Example of a School Board Election (San Diego)

June 20, 2012 at 4:13 pm 43 comments

I thought I’d share this interesting passage from the Ravitch book that illustrates what a school board election might be like.  It’s not quite as easy as rallying parents to vote for Junior or ChicagoDad or MayFairDad, or whoever.  This is big spending, especially in the day of reform efforts.  This district did ultimately unseat the superintendant, but it took 3 elections (and apparently quite a bit of money was spent from different groups in the process.)

From Diane Ravitch’s book “The Death and Life of the Great American School System”

San Diego – attempts to unseat Supt Alan Bersin who was very top-down, non-collaborative:

In the fall of 2000, three of five school board members stood for reelection.  One (parent Frances Zimmerman) was out outspoken opponent of Superintendant Bersin.  The typical board race at that time cost about $40k, but leading business figures in the city contributed over $700k in an effort  to defeat Zimmerman.  Walmart heir John Walton (a supporter of charter schools and vouchers)and LA billionaire Eli Broad each contributed more than $100k to the campaign to defeat Zimmerman.  TV commercials attacked Zimmerman for “leading the fight against San Diego’s back to basics reform plan.”

The business onslaught against Zimmerman failed.  She was reelected with a bare majority, but the board nonetheless continued to have a 3-2 majority in Bersin’s favor.

In 2002, the school board election was again a battleground between pro- and anti-Bersin forces.  The SDEA (union) and CA Teachers Assn spent $614k in an effort to oust Bersin’s supporters.  But the election produced the same 3-2 majority favoring Bersin.  The climate for reform, however, had cooled as the state’ budget crisis was causing major cutbacks in funding.

In the 2004 election, Bersin finally lost his slim margin of control to a new board which had three anti-Bersin votes. Apparently the voters wanted a change.  One of the new members ran on a platform demanding Bersin’s ouster.  Bersin announced his resignation in 2005.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: , .

Summer Learnin’ – Had Me a Blast The 2013 Budget: The Good, The Bad, and the Fugly

43 Comments Add your own

  • 1. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 20, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    I remember reading this passage in the book…such a good read! Very pricy to unseat the Supt.

  • 2. anon  |  June 21, 2012 at 5:13 am


    Also check out PURE’s view of the Sun Times story, which describes another group of billionaires, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs headed by Bruce Rauner. Rauner was a business partner of the mayor’s when he worked in investment banking. In fall 2010 as Emanuel announced his candidacy, Rauner invited Stand for Children into Illinois to pass SB7.

    Billionaires involved in education often attend the Aspen Ideas Festival favor to exchange ideas. They favor a business model they like to call “entrepreneurial philanthropy.” (Arne Duncan attends, too.)

    Parents and teachers are not an integral part of their business model, our children, our tax dollars notwithstanding.

    As Jonah Edelman bragged in the 2011 Aspen video, his organization Stand for Children hired the best pr firm in Chicago to keep SB7 out of the media. The media didn’t report on the bill.

    Parents and teachers were in the dark and it passed with only one dissenting vote. But secrecy creates mistrust.

    So does:

    — Renting protestors from preachers to support school closings.
    — Using Stand for Children to recruit parents and teachers to speak in favor of a longer day at Board of Ed meeting — and then the Sun Times reports that the speaker actually wants a 6.5 not a 7.5 hour day.
    — Using CPS staff (the new Family and Community Engagement people) to save spots in line for speakers that Stand has recruited.
    — Using DFER’s Education Reform Now to make thousands of robo-calls against the strike authorization vote, angering parents.

    None of this had to be done this way.

    Unless the billionaires’ profit opportunities in education trump every other consideration of our politicians.

  • 3. anon  |  June 21, 2012 at 5:27 am


    And one more thing that didn’t have to be done surreptitiously.

    The way that the supposedly progressive website Change.org allowed misleading petitions by Michelle Rhee of StandFirst and Jonah Edelman of Stand for Children to intentionally trick viewers into signing up for membership in those 2 organizations.

    What is wrong with an honest debate?

