|Chicago teachers take break from the picket line to study the contract.|
*****With an eye on the Chicago teachers strike, D.C. council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) is pushing a plan that would require every D.C. Public School to hire a full-time librarian, art teacher and music teacher.
*****Don't miss Joanne Barkan's excellent piece in Dissent Magazine, "Who Is Victimizing Chicago’s Kids?", which lays shines a light on the conditions leading up to the teachers strike and puts responsibility for the strike right where it belongs.
Yes, schoolchildren in Chicago are victims, but not of their teachers. They are victims of a nationwide education “reform” movement geared to undermine teachers’ unions and shift public resources into private hands; they are victims of wave after wave of ill-conceived and failing policy “innovations”; they are victims of George Bush’s No Child Left Behind law, which turned inner-city public schools into boot camps for standardized test prep; they are victims of Barack Obama’s Race to the Top program, which paid states to use student test scores—a highly unreliable tool—for teacher evaluations and to lift caps on the number of privately managed charter schools, thus draining resources from public schools. Chicago’s children are victims of “mayoral control,” which allows Rahm Emanuel to run the school system, bully parents and teachers, and appoint a Board of Education dominated by corporate executives and political donors.
*****According to CSM, by turning to the courts to try to end the Chicago teachers strike, the mayor is taking a calculated risk that the public will be on his side and that the move won't actually slow the resolution of the city's battle with the union.
Emanuel has long had the option to ask the the court to intervene and end the strike, but he paused in the hope of settling the contract dispute at the negotiating table, say labor analysts. One likely reason for the pause was political: Media coverage of teachers being forced back to the classroom, or facing fines or jail time, would not help President Obama, Emanuel's former boss, for the November election.Good point.
*****Thanks to Sr. NEA Press Officer Sara Robertson for following up with me. I had asked her for a copy of the NEA's Statement on Chicago Strike. For some reason, I was having a difficult time finding it. Here it is online.