Mike Klonsky sez:

With two weeks to go until election day and both candidates running neck-and-neck with a big undecided, Chicago mayoral candidate Brandon Johnson finally offered up some light in an otherwise dreary, all-about-policingTV debate with school privatizer, Paul Vallas.

It happened when Johnson was asked whether teachers should be blamed for steep declines in math test scores among Black and Latino students that occurred during the pandemic. A question that should have answered itself.

Johnson’s response:

“You’re asking me whether or not we should hold teachers responsible for poverty? … We have 20,000 students who are homeless. The vast majority of our students are living in poverty. If we’re not addressing the living conditions and the working conditions of our communities, then we’re not serious about improving the lives of our children.”

“A standardized test that has roots in eugenics to prove the inferiority of Black people should not be the measurement. … Thirty-five percent of families on the North Side of Chicago make $100,000-a-year or more. Half of the West Siders and South Siders make less than $25,000 a year. That is the way we improve public education. By improving the lives of people who are raising children.”

Isn’t it odd that the debate moderators never suggest that teachers should be credited with those scores being high in the first place? Scoundrels like Vallas, who never taught a day in their lives, like to credit themselves for math score gains.

More cops … Fewer cops … More detectives … Bring back old retired cops… What has all this got to do with violence prevention? Not much.

Up to that point, the moderators’ questions were all about cops, cops, and more cops with the unstated assumption being that the city’s escalating rate of crime and violence during the heart of the pandemic, was all about policing or the lack thereof. There was hardly a mention of concentrated poverty or the easy flow of guns into the city.


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