In the film "A Tale of Two Missions," Mayor Rahm Emanuel talks about Nobel Street Charter Schools having a "secret sauce" to success. What's in that sauce? The answers may shock you. Video after the jump.
BY BY JACKSON POTTER AND SARAH HAINDS
In the film "A Tale of Two Missions," Mayor Rahm Emanuel talks about Nobel Street Charter Schools having a "secret sauce" to success. What's in that sauce? The answers may shock you.
"Chicago Teachers Union Vs. Astroturf Billionaires" shows the story behind the film "A Tale of Two Missions."
On the surface, the schools appear to do very well exhibiting high test scores, a coherent and militaristic school culture and great graduation rates. However, there is a secret world of billionaires, vulture capitalists, union busters, financiers and Republican operatives who are the most prominent boosters and funders of Noble; and all the schools are named after them. The draconian social control exhibited in most Noble schools reveals a deep mistrust of low income students of color and their families. Exorbitant fees and intolerable expulsion policies also reveal a dark under-belly to the supposed success of their program.It begs the question, why so much financial and political support for a network that disenfranchises it’s students and parents? Could it have something to do with weakening the Chicago Teachers Union? Is it a coincidence that many of the schools are named after people who have funded union-busting initiatives and legislation?
Gary Comer College Prep – millionaire philanthropist, president of Lands’ End and owner of a multimillion dollar business of sailing equipment before he died in 2006.
Golder College Prep – named after Joan Goldner, wife of venture capitalist and billionaire Stanley Golder . Donated thousands, mainly to Republican candidates over the years.
Muchin College Prep — Arthur Muchin – in charge of resolving strikes, unlawful picketing and jurisdictional disputes on behalf of management against labor unions. Has counseled the White Sox, Chicago Bulls and banks. Numerous political contributions, mainly for democratic candidates.
DRW Trading College Prep (soon to be opened) – Kenneth Brody, Principal, donated $110,000 to Stand for Children – IL, $75,000 to Rahm’s campaign for mayor, and $10,000 to Brady’s campaign for senator[]. His wife Jacqueline recently donated $10,000 to Stand for Children.
Pritzker College Prep – Named after the billionaire Pritzker clan who own the Hyatt hotel chain. Most of the family, including Penny Pritzker, appointee of the Chicago Board of Education, have appealed their property tax bills – robbing the Chicago Public Schools of vital funds to help provide essential programs and interventions for our students
Chicago Bulls College Prep – Bulls and Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, with a net worth of $350 million, made his fortune in real-estate. As a baseball owner he has a reputation as one of the most militant anti-union and hard-liner bosses. Has donated nearly ½ a million dollars to a mixture of Republican and Democratic causes over the years. Nearby Crane High School, which CPS recently voted to close (but it will reopen as a new school in a year), has suffered from a decline in enrollment that the staff attributes to the opening of the Noble – Bulls school: what kid wouldn’t want to attend a high school associated with the Bulls? Very slick marketing move to further charter proliferation – “choice” is really who has a bigger marketing budget.
Rauner College Prep – named after Bruce Rauner, the man we can thank for inviting Stand for Children into Illinois. According to his bio from the company he is Principal of, GTCR Golder Rauner, LLC, he “Continues to be very committed to helping others succeed. He serves on the board of the Renaissance Schools Fund…is Chairman of the Education Committee of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago and past Chairman of the Chicago Public Education Fund…He was the principal donor for Chicago projects including…four new charter high schools on the near west side.” And, despite being so busy running a venture capital firm and serving on all these boards, hewas contemplating running for governor in Illinois on the Republican ticket. He’s a political strategist who knew that to win over Madigan in the fight over SB7 that Stand had to endorse Democrats, and he has a history with Rahm – “When Emanuel left the Clinton White House to become an investment banker in the ’90s, one of the big deals he helped put together was Rauner’s firm’s purchase of SecurityLink from SBC Ameritech, where Emanuel’s successor as White House chief of staff, William Daley, would later become company president.”
Rowe-Clark Math & Science Academy – John Rowe, is a newly retired chairman and CEO of Exelon Corp. Rowe is a trustee at the right-wing American Enterprise Institute, chairman of New Schools Chicago, and is past chairman of the Commercial Club of Chicago. He started a foundation, the Rowe Family Charitable Trust, and is credited with the fact that the Exelon corporation has donated nearly $300 million in the past eleven years. Politically, he’s all over the spectrum – donated little amounts (around $1,000) to candidates on both sides of the aisle, including some very colorful characters: George Ryan, Rod Blagojevich, and Paul Vallas. Two politicians he has donated to, Edwardo Acevedo and Dan Burke, are big charter supporters in the Illinois legislature.