Sunday, August 2, 2009

AMAZING, MUST SEE Video as Chicago's George Schmidt and CORE Shred Arne Duncan and the Chicago Corporate Model

CORE (Caucus of Rank and File Educators) has only been around for about a year and is capturing the imagination of Chicago teachers, parents and students. And George Schmidt has been doing his Substance thing forever. Teaming up Substance and CORE will shake the pillars of the ed deformers in Chicago.

Obama got Arne got out of town just in time. Maybe Obama decided to rescue his basketball buddy from what is coming. Obama will not escape unscathed as the Chicago model of corporate/ed deformation is examined and protests grow. CORE is expected to challenge the Randi-like CTU leadership in union elections next May.

It is probably no accident that Chicago, the city with the longest history of mayoral control (since 1995), and with a collaborative union leadership (sound familiar, kiddies?) is facing the biggest pushback from the rank and file. Having just spent a bunch of time in LA with some of the leaders of this resistance movement, I am enlightened and encouraged. My guess is New York is a few years behind Chicago in building this movement, though I'll write more about these remarkable people as the weeks go by as we look for ways to support each other and activists in other cities.

Spend 28 minutes watching this Labor Beat video of Chicago-based Substance editor George Schmidt and my new best friends from CORE (Caucus of Rank and File Educators) challenge Arne Duncan and the Chicago model being imposed on the entire nation. Watch Arne gulp and break into a rash when a black student rakes him over the coals. George's comments are featured throughout and CORE members are prominent. CORE gave me a dvd which can be reproduced if you want to show it to people in your school. Or just watch it together online.

The best PD you can do to inform your colleagues as to what is coming down and the corporate rationale behind and demonstrate a model of how resistance can form in the absence of teacher unions. Let me amend that. Not the absence. The UFT/AFT is very present – on the wrong side. (See Schmidt's comments on CTU President Marilyn Stewart applauding Duncan as he outlines the plans to decimate the teachers in her union and the children they teach.)

The video is titled: Secretary of Education Duncan: Pushing the Chicago Plan

Here is the Labor Beat intro:
Before President Obama appointed Arne Duncan Secretary of Education, Duncan was the CEO of the Chicago Public Schools. Under his control there, Chicago Public Schools endured a relentless wave of privatization, school closings, militarization, union busting and blaming teachers for the problems of urban schools. Now, the war on public education pursued during the Bush administration will only continue and intensify under the new Secretary of Education Duncan. His Chicago Plan, as former teacher and editor of Substance News George Schmidt explains, is the template for a national strategy to dismantle public education. Through revealing footage and comments from Chicago teachers, this video shows the resistance that has been growing among teachers and community organizations.

Here is a national alert for everyone who cares about the future of public schools, threatened now by Arne Duncan and his corporate vision for the nation's school systems.

The video is hosted on

Photo: Labor Beat

Caucus of Rank-and-File Educators try to talk to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan at his recent Chicago speech at the Hyatt, but are turned back [ED NOTE: also threatened with arrest if they enter the hall.]


  1. are you guys on twitter?
    i'm at district299 and alexanderrusso -- l

  2. Tried twitter but it messed up the blog feed. And I don't have unlimited texting at this point. I'm just not sure if I can say anything in less than 10,000 words, let alone 150 characters. How many times can you say "AFT/UFT/BloomKlein suck"?


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