Saturday, February 1, 2014

2-1-14 Fred All Week Klonsky | Daily posts from a retired public school teacher

Fred Klonsky | Daily posts from a retired public school teacher who is just looking at the data.

Fred All Week Klonsky | Daily posts from a retired public school teacher

Happy birthday Langston Hughes.

Keeping retirement weird. Something stinks in the 39th House District.
  We will get another eight inches of snow this Saturday in Chicago. I have already swept the stairs and shoveled the sidewalk once this morning. There will be other sweeps and shovels during the day. At least a half dozen more inches are expected on Tuesday. More inches are in the forecast for next weekend. We feel your pain, Atlanta. The piles of snow in front of my house may still be there on
It’s not just about a traffic jam.


Karen Lewis: “This is not just about a spreadsheet piece, it’s [about] what actually happens to the people.”
WBEZ: The head of the Chicago Teachers Union on Friday said she will not accept cuts to retired teachers’ benefits as a way to ease the district’s pension crisis; though she did detail some ideas for easing a funding shortfall of at least $8 billion. CTU President Karen Lewis said she was “horrified” by the controversial overhaul of state worker pensions that became law in December. That law, wh
Senate Bill lawsuits.
1. We Are One Coalition Filed: January 28th, 2014. Location: Sangamon County. Plaintiffs: WAO, 5 TRS active teachers, 3 TRS annuitants, 3 SURS active members, 3 SURS annuitants, 9 SERS active members, 2 SERS annuitants. Seek to represent class of active and annuitants from TRS, SURS and SERS. Defendants: Governor, Comptroller, Treasurer, TRS, SURS, SERS. Primary claim: COLA, minimum retirement age
Madigan’s $1.5 billion gift to corporations.
Since we know that Democratic Speaker Mike Madigan believes in nothing but power and money, it is probably fair to assume there is some political calculation in his proposal to cut the Illinois corporate tax rate in half. But I can tell you that there is not a public employee in the state of Illinois that does not feel that knife that is currently sticking in our backs turn a little when they hea

JAN 30

The new math of Dennis Van Roekel. Add SB7 but take away SB191.
I’ve told the story a million times by now. How Stand for Children’s Jonah Edelman came to Illinois and dropped a bunch of money on a few legislative races, which came out the way he paid for. Then Democratic Speaker Michael Madigan immediately established an education reform committee that included Edelman and the IEA’s Executive Director, Audrey Soglin. That resulted in SB7, the law which took
CTU says no deal to pension cuts.
Chicago Tribune: Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said Wednesday that negotiations over a pension overhaul with the school district are at a stalemate, and her members are ready to aggressively fight proposed cuts to their retirement benefits. According to Lewis, the latest proposal from the district would eliminate annual cost-of-living increases for retirees and cut total pension pa
BBB’s bully-letter goes viral and causes quite a stir.
At around 11AM yesterday morning I got a message from a teacher who wanted to send me an email he had received from CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett. It was the same letter teachers all over CPS had been handed yesterday morning. Before noon it was posted here without comment. No comment was really needed. It was a bully-letter that threatened parents, students and teachers with consequences if they

JAN 29

CTU answers Squeezy.
CHICAGO – In today’s State of the State address, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn made multiple references to “getting the job done” and also claimed to have ended the culture of instability that existed in Illinois government. He highlighted the strides that the state has made in working with women and minority-owned businesses. The problem is that his claims about the benefits of education reform and
Another challenge to an incumbent pension thief.
I asked Bob Galhotra to respond to John Cullerton’s statement that cutting Chicago public employee pensions would be the General Assembly’s job one. Bob is running in the 40th Senate district on the north west side and suburbs.
40th House District candidate Aaron Goldstein on the threat to city pensions.
  House candidate Aaron Goldstein. Aaron Goldstein is a candidate for the 40th State Representative District on the north west side of Chicago. In the wake of Senate President John Cullerton’s declaration that cutting Chicago public employee pension was job one for the next General Assembly, I asked Aaron for a reaction. He told me this: Senate President Cullerton recently stated on Chicago Tonig
Breaking. Chicago CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett threatens teachers and parents on opt-out.
  Dear Teachers, As a former teacher and principal, I understand how important it is to maximize our instructional time with students. But I also know that rigorous, high-quality assessments are valuable in measuring student progress. Our challenge, then, is to strike a balance between the two. This year we reduced our number of required assessments from 25 to 10, allowing schools to focus on th
Rob Schwartz. A word to my followers. Be happy? Shut up? Hell no.
A word to my followers. Raise hell. Fred, Been following you for quite awhile and I’m happy with you fighting the fight, but not with any indications of you encouraging others to be proactive when it comes to $$$. Our pensions got “jacked.” No question. Unfair? Certainly. But what do you expect immoral, unconscionable, felonious lawmakers to do? They do what’s in their best interest. No one else
The President on education. Waist deep in the big muddy.
“Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress, my fellow Americans, today in America, a teacher spent extra time with a student who needed it and did her part to lift America’s graduation rate to its highest levels in more than three decades.” That’s how the President began his State of the Union Address last night. On education, it was brief and downhill from there. I couldn’t help but t

