Obama’s SecEd manipulated school lists to favor powerful

posted at 10:12 am on March 23, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Chicago Breaking News reported late last night that former Chicago schools chief and current Secretary of Education Arne Duncan manipulated a system to favor powerful political allies by placing their children in the schools of their choice.  The discovery of a  list, the existence of which had been long denied by the city, and its composition of mainly high-powered political figures calls into question the appeals system used to reconsider applications that had been denied by the top Chicago-area schools:

While many Chicago parents took formal routes to land their children in the best schools, the well-connected also sought help through a shadowy appeals system created in recent years under former schools chief Arne Duncan.

Whispers have long swirled that some children get spots in the city’s premier schools based on whom their parents know. But a list maintained over several years in Duncan’s office and obtained by the Tribune lends further evidence to those charges. Duncan is now secretary of education under President Barack Obama.

The log is a compilation of politicians and influential business people who interceded on behalf of children during Duncan’s tenure. It includes 25 aldermen, Mayor Richard Daley’s office, House Speaker Michael Madigan, his daughter Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, former White House social secretary Desiree Rogers and former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun. …

The list surfaced amid a federal probe and an internal investigation into admissions practices at the city’s top high schools. Until Monday, the district had not revealed it had kept such a list.

The list was maintained by a top Duncan aide, David Pickens, currently chief of staff to the president of the Chicago Board of Education. Pickens said he created the log at Duncan’s behest to track the flood of calls pouring into district offices from parents, politicians and business leaders trying to navigate the system’s mysterious and maligned application process.

But Pickens acknowledged the list was kept confidential. The vast majority of parents who follow the system’s school application process never knew they could appeal to Duncan’s office for special consideration.

Why not?  Pickens said that they “didn’t want a bunch of people calling.”  No, apparently Duncan and his staff only wanted certain people calling — people like the Madigans, Mosely Braun, and so on.  The kind of people who could do something for Duncan, like perhaps push his own political career forward until he got a spot like … Secretary of Education.

This is bald corruption.  Having a secret process that only the powerful know to get preferential treatment for their children is the antithesis of openness and transparency.  It turned Chicago schools and their admission process from an open competition to another spoils process in the Chicago Machine.  It’s not surprising, given the rampant corruption in the Windy City, but it is disgusting.  Parents of children who got aced out of a spot in the school of their choice now have to assume that Duncan and his team gamed the system, putting children at a disadvantage in order  to gain political favor for themselves.

Anyone participating in that system should leave public service immediately, including Duncan himself.  Will Mr. Hope and Change keep Duncan as part of his White House team and endorse this patronage system built on the backs of children?


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Comment pages: 1 2 3

This country needs a good colon cleanse, or something.

Diane on March 23, 2010 at 10:31 AM

How dare you post in that manner. You are better than that./

CWforFreedom on March 23, 2010 at 10:55 AM

I would that by now even Ed would have stumbled across a truth best covered by a tired old football analogy:

When a football coach consistently hires the worst possible players, those with no experience, no talent, and histories of egregious rules violations, the team owners don’t waste time worrying about each bad player.

They fire the coach.

When, oh when, do the calls from HA to impeach Papa Doc Obama, the central focus for corrupt, untalented and generally rotten team members, begin?

Or, more aptly put, why is so much time spent worrying about the soldati when we can cut off the head of the most vile, incompetent and America-hating regime ever to threaten the existence of our nation by going straight for the Boss of Bosses?

Hmmmmm?

MrScribbler on March 23, 2010 at 10:55 AM

Is this story any different than big brother mandating health care for all of us, but not for them?

Keemo on March 23, 2010 at 10:56 AM

–Isn’t this effectively the same thing that GWB’s father and grandfather did for him at Yale and Harvard Business School? He got preferential treatment because he was an alumni’s kid (who probably made a big grant to the schools)?

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 10:45 AM

Wow aren’t you the tool.

1 Not even the same
2 Do two wrongs make a right?
3 Do we have to live with corruption as long as idiots like you can point out that someone else did something wrong?

CWforFreedom on March 23, 2010 at 10:57 AM

B+

redwhiteblue on March 23, 2010 at 10:57 AM

–Isn’t this effectively the same thing that GWB’s father and grandfather did for him at Yale and Harvard Business School? He got preferential treatment because he was an alumni’s kid (who probably made a big grant to the schools)?

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 10:45 AM

LOL – “OMG BUSH *froth froth* BUSH!1!”

We can certainly count on you to ignorantly and continually miss the point on virtually any topic, can’t we?

You never disappoint!

Midas on March 23, 2010 at 10:57 AM

Question: Is this a land governed by laws?

Keemo on March 23, 2010 at 10:51 AM

Not any longer, now it’s governed by men, corrupt, power hungry men.

jnelchef on March 23, 2010 at 10:57 AM

Haha – aw, that’s so cute. Citing the Constitution as though it applies to Democrats.

