Last week, I reported a story from Greg Hinz at Crain’s Chicago Business that talked about Mayor Emanuel leaning on CPS to run over $100 million in construction work through the public building commission despite considerably higher costs. I posted that story and I thought it was important because with the city unwilling to fully invest in many of it’s schools every cent counts.
Unfortunately, as an amateur reporter I missed the real important part of the story. As you can see from the Public Building Commission’s website, sitting on the Board is none other than Juan Rangel, who is currently dealing with flack for awarding UNO construction contracts to relatives and political cronies. This is disturbing to say the least.
“Chicago Teachers Union and Liberal Mouthpiece Kristine Mayle who said, “We are surprised ‘Persepolis: A Story of Childhood’ would be banned by the Chicago Public School (CPS) system. The only place we’ve heard of this book being banned is in Iran. We understand why the district would be afraid of a book like this– at a time when they are closing schools–because it’s about questioning authority, class structures, racism and gender issues. There’s even a part in the book where they are talking about blocking access to education. So we can see why the school district would be alarmed about students learning about these principles.”
“A reporter from a national publication called and asked why I thought this was all happening.
Echoing the views of many CPS teachers, I said that it is so dumb that it must be the typical bureaucratic crap that goes on in CPS all the time.
But I was wrong.
CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett actually banned the book.
“The tenth anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq War fell about ten days before CPS was set to announce what could be the largest single school closing operation ever.
The parallels are striking: ambitious programs dictated top-down by politicians over widespread public disapproval, administered willy-nilly by overburdened bureacracies — both driven by ideology that wilfully disregards the perspectives of people on the ground.”
“According to the Chicago news site DNAinfo, Rahm told the bankers that a problem with Chicago’s public schools was that parents don’t know how to do their jobs.”