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Rahm’s Chicago

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Rahm Emanuel’s new education policy is senseless on the face of it.

To graduate from a public high school in Chicago, students will soon have to meet a new and unusual requirement: They must show that they’ve secured a job or received a letter of acceptance to college, a trade apprenticeship, a gap year program or the military.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) said he wants to make clear that the nation’s third-largest school system is not just responsible for shepherding teenagers to the end of their senior year, but also for setting them on a path to a productive future.

“We are going to help kids have a plan, because they’re going to need it to succeed,” he said. “You cannot have kids think that 12th grade is done.”

How is this possibly workable? Are you going to require Chicago employers to hire recent high school graduates? Is everyone just going to have to pay the application fee to community college, even though many won’t go? I can see the military jumping all over this to get more recruits. I can also see people effectively paying a black market for job offers that don’t exist. The implementation of this seems like an utter disaster waiting to happen. You know damn well Rahm isn’t going to make sure Chicago schools are funded well enough to have meaningful guidance counseling for all its students, an issue brought up in the article linked above.

“It sounds good on paper, but the problem is that when you’ve cut the number of counselors in schools, when you’ve cut the kind of services that kids need, who is going to do this work?” said Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union and Emanuel’s longtime political opponent. “If you’ve done the work to earn a diploma, then you should get a diploma. Because if you don’t, you are forcing kids into more poverty.”

Right. The other option is that high school graduation rates in Chicago see a sharp decline. And won’t that just be great for everyone!

Janice Jackson, the school system’s chief education officer, said that is how the new requirement is supposed to work — pushing principals to improve efforts to help students prepare for the future. About 60 percent of district students have postsecondary plans when they graduate, she said, and she doesn’t think the schools should wait for more money to set an expectation that the remaining 40 percent follow suit.

Would Chicago really withhold diplomas from students who meet every requirement except the new one? Jackson says it won’t come to that, because principals, counselors and teachers won’t let it. They’ll go to students in that situation and press them to make sure they have a plan.

Well, Rahm has respected teachers so well during his tenure that it’s hard to see how these overworked, underpaid, downsized workers won’t devote all their free time to their students. Oh wait, many already do.

To put it another way:

But you know Rahm has the kids’ education in mind. After all, his shuttering of hundreds of schools has paid off in what counts: more upper class housing.

The Uptown controversy has to do with a sign posted outside 4525 N. Kenmore, the building that was formerly Graeme Stewart School. Chicago Public Schools closed the school and sold it to a private developer who’s turning it into the Stewart School Lofts, which are being marketed shamelessly on a placard over the school’s abandoned playground as “best in the class” rentals.

CPS officials hailed the Stewart sale as a win-win. “This is the fifth former school site we have sold in the past three months,” CEO Forrest Claypool said in a press release. “While we still have work to do, I am encouraged that the engagement process is working and expect this positive trend to continue.”

Not everyone sees it that way, especially Wozniak, who lives in Uptown. “To me, this is Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago,” she says. “We’re closing schools and turning them into private projects and disinvesting in neighborhood kids.”

What really galled her was that damn sign. “I find that insulting to all the kids who went to Stewart and all the people who worked there,” Wozniak says.

More maddening still is that Emanuel earmarked $16.1 million in TIF dollars to subsidize the development of a high-rise apartment complex at Clarendon and Montrose—not far from Stewart.

So once again there’s no money for our dead-broke schools, but millions for upscale housing.

Forcing kids to an acceptance letter to graduate will truly make Chicago great again.

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  • Helmut Monotreme

    It will crater the graduation rate. Which will let Rahm argue that the schools are failing. Which (he hopes) will let him implement any dumb ass scheme he chooses. Charter schools? mass firings of teachers and some kind of “emergency management”, something even dumber? It’s hard to say.

    • smartalek

      Whatever puts more $ in the pockets of his contributors.

    • Hob

      This (and KatWillow’s similar comment below) strikes me as… maybe cynical in an unrealistic way? I don’t mean that cynicism in general about Emanuel isn’t justified, of course it is. But he’s not a total drooling idiot, and everyone in Chicago isn’t a total drooling idiot. If Rahm says “The graduation rate suddenly went down and that means the schools are failing,” what’s to prevent literally everyone from saying “Give me a fucking break, you just created an insane new graduation requirement, everyone saw you do it!”?

      I feel like part of the collective response to the current federal government situation has been an increased tendency to reflexively declare that the bad guys are able to do literally anything and no matter how outrageously obvious it is, everyone will fall for it and no one will effectively criticize it because… because we always lose and that’s just a law of nature, or something. And I don’t even think you have to be an optimist to have doubts about that; it’s more like, if the whole universe is really that much of a pushover for evil, then why would the bad guys even bother with these allegedly clever stratagems— like, why wouldn’t Rahm just skip the first step and go straight to “the schools are already failing, I declare it so; now I fire all the teachers for no reason, you’ll all agree that that’s awesome”, and proceed unopposed? (The analogy on the federal level would be, if Trump can get away with anything and the rules mean nothing, why isn’t he already literally ruling as a dictator and killing us all?) To me, that’s not really much more of a stretch than what you’re proposing.

      • Helmut Monotreme

        My feeling, and it is cynical, is that Rahm and his backers have big plans. The teachers union and Chicago parents of school age children are standing together to thwart them. If he can separate them, they will no longer be able to effectively oppose his (probably terrible) plans. Thus he is setting Chicago teachers, schools and students up for failure. Once they have failed he will have an obvious mandate to provide a (probably terrible) solution. While he would love to declare the schools a failure and fire the teachers for no reason, the teachers union would be able to sue his pants off and win should he skip the intermediate steps in this farce. Once he has the falling graduation numbers on his side, his case becomes much stronger when he has to face the barrage of more or less inevitable lawsuits.

        • Hob

          Your point was clear the first time – I wasn’t expressing confusion about what you think Rahm is up to. I’m saying that in order for the “falling graduation numbers on his side” part to seem at all plausible, every single person in Chicago would have to be extraordinarily stupid and have no memory at all. And while some commenters (like Machine Earning above) seem to be firmly committed to the idea that everyone is that stupid, I don’t recall you expressing that view before.

          I mean, isn’t it like if Rahm announces, with much fanfare, “I’ve decided to personally slash the tires of every car I see downtown, for kicks”– and people say “What? No, don’t do that!”– but he does it– and then he announces “I’m going to put barbed-wire fences around every parking spot downtown for security, because of all these tire-slashings.” And everyone is like, “How about you just stop doing what you yourself are doing, instead.” As evil schemes go, that’d be a dumb one. It doesn’t remotely work even in the “solving a crisis I’ve created” sense, because the crisis can very obviously be stopped by just… not doing that thing. This doesn’t even require having to think about consequences to the same degree as “they cut taxes and now the economy sucks,” it’s an obvious proximate cause that’s easily reversible.

          • Jason

            Look. He’s either the drooling idiot you mentioned above and doesn’t realize this plan will crater education, or he’s done it intentionally for some ulterior motive. Take your pick.

            • Hob

              But there are different ways to be an idiot. I can believe that Emanuel has really terrible policy ideas, or that he simply doesn’t understand the damage this will cause, or doesn’t care. It’s harder for me to believe that he’s so politically stupid as to think this is a foolproof setup for a “look, now the schools are failing, I was right all along” pitch.

      • Machine Earning

        Sorry, remind of the last time enough people went “You just pulled and we all saw you do it!” that it mattered?

        Pretty much everything about the last thirty or forty years from the incredible shift in rewards from labor to capital to the already grim decline in educational attainment to the abdication of environmental responsibility could have been easily met with a collective “go fuck yourself”, and yet none of it was.

        Maybe, because this is a local phenomenon in a reasonably cohesive city, there will be some spike of resentment that leads to a change. But it better be early and based on emotional grounds, because when Kansas seems to be the only place in the country that you can point to and say “see, people looked at hard-earned empirical evidence and realized this is bad for them and decided to knock it off”, you know it’s a real shitshow. I don’t expect a rational conclusion to something that should never have come up in the first place in this climate.

        Speaking of empirical evidence, while I understand your point about chronic defeatism, it’s very, very hard to ignore the obvious trends of the last thirty years. I don’t think a lot of people are going to look at that and say “wow, educating people about real-world policy outcomes works great! People will always vote in their own economic self-interest and avoid ushering in long-term catastrophes once they have some simple facts at hand” because this is about as demonstrably false a belief as you can have.

        • Hob

          You’re asking me to provide citations for the idea that politicians ever pay a political price for any action? Or disprove the idea that politicians never propose dumbass things that they don’t have a solid prospect of getting away with, because if they were even able to float the idea “in this climate” then it’s a sure thing? Well, at the risk of being unempirical, I’m going to say that’s not a great use of my time. Feel free to conclude that you therefore won.

          Seriously, see my other response to Helmut below. This doesn’t even require as much reasoning ability as Kansas, and it’s not about “long-term” consequences. People in large cities follow local politics, and they blame the mayor for problems he obviously caused; they also blame the mayor for problems he had no control over. You may have noticed De Blasio is catching a lot of shit these days, and he hasn’t done anything nearly as ham-handed as this.

          • Jason

            This is Chicago we’re talking about. I’ve lived here my entire life. You’re overly optimistic. Emmanuel is probably sitting at his desk wondering what all the fuss is about, because he actually does live in a bubble.

            • Hob

              Could you explain what I said that is so “optimistic”? I defer to your knowledge of Chicago but I don’t see what point you’re making. If Rahm wonders what the fuss is about, then that means there’s a fuss, which would seem to go against the “no one will notice what he did” theory.

  • Steve LaBonne

    I tried to come up with a comment on this that wouldn’t just be a string of obscenities.
    I failed.

    • CP

      What the shit’s wrong with a goddamn string of motherfucking obscenities? Fuck fucking Rahm Emmanuel, fucking piece of fucking shit extraordifuckingnaire.

    • MariedeGournay

      Same.

  • NewishLawyer

    This seems like they very example of an unfunded mandate. When does the fucker get out of office? Now it would make sense to hire a lot of staff to help kids secure jobs or look at post high school life-plans but that isn’t going to happen here.

    Are we going to see a scandal where a school gets in trouble for forging these proofs? Is this even constitutional?

    • Linnaeus

      Are we going to see a scandal where a school gets in trouble for forging these proofs?

      Beat me to it. I was thinking the same thing.

    • LeeEsq

      This seems to be one of the cases where politicians do something that screams for a law suit.

  • Downpup E

    One of the biggest problems with this is that it is just utterly, cluelessly sexist. Girls all too often are acting as mothers, usually to siblings, and go through high school carrying ridiculous burdens. So Chicago is going to say to them “Screw you”.

    • smartalek

      Shame on me for not noticing that til you pointed it out.
      Thank you for that.

  • Robespierre

    How is this even legal?

    • Murc

      States and cities (depending on state law) have widespread latitude in setting the requirements you must meet before they’ll fork over a sheepskin.

      I was required to do forty hours of community service before they’d let me graduate. As a middle-class white boy without any other calls on my time and an accommodating family, this was a mere inconvenience. It might not have been had my circumstances been different.

      • Lost Left Coaster

        I had a similar high school graduation requirement. The local blood bank needed donations and gave out 2 hours of community service for just one donation. So I gave a lot of blood.

        • N__B

          If you gave twenty pints, you’re up in The Great McGinty territory of getting ahead by cheating.

      • Abigail Nussbaum

        The thing is, I do see a profound difference between the two cases. I take the point that community service is a much more onerous requirement for kids from less advantaged backgrounds, but if you leave that aside for a moment, it’s not an inherently ridiculous idea. It’s a requirement that students complete while they’re still in school, and given how many extracurricular activities are tied to schools and even give credit in them, it’s not a huge leap.

        Denying a diploma on the basis that a student can’t demonstrate that they have a life plan after school is something completely different. It means that they can complete all the requirements for graduating and still not graduate for completely external reasons. It’s plainly unjust, even if it isn’t illegal.

        • Murc

          This is a more than fair response, Abigail.

        • Hob

          Also, unless I misunderstand the plan, there’s a Catch-22 aspect to this new thing that the community service thing doesn’t have. That is, community service opportunities for high-school kids presumably assume that those kids are still in high school; even though, as Murc said, economic status certainly can be a barrier to doing community service, not having graduated high school yet isn’t, because that’s the whole idea. Whereas, if you’re telling kids that they can’t graduate unless (among other things) they get a job… the tendency of employers to want applicants to have already graduated high school might be a wee bit of a problem.

        • Jason

          “but if you leave that aside for a moment,”

          If you take that a side, you’re kind of missing the point…

          • Abigail Nussbaum

            Hence “for a moment”.

      • chethardy

        Sure. You should be treated the same as any juvenile delinquent. You are a minor.

  • NeonTrotsky

    When the dropout rate inevitably rises it will be pointed to as evidence of the failure of public schools and the need to push for privatization and union busting, but perhaps that is the intention.

  • Denverite

    This is going to cause the dropout rate to skyrocket.

    • tsam100

      The first, most obvious consequence. We can only imagine the longer term damage that some people (guess which) will suffer.

