Saturday, May 17, 2014

5-17-14 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

Gresham sit-in ends with a sense of purpose. The unfinished work of Brown versus Board of Education.
Gresham Principal Diedrus Brown. Following a meeting with CPS officials, parents and community folks ended their sit-in at Gresham elementary school at a little after midnight. Up until that point, police and CPS security had prevented any arriving supporters from entering the school. There were no arrests. Gresham is being closed and is being handed over to the Academy for Urban Leadership – fir
Galeano lives!  
Keeping retirement weird. It’s the knees.
Since retirement I work out at the gym pretty regularly. Two days with a trainer, Mike. I started doing it because – well – I wanted t live longer. But to my surprise, it has given me immediate gratification. I feel better now. I can do things I haven’t been able to do in years. I don’t wake up with back pain. I can bend down to pick up the penny I dropped. I can tie my shoe laces without grabbin


Breaking. Community sit-in a Gresham. Scheduled for turnaround.
- From Jackson Potter. Gresham parents sitting in now! Come and support them on 85th and Green. Tweet at #savegresham to show support.
Law from of Robbins Schwartz. Court enjoins implementation of pension reform.
May 16, 2014 On May 14, 2014, the Sangamon County Circuit Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction delaying implementation of Public Act 98-0599 (“Pension Reform Act”). In its order, the court found that plaintiffs established a “fair question” that they will succeed on the merits as to their challenge that the Pension Reform Act violates the Pension Protection Clause
Happy birthday Studs!
Studs would have turned 102 today. “Curiosity never killed this cat’ — that’s what I’d like as my epitaph.”
Lisa Madigan argues that the state’s police powers allows them to steal our pensions.
Yesterday Lisa Madigan, Illinois’ Attorney General and daughter of Party Boss Michael Madigan, went before Judge Belz and responded to the pension theft lawsuits. The state filed its response to five lawsuits filed by retired teachers, state workers, university employees and public employee unions seeking to have last year’s pension reform law declared unconstitutional. The lawsuits argue that th
So what is Biss’ Plan B?
The death of Senate Bill 1 is no sure thing. Many of my retired friends are convinced that Mike Madigan has four votes on the Illinois Supreme Court in his back pocket. Close to his ass. Other friends have faith in the judicial process and believe that the judges will rule based purely on what the Constitution says and case law. I’m not so sure about that. At the North Lake Shore Illinois Retired

MAY 15

Rahm escalates the war with the City’s public school principals.
Clarice Berry, President of the Chicago Principals Association. A shill for the union? A few days ago the principal at Blaine elementary school on the City’s north side blasted Rahm Emanuel as a bully. First with a piece on the op-ed page of the Sun-Times. Then with a blistering appearance on WTTW’s Chicago Tonight. In the Sun-Times’ piece Troy A. LaRaviere wrote, “I did not travel across an ocea
Glen Brown. What is at stake right now.
Dear Fred, you know I have said this many times: What is at stake right now is an adjudication of claims that public employees have against policymakers who have coerced changes to public employees’ benefits and rights and who are breaking public employees’ contractual and constitutional promises. These are legitimate rights and moral concerns not only for public employees, but for every citizen
Judge Belz and the injunction.
It is hard for a public employee to take good news in Illinois without checking on Snopes to see if isn’t a hoax. District Judge John Belz issued a temporary restraining order and and an injunction, preventing the implementation of pension theft as scheduled on July 1. My good friend John Dillon is not so ready to celebrate. And his arguments are – as they always are – sound. They can be summed u

MAY 14

Breaking. Received this at 3:45 from IRTA. Restraining order issued.
On May 14, 2014 Judge Belz granted the motion for a temporary restraining order. Therefore, the pension litigation has been stayed in its entirety until any future court order. This action is a very good sign for the plaintiffs.
Breaking. Court orders SB1 to be put on hold. Injunction!
Details coming.
An urban Spring?
Breaking. Pension injunction hearing scheduled for 1:30 PM today, Wednesday.
From public radio station WSIU: A hearing set for Wednesday afternoon could determine if some – or even all – of Illinois’ new pension law will be suspended. The law is supposed to take effect next month. A coalition of unions wants a hold put on the entire law, until a broader lawsuit seeking to have it declared unconstitutional is resolved. Anders Lindall is a spokesman for AFSCME, the state’s l
On the anniversary of Brown v Board of Education, stop “reform” segregation.
On the 60th anniversary of the historic ruling by the Supreme Court that outlawed segregated schools, a national network of community organizations has written to Attorney General Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan. “We respectfully request that you open an investigation of the racially discriminatory school closings that are the subject of these complaints.”  The letter is signed by
The power of Ras Baraka’s win in Newark yesterday.
The new Mayor of Newark, New Jersey, Ras Baraka and daughters. To get a feeling for the importance of Ras Baraka’s victory in the Newark Mayor’s race yesterday, don’t read my words. Read from the front page story of the election in this morning’s NY Times: “Mr. Jeffries (who lost to Baraka) enjoyed a sizable financial advantage thanks to outside groups, while Mr. Baraka relied on his family’s nam

