Read LA Teacher Dennis Danziger's: Shut Up and Strike in which he says he ain't marchin' anymore - unless it's to strike
and Susan Ohanian's posting of this wonderful (and long - but it's a snow day so you have time) of Danny Weil's wonderful assault on Arne Duncan. Weill closes with:
It is the Obama administration that gave us Arne Duncan, but he was probably dropped in Obama's lap by the privatizers who realized the federal, state and local governments are broke. Enchanted with his paranoid schizophrenic behavior and policies, charmed by his athletic prowess and familiarity with Obama, they embraced him like the lap dog he is.
So now what do we see? Corporatized health care, corporartized education, corporatized war, corporatized social services, and corporatized surveillance and incarceration to name just a few of the increasingly privatized policies. The whole Obama administration is deranged and their behavior, both individually and socially, would put them right into the straightjacket with Arne, or at least in the 'day room'. But to get Arne the help he needs it will take organization and effort on the part of the American public that day by day sees the social and economic horror mouthed, applauded and implemented by the Obama administration and especially the chainsaw massacre of public schools and education promoted by Duncan.
This is why we must mobilize on March 4th to tell the maniacs who now own America and its institutions that we’ve had enough; that schizophrenic economic and social policies that favor the egocentric and pathological needs of a ruling class bent on turning America into a low-paid gulag is not acceptable. And we need to tell them loud and clear, for they don’t seem to be taking their medication, forcing us instead to accept their evil prescriptions and their corporate medicine for social life.
Enough is enough: Duncan must go. His statements betray his interests and his interests are not those of working people, they are aligned with the interests of the powerful elite bent on destroying America for private profit. The same elite who display the symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia one can find in any medical journal. The inmates are now truly running the asylum. It is time to lock them up and get them the help they need.
Karen Horwitz, teacher activist and author of White Chalk Crime, responded to a comment I made about not putting all the emphasis on Joel Klein and even Michael Bloomberg:
Although NY does lead this nation on most things, even if we were able to pin the corruption on the NY gang, the rest of the nation has it in full swing and it would be back with a vengeance without mayoral control. Mayoral control only makes it easier, but is far from the only path for ravaging our schools.
I agree that this is a national attack on public schools and teacher unions and the focus on Bloomberg and Klein can be misleading at times. But the answer goes way beyond joining NAPTA. Last summer activists from 5 cities met in LA and formed a loose alliance. People went back to their local areas to build the movement. Some are getting together again in Detroit at the Labor Notes Troublemakers conf in April. Others are going to the tri-national meetings of 3 nations - Canada, Mexico and US in May and some are hooking up in Seattle at the AFT convention in July.
March 4 all of these cities and more are joining in a national day to save public education. Oakland teachers voted to strike that day. LA is in a state of flux. Chicago's CORE teachers caucus is challenging for union leadership. Detroit teachers who got the worst contract in history - which Randi helped broker and has praised - voted to recall their union leader, a Randi ally but he is refusing to go. In Washington Nathan Saunders is running for union president.
In NYC, things are in the early stages of organizing, galvanized by the massive closing of schools and the charter school invasion. Many groups are forming and some are coming together in various configurations to join with parents and even students. The Jan 21 rally at Bloomberg's house was a success and of course the massive outpouring on Jan. 26 opened a lot of eyes.