Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Chicago's Teachers "Won't Back Down" and Inspire Teachers Throughout the Nation

Whatever the outcome, the Chicago Teachers strike shows that cross section of the nation's teachers are fed up with being made the whipping boy for the nation's failure to reduce racial and economic inequality and provide equal educational opportunity for its citizens. You do not mobilize tens of thousands of people to put their jobs at risk and take to the picket line without a powerful undercurrent of frustration and rage with the way they have been treated. The strike won't stop Education Reformers- who have the support of the nation's biggest corporations- from cementing their stranglehold on education policy on the local and national level, and from consolidating their influence in both major parties. But it pulls aside the facade of support and compliance with the Obama Administration's education policies that the Democratic National Convention hoped to project and revealed how wildly unpopular Race to the Top is with many of America's teachers, and a small, politically savvy group of public school parents. The strike also provides a powerful antidote to the propaganda campaign for the new Hollywood teacher bashing movie "Won't Back Down" which hits American theaters at the end of the month. The sea of red shirts marching through Chicago, and the teachers around the country wearing red in solidarity, show that teachers may not be as easy a target as the movie's backers anticipated. The Chicago Teachers Union has flipped the script on Michelle Rhee, Democrats for Education reform and other backers of school privatization and showed how a teachers union can be a militant advocate for the right of students to have a school experience which includes music, art, sports and class sizes small enough to receive individual attention. There is no guarantee that the strike will achieve its major goals, but it has already succeeded in giving America's teachers a huge emotional lift and in forcing the media to recognize that teachers voices cannot be marginalized and suppressed without significant consequences


james77777 said...

Time to form a state wide union to protest pensions cuts that are really differed income. We have the NEA, IFT, AFT and I was FIC-CIO. The pension was set by the state and promised by the state. I say, shut down the education for the state. Say you can't flush and see what plumber comes knowing he won't be paid. Need a heart transplant? Tell the doctor you don't have insurance. I guess you die. There is plenty of money for wars, but teachers are greedy according to those not in education. I grow weary of people being experts that know nothing about it.

james77777 said...