MAY 13

News reports. Agreements to delay some university pension theft implementation.
Capitalfax is reporting an agreement between Attorney General Lisa Madigan and the State University Annuitants Association to delay the implementation of parts of PA 98-599. From AG Lisa Madigan: The agreement is pending as it requires judicial approval before going into effect. The agreement delays implementation of the pension law until July 1, 2015. Specifically, the agreement protects SURS mem
Rahm gets sent to the principals office.
The following is the letter to the Sun-Times from Troy A. LaRaviere, Principal, Blaine Elementary School I am the son of a black father from the South Side and a white mother from the North Side. I grew up in Bronzeville and now live in Beverly. I attended five Chicago Public Schools and I’ve taught in every corner of Chicago, in schools that were predominately African-American, Latino-American a
The pension theft injunctions have been filed. Have we all just been used as pawns?
Did Squeezy, Cullerton and Madigan know it would fail all along? The pension theft that was called Senate Bill 1, now called Public Act 98-599, is scheduled to take effect on July 1st. Current retirees will continue to receive their current benefit – including the post retirement increase we received last February – until next year. Current active teachers and state employees will be impacted on
NEA and AFT conventions. Looking ahead.
I will be back at the NEA Representative Assembly this summer as an elected Retired delegate. With the exception of one year, I have been to every convention since 1998. The one year I didn’t go it was in Los Angeles. The Illinois delegation was put up in a hotel near LAX and the convention was at the Staples Center. I know LA. It’s my hometown. The thought of taking a shuttle bus from LAX to the

MAY 12

Ken Previti. What kind of education do mothers want for their children?
Ken Previti is a retired Illinois teacher who now lives in Florida and blogs at Reclaim Reform.
We Are One Illinois seeks injunction to halt implementation of pension theft legislation.
Press Statement on Injunction Filing – Final – For Immediate Release Today, the We Are One Illinois union coalition and plaintiffs filed a motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in Sangamon County Circuit Court to seek a full stay of the implementation of Senate Bill 1 (Public Act 98-599), pending a resolution on the act’s merits. SB 1 slashes cost-of-living adjustmen
William Murphy. I have a student that lives in a trailer with 14 other human-beings.
Responding to Karen Lewis on the Pension Heist: This was good, disheartening and disturbing. It is a shame that I so often have to remind myself why I got into this profession. Not for the money, pension or the thanks (which seems to be less and less), but the kids. They can hate us, degrade us, and one day they will probably try to steal what’s left of my already dwindling pension security. Howev
Ten minute drawing. Common Core question.
It’s a union movement.
In 2010 Karen Lewis was elected President of the Chicago Teachers Union. She headed the slate of candidates organized by the Caucus of Rank and File Educators (CORE). The CORE slate won 60% of the vote in a crushing defeat for the old guard leadership. Micah Uetricht tells the story in his excellent book, Strike for America. In 2011 Bob Peterson, fifth grade teacher and editor of Rethinking Schoo
Juan Rangel’s money quote: “Teachers being disgruntled ­— it’s like any other business.”
Juan Rangel and Rahm. I always look forward to my brothers Monday morning blog post of weekend quotables. I admire his ability to pick out some good ones. There’s so many to choose from. I would like to add one more from Chicago Sun-Times reporter Dan Mihalopoulos. Mihalopoulos has been covering the UNO charter school mess for a long time. UNO, the United Neighborhood Organization, has close ties

MAY 11

Celia Oyler. It’s thrilling to see teachers standing up.
Barbara Madeloni and Dave Madeloni at Hynes Convention Center, Boston. - Celia Oyler is a Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University Barbara Madeloni has a clear analysis of the relationship between democracy and public schooling. I always feel invigorated while listening to her that we can win this war against predatory school deform. It’s thrilling to see teachers standing up for not on
Chicago neighborhood schools picnic.
Pawel Dzienkowski. Madeloni articulated the pure outrage that many of us in the trenches feel.
Fred, Perhaps more than anything else, Madeloni articulated the pure outrage that many of us in the trenches feel over the destruction and intentional starvation of the public education model being perpetrated by Government and Corporate America to facilitate the handover of our kid’s and democracy’s futures to for-profit entities who answer only to share holders. The game is rigged by politician
Pablophil. A Madeloni earthquake hits Massachusetts.
- Pablophil is a retired Massachusetts teacher and MTA union member. I attended the Annual Meeting, perhaps my 31st or 32nd. The current President has termed out, and there was widespread feeling – obviously- that the leadership has been more in a retreat (in terms of teacher empowerment and teacher benefits) than a leadership that is improving the lot of teachers. The leaving President overtly s

MAY 10

Mother’s Day.
Mom could not be ambivalent about anything. Her two favorite colors were black and white. Mom had little patience for shades of gray. She hated the things she hated. She loved the things she loved. She loved my father for reasons I still don’t entirely understand. She loved her women friends who loved her in return. Especially when her cancer arrived. She hated the cancer. They shared their love
Breaking. Barbara Madeloni elected to head Massachusetts Teachers Association.
Barbara Madeloni was the director of the secondary-teacher education program at UMass. Her contract wasn’t renewed after she spoke out against the Pearson teacher performance assessment. This weekend she was elected to head the Massachusetts Teachers Association, an AFT affiliate.   [yourtube:
Smart people talking about testing.
Keeping retirement weird. Appreciation.
To wrap up this year’s Teacher Appreciation Week I went up to Park Ridge to have lunch with some of my best teacher pals. The Friday lunch group that I was a member of for years has been decimated by retirements. Well. Not decimated exactly. Two of us retired. But damn if we haven’t been replaced by new teachers. It made me think about all the talk about teachers leaving the profession. The data