Midas on March 23, 2010 at 10:54 AM

Oh yeah…I thought that sounded familiar. Isn’t that on the banned book list at Berkley?

BobMbx on March 23, 2010 at 10:57 AM

Jimbo, the only problem with your lame comparisn is that this situation is not college, it is high school. Or am I wrong? I couuld be wrong but in Chicago there is a selection process for public high school.

ORconservative on March 23, 2010 at 10:58 AM

Isn’t this effectively the same thing that GWB’s father and grandfather did for him at Yale and Harvard Business School? He got preferential treatment because he was an alumni’s kid (who probably made a big grant to the schools)?

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 10:45 AM
Private schools for one person (Bush) vs. Public schools for “special people”?

Same thing.

Riiiiiiight.

Mark Boabaca on March 23, 2010 at 10:54 AM

–It looks like they’re magnet schools; many big cities have them and competition to get into them is fierce. Sorry, can’t get worked up about this.

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 10:58 AM

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 10:45 AM

Interesting you show no disgust at this story. You truly are an idiot.

CWforFreedom on March 23, 2010 at 10:58 AM

This country needs a good colon cleanse, or something.

Diane on March 23, 2010 at 10:31 AM

The Joker – “This town needs an enema!”

Midas on March 23, 2010 at 10:59 AM

Jimbo just saw your 1058 am post ….you are really and truly the tool .

The log is a compilation of politicians and influential business people who interceded on behalf of children during Duncan’s tenure. It includes 25 aldermen, Mayor Richard Daley’s office, House Speaker Michael Madigan, his daughter Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, former White House social secretary Desiree Rogers and former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun.

NOT THE SAME. Did you graduate from a public school? You sure act like it. Your ability to grasp meaning is completely missing.

CWforFreedom on March 23, 2010 at 11:00 AM

–It looks like they’re magnet schools; many big cities have them and competition to get into them is fierce. Sorry, can’t get worked up about this.

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 10:58 AM

Of course not. It concerns your Administration. Nothing to see here. No corruption at all. Relative morality, relative ethics, etc.

kingsjester on March 23, 2010 at 11:00 AM

Question: Is this a land governed by laws?

Keemo on March 23, 2010 at 10:51 AM

Alcee Hastings answered that question last week.

MarkTheGreat on March 23, 2010 at 11:01 AM

This country needs a good colon cleanse, or something.

Diane on March 23, 2010 at 10:31 AM

The Joker – “This town needs an enema!”

Midas on March 23, 2010 at 10:59 AM

Hey guys just argue the points without such gross statements. Diane right? We are better than that eh? / lol

CWforFreedom on March 23, 2010 at 11:01 AM

–It looks like they’re magnet schools; many big cities have them and competition to get into them is fierce. Sorry, can’t get worked up about this.

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 10:58 AM

When the outcome is not in question, there is no competition.

Again, your socialist indoctrination fails you. Now that you’ve discovered that you have no argument and cannot defend the other good little socialists, its time to “move on”.

BobMbx on March 23, 2010 at 11:01 AM

–It looks like they’re magnet schools; many big cities have them and competition to get into them is fierce. Sorry, can’t get worked up about this.

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 10:58 AM

“competition to get into them is fierce”

Not if you’re on the list, of course. Again, um… that’s the point, nitwit.

Midas on March 23, 2010 at 11:02 AM

Of course not. It concerns your Administration. Nothing to see here. No corruption at all. Relative morality, relative ethics, etc.

kingsjester on March 23, 2010 at 11:00 AM

JIMBO is the Classic Useful Idiot. I think he knows it but he loves to play along.

CWforFreedom on March 23, 2010 at 11:02 AM

Not if you’re on the list, of course. Again, um… that’s the point, nitwit.

Midas on March 23, 2010 at 11:02 AM

Yes- not the same. Jimbo has a comprehension problem.

CWforFreedom on March 23, 2010 at 11:03 AM

The Joker – “This town needs an enema!”

Midas on March 23, 2010 at 10:59 AM

Smart man.

How dare you post in that manner. You are better than that./

CWforFreedom on March 23, 2010 at 10:55 AM

I’m all about natural health. For the country! :)

Diane on March 23, 2010 at 11:03 AM

–It looks like they’re magnet schools; many big cities have them and competition to get into them is fierce. Sorry, can’t get worked up about this.

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 10:58 AM

Tough competition justifies a special system for the elite to avoid the competition.

Nice set of non-existent standards you got there.

Then again, you’re a lawyer.

MarkTheGreat on March 23, 2010 at 11:04 AM

I’m all about natural health. For the country! :)

Diane on March 23, 2010 at 11:03 AM

What you are is a hypocrite.

CWforFreedom on March 23, 2010 at 11:04 AM

Jimbo just saw your 1058 am post ….you are really and truly the tool .

