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Ventra cards. Treating the elderly and the disabled like crap. A Rahm idea.

July 25, 2014
tags: ,

Rahm Emanuel

Rahm/Ventra rant.

When I use my senior reduced fare ventra card, I have always just kept it in my wallet and the scanner reads it and says, “go.”
Suddenly a Ventra charge started appearing on my Mastercard bill. Because my Ventra card wasn’t working.

Interesting that you don’t actually need a Ventra card. Apparently, a Mastercard with a chip works just as well, but I was being charged regular, not reduced fare.

I called the RTA number on the Ventra card.

After 10 minutes, I talked to someone who told me to call Ventra.

I called Ventra.

I was told to call RTA.

This was becoming one of those moments.

The woman at RTA told me that if I ordered a new card by phone, they would mail it and I would have to fill out a form and I would be charged a fee for a new card because I was probably not telling the truth about my Ventra card not working. It was a scam to get two reduced fare cards.

Or I could go to the RTA “customer service” (eye roll) office on Randolph so that they could test my card and see that it actually doesn’t work, proving that I am an honest person, not scamming to save $1 and that the Ventra card sucks and they would give me a new one for free.

I have been to that office. Aside from being filthy and disgusting and disrespectful to the elderly and disabled who are the customers who use it, this would require a wait of several hours in a tiny room with a few chairs and little room to stand – this is a place that is intended to be used by the elderly and disabled.


A Rahm idea.


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We’ve been following events in Hinsdale. Here is the latest from the teachers.

July 25, 2014


Photo: @studentsforD86

Hinsdale High School 86 is in Chicago’s western suburbs.

This summer I have been following the bargaining between the teachers union, HHSTA, and the Hinsdale board. The Hinsdale board, headed by Dr. Skoda, has mounted a full court press against the teachers union.

The HHSTA will not be goaded into any job action that doesn’t serve the interests of their members and their community.

Today they announced that teachers will open the two high schools as scheduled.

HINSDALE, IL. — July 25, 2014 — The teachers of the Hinsdale High School Teachers Association (HHSTA) today announced that the 2014-2015 school year will start on time regardless of the recent negotiations between the association and the school board. In June, the association made a counter proposal to the board that keeps the district competitive with other districts and increases the teachers’ share of healthcare costs. Still, as of July 25, the board has not offered a counter proposal in return. With students’ first day of attendance just weeks away on August 22, the teachers today voiced confidence to the community and to students that the school year will begin on time as scheduled. Faculty will attend all previously scheduled pre-student attendance day events, workshops, meetings, and orientations with the overall goal to provide the vital strong start to the academic calendar.

“The overwhelming support teachers have received from the community informs us that our priorities are aligned with theirs,” said John Bowman, president of the teachers’ association. “Parents, students, and community members, alongside teachers, all agree that the district’s top priority must be providing a best-in-the-state education to the students without delay by the board’s radical proposals. The start of the school year is important for our students and our teachers. Autumn is the heart of the college application process, the start for our award-winning clubs, music programs, plays, championship athletics and the first step in a year of academic pursuit for all students. Students deserve to start the year as scheduled, on time. We eagerly await the board’s long delayed counter proposal to make a smooth beginning of everyone’s year. Now is not the time for their extreme political agenda to derail school.”

The District 86 School Board and the teachers are currently in federal mediation, and accordingly, are not to discuss details of negotiations in public. The teachers will continue to abide by the process of mediation and not publicly discuss details of ongoing negotiations, instead, bargaining in good faith that a fair, balanced, and sustainable agreement will be met.

Chicago’s AUSL alum, “Dr.” Terrence P. Carter isn’t done with New London, Connecticut quite yet.

July 25, 2014


Photo: Hartford Courant. Bill McCoy (L) has a brief advisory meeting with his client Terrence P. Carter after Carter exited an executive meeting of the New London Board of Education.

Yesterday morning those who care about ethics and quality education in New London, Connecticut thought they were finished with the phony doctor, Terrence P. Carter.

Carter, as we have reported here all week, had applied to be the new superintendent of what the papers keep calling “New London’s troubled school district.”

Right now, New London’s biggest trouble seems to be “Dr.” Terrence P. Carter.

Carter is one of Chicago’s Academy of Urban School Leadership mob, its former Executive Director for school turnarounds.

The problem was with his resume. He had claimed more doctorate degrees than Dodger pitcher Clayton Krenshaw has hitless innings.

He said he a doctorate from Stanford. He didn’t.  And from other universities, both real and imagined.

When the Hartford Courant actually vetted him, his cover was blown.

Except at last night’s New London board meeting – when it was expected his application would be dismissed – he hung in and claimed he wanted the job anyway.

The board voted to delay any action.

The rest of that story is all here in the Hartford Courant.

But the other story remains to be told.

Carter’s phony claims on his resume stretch back to his time in Chicago as a principal and executive with AUSL.

He was a team leader for many Chicago school turnarounds.

It wasn’t until the Hartfort Courant vetted him that the lies came out.

But what about Chicago?

Why weren’t those claims checked while he was here?

Who else is working for AUSL and is closing schools and firing teachers with a phony work resume?

