WBEZ | Paul Vallas http://www.wbez.org/tags/paul-vallas Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en On education, candidates for Illinois governor closer than they think http://www.wbez.org/news/education-candidates-illinois-governor-closer-they-think-110575 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/rauner-christie.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>The Republican candidate for Illinois governor says he&rsquo;ll soon be talking more about his top priority: education. Bruce Rauner has been involved in education for years, giving lots of money to schools and programs he believes in. But expanding his vision in Illinois&rsquo; political climate is another matter altogether.</p><p>Bruce Rauner, the Republican venture capitalist, has made a name for himself in education - literally. Rauner College Prep is a charter school on Chicago&rsquo;s near west side. He&rsquo;s also been recognized by education groups for his philanthropic work.</p><p>&ldquo;Education is simply the most important thing we do together as a community. There&rsquo;s nothing more important,&rdquo; Rauner said during a debate organized by ABC 7 and Univision in the Republican primary. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s our future. It&rsquo;s our democracy. It&rsquo;s our income level. It&rsquo;s at the core of every challenge that we face.&rdquo;</p><p>Sources say Rauner was active behind the scenes in one of the biggest education policy initiatives to pass the state legislature in recent years. Senate Bill 7 was later signed into law by Rauner&rsquo;s now-Democratic opponent, Gov. Pat Quinn.</p><p>The legislation dealt with teacher strike votes, evaluations and tenure. But when negotiations around those issues veered away from Rauner&rsquo;s own vision, he distanced himself from the bill.</p><p>Some who&rsquo;ve worked closely with Rauner on education issues say debates like that are why he is running for governor - to have the authority &nbsp;to put his stamp on education policy.</p><p>&ldquo;More charter schools, vouchers for poor kids, merit pay for great teachers, modified tenure so ineffective teachers aren&rsquo;t locked in jobs forever,&rdquo; Rauner said in that same debate.</p><p>But a governor&rsquo;s accomplishments are rarely solitary efforts. &nbsp;</p><p>It&rsquo;s a pretty unique example, but 10 years ago, then-Governor Rod Blagojevich was in full rhetorical mode for an hour of his State of the State address. He spent more than an hour of his 90-minute address completely trashing the state&rsquo;s education board.</p><p>&ldquo;The Illinois State Board of Education is like an old, Soviet-style bureaucracy,&rdquo; Blagojevich said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s clunky and inefficient. It issues mandates. It spends money. It dictates policy and it isn&rsquo;t accountable to anyone for anything.&rdquo;</p><p>Blagojevich called for abolishing the Illinois State Board of Education and creating a new cabinet department under his office - a Department of Education.</p><p>The idea went nowhere. Blagojevich didn&rsquo;t get legislators or interest groups on board.</p><p>That bit of history points to the political structure Rauner would have to work with.</p><p>More charter schools?</p><p>That means getting the legislature&rsquo;s okay.</p><p>School vouchers?</p><p>That&rsquo;s also a legislative issue.</p><p>Paying teachers based on the quality of their work?</p><p>He&rsquo;d likely have to get lawmakers on board.</p><p>&ldquo;I think whether this is a Governor Rauner or a Governor Quinn, what we&rsquo;re finding is there&rsquo;s a lot more support by legislators quietly to support some transformative policy,&rdquo; said Myles Mendoza with Ed Choice Illinois. His organization is a non-profit that wants to expand educational alternatives for families.</p><p>Mendoza said a good example of the bipartisan movement around education change is Gov. Quinn&rsquo;s Democratic running mate, Paul Vallas. Vallas ran public schools in Chicago, New Orleans, and Philadelphia.</p><p>&ldquo;Both Paul Vallas and Bruce Rauner have really been aligned, very, very similar in their thinking of how they would approach education policy,&rdquo; Mendoza said.</p><p>I asked Mendoza if it&rsquo;s weird, seeing Republicans and Democrats &nbsp;aligned that way.</p><p>&ldquo;It certainly does scramble the radar,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>What he means is that Vallas, a Democrat, and Rauner, a Republican, have taken similar stands against teachers unions and the Democrats who traditionally support them.</p><p>Dan Montgomery heads the Illinois Federation of Teachers, a union that represents about 80,000 teachers in the state, including charter schools.</p><p>Montgomery said politics has framed the debate around education in the wrong context.</p><p>&ldquo;The challenges we have in this state are not about tenure, you know? They&rsquo;re not about merit pay,&rdquo; Montgomery said. &ldquo;The challenges we have in the state are parents who look around and they say, &lsquo;How come my kid&rsquo;s school doesn&rsquo;t have a library?&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p>He says Bruce Rauner has made unions the enemy, and his economic and tax policies are examples of the misguided debate. Montgomery repeats something Quinn&rsquo;s campaign often says, that Rauner&rsquo;s plans will lose the state millions and he&rsquo;ll end up having to cut education funding.</p><p>Montgomery says unions should get ready to find support in the legislature to resist negative education changes if Rauner&rsquo;s elected.</p><p>But they should also be ready for another tactic: That Rauner would go around the legislature altogether with executive orders.</p><p><em>Tony Arnold covers Illinois politics for WBEZ. Follow him </em><a href="https://twitter.com/tonyjarnold"><em>@tonyjarnold</em></a><em>.</em></p></p> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 11:02:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/education-candidates-illinois-governor-closer-they-think-110575 Morning Shift: USDA suggests changes to SNAP program http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-09-12/morning-shift-usda-suggests-changes-snap-program <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Veg - Flickr - danicuki.