We Want Harold (again)

These past few weeks as I’ve watched government operate at the local level, I can’t help but think that Harold Washington would be rolling in his grave. As we’ve been  commemorating Harold’s all-too-short realm of openness and fairness, so-called “open hearings” these...

Mr. President, Can We Talk about Education?

Dear President Obama, I am still so very glad to wake up every morning to find you are still president. I worked hard to help make that happen, especially because the Affordable Care Act made a difference to me as it did for millions of people. But I’d like to...

Red State/Blue State

I’ve spent the last three days in Kenosha, Wisconsin for the final push in this long 2012 election year. We thought we’d be in Ohio but in the last few days, everyone from Illinois has been sent to Wisconsin. But we’re also working for Rob Zerban,...

A Tale of Two Strikes

In the 1980s I covered three Chicago teacher strikes as an education reporter for a community newspaper. Today, twenty-five years after the last strike I reported on, I am watching as a parent. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what is different about this...

A N. Ireland Lesson for South Siders

This article appeared in the Chicago SunTimes on March 9, 2012) Recently I traveled to Northern Ireland, where I had lived for six years during the ’90s. I was curious to see how things had changed nearly 15 years after the Good Friday Agreement, whether the walls...