Thursday, May 28, 2015

Beat It, Purv!

The Sun Times Natasha Korecki proves just how much Gov. Rauner loathes both public school teachers and anyone who requires help with a hidden disability like autism or epilepsy. Elizabeth Purvis, a bonafide profiteer cloaked in academia, is one of Rauner's highest paid employees whose salary is drawn from a state agency experiencing massive cuts in the name of austerity:

"In March, Rauner tapped Beth Purvis, a former charter school director, as his education secretary at an annual salary of $250,000.

At the time it was the highest-paid position in the governor’s cabinet.

But her contract, signed March 13, indicates that she’s being paid out of the Department of Human Services, even as it indicates she will “report directly to the governor’s chief of staff or designee.”'

Somewhere between Ms. Purvis’ years as teacher of the blind and her stint at University of Illinois at Chicago, she must have gotten the sweet taste of charter money. Chicago International Charter Schools received $62,966,609.00 from CPS last year, with a management strategy that some CICS teachers call divisive.

Rauner’s perversion in funding this newly created bureaucratic position is obvious. Ms. Purvis must hope her five years in the classroom and polished academic record will confound people enough to overlook her search for the cha-ching.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Minor Cornholer Alert: Jim O'Connor

Jim O'Connor

Since June 6th (official date for teacher cornholing) is rapidly approaching, we at WCT have been turning the spotlight on Illinois cornholers big and small.  Like dandelions and ants, ed reform cornholers seem to turn up everywhere.  Let's turn the spotlight on a minor cornholer from Oak Park:  Jim O'Connor!

First, though, a review of the qualities many ed reform cornholers have in common:
  • Few to no years of actual teaching
  • Strong aversion to due process and collective bargaining rights
  • Passion for corporate lingo and funding
  • Reluctance to live in the disenfranchised communities they $erve
  • Need to disguise ego and financial ambition as quest for social justice
Now, a closer look at Jim O'Connor:

Actual teaching experience:  2 years of requisite resume-padding with TFA; 2 years of requisite charter ass-kissing at Noble Charter

Administrative experience: 7 years as principal at a KIPP charter, notable for high teacher turn-over, reluctance to enroll children with disabilities, avoidance of outside analysis of their data, and passion for "grit."

Current Alliance:  Advance Illinois, whose mi$$ion is to "improve Illinois' persistently below-average academic performance" and to ensure that public teachers' collective bargaining and due process rights are diminished

Current "Elected" Position:  Oak Park Elementary School District 97, purchased with $18,000 worth of lawn signs and junk mail funded by Washington D.C.- based Leadership for Educational Equity, a TFA cabal whose website is so boring we can't be bothered provide the link 

Problem:  Oak Park District 97 is 77% proficient on ISAT scores; Jim O'Connor's opportunities to $erve the disenfranchised of Oak Park will be impeded.

Solution:  Jim O'Connor is advised to submit a charter proposal to CPS where there are enough vendors, kick-back artists, educational profiteers, number crunchers, media specialists and poor children available for him to enjoy a long and lucrative career.

Rock on, Jim O'Connor!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Be Noble

How gallant

It must be wonderful to be Bruce Rauner. Only he could tell us where he gets his vim and vigor, but it must have something to do with his estimated $1B net worth. Oh, and simultaneously profiting from the public school system whilst bankrupting it.

This humble lover of fairs and corn dogs should thank public school teachers and their pension funds for part of his success. As he bragged, "I've invested teachers' pension money, I've done very well...I've taken that money and the No. 1 place I've donated that--millions of dollars..." Readers, guess where that No. 1 place is! If you've guessed alleviating poverty, funding vaccine preventable diseases in the Third World, or creating the first fair with an exclusive focus on corn dogs, guess again. He's donated every last penny to charter proliferation. Finally! A cause the masses can rally around!

Chicago Public Schools has also done their share of donating to the Noble Street network of charter schools, of which Rauner is a part. According to, in 2014 Noble Street received $69,857,041.00 in funding; however, their banner year in profiteering was 2013 when they raked in $80,732,016.00. Since 2010, Noble Street has received about $277,000,000.00 from CPS coffers.

Rauner's day must run something like this: 1) ensure net worth still intact, 2) reflect on job well done lining own pockets off backs of teachers, and 3) enrich charter cronies with money that could otherwise better existing schools.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Chicago: The Fascist Detroit

Republican Senator Mark Kirk issued a dire warning in March: re-elect Rahm or become Detroit! The 40% of registered Chicago voters who voted chose Rahm. 

Chicagoans will be spared the urban blight, bankruptcy, and emergency management that has befallen Detroit, right? Let's see:

Chicago Detroit
Year of first charter school 1997  1994 
Year of first mass school closings 2002  2002 
Current charter enrollment 60,982 58,612
Current public school management Interim CEO Emergency Manager #4
New solution to "fix" schools Turnaround specialist Divide district
Future of public school system ??? ???