      • smartalek

        I’m wondering if the guy’s looking to get assassinated.
        I was going to say, we Members of the Tribe don’t historically go for martyr complexes — but then I remembered Masada.
        OTOH, sociopaths definitely aren’t big on self-sacrifice.

    • habitus corporis, soros $hill

      looks like the teachers aren’t doing their jobs. we should renegotiate their contract and cut positions because, you know, does their work really matter?

    • And that will be blamed on the schools, teachers and the students. Corrupt and incompetent Chicago government won’t be mentioned.

      • CP

        Well, Republicans will blame “corrupt Chicago government,” and then explain that the reason the government is corrupt is because it’s in bed with things like the teachers’ unions, and also because of lack of proper ethic and discipline from people in the inner cities. Bonus!

  • In addition to everything Erik says, the gap year exception basically exempts rich kids completely from the requirement.

    • Denverite

      99.9% of rich kids in Chicago Public Schools through high school are the ones who got into the magnets, and they’re all going to college. The ones who didn’t almost all will have gone to a private school or moved to the burbs. I could believe that maaayyyybbbe there are a couple of rich kids at Lincoln Park High or whatnot who are slackers who don’t want to go to college right away, but we’re probably talking in the single digits.

      • nominal

        My daughter’s best friend is spending the next year in Paris “learning the culture.” Seriously. I guess that’s a thing.

        • reattmore

          If your goal is to become fluent in French, it’s not a bad idea.

          • LeeEsq

            My Medieval History professor in college was a very big proponent of the junior year abroad even though most people take what he called Mickey Mouse classes. He thought that just living one year abroad in another country was an education in itself even if time use is suboptimal.

            • Linnaeus

              That ain’t cheap, though.

            • Gepap

              What counts as “suboptimal” time use in this scenerio?

            • Phil Perspective

              Are you into football(aka soccer) and the Men in Blazers?

        • LosGatosCA

          Beats saying ‘sponging off mom and dad while I delay having to grow up’ – I’m more jealous than critical.

          Our freshman just returned home in good academic standing and wants to declare math for her major. I’m so happy that the facts of her room’s a mess, of her job situation is unsettled, and that she’s just gone out of town after 2 1/2 weeks of hitting me up daily for money is not a problem.

        • Taylor

          Robert Crumb, Kristin Scott Thomas, Dexter Gordon, and heck Jules Dassin, think it’s definitely a thing.

  • SatanicPanic

    This guy is running hard for Chris Christie’s title of “Biggest Jerk in American Politics Not Currently in the White House”

    • smartalek

      Then he’d best be hitting those pork rinds; he’s got a ways to go to catch up.
      Oh, wait…

  • Bloix

    This has got to be illegal.

    • Nym w/o Qualities

      Honest question — Why does everyone keep saying this? Local jurisdictions have essentially total control over the graduation requirements.

      • Bloix

        Any decent constitutional lawyer could formulate a strong equal protection challenge to this rule, which imposes a financial burden on poor students as a condition of access to an important government benefit.

        • twbb

          Wonder if there’s a 13th Amendment argument to be made there.

          • Just_Dropping_By

            I’m pretty sure that community service requirements for high school graduation have withstood 13th Amendment challenges and those seem even more obviously violative of the ban on involuntary servitude than this requirement

        • Just_Dropping_By

          How often do equal protection challenges based on financial burdens imposed on poor people to access government benefits succeed? Because that sounds like a pretty novel argument to me, not a strong one.

        • Nym w/o Qualities

          Sure, OK, I guess we disagree as to how credible that argument would be, given that it’s not a racial classification and the requirements are “rationally related” to the aims of high school education.

        • yet_another_lawyer

          What precedents do you plan to cite, and how many equal protection cases have you litigated before this? I’m by no means an equal protection expert, but this strikes me as incredibly novel/aggressive. The suspect class at issue is just “poor” students? I’m not sure even the more liberal circuits would run with this, but certainly not our current Supreme Court.

          Referring to it as something any “decent” constitutional lawyer could do just strikes me as nuts. Any decent constitutional lawyer would, I think, be highly intimidated by this and want help!

      • JR in WV

        Does the local school board (not the mayor!) have total jurisdiction over what you do after you graduate? To the extent that they can refuse your diploma if you don’t want to do a thing on the school board’s (mayor’s) short list?

        This is crazed fucked up! Rahm is a disgrace, despicable, as bad as Trump, or worse because he is smarter than Trump, and not suffering from some form of brain damage or dementia. Trump is beginning to have an excuse for his irrational actions. What’s Rahm’s excuse?!

        • Gepap

          As others have pointed out above, the School board in Chicago is fully appointed by the Mayor of Chicago – it is not an independently elected group.

        • smartalek

          not suffering from some form of brain damage or dementia

          …that we know of.
          You’ve spoken to his doctors?

  • BloodyGranuaile

    Why is this dude a Democrat?

    • joel_hanes

      It’s a disguise.

    • The Great God Pan

      When he’s not purity trolling here, Phil Perspective has a day job as a mad scientist who genetically engineers neoliberal shills in a secret laboratory and sends them out into the world to run as Democrats and prove to the Sheeple that Both Sides Do It But Democrats Are More Plutocratic.

      • Phil Perspective

        That’s not funny. I bow to no one in my hatred of Rambo. I wouldn’t think of inflicting him on the worst of my enemies.

    • Judas Peckerwood

      I’m assuming a rhetorical question here…

    • Matty

      Not the right kind of evil to be a Republican?

    • Murc

      The honest answer?

      There are a lot of Democrats like Rahm. They despise the Republican Party on social issues and have broadly liberal economic goals, but they think that everything can be solved by market-based incentives and by unleashing capitalism and using the kindly whip as incentives for good behavior and suchly. They have almost no sense of class consciousness and tend to approach things from the standpoint of everyone being an atomistic consumer and that that’s a good thing.

      Basically, they’re actual neoliberals.

      That’s the ones who are peddling this stuff in good faith. Others just want to get in on various grifts and for various reasons find it easier to do that as a Democrat.

      • Linnaeus

        Yep. It’s a big tent, dontcha know.

      • Also there’s a certain sort of Democrat who has some liberal positions but also loves money and doesn’t really care about economic inequality as long as his or her daughter can get an abortion.

        Honestly the Clintons are examples of this. As are a lot of the front row kids.

        • lawguy

          I do not understand this. People seem able to come right up to saying but are unable to follow through with. This is the party Barak Obama inherited and this is the party that he strengthened. These are his people and he supports these people and their actions.

          • Phil Perspective

            This is the party Barak Obama inherited and this is the party that he strengthened.

            Strengthened, how? You’ve been paying attention these past 8 1/2 years, right?

