Friday, July 3, 2015
Rahm Skips Chiraq for Aspen
Rahm Emanuel had a busy week: funding CTU's pension, laying off 1,400 CPS employees, and then borrowing $500M back from the pension to pay to keep schools open. Whew! After all of that, one might expect him to keep a low profile, or be around for the 4th of July weekend since in Chiraq it will mean bodies piling up. Nonsense, readers! Rahm jetted right to Aspen to be interviewed at the 2015 Aspen Ideas Festival.
The Aspen Ideas Festival is billed as, "the nation's premier, public gathering place for leaders from around the globe and across many disciplines to engage in deep and inquisitive discussion of the ideas and issues that both shape our lives and challenge our times." People who live on planet Earth have *ideas festivals* all the time and they're called conversations. Aspen's fresh mountain air and spectacular vistas must make it a special place for plutocrats and profiteers of all stripes to exchange trade secrets.
Rahm Emanuel felt the need to announce, "I am not an education reformer. My job as mayor is to make sure you have quality."
Here are some key issues of education reform and Rahm's stance:
School choice: The more, the better. Words like excellence, rigor, and tran$formation are regularly bandied about. Headline after Rahm won his second election: "A victory for Rahm Emanuel is a victory for school choice."
Teacher tenure: It is lazy, complacent teachers who are the ruin of the school system. The Reader's Ben Joravsky points out that CPS has in effect abolished tenure by redefining positions and creating other bureaucratic workarounds to the union contract.
Teachers' Unions: It is union teachers who make it impossible to effectively teach the 21st century student. Chicago's 2012 strike, massive school closings, and teacher layoffs indicate Rahm agrees.
Privatization: The free-market, corporate-driven policies of ed reform will cure all education ills. Rahm and his elected school board recently privatized school nurses who work in our buildings, the janitorial staff in our schools, and have funded a wealth of external partners to come into our schools and indoctrinate staffs in corporate edu-speak.
Rahm fully embraces every tenet of education reform, but he's not a reformer. He's the quality guy. WCT can only guess what the Doublethink Dept. will come up with when, in several months, schools open with an unparalleled level of chaos and a dearth of funds to actually accomplish anything. Will he then say he's the austerity guy?