    Is there something the billionaires and their PACs want to hide from parents and teachers during the President’s re-election campaign?

    Do they think it is going to work?

  • 4. southie  |  June 21, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    “BEST CHICAGO SCHOOL PARENTS” – Listed in the Reader today. Check it out.

  • 6. junior  |  June 21, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    And regarding their elected school board, people in San Diego now decry the politics, money and board control by special interest groups. Current movement there for — gasp! — an appointed school board. I guess the grass is always greener!


  • 7. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 21, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Yes, but School board member Shelia Jackson said at the end “People elected me to the board to make sure their schools were safe and to advocate for their families,”

    That’s what I want…a parent’s voice to be heard, no at the school, or pta, or lsc, but on the board!

  • 8. norwood  |  June 21, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    My book just arrived today. You are reading ahead. You must be in the accelerated gifted group for the online book club.

  • 9. junior  |  June 21, 2012 at 9:00 pm


    LOL. Really, did you expect her to actually say “I got elected with hundreds of thousands of dollars in union money, so I know which side my bread is buttered on”?

    Here’s how one citizen assessed the job done by the union-elected school board:

    “Aaahhh yes, another adult food fight about who has the worst model for public education. Should we support the adults in administration, those on the school board, those at the unions, or the adult business leaders? The answer is none of these adult groups deserve the support of parents, citizens or taxpayers. This year Our School Board took $20 million of Prop S money and gave to the downtown library project that legal can’t have a public school at this location. This year the District’s administration and Board created nine new area superintendents positions at $3 million, while they cut programs to train new teachers. This year the teachers union secured a promise of 7% pay raise in return for cutting the school year for the students by five days. How much improvement do you expect out of schools that spend 25% of their budget on employee benefits? 90% of the school budget is about the adults getting their money while the students get the scraps in the last 10%. Until the schools are run for student education instead of run as an adult jobs program, there will be no big improvements in the schools.”

  • 10. mom2  |  June 22, 2012 at 6:29 am

    The results of an elected school board sounds exactly as I feared. All sorts of opposing groups spend all this money that could have been used “for the kids” just to try to win a majority. And the end result is that you still have a board with members beholden to special interest groups that helped get them elected. Now everyone is focused on getting reelected instead of improving our schools. No thanks.

  • 11. anon  |  June 22, 2012 at 9:03 am

    If we could get a few answers.

    Does anyone know why every other school district in Illinois is elected?
    And can we draft a bill that sharply limits campaign funding for CPS school board members? Might be worthwhile then.


  • 12. Arthur  |  June 22, 2012 at 10:04 am

    This being Chicago, electing the board would lead to demands for seats proportionally awarded to each racial ethnic group, a la City Council. Probably would trade puppets for demagogues.

  • 13. Patricia  |  June 22, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    An elected school board in Chicago sounds like a complete nightmare. No thanks! I do not see how it would benefit the system and in fact, think it will regress even further into disarray. It is a $5.3 billion dollar operating budget. There will be even MORE corruption with politically backed hacks doing favors for those who funded their campaign. It will not be about the children at all. Yes, Rahm did appoint the current board and yes, Rahm is accountable for their performance. He can also make changes much faster instead of waiting for an election cycle (or three).

    While most of the state has elected school boards, it is for much smaller systems. Sometimes only 3-5 schools. And, there is plenty of corruption in many districts like Proviso and in the paper the other week Harvey elected a 2x convicted felon.

    I keep hearing this “parent voice” mantra. Of course, parent voice is important, but even those promoting parent voice have agendas and opposing viewpoints. There has to be a more productive solution to have CPS “hear” the parent voice. An elected school board will NOT accomplish this goal.

