Thursday, August 9, 2012

Support the Chicago Teacher Union: A Day Without a Teacher

If Chicago loses this struggle, so do we. The Chicago Teacher’s Union is preparing to strike. But to win they need the world behind them. If we want quality education for all, we need the Chicago Teachers to win this showdown. ---- From A Day Without a Teacher Campaign
Imagine a day when every teacher in the nation did not go into school. As unlikely as that event is check out the idea below from CTU community allies.

For the past 2 years I've tried to make a study, mostly long-distance, of the approach of the CTU/CORE people and the UFT/Unity crew. My last two trips -- to Detroit at the AFT and DC at SOS have given me some insights that I hope to share in a separate post. But here is one clear example. Leo Casey said at SOS that we should carefully pick our battles (I'll put up some tape maybe tomorrow). Imagine what the UFT would be telling us if they were in a similar battle. Chicago is reaching out to the world.

I just received this message from Chicago Teacher Union Chief Financial Officer Kristine Mayleposted to
Hi Norm. It was great seeing you in Detroit. Could you please share this link with your NY and other networks. Some community allies of ours started this page as part of a solidarity campaign with CTU. We are trying to get our message out to teachers everywhere and this page will help us communicate our needs and updates about what is happening here.
Just 2 years ago Kristine was teaching special ed in a Chicago elementary school. Then she was elected to one of the top 4 officer positions in the Chicago Teachers Union. She's been sort of busy. I met Kristine 3 years ago when she was part of a CORE contingent at a conference with people from 5 cities held in LA. The amazing hard work she did those few days was seriously impressive. I remember thinking -- almost a year before they won the election --- if they have lots of Kristine-like people they are going places. And so they do and so they did.

This is a campaign to connect teachers, ed workers, students, parents, and communities across the nation to fight against the destruction of public education and for a public education system worth fighting for. 
How can you help?

The situation in public education as it stands is intolerable and is only getting worse.

The carefully planned attacks by the ruling class to defund, deskill, and privatize our education system have resulted in the avalanche of attacks we face on a daily basis. Massive budget cutbacks, exploding class sizes, media vilification, testing mania, school shut downs and charter school expansion, destruction of tenure and seniority, packaged curriculum, and on and on.

Both Republicans and Democrats serve this agenda, and while so called “education reformers” use racial justice for their public relations, in truth their policies only increase the oppressive inequities facing our children, parents, and communities.

Make no mistake. We must choose between watching the promise of our children silenced or joining a massive resurgence to fight against these attacks and for a transformed educational system worth fighting for. One that delivers quality education for all. And that choice is upon us.

This fall, teachers in Chicago are being pushed into a corner they can’t survive without fighting—a 20% increase in their work day and the replacement of standard raises by financial favoritism, essentially ending the union itself.

This struggle is of crucial importance, signaling the fate of teachers for the country as a whole. Chicago is home to the third largest teacher’s union in the country and a President of the United States seeking reelection this fall. Rahm Emanuel, Chicago’s ruthless Mayor who is out to destroy the union, is Obama’s former Chief of Staff.

If Chicago loses this struggle, so do we. The Chicago Teacher’s Union is preparing to strike. But to win they need the world behind them. If we want quality education for all, we need the Chicago Teachers to win this showdown.

That is what “A Day Without A Teacher” is all about. Like the millions of immigrants who refused to work on May 1st, 2006. Like the thousands of Madison teachers whose courage showed people across this rich nation what is possible if teachers take collective action for the well being of all.

We all face struggles like what is happening in Chicago. Only by acting together can we reverse the tide. Another education system is possible. A Day Without A Teacher is the first step in making it so.

Stand with Chicago when they need it!
Quality Education for All!

Get Involved.

1. Join the National Steering Committee or get organizations or people you know to join it or express interest in the concept. This can only happen if people like you step up to make it so.

2. Circulate a petition asking your fellow education workers and allies to support the concept, and send us their information: phone, email, and city are essential

3. Like us on Facebook

4. Donate money at online at

5. Submit a photo and explanation for “Why a Day Without a Teacher?” in your state, school, or district

6. Help organize a Day Without a Teacher Organizing Group in your area to spread the word, organize an action or gathering place, and begin the process of creating the nationwide movement we need to transform education.

Questions? Ideas? Contact us at: or call (612) 567-2849.
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.

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