Video clips prove that astroturf groups are fighting the battle to take over Chicago schools for profit, at the expense of students and teachers.
In my last installment of the Great Takeover of Chicago Schools, I took some heat for blaming Rahm Emanuel for his part in the school closure debacle. Commenters claimed Rahm had nothing whatsoever to do with the CPS, that it was independent and the mayor wasn't involved at all.
They were wrong.
The video has footage of a paid protester at one of the school closure hearings, who isn't exactly sure what he's protesting, but he's definitely convinced the pay is worth the effort, evidently. Kenzo Shibata at Huffington Post explains who paid him:
The video also features a man admitting to being paid to protest at the 2012 Crane School closing hearing. The Chicago Tribune reported last February that Rahm Emanuel's associate Greg Goldner's firm Resolute Consulting, a firm that worked on Mayor Rahm Emanuel's 2002 Congressional bid, allegedly paid people to protest at these hearings. The paid protesters largely blamed Chicago Teachers Union for problems in Chicago's schools.
There's more, and the partnerships are confusing and ugly.
The video begins with footage Tea Party blogger Andrew Marcus boasting about how he worked with Mayor Rahm Emanuel "against the Unions in this town." Marcus directed the film A Tale of Two Missions -- an anti-public school video featuring a candid interview with Mayor Emanuel. Tale of Two Missions was produced by a Tea Party-backed group in Michigan called the Education Action Group.
What part of "Rahm <3s Big Corporate Takeover of Chicago Public Schools" is difficult for anyone to understand after reading this? There still seems to be an element of denial when it comes to Rahm, despite his middle finger to the UAW while he was sitting at the Chief of Staff's desk in the White House.
There is good news on the education reform front, however. In Indiana, momentum seems to be growing to confront and turn away ALEC-sponsored school reforms. Once again, an interesting alliance seems to be forming against the Common Core Standards, with Americans for Prosperity, FreedomWorks, and teachers opposing them. It took the right wing groups to get Indiana legislators' attention, but evidently they have pulled back from full-scale adoption.
What will it take to get Rahm's attention? Here is the full video outlining the various astroturf efforts to privatize Chicago Public Schools. It will be a heavy lift and may need to involve ways to turn those tea party astroturfers into allies against Rahm's agenda. Whatever happens, everyone should know how the billionaires built an alliance to take over CPS. Share with your friends, please.