  • 14. LR  |  June 22, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    96% of school districts in the nation have elected school boards. What does this mean? Absolutely nothing! In that 96% I’m sure there are great schools and there are terrible schools. I really can’t decide on this issue. You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. As much as I like the idea of having a vote, I have nightmares about Stand for Children or other anti-union groups hijacking the election. I guess I lean towards an appointed school board because in the end, the mayor is going to get candidates who support his agenda elected anyway. And worse yet, he will have the satisfaction of saying, “The people elected this board.” I think I’d prefer to just vote for someone else in the next mayoral election if I don’t approve. I may consider supporting the concept of an elected board if there were strictly imposed legal limits on contributions. Also, no mayoral endorsements of candidates.

  • 15. Columbia Attorney  |  June 22, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    An elected school board won’t change anything? You are correct. Actually, it is probably better that Chicago have an appointed board. No one has to pay off any board members for their vote. Seriously, it would be so easy for someone to bribe an elected school board member who wasn’t wealthy. Who can bribe Penny Pritzker? The best way to get a good school board is to elect a good mayor. The problem in Chicago is that we actually have a good mayor but with a bad agenda when it comes to school reform.

  • 16. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 22, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    #7~Junior~you crack me up

    #12~Arthur~actually an elected bd could be divided up into certain areas, so all racial ethnic groups can be heard.

    #15. I don’t think we have a good mayor at all. He’s doing too much too quickly w/out any real knowledge. He needs to put forth his time and prioritize crime b4 anything else. Why would any1 want to tour and be in Chicago when crime is running our streets and he can’t get a handle on it.

    I’ve heard an elected school bd is under way. I’m all for it. Just my 2 pennies

  • 17. AlsoAnonymous  |  June 22, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    #16. I agree with you on all accounts. Bad mayor. Must tackle crime right away. I’m all for an elected school board. ALL for it. I’m beyond all for it. I can’t wait for it and pray that it happens! Accountability is key. Taxation WITH representation.

  • 18. Columbia Attorney  |  June 23, 2012 at 11:42 am

    No mayor is perfect. He’s a bad mayor when it comes to education but that’s about it. As far as crime goes, unless you can attribute the rise in crime to any of his new policies, I don’t know how you can blame him. The rise in crime was trending upwards before he became mayor. For all we know the crime rate could have trended much higher than what it is now had Rahm not taken control. But I do believe the rise in crime is related to the failed educational reforms that Rahm is trying to continue. Once a correlational study is established that links crime with inadequate school funding, then yes, you can blame Rahm for the rise in crime for not ensuring neighborhood schools are adequately resourced in the 1%’s conspiracy to privatize public schools.

  • 19. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 23, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Rahm is perfect~100% WRONG! He should have made his priority crime (focused on that)~why would companies want to come here or tourist, with the crap running through our streets. He should have hired the 1,000 cops he said he would in his campaign not shuffle them around. He is to be held accountable!

  • 20. North Center Mom  |  June 23, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    Didn’t Chicago used to have an elected board before Mayor Richard M. Daley changed it to an appointed board? The schools were not good then. What CPS needs is something far more radical: the breakup of the entire school district. I propose that we use the divisions that they have already created for us: CPSTier 1, CPSTier 2, CPSTier 3, and CPSTier 4. Give them each the same amount of money per pupil and let’s see how they do!

  • 21. MSS  |  June 23, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    He should have made his priority crime (focused on that)


    Maybe because teachers in Chicago are mostly women of latino or AA descent – easier to pick on them then the euro males

  • 22. cps alum  |  June 24, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Just a thought, but perhaps we could have something of a hybrid board? Some members are elected and some members are appointed.

  • 23. southie  |  June 24, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    “Dying to Teach: The Killing of Mary Eve Thorson.”

    We’d like to invite you to attend the premiere showing of a documentary by Chicagoan Myra Richardson entitled “Dying to Teach: The Killing of Mary Eve Thorson.”

    The film tells the story of Mary Eve Thorson, a 32-year-old elementary gym teacher in Ford Heights District 169 who took her life on Thanksgiving Day 2011. A Jan. 1 Chicago Tribune article on Ms. Thorsen refers to her note in which she tells of her frustration with the district’s school leaders, lack of resources, and lack of respect for teachers.

    A reception follows the film with live music and refreshments in celebration of teachers. Tickets are $8. Proceeds will go to Thorsen’s parents, who intend to use the money to help students in need.