            • lawguy

              Strengthened in the sense that he strengthened that specific wing of the part and screw the rest. The Iron Law of Institutions?

        • nominal

          If this is a clever caricature of Green Party both siderism, well done!

          Otherwise, that’s terribly unfair. In the 90’s the Clintons could reasonably believe that free trade, the EITC, expanded education funding, and welfare reform would overall make America better for the poor. Almost everybody believed that. Hell, Krugman and Delong believed it. They were proven wrong, but it wasn’t unreasonable at the time and wasn’t because they didn’t care about the poor or inequality.

          And frankly I don’t know and have never heard of any Democrats who don’t care about economic inequality. Some Democrats believe that the best way to address inequality is by opportunity (education, trade, etc.), but they all care about it. The Republicans largely don’t care and see inequality as a feature, not a bug, of capitalism. There’s a difference between disagreeing about how to address inequality and disagreeing over whether inequality even matters.

          • Lost Left Coaster

            “Almost everybody believed that.”

            Um…no. You may recall that NAFTA and welfare reform both faced some pretty stiff opposition from Democratic interest groups. Not all criticisms of Bill Clinton are warranted, but some of them are.

          • Linnaeus

            In the 90’s the Clintons could reasonably believe that free trade, the EITC, expanded education funding, and welfare reform would overall make America better for the poor. Almost everybody believed that. Hell, Krugman and Delong believed it. They were proven wrong, but it wasn’t unreasonable at the time and wasn’t because they didn’t care about the poor or inequality.

            Reasonable, perhaps, but many critics of these approaches were also reasonable and their arguments were caricatured as unserious, against the poor (especially abroad), etc. Now we know that that assessment was wrong, but we’ve incurred a lot of costs in the meantime.

            The Republicans largely don’t care and see inequality as a feature, not a bug, of capitalism.

            Inequality is a feature of capitalism. It’s baked into it. Republicans don’t care or think that that’s a good thing.

          • smartalek

            In the 90’s the Clintons could reasonably believe that free trade, the EITC, expanded education funding, and welfare reform would overall make America better for the poor. Almost everybody believed that.”

            I guess I’m more of an outlier than I thought, then.
            “Damn hippies” will now have to include me — and I never followed The Dead even when Jerry was alive, either.

          • “In the 90’s the Clintons could reasonably believe that free trade, the EITC, expanded education funding, and welfare reform would overall make America better for the poor. ”

            I don’t disagree with you on the first three. But I don’t think the Clintons are stupid, and they knew welfare reform, the Sister Souljah speech, putting 100,000 cops on the streets, expanding the death penalty, etc., were all about keeping the black man down.

            “And frankly I don’t know and have never heard of any Democrats who don’t care about economic inequality.”

            Well, I work in Hollywood and I know lots of them. :) But beyond that, I think it’s perfectly clear that a lot of Democrats supported the deregulation of the financial industry, oppose breaking up large financial institutions, don’t put much of a priority on antitrust enforcement, etc. In other words, they really don’t want to do anything about the financial sector, which is sort of the source of the really gross topline figures on income inequality.

        • brewmn

          Hate to interrupt Dilan’s gleeful Clinton-bashing, because it never gets old. But Bill Clinton Sistah Souljah’d his way to victory when it looked like Republicans had a lock on the presidency. And the next Democrat to win ran on their being no real divide between red states and blue states along with a mostly theoretical opposition to the Iraq War.

          The next Democrat to win the presidency on an unabashedly redistributionist program will be the first. You may hate “neoliberalism,” but, as rank-and-file Democrats define it, it still seems to be pretty popular. Expecting politicians to take positions guaranteed to lose them an election kind of misses the point.

          • CP

            Hate to interrupt Dilan’s gleeful Clinton-bashing, because it never gets old. But Bill Clinton Sistah Souljah’d his way to victory when it looked like Republicans had a lock on the presidency.

            Building off of this, it’s always struck me that in the nineties, when the trends that fueled the Reagan era (religious right, white backlash, still-overwhelmingly-white demographics, anti-crime and “blacks on welfare” platforms a big winner) were still so strong, expecting Bill Clinton to govern as a good New Deal era liberal… was just as crazy as those conservatives who expected Dwight Eisenhower, in the fifties, to govern as a Gilded Age era conservative. That’s simply not where the nation was at politically in those days. Those politics had been given thorough electoral thumpings recently and not following them wasn’t unreasonable. That doesn’t excuse Bill Clinton, exactly, but it does suggest pretty strongly that we couldn’t have gotten much better than him at the time.

            I am delighted that the party is finally moving on from that and back in the correct direction. But I also acknowledge that the context in the nineties was a lot more constraining.

            • Linnaeus

              The context matters and critics of Clinton specifically and the Democratic Party generally do need to take that into account. At the same time, it’s also important to note the role that politicians like Clinton played in creating that context.

              Put another way, Clintonism was a reaction to the political parameters of the time, but it wasn’t just that. Clinton wasn’t only making policy out of political necessity, but also because he really believed in it.

              • CP

                Well, yeah. But that’s my point. I believe that Clinton believed in a lot of what he was doing. But like I said, could we have gotten anyone better – that is, could someone farther to the left of him even have gotten through both the primaries and the general? And if they had, would the legislation that came out of Washington have been markedly better than it was under Clinton, given all the conservatives he still would’ve had to contend with?

                • jim, some guy in iowa

                  the sacrificial lambs that year, in addition to Clinton, were Jerry Brown Paul Tsongas Bob Kerrey and Tom Harkin. At that point in time Harkin would have been the most progressive of them all, and he got *nowhere*

                • Linnaeus

                  I’m not arguing that we could have done any better than Clinton. My point is that the conditions in which Clinton operated don’t have a single cause, and to the extent that the politics that Clinton represented and encouraged were part of that, they can be criticized, with appropriate caveats.

                • CP

                  Yeah, that’s fair.

          • “But Bill Clinton Sistah Souljah’d his way to victory when it looked like Republicans had a lock on the presidency.”

            It’s perfectly clear that any generic Democrat was likely to beat HW Bush in 1992. He was tremendously unpopular.

            Bill Clinton did that stuff because that’s who he was. His post-presidency– which includes quite a bunch of buckraking, by himself, his wife, and his daughter, even when it hurt Hillary’s chances of becoming President– certainly indicates he loves amassing wealth and doesn’t really want to take that on..

            • wjts

              It’s perfectly clear that any generic Democrat was likely to beat HW Bush in 1992. He was tremendously unpopular.

