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Rahm Emanuel is a slime, despite the hummer bestowed on him by the Minneapolis Star Tribune in today’s editorial.

Emanuel is a slime because he’s never been about being a Democrat or ever had the people’s best interests at heart. He’s always been about money and the power money can bring. He’s also been about supporting corporate interests; just look back on his records with Clinton and Obama. And it speaks volumes about them that he was senior advisor to Clinton and White House Chief of Staff for Obama.  He was the pit bull for them both.

Make no mistake: this teacher’s strike is not about money, no matter how the media is intent on framing it. The two issues are reversing the education “reform” movement which has forced teachers to teach to test scores, and judging student and teacher performance solely on test scores. Many school districts have cut out the arts and even physical education from their curricula to focus exclusively on math and English test scores.  This is Obama’s primary focus too and he, and they, are wrong.

Emanuel is framing this strike as being over wages and hurting the kids.  The education of Chicago school kids are the last thing he’s concerned about.  He is no different than the Republicans (which, like Clinton and Obama he is more like than Democrats) or the Kochs or Rove or Adelson, or anyone of those guys. He’s out to privatize education, to move it all online, thus busting all the teachers’ unions, and handing the administrative contracts to his politically-connected business associates.  Instead of one teacher working with a classroom of 30 students, you’d have one online teacher handling 200-300 students.  What will be produced are generations of students who are not creative, have no experience or interest in the arts or exercise, or anything outside getting passing scores on standardized English and math tests—just perfect for jobs as low-paid service industry workers.  

Emanuel’s other goal is to increase the number of chartered schools paid for by public taxes.  This is a core Republican goal because what wealthy parents wouldn’t want their child to go to an expensive, exclusive school on a poorer person’s tax dime? The Republicans pulled this same trick off in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Hundreds of unionized teachers were fired and then re-hired as non-union employees for lower wages.  It’s like being a $40 an hour union auto worker before the bailout, getting laid off, and then after the bailout being re-hired back into the same exact job for $12 an hour with the SAME EXACT LIVING EXPENSES YOU HAD BEFORE BUT CAN NO LONGER AFFORD TO PAY.  Chartered schools providing better education than public schools is a myth that Emanuel is helping to perpetuate along with the Republicans.

The bottom line here IS money, but not for the teachers, but for the wealthy, political campaign contributors are trying to effect a hostile takeover of the American educational system.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You can spin this (6+ / 0-)

    until you are dizzy  but the fact remains that this is pretty unfortunate timing for Chicago teachers averaging $76,000/ yr to be screaming in the streets with their red shirts on, in Obama's  home base,  fighting with Obama's former chief of staff  with an election weeks away and the country in a near depression in terms of employment.   The geniuses planning this did not think much about optics did they?  

    •  When you put aside emotion, (4+ / 0-)

      you are right that this could actually end up being a bad thing for progressivism and for organized labor. At this point there is apparently an offer of a 16% raise over 4 years on the table, and a shortening of the workday. So from today forward they are striking against what for most Americans sounds like a sweet deal. The optics are just awful.

    •  This strike is not about money (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TheGreatLeapForward, chipmo

      Its about giving all kids a fair just, fair education. Teachers want:

      Lower class sizes ( many are at 40 students,) having books before classes begin instead of six weeks after school starts, more nurses ,teaching assistants, more social workers, and more art,pe,music classes and libraries.

      You know, all the things Rhams kids get at their school.

    •  Today (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lilypew, JayRaye, chipmo

      there was a quote from a kindergarten teacher with 43 students in her class.  That is bad enough, but they don't all have desks and chairs.  This is when children are learning basics and developing attitudes toward school.  

      A kindergarten class shouldn't have more than 20 students, 25 is a stretch.  To have conditions like that and then threaten to evaluate that teacher on those students' test scores is insane.

    •  Perhaps it can shed light on the fact (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      that fat cats are way fatter and not hurting and the intention by Rahm and Co. is to take over public schools for their fat cat friends to become even more fat.

      Also please remember that many of these teachers work in some of the most violent neighborhoods in the country. Most critics of the teachers wouldn't last 15 minutes.

      "There must be more to life than having everything" -Maurice Sendak

      by lilypew on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 03:46:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The meme du jour is that (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lonespark, lilypew, Be Skeptical, FG

    Rahm Emanuel has it in for the unions, that he's a one-man union wrecking ball, hell-bent on breaking the unions and destroying organized labor forever! One diary compared him to Dick Cheney. The truth is that in a few days or so he and the union bosses will be on a stage announcing an agreement and everyone will be friends again, and the union will have gotten a pretty good deal and yes, it will still be in existence. This is a tough negotiation between a big-city mayor and a teachers union; it happens all the time and is just part of the process. Let's not lose all perspective.

    •  yeah supporters of Unions always act like THIS (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      grimjc, papahaha, JayRaye, lilypew, chipmo
      The CTU lost the first skirmish last year when Emanuel trundled down to the state capitol in Springfield to wire a new statute sure to forestall accountability for his draconian plan: alone among Illinois municipal workers, teachers would need a 75 percent vote among their membership to authorize a strike. Then in June of this year, after a rally that overflowed a 3,929-capacity theater with red CTU T-shirts, almost 90 percent of members voted through that authorization, should their leaders choose to call a strike. Counting spoiled ballots, the number of teachers voting against the authorization amounted to little more than a handful.
      Teachers trust their leadership. They don’t trust the mayor — who the union’s feisty president, Karen Lewis, claims told her at a social outing at the ballet shortly after his election “that 25 percent of the students in this city are never going to be anything, never going to amount to anything and he was never going to throw money at them.” The exchange points to a key hinge in the story: Who in the dispute, the teachers’ union or the mayor, most earnestly has the interests of “the children” at heart?

      without the ants the rainforest dies

      by aliasalias on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 02:25:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Strike support is building: (0+ / 0-)

    Network of Teacher Activist

    Baltimore Educators to Rally in Support of
    Chicago Teachers Strike

    Chicago Now: Solidarity Campers

    Chicago Teachers Solidarity Campaign

    International Teacher Solidarity


    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 Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 04:05:48 PM PDT

  •  Gloria Steinem on Rahm (0+ / 0-)

    & his plans to privatize public education.

    No wonder Romney and Ryan are his new BFFs.

    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 Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 04:31:11 PM PDT

  •  Strikes are pretty much always either about (0+ / 0-)

    work conditions, job security or about money. Since there were no complaints from anyone that teachers in Chicago work in terrible conditions (other than their demand for a/c which is perfectly reasonable), it's about money and job security.

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