    “Dying to Teach: The Killing of Mary Eve Thorson”
    June 30 at 4 pm
    Beverly Arts Center
    111th & Western Ave.
    Tickets $8
    Reception follows.

  • 24. old irving preschool mom  |  June 25, 2012 at 9:13 am

    When I attended HS (outside of Chicago), we had an elected school board, and it had it’s own host or problems. Elections were often a popularity contest, and the winners were often people who had NO CLUE about education, and pushing their own agendas. One was an old HS football hero, who commented that he did not care about the size of composition classes, but wanted to keep writing classes small (apparently having no idea that they were the same thing). We also got religious leaders who raised a stink about morality issues, objecting to the teaching of certain Shakespeare works!

    With the increasing politicization of school issues, I can’t even imagine what we would get with an elected school board in Chicago. I realize that this sounds un-democractic, but an elected school board may solve some problems, but would likely raise a whole host of others.

  • 25. WendyK  |  June 25, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Hi all – FYI, this campaign to get an elected representative school board on the ballot is just for an advisory referendum – to ask people if they support an elected school board. It is non-binding meaning it won’t change anything. Between now and November we feel like this healthy debate should take place – there are all different ways big cities do this and there are many issues no matter how you slice it.

    I have found almost no city has one person exclusively appointing members the way we do. Even those cities that have appointed boards, often have the governor and the mayor splitting picks. Some cities have a mix of elected and appointed.

    We are aware that if this gets to the legislative process there are many issues (such as campaign finance) that would need to be addressed if it were to go through. RYH got involved with this because the current board does not reflect real stakeholders in the system and when voting on a $5.3 billion dollar budget, we want people making decisions who understand how policies actually impact children’s lives in our schools.

    This is definitely a complicated issue. There certainly has to be a better way to vet policies in a collaborative and democratic fashion in this district than what we have now. We know this isn’t a panacea but doing nothing at this point seemed like a worse choice.

  • 26. anon  |  June 26, 2012 at 10:57 am

    # 18 There is a new policing policy that we can fault the mayor for. He disbanded the mobile gang units to put those cops onto beats — trying to make good on his campaign promise to add 1,000 new cops to the streets.

    Weiss’ thinking was that the gangs are mobile, and the cops should be too.

    Now we have gang attacks and shootings in Lincoln Park and the Gold Coast.

  • 27. anon  |  June 26, 2012 at 11:03 am

    From the blog, Second City Cop

    Another Perception Problem

    This is just ignorant:

    In what police are calling gang-related road rage, a man was shot and seriously wounded near the corner of Michigan Avenue and Ontario Street early this morning after he got out of a car and used a pipe to break the window of an SUV.

    When asked what the incident says about violence in the city, [First Deputy Superintendent] Wysinger replied: “I don’t think you can really attribute it to anything. You have two guys that seemingly got into some argument or traffic-related incident. They stopped, exchanged words and the person inside the damaged vehicle took offense.’’

    “This could have happened anyplace in the city or suburbs,’’

    But it didn’t happen “anyplace” Al. It happened at Michigan and Ontario, close to the heart and soul of the Chicago tourist industry. Add to that the recent beating in Wicker Park, the throat slashing in Wrigleyville, the car jacking by Goose Island, the like-clockwork beatings at the beaches and still barely covered weekend wildings downtown, we think it’s safe to say we’ve moved beyond a “perception problem.” We’re safely into a “reality problem.”

  • 28. anon  |  June 26, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Second City Cop: Crime is Down….Still
    Homicides totals in Chicago, 2012 compared to 2011

    Month 2011 2012
    January 28 40
    February 24 28
    March 23 53
    April 30 40
    May 38 50
    June 33 33
    Total 176 244

    So the next “killing” will be the record breaker for June.
    Labels: crim

  • 29. anonymous  |  June 27, 2012 at 6:33 am

    Could this be the end game?
    McCarthy is gone August 1 and Wysinger will be the new Superintendent.