              This is absolutely and unassailably correct, and reflects the conventional wisdom of the time. In fact, almost exactly one year before the election (11/2/91) the popular television program Saturday Night Live aired a comedic sketch based on the premise that whoever ran against Bush was certain to beat him, because of his tremendous unpopularity.

              • He was at 91 percent at the time of the Gulf War, but in 1992 he was actually primaried because he was so unpopular. So making comments based on the state of play in 1991 shows you don’t know a thing about what happened.

                • wjts

                  The Persian Gulf War ended on February 28, 1991, very slightly more than eight months before that particular comedic sketch from the popular television program Saturday Night Live aired on November 2, 1991. November 2, 1991 was slightly more than three months before the first Republican primary on February 18, 1992. I’m not sure you’ll understand the relevance of these dates, but I’m afraid I can’t rephrase them as a strained and irrelevant poker analogy.

                • Beyond the snark, you have no point. Between 1991 and 1992 we had a recession and HW Bush cratered in the polls. That’s what resulted in the primary challenge– which has never happened again in American politics and had not happened before then since 1980. HW Bush went from 91 percent in the polls to getting slaughtered in the electoral college in a short period of time.

                  What you are really saying is SNL, which is not reliable political analysis, didn’t see the recession coming. Unfortunately, you know nothing about what actually happened in 1991 and 1992. Instead of mocking me (which takes zero brainpower), why don’t you educate yourself about a period of American history you clearly know nothing about?

                • wjts

                  The recession you’re talking about and which you’re accusing Saturday Night Live of failing to foresee began in July of 1990, sixteen months before the sketch, which reflected the widely-held belief a year out from the election that Bush would cruise to victory, aired. (The recession “officially” ended eight months before this particular sketch aired.) But please, let’s hear more about how I’m the dumb one building an ahistorical narrative here.

                • You are still in over your head. Recessions begin long before they are reported in the news media, because there is a lag on economic data and you need two quarters of bad retrospective data before a recession is declared.

                  The recession was THE issue in Pat Buchanan’s challenge in 1992. He used the slogan “George Bush still has his job, do you have yours?”. Which wouldn’t have been the slogan if people’s reaction was “what’s he talking about, the recession is over”.

                  Nor would there have been a sign in the Clinton campaign office in the FALL of 1992 saying “the economy, stupid”. People did not think the recession was over– they thought we were in the middle of it, and they blamed Bush for being out of touch. (The famous supermarket scanner incident was an example of this.)

                  Seriously, I lived through this, and you are very much in over your head.

                • wjts

                  I lived through it, too. I remember the economic debates (hence my quotation marks around “officially”). And I remember that a year out from the election, the conventional wisdom was that Bush’s reelection was in the bag, not that J. Generic Democrat would be the heavy favorite.

                • That’s got nothing to do with my point, which was as of November 1992 any generic Dem wins.

                • wjts

                  Fine. So at what point between November, 1991 (when everybody knew that there was no way Bush could lose to Any Democrat) and November 1992 (when everybody knew that there was no way Any Democrat could lose to Bush*) did Any Democrat become a lock? Before or after June 1992, which is when the Sister Souljah incident occurred?

                  *This may be true. I was pretty certain there was no way Clinton could lose in late October/early November when Bush took to calling his opponent(s) things like “Ozone Man” and “bozos” and the general opinion was that he looked ridiculous and slightly pathetic. (It was a kinder, gentler nation then, kids.)

      • nemdam

        As much as the term has been abused, there are actual neoliberals, and they are in the Democratic Party. Thankfully, their number is quite small, they have little influence, and that influence is declining. It’s why we have to go all the way to mayor of Chicago to find a real example.

        • CP

          The two problems with the “neoliberal” term as currently used by, mostly, people in the Sanders wing of the party, are that

          1) It is, as you say, a problem whose influence is declining – the party’s much more to the left economically than it was a decade ago, and that trend is still continuing. The 2016 election was an example of it. It would behoove the loudest critics of neoliberalism to notice this and adjust accordingly instead of refusing to take “yes” for an answer and continuing to attack people as neoliberals even after they meet them halfway.

          2) The other problem is, if you’re going to run nationwide campaigns and elect enough people to win big, you’re going to have some “neoliberals.” Chicago might be a place where you can realistically primary such people – I wouldn’t know, but I imagine so. But you can’t, to take a completely random example, complain that Democrats need to re-learn how to talk to heartlanders, and then whine about a candidate in fucking Georgia because he’s not “progressive” enough.

          • brewmn

            The opponent in Chicago mayoral elections is always more liberal than the favorite. The opponent always loses. Usually big. In the best chance for progressives since Washington slipped through thanks to the Byrne/Daley feud, Chuy Garcia lost by 12 points.

            • CP

              That’s depressing. Worth continuing to run against, of course, but still depressing as fuck.

              What’s Rahm’s constituency, anyway?

              • brewmn

                Damned if I know. Privatizing schools seems to be the only thing he’s stuck his neck out for. If there’s a constituency for that issue big enough to get someone elected mayor, then they truly are a silent majority.

      • Just_Dropping_By

        I’m not sure what this proposal has to do with market-based incentives and unleashing capitalism though. It’s getting slammed at places like Reason: http://reason.com/blog/2017/07/05/chicago-schools-to-students-submit-to-ou

  • NeonTrotsky

    Also, it’s not like there is really a great abundance of jobs for people with just a high school diploma. The unemployment rate for this group is like twice that of people with a Bachelors degree.

    • CP

      Worse, you know all those jobs out there that “only” require a GED? They’re now closed to Chicagoans who’ve just finished high school without having a job before.

      “I can’t get a job, because I can’t get a degree, because I can’t get a job, because I can’t get a degree, because I can’t get a job, because I can’t get a degree!” Fuck yeah, logic!

  • nominal

    You can’t even say this is a “bad” idea. It’s not an idea at all.

  • Lost Left Coaster

    The law, in its majestic equality, requires rich and poor alike to have a gap year letter in order to graduate.

  • CP

    To graduate from a public high school in Chicago, students will soon have to meet a new and unusual requirement: They must show that they’ve secured a job or received a letter of acceptance to college, a trade apprenticeship, a gap year program or the military.

    Are you fucking shitting me?

    • BiloSagdiyev

      Hmmm… they say whose military? Will local militias do?

  • CP

    It sounds good on paper

    No. No, it doesn’t even sound good on paper. It sounds fucking terrible on paper, and in real life, and on a boat and with a goat and in any other context you can imagine. It’s so fucking stupid it could’ve come from a Republican.

    • Lost Left Coaster

      A commitment from the school district to get every single graduating student connected to a job or college placement or something else would look good on paper. But making it a burden on the students in order to even graduate high school is grotesque.

      • CP

        Egg fucking zacktly. Fucking putz.

