In Chicago, DFER has been run out of town.


Former DFER boss, Joe Williams, quit to get a job at Walmart. The rest of DFER left town.

Back in 2014, Illinois Democratic Party political consultant David Ormsby predicted, “Democrats for Education Reform will face a formidable challenge outmaneuvering the CTU.”

Ormsby and I have had differences over the years, but he was right as rain about that.

Comparing DFER’s role in the current teacher negotiations to 2012, the Sun-Times Lauren FitzPatrick yesterday wrote, “DFER no longer has a chapter in Illinois. Its national press shop did not respond to messages seeking comment, nor did its former local head.”

The guy who once ran DFER, Joe Williams, jumped ship a while ago and took a job at Walmart. Not as a store greeter. With their foundation.

Joe once threatened to kick my ass and said I was dumbest person in the world.

In the world! A low bar, if you ask me.

DFER, who claim to be Democrats but are definitely not in the progressive Sanders wing, got their heads handed to them at the DNC. The platform debate on education rejected their views as well as the policies that dominated in their pal Arne Duncan’s Department of Education these past eight years.

“After putting forward a progressive and balanced education agenda in the initial draft of the 2016 Democratic Platform, this weekend the Platform Drafting Committee inexplicably allowed the process to be hijacked at the last minute. This unfortunate departure from President Obama’s historic education legacy threatens to roll back progress we’ve made in advancing better outcomes for all kids, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds,” wrote the current DFER President Shavar Jeffries.

DFER’s departure from Chicago is satisfying. I mean I still have my ass and Joe is at Walmart.

But the corporate reformers that brought DFER to Chicago are still here.

David Ormsby in 2014 : “Ormsby also says that Democrats for Education Reform has collected  $60,500, including $21,000 from the Crown family and $5,000 from Jennifer Steans, the sister of State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago).”

As far as I know, the Crown family, the Steans family and the rest of that bunch haven’t gone anywhere.


2 thoughts on “In Chicago, DFER has been run out of town.

  1. And in Shia Kapos’ “Taking Names” column in today’s Sun-Times, Page 14:
    in bold print caps & headline– “DUNCAN WON’T RULE OUT RUN FOR OFFICE.” begins, “For a guy who has left public office, Arne Duncan (in boldface) is pretty opinionated how Illinois should be run. The former U.S. secretary of education (sic) says equity in education–when ‘more money is spent on children of the wealthy than kids who are poor’–is the state’s greatest education problem, and it’s much to blame for the violence that’s seized the city.* ‘It’s a travesty’ that needs to be fixed, he says. ‘I don’t know if there’s a political will to get it done.’** Does Duncan have that will? He won’t say yes–or no.” Then yada, yada, yada, to: “Duncan worries about children being kept indoors because it’s not safe to go outside. ‘We have to do better. I spend all my days talking about violence in the city…I talk to people who have been shot. And I spend a day a month in Cook County Jails talking to shooters and trying to understand them and their world. There’s not one person I’m talking to in this jail who has a college degree.’ He answered some lighthearted questions from City Year volunteers, too. Who plays basketball better, you or the president? ‘I plead the Fifth,’ said Duncan, sounding a lot like a politician.”
    *Gee, ya think? **He should ask his pal, Peter Cunningham, about that “political will to get it done.”

  2. Can’t find link, but just Google—Kapos: Arne Duncan Won’t Rule Out a Run for Office, and it’ll come right up. The whole thing is a(n) (infuriating) must-read.
    NO TPP, NO DAPL & NO–NOT EVER AGAIN–ARNE DUNCAN IN PUBLIC OFFICE. )Please stay Managing Partner at your Jobs-funded (as in Steve Jobs’ widow, Laurene Powell Jobs), California-based Emerson Collective.

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