    In the next few weeks, City Hall will play up how terrible crime is in Chicago. Expect the Times and Trib to headline any murder drama that pops up.

    Rahm told McCarthy that the Cease Fire partnership was going to happen and Garry told Rahm he would have nothing to do with it. Garry refused to be at the press conference and said he would not tarnish his reputation by taking part in this. Rahm was forced to make this announcement today after the NY Times ran a cover article about Chicago’s homicide rate. Rahm again called McCarthy and basically begged him to go to the press conference. McCarthy told him No Way! Rahm was himself supposed to go to the press conference but sent a lackey because he didn’t want to answer questions about McCarthy’s absence.

    McCarthy has basically dared Rahm to fire him. If Rahm’s reporter-supporters can get the public screaming about crime, then McCarthy is gone August 1.
    This ties in perfectly with the points we made in the post right below this one about Wysinger being placed front and center while McCarthy is nowhere to be seen and Rahm isn’t around for the announcement that the Chicago Police Department has been forcible partnered up with gang bangers.

    Labels: from the comments


    $1 Million Pissed Away
    Brilliant fucking move Rahm:

    Despite skepticism that’s been voiced by police Supt. Garry McCarthy, the Chicago Police Department announced plans Tuesday for its first-ever partnership with the CeaseFire anti-violence group.

    CeaseFire will get $1 million through the city’s Department of Public Health to target crime in two Chicago police districts under a pilot program, to begin July 13.

    The money will put 20 additional CeaseFire workers in each of those two districts.

    But here are some of the entertaining parts:

    Privately, some Chicago police officials say they worry about CeaseFire staffers continuing in a life of crime.

    The Chicago Sun-Times reported last month that six of them have been charged with crimes over the past five years while on the CeaseFire payroll.

    Tio Hardiman, the head of CeaseFire Illinois, responded that he fires staffers when he learns they engaged in criminal activity. He described the six former CeaseFire workers mentioned in the story as “bad apples,” saying every organization including the police department has them. They constitute less than 2 percent of the 300 staffers hired by CeaseFire, according to the group.

    Sources say the partnership with CeaseFire is being driven by City Hall — and not the police department.

    Less than 2%? Impressive. Now how about some one in the media total up the number of coppers who have gotten in trouble over the past few years. Even if it ends up being 100 coppers (which it isn’t anywhere near) that’s less than 1%.

    Now try that with the aldercreatures. Or former Illinois governors. Oops. Not so impressive all of the sudden, is it? And Rahm is taking advice from everyone except the coppers as far as CeaseFire goes.

    And how about this from Tio himself:

    Police sources said CeaseFire initially balked at some of the department’s demands, including requiring CeaseFire workers who learn of brewing violence to notify the Chicago Police Department and having CeaseFire undergo the same sort of tough evaluation that police commanders are subjected to under the department’s CompStat system.

    The agreement made public Tuesday included the CompStat requirement, but not the reporting requirement.

    “We are not going to be informants or snitches for nobody,” Hardiman said when asked about it Tuesday.

    Well then what’s the point Tio? Oh yeah, the million dollars. We forgot. As soon as those words left Tio’s lips, or even crossed his mind, Rahm ought to have yanked the funding and dumped it back to wherever he stole it from. Hardiman and his people are unrepentant gang bangers with an agenda and their fingers are in a lot of pies that are being overlooked. Tio is refusing to even pretend to be a good citizen, because last time we checked, CeaseFire was not a duly authorized law enforcement agency authorized to take actions to stop the mayhem on the streets.

    And we love how Wysinger is out front on this one. Either (A) McCarthy is having nothing to do with this, (B) Al is being groomed to take over the number one spot in short order or (C) Al is being set up as the fall guy should Tio and his followers prove as inept as supposed by ourselves and many others.

  • 31. DaveMom  |  July 2, 2012 at 1:44 am

    Did Amy kotz find a new school? Which schools are still looking for a principal?

  • 32. IBobsessed  |  July 2, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    The state board of education can dismantle even elected school boards in districts that fail to make adequate academic progress. They have done so recently in 2 IL districts. See http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/22/education/illinois-state-removes-2-school-boards.html?ref=education

  • 33. anonymouse teacher  |  July 2, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    I think it might be interesting to have a thread regarding the Monday Trib article discussing the attacks by students on teachers and the long term implications on staff mental health.

  • 34. Sped Mom  |  July 3, 2012 at 10:14 am

    @ 33. anonymouse teacher: I’d love to see that discussion here. Very rich stuff. Another aspect is the some in the sped population and physical danger between student, staff and teachers. I didn’t access that Trib story online yet (it was behind a registration wall). Trib online comments are always something to read (if way-crazy at times).

  • 35. anonymous  |  July 13, 2012 at 7:52 am

    From Second City Cop, Friday July 13, 2012


    Word is that the bosses downtown have dictated that no mention of CeaseFire will appear on any case report or arrest reports, especially as it relates to any arrests being made. This is probably in response to the numerous instances we pointed out of the “former” thugs getting caught dirty, time and time again.

    It also makes it harder to spin instances like this:
    Hey SCC get this right now in area south the offender who shot the two girls leaving the park had through the hard work of fugitive apprehension unit been set to turn himself in.

    Now because of political considerations and rumor of a little cash to dad Cease fire is going to accompany the offender to area south in front of prearranged news cameras. The guys who worked this and beat the bushes to get this guy are getting sent away so some felon can say he talked this guy into surrendering. The offender had nowhere to go….

    Sing chased his family was cooperating and now for some quick cash and good press the police are being told to walk away. God help us. Please stay safe back each other up and remember the brass will sell you down the river just to make political points.
    So the Fugitive Apprehension Unit does the grunt work, chasing leads and beating the bushes, but since we’re sharing all our information with the assholes and they need something/anything to counteract the bad press they so richly deserve, they’re getting the credit for this?

    A-fucking-mazing. Could someone in the press ask exactly what it was that lead CeaseFire to this individual? Any investigatory tips and clues so the CPD could pick up some pointers? As they stammer through some bullshit, everyone can get a clue as to how the public is being played.

    UPDATE: Here comes the counter-spin:
    The man surrendered to Area South detectives Thursday evening, according to police News Affairs Officer Daniel O’Brien. Police are calling him a person of interest in the shooting.

    The man’s family contacted anti-violence group CeaseFire Roseland through an attorney to help facilitate the man’s surrender at the Calumet District police station, said Bob Jackson, the head of CeaseFire Roseland.

    The Trib also has CeaseFire mentioned prominently. We wonder what it must be like to live your entire adult life as a tool for the Rahms of the world. All in search of that byline and an invitation to the dinner parties.
    Labels: un-believable


  • 36. anonymous  |  July 13, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Second City Cop

    CPS Shortfall is the Fault of Police
    That’s the message we’re getting:

    “A newly-acquired secret agreement obtained in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed by the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) confirms that Chicago Public Schools (CPS) diverted about $70 million, largely from teacher salaries and unemployment benefits, to avoid paying teachers a promised 4 percent contractual raise last school year. The money was instead given to the Chicago Police Department (CPD), mostly as payment for services previously rendered under prior agreements. CPS then falsely told the media that these payments were “owed” to CPD, and that CPS “had no choice” but to make these payments.

    Records obtained from the FOIA lawsuit show that CPS has been paying about $8 million per year to CPD since 2002 for two police officers to be stationed at approximately 100 high schools to process arrests of juvenile offenders. The officers are supervised exclusively by CPD personnel. CPS provides, at its own expense, computer terminals connected to CPD for the officers’ use. CPS approved this continuing arrangement on February 24, 2010 (10-0224-PR16), authorizing the $8 million annual payments from January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2012, for a total cost of $32.8 million.”

    Comment by Second City Cop: This is one of those accounting tricks that fools a lot of people. The Police Department manned over 100 CPS high schools for years. The salaries of the officers were paid for out of the CPS operating budget. The city is just moving money from one account to another since everyone involved works for the city.

