Saturday, July 19, 2014

7-19-14 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

Ten minute drawing. Biased.

Saturday afternoon 2 million site visits contest.
There are only a few more August boxes. Pick the right one (which day I get 2 million site visits) and win a custom t-shirt.

Keeping retirement weird. My congressman endorses Rahm. Meh.
First, a word about my friend Janet Kilgus. Janet is the IEA Retired Chair. Her mom passed away a couple of days ago. I never met Janet Kilgus’ mom. But Janet – I am sure I cause her a good amount of heart burn – has been a great help this past year getting our Skokie Organization of Retired Educators (S.O.R.E.) off the ground. Both Janet and her mom are in my thoughts this morning. On a less ser

Saturday morning. The 2 million hits squares are filling up.
Wow. The squares are fling up quickly. What date wil this blog hit 2 million site visits. Pick the correct date and win this beautiful customized t-shirt in the color of your choice.


Pick a date that I hit 2 million site visits. Win a custom t-shirt.
I’m about 34,000 hits short of 2 million site visits. Pick the date I hit the 2 mil mark and win a custom t-shirt in the color of your choice. I’ll update the calendar and post it each day.    
How serious a threat is Karen Lewis to Rahm. Watch as the knives are drawn.
If you’re afraid of Pat Quinn, do you really have the stomach to take on the july on the fifth floor? For those of you on the coasts and down South who are not familiar with the hard-ball nature of Chicago politics, keep an eye on the next 7 months. It will give new life to Mayor Harold Washington’s now famous, “Politics ain’t bean bag.” Tribune columnist Eric “I’ll get it it tomorrow” Zorn and C
Ten minute drawing. Playing on the beach.
Hinsdale’s Skoda’s weird definition of transparency. Keep the people in the dark.
Hinsdale board President Richard Skoda refuses to say how much taxpayer money went into this expensive newsletter. Hinsdale’s board of education has no interest in spending money on teacher salaries. And board President Richard Skoda expresses the need for transparency. However, following a press conference in which no members of the community were allowed in. And other members of the board were

JUL 17

Throwback Thursday. The theft of public employee pensions.
This is a post from Glen Brown from November of 2012. The facts are still the same. The links provide good information. Many Illinois citizens are aware that state legislators have not fully funded the public pension systems throughout the years; that instead of paying into the pension systems, they have used that money to pay for other services. Thus, without having to pay for services, state le
IEA turns thumbs down on Democrat pension thieves Gabel, Biss and Fine.
Illinois pension thieves Senator Dan Biss and Representatives Robyn Gabel and Laura Fine appeared before an IPACE recommendation hearing that included our S.O.R.E. Retired chapter of IEA. They were asking for an IPACE recommendation in the November election. IPACE is the political action committee of the IEA. No member dues are used for election contributions. Every member can make a voluntary co
Stephanie Gadlin. Fear and loathing in Chicago. Run Karen. Run.
- Stephanie Gadlin is Communications Director for the Chicago Teachers Union A THOUGHT: I am growing uncomfortable with the direction of the tone of the media stories emerging in light of the Sun-Times poll that has CTU President Karen Lewis besting Mayor Rahm Emanuel by 9 percentage points. While much of the coverage centers on speculation about whether or not Karen will seek public office and i
When the courts rule pension theft unconstitutional, what will be plan B.
Since the Illinois Supreme Court ruled a few weeks ago that the pension protection clause of the Illinois Constitution meant what it said, it now appears likely they will rule that Senate Bill 1 is also constitutional. The question becomes, what next? Some friends are concerned that Madigan and Quinn would then try to amend the constitution. As Crain’s points out, this is not so easy. The pension

JUL 16

Staff at largest labor union fight to win a fair contract. First time in history union management refuses to extend contract.
The Association of Field Service Employees outside the NEA RA in Denver. (Washington, D.C.)—For months staff members at the nation’s largest union–the National Education Association–have been trying to negotiate a fair contract with their employer.  Ironically, the very same employees who work on-the-ground to assist NEA teachers and education support professionals secure fair working conditions,
Rahm has Leonardo shaking his head.
Red-baiting in Chicago.
Campaign kick-off poster for Tim Meegan. - Tim Meegan is a Chicago Teacher and candidate for Chicago Alderman in the 33rd Ward. Fred, Here is the full text of my speech. Clearly I’m not calling for violent revolution: My name is Timothy Meegan, I am a father of a CPS student and a teacher at Roosevelt High School. The American Legislative Exchange Council is a group of corporate lobbyists and st
Lewis hasn’t even announced yet and look what is crawling out from under the rocks.
Sarah Palin rides again. First there was this weekend’s Sun-Times poll that showed County Board President Toni Preckwinkle beating Rahm by a mile. And CTU President Karen Lewis beating him by 9 points. Then Preckwinkle said there was no way she was going to run. And Lewis said she was organizing an exploratory committee. The excitement has been palpable. Progressives from around the city are putt
Arthur Goldstein. Tenure for good apples too.
- Arthur Goldstein is a New York teacher and UFT Chapter Leader at Francis Lewis High School. This column appeared in the New York Daily News. Every day, it seems, I read about a new lawsuit to do away with teacher tenure. The crusade reminds me of my friend Harris Lirtzman. It’s because of tenure that I teach and he doesn’t. Harry used to be a deputy New York State controller until, in 2009, he

