Seeing Red: Why The Chicago Teachers Strike Is The Best Lesson The CTU Could Have Planned

Picture: Basil D. Soufi (CC)

“When the powers that be are shutting you out of your life, you must take a stand. And it’s a lesson that teachers themselves learned from the communities they serve.”

Via The Occupied Chicago Tribune:

When a teachers’ strike started to look like a realistic possibility earlier this spring, CPS Chief Communications Officer Becky Carroll warned the readers of Catalyst, “Any talk of a strike is the wrong message to send our schools, students and taxpayers.” For her, and the rest of the privatization evangelists at CPS, the “right” message is simple—shut up and do what you’re told.

Of course, Carroll, who makes $165,000 per year, isn’t paid that kind of money to tell the truth. Luckily for us, neither Chicago teachers nor the larger education community are giving much credence to CPS talking points.

The corporate education “reformers” have been experimenting on Chicago’s most underserved students and schools for more than two decades, trying any quick-fix makeovers so long as such schemes keep the public out of the discussion on how best to educate our city’s children. The so-called innovations taking place in charter and turnaround schools are making chaos of students’ formative years and relegating the art of teaching to rote instruction.

Faced with such a dire situation, the Chicago Teachers Union’s decision to strike is perhaps the best lesson they could have planned—when the powers that be are shutting you out of your life, you must take a stand. And it’s a lesson that teachers themselves learned from the communities they serve.

Before CTU President Karen Lewis and members of the Caucus of Rank-and-File Educators (CORE) became the new union leadership in 2010, the CTU, like its national union, the American Federation of Teachers, was a willing pawn in the privatization game. CORE broke from the CTU leadership and won respect from the majority of union members by actively supporting parent- and student-led protests at schools across the city. After gaining office, they continued to organize against privatization with the already active education community, and to educate its own members about the importance of doing so.

Read the full post at The Occupied Chicago Tribune.

, , ,

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    > the teachers union continued to organize against privatization with the already active
    education community, and to educate its own members about the importance of doing so

    personally
    I think the propaganda that poses as edumacation
    should be disseminated by corporate lackeys instead of publicly funded lackeys
    that’s a mo betta way for the corporations and a tax break too

  • I_abide

    This strike is a nice sentiment but from what I can it’s too little too late.  We need a complete overhaul of the education system.  Unfortunately that will never happen. 

  • Phillipede

    I was walking through the living room earlier, because I have to do that to get to the kitchen to get coffee. Anyway, one of the crazies I live with had the tv on to Faux news and this same story was on. Fox seems to indicate that the teacher strikes have solely to do with salary disagreements, http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/09/12/chicago-teachers-dig-in-increase-pressure-on-obama/ 

    The story here at disinfo says that the strikes are about lousy allocation of resources and cutting the public out of any and all decision making processes in public schools.

    So my questions are, How does such an obvious breakdown in the mainstream medias’ information gathering and reporting on such matters even happen? and How does one know what the actual and whole truth is?

    I know the mainstream media outlets aren’t really news organizations, but rather for profit entertainment corporations, but quite a few people take this shit seriously. I recently saw an interesting documentary called Patriocracy that shed some insight into the highly biased, subjective, opinionated garbage that the media spews out, but what I still don’t understand is their motivation for doing so. Wouldn’t having a more accurately informed public make all of our lives ever so much easier?

21
More in chicago teacher's strike, CTUstrike, Education
14 Wacky “Facts” Kids Will Learn in Louisiana’s Voucher Schools

Thanks to Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindall's extensive voucher program (which many other Republicans want to establish on state and national levels), state funds will go towards indoctrinating youth with religious...

Close