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UPDATE: No agreement was reached between the Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union. There will be a strike beginning Monday morning.

I was walking my bike out of the CTA Blue Line stop nearest to the CTU Strike HQ at around 11:15 am  Saturday morning when I encountered two Chicago cops standing at the entrance. They noticed my red shirt with the “Stand with the Chicago Teachers Union” emblazoned across the front.

One said, “You must be a teacher.” I replied, “Yeah, I’m headed for the Strike Headquarters to volunteer my services. He answered,”Good luck,” while his partner smiled. I thanked them both and was on my way. It was the first time a Chicago cop had ever wished me well during the entire 36 years I have lived here.

CTU Strike HQ
The CTU Strike HQ is in the Teamster Local 705 building

The CTU Strike banner had gone up late Friday afternoon September 7. The CTU had chosen the Teamsters Local 705 building as their Strike HQ because of the easy parking and its quieter, less crowded West Side location. The choice also symbolized the need for organized labor to stick together in solidarity. The Chicago Board of Education and  the Chicago Teachers Union are still far apart even though negotiations have been going on for months.  Sunday midnight is the strike deadline.

I was at Strike HQ Friday night as a volunteer for the Chicago Teachers Solidarity Campaign (CTSC). The CTSC is an outgrowth of Occupy Chicago and works closely with the CTU to organize community and labor support.

Seeing the banner go up Friday night was a solemn moment for me, because this struggle is really over the soul of our nation. Will we live in a society where people care for one another? Or in an Orwellian corporate nightmare that will make 1984 look like Mr Rogers neighborhood?

As the banner was being raised, workers from a Progress Printing, a South Side union shop, were delivering thousands of picket signs for distribution over the weekend. A small number of CTU members and CTSC volunteers spent much of Friday evening preparing the picket signs and trying to set up the office as best we could.

We had a few easily solved glitches like a shortage of sticks to staple the signs upon. A trip to Home Depot solved that problem. A shortage of a some critical office supplies was overcome by a quick ride over to Staples.

The Friday night mood at the Strike HQ was one of quiet confidence as people discussed the weeks of organizing and public protests around the teachers’ struggle. Working class people around Chicagoland have expressed heart-felt solidarity, with many of the workers saying, “We should be doing what the teachers are doing.” The teachers are not only defending public education, but defending working class pride and respect as well.
CTU Strike HQ
Saturday at Strike HQ

When I arrived at the Strike HQ around 11:30 am on Saturday morning, there was already a line of cars parked around the corner of the Teamster Local 705 building. The union delegates and picket captains were there to get their quota of signs, strike bulletins and final instructions.

The line of delegates and picket captains stretched down the sidewalk where CTU staffers, members and CTSC volunteers stood behind tables issuing strike materials and answering questions. The media was there in force and motorists passing by were blowing horns in solidarity and stopping to wave and offer verbal encouragement.
A morning press conference featured CTU Vice-President Jesse Sharkey who expressed “disappointment” at the way negotiations were going but pledged to meet with Board representatives 24 hours a day if necessary.

A number of parent and community groups also spoke to the media with Parents for Teachers leader Erica Clark saying,” [Teachers] want smaller classes. Parents here will tell you—35, 40 kids in a class! That’s just unacceptable. But you don’t hear the president of the board, you don’t hear Mr. Brizard talking about how they’re going to use this contract to bring smaller classes to the schools.”

CTU Press Conference
At a CTU Press Conference
Inside the crowded office were more CTU staffers and volunteers stapling signs to sticks, punching holes in other signs to allow twine for hanging around the neck and counting out bundles of signs for distribution to those waiting outside. CTU staffers huddled with activist members to discuss issues and give out advice. There has not been a strike since 1987 and many teachers have no experience at what that means.
Stapling signs
Amisha Patel and CTU staffer Jackson Potter stapling signs
Setting up Strike HQ
Setting up office equipment at Strike HQ
CTU staffers confer
CTU staffer Brandon Johnson confers
It may sound chaotic, but it wasn’t, thanks to the watchful eyes of Norine Gutekanst, CTU organizing coordinator. She seemed to be everywhere at once, constantly conferring, suggesting, talking on her cell phone and offering encouragement. By late afternoon things had quieted down and volunteers began to leave. I left around 4:30 pm but will be back on Sunday at around noon.
Norine Gutekanst confers
Norine Gutekanst with her laptop
While media coverage has focused on pay issues, that’s only part of the story

It’s early Sunday morning now and if an agreement is not reached by Sunday midnight, thousands of teachers, para-professionals and other support staff will go on strike.