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>WBEZ producer Monica Eng explains how the USDA aims to rehabilitate the SNAP program. And, former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas is using his experience here to try to reform troubled schools in other large cities. What solutions would he suggest for CPS now?</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-63/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-63.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-63" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: USDA suggests changes to SNAP program" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Thu, 12 Sep 2013 08:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-09-12/morning-shift-usda-suggests-changes-snap-program Front-runner Emanuel gets hit on immigration in final debate http://www.wbez.org/story/carol-moseley-braun/front-runner-emanuel-gets-hit-immigration-final-debate <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//IMG_0021.JPG" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: left;">Candidates for Chicago mayor are trying to bruise the front-runner as election day draws closer. In the final televised debate, Rahm Emanuel faced particular scrutiny on the issue of immigration.<br /><br />The next mayor likely won't spend a lot of time on immigration policy, but it consumed a chunk of Thursday night's debate hosted by ABC-7 and the League of Women Voters.<br /><br />Gery Chico, Carol Moseley Braun and Miguel del Valle each said Emanuel failed on immigration reform when he was in Congress and when he worked for President Obama. <br /><br />&quot;The fact of the matter is that Rahm Emanuel referred to immigration as the third rail of politics when he advised his colleagues in Congress not to pursue immigration reform,&quot; del Valle said.<br /><br />&quot;We ought to, as a nation, once and for all, figure out federal immigration reform,&quot; Chico said. &quot;It didn't happen on Mr. Emanuel's watch as chief of staff, but I was so proud to see President Obama during the state of the Union, just recently, put it right back on the agenda.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;You have been, Mr. Emanuel, shown that you were directly involved with killing the DREAM Act when it came through, so to listen to you deny it is really kind of surprising,&quot; Moseley Braun said.<br /><br />Emanuel defended his record on immigration, saying after the debate that his congressional voting record on the issue mirrored that of U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez. The Chicago Democrat has endorsed Chico, and criticized Emanuel on the immigration issue.<br /><br />As for his White House record, Emanuel said when President Obama took office, he faced an immediate economic crisis.<br /><br />&quot;He made the decisions as president what to move forward, and those are the things he moved forward,&quot; Emanuel said.<br /><br />Emanuel would not say what he advised the president to focus on, calling such conversations private.<br /><br />Also during the one-hour debate, some of the candidates revealed who would make up their informal &quot;kitchen cabinet&quot; if they win the election. <br /><br />Moseley Braun said she would consult family, friends and John Rogers, an investment banker and major campaign donor. Rahm Emanuel also includes a couple campaign donors on his list, including David Mosena, the head of the Museum of Science and Industry who previously worked for Mayor Daley.<br /><br />Miguel del Valle was the only candidate to refuse to say specifically who'd advise him, saying he would cast a wide net.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img height="188" width="250" class="caption" title="(WBEZ/Sam Hudzik)" alt="Carol Moseley Braun and Miguel del Valle chatting before the debate began." src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-February/2011-02-17/IMG_0016.JPG" /></p><p style="text-align: left;">&quot;For too long in the city of Chicago, the mayor has been surrounded by a very small, close knit circle, and that's why gentlemen like Gery Chico got appointed to everything, because the circle is so small,&quot; del Valle said, to laughter and cheers in the crowd at the Oriental Theatre in downtown Chicago.<br /><br />Chico has had stints on the boards of the Chicago Public Schools, the park district and city Colleges, as well as Mayor Richard Daley's staff. For his part, Chico said his list of advisors would include Gutierrez and former schools chief Paul Vallas, whose brother has donated to Chico's campaign.</p><p style="text-align: left;"><i style="">Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated David Mosena's employer. He works as president and CEO of the Museum of Science and Industry.</i></p></p> Fri, 18 Feb 2011 05:23:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/carol-moseley-braun/front-runner-emanuel-gets-hit-immigration-final-debate Paul Vallas endorses Gery Chico for Chicago mayor http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-mayoral-race/paul-vallas-endorses-gery-chico-chicago-mayor <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//Vallas_cropped.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Mayoral Candidate Gery Chico is getting the endorsement of a Chicago education heavyweight Paul Vallas. Vallas was the former CEO of Chicago Public Schools before leaving to head public schools in Philadelphia and later New Orleans. Vallas said in the ten years they worked together he witnessed Chico&rsquo;s ability to reform schools and balance budgets. &ldquo;Those things were not done with smoke and mirrors, or borrowing, or with financial creativity they were done by making tough decisions and trying to make government run more efficiently,&rdquo; Vallas said.</p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--> <p class="MsoNormal">Chico would not say whether he would ask Vallas to join his administration if elected mayor. Chico is one of 20 candidates in the Chicago mayoral race. Other candidates include Roland Burris, Rev. James Meeks, Rahm Emmanuel and Senator Danny Davis.</p></p> Tue, 23 Nov 2010 19:59:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-mayoral-race/paul-vallas-endorses-gery-chico-chicago-mayor