And then there are all the other members of the AUSL and CPS administrative bunch that have moved on to do their dirty work else where.

Democratic candidate – running with Squeezy Quinn –  for Lt. Governor Paul Vallas comes to mind.

Remember that It turned out he wasn’t qualified  when he was hired to be superintendent of Bridgeport, Connecticut schools after failures in Philadelphia and New Orleans.

Of course, you can only consider New Orleans a failure if you believe in public schools.

Which Vallas did more to destroy than Hurricane Katrina.

To the privatizers Vallas was a roaring success.

Chicago’s George Schmidt names some other names.

And now, for every state, do we think that officials could quarantine anyone — ANYONE — from Chicago from now for as along as Arne Duncan lives. I’ve heard the most absurd things said about the Chicago Boys (and a few Girls) as they’ve spread their plague across the USA…

“Rock star…” (New Bedford). Steve Zrike

“Top aide…” (Broward County) Robert Runcie

“Highly touted…” (New London) Terrence Carter

“True leader…” (Sarasota) Rick Mills

And virtually all of them eventually regret it. And the others (Nevada, Minnesota, etc) also.

…and of course all that stuff that was being said about Vallas until CT hurled him away. In more ways than one.

There are others, but these are a couple of my favorites.

The best advice is to “Just say NO!” to anyone with a Chicago pedigree…


George N. Schmidt, Editor, Substance

The question I ask and keep asking: Why is nobody in the Chicago media interested in this story? The Chicago connection is clear.

CPS budget. “The onus falls on the Mayor.”

July 24, 2014



CHICAGO—The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) released the following statement today regarding the Board of Education’s efforts to jam through a flawed budget for the coming fiscal year:

“The mayor’s handpicked school board is playing politics with the schools budget. By using 14 months’ worth of revenue in this fiscal year, it pushes the problems of funding into next year—until after the election—and into a contract year,” said Jesse Sharkey, CTU vice president. “CPS has been banking on solving their budget problems through pension theft, but the Illinois Supreme Court ruling that protected retiree benefits has negated that strategy.

“The current crisis has also been exacerbated by the unchecked proliferation of charter schools, which have seen their portion of the schools budget grow 30 percent faster than overall school spending—and is directly linked to the decision to close 50 schools last year due to budgetary reasons,” Sharkey said.

“Now the onus falls on the mayor to properly fund the public schools.”

Ten minute drawing. Kindergarten ready.

July 24, 2014

kindergarten ready

“Doctor” Carter blames his secretary. And the Chicago, AUSL connection.

July 24, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 8.00.28 AM

Each day.

This guy has given me blog posts for a week.

This is the story of Terrence P. Carter and the New London, Connecticut school system. Carter was about to be hired to be the new superintendent when the real reporters at the Hartford Courant uncovered the fact that his claim on a Ph.D. was as phony as a Bruce Rauner Timex.

Today’s story:

A national research organization said Wednesday that Terrence P. Carter, the incoming superintendent of schools in New London, submitted a biography in 2011 that indicated he had received a Ph.D. from Stanford University, an assertion that contradicts what the embattled educator has said.

Stanford has said that Carter never attended, which Carter has acknowledged. Carter has previously told The Courant that he was not the source for either the 2011 biography or a 2008 biographical article that also indicated he had received a Ph.D. from Stanford.

Larry McQuillan, director of public affairs for the American Institutes for Research in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday emailed to The Courant what he said was “the original bio submitted by Carter.” It indicated that he held “a Ph.D., in Organizational Leadership from Stanford University.”

The institute used the biography in a “Presenter Biographies” document for a June 2-3, 2011, education conference in Rosedale, Ill.

Carter  blames his secretary:

“I don’t know where they got it from, but they did not get it from me,” Carter, 49, who has been an education administrator in Chicago for a decade, said in a telephone interview with The Courant on July 15. He said that a request for information “was submitted to my secretary” at the Academy for Urban School Leadership in Chicago.

Blaming his secretary?

I don’t think this is so much about Terrence P. Carter and the job he will not likely get in New London, Connecticut.

The folks out there in Connecticut have done a good enough job of uncovering his phony transcripts and claims on academic work he never did.

But this was a CPS guy.

An AUSL guy.

You can get a good understanding of the role that the Academy for Urban School Leadership plays in the destruction of the Chicago pubic school system if you know that it is hugely Gates funded, that AUSL’s former chairman, David Vitale is now CPS board president. AUSL’s Tim Cawley is  the CPS Chief Administrative Officer.

As part of his job at AUSL’s Terrence P. Carter was on the Senior Leadership Team of AUSL that handled the turnaround process at Chicago’s Collins High School.

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 8.10.27 AM

Read Matt Farmer’s Huffington Post column on how AUSL and Rahm (with the help of Terrence P. Carter) played Collins High School.

Let’s fast forward to June 2011.

That’s when Emanuel was asked to give a commencement address to AUSL’s first graduating class of Collins seniors. It was no surprise that he signed on, because if there’s one education group in town that’s long been wired directly into City Hall, it’s AUSL. In fact, Emanuel made it a point to increase AUSL’s clout on the Fifth Floor during his first weeks on the job.

The FBI never raided my neighborhood public school.

July 23, 2014



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