Hundreds of Chicago Public School students walked out of the their schools and made their way to protest in front of CPS headquarters.
Last week at a Diane Ravitch book event in Chicago, someone in the audience asked if there was a "glimmer of hope in the midst of the current educational tsunami striking public education?" I would have answered yes. Arne Duncan's "reforms" combined with the worst economic crisis in my lifetime, threaten the very existence of public education and public space in general. But the tsunami also seems to have awakened a resistance movement and open demonstrations of anger on the part of teachers and students not seen in 40 years.
- A 300-mile trek by teachers and students from Bakersfield to Sacramento yesterday, to protest school cuts.
- Thousands of students walking out of classrooms in protest of the firings of their teachers and cuts in academic, after-school and sports programs.
- The outpouring of anger over the passage of Senate Bill 6 in Florida which convinced a besieged Gov. Crist to veto the bill.
- Successful union organizing drives at privately-operated charter school chains may bring collective-bargaining rights of thousands of new teachers. Rank-and-file opposition have pushed union leaders to be more forceful in their opposition to Duncan's Race To The Top.
- Diane Ravitch's anti-privatization manifesto, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education, is obviously resonating with lots of people. It is currently number 10 on the New York Times poli-book best-seller list.
- The wheels appear to be coming off of Ownership Society darling Michelle Rhee's anti-teacher regime in D.C.
- Civil rights suits in New York, Detroit and Chicago have brought favorable rulings from the courts.