JAN 28

IEA chief lawyer comments of pension theft suit filed today.
IEA General Counsel Mitch Roth comments of the We Are One Illinois coalition’s law suit against pension theft. This morning, the We Are One Illinois (WAOI) coalition, of which IEA is a founding union, and 25 active and retired members of TRS, SURS and SERS, on behalf of themselves and a class of others like them, filed a 55-page lawsuit (attached) in Sangamon County challenging the constitutionali
Will Guzzardi. “Let’s not heed those who continually beat the drums of war on pensions.”
Today the We Are One coalition of state public employees filed their class action suit against the state’s pension theft. A few days ago Senate President John Cullerton took aim at Chicago pensions, proclaiming that cutting police, fire and Chcago teacher pensions was job one of this session of the General Assembly. I asked Will Guzzardi, candidate for 39th State Representative what he thought
Breaking. We Are One files class action suit against Illinois pension theft.
Union coalition files lawsuit to overturn pension-slashing SB1 January 28, 2014 By IEA News   We Are One Illinois Coalition files suit to overturn “pension theft” law The union coalition We Are One Illinois and a group of active and retired public employees filed suit today in Sangamon County Circuit Court to overturn pension-slashing Senate Bill 1 (Public Act 98-599). Defendants in the suit are G
Ten minute drawing. The reunion tour.
Soup Kitchen and half a cola at Robyn Gabel’s office.
This afternoon our chapter of IEA Retired, the Skokie Organization of Retired Educators (SORE) had planned another pension protest outside the Evanston district office of State Representative Robyn Gabel. We had planned to set up a soup kitchen and offer half of a glass of cola. Jack was bringing the Coleman burner and the pot of chicken soup. I was bringing the cola. Off-brand, to keep the cost
So long, it’s been good to know you.
I heard about Pete’s passing the way I hear about most news these days. On Facebook. Facebook friends were saying how bad they felt. But I sat back in my chair and smiled. I mean. Jesus Christ, 94 years. Did you know his first musical instrument was a ukulele? The New York Times obit about Pete had all the songs he found, rewrote or stole and passed on. I don’t know about that stuff either. All I

JAN 27

Ten minute drawing. Common Core and cheesecake.
  H/T to my bro.
New York teachers create a CCSS pretzel knot for the NEA and IEA
The decision by the 140,000 member New York State United Teachers to oppose both the Common Core Standards and its assessment component has created a problem for both AFT and NEA leadership. NYSUT is an affiliate of both. The leadership of both national teachers unions, and  most state affiliates including here in Illinois, has been uncritical support for the Common Core. I attended last summer’s
Grammys and teachers.
  Yoko Ono greets my granddaughter at anti-war protest in NY, 2004. Photo: Grandpa Fred. I don’t want to make to much in the way broad social generalizations from watching the Grammy Awards last night. I am 65 and it clearly wasn’t for me, as my kids used to say when they were teenagers because I was shaking my head at the decline in pop music. That was before you could text that as SMH. I have g
John Dillon. Now we know that SB1 is not enough to cover the crime.
  John Dillon, retired teacher and pension activist and writer. John Dillon’s Pension Vocabulary: Prescience: Looking for answers in Illinois. Had the real purpose of SB1 been to show how disconnected forced diminishment of workers’ compensation was to Illinois’s fiscal problems, it couldn’t have been more successful. A week-old report by the Fiscal Futures Project at the University of Illinois
Special Education. The Paul Vallas baggage and current ISBE practices.
From Jonathan Pelto’s What Wait? Paul Vallas hasn’t even left Bridgeport…In fact; the taxpayers of Connecticut and Bridgeport are picking up his salary and benefits for another month… But his legacy is already becoming clear. Late last week, the Connecticut State Department of Education released a report blasting the Paul Vallas’ leadership and the Bridgeport School System because, among other vi