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The Mechanics
« Day By Daley, Monday 17 November You down with ITP? »

Daley Tue Nov 18 2008

Day by Daley, Tuesday 18 November

You Hey, Ramsin, what's up with that Mayor Daley?

Well, he's one bad Mayor--

Shut your mouth!

I'm just talkin' 'bout Mayor Daley...

Why Won't He Come To My Party? When it was revealed in a profile before the 2007 elections that Mayor Daley kept a framed picture of himself with President W Bush (because remember, he has been Mayor since President HW Bush), I was at first confused...but then it made perfect sense. "Hey, your daddy helped you get the job too?" "Yeah!" "And you're often compared to him unfavorably?" "Omigod!" "And you have a lot of leftover hacks from his era that you deal with?" "This is freaking me out!"

Well, it looks like W won't be making it to the O'Hare runway reveal that is likely the cause of His Elective Majesty's crush on the worst president since James Buchanan. That's right, worse than Ulysses S. Grant.

This is just speculation, but something tells me that this president flying in for a reveal of a runway in the president-elect's hometown would be a little awkward, not to mention we'd all have to start quartering secret service agents, in clear violation of the oft-forgotten third amendment.

GLBT School Revote; Mayor To Get Sweaty, High-Pitched-y. Hat-tip to Chicagoist, who point out that the recently scuttled "gay high school" -- a safe harbor school for GLBT students -- is up for a revote after some retooling. The Mayor questioned the wisdom of the school, saying it amounted to segregation. While I don't necessarily agree with his argumentation (and who am I to argue with a man who has passed the bar, albeit on his seventeenth try), I think the Mayor was right to oppose this school on the grounds that it doesn't encourage understanding (or normality) of GLBT kids, but just whisks them away from real-life situations.

Fran Spielman reporting:

"You have to look at whether or not you isolate and segregate children. A holistic approach has always been to have children of all different backgrounds in schools. When you start isolating children and you say, 'Only 50 percent here, 40 percent here' -- same thing we went through with the disabled -- then you want to do that when they're adults," Daley said.

Status Quo Forms Alliance To Change Status Quo. Remember the insane argument that opponents of the Constitutional Convention -- an alliance of the most powerful interests in the state -- offered the people of Illinois? Namely that those nasty interests would take hold of the process?

The status quo powers of this state have been a roadblock to real reform of any type for a generation or more. So thankfully, they've decided to get together and pressure themselves for reform of Illinois' public schools. Wild-eyed idealists like Bill Daley, Dennis Hastert, and Jim Edgar are teaming up with King George III and The Nothing from The NeverEnding Story to create Advance Illinois.

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Kenzo ShibataAuthor Profile Page / November 19, 2008 7:31 PM

I have been following the Adance Illinois narrative since last summer when the Alexander at the District 299 Blog ( posted a letter of intent from the organization.

Looking at the guiding principles, the organization has some altrustic goals:

Guiding Principles:

* A quality education improves the odds of success for all young people and anchors a state's civic and economic well-being. Today's students are coming of age in a world that runs on knowledge and creativity. Though our education system is changing, the world is changing even faster. Education policy must adjust to support innovative, rigorous and relevant education for all students that prepares them to become active members of Illinois' economic and civic life.
* A 21st century education begins at birth and engages families and communities. Overwhelming evidence supports the long-term benefits of early childhood development. Additional evidence and common sense tell us that involved parents and schools that work together with their communities are critical to ensuring that all children come to school ready to learn and finish high school ready to pursue work or further education.
* Effective teachers and principals are at the core of great schools. Excellent schools come in all shapes and sizes, but they all have effective leaders and teachers who together are empowered and supported to strengthen teaching and learning. The reality is that finding ways to train, recruit, retain and manage effective professionals throughout the school building is the most important responsibility of state policymakers.
* Improvement begins with high expectations for every student and every school. Good schools have high expectations of their students and are grounded in the belief that all children can and must excel. Illinois must set equally high and clear expectations for its schools. This requires rigorous standards, meaningful assessments, a culture that values and supports constant achievement and improvement, and accountability for results.
* Results matter. We must focus on outcomes and employ quality data to understand how we are doing and put that knowledge to use. Data helps principals and teachers identify what's working and what's not, appropriately adjust lessons and curricula, and work toward a shared vision of excellence. Data also makes it possible to follow students' progress over time and in many different ways, providing the information necessary to confirm that programs and policies are working.
* Innovative and far-reaching policies are the hallmarks of successful reform. Achieving them will require us all to move beyond old debates and come together around solutions that work for children. Improving our public schools will require broad and bold reforms that are grounded in research and best practice, and go beyond incremental or piecemeal changes.
* Sound education policy requires deliberate and persistent effort combined with honest collaboration and clear communication. Sound policy does not happen by accident. Educators, parents, neighbors, employers and policymakers must work together to achieve the meaningful educational policies that Illinois' children need and deserve.
* Quality schools require adequate resources and the ability to use them wisely and effectively to promote student achievement.

It's important to look at policies over personalities, so we should wait and see what actions the organization takes. I will be reporting as the story develops.

Kenzo ShibataAuthor Profile Page / November 19, 2008 7:34 PM

Sorry, the link to the letter didn't work. Try this:

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Parents Still Steaming, but About More Than Just Boilers

By Phil Huckelberry / 2 Comments

It's now been 11 days since the carbon monoxide leak which sent over 80 Prussing Elementary School students and staff to the hospital. While officials from Chicago Public Schools have partially answered some questions, and CPS CEO Forrest Claypool has informed that he will be visiting the school to field more questions on Nov. 16, many parents remain irate at the CPS response to date. More...


Substance, Not Style, the Source of Rahm's Woes

By Ramsin Canon / 2 Comments

It's not surprising that some of Mayor Emanuel's sympathizers and supporters are confusing people's substantive disputes with the mayor as the effect of poor marketing on his part. It's exactly this insular worldview that has gotten the mayor in hot... More...

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