One wonders just how far Mayor Rahm will go with his ISAT investigations.
  • Chandler West/Sun-Times Media
  • One wonders just how far Mayor Rahm will go with his ISAT investigations.

For the past few days I’ve been talking to teachers from Drummond and Saucedo schools about the ongoing central-office ISATgate investigation.

That’s the investigation CPS has launched into whether teachers should be banned from teaching for the high crime of telling students that it’s OK not to take the ISAT—a meaningless standardized test CPS is phasing out.

It’s not pretty. Basically, law department investigators call in various teachers and ask them to name the names of other teachers.

Who may or may not have organized opposition to the ISAT.

For teachers, here’s the choice: if you want to save your hide, throw a colleague to the wolves. Looks like these investigators learned a trick or two from Senator Joe McCarthy.

You might wonder how CPS—so dead broke it had to close 50 schools—has enough money to keep investigators on the payroll to investigate stuff that’s not even illegal.

It probably comes out of the same petty cash fund that enables CPS to spend untold millions on principal leadership training, as well as ISAT prep and new furniture for the central office.

By the way, good job Lauren FitzPatrick on breaking that story on the furniture.

Anyway, I’ll give the central-office interrogators credit for this—at least they know enough to offer teachers their Weingarten rights.

Weingarten rights come from a U.S. Supreme Court decision that guarantees union employees the right to representation during interrogations—like the ongoing ISAT grillings.

In this case, if a teacher says, yes, I want representation, CPS has to hold off interrogation till the union rep shows up.

From what teachers have been telling me, the Starsky and Hutch wannabes from the central office have been pretty good about reading them their Weingarten rights.

I wish they had Weingarten rights for the eight-year-olds the goons have been grilling.

Little-known fact—I happen to know a CTU rep. His name is John Kugler, and he’s a real character.

He has a button that says “union thug,” and he likes to needle central-office big shots and principals with wisecracks and sarcastic comments. As far as I can tell, Mayor Emanuel’s staffers hate him, ’cause they think he’s mean and nasty.

In short, he’s probably the first guy I’d call if I were a teacher hauled in as part of this witch hunt.

I don’t know how far Mayor Emanuel plans to take this ISAT investigation. Is he just messing with a few teachers because he has nothing better to do, now that he’s closed all those schools?

Or is he seriously going for blood—determined to strip ISAT-protesting teachers of their state certification, as if they were felons?

We’ll have to watch.

But as long as CPS has the money to launch investigations, how about investigating something worth investigating? Like who was behind the infamous paid-protester scandal from a couple of years ago.

That’s when homeless people got paid to board buses and go to hearings and cheer CPS for closing schools.

I say we send Starsky and Hutch to the fifth floor and interrogate the mayor about what he knew and when he knew it.

Don’t worry, Mr. Mayor. I’ll make sure they read you your Weingarten rights—just as if you were a real union teacher.