The log is a compilation of politicians and influential business people who interceded on behalf of children during Duncan’s tenure. It includes 25 aldermen, Mayor Richard Daley’s office, House Speaker Michael Madigan, his daughter

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, former White House social secretary Desiree Rogers and former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun.
NOT THE SAME. Did you graduate from a public school? You sure act like it. Your ability to grasp meaning is completely missing.

CWforFreedom on March 23, 2010 at 11:00 AM

–So, I guess a cultural elitist like you must have gone to a private school?

Read the article more closely. Keeping a list doesn’t mean these people were automatically admitted:

“Often a sponsor’s request was rejected. Principals responded that a student’s scores were too low, or that the school was full. In other cases, the student hadn’t even taken the required admissions test, and therefore could not be considered, according to the documents.

….
The list was maintained by a top Duncan aide, David Pickens, currently chief of staff to the president of the Chicago Board of Education. Pickens said he created the log at Duncan’s behest to track the flood of calls pouring into district offices from parents, politicians and business leaders trying to navigate the system’s mysterious and maligned application process.

….

Pickens said that principals grew tired of getting calls from influential people seeking admission for a student, and that by centralizing it, he could serve as a firewall. After getting a request, he or another staffer would look up the child’s academic record. If the student met their standard, they would call the principal of the desired school.

Pickens said the calls from his office were not directives to the principals — no one was ever told they had to accept a student. Often, students did not get any of their top choices but were placed in larger, less competitive, but still desirable schools such as Lane Technical High School.

Duncan has remained mum on the list. “We never pressured principals or told them what to do or said this person needs to be considered over this person,” said Duncan spokesman Peter Cunningham. “It’s just a way to manage the information.”

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 11:04 AM

–It looks like they’re magnet schools; many big cities have them and competition to get into them is fierce. Sorry, can’t get worked up about this.

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 10:58 AM
When the outcome is not in question, there is no competition.

Again, your socialist indoctrination fails you. Now that you’ve discovered that you have no argument and cannot defend the other good little socialists, its time to “move on”.

BobMbx on March 23, 2010 at 11:01 AM

–It looks like they’re magnet schools; many big cities have them and competition to get into them is fierce. Sorry, can’t get worked up about this.

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 10:58 AM
“competition to get into them is fierce”

Not if you’re on the list, of course. Again, um… that’s the point, nitwit.

Midas on March 23, 2010 at 11:02 AM

–You know what? People with tons of money and connections always seem to find ways to get their kids into better schools, better jobs, etc. This is no different IMHO. Sorry, not a big deal to me.

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 11:06 AM

Duncan has remained mum on the list. “We never pressured principals or told them what to do or said this person needs to be considered over this person,” said Duncan spokesman Peter Cunningham. “It’s just a way to manage the information.”

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 11:04 AM

And Al Capone was a businessman who gave to charity.

kingsjester on March 23, 2010 at 11:07 AM

It’s just like ACORN, furthering their own agenda at the expense of the people they are supposed to serve.

TN Mom on March 23, 2010 at 11:07 AM

–It looks like they’re magnet schools; many big cities have them and competition to get into them is fierce. Sorry, can’t get worked up about this.

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 10:58 AM

It doesn’t matter. It’s still a public school. The whole point is that the rich and powerful get special treatment while you and me have our kids stuck in shitholes unless you’re proactive about your child’s education.

uknowmorethanme on March 23, 2010 at 11:07 AM

–Isn’t this effectively the same thing that GWB’s father and grandfather did for him at Yale and Harvard Business School? He got preferential treatment because he was an alumni’s kid (who probably made a big grant to the schools)?

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 10:45 AM

Children of alumni typically get extra admissions points in their favor under most schools’ legacy policies — and that’s true regardless of whether the parent made “a big grant” to the school or not.

It’s the same system that helped George W. Bush get into Yale, and also helped Barack Hussein Obama, Jr., get into Harvard (Barry’s father, Barack Hussein Obama, Sr., was a Harvard alum). And unlike the Chicago scheme, it’s not a secret.

AZCoyote on March 23, 2010 at 11:08 AM

Haha – aw, that’s so cute. Citing the Constitution as though it applies to Democrats.

[Midas on March 23, 2010 at 10:54 AM]

Yeah, I know, but one can’t have rule of law unless one applies the law.

Demand the rules of law be applied, rather than appealing to namby pamby cliches of openness or transparency and you may find yourself living under it.

Dusty on March 23, 2010 at 11:08 AM

Back in 1972 in New York, a friend of my dad was one of the ones who pushed the city’s Board of Education to finally start releasing the test scores for entry into the city’s academic/science high schools (Stuyvesant, Bronx Science and Brooklyn Tech), so that parents and kids would know both what their scores were and what the cutoff score was for admission to the school.

