Trump and Rahm double team Chicago schools and public education.


I’m back from our trip to Memphis where we spent Tuesday honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King and joining with young southern Black Lives Matter activists, college students, those fighting for $15 and religious leaders like Reverend William Barber in reminding folks that The Movement is now and not a video display in a museum.

Driving the nine hours back north to Chicago I read that Trump had met with business leaders and attacked Chicago again. And New York. And Los Angeles.

This time for the state of our public schools.

Easy target, Donald. Just like Chicago’s violence.

He even attacked Common Core. It s almost enough to make me support Common Core.

Never mind.

I once heard Reverend Barber say about Trump that people get all upset when he talks about poverty and poor people. We go, “Oh, don’t talk about poor people because it helps Trump.” But, said Rev. Barber,  we have to talk about the intersection of race and poverty.

I get it that Trump going after Chicago, New York and L.A. schools is a carefully crafted racist message – we know who lives in our cities, who we are and who our neighbors are – and that it is part and parcel of the DeVos DOE plans to privatize public education.

The Mayor may be outraged. Yet our Mayor’s outrage over Trump’s attack on public education is as real as an episode of Chicago Med.

And coming from the Public-School-Closer-in-Chief, it reeks of hypocrisy.

Almost at the same moment as Rahm was feigning outrage at Trump, he was talking about closing more Chicago high schools and announcing the most stupid plan for Chicago high school graduation requirements.

Emanuel’s proposal would add one more big item to the graduation checklist for high school seniors: proof they’ve been accepted into college or the military, or a trade or a “gap-year” program. The requirement would also be satisfied if the student has a job or a job offer.

Ah, yes. A job offer.

The share of 20- to 24-year-old black men who were neither working nor in school declined modestly between 2014 and 2015, from a dismal 47 percent to a still-dismal 43 percent, according to a report set to be presented Monday at the Chicago Urban League’s annual forum on the youth unemployment crisis.

Well there’s always the college acceptance letter.

Illinois’ public university presidents went to Springfield this month to deliver a message: We are at the end of our rope.

Well, there’s the Army.

It won’t be shutting down anytime soon.

Don’t forget to join us at the Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers radio show, Friday at 11AM, 105.5FM in Chicago and streaming around the planet at

One Reply to “Trump and Rahm double team Chicago schools and public education.”

  1. SOS

    Support for public school education requires action at all levels of government. It is vital that equal educational opportunity be available to everyone. To fail to provide equal funding for public schools is to fail to give opportunity.

    The economic and racial divide in the United States must be addressed by individual and legislative action. While “de facto” and “de jure” segregation, along economic and racial lines, exists, the “health” of the United States will be enhanced by doing the necessary to improve opportunity for all.

    A recent news article (Chicago Tribune, April 4, 2017) shows the disparity in public school funding. My two children, had the opportunity to graduate from Stevenson High school ( 1984 and 1987). In 1967, I was offered the opportunity to teach at Waukegan High School. With offers from two other school districts, I chose to teach in High School District 214, Arlington Hts., Illinois.

    Today, I remain an advocate for free public schools. I call on all, to do the necessary to make quality public school education a reality for all students.

    Yours in education,

    Dr. Charles W. Birch, public school teacher

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