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Ben Joravsky Interviews by Dave Glowacz

Dave Glowacz's interviews with Ben Joravsky have moved from this site to Inside Chicago Government (chigov.com). We'll no longer update this site, and soon it will forward to chigov.com.

If you have a podcast subscription to Ben Joravsky interviews, it'll transfer automatically. For all other podcast subscriptions, you must subscribe to one of our new feeds at chigov.com.


For interviews from past years click on one of these: 20112010200920082007

10/25/12 “Testing in Kindergarten: Whatever Happened to Story Time?”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: The expectation that kindergarten will teach students to read; why Illinois didn't receive federal Race to the Top funds; and Diane Ravitch's historical perspective of school performance. Length 14.5 minutes. • To hear Diane Ravitch's interview (35.5 min.) on This Is Hell click here

10/11/12 “How the Democrats Let Derrick Smith Shoot Them in the Foot ”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: Jesse White's staggering miscalculations around legislative appointments; how poorly the West Side's political leaders serve it; and comparing Rep. Smith to former Gov. Blagojevich. Length 14.9 minutes. • To see a map of the 10th Illinois representative district click here

10/4/12 “Today's Lesson: Charters Do Not Outperform Unionized Schools”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: Standardized testing as a barometer of what a student needs to know; whether unionization factors into student performance; and whether teacher tenure actually exists. Length 11.1 minutes.

9/27/12 “Fighting for the Right to Fire Bad Teachers—and Good Ones Too”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: The legal basis for Mr. Corral's suit; the number of Chicago charter schools having union representation; and teachers treated as children. Length 13.8 minutes. • To see a list of charters schools organized by the Alliance of Charter Teachers and Staff (as of 10/1/12) click here

9/20/12 “The Last Democracy in Chicago?” (AKA “Democracy Is Messy—Welcome to the Teachers' Union”) • Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: The mistake of separating teachers from the union representing them; the Chicago Teachers Union ripe for criticism; and how the board of education has broken contractual agreements. Length 13.5 minutes.

9/13/12 “Why Chicago Teachers Hate Rahm”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: How at-home investigators can analyze Chicago Public Schools payroll; one of the phoniest issues in the education debate; and why South Side teachers might not want to end the strike. Length 15.2 minutes.

9/6/12 “With Democrats Like These, Who Needs Republicans?”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: The possible collusion between former Pres. Bush and former Mayor Daley; the normalization of Alderman Joe Moore; and predictions on whether Chicago teachers will strike. Length 16 minutes.

8/30/12 “Akins in Our Midst?”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: The surprising requirements of state law for sex education; when not to blame voters for bad election results; and the People's Rights Amendment. Length 11.9 minutes.

8/16/12 “Prentice Preservationists Put Rahm in a Bind” (AKA “Right Where Rahm Doesn't Want to Be”) • Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: A rundown of the members of the Commission on Chicago Landmarks; the most rubber-stamp-like body in city government; and the public expense for saving Prentice. Length 15.2 minutes.

8/9/12 “The Grow House Next Door”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: The two forms of justice; why prosecutors stay tight-lipped; and what made this a hard story to write. Length 9.5 minutes.

8/2/12 “Say It Ain't So, Joe” (AKA “Moore and Emanuel Block Elected School Board”) • Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: Why the mayor controls who chairs city council committees; Ben's defense of Alderman Moore; and an elected school board--a bad idea? Length 13.8 minutes.

7/19/12 “As the Slush Fund Shrinks, the Mayor Dips In Anyway” (AKA “The Shrinking Slush Fund”) • Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: Why property taxes go up when property values go down; how taxing bodies come up with the tax levy; and the different ways of structuring a tax-increment financing deal. Length 10.3 minutes.

7/5/12 “The Rahmney Plan for Schools”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: The game of comparing schools via test scores; the Democratic Party's drift toward charter schools; and why Mayor Emanuel wants a teachers' strike. Length 10.9 minutes.