Rahm Emanuel's second term is off to such a grand start that an editorial (pay-walled) in Friday's Tribune beats the bankruptcy drums ever-harder and suggests a Mussolini-like turnaround expert to manage the schools. In Chicago education, turnaround is code for privatize.

In order to efficiently dispatch any ounce of public ownership of the schools, one would need a tyrannical, opportunistic, and ideologically dishonest--all various ways Mussolini's rule has been described--to come in as CPS's leader to usher in the new age of anti-democracy.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Spotlight on Cornholer Extraordinaire: Ken Griffin!

Move over minor cornholers -- WCT's spotlight is on Ken Griffin!

Board of Directors: Chicago Public Education Fund

$ervices provided to CPS by CPEF:  SUPES Academy, REACH, TFA recruitment, University of Chicago Consortium on School Leadership, publication of BBB's strategic action plans, and a vast array of additional tran$formation programs

Gains produced by CPEF programs: pockets of profiteers lined; data manipulated; resumes padded

Major donor: Republican Governors Association

Major donor: Rahm Emmanuel mayoral campaign

Wealth class: Billionaire; Illinois' wealthiest man

Profession: Hedge Funder; founder and CEO of Citadel (global investment firm)

Monthly salary after taxes: $68,000,000

Average Chicago Teacher Pension Fund retiree monthly benefit:  $3,500

Description of Illinois pension benefits: "generous"

Description of CPS:  "criminal"

Wife's opinion of Chicago: "unsophisticated"

Preferred method of wife intimidation:  bedpost

Included in (now) ex-wife's monthly alimony claims: $160,000 for vacation accommodations, $6,000 for groceries, $7,200 for dining, $2,000 for stationary

Percentage of CPS students living in poverty: 83%

Readers, turn to your copy of Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake and let's examine if the future is indeed here.  Corporations driving public policy? Check. Loathsome and hypocritical elites insulated from the nuisances of middle-class life, working-class life and poverty? Check. Corporate elites believing that the illusion of democracy is still worth maintaining? Check.  

Junk in the Trunk

Double Junk

Hey, City. Hey, CPS. Do you two have a minute? We don't want to hurt your feelings, but you've gotten a little big in the, ahem, interest rate.

Between Mayor Daley's financial deviance and Mayor Emanuel's continued pension dallying, the City's bond rating is now at junk status. Emanuel's mayoral challenger was accused of, "lacking gravitas with the bond market." After two downgrades, seems there's not an ounce of gravitas to go around as investors have little confidence of bond repayment should Chicago or CPS iwant to issue bonds to raise much needed money. Junk status means a higher cost of borrowing that is, of course, passed along to the taxpayer. Thanks, gents!

While Rahm is busy pouting over the downgrade, Governor Rauner has decided to go the disappointed dad route saying, "It (CPS) has not really served the families and the parents of the children in a very long time." CPS seemed to be serving parents just fine when Rauner clouted his daughter into selective enrollment Walter Payton. If CPS isn't serving families and parents it's not because of bond downgrades, but because of constant defunding, school closings, and chaos created by Rahm and his appointees as they go about happily dismantling public education in favor of profiteering charters.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Spotlight on Anne Mueller!

Noble Charters have received some media praise recently for their excellent results in tran$forming the lives of inner-city students and eroding the foundations of public education.  Let's turn the spotlight on their Board of Directors' Community Leader:  Anne Mueller!

Communities served by Mueller:  low-income inner-city Chicago neighborhoods

Community of Mueller's residence:  Wilmette

Percentage of renter-occupied units within nearest Noble community to Mueller: 69%

Value of Mueller's Wilmette home:  $913,164.00

Wilmette public school attended by Mueller's  2 children:  New Trier

Private alternatives to New Trier: North Shore Country Day School

Cost of one year's tuition at North Shore Country Day School:  $28, 350

Charter alternatives to public or private options in Wilmette: 0

Glib statement made by Anne Mueller designed to alleviate the guilt of being wealthy and isolated from the factors causing dysfunction in many regular CPS high schools:  "Some of these charter schools are turning out to be the envy of the North Shore."

Percentage of current Wilmette residents sending their children to Noble Charter schools: 0

Percentage of current Noble Charter students permitted to join the Gay Straight Alliance: 0

Percentage of current Noble Charter students suspended at least once during the school year: 51%

Rock on, Anne Mueller!

All census info easily Googled.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Who's up for some cornholing?

Although the kind folks at CFE probably meant to say "toasting and bean bags," there are a few other people who aren't offering any beer with their cornholing.

 BBB has been effectively cornholing educators and taxpayers nation-wide for years, along with Deb Quazzo and her gang of thieves, SUPES big shots, Aramark head honchos, and a wide variety of hedge fund managers, charter profiteers, vendors, philanthro-capitalists, and kick-back artists.