    • smartalek

      It’s so fucking stupid it could’ve come from a Republican.”

      I suspect it did.
      I’d really love to know the etiology of this abomination.

  • Ghostship

    Remind me now, is Rahm Emanuel a Democrat or a Republican? Is there any difference?

  • Is it just me or is Rahm making even the Daleys look good by comparison?

    • CP

      Fuck, is it just me, or is he making Capone look good by comparison? At least Capone ran bread lines.

  • DrDick

    All of Rahm’s policies are senseless on their face. Almost anywhere except Chicago, he would be a conservative Republican.

  • CP

    Would Chicago really withhold diplomas from students who meet every requirement except the new one? Jackson says it won’t come to that, because principals, counselors and teachers won’t let it. They’ll go to students in that situation and press them to make sure they have a plan.

    Of course. Create an impossible standard, tell your employees that it’s up to them to make it real, and then when it fails, presumably, blame the employees. Fucking worked great for the Soviet Union for seventy odd years.

    • postmodulator

      It has a lot of adherents in late capitalism, too.

      • BloodyGranuaile

        Honestly, it’s a normal enough set of expectations put on younger folks in late capitalism that I think it might be part of what’s fueling the angry generation gap among the Dems, especially around issues like single payer. Anytime someone who’s been in public service for 30 years tries to give some sort of reasonable-sounding advice about what is or is not politically possible, it fuels the sense that they’re out of touch. It’s fucked up that “Don’t hold us to impossible standards” sound like a plea for special treatment, but it is, and every time The Olds say it, younguns like me hear “I have no idea what life is like in the private sector these days.”

    • tsam100

      Also US anti-Soviet …stuff.

    • “Nothing is impossible to the man who doesn’t have to do it himself”

      • Bizarro Mike

        This puts me in mind of all the execrable “Can a man live on one dollar a day?” piffle from the 20’s.

  • BobOso

    I hope every single senior graduating fills out the formal forms to run for mayor and submits this as their graduation plan.

  • Mike G

    An idea so bone-stupid it could only come from upper management.

  • tsam100

    Hey Obama, how about calling up your former lackey here and straightening his dumb ass out?

    • LosGatosCA

      He delegated the task to Arne Duncan and he already has made the call.

      It wasn’t the one you wanted though.

      • tsam100

        Shoulda seen that coming.

  • Murc

    Everytime someone tells me that “neoliberal” has become a meaningless slur, I indicate Rahm Emmanuel in mute counterpoint.

    • CP

      Lieberman was my ur-example, but at least he’s gone. I’ll admit that Rahm is probably the worst of the Republicans-pretending-to-be-Democrats left in a highly ranked position.

      • habitus corporis, soros $hill

        seriously, how much time does this dickbag have left in office???

    • Linnaeus

      Bingo.

    • wjts

      Rahm is certainly a case where it’s not meaningless. But there are many, many cases where its used to tar someone whose economic beliefs/policies cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, be accurately described as “neoliberal”. (Cf. Perspective, P., Collected Works, passim.)

      • Linnaeus

        True enough, and I don’t think that that tendency is helpful at all. At the same time, the fact that a word can be used to mistakenly describe something doesn’t mean it has no use as a descriptive term at all.

        • wjts

          No, it’s a very useful term. But its ongoing redefinition by leftier-than-thous is unfortunately making it increasingly less useful.

          • billcinsd

            Some examples of its redefinition by llt’s would be helpful. I see it much more used by people like Scott L. who used to hew to soft-neoliberal orthodoxy and want to muddy the concept to provide themselves cover

            • wjts
            • econoclast

              “used by people like Scott L who used to hew to soft-neoliberal orthodoxy and want to muddy the concept to provide themselves cover” is a pretty good example, in of itself.

    • stepped pyramids

      Hey, at least we have him to thank for Tammy Duckworth.

    • mausium

      It has become such a worthless slur because it takes a douche on the level of Emmanuel to be a good example of the mindset.

    • JKTH

      This is more neofeudal than neoliberal.

    • econoclast

      I think this illustrates the uselessness of the concept, except as an insult. Rahm can plausibly be described as neoliberal, but this policy doesn’t derive from any neoliberal philosophy, but rather from Rahm’s own assholishness. It’s the kind of dickheaded conservative paternalism that a politician could have invented any time between the invention of public schooling and today.

  • NobodySpecial

    See, for me, this is where the neoliberalism argument lies. This guy was the right hand man of Bill Clinton (and for a brief time, Barack Obama), helping enforce his policies and working to dismantle policies that were not preferred. A lot of hammering was done by him for admittedly not good policy outcomes because that’s who he is and what he believes in.

    After his initial election to Mayor, he had a grace period, and used it to quickly make enemies in the Cook County government and the teachers union, and to continue to push tirelessly for such nonsense as increased charter school spending and the promotion of the high dollar portions of the city while dealing backhands to the poorer sections of the city. And even after that first shitshow, a lot of concerned Democrats wrung hands over the idea that Hizzoner might get a strong challenge from one of those uppity black women that he was fighting with or Latino guys in the city council, not that they had more than a puncher’s chance because Hizzoner spent an outsized amount of time raising a war chest from the glitterati.

    THIS, THIS is the neoliberalism the Democratic Party doesn’t need.

  • Its surprising Rham hasn’t taken a job with the Trump administration.

    • smartalek

      Maybe this is his job application?

  • lawguy

    Now let me see, who did this guy work for for some time after 2008 and didn’t the same guy support him strongly in both his campaigns for mayor? I mean I’m just asking.

    • whoever he was, i promise i won’t vote for him again.

  • The acquisition of an education has never been tied to employment from that education. Are we going to move this up a level and state that college students cannot receive a diploma unless they have a job before they graduate?

    • Lost Left Coaster

      I’m just having a dark fantasy that a PhD not be granted until the candidate has a job lined up…

      • Linnaeus

        It would certainly cut the number of Ph.D.s our universities granted…

        • Lost Left Coaster

          Imagine if I had spent my final year looking for a job instead of finishing writing my diss!

          • Linnaeus

            I know! How silly to work on finishing!

      • xenology

        What counts as a job here? I’m envisioning exciting new realms of adjunct exploitation…

    • Unemployed_Northeastern

      Don’t give Devos any ideas!

  • Judas Peckerwood

    What’s the problem here? This is an excellent introduction to the relentless real-life fuckings that students will experience for the rest of their lives at the hands of douchebag politicians like Rahm Emanuel.

    • brendalu

      The kids who’ll be impacted by this are in no need of such an introduction.

  • David Hunt

    I’ve heard a variety of harsh criticisms/opinions of Rahm Emmanuel, but I cant think of any explanation for this besides active, mustache-twirling evil.