7/5/12 “How Chicago Said Yes to Pot”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: Whether Chicago police will start ticketing more white marijuana users; what'll come next in Mick and Ben's marijuana-law reporting; and the schizophrenia of American marijuana laws. Length 6 minutes.

6/28/12 “The Mayor's Millionaire Club, Part II”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: When Mayor Emanuel acts in opposition to his conservative leanings; whether city officials' planning conversations should remain confidential; and the mysterious CME Group meeting. Length 12.5 minutes.

6/7/12 “It's No Foxie Brown: Mayor Emanuel Makes a TIF Movie” (AKA “The Mayor Makes a TIF Movie”) • Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: What might've motivated the Emanuel administration to make the TIF video; how the administration has done on meeting the goals identified by the mayor's TIF task force; and Ben's rebuttal video. Length 11.8 minutes.

5/24/12 “Summits Come and Go, but the Mayor's Handouts Never End” (AKA “While You Were Distracted by NATO . . .”) • Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: Whether the city still doesn't check on the jobs pledges of TIF-fund recipients; what sort of central business district investments make the most sense; and the surprising bastions of unionism. Length 14.4 minutes.

5/10/12 “Mayor Emanuel's Dumping Ground?”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: Why border-situated land owners can have their land transferred to a suburb; whether landfills necessarily make for obnoxious neighbors; and Mayor Emanuel's calculus. Length 9.4 minutes. • To see a map of the 138th Street landfill area click here

4/26/12 “The Stand-up Guy” (AKA “The Man Who Wasn't Afraid of the Mayor”) • Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: Who voted against the mayor's proposed infrastructure trust and why; why the early infrastructure trust investors might have gotten involved; and how the city council might end up voting on certain unique infrastructure deals. Length 12.4 minutes.

4/12/12 “The Mayor Has Big Plans for the City's Infrastructure Trust. Wish We Knew What They Were.” (AKA “The Trust Fund Mayor”) • Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: Whether the proposed infrastructure trust must actually comply with Freedom of Information Act regulations; how the trust resembles other mayoral proposals; and why some aldermen seem to have rebelled. Length 12.4 minutes. • To see the proposed infrastructure trust ordinance click here

3/29/12 “How Rahm Emanuel Can 'Save' the Schools”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: What Mayor Emanuel knows about the school system or, for that matter, the city; why the mayor won't back down regarding a one-size-fits-all longer school day; and how Chicago Public Schools would find the funding for a longer school day. Length 7.7 minutes.

3/15/12 “What’s Really Going On in the Primary Elections”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: A state legislative district primer; the drama behind the mayor's endorsement in the 39th state rep district; and Ben's picks in the state Supreme Court primary. Length 10 minutes. • For a map of the Chicagoland state legislative districts click here

3/1/12 “My Property Tax Bill Is Defective—I Want a Refund!”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: How local government has already lost money on the NATO summit; a look at an older, and maybe better, form of Chicago school board; and a way to decrease reliance on property taxes. Length 8.1 minutes

2/23/12 “The Reader Goes to Charter School”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: How Ben and Mick ended up at a UNO school; why charters don't pay their teachers more; and why charters might reject the "public school" label. Length 5.2 minutes.

2/17/12 “Your NATO/G8 Primer”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: The appropriateness of World Business Chicago controlling a major city event; distinguishing WBC from a chamber of commerce; and whether the city council's revocation of its contract-approval power goes beyond the NATO/G8 summit. Length 6.2 minutes.

2/2/12 “With Library Cuts, Emanuel Turns the Page Backward” (AKA “The Sword Is Mightier Than the Pen”) • Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: Why librarians have to work six days per week; whether library cuts really have to do with finance; and why Mary Dempsey has no peer in the Emanuel administration. Length 9.5 minutes.

1/19/12 “State Tax Break for the Merc Is More Laughable with Each Passing Day”Click here to listen • Read the articleDescription: Origin of the mythology around CME Group's tax-burden claim; the possible fairness of CME Group's existing income taxes; and trying to calculate the economic benefit per job. Length 9.5 minutes.