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The [Wednesday] Papers

By Steve Rhodes

"I had all but given up on mainstream coverage of Arne Duncan's lackluster record 'turning around' the Chicago Public Schools, but now a report from a business group long allied with the Mayor on school reform issues has come out slamming the district's record of achievement," Alexander Russo reports at This Week In Education.

In fact, Russo says, the report issued by the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club concludes that "Chicago Public School reform largely has failed."

Greg Hinz (correctly) calls the report a "blockbuster," though you wouldn't know it by the rest of the media's disinterest.

"The report directly challenges widespread claims by current and former CPS officials that local students have shown substantial progress over the last decade on standardized tests," Hinz writes.

"For instance, it notes a 2006 letter from then schools CEO Arne Duncan, now U.S. secretary of education, stating that the share of CPS students meeting or exceeding state standards had leapt 15 points in one year.

"In fact, it says, the change occurred because of a change in the test, not because of real educational gains. As a result, it points out, while a test cited by local officials showed that 71% of 8th graders met or exceeded state standards in 2007, a national test taken here the same year showed just 13% were up to par."

It's been fascinating to read Russo's reporting and aggregation at This Week in Education as well as at District 299 about Duncan in the last few months as the mainstream media has gushed over a Chicago school system and intrepid chief utterly unrecognizable to those of us living here and in touch with reality.

But Duncan is Obama's guy; reality is not allowed.

And indeed, the mainstream media has missed the entire debate not only about Duncan's appointment as Education Secretary but about all the attendant issues that Chicago and CPS are inescapably a part of.

The edusphere, on the other hand, has been aboil with a vibrancy missing from legacy media, perhaps because its filled with folks who actually care.

Tutting Tunney
In yet another move to rid the city of any semblance of street culture, Lakeview Ald. Tom Tunney wants to "add several blocks to the [Wrigley Field] area where it's already illegal to bang on buckets or sell food and merchandise from a cart, table or other temporary stand," the Tribune reports.

"It's a public safety issue," Tunney says.

Because so many people are getting hurt from flying drumsticks.


And when they came for the pedestrians, there was nobody left to stand up . . .

Gold Medal
To Ben Joravsky - again - for a perfect summation of the accidental unmasking of what our mayor knew and how he always knew it.


Of course, some of us out here in the blogosphere always knew it, too. But where were you, legacy media? If Pat Ryan told you he had found WMDs in Indiana, you'd have supported an invasion.


Saw a Chicago 2016 television commercial featuring Michael Jordan last night and thought, why doesn't he pony up the financial guarantee?


"There's a lot of people in my community who don't trust the 2016 committee," Ald. Richard Mell said on Tuesday.

Daley's reply?

"There's no credibility gap. I don't know where they get that."


I wonder if the mayor is polling on this. And parking meters. Paging Dana Herring!

"The appeal of making music videos for directors of the caliber of Scorsese, Landis, De Palma, and Sayles, and the recording artists who hired them, was in the aura of mutual reputation, and also, particularly for Scorsese and Landis, the chance to stage sequences like those in the musicals they grew up with," our very own Rod Heath writes as he revisits the iconic music videos of the 80s at Ferdy on Films.

Billy Mays Tribute
Similar To As Seen On TV.

Chicago Grows
The city of Chicago added 20,606 people from July 2007 to July 2008, according to the latest Census figures.

And they'll all be at the Taste of Chicago this weekend!

Or, to put it another way, we added almost half a ward.

Not Just Illinois
Without a doubt, Illinois lawmakers are a special breed of stupid.

And criminal.

And childish.

In short, they suck.

But in the interest of fairness, let us now pause to consider that Illinois is hardly the only state in the midst of a budget meltdown.

Waste of Chicago
If a recent trend holds up, vendors at the Taste of Chicago this year will have thrown out literally more than a ton of food by the time the event ends on July 5.

Clout Student One
Traced to Thompson.

Madoff Did Chicago
Victims included Pritzkers.

Grudge Match
IG vs. HR.


The Beachwood Tip Line: As seen.


Posted on July 1, 2009

MUSIC - Madonna vs. Moderna.
TV - Sundays With The Military-Industrial Complex.
POLITICS - Private Equity In The ER.
SPORTS - Suspicious Betting Trends In Soccer.

BOOKS - China Holding Swedish Publisher.


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