    • Lost Left Coaster

      Well, I think maybe this sounds like a good idea to people who just don’t think about it very much, or who think that the problem with Chicago public school students it that they’re lazy rather than dealing with structural problems / poverty / racism / etc. So general dumbasses and dumbass racists might support this. That might be Rahm’s base…I don’t know Chicago well enough to be sure.

      • epidemiologist

        Ding ding ding!

        The first time Rahm ran he had a proposal to take away drivers licenses from kids who dropped out. I brought this up as an example of why Rahm is a nightmare and anyone who read his ideas would back away in horror. It turned out my parents thought it was great!

        In the kind of Chicago suburbs (or neighborhoods) people move to “for the schools”, you worry about your teen dropping out when they are lazy or Troubled. How convenient to have the city government help you threaten to ground them! The fact that most of those kids don’t actually end up dropping out and those who do drop out need to somehow get to work… Did not penetrate.

    • CP

      It really is the kind of policy that you normally have to go to the GOP to find. It takes a burden that’s already basically impossible to meet and them places it strategically on exactly the people on whom it will weigh the most harshly, along with consequences for failing to meet that burden that are likely to fuck up people’s entire lives. This isn’t something you explain with mere corruption or incompetence, it’s the kind of outright sadism/sociopathy that, again, the GOP has made the bedrock of its value system.

    • NobodySpecial

      Breaking unions is his thing, especially teacher’s unions. He’ll pile on crap until their back breaks, then use their injuries as a reason to ‘reform’ Chicago pensions, which is a thing his financial backers hate to think they’d have to pony up money for.

  • waspuppet

    “Janice Jackson, the school system’s chief education officer, said that is how the new requirement is supposed to work — pushing principals to improve efforts to help students prepare for the future.

    … it won’t come to that, because principals, counselors and teachers won’t let it. They’ll go to students in that situation and press them to make sure they have a plan.”

    Well, to be fair, the principle that people will work harder if you give them less money and fewer resources to do their jobs is applied consistently across the economic spectrum.

    Wait, that’s not right, is it?

    • smartalek

      It is…
      now.

      (hat tip to Frederic Brown — NOT Isaac Asimov; that was a different story entirely, tho the title would have fit equally well)

  • Linnaeus

    A sawbuck says we’ll see some kind of scandal in which student plans get faked, or lack of plans get ignored or something of that kind.

    • N__B

      Some enterprising 19-year-old is going to create a gap-year commitment paper mill.

      • smartalek

        A 19-year-old, you say?
        As P J O’Rourke put it so well, “Age and guile beat youth, innocence, and a bad haircut.”

      • BiloSagdiyev

        How about gap years for low income students to go to Cuba? I bet that would cause a minor meltdown in the wingnutosphere.

  • cs

    I’d guess those 5 options (job, college, apprenticeship, gap year, or military) cover what 99.5% of people want to do right after high school, but in a city as big as Chicago that other 0.5% could be a lot of people. Are they really going to deny a diploma to everyone who spends the year after high school being a full time housekeeper, or trying to make it as a musician or artist or writer, or undergoing a major medical procedure, or for that matter playing video games in their parents’ basement (not to mention those looking for work and not getting hired)?

    Of course, I suppose it goes without saying anyone well off or middle class will be able to arrange some kind of no-show on-paper unpaid internship or something to get around the requirement if it comes to that. So basically this is the usual condescending approach to the problems of the poor.

    • wjts

      Or moving out of Chicago.

      • CP

        Yeah, that occurred to me too – he’s begging for a big exodus.

    • Matty

      Want to do, sure. But given the massive (something like 40% for young black men*) un and underemployment in parts of the city, it’s not something that 99.5% of people are going to be able to do, especially if the requirement is to have an offer letter or W-2 in hand in order to get the diploma.

      *http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-youth-unemployment-data-0129-biz-20170127-story.html

    • Dune

      “musician or artists or writer” I don’t like the requirement, but to get around it couldn’t you call all those self-employed so you can get your diploma? “Self-employment and entrepreneurship are the greatest aspirations of all’ or something is a line lots of people would accept.

  • Bloix

    Fun fact: The community college system for Chicago (rebranded as “The City Colleges of Chicago”) is an open-admission system. So all a student will need to do is apply. No need to attend. (Best I can tell, there’s no application fee.) Guidance counselors and teachers will be scrambling to get this done instead of actually helping kids with real stuff. And some kids fail to graduate.
    Oh, and the community colleges will have no idea how many students they will be serving each fall once this goes into effect. But hey! What difference does that make?

    • epidemiologist

      Yep, all of this. I attended a few years ago and I think there was no admission fee. As far as I could get without reapplying, that still seems to be the case.

      With inadequate counseling and no particular plans for the next year, how many 17 year olds will realize that? At that age and with every advantage, I didn’t know how any of this worked and needed my mom to tell me basic things like to contest a decision if someone else lost my transcript.

  • gwen

    I like the basic premise of the idea but it needs a soft roll-out and maybe some kind of good-faith job-search waiver (as in “I spent 20 hours looking for a job, couldn’t find one”).

    Or just a generic hardship waiver, to cover the issue with girls with family responsibilities as well.

  • mombrava

    This will have bad effects on students, but it will also help make teachers’ lives even more miserable than they already are. As a Chicagoan, I know quite a few talented educators who have been run out of the profession by absurd “incentives” that are supposed to lead faculty and staff to do this or that, but that really just provide the rationale for more attacks on teachers and their unions. It would be one thing–still bad, mind you–if this came with a commitment to adequately fund advising services at all district schools, but it’s doesn’t, and support staff have already been cut to the bone. Just more work for an already underworked staff, and more burdens for students who could do without them.

  • DrS

    Y’all, I’m starting to think that Rahm might be an enormous pile of shit.

    • Linnaeus

      Well, you gotta start somewhere.

    • Steve LaBonne

      What was your first clue?

      • DrS

        When I realized he might be a piece of shit.
        He’s that and so much more :)

    • econoclast

      But when he ran for mayor the first time there was a funny fake Rahm twitter account that made him seem cool, so it’s all good.

  • Kevin

    Totally OT, but had to post on this:

    https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2017/07/04/controversial-u-of-t-professor-making-nearly-50000-a-month-through-crowdfunding.html

    This University of Toronto professor is making $50K a month from Patreon, because sad white boys are happy he is “anti-PC”. Seriously, what a fucking world we live in…

    • mombrava

      I saw that. Had no idea bashing someone’s fever dream version of gender studies could be so lucrative.

