Teacher, historian, activist, and chapter leader Mike Fiorillo, who is running with ICE-TJC for one of the six HS seats on the Executive Board in the coming election, writes frequently about NYC schools and the state of our labor union.
His perspective on current school events is not only informative but essential reading.
The following paragraphs are in response to a post at GothamSchools after Sect'y of Education Arne Duncan remarked that Katrina was the "best thing" for the New Orleans school system.
This despicable statement by Duncan represents a common motif among Democrats and Republicans alike, and validates Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine thesis, namely, that ruling elites create or opportunistically use crises to implement policies that would otherwise be blocked. In the case of New Orleans, it’s the wholesale privatization of the school system, with the schools being turned over to large charter school chains. Teach For America — closely affiliated with KIPP — is the Human Resources Division and employment agency for this hostile takeover.
Obama, who received most of his campaign contributions from Finance, is the Trojan Horse brought in to bring this about; it’s Nixon Goes to China in reverse, with a purported “liberal” elected to do what a Republican never could get away with. It’s his job to impose the structural adjustment policies that the IMF has used to dominate developing countries undergoing debt crises over the past thirty years: shrinking the public sector, privatization of resources and public services (note that he just announced the privatization of the space program), elimination of subsidies that support domestic production and social welfare, etc.
Disregard Obama’s faux-populist rhetoric of recent weeks: it’s little more than a shift in his overall marketing campaign
Read more of what Michael has to say at the ICE UFT Election blog:
Michael Fiorillo on Duncan's Katrina statement
There's a reason why many of ICEers are excited at the prospect of having Michael Fiorillo (along with Francis Lewis HS CL Arthur Goldstein and Tilden CL John Lawhead plus 3 more from TJC) getting elected to the UFT Executive Board (ballots are sent out March 7). If you're not in a high school you won't see their names on the ballot (except as an AFT/NYSUT delegate) because these positions are the most likely to be in contention and we focused on getting well-known and articulate spokes people on the board to challenge the Unity/New Action nexus. It will still be a tough challenge as they have to get more high school votes than Unity and New Action combined. So if you are in a high school, make note and get your colleagues to vote the ICE-TJC slate - which is a vote for all 6 HS candidates. We will say a lot more about this but if you pick out candidates individually, you risk having your ballot invalidated if you also accidentally put a mark near a slate, something so many people did in 2007, two thousand ballots were invalidated.
Also be sure to read ICE-TJC presidential candidate James Eterno's piece on the elections at the ICE political blog: UFT Election: Victory won’t be Easy