With all undue respect to the mainstream media, whose understanding of education reform begins and ends with political optics and charter schools, there are 400,000 reasons for 30,000 Chicago teachers to strike. Corporatized education, with longer hours, less pay and benefits, high-stakes testing and the “teacher effectiveness” mantra. Given the state of K-12 education in Chicago and elsewhere, striking to save it from the money of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the politics of Arne Duncan and Rahm Emanuel might be the trick.
But I think I have a better idea, both politically and in terms of making the lazy-thinking, grossly unknowledgeable media really look at top-down corporate education reform seriously. A teacher sit-in, one in which all 30,000 teachers and staff in Chicago report for the first day of school, shut out the central office, and occupy the schools to get serious negotiations and some efforts at real reform underway. The great thing about a sit-in is that while it may well be illegal, it would also get the attention even of the idiots who want to rid the country of all unions. It would be a protest that would force the media to get into the weeds of what real education reform means. It would put pressure on our idiot politicians to work with — rather than force-feed — teachers and teacher’s unions. Hopefully a major teacher’s union will do this soon. A strike, though necessary, is simply not enough.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost