Sunday, October 2, 2011

What's in a Contract?

I just signed a new contract for a second book with Tate Publishing Company for which I am very excited!  Though I have already been dealing with Tate since 2009 when they began the printing and publishing process for my first book, I took the time to read my new contract and ask pertinent questions.  Once I signed that contract I knew it was a binding agreement (as all contracts are supposed to be).  While this may seem like a simple concept to understand, I find it so frustrating that CEO  Brizard of the Chicago Public Schools just does not get it. The teachers have a contract that terminates June 30, 2012.  Until that time, the contract should be upheld, but time and again CEO Brizard and Rahm Emanuel show us what they really think of a binding agreement....not much! 

Shortly before the beginning of the regular school year, Emanuel stated that he will have 30 schools on board with his "longer school day".  Through  promises of stipends and material goods (like IPads), he only has 13 schools who voted in favor of this and by all accounts some of the voting was done in true Chicago fashion.  Many schools have voted NO to the waiver (of the contract), while many others have just said NO they're not voting at all.  It's a non-issue until the next school year.  Since the tactics used thus far have not yielded the expected results, Brizard has now turned to Karen Lewis, President of the Chicago Teachers Union, to help "pick" the next 25 schools to extend their day. In essence he's asked the CTU's own president to help waive the teachers' rights under their own contract.

"Rather than continue implementation of the longer school day school-by-school, case-by-case, and vote-by-vote, we would like to work with you and your members to choose the next 25 schools that will start a longer day in January. Together we can help design guidelines on structuring the longer day for schools that would start in January 2012 and be the model for preparing all schools for the longer day in the 2012-2013 academic year. In short, work with your members at schools that are interested in moving to the longer day to help select the next 25 pioneer schools and help create the guidelines that will structure how those additional 90 minutes of instructional time are used." Click Here for Original Source

Karen Lewis, who replied she never received a message on this topic, stated:

"We learned of this letter through media inquiries. The open letter insinuates that CPS is willing to stop its illegal practice of going “school-by-school, case-by-case, and, vote-by-vote” if only the Union will help them find another 25 schools to switch to a longer schedule in January." Click Here for Original Source

Hopefully, Karen Lewis will not falter but continue to uphold the contract through the remainder of the school year even if that means Emanuel can't get his 30 schools and mark this one off his list of campaign promises.

Luckily there are people and businesses out there that still know the meaning of a contract and how to uphold them.



  1. Hey Lisa, congratulations on your new contract! What will your new book be about?

  2. Thanks Marja! My upcoming book is a children's book entitled The Moose at the Manger. You can check out my new moose blog at