Drawing: Fred Klonsky
– By George Schmidt. George is a retired CPS teacher and publishes Substance.
One of the most interesting things about the current meetings of the Chicago Board of Education is that at the end of the public participation portion of each meeting, the Board members pontificate, usually prattling in scripted platitudes they have rehearsed before the meeting with the Board’s every growing propaganda staff. Last week’s Board meeting was a hoot, with the corrupt Deborah Quazzo sitting there looking alternately frightened and hurt while the Board members (except Carlos Azcoitia) went through a ritual defense of her corrupt self-dealing.
Such scripted stuff is always preceded by a statement by David Vitale or Jesse Ruiz about how the Board’s critics are lying, and that the Board members have what the Board calls the “true facts” (an interesting addition to the Kafkaesque dictionaries…).
Pontificating is part of their agenda, and the “true facts” have never been part of reality, past or present, so Andra Zopp’s latest bullshit is no surprise.
But it is good to re-read Ben’s piece from 1990 about how Mayor Daley thwarted the attempt by the School Board Nominating Commission to bring a bit of public input into the mayoral control thingy. And how Daley made sure he controlled the Board appointments no matter how hard those on the commission worked.
Of course Zopp is lying. She does at every Board meeting. And her history is often as easy to learn, if she wanted to, as some of the people who attend the Board’s meetings.
Like Lafayette Ford, who worked on the Nominating Commission after the 1988 reform law created it.
Lafayette Ford watched the only meeting of the current Chicago Board of Education from the back in November 2014. That’s the only time in this century that the Board met outside of one of its downtown bunkers in a place where community members could park for free and at a time most people could come. With more than 400 people filling the Westinghouse High School auditorium, it was clear that the Board members didn’t want that to happen again, so in December 2014 they began meeting in their latest downtown “chambers” — even more cramped that the previous one.
Ford walked out of the November 2014 Board meeting noting that during the years Chicago had the commission there were no major financial scandals. While that is not true (the Board president, D. Sharon Grant, was jailed for corruption) at least Ford is still around to get some of the facts straight. Not that Andrea Zopp or any of the other seven dwarfs would want to hear any of the facts of CPS history.