JUL 15

Ten minute drawing. Laughable. Joyous.
Don’t use Staples.
As a state-wide elected delegate to the NEA RA I get reimbursed for most of my expenses. I have to fill out forms and provide receipts as it is carefully monitored by the IRS. And who knows? Maybe the NSA too. Rather than make copies of the forms at home, I normally go to the neighborhood Staples. But not this time. I am boycotting Staples. And so should you. The United States Postal Service and
Hinsdale’s Skoda has a perverse notion of transparency.
Hinsdale board member is locked out of a press conference called by board president Richard Skoda. He calls it “transparency.” The Battle of Hinsdale High School District 68 continues. Teacher union-bashing board president Richard Skoda claims to be acting in the interest of transparency by locking out the community and other board members. A Hinsdale teacher writes me that, “The community respon

JUL 14

Jose Vilson. Teachers of color caught in the windmill (on real equity).
- Jose Vilson is a New York teacher and author of This is Not a Test. Time and again, we get reports from former teachers of color about why they leave, and often, it’s the same symptoms for why teachers in general leave: lack of empowerment and autonomy, working conditions, and low pay. With teacher of color, education systems only exacerbate this problem because many teachers of color come back
In Hinsdale this is what Tea Party democracy looks like.
“Hey, Fred,” a teacher friend writes. “Ever hear of a school board holding a press conference that denied access to other board members from attending it? Too funny, but that just happened in Hinsdale. No parents, teachers or even other school board members were allowed to attend their Tea Party.” The Hinsdale High School Teachers Association, which is engaged in tough negotiations with the local
There’s a national assault on teacher pensions. I wonder if the AFT and the NEA heard?
Michael “Macho Man” Mulgrew. Yesterday I began the afternoon watching the live streaming of the debate over Common Core. What could be more moving than hearing my friend Michelle Gunderson speaking about the damage Common Core is doing to her babies? Imagine. An urban public school teacher talking about her students as if they were her own children – her babies. And knowing Michelle as I do, ther
The United Federation of Teachers’ loyalty oath. Tolerating no dissent.
UFT President Michael Mulgrew. “I’ll punch you in the face if you try to take away my Common Core.” Arthur Goldstein is a high school English teacher and chapter chair of the United Federation of Teachers at Francis Lewis High School. He could not be a delegate to the AFT convention in LA because he would not sign the UFT’s loyalty oath. When a reader of this blog asked about the loyalty oath, Ar

JUL 13

Run Karen. Run.
Chicago Sun Times: If the mayoral election were held today, the lightning rod union leader who was the architect behind a 2012 teachers’ strike would beat Emanuel by 9 percentage points in a head-to-head contest, the survey found. Lewis was leading Emanuel 45 percent to 36 percent with 18 percent of the likely voters undecided.
Ten minute drawing. Tough love.
AFT bully boys.
The word I’m hearing from LA is that they will be discussing two issues this afternoon. Not wanting to appear like a bunch of wusses compared to the NEA, the AFT leadership will allow a vote on Arne Duncan. A call for his resignation or firing is likely to pass. They will also discuss two proposals on Common Core. One is from the CTU and would put the AFT on record as opposing it. The other is fr
Sunday reads.
Detroit residents on Thursday launched a direct action to halt the city’s mass shut-off of water to thousands of households, physically blocking a private corporation from turning off the tap. Israel bombs a mosque and a center for the disabled, killing two residents and wounding three, as well as a caretaker. A vision of CPS as a democratic community. Mexico to NYC: Through Photography, Immigran

JUL 12

Ten minute drawing. Randi speaks.
Reports from AFT in LA.
Representing Chicago’s teachers and communities in LA: CTU President Karen Lewis, Asean Johnson and Jitu Brown. Two reliable sources for following what is going on in LA at the AFT convention are from my friends Norm Scott and Jonathan Halabi. Although they are not always in political agreement, who is? I posted Norm’s report from the committee on Common Core yesterday. Here is Jonathan’s notes f
Paving roads with our pension funds. Government sponsored pension theft.
For decades the state of Illinois has underfunded the public employee pension funds to protect politicians from having to raise taxes. And they were certainly not going to raise taxes on their sponsors in the Civic Committee. “You’ve stolen from our pension funds for years,” a teacher yelled at State Representative Elaine Nekritz at a pension forum I spoke at with her in Aurora. “We didn’t steal
AFT. Common Core will get debated on Sunday.
CTU President Karen Lewis pushed for the debate. - Mercedes Schneider blogs at deutch29 A very good thing will happen on Sunday, July 13, 2014, at the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) convention in Los Angeles: The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) will be debated on the floor. No behind-closed-doors killing of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) resolution opposing CCSS. As Politico states: W
Keeping retirement weird. Come back Maggie. We need you.
Where is Maggie Kuhn when we need her? For those of you who don’t remember the founder of the Gray Panthers, let me remind you. Maggie was a life-long activist who had worked 25 years for the United Presbyterian Church in New York, commuting daily from her home in Philadelphia. In 1970 Maggie reached the mandatory retirement age of 65 and was forced to leave her job. “They gave me a sewing machin