There were comments out there that the CTU was being pressured to settle by Randi and the AFT. No doubt. Get this thing off the front pages, FAST, before it infects teachers all over the nation even more than it has.
I know, in this time of unity and joy we should all unite, but I can't resist.
This strike was a revolt against ed deform on all levels, including the national leadership of the teacher unions. A careful observer at the AFT convention would have noticed the tension between the CTU and the Unity Caucus UFTers who opposed Chicago on school closings, charters and testing resolutions. I heard the expression "assholes" more than once from CTUers (I have a great video I have to dig up of a CTU retiree who smashed them to bits).
The strike was not only against Rahm, but Obama, and most importantly for us, against Randi and the AFT and Mulgrew and the UFT and where they have helped lead the union movement.
Ravitch on Karen Lewis tonight -
The union was fortunate in having Karen Lewis as its president. She was one of them. She had taught chemistry in the Chicago public schools for more than 20 years. She is one of the few--perhaps the only--union leader in the nation who is Nationally Board Certified, a mark of her excellence as a teacher.Sorry, I can't resist this obvious, perhaps unintentional) comparison to you know who.
Even Joe Nocera in today's Times (and though far from perfect, he is the best of the lot on education) put to bed the idea that the ed deform movement has any value (see below) yet Randi has slavered to convince the elites that she wants the unions to be on board, almost apologizing for the kinds of action Chicago took – before they struck, that is.
Randi will slither out of this, but must it gall her that Karen Lewis is being raved about and has become a hero to teachers all over the nation -- along with Diane Ravitch. Will Karen be a threat to Randi nationally? I'm betting not for a long time due to the way the AFT is structured - the control Unity Caucus exerts over it.
There are going to be lots of blog posts and all sorts of articles all over the place so I'll let you find your own. I'm interested in comparisons between Chicago and the rest of the teacher union world, in particular here in NYC.
The details are posted online below for review before voting. Included are pay scales, frequently asked questions and a thank you flyer to the parents and students of Chicago. The text will be voted on in a few weeks. http://www.ctunet.com/for-
Reality-Based Educator commented right out of the box tonight:
I couldn't be prouder of my fellow teachers.
They stood up to the corporate reformers, they stood up to Rahm "F---ing" Emanuel, they put the Obama education agenda on trial, they got people talking about class size and liberal arts and humanities classes and the absurdity of VAM and the damage poverty does to children.
Then they showed how democracy works by taking the extra two days to read over the contract in detail, talk about this with their colleagues and families, then call for a suspension of the strike.
The concern trolls in the corporate media hated that last part.
How dare they show how a real democratic operation works rather than operate as some top-down organization wherein the members do what the leadership wants!
As CTU said in a statement:
“Our brothers and sisters throughout the country have been told that corporate ‘school reform’ was unstoppable, that merit pay had to be accepted and that the public would never support us if we decided to fight. Cities everywhere have been forced to accept performance pay,” the statement said.“Not here in Chicago. Months ago, CTU members won a strike authorization, one that our enemies thought would be impossible. Now we have stopped the board are imposing merit pay! We preserved our lanes and steps when the politicians and press predicted they were history. We held the line on healthcare costs. We have tremendous victories in this contract; however, it is by no means perfect. While we did not win on every front and will need to continue our struggle into the future, we soundly defended our profession from an aggressive and dishonest attack. We owe our victories to each and every member of this rank and rile union. Our power comes from the bottom up.”
NoceraAre you listening, Randi?How about you, Mike?I know you are.Because what happened in Chicago must scare the shit out of you guys...
Joe Nocera actually wrote some good stuff today in the Times, being one of the first main-stream columnists to lay the myth of ed deform to rest (unlike Kristof and Brooks to name two. And Paul Krugman, where you on education - fear of having to slam Obama?)
The Chicago teacher strike exemplifies, in stark terms, how misguided the battle over education has become... City Hall is fighting to institute reforms no top-performing country has ever seen fit to use, and which probably won’t make much difference if they are instituted.Yes, Nocera is one of the first to say what Diane and Leonie have been saying for many years. Actually the "reforms" will make a difference -- and have -- negatively.
But Nocera also gets this wrong:
The teachers are fighting for the things industrial unions have always fought for: seniority, favorable work rules and fierce resistance to performance measures.He lumps these new union leaders in with the old union bosses. Their fight goes so far beyond narrow industrial bread and butter issues. Funny how I get criticized when I promote the idea of social justice unionism -- "stick to the issues that concern teachers" -- like kids and their parents don't concern teachers. And yes this contract we help up partly by teachers who felt the kids were shortchanged but read The Catalyst for details of the debates that took place inside the union yesterday and today and other good reporting.
You might also check out Richard Kahlenberg at The New Republic:
Whatever the particulars of the final resolution to the strike, the dustup will be successful if it shakes up the wrongheaded, yet increasingly bipartisan, sense that teachers and their unions are what ail American education. Students in Chicago and other big cities face significant challenges, including poverty and segregation and, yes, some incompetent educators. But Democrats need to get about the business of real education reform that addresses all of these questions—without demeaning the vast majority of teachers.How interesting that the writer of Shanker's bio which pointed to how much of ed deform Shanker signed on to and promoted (abandoning the real fight against poverty as a cause of poor school performance and signing on to the "you can improve schools without resources or reducing class size but by improving teaching" essence of the deform movement.
Substance does not have the stories yet but check this one out:
Chicago teachers agree to end strike, classes to resume Wednesday
- The CTU wants a three year contract, which guarantees a 3 percent increase the first year and a 2 percent increase for both the second and third year. It also includes the option to extend the contract for a fourth year with a 3 percent raise;
- CPS will move away from merit pay;
- The board will hire more than 600 additional "special" teachers in art, music, physical education, world languages and other classes;
- One half of all CPS hires must be displaced members;
- CPS will evaluate teachers based on 70 percent "teacher practice" and 30 percent "student growth." Additionally, the first year of implementation will not harm tenured teachers and there is a right to appeal the evaluations.