Sunday reads.


See the new documentary, The Trials of Muhammad Ali.

Why Paul Vallas’ brother supported Tea Party Bill Brady for Illinois Governor.

Diane Ravitch updates her health status.

David Sirota: Teachers aren’t the problem. It’s the economy, stupid.

Racing to the Top with one leg in a bear trap.

The Progressive Fox on the Vallas disastrous choice.

The Chicago Teachers Union has supported Governor Quinn in the past because of his commitment to grassroots organizing, publicly funded public education, and collective bargaining. For these reasons we are concerned about his choice of Paul Vallas as a running mate. His choice takes us in the wrong direction for public education in Chicago and Illinois.

While he was CEO of the Chicago Public Schools, Vallas pioneered the corporate driven education model in our city. His policies continue to devastate our schools system, which recently suffered 50 school closures, deep, and painful school budget cuts, and the loss of thousands of experienced school staff are key tenets of the Vallas model.

Vallas ushered in an era of massive expansion of standardized testing; the privatization of public schools through outsourcing and charter school expansion; and the devastating policy of school turnarounds, which resulted in the firing of scores of black and veteran teachers.

In a 2010 interview with John Merrow on PBS, Paul Vallas appallingly stated that he did not see any downside to charter school proliferation, believed that there was not enough faculty turnover in education, and did not see a need for collective bargaining.

Just this week in Bridgeport, CT, the school board election results were viewed as a referendum on Vallas’ tenure as an unaccredited district administrator.

In consideration of this list of concerns, we hope that Vallas will move to support proposals for an elected representative school board in Chicago, and also denounce privatization schemes that have done nothing to increase academic achievement or address the needs of students who need the most in Chicago, Philadelphia, and New Orleans. Karen Lewis

2 Replies to “Sunday reads.”

  1. Thanks for all the information!!! Our district said, the board is fine with test scores going down because we will totally adopt common core last year. Now that scores are here, they say “what can we do to bring up scores?”. Our 3rd grade didn’t fall for it and did their normal isat prep and their scores were fine. In the coming years, scores will effect hiring and firing. Tenure is gone. Seniority is a blip. My retired friends feel bad for me. My family wonders why I work 10-12 hrs a day and I still feel ten steps behind; being moved rooms and grades levels almost every year after a 17 yr stint in 3rd grade with very high test scores….must move tenured high seniority to 8th, then 2nd (which are not state tested) so we can let them go if we want. Off to see my parents. Father who is getting heavy chemo and had heart surgery two days after his cancer surgery. Haven’t seen him in about a month because new evaluation says you must work after “contract hours” and use technology etc in every lesson. Out PE teacher was scored poorly last year for not using technology. So, I guess watching videos of volleyball players is better than an actual example and actual practice. Thanks for all you do!!!

  2. Re “The Trials of Muhhamad Ali”: Malcolm X plays an important role in this excellent film, both alive and dead. A film-in-progress, “The Killing of Malcolm X” by former Chicago filmmaker Allan Siegel “extends into new areas of investigation and places this turbulent moment in American history in a context that reaches into the present.” according to Siegel.
    – For more information go to: and consider supporting Allan Siegel’s documentary “The Killing of Malcolm X”.

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