Sunday, June 3, 2012

Chicago, Chicago, A Hell of a Town

Chicago is really the epicenter of the battle between the ed deformers and the real reformers. It was the birth of mayoral control in 1995, the home of key Democratic deformers Arne Duncan who ran the schools for 7 years and Obama. Duncan was preceded by Paul Vallas who after he was run out of Chicago has ruined public school systems in Philly, New Orleans and now Hartford (or is it New Haven?) Really take a look at NO and Philly and there is only devastation.

Chicago still has a fighting chance, mostly due to the reform union movement led by the Caucus of Rank and File Educators which was elected in May 2010 with Karen Lewis, who came out of 30 years of teaching chemistry to run the 2nd largest teachers union in the nation. And despite a few missteps is doing quite well. Yes to real teachers, not lawyers, running teacher unions.

The AFT convention in Detroit starting July 26 may well have the dynamic of a struggle between the Chicago TU and the UFT -- CORE vs Unity caucus. One of the early battles shaping up is over the weak AFT Resolution on Testing and their support for the Common Core. We'll keep you posted on the 800 Unity Caucus slugs who will be there to oppose the Real Reformers.

The ed deformers were patting themselves on the back for passing a law requiring the Chicago Teachers Union to have 75% support before they can strike. My first thought was "good." Who would want to strike without having 75% of the members supporting it? Better yet, how about 90%, which seems to be the kind of support the CTU is getting for a strike from its members. And there is also parent support being built by the CTU.

All it takes is a mayor who demands people work a few hours extra a day for practically no pay. Plus all the other anti-teacher and union crap.

So the showdown between the CTU and Mayor Rhambo and NYC/Rochester reject and now Chicago Supt Jean Claude-Buzzard/vulture will be coming in September. It is in our interests here in NYC and all over the nation to support the CTU politically and financially as a victory over the ed deformers would have nationwide implications. Can you imagine how Randi will react? While mouthing support publicly she will be working desperately behind the scenes for a "settlement" where she will do as much to represent the powers that be as the union. Probably more as a successful strike in Chicago would create a greater militant demand here in NYC. We don't need our leaders to be intermediaries but to stand firmly in our corner.

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis (above at podium) announced the strike authorization voting to begin June 6, while the union's officers looked on. Left to right above: Recording Secretary Michael Brunson, President Karen Lewis, Vice President Jesse Sharkey, and Financial Secretary Kristine Mayle. Substance photo by Sharon Schmidt.
Video of Karen's speech

CTU to hold strike authorization voting beginning June 6

Karen Lewis and the officers and members of the Chicago Teachers Union announced at a packed press conference on Friday afternoon, June 1, 2012, that the union will conduct its strike authorization referendum during the week of June 4, with full results expected by June 8. Under the terms of the law known as "SB7" (for Senate Bill 7), the union is required to get approval from 75 percent of its members in order to move towards a strike. (Retiree members are not part of the union that participates in strike votes).

Read MORE on the story

CPS parent Matt Farmer puts billionaire Board of Education member Penny Pritzker on Trial at CTU's STANDS STRONG RALLY. 

Pritzker doesn't seem to feel it is necessary to provide other people's children with the same educational experience as hers.


The opinions expressed on EdNotesOnline are solely those of Norm Scott and are not to be taken as official positions (though Unity Caucus/New Action slugs will try to paint them that way) of any of the groups or organizations Norm works with: ICE, GEM, MORE, Change the Stakes, NYCORE, FIRST Lego League NYC, Rockaway Theatre Co., Active Aging, The Wave, Aliens on Earth, etc.


TeachmyclassMrMayor said...

I promise those things will not be on that schools website for long. Wouldn't it be nice if we had video of Mike Mulgrew saying some of these things? I know we have the parents (Class Size Matters, etc). Just imagine how much bigger the move would be if the UFT was just as angry. Screw the fact that Murdoch runs the newspapers. As soon as the politicians see the anger in parents they will scurry away from Mayor Napoleon and his lackeys. The last thing they want is an angry electorate.

The only thing I will say to those Chicago teachers is be careful, in thinking Randi Weingarten is on your side...unless it is a case of keeping your friends close and your enemies closer.

Unknown said...

As a Chicago teacher and CTU Delegate, I would hope that Randi and Mike will change their ways! Chicago knows all to well Randi and her thugs who ran the last AFT meeting. Not Democratic in any sense of the word. CTU used to roll the same way until a new pro democratic slate came in to power in Chicago.

Thank you for posting Karen and CPS Parent Matt Farmer! Please share those videos to all your friends and enemies!

ed notes online said...

Our new caucus in NYC modeled on CORE will send some people to Detroit to support you even though we can't be delegates. Don't count on Randi and Mike changing their ways -- until faced with a revolt from below.

TeachmyclassMrMayor said...

We have to get the K-8 teachers to stop rubber stamping the current union administration. They never win the HS battle. I for one will not vote for Unity. I am sick of them, either being in the tank for the Mayor Napoleon, or just being the worst PR people in the world and just letting him, Rupert Murdoch & company blast us day after day, and not having a clue on how to fight back. The only way to fight a bully is to punch them back. Why can't they (UFT leadership) learn from a couple of years ago they stood up and fought back, when Bloomberg/Murdoch hatchet man, Joel Klein blamed the "evil" teachers for the school year starting with a one day week. Next day, Mulgrew showed (for once) some chutzpah, and responded that the DOE is the only one that makes the schedule, teachers have nothing to with the schedule.