I’m assuming that the schools the Chicago elites are trying to get their kids into fall into the same category, and you would think that there would then be a record of both the scores the kids of those elites and what the cutoff was to get those kids into the school of their choice.

jon1979 on March 23, 2010 at 11:08 AM

–You know what? People with tons of money and connections always seem to find ways to get their kids into better schools, better jobs, etc. This is no different IMHO. Sorry, not a big deal to me.

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 11:06 AM

Yeah, because they can pay for it.

Not because they have crony friends in high levels of Gov’t to help them out.

uknowmorethanme on March 23, 2010 at 11:08 AM

This is just like the corrupt admissions path to U of I used by Illinois Dems.

U of I Scandal

This is what it will be like under Obamacare, folks.

PattyJ on March 23, 2010 at 11:09 AM

Chicago is just like the old USSR. Everyone is equal, except that some are more equal than others.

drjohn on March 23, 2010 at 11:09 AM

JIMBO yes the useful idiot as you keep proving. So you did graduate from a public school. Not surprised.

Not one of the elites here. Nice try.

The fact that 75 percent of those on the list were “connected” sure means something. But play along we know you enjoy being that way.

CWforFreedom on March 23, 2010 at 11:09 AM

JIMBO I wonder are you for school choice and if so do you get angry over the fact that Obama has essentially taken that away from many deserving children?

CWforFreedom on March 23, 2010 at 11:11 AM

And unlike the Chicago scheme, it’s not a secret.

AZCoyote on March 23, 2010 at 11:08 AM

Weird how they tried to hide it as it was no big deal. Just ask Jimbo.

CWforFreedom on March 23, 2010 at 11:12 AM

JIMBO I wonder are you for school choice and if so do you get angry over the fact that Obama has essentially taken that away from many deserving children?

CWforFreedom on March 23, 2010 at 11:11 AM

–Sure. I’m all for school choice as long as you pay for the school and don’t expect me to directly or indirectly fund any private schools through my tax dollars or tax deductions or tax credits.

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 11:13 AM

Weird how they tried to hide it as it was no big deal. Just ask Jimbo.

CWforFreedom on March 23, 2010 at 11:12 AM

lol, bingo.

Midas on March 23, 2010 at 11:13 AM

Just one more similarity between the current Democrap leadership and the old Soviet bosses. The peasants in Russia stood in lines for everything from bread scraps to toilet paper while the party apparatchik lived in relative splendor.

uncalheels on March 23, 2010 at 11:14 AM

What you are is a hypocrite.

CWforFreedom on March 23, 2010 at 11:04 AM

One more time:

Yesterday I came onto the Rush thread and saw some creative guess work being done on a liberal troll’s personhood. They were called a 200+lb greasy haired cutter. Nice, right? I suggested that was tasteless toward an idividual and fruitless, better to fight libs (yes, even trolls) with ideas (not the same idiotic name calling as they often employ). I was called a n00b RINO, of all laughable things, along with hypocrite for suggesting that those who then started guessing about my personal life were gossips/speculators…as I said, I’m pretty open, if there are questions, just check out my links and other posts.

But, yeah, totally the same thing for me to say our country needs a damn good internal cleaning because of the corruption. Sounds a lot like calling a troll a fat, greasy haired self-harmer. *eyeroll*

Diane on March 23, 2010 at 11:14 AM

Weird how they tried to hide it as it was no big deal. Just ask Jimbo.

CWforFreedom on March 23, 2010 at 11:12 AM
lol, bingo.

Midas on March 23, 2010 at 11:13 AM

It was the principals of the various schools that authorized the exceptions, not Duncan or his aide:

“In 2008, Duncan created a formal process where students initially denied acceptance could get in based on five criteria, including outstanding extracurricular activities or ability to overcome hardship. But even that didn’t stop principals from violating the rules and enrolling students who did not fit the criteria, district officials have said.

Pickens said that every student on his list applied for principal discretion.”

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 11:16 AM

Jimbo but they hid it because ?

You are useful.

CWforFreedom on March 23, 2010 at 11:17 AM

*eyeroll*

Diane on March 23, 2010 at 11:14 AM

Your level of class is something to be desired. Now I get it. Thank you for clearing that up. /

CWforFreedom on March 23, 2010 at 11:18 AM

–Sure. I’m all for school choice as long as you pay for the school and don’t expect me to directly or indirectly fund any private schools through my tax dollars or tax deductions or tax credits.

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 11:13 AM

I’ll see your ‘tax dollars’ and raise you ‘evolutionary teaching.’ Until then, we need vouchers.

fossten on March 23, 2010 at 11:19 AM

–You know what? People with tons of money and connections always seem to find ways to get their kids into better schools, better jobs, etc. This is no different IMHO. Sorry, not a big deal to me.

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 11:06 AM

So, why did Arne Duncan kill the D.C. Voucher program? A program which helped minority children from below poverty to be able to attend the area’s best schools. Cost was NOT an issue – perhaps payback to the teacher UNIONS took priority over the little children.

