Let me throw you some numbers, 15, as in Mayor Curry was reelected with 15 percent of the city voting for him.
18, the number of percentage points that Nick Howland lost after raising six figures to a former teacher who ran for elected office for the first time
7, the number of current school board members we have who are in theory only answerable to the voters of their districts.
I had the following exchange with Nick Howland unhappy with a blog I had written.
Dude, the Mayor never asked me. Bowman did. We know each other thru FCMA and are both Navy veterans. I met Shine ONCE before my SB campaign. When I was the chair of the city’s EPB, where I was pretty even keeled. Scott didn’t even know I registered as a candidate! His “handpicked” successor was Donnie Horner Jr. Also, hate public schools? I was the only general election candidate last year with Kids in public schools! I’m a public school kid, so is my wife, brother, Mom, Dad, nephews. I’m open to good charters because my mom helped found noble street in Chicago, and it works, particularly for Hispanic and African american kids in the inner city. And in Chicago they need it. Stop making stuff up – and running people over – to support your view. It’s ugly and it’s unbecoming.
Ugly and unbecoming, hmm, you mean like running for a position you had no business running for, courting charters and taking money from people who would privatize our schools, that kind of unbecoming? Also do you not think Bowman and Curry came up with the list together? Do you think Curry whose children also attend public schools supports public schools? He sure didn’t seem to when he was at The Porter’s House last week or when he has dragged his feet about the tax referendum. Look send me an email saying you are committed to leaving the school board alone and not giving mayoral control over schools and I will celebrate you like the hero you would be, but short of that you should expect me to cover the CRC closely and often, and if you don’t think I can sway public opinion just look at the last school bard election. Finally I never said you hate public schools. Sheesh man, if you are going to bitch at me, at least get it right.
So what should you take from this, well it doesn’t seem as if Mr. Howland and I are going to have a beer anytime soon, but I also wanted him to prove me wrong about him joining the CRC to give the mayor control of the school board.
After waiting nearly, a day for his response I sent him this.
Hey, you know your silence is deafening and you are just proving what I think. Nick I get it you think I am a jerk, well prove me wrong about what I think about you. I would love to be wrong and would admit it to whoever would listen.
He replied and we had the following exchange.
Silent because I’m working. I’m committed to doing what I think will benefit the city, the community and it’s citizens. That’s it. Not everything’s a conspiracy.
and its apparent that you think mayoral control and a change to the make up of the school board would benefit the city, an opinion I disagree with
Why is apparent? I’ve not studied those issues or opined on them?
Notice once again I asked him if he had any plans to change the makeup the school board and give the mayor control and he said no, deflecting saying he hadn’t studied the issue.
This is reminiscent of last summer when I asked him if he supported amendment eight, a proposal so bad the supreme court eventually kicked it off the ballot that would have secede control of our schools to private interests. He said he needed to study the issue then too. Um what do you need to study, either you are for local control or you aren’t, either you are for voters picking their school board representatives or you aren’t.
I didn’t believe Howland back then, to many of his donors were for amendment 8 and I don’t believe him now. Curry is undoubtedly chomping at the bit to take over our schools and who do you think put Howland on the Charter review commission.
Howland who is basically a less angry Scott Shine who inexplicably has been appointed to the CRC as well, had his 18-point loss rewarded and like the public didn’t want what he was selling then, there is no way they will want what he is selling now, yet there he is proving the power structure of this city doesn’t really care what the voters think.
Probably nobody in the city’s history has been more critical of school board members and superintendents than me, but that doesn’t mean I don’t recognize this system is far better than whatever Curry’s lackeys on the CRC will come up with.
The fix is in my friends, the fix is in.