CTU members care deeply about their students and are fed up with the poor physical conditions of the schools, the cutbacks in art, music, science, PE etc., the closing of entire schools accompanied by mass firing of teachers, the ballooning class sizes, the lack of student support services, the abuse of standardized testing and the accompanying ‘teach to the test” dumbing down of  the curriculum. They are also determined to stop the corporate privatization of the schools.

CTU Labor Day Rally
CTU Labor Day Rally

Like Wisconsin was last winter, Chicago is now Ground Zero for defense of public services in the face of massive corporate assault. Chicago has had a tough summer of tragic street violence as the wealthiest corporations continue to prey upon the city’s working class, enforcing widespread poverty and unemployment. But the struggle of the teachers has given the city’s working class people hope, hope that we can improve educational opportunities while improving daily life through labor struggle and solidarity.

Whatever happens after Sunday midnight, whether there is a short strike, a long strike or no strike at all, Chicago’s teachers have imparted important lessons that have inspired and educated. They have every reason to take pride in themselves, in their contribution to Chicago’s young people, and in the city that they love.

A luta continua.

MORE PHOTOS
CTU Strike HQ
CTU member
CTU Strike HQ
CTU Strike HQ
Bob "Bobbosphere" Simpson taught in DC & Chicago public and parochial high schools for nearly 25 years.

Originally posted to BobboSphere on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 11:03 PM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I teach in East Chicago, IN and we've had (13+ / 0-)

    several families bring their kids to our school.  They are staying with relatives so their kids can go to school where the teachers aren't striking.

    I predict a strike will last two weeks.  The first week for the Board to realize "Holy fucking shitballs, these people are serious and they have a LOT of support", the second to finalize a contract.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 11:12:42 PM PDT

  •  My mom and sister are both teachers (19+ / 0-)

    I don't think the general public understands what they go through on a day to day basis. I also don't think that people realize that teacher's are professionals. My mom and sister both have graduate degrees and have to keep up on their education. They could have easily made much more money in the private sector.

    The vast majority of teachers do what they do because they truly care about young people. It's only fair that we pay them a living wage and take care of their health and retirement. It sickens me that state governments are going after teacher pensions after people like my mom put 35 years of their lives into their profession with the understanding that they would be taken care of.  Do you really want your kids teachers earning peanuts and having dumbed down qualifications?

    Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about. Mark Twain

    by Deathtongue on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 11:49:27 PM PDT

    •  Re (9+ / 0-)
      It sickens me that state governments are going after teacher pensions after people like my mom put 35 years of their lives into their profession with the understanding that they would be taken care of
      Unfortunately, the people who made the promises aren't the ones being asked to keep them.

      A good chunk of the taxpayers and elected officials from 35 years ago are dead or retired. Today's city residents, most of whom never agreed to the obligations, and most of whom are broke/unemployed/otherwise scraping to make ends meet, are the ones who are being asked to shoulder the burden.

      This situation is precisely why public pensions are not a good idea, particularly since private defined benefit pensions are basically unavailable these days. If people in 1977 wanted 1977-era teachers to have a good retirement, all necessary funds should have been contributed in 1977.

      Asking 2012-era taxpayers to kick in to protect promises made before half of them were born seems unfair, as unfair as cutting pensions would be. Someone is going to lose out in this situation, maybe multiple someones. If pension funds can't meet the burden, who should take the hit?

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 12:32:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you want experienced teachers... (9+ / 0-)

        ...you have to provide decent pensions. Corporate America is sitting on piles of money. We are wasting $$$ on immoral wars. Celebrities are raking in the dough as well. Where are our priorities?

        "Don't believe everything you think."

        by BobboSphere on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 06:25:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Great (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mentatmark, bobtmn, Jerry J

          If you want to provide great pensions, pay for them today, not tomorrow. Give them 401k accounts and match them 20:1 if you want. Just make sure that current taxpayers foot the bill, not future ones.

          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

          by Sparhawk on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 10:05:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  A CRAZY IDEA: Buy US Savings Bonds to fund (6+ / 0-)

            Have the local communities put pension funds for future retirees into US bonds. Not some crap shoot Wall Street enabled pyramid scheme/three card monte stock bullshit.

            Just your average every day Autistic hillbilly/biker/activist/union steward with an engineering degree.

            by Mentatmark on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 11:18:11 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Future taxpayers (5+ / 0-)

            will pay for the MIC and the present wars that they currently promote.

            Yet you only crawl out from under your bridge and troll here when the subject of funding of the civilian public sector comes up.

            Pretty transparent.

            "No man is rich enough to buy back his past." ~ Oscar Wilde

            by ozsea1 on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 12:53:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah well (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Mentatmark, ozsea1, bobtmn, soros, Jerry J

              By the laws of physics, everything that happens in the future is affected by everything that happened in the past.

              I also oppose deficit spending for stupid wars, in addition to obviously opposing stupid wars themselves on the merit alone, so I'm not sure what you are saying. Thomas Jefferson himself opposed intergenerational national debts for the same reason I do.

              I think teachers should have retirement security. So, I have an obligation today to provide that benefit to present teachers, or at least 1/30 or so of a secure retirement this calendar year. I don't think that people in 2032 should need to pay for my promises, or frankly that they should feel any obligation to do so.

              If you make a promise, you are on the hook to make good. No one else.

              (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
              Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

              by Sparhawk on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 01:17:18 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Rare tip for the TJ reference (4+ / 0-)

                Let me ofer you another one for your consideration:

                I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.

                "No man is rich enough to buy back his past." ~ Oscar Wilde

                by ozsea1 on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 02:04:25 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  The laws of Newtonian physics maybe (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ozsea1, rebel ga

                but the laws of Quantum physics look at cause and effect differently.

              •  You're making a basic mistake here... (6+ / 0-)

                The promise is not from the taxpayer to the teacher. The promise is from the state to the teacher. Just like the Constitution wasn't a deal between Jefferson, Adams, Paine, et al. and the people who were alive at the time. The state as an entity funds itself in various ways (including taxes), but that doesn't mean that there is any kind of direct contract between taxpayers and teachers. By taking on that argument, you're letting the state off the hook from its responsibility to fund its commitments in both the short and long term. If we required the state (local or federal) to fund every one of its programs in real time, the state would never have founded public universities across the country; never have reached the moon; never help develop and distribute vaccines and other medicines.
                To speak directly to your issue: the people who are being asked to pay taxes today are (largely) people who benefited from the previous generations' investments in infrastructure, schools, health care, and other areas. They were happy to live on the largesse of their predecessors, why are they suddenly getting so stingy?

                •  Because, in Sparhawk's world (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Grabber by the Heel, Deathtongue

                  Leveraging our grandkids' future is only acceptable for the private sector, not public.

                  "No man is rich enough to buy back his past." ~ Oscar Wilde

                  by ozsea1 on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 07:08:30 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I have no clue what you mean (0+ / 0-)

                    In the private sector, all debt is extinguished upon someone's death (maybe sometimes not in a marriage, but...) In no case that I'm aware of is a private debt passed down to children: it is discharged in the estate resolution.

                    Public debt just hangs around until it is paid off or defaulted.

                    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                    by Sparhawk on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 08:15:51 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Example (0+ / 0-)

                      Using taxpayer money to pay private sector debt:

                      The 2008 banking bailouts.

                      Private sector means the corporatist sector. Which you knew prior, inferred by context.

                      Next.

                      "No man is rich enough to buy back his past." ~ Oscar Wilde

                      by ozsea1 on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 09:21:42 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You're lecturing *me* on bailouts? (0+ / 0-)

                        I have opposed all bailouts of any kind for all my time on this site (IIRC anyway). Finance companies, car companies, insolvent pension funds, state governments, "just say no" to bailouts. All institutions need to learn to run themselves on a solvent basis.

                        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                        by Sparhawk on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 06:09:32 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  If and until a corporation is dissolved (0+ / 0-)

                          In the private sector, all debt is extinguished upon someone's death

                          there is no "death" and the corporation's debts and other obligations are not extinguished unless discharged via bankruptcy.

                          Good on you for opposing bailouts. I'll give props for that.

                          Empathy? Sure. I work for a private coporation too.

                          I work in the private sector. One day my company sent an email that said they were cutting our health plan to a less generous one. Another email later noted that they were phasing out the pension plan. In another company I worked at awhile ago, they were doing badly and unilaterally cut everyone's pay.

                          There was no striking, no negotiation, just "if you don't like it, find another job" (not said in so many words, but that was the gist).

                          That's how life is in the private sector now. You cannot ask private sector workers who themselves labor under these conditions to support and pay for salaries and benefits that they will never themselves see again

                          Expecting "fairness"? That door swings both ways.

                          "No man is rich enough to buy back his past." ~ Oscar Wilde

                          by ozsea1 on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 08:36:06 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                •  No.. it is NOT from the state. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Sparhawk

                  That is the whole point.  No voter would ever approve of the pension plans their politicians approve of regularly, supposedly on their behalf.

                  It is from politicians with deep contacts and relationships with the unions with whom they are negotiating.

                  Pensions should NEVER be negotiated by partners who have vested interests.  The politicians who promise the world know full well they will be long gone when the bill comes due.

                  Public pensions need to be dealt with as any private corporation pension would be - they need to become qualified pensions subject to the laws of the federal government that prevents this kind of thing in private defined benefit plans.

          •  How about this - (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lonespark

            Force governments that must balance their budgets to do so honestly and not hand out tax cuts that cripple the local gov'ts ability to pay their obligations in the future. This was done since the eighties and now the reality is coming home and you want workers to pay the price for the incompetence of government managers and elected officials. State and local governments with the help of Wall Street have been cooking up these deals for decades. So again why should workers suffer?

          •  401ks are as uncertain as the weather. Middle (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            semioticjim, zmom

            income retirees cannot amass enough capital in a working lifetime to ride out a violent downturn in the market. Once the account shrinks in a downturn, many can never recover enough to support the retiree.

            Defined benefit pensions worked and before 1980, 60% of Americans had them. We should abandon 401 k swindle and redesign pensions for the retiree not stock floggers and wall st.

        •  I was raised Union. (6+ / 0-)

          I Also Stand With The Chicago Teachers Union
          You'll Win CTU!

          My Mother was a Suffragette! Women's Suffrage In The United States

          Women's Rights Movement in the U.S. Timeline

          Born A Suffragette, A Democrat, And A Union Maid!

          You Don't Get Me, I'm Part Of The Union! Video borrowed from a fellow Kossack, (forgot to get their name),

          Rec'd, Liked And Tipped.

          ♥♥♥
          The 1% and the republican party have been declining for a long time!

          Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

          by rebel ga on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 12:10:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  But is this not unlike (7+ / 0-)

        bringing in new management to a bank to a bank and then refusing to honor the bonuses owed to the incompetent staff of executives who nearly destroyed the economy? Oh yeah, those contracts were sacred, unlike the contracts of working people. Never mind.

      •  Are you aware (10+ / 0-)

        That teachers don't get Social Security?  Instead that money that the teacher is supposed to be getting is deferred and the city/state is supposed to be matching it.  The problem is not the teachers fault, it was the state and the city who raided the teachers funds, invested the money poorly and used the money a secret slush fund.  

        Finally, why are you so jealous that other people have good benefits?  Maybe if you belonged to a strong union you too would have a pension.  Maybe 2012-era tax payer should be asking why they don't have good benefits instead of condemning people who do.

        •  Sparhawk just despises public education (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          semioticjim

          which is why I'm not clicking on any of his posts. I know his drill even if I weren't reading the responses. He's seething with resentment against teachers and I have no idea why.

          Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

          by anastasia p on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 05:44:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Lol (0+ / 0-)

            Many of my relatives and good friends are teachers.

            That doesn't mean I can't see the unsustainable and unfair nature of the public pension crisis that's coming down on us.

            I work in the private sector. One day my company sent an email that said they were cutting our health plan to a less generous one. Another email later noted that they were phasing out the pension plan. In another company I worked at awhile ago, they were doing badly and unilaterally cut everyone's pay.

            There was no striking, no negotiation, just "if you don't like it, find another job" (not said in so many words, but that was the gist).

            That's how life is in the private sector now. You cannot ask private sector workers who themselves labor under these conditions to support and pay for salaries and benefits that they will never themselves see again.

            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

            by Sparhawk on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 08:34:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  How exactly is it unfair? (0+ / 0-)

              My mother was underpaid for years with the understanding that she would have a decent retirement package. It's not like her pension is gold plated or anything.

              Anyway she had a CONTRACT. With the state. The last time I checked the state was still in business. So I expect them to honor that contract. There is nothing excessive about it. And by the way I don't give a shit if you or "current taxpayers" think it's unfair. I think it's unfair that I have to pay for wars, tax cuts, oil company subsidies, and about a billion other things that I didn't decide on. That's life, suck it up.

              Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about. Mark Twain

              by Deathtongue on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 09:09:28 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Thats not how it is in private sector w/ union nt (0+ / 0-)

              Just your average every day Autistic hillbilly/biker/activist/union steward with an engineering degree.

              by Mentatmark on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 09:33:53 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  I forgot. Thanks for the reminder. And you are (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mentatmark

          on the monay about supporting public pensions. They should be the line we all hold so we start to rebuild a sensible retirement system for private sector workers.

          Spartans PUSH!

        •  36 other states (0+ / 0-)

          In most states (I believe 36), teachers DO pay Social Security.

      •  they should have kept up with the payments (7+ / 0-)

        Like most other communities, I assume Chicago took the funds that SHOULD have been set aside for pensions, that the city officials KNEW would be needed to pay for the pensions, and used it for something else.  And teachers are supposed to take the hit.

      •  Or we could use the pensions of gov workers (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        anastasia p, semioticjim

        to rally on and redesign the pension system for private sector workers that was wrecked by Union busting, offshoring and 401ks. The increasing poverty of elderly private sector workers should not be addressed by extending that poverty to public retirees.

      •  Promises were made that cannot (0+ / 0-)

        be kept.  A lose-lose situation.

    •  It's the love that keeps us going (8+ / 0-)

      I spent many years in urban working class education and there were some days I went on home feeling dumb and defeated. My carefully laid lesson plans had bombed, a student had come to me with a anguished unsolvable problem or we came up short on textbooks again and it was off to the XEROX machine.

      But I loved the job and for everyday where things went wrong, there were days of ecstasy i'll never forget.

      "Don't believe everything you think."

      by BobboSphere on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 06:23:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I was at Daley Plaza (11+ / 0-)

    on Labor Day to support your cause.  Several colleagues and friends of mine plan to join pickets and demonstrations in support of CTU.  Your strength, determination, and dedication are greatly appreciated.

  •  Best of luck to you. The cause is just. n/t (7+ / 0-)
  •  Good Luck, and Know that we are with you (7+ / 0-)

    from a union brother of the United Electrical Workers Local 506 in Erie, Pa.

    I am sure you will see some of my Chicago sisters and brothers from the Republic Doors and Windows UE Local 1110 as well as Carl Rozen and Mark Meinster of the UE Western Region office. If you see them , say Hi for me, please. And be SURE to let them know how We, the UE, can help.

    I would venture a bet that the people from Labor Notes will be stopping by, also. Good organization and they are a great resource. I took this picture at Waldheim after the Labor Notes Conference in Chicago, the weekend of the 126th anniversary Haymarket Riot. Some Labor and Anarchist heroes. A vigil...

    chicago_0506_0284.jpg

    Just your average every day Autistic hillbilly/biker/activist/union steward with an engineering degree.

    by Mentatmark on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 12:50:17 AM PDT

  •  This is a great diary, great photos. (5+ / 0-)

    SOLIDARITY

    And thank you so much for keeping us up to date.

    WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For May: Martyrs of the San Diego Free Speech Fight, Spring 1912.

    by JayRaye on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 04:52:14 AM PDT

  •  This is going to be a long strike. (10+ / 0-)

    Make no mistake about it, there is a considerable faction within the Democratic party which is committed to breaking this union and in advancing the narrative of "ossified unions standing in the way of 'school reform.'"  The Washington consensus as exemplified by Arne Duncan, Michelle Rhee, Rahm Emmanuel, and yes, even Barack Obama, depend upon this narrative to justify their neoliberal reform project or closing schools, charter schools, and the like.

    The media will frame this strike that way, and the culture has been primed with a multitude of one sided televised town halls and countless movies.

    Hopefully, the correct side wins this war.

    •  We have frenemies among the Democrats (9+ / 0-)

      Although some Democrats from Barack Obama on down profess their commitment to quality education, I have to question their judgement. How can turning over our educational system to profit-driven, power-hungry mega-corporations advance American education, especially working class education?

      They have made "reform"  a dirty word because it seems the goal, at least for working class schools, is to create scripted topdown curricula locked into hi-stakes testing. Where is there room for original thinking, free spirited open class discussion and the creation of art, music, literary and science projects?

      If unions are broken and teachers become low paid script readers for Corporate America, where is our economic innovation, intellectual creativity and political democracy going to go?

      "Don't believe everything you think."

      by BobboSphere on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 06:40:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Checked out your profile. (5+ / 0-)

        Cool.  There are many more "anachronisms" even downstate than you can imagine.

        Here is a relatively generalized article from Jacobin magazine on liberal reformers and the TFA from a professor who helps train secondary history teachers at Illinois State University.  Hopefully, it will provide a taste.  See http://jacobinmag.com/...

        For those who have a subscription to the NY Times check out http://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com/...

        Keep up the good work, Bobbo!

        •  Thanks for the links... (6+ / 0-)

          I have reposted the TFA article on the Chicago Teacher Solidarity Campaign FB page. A "Teacher Corps" that actually addressed the real issues in American education would be a welcome thing. TFA is not that kind of Teacher Corps.

          In regards to my DK profile, I've been a socialist all my life. If wanting social justice for the working class is an anachronism in our time, well I'm a stubborn SOB. Socialism is my story and I'm stickin' to it :)

          "Don't believe everything you think."

          by BobboSphere on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 07:39:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  It totally breaks my heart (0+ / 0-)

        as the product of Chicago Public Schools in the 60s, when the local school was the mainstay of the neighborhood and a community unto itself. My parents were passionate believers in public education. My mother worked her way up from president of our grade school PTA, to high school PTA president, to Chicago region PTA president, to Illinois state PTA president. After we left school, she chaired the League of Women Voters' Illinois state education committee and was president of the Chicago region League of Women Voters.

        I think I took one standardized test in eight years in elementary school and it was for placement in high school honors classes. How did we ever succeed without annual testing?

        What especially saddens me is knowing that as much as my parents believed in public education — my mother's mother taught at the Von Humboldt elementary school for 45 years, my father was able to finish school and go to college when he came to this country by attending public schools (in Fort Wayne, Indiana) — if we were in school today we would definitely be attending University of Chicago Lab School. The schools today are not a viable choice for middle class families who care about education.

        Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

        by anastasia p on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 05:52:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  A very sad weekend (9+ / 0-)

    We haven't told my daughter yet what may be happening.
    She started Kindergarten in Rogers Park this past week.
    We love her school.
    We love her teachers and the staff there even more. But, much more important is how much she loves school. She has such a thirst for knowledge, that with a 3 and 1 year old to also look after, I just can't fill on a daily basis. She was devastated when she had to leave after her first day. And now we can't get there fast enough in the morning. I still can't imagine having to tell her she might not be going for a while.
    Our teachers deserve better. They always have. It makes me sick that we couldn't bail the banks out fast enough, lest a CEO be told he wouldn't be getting another multimillion dollar bonus. But now, hundreds of children will be told they won't be seeing there friends or teachers on Monday.
    We know we can take her to a Children First site, but my wife and I decided to keep that spot open for someone who truly needs it-people who have to work, and can't just pay a babysitter(I'm home with the younger two anyway.)
    We should never have allowed teachers to become so devalued as to get to this point. My only hope is that this will wake people up as to importance of educators.

  •  Value Added Modeling and high stakes testing...... (0+ / 0-)

    Now you tell me, what is wrong with VAM and high stakes testing as explained in this neat and tidy analogy?

    Now why would Chicago Teachers make a big fuss over VAM and high stakes testing and data driven educational experience?

    Educational experience based on non-consensual behaviorism is authoritarian mind control.

    by semioticjim on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 07:57:19 AM PDT

  •  good luck & good wishes (4+ / 0-)

    jesus is coming, buddha here now

    by bnasley on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 12:45:47 PM PDT

  •  I STAND WITH THE CHICAGO TEACHERS UNION! (6+ / 0-)

    From a proud member of the Minnesota Teachers Union, you are not alone.

    Hang tough!

    Stand Up! Keep Fighting! Paul Wellstone

    by RuralLiberal on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 12:49:01 PM PDT

  •  i'm a proud CTU member... (11+ / 0-)

    getting ready to stand with my brothers and sisters bright and early tomorrow morning.
    rahm wants to break ALL the public employee unions in the city, and i'm sure he thought the teachers would be the best place to start because it would be the easiest. the police, fire fighters, et. al., better be heads-up because – if he breaks us – they're next!

    United we bargain. Divided we beg.

    by mellowjohn on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 12:58:40 PM PDT

  •  I am from Illinois and I support (9+ / 0-)

    all my friends in labor especially my friend who has been a public school teacher in Chicago for 30 years. And thank you Electricians and Teamsters who are standing up. We need to win this one really bad.

    We are a proud labor supporting family in a right to work state and we consider union membership an honor.

  •  as a retired WI teacher (7+ / 0-)

    I can only say "look what happened to Wisconsin" when we didn't watch where the political winds were blowing.  Be strong--you are speaking for EVERY teacher, EVERYWHERE.  All eyes are on CTU--
    in solidarity!

    Wisconsin: It's war, you know. We didn't start it, but we'll keep fighting in it until we win

    by isewquilts2 on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 01:47:16 PM PDT

    •  Look what almost happened in Ohio (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mentatmark, isewquilts2

      and what we had to repeal. Our governor slashed state money to public schools and redirected it to FOR PROFIT charters run by big GOP campaign donors. Then he told local governments and school systems he was giving them a "tool" to balance their budgets — by slashing employee pay and benefits.

      What people realized in Ohio is the teachers — and police and fire fighters and other government employees — are the backbone of most working class communities. They are the ones who keep the restaurants and bars and shops and hair salons in business. Slash them and you slash the entire community.

      David Brennan of the White Hat FOR PROFIT charter schools is merely going to use our tax dollars to purchase more politicians to do his bidding and give him more tax dollars. This, frankly, should be illegal.

      Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

      by anastasia p on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 05:57:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A friend is volunteering (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BobboSphere, Mentatmark, JayRaye

    at the Hyde Park day care center for families whose children will out of school and needing care so they can go work.  I thought that was a wonderful idea, caring for the parents and the children, even in the middle of the strike.

    More power to the people.

    PS ...  I think that is a typo in your last line. It should read " La lucha continua" unless it is not Spanish but a language I do not know (in which case I apologize).

    "Life without liberty is like a body without spirit. Liberty without thought is like a disturbed spirit." Kahlil Gibran, 'The Vision'

    by CorinaR on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 02:20:48 PM PDT

  •  GO CHICAGO! (5+ / 0-)

    If this thing goes on longer than 2 weeks I hope unions around the country take up a collection to help out.

    •  I've been involved with "adopt a family" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BobboSphere, Mentatmark

      efforts before in strikes that lasted a long time.

      Still have a letter from a striker that I cherish to this day from 20-some years ago.

      Hopefully, it won't go on that long.

      WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For May: Martyrs of the San Diego Free Speech Fight, Spring 1912.

      by JayRaye on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 05:44:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  In Solidarity! (4+ / 0-)

    Thank you for taking a stand when it counts the most.

    Infidels in all ages have battled for the rights of man, and have at all times been the advocates of truth and justice... Robert Ingersol

    by BMarshall on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 03:43:12 PM PDT

  •  I have been in a couple of strikes myself (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BobboSphere, Ozzie, Mentatmark

    Hang together and hang tough.

    Conservatives want to shrink the size of government until it will fit in a vagina.

    by rmonroe on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 07:31:13 PM PDT

  •  So.. when the gangs use this as a recruiting tool (0+ / 0-)

    are all you CPS teachers going to take responsibility for the deaths?

    Do you have ANY idea what the life of children on the south side and the west side are going to be like with no school?

    Do you have no compassion for them?

    •  I worked on the South and West Side of Chicago... (0+ / 0-)

      ...for most of my teaching career. The kind of dumbed down education that Chicago's wealthy elite is trying to force on the city's working class is one of the reasons why we have such a terrible tragedy on our streets. Yes, the days of the strike will be painful, but if they can prevent years of educational disaster, that those painful days will be worth it.

      "Don't believe everything you think."

      by BobboSphere on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 02:13:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The gangs will use strike as a recruiting tool? (0+ / 0-)

      Please explain how.

      sTiVo's rule: Just because YOU "wouldn't put it past 'em" doesn't prove that THEY did it.

      by stivo on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 03:54:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I logged in for the first time in a long time (0+ / 0-)

      specifically to see what Dkos had going by way of the CTU action, and then to respond to this particular comment.

      How despicable. You are blaming people agitating for fair treatment for kids and themselves for deaths that may or may not even happen!

      Are you sure you aren't a republican or, worse, one of the many republicans wearing democratic clothing?

      Listen. I lived in "ghettos" and "ghetto"-like neighborhoods my entire youth. This strike isn't directly, or in any near-term, going to do one damn thing to change, positively or negatively, gang behavior. Poverty and social inequality are the root of the gang problems in this country. They are also the root of most of the education problems. That the two share common sources as the genesis of substantial problems does not mean that one is also a cause of the other. Got it?

  •  I brought donuts to my teachers this morning (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BobboSphere

    as they picketed our school.

    A group of them were in a circle singing protest songs. The music teacher was playing the guitar. Yes. We are lucky we have a music teacher.

    They were happy to see us. They were grateful for the donuts ... although I noticed I was not the only one to offer lots of provisions. LOL.

    And they said they have gotten overwhelming support from parents like us.

    As a CPS parent, I couldn't have been happier than to see them on the picket lines. And I wish them all the best.

    My kids are happy in camp, too. I didn't want to take a free spot away from a needier child so I sent my son to "emergency" summer camp for $40 a day.

  •  In solidarity (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayRaye

    Chicago public school teachers are willing to put their jobs and livelihoods on the line because they are completely committed to their students and their profession.  

    As a teacher and former union representative, I am in awe of their courage. My union, local and state, has neither the guts nor the structural leadership to pull this off.

    Thanks for keeping us informed, BobboSphere. :)

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