What about the children? WHO cares for them?

TN Mom on March 23, 2010 at 11:20 AM

It was the principals of the various schools that authorized the exceptions, not Duncan or his aide…

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 11:16 AM

But of course, that’s how it works. The decision rests with the principal; that connected politicians who have power over the system and the principal ‘suggested’ the students certainly had nothing to do with the decision. I mean, it’s not like politicians could cost you your job, your advancement, etc.

Especially not in Chicago.

Oh, no.

LOL.

Midas on March 23, 2010 at 11:21 AM

Having a secret process that only the powerful know to get preferential treatment for their children is the antithesis of openness and transparency. It turned Chicago schools and their admission process from an open competition to another spoils process in the Chicago Machine.

Ho hum. Color me completely unsurprised. No news here.

gryphon202 on March 23, 2010 at 11:21 AM

Hm. Special schools for party members. Where have I heard that before?

curved space on March 23, 2010 at 11:22 AM

–You know what? People with tons of money and connections always seem to find ways to get their kids into better schools, better jobs, etc. This is no different IMHO. Sorry, not a big deal to me.

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 11:06 AM

Why am I not surprised to find that a liberal lawyer doesn’t think that corruption that benefits other liberals is wrong.

MarkTheGreat on March 23, 2010 at 11:22 AM

Diane on March 23, 2010 at 11:14 AM

Things do tend to get somewhat ugly during wartime…
Progressives have a uniform, and are the enemy of free people.

Keemo on March 23, 2010 at 11:23 AM

It looks like they’re magnet schools; many big cities have them and competition to get into them is fierce. Sorry, can’t get worked up about this.

No doubt. It’s Democrat corruption, so you can’t get worked up about it.

This puts a new spin on Obama’s shutting down the DC voucher program. He clearly didn’t want “those people” around his precious girls.

Crawford on March 23, 2010 at 11:23 AM

Diane where are you? Oh keeper of the sanctity of the blog thread.(from the Obamacare mandate thread today)

–Take it viral, b*tch. Just like you do with your STDs.

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 11:17 AM

Diane – come on now I want to here your admonition or is that only for those you think will just sit back and take it?

CWforFreedom on March 23, 2010 at 11:23 AM

Actually, the reason Jimbo defends this corruption, is he actually believes that one day he is going to be one of the poeple with lots of money and he wants to make sure that nobody cleans up the corruption before he gets his piece of that pie.

MarkTheGreat on March 23, 2010 at 11:23 AM

Pickens said that every student on his list applied for principal discretion.”

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 11:16 AM

We will complete the square for Jimbo:

So, what purpose did the list serve? Why was the President of the School Board personally involved?

Did Duncan review each and every appeal or request? Why not? What was the criteria for Duncan’s involvement in case but not another? What made his “phone calls” to the principal’s necessary?

After all, it was the principals who were making the decision, right?

BobMbx on March 23, 2010 at 11:24 AM

Smell the Change ™

Mason on March 23, 2010 at 11:24 AM

BTW: I promote victory in this war on freedom by way of peaceful methods…

Keemo on March 23, 2010 at 11:24 AM

Why am I not surprised to find that a liberal lawyer doesn’t think that corruption that benefits other liberals is wrong.

MarkTheGreat on March 23, 2010 at 11:22 AM

This guy is a lawyer? With *that* demonstrated lack of critical thinking skills?

Wow.

Midas on March 23, 2010 at 11:24 AM

It’s the Chicago way. The Univ of Illinois hospital did the same thing by turning away the needy in its own community in favor of paying customers. Read Malkin’s Culure of Corruption (2nd chapter?).

TN Mom on March 23, 2010 at 11:25 AM

I’m all for school choice as long as you pay for the school and don’t expect me to directly or indirectly fund any private schools through my tax dollars or tax deductions or tax credits.

So why do you insist I be forced to pay for the jokes labeled public schools?

Crawford on March 23, 2010 at 11:25 AM

–Sure. I’m all for school choice as long as you pay for the school and don’t expect me to directly or indirectly fund any private schools through my tax dollars or tax deductions or tax credits.

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 11:13 AM

I love the way liberals are so generous with other people’s money. But when it comes to their own …

MarkTheGreat on March 23, 2010 at 11:26 AM

I’m all for school choice as long as you pay for the school and don’t expect me to directly or indirectly fund any private schools through my tax dollars or tax deductions or tax credits.

Maybe your Dear Leader can include that in his “no public money for abortions” Executive Order.

Will that make you happy?

BobMbx on March 23, 2010 at 11:27 AM

Pickens said that principals grew tired of getting calls from influential people seeking admission for a student, and that by centralizing it, he could serve as a firewall.

Right. Clean up the process of outside people influencing decisions, by having the call come from the Board of Ed, which can actually influence the careers of the people being called.

Why didn’t Duncan institute a list wherein the names of the influentials who called principals to pressure admission decisions would be posted at the Sun-Times and Tribune every Monday?

DrSteve on March 23, 2010 at 11:27 AM

It was the principals of the various schools that authorized the exceptions, not Duncan or his aide:

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 11:16 AM

So the person who signs their paycheck asks them for a favor, and they provide it. So the person asking for the favor is blameless.

I love the way liberals try to defend their own corruption by blaming it on someone else.

MarkTheGreat on March 23, 2010 at 11:28 AM

I just want to know one thing Jimbo:

Was it the right thing to do?

BobMbx on March 23, 2010 at 11:29 AM

CWforFreedom on March 23, 2010 at 11:23 AM

Drop it.

MarkTheGreat on March 23, 2010 at 11:29 AM

–Sure. I’m all for school choice as long as you pay for the school and don’t expect me to directly or indirectly fund any private schools through my tax dollars or tax deductions or tax credits.

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 11:13 AM

I love the way liberals are so generous with other people’s money. But when it comes to their own …

MarkTheGreat on March 23, 2010 at 11:26 AM

What a surprise. Useful once again.

Seems you are of the elite. BTW the schools I went to operated on nearly half the cost of the public schools and their product was much better. Hmmm what a terrible thing to support./

CWforFreedom on March 23, 2010 at 11:29 AM

I’m all for school choice as long as you pay for the school and don’t expect me to directly or indirectly fund any private schools through my tax dollars or tax deductions or tax credits.

So you oppose Pell Grants?

DrSteve on March 23, 2010 at 11:30 AM

Drop it.

MarkTheGreat on March 23, 2010 at 11:29 AM

So playing the HA police is only good for some and not others. Point taken. /

CWforFreedom on March 23, 2010 at 11:31 AM

Diane where are you? Oh keeper of the sanctity of the blog thread.(from the Obamacare mandate thread today)

Hit me with your best shot, d*ckwad. I’m taking it viral.

RepubChica on March 23, 2010 at 11:11 AM

[The entire original post, which I responded to, and with CWforFreedom conveniently censored.]

–Take it viral, b*tch. Just like you do with your STDs.

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 11:17 AM
Diane – come on now I want to here your admonition or is that only for those you think will just sit back and take it?

CWforFreedom on March 23, 2010 at 11:23 AM

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 11:31 AM

DrSteve on March 23, 2010 at 11:30 AM

Jimbo is pro-choice when it suits him only.

CWforFreedom on March 23, 2010 at 11:31 AM

Diane – come on now I want to here your admonition or is that only for those you think will just sit back and take it?

CWforFreedom on March 23, 2010 at 11:23 AM

I expect vile waste from them. I don’t feed them. If they’re in my face or choosing to debate on issues, absolutely I’ll engage them. I don’t like hearing intelligent Cons debasing themselves, stooping to lefty-troll level. Sorry.

Right now, though, you’re being unbelievably combative toward a “friendly” over an opinion I had. This is definitely constructive… /s

Diane on March 23, 2010 at 11:32 AM

Kids are a key component of the Obama plan: Special treatment for their’s and their buddies’, and indoctrination for those of the commoners.
This should be on the list of Obama outrages.

GaltBlvnAtty on March 23, 2010 at 11:34 AM

We will complete the square for Jimbo:

So, what purpose did the list serve? Why was the President of the School Board personally involved?

Did Duncan review each and every appeal or request? Why not? What was the criteria for Duncan’s involvement in case but not another? What made his “phone calls” to the principal’s necessary?

After all, it was the principals who were making the decision, right?

BobMbx on March 23, 2010 at 11:24 AM

–It looks like the majority of the people who asked for special consideration didn’t get admitted. He probably kept the list so he could say that a certain kid’s test scores or whatever were X, which was below the cutoff or that some school was full.

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 11:35 AM

He probably kept the list so he could say that a certain kid’s test scores or whatever were X, which was below the cutoff or that some school was full.

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 11:35 AM

Made that up out of whole cloth, did ya? How convenient. /s

fossten on March 23, 2010 at 11:36 AM

–It looks like they’re magnet schools; many big cities have them and competition to get into them is fierce. Sorry, can’t get worked up about this.

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 10:58 AM

I live in a city with several magnet schools. Applications go into a lottery to determine who gets to attend… after all, that would be the FAIR and HONEST way to handle it.

But then, these are Chicago politicians in a Dem-controlled system… where there’s nothing fair or honest… only corruption, lies and deceit as far as the eye can see…

dominigan on March 23, 2010 at 11:36 AM

I would that by now even Ed would have stumbled across a truth best covered by a tired old football analogy:

When a football coach consistently hires the worst possible players, those with no experience, no talent, and histories of egregious rules violations, the team owners don’t waste time worrying about each bad player.

They fire the coach.

When, oh when, do the calls from HA to impeach Papa Doc Obama, the central focus for corrupt, untalented and generally rotten team members, begin?

Or, more aptly put, why is so much time spent worrying about the soldati when we can cut off the head of the most vile, incompetent and America-hating regime ever to threaten the existence of our nation by going straight for the Boss of Bosses?

Hmmmmm?

MrScribbler on March 23, 2010 at 10:55 AM

Three words: President Joe Biden

gstep58 on March 23, 2010 at 11:41 AM

There is only one solution to this kind of educational corruption, along with all of the other corruptions plaguing our public education system: school choice for all, now.

motionview on March 23, 2010 at 11:47 AM

–It looks like the majority of the people who asked for special consideration didn’t get admitted. He probably kept the list so he could say that a certain kid’s test scores or whatever were X, which was below the cutoff or that some school was full.

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 11:35 AM

Well there we go. It was just a few favors, not rampant corruption. Lets move on.

Strawman up in flames:

He probably kept

You don’t know why he kept the list? So you’re guessing. Let me guess too: He probably kept the list so when he needed a favor or a campaign contribution he had a donor list he could use. Your guess is as good as mine.

It looks like the majority of the people who asked for special consideration didn’t get admitted.

Is this a guess to allow your mitigation (just a couple of favors) to work? Or do you have information we don’t?

How many in total are on the list? How many make up “the majority”? What does “stay away from this one” mean in reference to a Blago request? Did he not care about the test scores of that student? Hmmmmm……Why not just tell Blago “hey, that kid’s an idiot” or something more truthful?

Special consideration

Meaning outside of the appeal process that un-special people had to follow? You may not realize it, but you just admitted to a process in use that was controlled from Duncan’s office and unknown to but a few.

BobMbx on March 23, 2010 at 11:50 AM

–Isn’t this effectively the same thing that GWB’s father and grandfather did for him at Yale and Harvard Business School? He got preferential treatment because he was an alumni’s kid (who probably made a big grant to the schools)?

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 10:45 AM

You are right! Yale and Harvard are two of the best public schools in the… wait, they aren’t PUBLIC schools? They are PRIVATE? Well, then we need to take over the PRIVATE schools so that the Chicago thugs can make it fair for Democrats too! Oh wait, you mean OBMAMA got a favor to go to Harvard? Then what am I B*tching about?

barnone on March 23, 2010 at 11:51 AM

Makes you wonder what kind of “list” Duncan has as Sec Education.

GarandFan on March 23, 2010 at 12:01 PM

Please note: Arne has zero qualifications for almost any job. He has an undergraduate degree in sociology and then played basketball in Australia. The only reason he was hired by the CPS was because of clout. It’s not what you know, but who you know, that counts.

MayorDaley on March 23, 2010 at 12:02 PM

Give them the power…
They’ll find a way to sell it…
Like printing money…

Haiku Guy on March 23, 2010 at 12:05 PM

One little correction – maybe Arne is qualified to teach Australian. And that’s a stretch.

MayorDaley on March 23, 2010 at 12:06 PM

–It looks like the majority of the people who asked for special consideration didn’t get admitted.

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 11:35 AM

One was too many. Why is corruption ok, so long as only a few benefit?

MarkTheGreat on March 23, 2010 at 12:08 PM

Makes you wonder what kind of “list” Duncan has as Sec Education.

GarandFan on March 23, 2010 at 12:01 PM

And he was just handed the checkbook for Federal School loan programs. You think “just a few favors” might be a problem here?

But it’s not just school loans. It’s also grants. Loans have to be re-paid. Grants are just free money. “As long as I’m SecEd, no child of a Democrat member of Congress will have to pay for college. Its a special program I’ve created..I call it the “Duncan Grant Program”. I’ll keep a list of users in my office.

No chance at fraud here. Nothing to worry about…move along.

BobMbx on March 23, 2010 at 12:14 PM

–Isn’t this effectively the same thing that GWB’s father and grandfather did for him at Yale and Harvard Business School? He got preferential treatment because he was an alumni’s kid (who probably made a big grant to the schools)?

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 10:45 AM

No, these were PUBLIC SCHOOLS, ya dolt.

tessa on March 23, 2010 at 12:17 PM

–It looks like the majority of the people who asked for special consideration didn’t get admitted. He probably kept the list so he could say that a certain kid’s test scores or whatever were X, which was below the cutoff or that some school was full.

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 11:35 AM

What justification is there for an office which isn’t advertised, but government officials know about and take advantage of? Please explain how any official who took advantage of this office wasn’t bribed by the person(s) who created and ran the office?

unclesmrgol on March 23, 2010 at 12:21 PM

Sorry, can’t get worked up about this.

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 10:58 AM

Chicagoan, eh?

MNHawk on March 23, 2010 at 12:24 PM

This is news?

rock the casbah on March 23, 2010 at 12:25 PM

Isn’t this effectively the same thing that GWB’s father and grandfather did for him at Yale and Harvard Business School? He got preferential treatment because he was an alumni’s kid (who probably made a big grant to the schools)?

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 10:45 AM

Absolutely — goes straight to the culture of entitlement rather than the culture of individual achievement.

From your library of comments, you think it stinks in the case of GWB, and doesn’t in the case of the special people kept on the “favors to call in when convenient” list in Chicago.

Amusing. Your seamless garb seems to have a few rents.

unclesmrgol on March 23, 2010 at 12:31 PM

Sorry, can’t get worked up about this.

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 10:58 AM
Chicagoan, eh?

MNHawk on March 23, 2010 at 12:24 PM

–I was. It probably shows.

Isn’t this effectively the same thing that GWB’s father and grandfather did for him at Yale and Harvard Business School? He got preferential treatment because he was an alumni’s kid (who probably made a big grant to the schools)?

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 10:45 AM
Absolutely — goes straight to the culture of entitlement rather than the culture of individual achievement.

From your library of comments, you think it stinks in the case of GWB, and doesn’t in the case of the special people kept on the “favors to call in when convenient” list in Chicago.

Amusing. Your seamless garb seems to have a few rents.

unclesmrgol on March 23, 2010 at 12:31 PM

–Uncle, I don’t think it stinks in Bush’s case. This happens all the time. I know a bunch of people who got into real good schools because their uncle, father, mother, etc. was a “significant” contributing alumni or had some other connection.

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 1:03 PM

–Isn’t this effectively the same thing that GWB’s father and grandfather did for him at Yale and Harvard Business School? He got preferential treatment because he was an alumni’s kid (who probably made a big grant to the schools)?
Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 10:45 AM

Does Media Matters furnish a ready made list of tu quoque arguments for you guys? Are they indexed by key word?

If you want to argue that the well-known, and perfectly legal, policy of preferential treatment for children of alumni at private colleges and universities is equal to a secret list of privileged admissions to a city’s public schools (as absurd as that is), then you’ll have to add Barack Obama to the list for Harvard (his father was an alumnus) and Michelle Obama to the list for Princeton (her brother was a star basketball player there).

I doubt that either of the current inhabitants of the White House gained admission through their dazzling academic accomplishments.

Nichevo on March 23, 2010 at 1:04 PM

What justification is there for an office which isn’t advertised, but government officials know about and take advantage of? Please explain how any official who took advantage of this office wasn’t bribed by the person(s) who created and ran the office?

unclesmrgol on March 23, 2010 at 12:21 PM

BobMbx on March 23, 2010 at 12:14 PM

Why don’t you guys go read the article for the facts?

This was being done because a bunch of influential people (both politicans and business leaders, including at least one People’s Gas executive) were calling schools, principals, etc. asking for assistance. And it wasn’t just for their own kids.

Duncan created a formal process to handle the exceptions, but it was the principals who made the decisions (which were not approved in the formal process). Everyone on the list was approved/denied by the principals. It wasn’t an “office” or a “central approval” process.

“Many of the politicians named on Pickens’ log acknowledged that they made calls on students’ behalf because this is how the system works in Chicago. They weighed in on behalf of relatives, friends and campaign workers.

“…Whenever anybody asked me — whether it was a relative, a distant relative, a next-door neighbor or the guy across the street — I would write letters,” said Ald. Walter Burnett Jr., 27th, who has ended the practice. “Sometimes the kids get in; sometimes they don’t.”

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 1:14 PM

Duncan created a formal process to handle the exceptions, but it was the principals who made the decisions (which were not approved in the formal process). Everyone on the list was approved/denied by the principals. It wasn’t an “office” or a “central approval” process.

Duncan created the Special People List process – that is not how school choice works. He is at the very least a weeny because he couldn’t uphold a rule on admission by lottery, but this illustrates his lack of spine and moral character.

If Duncan can’t handle a few whiney so & so’s for the good of all children do you really want him in charge of the DOE?

batterup on March 23, 2010 at 1:24 PM

Wait, Jimbo, so you quote something that fully admits that that is how the Chicago system works?

Do you realize it’s not the fact that people got in, but the fact that the requests were even considered, that is the corruption issue here?

Scott H on March 23, 2010 at 1:41 PM

Between Duncan’s corruption & the so-called safe school czar’s lessons for children in homosexual techniques, I’m glad my kids don’t go to gov’t schools any more.

jgapinoy on March 23, 2010 at 1:47 PM

Not just corruption. Pure greed. All anyone has to do to send their children to any school they want is to pay for it. Even public schools will accept students from outside their district if the parents pay the set tuition.

If you have enough power and influence to get on this VIP list, you should be capable of paying the tuition.

tom on March 23, 2010 at 1:54 PM

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