions or your garbage service would magically be disrupted. That has nothing to do with looking at results. Rahm has gotten a heck of a lot done. I get that people want to feel good. It is human nature. I do not like his personality either, but that does not mean he is doing a bad job as mayor.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Just about every group in the nation feels dissatisfied. That feeling has opened the door for groups like the Tea Party, and politicians like Lewis.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I understand the "anybody but Rahm" feelings and have had these same thoughts myself at times since I do not like his "persona". Having said that, he inherited a mess from Daley. Daley sold the parking meter's to get his administration through his term and when Chicago lost the olympic bid, he was out-of-here because the house of cards Daley created was crumbling. Say what you want about Rahm, but as far a politicians go, he is an effective focused manager. He has gotten disjointed departments working more effectively. Sure, the unions hate having to work, but the union workers themselves are stepping up and doing a better job than under Daley. The managers are actually having to manage----that never happened under Daley.

    I think there is more transparency. I can find out how much city workers make, how much is spent on contracts, and a whole bunch of stuff that no one dared ask Daley. Daley was the "machine" and over time the financial giveaways from parking meters to overly generous union contracts were set to sink our city.

    Frankly, given the grave financial situation of the city and state, it is remarkable how many improvements Rahm has been able to make happen in Chicago in just 3 years. People may be turned off by how he "made it happen", but he did make them happen. I do not see how it could have been done without a strong forceful mayor. Like him or not.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Can't we set the bar a little higher than the "Rahm is better than Daley" bar? Good grief.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    This is Chicago, there is ONLY a "Daley bar".

  • In reply to district299reader:

    "Can't we set the bar a little higher than the "Rahm is better than Daley" bar? Good grief."

    "Better" is probably just a fantasy. The problems are large and the budget is relatively small. Daley stayed too long, and in hindsight he compromised too much to make competing interests somewhat happy.

    I don't think Rahm is a particularly good manager yet. But I think his broad policies are fair. He has a lot of motivation to continue to improve as a manager.

    I can read fiction for heroes.

  • In reply to Donn:

    Emanuel is a mush. Transparency, oversight, and regulation only exist for the little guy. Keep your eyes on the IG reports while Emanuel related corruption, kickbacks, and payoffs register in the tens of millions.

  • fb_avatar

    I wish to apologize here for stating that Dan Mihalopoulos would be on Emanuel's payroll. I do not really believe he would do that and should not have written that he would. Given his excellent reporting on UNO and other education matters I should have thought that through before writing.

  • Still trying to figure out why Russo changed the title of the article about Emanuel's plummeting poll numbers into something less damning by saying he and Lewis are in a close race. Emanuel is famous for wanting to "control the message"- maybe his boys emailed Russo like they did CNN.

  • If Russo was going to change the title of the link why didn't he alter it to read "Lewis Edges Emanuel In Recent Poll"?

    Alex, what's up with that? Your actions seem dishonest. Can you explain yourself?

  • My goodness that was very much the expulsion of pro and anti Lewis commentary. My family income even with my relatively low paying job at a not for profit appears significantly higher than what I have seen so far about President Lewis. My assets are also higher from what I can tell, that's not surprising because I went back to teaching after being an office of a brokerage firm at the CBOT and Merc.

    I also don't think Mayor Emanual's personal worth is a critical issue in the run up to the election. I do think his suburban upbringing is somewhat more of a problem in relation to comprehending the dynamics of urban Chicago. I also think he may have some sort of a personality disorder that drives his abrasive behavior that he is well known for.

    There are huge issues that both Lewis and Emanuel will want to dodge. First and foremost is the combined impact of all municipal and educational pensions on the need for revenue in this city. Second is the level of taxation that can be absorbed by residents, both rich and poorer tax payers, without significant adverse impact on the city within the context of our existing economy.

    If these two issue are not addressed in the coming campaign then the election is worthless.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    Agree Rod. Pensions are the issue. In reality, the ONLY issue. I am sure dodge ball will continue.

  • I meant explosion not expulsion, the dangers of auto-correct.

  • Lewis takes advantage of the bargain state doctrine.
    She does not care about her own members because she is legally allowed to extort money from them.
    She is hated by those denied effective union representation.
    But wait...legislators consider the RTW action..and doctors agree that obesity leads to heart attacks..be optimistic.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Oh boy. You're wishing a heart attack on somebody. Man, that is DESPERATE. Emanuel's gaggle of fanboys are reaching for anything. If you've paid attention lately you'll notice Karen has lost a lot of weight.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    You are right.It is visible :)

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Man, you are SILLY- "Karen Lewis HATES everybody: children, taxpayers, and CTU members."

    Can you define your convoluted "bargain state doctrine" talking point?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Not complicated.NOT Right To Work states.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    8 of the 10 poorest states are RTW, and only 3 of the wealthiest states are RTW. "Bargain States" are richer and have higher standards of living. RTW=Poverty. WHy do you want to keep Americans poor?

  • I really wish people would stop blaming the pensions. The teacher pensions, the police pensions, the firemen pensions, as well as all the other city employee pensions would be fine today if Emanual and Daley would have made the yearly payments on time rather than looking for a payment holiday. Now the bill has grown and it has come due. Did no one think to set aside funds for the upcoming balance?
    And for that fact, the State of Illinois did the same thing with their pension payments. But now it is the workers’ fault and their bloated contracts.
    True politicians pointing the finger at others rather than admitting their own failure.
    In response to the low approval ratings, Emanual is now casting blame on the economy. Not that he ordered the 50 schools closed in one year, not that he refuses to hire more police, and not that he decided to give TIF money to a private university.

    Sorry to interrupt your banter back and forth about what constitutes rich.

  • Responding to Ladyfair, it's totally true that both state and city politicians short changed public sector pensions. Why? Because of the total unpopularity of paying increased taxes, on the part of the wealthy and less wealthy alike.

    Mayor Emanuel has totally left out required increased pension payments from the city's early deficit estimates under the hope the obligations will be reduced by the General Assembly. Given the Illinois Supreme Court decision in a related case that is unlikely. So revenues need to be increased and or expenses reduced, the Court has ruled so far that these pension obligations must be honored.

    The bottom line is how much can taxes be increased without capital flight and adverse impact on property values. I am not stating they can't be further increased inside the city because relatively speaking our property tax rates inside of Chicago are low, but there are limits in how far this can go. There are other things like the elimination of TIFs, but that is also not a magic bullet in terms of revenue. There will be a great reluctance on the part of either Emanuel or Lewis to come out and publicly discuss any tax increase.

    Right now Rauner is winning the race for Governor simply based on the tax issue, his budget will require eventually massive reductions in the state budget which most people will not like. But the promise of lower taxes or no increased taxes has great appeal and it gets people elected.

    Rod Estvan

  • Karen Lewis Explains How to Become the Highest-Paid Teacher [Without Breaking 2010 Promise]| Intercepts http://ow.ly/As3ZD

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    I wonder if Russo altered this headline as well.

  • Will there be any changes in substitute teaching this school year especially due to the lawsuit CPS lost? I subbed last year. I have not received anything from CPS and school starts in two weeks. There are no absences posted on Aesop which is concerning because I know there are teachers who are absent due to maternity leaves or surgery etc.

  • What lawsuit?

  • http://www.substancenews.net/articles.php?page=5134#comments

    Mae culpa-arbitration with monetary damages not a lawsuit BUT maybe that is next....aides should not be forced to act as a sub when the teacher is absent.....very dangerous.....why blow smoke about Safe Passages when it may be more dangerous for children in poorly staffed special education classrooms?

  • Wow!! I was unaware, this happened like clockwork at my school.

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