Henry Bienen, outgoing CPS Board Member, ex-President of Northwestern and interim head of the Poetry Foundation, recently discussed his thoughts on CPS and the CTU. In response, WCT turns our spotlight on Henry Bienen:
Bienen's thoughts on CPS during Rahm's 1st term: "The schools improved, no doubt about it..I can't see that it comes from any lowering of standards in any way."
Chance that Bienen understands the realities of grade/attendance manipulation: 0
Amount of regular CPS teachers spoken to by Bienen while serving on BoE: 0
Opinion of CTU: "There are very few places that have as good a deal as the CTU."
Assessment of his own wealth: "I'm not that rich."
Value of his 161 E. Chicago Ave. condo: $1.3 M
Percentage of CPS teachers eligible to collect Social Security: 0
Percentage of retired CPS teachers collecting less than $3,000/month pension: 42%
Percentage of retired CPS teachers collecting less than $2,500/month pension: 27%
Opinion of elected CPS School Board: "Poor idea."
Bald-faced lie: "I believe in democracy."
Effete false-modest musings on new poetry job: "When I was a freshman at Cornell, my poetry teacher was W. D. Snodgrass, a great poet. I met my wife in his class...I had lunch with Snodgrass, who was a very wonderful guy, very informal. He said to me, "Henry, either you have a very complicated ear for poetry, or..." And the 'or' just hung there."
Behavior during CPS Board Meetings: "When parents would come before the board with questions, he never even made eye contact, like, 'I have to endure these unwashed masses in front of me.'"
Wife Leigh Bienen's job: Law Professor at Northwestern, special interest in capital punishment reform
Likelihood that Northwestern's Innocence Project sent an innocent man to jail: 100%
Probability that Henry and Leigh Bienen are clueless about life in Chicago: 100%