      • Kevin

        It’s insane! It reached $50K in June, but the article says it jumped starting in October. There’s a good chance he’s made half a million off of being a public asshole. Imagine the things that money could have done to actually benefit society.

        • CP

          This is the kind of thing that makes me think I should just abandon all notions of honest days’ work for honest days’ pay and just grift the shit out of these people.

          • Kevin

            It’s crowded, but very well funded. Guys like Mike Cernovich and Milo Yanopolos (i know I spelt that shit heads name wrong…i don’t care to google it), started grifting Gamergate losers, then moved to Trump losers (I think Cernovich started earlier with MRA losers). The losers don’t seem to care that they are obviously being grifted, they just want to say “kek” and “lol” to it all.

            • CP

              Yeah, but I don’t want to make money that way, though. But it’s real money… Fuck.

              • Kevin

                I know. Were I an asshole, I’d jump at the chance, taking money from these pathetic children is so easy. But I couldn’t do the whole “shit on disadvantaged people” thing, because, as I said above, I’m not an asshole.

                • CP

                  I don’t know, the readers can be finicky bastards, though.

                  There was this one kid that wrote the conservative opinion at my college newspaper for a couple years before he finally went too far, who was a real piece of work and seemed tailor-made for a career as a pundit. After he was fired from the college paper, I next found him a few months later writing his first op-ed for PJMedia.

                  It was, by their standards, completely unobjectionable: it was an entire article mercilessly mocking Obama for one single sentence, as a special snowflake sheltered by the liberal media cocoon. But… I don’t even remember what it actually was, but there was some turn of phrase somewhere in his article, or some angle of attack on Obama – something that would definitely have gone completely unnoticed by non-fanatics – that irritated a lot of his readers, and as a result he mostly got a bunch of cranky comments, and some accusing him of being an infiltrator, and asking why he was even allowed to post there. (Needless to say, that was his only article).

                  I can just totally see that happening – miss the shibboleth, pronounce a couple worship words wrong, whatever, and all of a sudden you’re tarred and feathered and run out on a rail.

          • smartalek

            You absolutely should.
            You get paid, they have less money available to do real damage elsewhere — a true win-win.

            • CP

              Yeah, but every time some Sikh, Muslim, black, immigrant, or protester got stabbed or shot, I’d know I was responsible in part.

        • tsam100

          Incredible. This may be the best testament to just how profoundly fucking STUPID conservatives are. They’re dumber than shit. Fucking give money to a jackass right wing professor strictly to reward him for being a right wing jackass…that’s next fucking level stupid right there.

    • mombrava

      Also, an easy way to get around pronoun difficulties in just learning student names. Saying “I will not use preferred pronouns” shows not just that you are an ass, but that you’re an ass who doesn’t care at all who your students are. The need to fight about this says a lot more about the person doing the fighting than it does about a college student who guys by “zher.”

      • reattmore

        Why wouldn’t she use whatever pronouns her students preferred?

    • Lost Left Coaster

      Oh lord I knew about him but I had no idea he was cashing in like this. What an asshole.

  • Lot_49

    This is a great idea and should be extended to the college level. No MFA in Creative Writing unless you’ve got a book contract for that first novel. No MBA unless you can show an offer from a hedge fund. No BA in Poly Sci unless you have a job offer from a congressman or senator.

    • No sports scholarship unless you’ve already signed with the majors! …. Oh, wait.

  • Bitter Scribe

    What do you expect from a school system headed by a “CEO” instead of a superintendent?

    • Matty

      It’s worse than that. Chicago’s school board, all 7 members, are appointed by the Mayor. Which means that Rahm Fucking Emmanuel has ultimate control of the Chicago Public Schools. The Trib’s useless editorial board actually had this as their main reason for opposing our most recent elected school board bill.

      • Linnaeus

        Mayoral control was one of the education “reforms” that was supposed to help schools improve by getting past pesky elected school boards and enacting Real Accountability. Obviously, that’s gone well.

  • ASV

    Presumably the state could preempt this, yes? Seems like a good topic to bring up with the Democrats running for governor, particularly since one of them is a Chicago alderman.

  • wengler

    Why is it that all these Third Way DLCers(I’ll put Bloomberg in here too) have uniquely bad ideas? As far as I can tell this is a bad idea for everyone. No one wins, everyone loses. The lack of perspective is astonishing.

    • Steve LaBonne

      The rich fuckers- including Emanuel and Bloomberg- never lose. There’s your answer.

  • JR in WV

    Really, there are just going to be a lot of letters of acceptance to jobs/programs/school/apprenticeships which don’t come to fruition in the months after graduation.

    Which is OK, because the Board of Education loses their authority over students once they graduate.

    Oh, wait, Mayor Rahm Seggfej (IwishIknewhowtospellassholeinHungarian—AhHa!) appears to have all the authority in the Chicago School System. Is there a School Board? Are those folks elected, or does Mayor Seggfej appoint them at his pleasure? We elect them here, and the state BoE has strict oversight.

    • I was just thinking there are going to be a lot of friends-of-friends signing letters every April saying, yeah, I’m going to hire Little Skippy over here to help run my bank/grocery store/lawn care service/artisinal donut emporium.

    • epidemiologist

      Chicago has a school board appointed by the mayor.

  • smartalek

    It sounds good on paper

    It does?
    To whom, pray?

  • Unemployed_Northeastern

    I have the deliciously cruel notion that this should be implemented in law schools. Watch graduation rates drop to 60%, if that.

  • tomstickler

    Memo: beatings will continue until morale improves.

    • LosGatosCA

      Actually beatings will continue until the public schools have been hijacked by private equity holding the kids ransom to kill the unions.

      Get rich, screw the kids, and eliminate/humiliate a key part of Democratic Party base.

      Not a bad day’s work for a neoliberal.

  • fearandloathing

    Just get rid of the minimum wage. If you put folks in a position where they have to get a job to get a diploma, then they’ll take a job for 50 cents an hour.

  • AGoodQuestion

    I just looked up Rahm’s Wikipedia article and saw he’s been Mayor since 2011. Feels like a lot longer.

  • Rusty SpikeFist

    Remember when Putin forced Obama to appoint Rahm to his administration, endorse him twice for mayor, and bail him out several times with public support when he disgraced himself beyond redemption by any other means? https://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/president-obama-endorses-rahm-in-radio-ad/Content?oid=16319103

    • econoclast

      I find this comment weirdly illuminating about your mentality. You clearly feel tainted by Obama. I have a long list of ways in which Obama sucked. I would not name any future children after him. But this list doesn’t torment me the way it torments you.

  • patrick II

    So, if there is another banking scandal and recession with high unemployment in the black community, in addition to everything else that community has to suffer their kids won’t be able to graduate from high school?

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