Rahm’s big money pals buy the Sun-Times. Then criticize teachers.

The old sage once said, “Freedom of the press belongs to those that own one.”

Rahm’s big money backers understand that too well. They bought the Sun-Times last week. And this week they editorialize against the Chicago Teachers Union for their direct action style and protest of school closings and turnarounds.

By the way have you read the Sun-Times recently. Me neither.

Well, that’s not exactly true. I was at Joe’s over on Fullerton getting a haircut and a shave. There was a copy sitting next to me while I waited for a chair.

It had shrunk! It’s now this tiny little thing. But there was room for this:

We appreciate great street theater. We also love to see parents and teachers tell the board it has made a mistake in choosing an individual school, which turns out to be true far too often.

It’s too bad, then, that the protests have gone off the rails, with CTU and allied community groups resorting to exaggerations and inflammatory language to rally the troops and, most importantly, failing to acknowledge that the school system, despite its flaws, wants just what the protesters want: to improve the city’s weakest schools.

That is one key reason we stand behind CPS’ efforts to turn around chronically troubled schools and, in extreme cases, close a handful of the weakest ones. CPS wants to turn around 10 schools and close four, hardly radical in a system of more than 675 schools.

Parents and teachers should speak up if they think CPS has chosen the wrong schools. CPS’ new leadership brags about hosting more community meeting than ever, but gathering reaction to plans is not the same as letting the public help shape policy. But for most of these 14 schools, CPS is doing the right thing.

Well, it’s a good thing Rahm’s money boys on the editorial board of the Sun-Times like street theater. They’re going to see a lot more.

2 thoughts on “Rahm’s big money pals buy the Sun-Times. Then criticize teachers.

  1. It is just like non- or pop journalists to admonish the public, who unfortunately pay for the bad and ineffective decisions of the CPS, with “the protests have gone off the rails, with CTU and allied community groups resorting to exaggerations and inflammatory language to rally the troops and, most importantly, failing to acknowledge that the school system, despite its flaws, wants just what the protesters want: to improve the city’s weakest schools.”

    What “inflammatory language?” What exaggerations?

    Then I’m sure those same non-journalists won’t understand these analogies: Would a hospital treat an advancing illness with methods from 100…40…30…20, or 10 years ago? Would that same hospital expect the doctor to test and retest the patient, reducing the findings to only 4 possibilities with each test? Would that system require the patient to sit in front of automation as her/his only worthwhile treatment?

    Should the Chicago Public Schools treat the educational problems of poverty-stricken students of color by firing teachers, closing schools, and turning over some schools to unproven intere$t$? Should these interests then push, as the bulk of their program, a schedule of testing and retesting, reducing these students, who are resource-starved in their schools, to try to guess at testing language that will reduce their thinking to 4 options per problem, while their counterparts in more successful public or private schools (and even in mediocre private and charter schools) are taught richer lessons and allowed to experiment, thereby thinking “outside the box”? Should District 299 continue to push computer learning that mimics the shallow testing without supporting the adults that help students negotiate such matter? Should the CPS continue to recommend hirings of two-year committed newbies while at the same time, firing veterans who have been committed to educational problem-solving amidst their employer telling them, “No, you can’t do that,” all the time?

    Well, that’s what District 299 seems to be proposing. Of course, there are many concerned people that work at 125 S. Clark, but what does the INSTITUTION of the CPS do? The appearance of swift and severe action fools people into thinking that something substantive is being accomplished. These are all old and expedient ways for the district to look like they are tackling the real sources of the problems. As you wouldn’t treat a patient with non-adaptive, retrograde methods, we should not treat students with such disregard for their beings or their learning, either; that the Sun-Times endorses this throwaway approach reminds me that they didn’t update their paper with the times, costing people their livelihoods, shrinking Chicago’s tax base, and adding to the dearth and death of informative journalism, necessary for a democracy.

    To pretend this is innovative learning is a sham. Closings and turnarounds haven’t worked. Is that inflammatory language or an exaggeration? Time to try something new, folks. Let the teachers, their union, parents, students, administrators, and community members craft a 21st-century way, with the district taking its orders from the people who will stay long after the mayor, the CEO, and the well-to-do Board members take their leaves after they’re finished NOT reforming “other people’s children.”

  2. Is there any readable Chicago newspaper? How ironic that, the other day, The Sun-Times ran a vintage Mike Royko column.

    Royko would be turning over in his grave to see what’s happened to the Chicago dailies.

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