Happy fourth Sunday.

The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) has just placed a six-foot-tall sculpture outside Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago that says “REAL FAKE” in metallic gold, uppercase letters.


My drawings from this week’s blog:

pensionsbullfrog2Morris KightMITCHJOAN KRAMERpaul ryan takes offense



This week’s Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers.



Alderman Ameya Pawar is running for Illinois Governor as a “New Deal” Democrat. He will be our guest this Friday at 11AM, 105.5fm in Chicago and streaming on lumpenradio.com


Having lived and worked under a flawed system of school accountability institutionalized by the Bush administration in 2002, and wholly embraced by Rahm Emanuel when he took control of Chicago Public Schools in 2011, I find his latest backward decision regarding Chicago Police Department reform profoundly hypocritical. Mayor Emanuel’s rhetoric on school accountability is centered on one key concept: consequences.

As a teacher and principal in CPS under Rahm Emanuel, the “accountability and consequences” ideology meant that my colleagues and I worked under the threat of school closures, poor school ratings, and loss of funding tied to student enrollment. The basic idea being that if there are no consequences, then schools and educators have no real incentive to improve. Although I have some serious issues with the assumptions that underlie this logic, my issues are irrelevant to the topic at hand. What is relevant is the fact that this is the logic that Emanuel embraces: Where there are no consequences, there is no accountability.

If he embraces consequence-based accountability for educators, then he should embrace it for himself in terms of holding his own administration accountable for effective police reforms. It was this kind of accountability that the mayor committed our city to in January when he signed an agreement in principle with the Justice Department to negotiate a consent decree that would be overseen by a federal judge who would have the power to hold City Hall accountable by levying consequences should it fail to live up to its promises. Troy LaRaviere

2 Replies to “Happy fourth Sunday.”

  1. You are correct that research shows a dramatic increase in teachers’ effectiveness during the first few years of their careers (which is no surprise, as they are nothing but hollow skulls full of mush when they begin). But you are wrong about research showing teachers maintain their effectiveness over time; fact is, research shows they start burning out pretty badly well before most end their careers.

    That’s why I advocate employing private-sector retirees as teachers. They don’t start teaching with empty skulls, but come in knowing their stuff – and how to explain it to people who don’t. And their careers are time-limited by Mother Nature – never reaching that burn-out stage. Lots of other benefits, too (especially, no big pension run-ups with concomitant public liability for paying them).

    Happy Independence Day!!

    1. Cite the research please. ” research shows they start burning out pretty badly well before most end their careers.”

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