Saturday, June 9, 2012

News: Chicago Teachers Vote 90% Pro-Strike, Wisconsin and Car Talk

Chicago teachers have shown their solidarity in massive numbers. More than 90 percent of teachers have given the OK for a work stoppage, multiple sources told NBC Chicago. That number is well above the 75 percent needed, by law, to authorize a strike.
How did we get from hundreds of thousands in the streets of Madison, Wisconsin demanding union rights for everybody and fundamental economic justice for all, to a desultory set of Democratic campaigns for the candidates who, as they say, sucked the least, and ended up losing...[Labor leaders] turned a nascent movement into a series of electoral campaigns, first against a handful of state senators in 2011 and then the statewide recall campaign that ended in defeat this week. They turned the movement into a campaign, and then managed to lose the campaign.
Fast and furious, the news is coming in.

First an article on why Walker won (blame Labor) circulating on the MORE-Discussion listserve (you can join by sending an email to Or better yet, come to the MORE Happy Hour next Saturday from 5-7PM.)
I believe this article best sums up our agenda, how labor leadership has failed and the right/wrong direction for labor movements. This is must read for MORE members [and everyone else].
Labor is taking a beating, but don't only blame the Koch brothers. Take a good look in the mirror with the UFT/AFT as big a culprit as possible. Now team that with what is going on with the Chicago Teachers Union and you get a different picture. Which is why you should help build MORE into a caucus that can make Unity Caucus break a sweat.

Wisconsin: What Happens When Movements Turn Into Campaigns

Chicago Teachers Vote 90% to strike
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus

Remember that famous Edelman video on how the ed deformers put a big one over on the Chicago Teachers Union? How they needed an "impossible" 75% to strike? I pointed out at the time I wouldn't want anything less if I were going to strike.

And YES, many of the teachers are YOUNG who know little or nothing about the union -- until our pals at CORE and the CTU started educating them.

Mike Klonsky explains why even before the count was in.
Why teachers will vote yes

Sitting at a coffee shop a few days ago, I was asked by some friends, how I felt about teachers taking a strike vote. They couldn't understand, especially in these tough times, why any teacher would want to go on strike. I told them about what I saw at the CTU rally a few weeks ago and why I left the rally and march of thousands of teachers, feeling certain that any strike vote taken would surpass the 75% needed to authorize a strike.

The revelation came to me after interviewing a group of young, white, women, suburban-raised and schooled, teachers in the crowd at Grant Park. From what I could tell, many of them had only been teaching for a few years and none of them probably even knew anyone who belonged to a union, say 5 years ago. Now here they stood in the park, fists in the air singing along with thousands of other teachers, the old IWW tune, Solidarity forever, for the union makes us strong.

As we marched down Michigan Ave. and then up Adams St. past CPS headquarters, they chanted strike, strike, strike until union march monitors waved for them to cool the chant. After all, the union doesn't want to risk a strike unless there's no other option. But these young teachers had had enough and were ready to put it all on the line for the future of their profession.

I asked my friends, "what do you think the mayor would have to do to turn these teachers, who went into the profession for the love of teaching,  into union militants?  After a short review of Rahm's war on unions and on the teaching profession, I think they got it.
Car Talk -- the funniest program on radio -- or anywhere --- going away in September
This was sent by my friend Bob, a retired industrial arts teacher. Don't forget to listen today at 10AM.

I was motivated to post a comment on the following article on the demise of a favorite NPR program, in the Saturday, June 9, 2012 edition of the New York Times. Hosts of 'Car Talk' to Retire After 35 Years of Automotive Banter.
The brothers Tom Magliozzi and Ray Magliozzi, whose show has been a staple of NPR for decades, will stop producing new shows this fall.
Most of the comments were from suburbanites or upscale folks, who I felt were missing something important. Below is a comment I posted (as "Bronx Bob") responding to the article as a result of trying to teach "Industrial Arts/Technology Education" for 28 years in NYC high schools, under an indifferent/hostile city administration & education department.
"For a New York paper, I notice few local comments.  While stereotypes about affluent/effete New Yorkers abound, the majority of us struggle to get by and the many of us try keep our aging cars on the road just a little longer, in a city that leaves the majority of its residents poorly served by mass transit. While much of the upscale NPR audience appreciates the Magliozzi brothers' sophisticated humor, many folks miss the interaction between mechanical wisdom with intellectual wit and heartfelt humanity.
All to often, we don't expect to find these qualities in the same person (or garage, for that matter).  But these a 3 fields of human should interact more, but due to our intellectual prejudices against those that inhabit the mechanical/physical world, those inhabitants are rarely allowed to appear in the public eye as fully rounded humans. Mechanical literacy, one of many valuable intelligences, was once offered as varied shop electives to all students in our academic schools. The "applied" arts (ceramics, auto shop, culinary arts, wood shop) complemented the "fine" arts, along with academics in a rounded education.
The current politically mandated corporate-style "school reform" with its focus on testing, data and accountability has resulted in the "narrowing" of the curriculum, eliminating much of what is not tested.
Here in NYC, scores of large, comprehensive community high schools. that have educated generations of New Yorkers, have been closed, over the objections of students, parents and their communities. Their former buildings have been crammed with 5 to 7 charter and mini schools who fight each other over limited space, facilities and resources. None of these new schools has any interest or space for these electives. I have seen dozens of modern, fully equipped shops dismantled at the request of the new, incoming schools who wanted the space for classrooms. This is going on in other cities as well. Where will our future "Car Talk" hosts and articulate callers come from? Not from our cities anymore!"

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.


Anonymous said...

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jade said...

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