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Chicago Teachers Strike: Additional links and information

Chicago teachers in a picket line outside the headquarters of Chicago Public Schools. September 10, 2012.

As I posted this morning, Democracy Now had a great program on the Chicago teachers’ strike.

Teachers outside the Chicago Public Schools headquarters.

Substance News, which is providing great coverage of the strike also, started off with the article Strike begins.

Reuters also posted an article this morning which is well worth a read: Chicago teachers walking picket lines on Monday, in a strike that has closed schools across the city, are taking on not just their combative mayor but a powerful education reform movement that is transforming public schools across the United States

Chicago students support their teachers on first day of strike.

More information is beginning to appear online and to follow are links to the best information that I have found so far.

For the up to the minute information on what’s happening on the ground, check out:

Chicago Teachers’ Union twitter feed

The Chicago Teachers’ Union website

Chicago Teachers Solidarity Campaign Facebook page

Chicago Teachers Union members taking it to the streets.

For some great stories from teachers and parents about why they support the strike, check out The meaning of our struggle in Chicago.

The United Opt Out National website has recommendations on what anyone can do to support our teachers and protect public education with their Action of the Week.

And finally a post from Teacher X

Why I’m striking, JCB

CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard is on record saying both that CTU leadership is deciding whether or not to strike, and that “everyone knows that a strike would only hurt our kids.”

I just wanted to educate my boss a little on the history of Chicago, as he is relatively new to the area. Chicago is founded on the hard daily struggle of working people. It is the birth of the labor movement—not a movement just for wages and benefits, but a movement that stopped child labor so that each of the kids in CPS schools could attend school instead of working. It was a movement that stopped the practice of working conditions so unsafe that consumers were eating the actual workers who fell into the mix while they were making hot dogs. It was a movement that fought so that workers could have some tiny measure of time with our families rather than spending all waking hours working for the enrichment of their bosses.

But even more importantly, I wanted to educate Mr. Brizard about what it means to “help or hurt our kids”.

When you make me cram 30-50 kids in my classroom with no air conditioning so that temperatures hit 96 degrees, that hurts our kids.

When you lock down our schools with metal detectors and arrest brothers for play fighting in the halls, that hurts our kids.

When you take 18-25 days out of the school year for high stakes testing that is not even scientifically applicable for many of our students, that hurts our kids.

When you spend millions on your pet programs, but there’s no money for school level repairs, so the roof leaks on my students at their desks when it rains, that hurts our kids.

When you unilaterally institute a longer school day, insult us by calling it a “full school day” and then provide no implementation support, throwing our schools into chaos, that hurts our kids.

When you support Mayor Emanuel’s TIF program in diverting hundreds of millions of dollars of school funds into to the pockets of wealthy developers like billionaire member of your school board, Penny Pritzker so she can build more hotels, that not only hurts kids, but somebody should be going to jail.

When you close and turnaround schools disrupting thousands of kids’ lives and educations and often plunging them into violence and have no data to support your practice, that hurts our kids.

When you leave thousands of kids in classrooms with no teacher for weeks and months on end due to central office bureaucracy trumping basic needs of students, that not only hurts our kids, it basically ruins the whole idea of why we have a district at all.

When you, rather than bargain on any of this stuff set up fake school centers staffed by positively motived Central Office staff, many of whom are terribly pissed to be pressed into veritable scabitude when they know you are wrong, and you equip them with a manual that tells them things like, “communicate with words”, that not only hurts our kids, but it suggests you have no idea how to run a system with their welfare in mind.

When you do enough of this, it makes me wonder if you really see our students as “our kids” or “other people’s children”.

And at that moment, I am willing to sacrifice an awful lot to protect the students I serve every day. I am not hurting our kids by striking, I’m striking to restore some semblance of reasonable care for students to this system. I’m doing to tell you, “No, YOU are the one hurting our children, and you need to STOP because what you are doing is wrong, and you are robbing students of their educational opportunities.

I ask anyone who does remotely care about the kids we teach and learn from and triumph and cheer and cry and grow with., to stand with us and fight for a better future for our kids.

See you on the picket line, my friend.

I would suggest dropping by his blog, Teacher X, and leaving a comment as so many others have done.


4 comments on “Chicago Teachers Strike: Additional links and information

  1. seattleducation2011
    September 10, 2012

    I think that everyone is watching and absorbing what is going on in Chicago. Hopefully many see that what has happened in Chicago for the last eight years has destroyed the public school system and they are understanding that what happened in Chicago can happen everywhere, even in their hometown.


  2. rmurphy12
    September 10, 2012

    ‘The union leader even said that he liked the movie.

    “I didn’t really think I would like it but I did,” Van Roekel said. “It’s a great movie. It made me cry three times.”

    Nothing illustrates the captured state of our politics better than a supposed union leader praising a film dedicated to destroying the power of working men and women. Now, of course, there are certainly problems with teachers unions, as there are with any set of large bureaucratic institutions. But eliminating the one opposition vehicle to the transfer of a half a trillion dollars of tax revenue each year to privatize educational corporations is simply about graft.”‘

  3. rmurphy12
    September 10, 2012

    “Rhee told the harsh and ugly truth about the way the Democrats are treating teacher unions. “There is no longer sort of some assumed alliance between the Democratic Party and the teacher’s unions.”
    If teachers and other unions had any self-respect, they would boycott the convention altogether. Instead they will be front and center, proclaiming their love for a party that never passes up an opportunity to stab them in the back.
    Barack Obama and the Democrats are not the lesser of two evils, they are the more effective evil, and their convention coronation proves it.”

  4. rmurphy12
    September 10, 2012

    OFF the pages – I mean NOT on the pages … WHERE are the big guns of the NEA & AFT ?? Or, what about the WEA? Scurrying around on their bellies defending the yuppie “Democratic” sell outs blaming teachers for Wall Street – ‘We need to STFU and support Arne Arse Kisser XYZ, OR, we’ll get Scott Paul Walker Scott Christie Perry Rick Scott, AND, The Union will be destroyed!’
    Think about it – the sound of The Silence for us WA teachers from WEA NEA is probably the same silence in MA – and elsewhere ?!!
    Think about it – petty robber barons who couldn’t get hired by Wall Street or Pharma or AHIP or the MIC to rip off the public, so they are getting their 6 figure a year pilfering jobs by chartering up public education!
    Think about it – the crap conditions for kids in crap schools and the crap conditions for the adults at the schools are being blamed on the adults at the schools – the adults with their fingers in the dykes.
    Think about it – protecting The Union is MORE important than stopping the crap – hence, The Silence.
    When an institution is more focused on fighting for its survival than fighting for the people it gets dues from,
    When an institution is more focused on fighting for its survival than fighting for the crap dumped on the people it gets dues from,
    When an institution is more focused on fighting for its survival than fighting for the KIDS who didn’t get to chose the crap dumped on them, the KIDS that we’ve been entrusted with,
    WHAT is the point of the institution?

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