Monday, September 10, 2012

Chicago: Day 1 9PM Update - 50,000 people - Oh My God, They're Still Rounding the Corner

Chicago Teachers Union: Pilsen "Día Sin Maestros" march meets up with the entire CTU day one strike protest at the corner of Clark and Monroe. — at Chicago Public Schools. · · Share · 
Video posted by CORE's Sarah Chambers

Read two excellent reports by Philissa Cramer at Gotham School on the Chicago situation.
Part 1: Why Chicago teachers are on strike and what could come next

Part 2: Why New York isn’t on track to repeat Chicago’s teacher strike

George is pumping it out at Substance. Head on over but there are a few quick links:

More than 50,000 people surround Chicago Board of Education in support of teachers' strike

A new 'Chicago Symphony' is born on every street in the Second City... Massive support for teachers as the Strike of 2012 begins

And I love this one: hit 'em where it hurts.

'It's not a boycott. They'll just never see our business again'... Teachers begin being choosey as Simone's restaurant sides with Rahm during the Strike of 2012


There is so much amazingly great stuff out there on blogs, twitter and facebook I can only touch on a few. Really, if things stretch out much past a week, Obama will be hurt in the election. Teachers are so under the gun that even if it seem rational to vote against Romney, many have reached a wall and and just won't vote if there's no enthusiasm. Think: Obama has to work to excite his own base instead of floating into neutral territory. If he loses due to teachers there will be some irony but not a lot of hand wringing because the Democratic Party deformers are committed to that program because there is no going back no matter how often Diane Ravitch appeals to Obama.

Here is a photo of the MORE/Chi Solidarity rally at Union Square and march to DFER:

One from the massive afternoon march in Chicago:

WOW! SHARE this photo. Thousands marching in the streets of Chicago for the CTU rally. PHOTOS from Air Fox flying over:
Joe Linehan shared's photo.

I got to hang out with Joe in Detroit and Sarah had lunch with some MORE people a few weeks ago. So great to see what great work our pals are doing.

Teachers at South High School in Minneapolis...
Robert Panning-Miller5:43pm Sep 10
Teachers at South High School in Minneapolis wearing red in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Chicago.
Untitled Album
South High School Teachers (Minneapolis) in Solidarity with Chicago Teachers!

Hey, send me pics of teachers at your school wearing red in support.

Mark Naison sent out a link to an interesting interview he did on CNN about the strike. He really nails so many important points I can't print them all. This is one of the only reports that link the Obama ed policies with the strike -- which really is against those Obama/Duncan (who helped bring the Chicago school to the ruin they are today to the extent that Rahm had to try to blame the previous mayor and Supt (Daley and Duncan). Yes, Mitt, the strike is not supported by Obama but a strike against Obama. You are not the genius I want to have his hand on the nuclear trigger.
Rahm Emanuel is very faithfully following the strategy for urban school systems outlined in the Obama administration's signature education policy, which is his race-to-the-top initiative," said Mark Naison, professor of African American Studies and History at Fordham University in New York.
The initiative includes the evaluation of teachers and schools on the basis of student test scores, said Naison...
"It makes perfect sense that Emanuel pushes this, because this policy makes money for the Democratic Party," he added. "The big funders love it. Teachers hate it, but teachers don't have anywhere else to go, right? They're not going to go Republican. So, if you look at this fairly cynically, you can beat on teachers without undermining the Democratic Party base that much and bring in much-needed financing from the corporate sector. Emanuel is at the forefront of both."
He called teachers "collateral damage to the Democratic Party's fundraising strategy."
Read it all here. And Mark has his own blog post today: A Strike Against Race to the Top- Chicago Teachers Take a Stand

Reality Based Educator nails some of the same points:

Ryan, Romney Stand With Emanuel Against CTU - Obama Remains Mum

Obama hired Duncan at USDOE and gave him wide powers to promote corporate education reform because that's the policy he wants promoted.

So it's no real secret where Obama stands on this.

But Obama can't come out and say that's where he stands on this because he needs the unions - particular the teachers unions - for November's GOTV effort as well as fundraising.

So instead the White House and the Obama campaign inhabit some jive ass middle ground that doesn't really exist.

Like Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, Barack Obama and Joe Biden stand with Rahm Emanuel against Chicago teachers and union members.

Is that a good enough reason to not vote for any of these people if you're a teacher?

Fred Klonsky has been enjoying his new retirement, getting totally into the events in Chicago and sending great reports and pics.

I'm stealing his report on the wonderful Gloria Steinem statement of support where she points out:
“As an 87% female workforce, and one that is nearly half African American and Latino, the Chicago Teachers Union know what their students need. This is why this country needs unions, collective bargaining, and mayors who recognize, honor and fairly pay the people our children know – and who know our children.” Steinem continued, “I join my colleagues at The Women’s Media Center, in calling on the media to ensure that women are part of this story — as teachers, parents, union members, and as journalists.” 

“Tonight, I proudly wear a red t-shirt in support of the Chicago Teachers Union strike.” – Gloria Steinem

  They have been forced to strike – for the first time in 25 years – by the false economy of firing and penalizing the experienced teachers most needed by the students and by new teachers; by lengthening the school day as warehousing without educational services, healthy school buildings, and paid teachers; by what they have the knowledge to call the “apartheid-like system” of differential discipline policies; and by what seems to be a national tactic of demonizing teachers in order to turn public schools into corporate profit centers.

Gee, have you ever heard Randi come close to putting things this way?
But at least we have this:

Today the NYC MORE crew rallied at Union Square and then marched to DFER.

Randi and Mulgrew weren't there.

Well, neither was I. There's been a construction project going on at my house for the past 2 weeks and I can't leave until the guys leave so I couldn't make it. Julie called to say she was there with baby Jack, his first rally at 10 weeks old. Jack me be going to his first UFT chapter chair meeting on Wed. Should be no problem getting him to sleep. Julie better be aware. The Prisco's daughter Gabrielle (who got married just 2 weeks ago) was born shortly before the 1975 strike and was an activist baby at 10 days old. And she never stopped being an activist, becoming the great civil rights lawyer Derrick Bell's top student and now doing juvenile prison work. I had the honor of sitting near Bell's wife Janet and chatting with her through the evening. If you don't remember the recent Faux Fox attack on Obama for inviting Bell to Harvard Law school, check the Bell web site.

That's all for now, though I bet there will be a whole batch of new stuff by the time I finish watching  a few footsball games, which is where I'm heading right now.

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