    But now, we get to take the blame for Rahm sticking it to the teachers when he denied them their 4%. Funny how that works out.
    Labels: money questions


  • 37. IB obsessed  |  July 18, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    Anyone notice this in the Suntimes?


    Call/Email your alderman

  • 38. GunsaulusParent  |  July 25, 2012 at 1:24 am

    To #31
    You are in the wrong blog. Look at the discussion thread on principal selection. And let’s all pray that Amy Kotz is never hired as a principal again after what she put Gunsaulus Academy through.

  • 39. Moore and Rahm block elected board  |  August 6, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Interesting read: http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/moore-and-emanuel-block-elected-school-board/Content?oid=7095690

  • 40. Sped Mom  |  August 7, 2012 at 4:33 pm


    Rod Estvan always has something interesting to say.

  • 41. Myra Richardson  |  September 22, 2012 at 10:37 am

    On Thanksgiving Day, 2011, a young teacher by the name of Mary Eve Thorson sacrificed her life by standing in front of a moving semi-truck. She was only 32 years old. Mary left behind a detailed 6 page suicide letter, which exposed the extreme levels of bullying the other teachers were being subjected to within her school at the hands of administrators/educators, the students whom were adversely affected as a direct consequence of watching the abuse unfold, and the poor condition of the institution. An article was written about Mary’s death and appeared in the Chicago Tribune on January 1st, 2012. It caused bullied teachers across the state of Illinois and throughout the country to speak out…in particular to Mary’s parents, John and Shari Thorson – I was one of those teachers. I was invited to have my film (DYING TO TEACH: The Killing of Mary Eve Thorson, “Educators Who Bully”) based upon Mary’s story premiere at the Save Our Schools convention in Washington, DC this past August. The documentary was also promoted by the Chicago Teachers Union in June. Teachers are in pain. Teachers are in hiding. Teachers are killing themselves. This matter is no less serious than children who began taking their lives due to bullying by their peers; and, this happened because the issue wasn’t taken as seriously as it should have been. I have started a petition on Change.org, in an attempt to garner support and protection for bullied teachers by way of an anti-bullying bill which would be in Mary Thorson’s name. To this point, there is no legislation in place to prevent teachers from being inhumanely treated within the workplace. I would like for persons to please enter the link provided, and sign the petition for this very important bill. Teachers are too valuable to ignore this matter any longer.

    Thank you.


  • 42. John Olsen  |  September 27, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    Amy Kotz was hired by Pilsen Wellness Center to be the principal of their charter school, Latino Youth High School. From what I’ve heard she’s changed the schedule to take away the teachers’ prep periods and has already driven off some of the staff.

  • 43. teachersformary  |  July 8, 2013 at 7:23 am

    On August 8th, 2013 at 6p.m., a Bullied Teachers’ Forum & Protest Art Exhibit will be held at The Keith House in Chicago. The venue is located at 1900 South Prairie Avenue. The work of art called, DYING TO TEACH, will be unveiled at the event, and is a collaborative project made by concerned parents in dedication to bullied teachers – living and dead. Mary Eve Thorson’s family will be in attendance for this special night. Their daughter’s self-sacrifice for bullied teachers and children was the subject of the documentary, DYING TO TEACH: The Killing of Mary Eve Thorson, “Educators Who Bully.” The film was requested by the Save Our Schools organization for their convention in Washington, DC last August. On April 5th, CBS 2 Chicago aired an interview with John and Shari Thorson about the continued impact of their daughter’s tragic death on teachers across the country. Mary’s documentary was also a topic of discussion. If you’ve been bullied by an administrator or know of a colleague being bullied, then please attend and make your voices heard. Teachers are dying figuratively and now literally. This is an opportunity to stand together and show the world that we refuse to be treated inhumanely. If we don’t act now, more teachers will kill themselves and the students who love them will suffer as a consequence.

    Thank you.

    Myra Richardson

What do you think?

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed




Blog Stats

  • 6,163,382 hits

%d bloggers like this: