Monday, January 11, 2016

DPS TEACHERS FIGHT BACK! "A Union Within a Union"

Teachers whose organized sick-out shut down more than 60 Detroit schools today demanded that their voices be heard and that the district address what they've described as deplorable teaching conditions. Their pleas at a rally today received immediate responses. ---- Detroit Free Press
Diane Ravitch posted the press release below from a group calling itself DPS Teachers Fight Back - noting they are a union within a union. What exactly does that say? Does it mean that the Randi manipulated Detroit Federation of Teachers is not willing to fight back. Is this a caucus of sorts that has led this sickout? Or is it something else?

DPS FB also notes:
We are not affiliated with BAMN, its' leadership, or any former DFT leadership.  We are teachers united as it is time that we stand up and defend our students, our profession, and our rights!  

I called them today asking about the role Steve Conn has played and they said he has not contacted them. Which is interesting given that previous reports talk mostly about the role Steve has played so far, as reported in previous ed notes posts:
If I knew any real education reporters I would ask them what they have learned. I could act like a reporter - after all, I do some acting, but I am way too lazy.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRESS RELEASE                          Contact: (313) 355-3205
 

DPS TEACHERS FIGHT BACK!
"A Union Within a Union"

"Teachers from more than 40 DPS schools are demanding safe conditions, adequate learning environments, and a level playing field for DPS Students." 
 
Detroit- DPS Teachers Fight Back (A union Within a Union), is a group of teachers mobilizing to unite, shed light on unsafe and subpar learning conditions, and demand resolution.   Just as doctors take the Hippocratic Oath to uphold ethical standards, teachers also take a Loyalty Oath to serve, protect and allow no harm.  Unfortunately, we have been unable to live up to that with the constant change of leadership, state control and 4 consecutive Emergency Managers.

On Monday, January 11, 2016, 12 p.m., DPS Teachers will join in solidarity during a rally organized by teachers from Paul Robeson at Malcolm X Academy at the Fisher Building, 3011 W Grand Blvd, Detroit, MI 48202.   Despite the increased cost of medical care, and lost wages, teachers are choosing to go without pay or to take a personal day stand in unity.

We are not affiliated with BAMN, its' leadership, or any former DFT leadership.  We are teachers united as it is time that we stand up and defend our students, our profession, and our rights!  Our cornerstone issues are Academics, Fairness & Equity.  Our goal is to ensure that Detroit students are no longer pay for the deficit created by state control, and to protect their civil rights and ability to receive an exemplary education.   

In an Open Letter to DPS Parents, DPS Teacher Sarah Jardine shared the following: 

"Dear Parent, I write this to you on this night because you're on my mind. You live in Detroit and you send your child to Detroit Public Schools. You trust me everyday with your children. I feel that I owe you an apology. I apologize because I should have stood up. I kept quiet as they dismantled our schools. I was silent when they took your schools from you. I didn't protest in the streets when they put our schools in State control. I said nothing when they took your democracy. I should be ashamed of myself. I, the teacher you trusted, had power to start a revolution, and fight for you, and I didn't fight back. Tonight, I am going to make you a promise that I won't sit quiet any longer." (Read Here)

Public education is the cornerstone to democracy, and Detroit teachers deserve to be treated the same way teachers are treated in Livonia, Novi, West Bloomfield, Grosse Pointe, Troy, and all other districts throughout the state of Michigan.

In an Open Letter to Darnell Earley,  4th Grade DPS Teacher, Pam Namyslowski said:

"Mr. Earley, I have been a teacher in Detroit Public Schools for 24 years. I feel the need to respond to some of the comments you made during your press conference this week. You described the actions of protesting teachers as "unethical". I'm curious, then, how you would characterize the learning conditions of the children of Detroit Public Schools that have existed for years. These deplorable learning conditions happen to also be the teachers' working conditions." (Read here) 

The DPS Teachers Fight Back Rally will include remarks from Dr. James Perkins, Greater Christ Baptist Church, DPS Parents, and DPS Teacher organizers, during which a list of concerns and demands will be shared including: Safe learning conditions for all students, Increasing student academic achievement, and the removal of Emergency Manager Darnell Earley, who was an integral part of the Flint Water Crisis.  We hereby stand united to protect the 47 thousand students remaining within Detroit Public Schools and demand immediate corrective action!
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DPS teachers at rally: Sick-outs a demand to be heard


Teachers whose organized sick-out shut down more than 60 Detroit schools today demanded that their voices be heard and that the district address what they've described as deplorable teaching conditions.
Their pleas at a rally today received immediate responses.
Mayor Mike Duggan said he would tour schools Tuesday to assess the condition of the buildings. And State Superintendent Brian Whiston called for health and safety issues in the district to be immediately addressed.
Still, both men called on teachers to return to the classroom. And some lawmakers decried an action that had many students missing a day of learning.
The closures affected 64 schools and 31,000 students, DPS officials said. And there were indications that more sickouts could be coming this week.
The afternoon rally — organized by a group within the Detroit Federation of Teachers called DPS Teachers Fight Back — brought a crowd of teachers and supporters to the Fisher Building in Detroit.

"Detroit kids matter," they chanted. Many in the boisterous crowd carried signs that illustrated their displeasure with the district. "Thirty-five is the speed limit, not a class size," said one. "Students support DPS teachers," said another.
Theresa Williams, a first-grade teacher at Burton International Academy, held a sign that said, "I have 39 first-graders in my classroom."
"It's quite challenging," Williams said. "You want to meet the needs of all of the children. You have to do the best you can."
The rally featured state lawmakers, members of the City Council and members of the Detroit Board of Education. Many said the conditions in the district wouldn't be tolerated in suburban communities.
"I stand with you," Councilwoman Mary Sheffield told the crowd through a bullhorn. "We can no longer be silent."
The district closed the 64 schools because more than half of the teachers in those schools called in sick. The closures represented more than half the 97 buildings in the district.
While health care and salary cuts and large class sizes are big issues for teachers, much of the attention today was on health and safety problems.
Teachers —at the rally and during an earlier news conference — described problems such as mold, leaky ceilings, busted windows, rodents, roaches, lack of heat and standing water.
Duggan issued a statement hours after the rally saying he'll visit a number of schools Tuesday along with the heads of the city health department and the city department of buildings, safety, engineering and environment.
"Based on what we find, the City of Detroit will take whatever enforcement action is necessary to make sure all Detroit Public Schools are compliant with all health and building codes," Duggan said.

2 comments:

  1. Mr.Early will be at Drew Transition Center tomorrow from 10 to 1 for a parent meeting. ...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Mr.Early will be at Drew Transition Center tomorrow from 10 to 1 for a parent meeting. ...

    ReplyDelete

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