Wednesday, January 5, 2011


From Rico Gutstein at Teachers For Social Justice

Fight to Keep the "Public" in Public Education-What You Can Do! 
Wednesday, January 5, 2011 12:23 AM

TSJ, as part of the CTU-Community Board (a coalition of the Chicago Teachers Union and several community organizations), is working to derail the "Performance Counts" proposed legislation now in front of the IL lame-duck legislature as you read this. We're asking, no urging, people to take some IMMEDIATE action to let elected officials that we will NOT let them shift the blame for the economic crisis onto ordinary people and unions (specifically public sector unions, and most immediately, teachers unions-see

This legislation will basically turn teachers in Illinois into "at will" workers, hamper their capacity to unionize, eliminate seniority in hiring and layoffs, stop the union from being able to bargain class size, and basically eliminate due process and protection from arbitrary administrator actions. It is NOT about meeting the needs of the students in the state (see Rethinking Schools great editorial on "What's Up With All the Teacher Bashing?" at

What can you do? Lots. First, familiarize yourself with the legislation and the CTU's plans to fight it, at:

If you want to look at the bill itself, check out:

Then: Contact your reps and let TSJ know who you called, who you reached, and their response-Email Rachel:

1. Call YOUR State Representative and Senator!.

2. Call every member of the Education Reform Committee and tell them you DON'T want Performance Counts (see the CTU's "Student Counts" platform at their website for an alternative)

Special Committee on Education Reform

    House members

    Co-Chair:Linda Chapa LaVia(D) (217) 558-1002

    Co-Chair :Roger L. Eddy (R) (618) 563-4128

    Member:Keith Farnham(D) (847) 841-7130

    Member:Jehan A. Gordon(D) (309) 681-1992

    Member:Robert W. Pritchard(R) (815) 748-3494

    Member:Darlene J. Senger(R) (630) 219-3090

    Member:Ed Sullivan, Jr.(R) (847) 566-5115

    Member:Karen A. Yarbrough(D) (708) 615-1747

    Senate members

    Co-Chair: Kimberly A. Lightford(D) (708) 343-7444

    Co-Chair:J. Bradley Burzynski (R) (815) 895-6318

    Edward D. Maloney (D) (773) 881-4180

    David Luechtefeld (R) (217) 782-8137

3. Take 5 friends and visit your State Representative and Senator; follow up with calls and emails.

4. Take a personal business day between January 4th-7th and the 11th to lobby in Springfield.
Contact your regional CTU organizer (if you're a CTU member) to register for the daily trips.

    * Northside-Matthew Luskin 312.329.6249- Instructional Areas 1, 2, 3, 19, 21, 25, 29
    * Westside-Christel Williams 312.329.6248- Instructional Areas 4, 6, 7,8,9, 27, 28
    * Southwest Side-Alix Gonzalez-Guevara 312.329.6247- Instructional Areas 10, 11, 12, 13,22, 23,26, 54
    * Southeast-Rosita Chatonda 312.329.6246- Instructional Areas 14, 15, 16, 17,18, 24, 53

5. Attend one of 4 regional meetings on January 6th at 4:00 till 5:30

    * Learn about the very real and IMMEDIATE threat posed by Springfield's House Committee on Education Reform, and the Performance Counts bill.
    * Learn about the CTU Students Count platform.
    * Learn how you can take direct, personal action to defend our rights as educators, to stand up for our students, and to win the war for public education in Illinois.

    NORTH:            Lane Tech High,

                    2501 W. Addison St.

    WEST:            Westinghouse College Prep,

                    3223 W. Franklin Blvd.

    SOUTHWEST:       Eberhart Elementary,

                    3400 W. 65th Pl.

    SOUTH:           Robeson High,

                    6835 S. Normal Blvd.

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